Tuesday, August 16, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

Norah was finally allowed to click her teeny little heels together three times. We were discharged from the hospital this past Wednesday, having stayed there for two weeks. The blur of newborn-induced time distortion makes it feel like just a few days though we've been home for almost a week. We're all adjusting well to life at home, and I am so relieved. The best part about being at home isn't sleeping (or not sleeping) in my own bed. It isn't taking showers in my own bathroom instead of a public bathroom. It isn't access to real food and a real kitchen. My favorite thing about being at home is being back with Harper. I missed him so much that I thought my heart would explode.

Speaking of parental emotional heart explosions... Remember when I said that no parent should have to see their child turn blue? Well we had another scary episode on Sunday. We were attempting a bottle feed (Norah takes most of her nutrition through an NG tube due to her soft cleft palate, but we're working to get her to take her milk through a special bottle) when some of the milk travelled up her cleft and through her nose. We had to quickly suction it all out with the bulb syringe, but she turned very blue, and for a few moments I felt quite helpless & ready to call 911. Not only were we alarmed by her color, but the expression on her face was equally frightening. Fortunately we were able to get her back. Yes, parents are in charge of loving and protecting their children. But life saving wasn't something I had necessarily anticipated when going into parenthood. The only downside of being home is missing the security of nurses and doctors there to help us during this sort of episode.

Though we're out of the hospital, we've now entered the phase of never-ending doctor appointments. We had our first visit with Norah's primary care doc, which went well. She's thankfully gaining weight, which can sometimes be a concern when babies have clefts. The appointments don't stop there. Not only do we still have to run around for more tests, but we also have a pile of specialists that all want to see us: Pediatric Pulmonary Care, Ear Nose Throat specialists, and Pediatric Genetics. We also have home health care coming with oxygen and feeding supplies as well as recurring visits from their nurse. We also are going to meet with someone from the local "Early Intervention Program" which can help babies/children with developmental challenges. What can I say... not even three weeks old and Miss Norah is already a popular girl with quite the social schedule.
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