Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Waiting Game

Anyone who has had a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) knows the waiting game.  The first question is always "when can I take my baby home?"  It seems pretty common for "them" to tell a parent of a preemie "we want to keep him until his due date" so the waiting game begins.

Not only do we get to wait, but we get to drive back and forth to the hospital.  And get to know the wonderful, compassionate nurses who work in the NICU.  And the check-out folks in the cafeteria.

Then they give some good news: when the baby gets to (insert milestone here), we'll start the release procedure. A good thing to remember when you hear this is that this doesn't mean the baby gets to go home whenever he reaches that milestone; that's just when the procedure begins, after which the baby goes home.

The procedure includes them showing the parents a video about shaken baby syndrome (lesson learned: don't ever, ever, ever shake a baby. it's not even funny to joke about).  We get re-trained in CPR (all the rules are different these days).  They make sure Peanut will fit in the car seat (and if he won't, they issue a new one - that's right, issue. That means they give us one).

Then the doctor has to check him out one more time and he can go home after the paperwork is done.  Which might take longer than thought, as (in our case) paperwork has to be done by the caseworker as well. And if the baby has had any other issues, those can hold up the release, triggering... more waiting...

The good news is that Peanut's nasal feeding tube is out and he's gaining weight.  The bad news is he had an "episode" last night - nothing to be alarmed at, but they want to make sure that he's out of the woods.

This is all the long, roundabout way of saying that our little guy isn't home yet; maybe tomorrow?


Mrs. Jake said...

He's sooo cute! He looks like a little bean. I am praying for lil' bean and your family. You and your wife have beautiful hearts.

rachel neil said...

cozy baby all bundled up in it's blanket. We're all praying for your good health