4.19.2008

Home sweet home

We’re finally home. And it feels so good.

This first week as parents has gone nothing like the way we had imagined.

Kates and I were discharged from the hospital on Monday afternoon, and we were so eager to get Phoebe home and start our new lives together …We played with her, threw in a pizza for dinner, I watched my first ball game with Phoebe and Kates rested. That night, Phoebe did pretty well sleeping for her first night at home. She woke up for her first early morning feeding at about 2 a.m., and then freaked us out a little when she didn’t stir again until 6 a.m. …

But looking back now, and comparing that initial homecoming to the one we had yesterday -- we should have known something wasn’t right …

Shortly after we woke Tuesday morning, that severe head pain Kates had during the early hours of labor last weekend had returned. We made a call to the hospital about it and tried doing some quick research on our own to figure it out … But when it didn’t subside after a couple hours, we were packing up Phoebe again, and driving back to the hospital …

In a short while, Kates was being carted into the emergency room, being put back into a hospital gown and a couple nurses circled her, hooking up IVs and monitors. They took her blood pressure, and it had skyrocketed again … And eventually came the news we were hoping we didn’t have to hear: The doctors were putting Kates back on the magnesium and we were spending another night at the hospital.

Frustrating and scary hardly seems like it describes Tuesday. Some good tears were shed … For hours, nurses and doctors were in and out of our room to monitor Kates, and they were wheeling her in and out for tests. Fortunately, a CT scan and an MRI showed no serious problems …

All the while, there was Phoebe by my side, content as could be in her car seat. With Kates out, suddenly I was flying solo, feeding her formula, changing her diapers on hospital chairs and rocking her to a better place. Some called me Super Dad … Cool.

And by late Tuesday afternoon, Kates and I were back in the place we had left barely 24 hours earlier -- in the Birthing Inn. “You just couldn’t get enough of us, could you!?” one of our favorite nurses said to Kates as the ER staff brought her back to the infamous fourth floor …

Maybe we couldn’t get enough of the birthing staff. Truth is, we really enjoyed our time on the floor and probably got to know and admire the staff better than most couples during our week there. As frustrating and tough as some of those hours were, we did have our fun and knew we couldn’t have been in a better place … It became a second home. We had all the care we needed at our fingertips. Our entire network of doctors was constantly checking in (Until last week, I hadn’t realized how many different doctors we have or needed … And Kates did a fabulous job picking them out …) … Phoebe took it all in stride too, with the exception of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning (We think she was sensing our frustrations that night …)

I did manage to get out for a couple hours each day to run errands and spend some time at home. Kates’s cousin came to visit Wednesday and Thursday also and was an enormous help …

For a time, it looked as though we were going to be discharged Thursday morning. Kates looked a lot better, her swelling was way down and she was losing her extra fluids pretty rapidly ...But just before the doctor was set to release us, another blood pressure check showed Kates was up again. We were staying until at least Friday. More tears.

But it did happen … I had gone down to the cafeteria Friday morning for breakfast and returned to our room to find Kates wearing the biggest smile she’d had in weeks. “We were just discharged!” she said … So I finished my breakfast, and we began packing for home one more time.

Kates has been put on some blood pressure medication and she’s been instructed to eat a low-sodium diet … Though we’re hearing a lot of talk that this might only be a pregnancy-induced condition and she could be back to her old low-blood-pressure-self in a few weeks …

Finally, around noon on Friday -- after a stretch that had us in the hospital for six of the last seven days -- Kates, Phoebe and I finally headed home … But not before the staff misplaced her shoes. We think they got lost somewhere in the transition from the ER back to the birthing floor. But it’s ok -- they were $10 Wal-mart shoes, which Kates got only to soothe her swollen pregnancy feet …

There are more important things than shoes. Being home and a happy, healthy family of three is one of them.

1 comment:

E&K said...

Wow...you guys have been through a lot over the last few days. I'm glad to hear that you are all home, healthy and happy. I will pray that Kati's condition will continue to improve!