I dared to allow myself to get excited when Dexter’s paediatrician advised us to get the Graseby (the monitor he would be going home on) organised, to arrange a sleepover, and that, if he continued to behave, we were on our way out!
Well... he did behave! He consistently put on weight and hardly set his alarms off. When once no-one moved if he alarmed in the 80s, he was now being reprimanded for alarming at 90! He was getting better!
His discharge check was done, the car seat installed and the pram prepared. His bags were packed and blue icing was at the ready.
He slept, he fed, he hardly cried. We watched CPR videos and went through the practical demonstration – for the ‘just in case’ scenario. His Graseby ticked and ticked, but hardly alarmed. We could do this!
The doctor gave the all clear – we were doing this!
However.... the doctors were faced with telling me news that no one wanted to tell me. After so much hope, it turned out we weren’t going home. He has a hernia they said, that needed to be repaired straight away. We would be transferred to Sydney the following day, with hope of being discharged over the weekend.
With all the news we have received, this is nothing to be concerned with. Hernias are common with premmies and boys, so of course Dexter was going to develop one! But in my mind, for around two hours, all I could think of was the unfairness of it all. We had been SO close!
I sobbed. I couldn’t speak. My hopes had been shattered. I didn’t think I could do it anymore. Once again, I felt that I had let everyone down. We weren’t doing this.
But then, something changed. We were given more news. The surgery couldn’t happen for another week. They didn’t want us at the hospital anymore – WE WERE GOING HOME!!!!
The tears flowed – it was surreal.
He has been in a car, had breakfast out, sat in the pram and lay on the grass. He has peed on his dad and vomited all over me. He has heard trains and cars and the sounds of nature. He has seen himself in the mirror. He has breathed fresh air and he has been exposed to the sun.
His ticking is a constant reminder that he is here, with the occasional alarm snapping us back into reality. The first 24 hours are a blur – somewhat similar to the first 24 hours after he was born.
By the time 48 hours hit, I was feeling overwhelmed. I was doubting my ability – was he sleeping too much? Why is he so pale? Was I doing the right things with his medications? Was I keeping him warm? How could they let me be responsible? What if I did something wrong? What if he had to go back to hospital because of something I did?
I didn’t have to put on a brave face anymore. I had what will no doubt be one of many moments.
Most importantly, I know how utterly fantastic it is to have my little family all together, sleeping under the one roof – finally!