A Homecoming Anniversary

A year ago today we packed up our little 8 1/2 pound wonder baby, after spending 127 days in the NICU, and brought her home.

Coraline's first day home.  Snooooozin'.

Coraline’s first day home. Snooooozin’.

The days before we left the NICU were stressful and frustrating.  We didn’t know until the day we left if they would actually let us leave without a feeding tube, based on her weight gain.  I stayed at the hospital essentially 24 hours for 3 days to try and get her to eat without her feeding tube on a schedule for an average newborn, which she was not interested in.  If only she hated waking up in the middle of the night now…

But we hit our numbers so she could come home!  It was just as cold last year at this time and I remember packing her up in this snowsuitish kind of outfit to get her home, which was RIDICULOUS!  She looked like Randy from A Christmas Story…except more pathetic and sleepy.  We promptly took a picture and took it off.

We took a lesson on CPR/Choking and then how to use her apnea monitor and her oxygen tank.  So much to learn.  We packed her in my car and got her home.  I sometimes forget how hooked up this kid used to be.  How hard it was to deal with her clothes and her oxygen line, especially when her motor skills improved.  I forget how loud the apnea monitor could be…and how it actually became a sound we got used to because of how those stupid leads would get unsticky.

I’m not going to lie.  There are times when I just want to take her back to the NICU and say, “You guys know what to do with her, right?” because sometimes this kid is not easy.  But she has progressed amazingly.  All of her doctors act amazed that a baby born that early and that small has been able to develop to the crazy little person she is.  I don’t know if they’re putting on a show for our sakes, but really, I think it’s kind of amazing too.  So maybe not.

Coraline today:

  • She loves to “read”.  She has favorite books that she drags over to me and makes me read ( the same book 8-10 times a day is not rare).
"Read this to me!  AGAIN!  And AGAIN!"

“Read this to me! AGAIN! And AGAIN!”

  • She is walking (kind of).  She gets a little lazy about it sometimes because she’s still a faster crawler so if she has a mission she will prefer to crawl.  We are practicing though.
  • She is learning to wave at appropriate times.  Every time we walk past the door to the office upstairs (where Andrew is usually working) she waves wildly.  It’s pretty cute.
  • She loves music.  Her dancing has progressed from the head shaking to the one leg kick.  Her favorites are Shovels and Rope, the Jeopardy opening song, the Daily Show opening credits, and “I’m Elmo and I Know It”.
  • I am scared for her love of technology.  She is constantly stealing or attacking anything with buttons (phones, remotes, receiver, monitor, computer, etc.)
  • She wants to put EVERYTHING in the world in her mouth.  I wish she would stop that.
  • She has gotten a tiny bit better about eating baby food.  She still can’t really eat table food.  We have an OT that now comes out to see us once a week to help her learn how to eat.  She doesn’t quite know how to use her tongue correctly, it seems.  At least she’ll take a bottle like a champ now!  Food has been our biggest issue with this kid, but we’re making progress.
She's very neat.

She’s very neat.

  • We have been spending some time outside when it’s been nice (which has been rare).  She now tries to climb in her stroller whenever possible.  I think she’s as stir crazy with cabin fever as I am.
  • She has amazing upper body strength.  I swear she can do pull ups.
  • She has wild hair.  It is wilder every day.  I feel like we should take her to get it cut, but it’s just too sad.  She has shaggy dog bangs way too often.  (sigh)
A happy baby who climbed into her stroller, begging for a walk.  Sorry kid.  It's snowing.

A happy baby who climbed into her stroller, begging for a walk. Sorry kid. It’s snowing.

  • Lately she has been HILARIOUS at night/bedtime.  She used to be a nightmare.  Now she just gets slap happy.  I like slap happy better.

She does more stuff, that’s just the short list.

I would love to go visit some of her nurses at the NICU soon.  They are the ones that got us through her stay with peace of mind.  They answered phones at all hours to answer questions.  They changed their schedules so we could be there for a feeding or even simple diaper change.  I know it’s their job, but there is no way to thank them enough for being so good at it.

It seems like RSV season is ending early this year.  (YAY!) The numbers with the CDC are looking really low compared to last year.  We are almost free to move about the country.  On our list of trips this year:

  • Chicago!  This weekend!  Really it’s just overnight and we’ll only be there for a concert and will be leaving the next morning/afternoon.  BUT it’s the first time we’ve been out of town since Oct 2012.  Boom!
  • French Lick!  Spring condo time in April.  We are heading down there to hang with the in laws (including Coraline’s 2 year old cousin, Anna).  We are excited to have the kids together.  Let’s hope the weather cooperates.
  • Nashville, TN!  In June we will be heading down to spend a long weekend at a really fancy looking house rental just south of Nashville, pretty close to the Natchez Trace.  Super pumped about this.  Also going with the in laws and lil cousin, Anna.
  • Countless number of cemeteries!  This kid has no idea what she’s in for.

That is all for now.  Thanks to family and friends who have come to visit us at home during our LONG winter indoors.  It has been appreciated.

 

 

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2 Responses to “A Homecoming Anniversary”

  1. BobMarch 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Man how the time flies! It’s so much fun to see how she’s getting along. Can’t wait to actually get to meet her!

  2. Carol Smith HegartyJuly 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    Hi, Erin -just thinking about you and Coraline since I’ve again been doing genealogy research. She’s adorable and looks so healthy. An amazing story. Since your last post was in March, hope it’s because you’re too busy doing fun things. Just found out your grandma Lois’s brother Lou passed away in January 2014, don’t know if you were aware. Take care. Love, cousin Carol