An Old Baby Story (Part 6)

Part 6 also starts on Phoebe's Day 6. She was in the NICU, doing very well, and we hadn't seen the surgeons all week (this was Thursday by now). The doctor's at this hospital were saying that if they didn't hear from the surgeons soon, they would send her home with us that day, and we should follow up with the other doctors when we got home.

Tom and I had been together with her since she was born, except for running home for a bite to eat and shower and change. We lived 10 minutes from the hospital. We had discussed the night before that we would rather her go from one hospital to the next. We weren't relishing the thought of handing her back to a hospital after she'd already been home.

But anyway, I sent Tom to Babies R Us across the street from the hospital to pick up a new infant car seat (the convertable one was too big for her) and have it installed properly, as they had the fire department there doing the installs and showing the proper way to do it. The instant he left, the surgeons showed up.

The surgeon we had met before sat down with me and gave me the options. They still saw the mass on the lung from the XRay, but she was doing fine and if we wanted we could take her home (!!!) and bring her to them on Monday, (I think here he saw the fear in my face) or she could go today and they could do the surgery on Friday afternoon. He was surprised that there wasn't a more recent XRay other than her one right after birth. I told him they did one that morning, and the nurse confirmed. He stormed off with his posse to Radiology to make them find the new XRay. He was so mad they didn't show it to him when he was down there.

The surgeon came back. No Tom yet. He said the mass was bigger and recommended she have surgery on Friday afternoon. Immediately, there was a transport team to take her away, and Tom wasn't back yet!!! The doctors and nurses helped me stall. They had to pull her chart together, including stuff from Radiology and other departments and that would take time. She needed her pictures done from the hospital, otherwise we wouldn't have what every parent has done at the hospital. I was calling the store. They couldn't find him. I found out later, he went to Home Depot next door when he was done to pick up an air filter for the furnace. Ahhh!!! Tom got there right before she left. He put her into the transport basinette. I cried. We couldn't go in the ambulance, but had to meet them at the NICU at the other hospital.

The next few days were a mess. She couldn't eat that night because she was going to be put under at 1:30 PM the next day. She cried so bad from hunger, it broke my heart. Then the waiting from the surgery. I was in complete shock the whole time. It was real and this was happening. The doctor came out when it was over and said it wasn't a cyst. It turned out her middle lobe of her right lung wasn't connected to the bronchiole tubes, and was just a piece of unused tissue of her lung, and they removed it. Ordinarily, something like this wouldn't be caught until she was 8 or 9 when she would've been very sick with reoccurring pneomonia. He was explaining that a newborn would bouce back much quicker from the removal of this part of the lung and that she should be coming home in three days. They had her off the ventilator before they brought her back from surgery, but she had a chest tube in which was still draining, and they indictated was painful for her. She was on pain medications while that was in until they could remove it. She was still crying a lot in between sleeping. I tried to nurse her once when she had the chest tube in and I was afraid I'd hurt her moving it around too much.

Within 1-2 days the chest tube was removed. I can't remember how long. But the last night was the worst. I had great nurses at both hospitals the entire time we were there, except the last night before we were going home. I hadn't seen this nurse before and it was a Sunday night. We were scheduled to bring Phoebe home Monday afternoon if everything still looked good. We had been staying overnight in the latation room across the hall as no one else was using it. All the other babies were long term NICU babies. They got a cot for us in that room and clean sheets and everything. This new nurse asked us what our plans were for the evening. I said I was staying across the hall, and she got all huffy and said she'd see about that and went to the nurses' station. She came back and said, "Fine you can stay, but isn't it going to be a pain if I'm waking you up in the middle of the night to feed her!" I explained to her that Phoebe was going home tomorrow and that no one was going to do middle of the night feedings when I got home with her. That night was a nightmare. I came out when I woke up in the middle of the night and took Phoebe across the hall when she woke up. We were having a little problem latching and this nurse kept coming and knocking on the door of the lactation room. Finally I got really mad at her and told her to leave me alone and that I would handle it and bring Phoebe back when I was done.

She told me later she didn't think Phoebe was eating enough and that she wouldn't be able to go home tomorrow. It got me really upset, and when they did go to discharge us, I started questioning them if she was eating enough. They said they needed the bed, and that everything was fine, but if we wanted piece of mind they'd put us in a pediatric room where I'd be the only one watching her and could call the nurse if there was a problem. We didn't see how that would help at all. We wanted to go home, so we took there word for it and she was discharged!!!

I actually have a great picture from this moment. Tom was putting Phoebe's carrier into the base. She had the quilt over her that I made for her a year before I even started infertility treatments. Tom leaned over her and smiled while I took a quick picture from the other open back car door. When we got the film developed we were shocked. Phoebe was smiling in the picture! I think she was happy to go home too. She was ten days old when we brought her home. She had some tiny stiches on her back that they said would disolve and we'd bring her back for XRays in three months.


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