Homecoming (Part 1)

Homeward bound!

I got the call from Missy Tuesday morning:

“I’ve got good news, and I’ve got bad news,” she started after I said hello.  “What do you want to hear first?”

“Well…let’s start with the good news,” I replied.

She proceeded to inform me of all that had taken place that morning when the doctor made his rounds.  The good news was that Sienna and Jovie would finally get to come home this weekend!  Unfortunately, but not completely unexpected, the not-so-good news was that our little Rowan would have to remain at Mercy for at least a few extra days.  Although she had been surpassing all her benchmarks, the doctors felt that she needed to pack on a few extra ounces before sending her home with the other two.

Pulse, respiration, and blood oxygen monitor.

As for the other two, they weren’t completely out of the woods yet.  Both had to pass the car seat test: each girl had to remain in her car seat for 90 minutes without suffering any apnea spells.  Thankfully both girls passed, but Missy felt that it was the longest 90 minutes of her life.  Sienna and Jovie did not appreciate having their naps interrupted only to be placed in an uncomfortable car seat for an hour and a half.  They fidgeted, squirmed, and whined, and each of the last 20 minutes felt like an eternity.

In the end, neither girl had problems.  The remainder of the week was spent in the NICU much like the last…uneventful.  On Wednesday, Missy and I came home early to make final preparations to the house, while Thursday a steady stream of visitors came one last time to the girls hospital room to see the girls all together.

It never felt like it would get here, but finally Friday arrived!  With the mixed emotions, we filled out all the necessary discharge paperwork, packed up room 4011, and said our goodbyes.  I pulled the Swagger Wagon around to patient pick-up where Missy and our nurse were waiting with Sienna and Jovie.  We loaded them up and headed west to Urbandale.  I drove so slow on the way that I asked Missy if she thought it would be wise to drive with my hazard lights on

Sienna in her car seat.

Jovie...not caring, as usual...

Sadly, Rowan still remains in the NICU.  However, since she has been eating like a champion these past few days (Rowan has gained the most weight of the three), the new prognosis is that she will get to come home Monday morning!  While Missy and I have heavy hearts and wish that all three girls could have come home together, a two week NICU stay for three premature babies born at 34 weeks is still nothing short of amazing.

So now we are home at last!  It is so surreal for Missy and I to actually have these girls in our house after waiting so long.  I am not sure how my girls will sleep without the constant dings, bonks, and alarms of the NICU, but they seem to be doing OK so far (the nurse recommeded talk radio; I wonder what the girls would think of Miller and Deace in the Morning and the Jim Rome Show).  They are very squeaky, and despite doing so well for 11 days while hooked up to their monitors (shown above), Missy and I are constantly checking to make sure they are still breathing.

Yet perhaps the best part about the girls being home is that they are no longer hooked up to those monitors.  Yes, our girls are now wireless!  Although the monitors made sure everything was still functioning as normal, it was a constant hassle trying to keep their cords out of messy diapers, and out of the way when swaddling.  Being able to walk more than three feet away from their crib is also a bonus 🙂

So here we go…now the real fun begins!  We will have some help this weekend while Missy and I take turns visiting Rowan, but soon it will be the five of us together again.  A whole new era in our lives has truly begun, and we couldn’t be more excited!

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

2 thoughts on “Homecoming (Part 1)

  1. OH my –they are so adorable–in just a little while you’ll be saying “Was it only a month ago they were in the hospital?!” The time flys by so so quickly…I hope Rowan comes home tomorrow as planned –thanks for keeping us so informed–what a difference the web makes, not to mention all the modern technology the doctors and nurses have–what an age.
    So begins a new experience that you will cherish the rest of your lives. God bless you all and I hope to be able to come and see all of you before their high school graduations!
    Love
    Aunt Barb and Uncle Larry

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