Eight days ago I headed to the hospital, just like I would on any Friday evening. I drove up to the city, passed over the bridge, and found a close parking space in the parking garage. Normally I would have walked down to the Tree House, checked into my room, put my stuff down, and fast paced it to the hospital for a weekend of snuggles with my girl. Not this time! This time I walked straight to the hospital. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
When I arrived the respiratory therapists from the company that delivers her oxygen tanks was waiting for me in the conference room. We sat down and went over all of the things I would need to know about the big tank, the portable tanks, and the oximeter monitor that she would be on.
Once we were done, I got Avery all set up on her new monitor that she would be going home on, and we settled into our own private room on the recovery floor. No nurses, no schedule, just me and Avery. This was our very first complete night together, alone. She did fantastic, and I loved being able to get to know her equipment before we went home. Once I picked her up, she did not want to be put down. Of course, I can't blame her one bit, and I enjoyed every second of our snuggles.
By morning we were visited by a couple of doctors who had to check in on her before she could discharge. The process takes a bit longer than you would think, so we ended up hanging around until about 10:30 until we could sign those final papers. Before we left I had gotten a message from the NICU nurses saying they were all waiting downstairs and wanted to see her one more time before she headed home. It was very bittersweet. We were so excited to go home, and start our journey together, but saying goodbye to all of the nurses who knew my daughter best, who cared for her during her sickest days of life, and who were there for the past 4 months loving on her when I couldn't. They were all so happy for us, and sad to say goodbye at the same time. I had to fight back those tears.
So, that was it. We were off to our home. Avery and I headed to the car, loaded up, and went on our way. The drive home made me nervous, I felt like everyone around me was driving so fast, and even 25 mph seemed like speeding.
When I walked through the door, I was swarmed with happy and excited brothers. They couldn't wait to meet her, and it was so cute. They all kept asking when they could hold her, and kept staring at her. The older kids understand the monitor quite well, and are always telling me if she is sating well, and what her numbers are. They also understand that the yellowish orange beeping light means nothing (bad connection) and the red beeping light means she is having a hard time.