As I sit here on the bed reflecting on the past couple of days, I find myself without much to say.
It didn’t go the way I thought that it would, nor the way that I hoped, nor the way that I tried to push it. But it happened.
Maisie is now laying on the bed next to me, squeaking periodically, squirming and sticking her tongue out. She is 5 weeks and 4 days old today. She is almost out of the newborn period… but is only 4 lbs 10 oz. I’m told that she looks so tiny, but to my eyes, she has grown so much. My head knows that she is small but my eyes see how far that she has come. The day that I met her she was 3 lbs 7 oz.
Late last week the doctors started talking about when Maisie might be discharged. I pushed for a day to be named, willing myself to be flexible and knowing that so much could happen between then and the possible discharge day that it could be pushed back. But the reality is… when you are named a date, your heart begins to plan for it and it seems impossible that it could be any other day. That’s immediately what happened in my heart. I needed the date so that I could let the attorney know to be ready for it but the mama in me started planning for when we would walk out of the hospital together.
This was very anxiety producing for me. I found myself trying to control everything so that the discharge would absolutely, most definitely, happen on Tuesday. It was like trying to control the wind… very frustrating. Those who know me well know that I am pretty chill and laid back the majority of the time but when I’m stressed – there is no getting in my way and there is no helping me. Heaven forbid that you try to talk me out of it. I think that it just needs to run its course.
On the 8th of February, Maisie’s feeding tube was pulled and she was feeding completely by mouth. That means both nursing and taking a bottle. That also meant that she was in the final stretch before discharge. She really only had one thing to do that would get her released. She needed to gain weight while taking all of her feeds by mouth. On the 9th, the doctor asked me to stay overnight the following night in the rooming-in room and follow an ‘at home’ routine. He wanted to make sure that she would continue to gain weight when she went home and was in my care. I decided to not be insulted and to roll with it.
We got into the room at 3 pm. Maisie was disconnected from the monitors and I wheeled her little cot into the room, undressed her and admired her fingers, toes, the wrinkles on her knees and the extra skin on her upper arms. I nursed her whenever she peeped and slept hardly at all.
It was blissful.
Alan and my mom brought Eamonn over in his pajamas so that he could get some mama time in before he went to bed. He roamed around the room and when he realized that Maisie was nursing, he decided that he REALLY NEEDED to be there too. He nursed while checking Maisie out. He poked her and leaned his head into hers, nursing for much longer than he normally would. It appeared as though he was being slightly possessive and trying to figure out what was going on with this interloper, all while nursing.
Then off he went with daddy to get put to bed and to have his first night, ever, away from his mama. (He slept completely through the night and came to visit me first thing in the morning.)
Yesterday was a lesson in trust and patience, both of which seemed to fail me. Thank god for my mother, she was at least able to keep me tethered to earth. She wasn’t able to get me back down, but at least I didn’t go too crazy. I just needed to get to the point where Maisie was put in my arms and we were kicked out of the hospital. Until then, my stress level was through the roof. Had I been at home, it would probably sparkle right now.
The actual discharge was anti-climatic. The nurse told me that the discharge order was in, I could dress Maisie, put her in the car seat, get on the elevators and walk out the front doors, for the first time… with our daughter. I did just that… With a few good byes and pictures taken.
I am now sitting here on the bed reflecting on the past couple of days and…
Finding myself without much to say.