I am a little late on updating, but on April 30th we "celebrated" our last one year NICU milestone - - One year since we were discharged and our family came home! It was probably one of the scariest days of the entire experience - and one of the most emotionally trying. It was and is hard to explain to people why we were not absolutely ecstatic that this day had come. Yes, we were obviously happy, but right along with that we were bombarded with feelings of fear and sadness that we were not completely prepared for.
Every new parent feels some sense of fear at taking their baby home for the first time, but what I felt was not that typical emotion. I still felt as if there were so many unanswered questions: Why had he vomited for so long even when nothing was being put in his stomach? What was the source of the old blood that he puked up for days? Why had he stopped breathing in front of me just over a month before being discharged? The doctors had run numerous tests, but found no answers to most of their questions and I was very uneasy with the lack of definitive conclusions. But I had to trust that the doctors were right in saying he was ready to move on at home. The only thing that put me at ease was that Dee was adamant that he was ready.
And, as I said, there was definitely a sense of sadness when we left the hospital that day. We had come to find the NICU home and the people there were our friends. Even though we had the best possible outcome in leaving the hospital with our baby, we were sad to leave our hospital home and friends behind. It was very strange to move from living and breathing for daily visits with our son to suddenly having him home.
But like everything, we adjusted and as the days and weeks passed, we could not imagine life any other way. To think that it has been a full year since we heard those beeping monitors and smelled the distinctive antiseptic NICU scent seems crazy! We think about those 85 days often and cannot begin to understand the full depth of the impact that time had on us.
Charlie is now 15 months old and is such a big boy! He literally learns something new every day. He has started copying words we say (gotta be careful now!). He says "bless you" after he sneezes and "thank you" when he hands something to you. He loves to read his books and will just sit and flip through them "reading" them out loud. Hos favorites are definitely the Five Little Ducklings, three of his Sandra Boyton books (Doggies, ABC, and Opposites), and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? He loves anything with wheels and calls them all "car" as he pushes them along the floor or couch. And of course he still lives for the moments when the cats forget to stay out of reach.
We went last week to his 15 month physical and the pediatrician was pleased with what she saw. He has been having some puking issues - choking when he drinks that leads to puking, or just choking and puking some time after eating - but not every time. The doctor reevaluated his zantac dosage, but he has only gained a pound since February (up to 23lbs 4oz), so there was no major increase indicated. If it does not get better soon, then she said we will stop the zantac and try a new medication. It is a little strange because he has not had trouble with puking since he was 2 months old and in the NICU. Once they got it under control there, we never had another problem with it. It seems better the past few days, so we will have to see what happens!
Charlie also had to get two shots and had to go up to the lab for a blood draw. They are finally testing to see if he is indeed allergic to dairy. It was not fun for him or us, but they were pretty quick about it at least. I was hoping to have the results by now, but have not heard from them yet. I will pass along news when I get it!
Other than that we have been keeping busy and enjoying life!
We went and visited Nana-GG and Poppop a couple weeks ago
and happened across this sign when walking through downtown Saratoga!
Enjoying his Duckling book with cousin Kimmie
Eman was eating a banana with his lunch to I gave a chunk to
Charlie (fully expecting it to be immediately thrown on
the floor!), but he actually took a few bites!!! :-)
Getting two little boys to pose for a nice picture is next to impossible!
At least they look cute as they ignore me and the camera!