For those of you who are friends of ours on Facebook you may already know this, but if not, Whitney was NOT able to come home today (insert tears, sighs, frustration here)
When Andy and I arrived at the NICU yesterday we were placed in their "parent room" prepared to have Whitney wheeled in by us and would be able to watch her/take care of her in our "room" for the night. She would still be hooked up to her monitors so the nurses could see how she was doing, but for the most part the feedings, diaper changes etc, would be taken care of by us.
She first had to take a "car seat test", which is is usually given to preemies before they can leave the hospital. The baby is placed in their car seat for 1.5 hours with monitors attached to see if their heart rate or oxygen decreases. Since the babies are usually laying on their backs and in the car seat they are at a 45 degree angle they want to make sure they have enough tone to support themselves and their body can regulate the change.
Unfortunately Whitney did not pass the test and the nurse said her breathing rate dropped below the acceptable number. This was the first time her breathing had dropped that low and the doctors aren't sure if it was just a fluke or something to be of concern. Since they are not sure, they advised us they would like to keep her for another 24 hours. They said we should go home tonight and get a good nights sleep (yeah right) and come back tomorrow and plan on staying in the parent room tomorrow night with her and hopefully go home on Tuesday.
Since she had this breathing episode they also think she may have to come home in a car bed, rather than her car seat. The car bed is just as it sounds, a bed that she can lay down in rather than sitting up. They also want to send her home with a breathing monitor that she would wear for about a month to monitor her breathing. An alarm would go off (scary!) if her breathing would drop below a certain level.
Andy and I were obviously frustrated today since we were SO excited to bring her home. We went from thinking she was coming home cord free to now coming home in a bed (who does that??) and being hooked up to a monitor for a month. I know this is the best for her and we would rather her be good and ready to come home and her be safe while she is home, but it's still so hard. The inconvenience having to drive back to the hospital, another stay, and so much to learn and remember with all these monitors is becoming overwhelming. Andy is supposed to go back to work on Wednesday and my maternity leave is dwindling so we would like to get her here ASAP.
We know the doctors are being extra cautious, which we appreciate. The last thing we want is for something to happen to her while we are home, so we need to remember that this is not a bad thing. In the whole scheme of things, a few days is not going to make a difference. Andy and I keep saying we are on "Whitney Time" and I guess some days she is racing forward and others she just wants to hang out in the NICU a bit longer. We'll wait for you baby girl....one day at a time.