Wednesday, September 3, 2008

An End To The Journey In The NICU

12 weeks, 1 day, 10 hours, and 10 minutes. That's how long Kayley was in the NICU. Amazing. I still say that the time just flew by. It was an unbelievable feeling watching the nurse take the leads off for the monitor wires and then follow that by taking off Kayley's security ankle bracelet. Kayley started life out with more machines hooked up to her than imaginable. Now she has none. She's free from all that stuff and we're so happy about that. But, I would be lying if I said it wasn't stressful too. Having the security of the monitors letting us know every second what was going on with Kayley is gone too. We'll be paranoid for a while I think. But, Kayley has been so great these last weeks that there is really no reason at all to worry.

The morning started with Megan calling the hospital and and getting confirmation that Kayley was being discharged today. They had already started the paperwork so it was just a matter of us getting to the hospital, packing Kayley up, and bringing her home. First, we finished some things at home. We set up all the things Kayley may use in the coming months...pack'n'play, swing, infant seat, etc. Then, it was off to the hospital. We arrived at about feeding time for Kayley. So while Megan was going over some things with the nurse, I fed Kayley one last time in the NICU. After she finished, we began to pack up. We had a lot of stuff in that room. We practically moved in. If it wasn't for Megan slowly bringing some stuff home over the last week, it would have taken us multiple trips to the car. We got everything packed up and Kayley strapped into her carseat and then we were off. We strolled Kayley down the halls where we walked every day and night to visit Kayley. It was crazy realizing that this was the last time we'd be in the NICU. We were there every day since June 9th and now won't go back unless we go visit the nurses that took such great care of Kayley. Anyway, we took Kayley out of the NICU, then out of the hospital, and then into the car. It was Kayley's first time outside.

Upon arriving home, we were met by Sox (our dog), Drew, and Grandpa Mark. Unfortunately Grandma Marla came down with something in the last couple of days that didn't allow her to be here. I know it just killed her but she was the first one to admit that every precaution should be taken not to get Kayley sick. Hopefully she will get well soon so she can welcome Kayley home too. Sox was excited like she normally is when we get home. Then she turned curious. A couple sniffs and she was satisfied. Drew was very happy. He doesn't know yet that Kayley will play the part of an attention stealer. I'm sure he'll find out soon enough. The rest of the day, both Drew and Sox could not keep themselves away from Kayley's pack'n'play. They are both just barely tall enough to see over the top but they had to make sure Kayley was still there...especially when Kayley made a noise.

The rest of the day was a calm storm. We rushed to get a lot of things done. Can you believe we had over 12 weeks to do them and they never got completed? Anyway, I think everything is pretty much all set except for some finishing touches on Kayley's room (which she probably won't be in for a while). Kayley eats, sleeps, and poop's...well I guess not the poops part yet. She is in the downstairs pack'n'play during the day. The real challenge is going to be keeping Drew reasonably quiet. It's going to be a lot to ask since Kayley is basically in HIS playroom. We just may have to move Kayley to a different room once we're more comfortable with her being out of sight. Then, she'll sleep in the upstairs pack'n'play in our room at night. Since she is in the early stages of feeding yet, we will still need to feed her every 3 or 4 hours. That means waking her up in the middle of the night too. We're trying to work out a schedule but I'm sure it'll take a couple days and nights to get it perfect.

Kayley ate well today considering her big move and all the other activity. The nurses told us to expect maybe 1 or 2 challenging days with Kayley at first while she adjusts to her new surroundings. Then, it should get a lot better as babies tend to start to do better at home. It's been smooth sailing so far today but I don't want to speak too soon. I am taking the 2 am feeding and Megan is taking the 5 am feeding overnight (that's the benefit of a night person marrying a morning person). Hopefully there are no issues and Kayley has no problem knowing that it's night time and she should be sleeping. She had plenty of awake time after her 11 pm feeding like she normally did in the NICU so we should be good to go.

Tonight, Kayley weighed in at....wait a second. This is the first night in a long time that I cannot report Kayley's weight. I'll just say that she's looking chubbier than ever.


  1. Well now I know what you were doing all those nights on your laptop. One hand in Kayley's crib holding her binky in and the other typing away.... So glad to hear your first day at home went well. You know we are always here if you have any questions --- and we're up all night.......:>

  2. Congratulations! We are so happy for your precious family. We thank God for being with you on this incredible journey and may he continue to watch over you. It sounds like Kayley had (and still has) some amazing care givers in the medical staff at the hospital. Please extend my love and appreciation to them for taking such good care of my precious great niece. Have a fantastic time with your new son & daughter. Hugs and kisses to all. Love .... Jan & Don.

  3. It has been so wonderful caring for Kayley. I miss that little girl already and have only been at work for 45 min. I'm so happy she finally busted out of the NICU, soon it will be a distant memory. Thank you for being such patient, dedicated, and loving parents. Kayley is truly a fighter. I could not be more proud of how far she's come. Enjoy every minute of her at home! ~Lindsey

    ps. I realized I don't have your email address and wanted it so I could thank you for awesome gift you left for me yesterday :)

  4. I just wanted to say congratulations to all of you! This is Brooke's cousin's wife, by the way (our son Will was born at 24 weeks almost 2 years ago). Brooke sent me a link a long time ago and I've been checking on Kayley ever since. Right now I've been in the hospital for almost 4 weeks straight trying not to have our 2nd baby, and we just got to 28 weeks on Monday. It's so great that everything went so well in the NICU! Thank you for making the blog for Kayley -- I think there are more people than you know wishing your family the best. She's beautiful, and I'm so glad that you can all be together at home now!

  5. Congratulations Andy, Megan, and little Drew. I can't believe that Kayley is finally home. I went by her room this morning and it was empty. I am so very happy for you. I wish I had worked yesterday so I could say good-bye to you. You are fantastic parents and Drew and Kayley are very lucky. I know you will enjoy them to the fullest. Children really do grow up fast. Give Keyley a big hug and kiss for me. Take care and God bless you.
    Katie, rn