As of early afternoon on Wednesday, we are home. The doctors tried to say she had to stay until Thursday, but I straight-up called shenanigans. I even fought back when they tried to say “late Wednesday.” Frankly, it was getting ridiculous. Ellie had a full 24 hours of sleeping with no need for oxygen, was healthy as could be by all other measures, and was increasingly FED UP with that stinkin’ hospital room. Truly, we’d go for walks and she’d start throwing a tantrum when the door came into view. Wednesday morning, waiting for the molasses pace of final discharge paperwork, she was in a foul mood.
When we walked out the front door of the hospital into the fresh air of freedom? Bouncing her legs in the stroller and babbling. By the time we got into her carseat and drove away, she was laughing and shrieking. Smart girl.
All told, this was not the worst hospital stay in the whole wide world. Less than a week, after all, much of which was incredibly stable and went very well, arguably even better than expected. Which is not to discount the immense stress of the first few days – frankly, I think the hardest part of something like this is that you don’t have any idea how long it’s going to go on. Especially if you’ve already lived through the trauma of a longer-than-you-ever-expected hospital stay, you know that things can take a turn for the worse at any time. So even if it “shouldn’t be more than 4 or 5 days,” what you hear is, “bare minimum of 4 days but maybe I shouldn’t make any plans for the next six weeks.”
But, thankfully, none of those things materialized. We are home with a tank of oxygen (if necessary, which it shouldn’t be) and an oxygen monitor for when she sleeps (to be extra super triple OMG sure that this isn’t a fluke and she’s actually breathing at night). We’ll use the latter for probably a week or so just to be on the safe side, but it’s not as though we’ll have it for the rest of our days. And really, I suspect we’ll hear more alarms from a dislodged lead than anything else.
(Yep, just heard it for about half a second. Went upstairs just to check. All is well. That’s going to get ANNOYING.)
Anyways, we are home, we are well. We are happy and relieved. But most of all, we are exhausted. M and I have been trading off 24-hour shifts at the hospital since Friday night. Friends and family have stepped up to help with the big kids, for which we are enormously grateful. But damn, we are tired.
And yet, tomorrow morning is just another Thursday. We need groceries, we have errands and activities. Tonight, I’m having a hard time making that mental gear-change, but hopefully a good night’s sleep will make everything a little clearer in the morning. One way or another, it is most excellent to be home.