Annnnd the gang is home.
The whole thing felt a bit surreal, which isn’t inappropriate, given that’s the same feeling I had pretty much the moment I nearly keeled over in the halls of Inova Alexandria on my way to the L&D floor five months ago.
When we arrived at the hospital today, we met briefly with the company providing Calder's G-tube supplies. I ran to the lactation room for a short stint while Kraemer talked to the social worker, and then to Dr B, who provided discharge papers. Ashley came in solely to give Calder a going-home present (a giraffe WubbaNub, which he loooves, and it matches his jungle nursery!) We snapped a photo with Sumaya, who walked with us all the way down to the lobby, and Eileen made sure Calder had a hat on his head before going out into the cold. (How'd Eileen get out of a photo?!)
|Bye, Sumaya. I'll see you soon!|
And then just like that, we were waving goodbye. To the nurses in Room 4, those who had cared for Calder day in and day out and those who’d had him just a time or two but knew him well. To the other NICU parents. To the staff at the front desk, to the staff in the lobby and to the staff in the parking garage, all whom knew us well.
Leading up to that moment, I had felt a little anxious about taking him home. I was sad to say goodbye to new friends. I thought walking out of there I’d be experiencing a mix of emotions. But instead, I was just beside myself giddy to be that parent today, the one carrying the car seat and everyone grinning at you from ear to ear, because you were getting to take your little one home.
(Yes, the video is only a couple seconds ... and sideways.)
We learned that Calder loves car rides. I kept him company in the back while Kraemer drove us home. The ride was uneventful, except for a few beeps and a missed exit (believe me, in the traffic on 395 and with an infant in the back seat, it is incredibly more prudent to just mis the exit. I wish more people followed that tactic.)
I’d been dead set on balloons, but in our rush to drop off some breast milk (success, at least a couple of bags!) we had no time to make an extra stop. When we got home, friends had taken care of it for us.
|Thanks, Auntie Veena and Uncle Akash!|
Welcome home, Calder. We love you!