Finishing Out the Week at EIRMC and Going Home

The rest of my weeks stay at EIRMC included lots of trips (some walking and riding back in the wheelchair and some walking both ways) to the NICU and were spent with me not resting as much as I should have for my surgical recovery - but who can rest under these circumstances? -and going down to the NICU for as many feedings as possible.  The NICU invites parents to attend rounds each day if we would like.  This gave us the opportunity to listen first-hand to the doctors (Jenkins or Anshutes) talk about each of the babies with the baby's nurse, the charge nurse, the nurse practitioner and the occupational therapist and it gave us the chance to ask questions directly to the doctor.  We attended often during my stay at the hospital and several times after I had been discharged.  Since the main issue was size, once the babies were stable I didn't feel a burning need to be at rounds each time.

Charlotte needed to be under the photo-therapy lights for a while and she wore little velcro sunglasses to protect her eyes.  She didn't seem to mind it as it didn't interrupt her regular routine.

We tried to do as many feedings as possible - Slade started taking most of his nutrition by mouth pretty early in the week.   Charlotte's suck-reflex wasn't very strong and she would only take about 4% of her nutrition by mouth and the rest by NG tube.  I would try to put them to the breast once a day and get them some practice and the nurses said it was good for them.  Both Shane and I tried to do "skin on skin" with both babies as often as possible.  It is good for the babies' emotions, circulation, breathing and digestion.  The NICU has a privacy curtain you can pull around our little spot to make it more like a private room.

This was Charlotte's reaction to her first facial.  The nurses were trying to get the sticky from the tape off her face.  She didn't really like it that much!  :)

We had some great and fun visitors that week in the hospital.   My Uncle Garth and his lovely bride, Amy came and brought us a dozen really pretty yellow roses with red edges.  It was nice to visit with them.  My Uncle and Aunt, Calvin and Kristie Romrell also stopped in to visit.  I found it very endearing that for all of our visitors - after they were done with me, Shane was anxious to walk them down to the NICU to show off his new babies.  My Aunt Chris and Uncle Dale came and brought me some frozen yogurt.  This was my payback for visiting her with each of her babies with a frozen yogurt treat.  It's hard to believe that her babies are so grown that one is married and the other two are in high school!    Michelle, AKA Shell / Shellie and John and Heidi Owen came to visit one evening.  (Shellie and Heidi also came the night before the babies were born).  They made me laugh way too much for having a glued-shut incision on my abdomen - but the pain meds prevented it from hurting and it was good medicine.  Laughter is the best, they say!  I think Shane felt a little left out.... he is still catching up on all my friendships that I have had for years and  years - but he is a good sport most of the time and is trying to join in the fun.   Some of my siblings came by with their kids to visit the babies - but they wouldn't let the kids go in - you have to be 18 to go in the NICU.  Grandpa Romrell and Valeen came to the NICU to see the babies and I have a little video clip of that video.  Grandpa Roland Romrell turns 90 years on in June.  He was giving Shane tips on being extra careful with the babies' heads. 

We received some fun gifts via delivery at the hospital (separate of the babies).  The Harris family sent some beautiful flowers.  Drive Marketing sent two little cookie boxes with cut-outs of babies onsies, bottles, etc. and a little stuffed animal from Cheryl's Cookies.  The best cookies in the world.  My visiting teachers brought me a bag of treats and my very attentive insurance agent (Stevan Sargent of the Alan Sargent American Family Agency)  brought me some diapers and wipes and a nice little card about milking!  My sweet husband sent an enormous bouquet with a very sweet love note - a big deal to this "verbal" girl from her "non-verbal" husband.   On the day that the flowers from Shane came I had a nurse that was really allergic to lilies - and the both bouquets had lots of them.  She put a garbage bag over the one that was already in my room and asked if she could keep the new bouquet from Shane at the front desk until her shift was over.  Okay.....  very interesting!

I was able to be discharged on Friday. It was so much harder leaving without the babies than I had expected.  I had heard it would be hard and understood, theoretically, that it would be difficult - but I was surprised by my level of emotion and cried on my way to Defining Line!  We fed the babies before gathering up my overly abundant amount of stuff and then Shane dropped me off to get a haircut, went home and unloaded all the stuff and then came back to get me.  From there we went back up to the hospital to do another feeding and then went home and crashed!  I hadn't had my haircut for 15 weeks and needed to have good hair to balance out my fat body for the big bridal shower the next day.  I was so inordinately thirsty during the haircut - I could not get enough water! 

It was a lot harder to sleep at home that I expected.  The discomfort of my empty abdominal cavity was very unpleasant and getting in and out of bed or changing positions in my bed was hard to do and painful with out the armbars or adjustable-ness of the hospital bed.  Who would have ever thought that I would miss that miserable hospital bed.  Having a baby (or two) isn't for the weak of heart.... it is a big pain in lots of areas!   

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