The baby is finally home. Her siblings are enjoying spoiling her. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to have toddlers and babies. Toddlers seem to have an instinctive love for babies. Totally awesome to see. Now to just find a bed for the baby. Yup, we failed in our planning and still need to get a bed for the poor girl. We are a work in progress.
I must say this last visit at the NICU baffled me. We got to the point where even the nurses were saying her forward progress was completely being hindered by the policies in the NICU and simply being there. The charge nurse insists that every single nurse has been properly trained and knows how to feed her but the nurses tell us something else and we see that they have no clue. The last 3 nurses she had while there had no clue how to even put the bottle together. The directions the occupations therapist had written out for how to feed her (which must be followed by the nurses) absolutely did not work for how Charlotte actually ate. It was a huge waste of our time.
And yet, we were constantly told that she had to be there. Until they got more super tiny babies than they were expecting. Then it was a suddenly change and we were kicked out. Because they needed her bed. Trust me when I say I am oh so very happy because just a few hours earlier we had been told to expect to be stuck there for at least another 24 hours. Just seems to me that if they could be so comfortable kicking her out so quickly, she likely did not really need to be there by that point. Sigh. Since this is the second time we have had a very similar experience with the same NICU, it can safely be said that if we are blessed with another child while living here, we will not deliver at this hospital. I also did not enjoy hearing the anesthesiologist explaining to his resident how he was messing up while putting in the spinal. Seriously, some things should not be said in hearing of the patient. And to have the nurse try to distract me by asking if we were planning more kids right at that point. Um, lady, someone is sticking a needle in my back. Can we have this conversation at a later point? It was fun. And yet Charlotte is worth it.
Yes, I am thankful for NICU's for those children who truly need them. My heart breaks for all of the parents of the super micro preemies I saw sharing a room with Charlotte. They got a 23 weeker in those last few hours we were there. I just wish this particular NICU was more willing to view each child as an individual, kept the parents truly involved, and remembered the importance of communication. I also wish they truly encouraged breast feeding with the new moms who were interested but that is an entirely different story. The number of new moms I heard tell their nurses they were no longer going to try to nurse was sad because you could just hear the heart break in their voices.
Anyway, we are home. I was greeted by a broken fridge and another huge pile of medical bills when I arrived home. We have managed to fist he brakes in the van and get new license plates for the truck after one of those fell off. And we are blessed with a full pantry and lots of food for the next week or so from friends dropping meals off. Maybe after another week or so I will feel like tackling putting the house back into some semblance of an order but for now, that can wait while we all enjoy the new baby. And make the zillion and one appointments she will need with various doctors over the next few months. Regular doctor, plastic surgeon, and a hearing specialist (because she failed her hearing screening which is normal for kids with cleft palates) just for starters. I'm really not looking forward to it but I new this first year would be kind of crazy insane.