Today, Josh got to come home, and it’s great to have him here. At the moment, he is asleep on Jennifer, who is asleep on the couch in front of the baseball game. The more things change the more they stay the same.
It was a slightly more eventful hospital stay than we had planned, but we learned a lot about perspective. We didn’t see a whole lot of Josh during the first 24 hours at the hospital, because he was sleepy, spitting up a lot, and not hungry — all supposedly normal signs for a baby whose entry to the world was a quick as his was. By the end of Monday, however, he hadn’t shown the progress that was expected, and the doctors started to get concerned about some sort of intestinal blockage. They took him over to Children’s Hospital (next door to the Brigham — he didn’t even have to go outside) for some tests in the middle of the night, and by Tuesday morning, they had moved him to the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) at the Brigham.
By that point, he was already showing some signs of progress, but they kept him there all day to continue to run tests. By 5:00 in the afternoon, they were ready to start feeding him, and they decided to keep him for 24 hours after that, to make sure that everything was as it should be. Final x-rays this afternoon were perfect, so at about 4:30, they discharged him and off we went (after a brief hiccup when the valet parking folks lost our car).
So, after a slight scare, and the unsettling experience of leaving the hospital on Tuesday without our baby, the experience was mostly positive. The worst thing was seeing him in the NICU, with a tube up his nose and wires running up to the sorts of monitors you never want your newborn to need. Happily, it turns out that he really didn’t need them, and the extra care he was given was merely precautionary. Perhaps his body needed another day to adjust to the real world, after coming into it three weeks early. I do know that if the results were anything other than they were, Josh was in the absolute best hands possible (and I can’t say enough about how great the care was). This was made absolutely clear by the wall of photographs outside the NICU, testimonials from dozens of families whose children were born into worse situations than I can possibly imagine. Children delivered at 24 weeks, children born weighing a pound and a half, children who lived at the NICU for more than four months. It was heart-wrenching, and made me all the more grateful for what we do have — a happy, healthy baby, who is now home.