The girls had spent a week in the NICU and were making a ton of progress. It seemed like each day they were meeting their goals towards coming home. On the eighth day Bailey’s feeding tube was removed because she had met her goal of three consecutive days without needing the feeding tube. Brooke still needed another day to catch up.
On the ninth day both girls were scheduled to take their car seat challenge to prepare for going home. They informed us of a room in that they do for parents of children in the NICU. They would set up a patient room and allow us to take care of the girls all night and have them with us before discharging them. This is designed as a “trial” run since we had not had the in hospital time with the babies while I was still a patient. We decided it was best for us to try the stay in night.
On the ninth day Brooke’s feeding tube was removed. She had met her goal as well. Both girls took their car seat challenge and passed without any issues. The car seat challenge is an hour long test. NICU babies have to sit in the car seat for an hour, still connected to monitors, to see if they can maintain their body temperature, pressure, etc… I was so nervous. Every time one of them cried or moved I would start to panic and think they were going to fail the test.
On the tenth day we did our room in at the hospital. We gave them baths for the first time (the nurses had given them baths at night in the NICU). A nurse assisted us on the first bath. We did really well with them. We set our alarms on our phones and woke up every three hours to feed. I remember feeling very exhausted the next day but it was a great feeling to take care of our babies alone.
On the eleventh day we took our babies home. The girls had their final tests that morning and were discharged by 9 am. Joel and I were so happy to take the girls home. This was a moment we had been waiting for. Time in the NICU was finally over!!