It took four days for Brayden to start acting like himself again. He was off his feeding tube before he was off the antibiotic! The antibiotic had to run for seven days. To this day, we have no idea what type of infection he had. We just know, it ran its course, and he was headed toward his milestones.
In order for everyone to be able to come home, they had to take all of their bottles without needing a feeding tube and not have any heart rate drops. When Brayden was finally able to move back to the same section with Brody and Brooke, they were all off their feeding tubes.
Everyday we made that drive to and from the hospital. I swear, if I never ate Sheetz again, I would be okay. We were eating on the go and living out of our car. With that, we were still getting everything at home ready for the babies. When the time came for them to get car seat tested, we knew we were getting closer.
We celebrated my birthday and Mother’s day in the NICU. Both days, I got to hold all three babies together. Mother’s Day happened at the tail end of Brayden being sick but they brought him over to Brody and Brooke’s section just for me. I will forever cherish my first Mother’s Day, even though I knew I was going to have to leave them again that night.
That was probably the hardest part. Knowing that, no matter what, we were still leaving them every night. I couldn’t want to just have them in their cribs. Finding our grooves as parents and learning every day the new things they were going to teach us.
We started off a week, and found out that Brooke was almost ready to come home. Because Brayden was set back, it looked like he was going to be the last one to come home. We got to bring Brooke home on a Monday. By Wednesday, Brayden was ready to come home. We were shocked. He just stopped having and heart rate drops. He was ready to leave with us.
I thought leaving all three of my babies each night was hard? Leaving with two, and knowing that your third was going to be there for at least two more days? The ache in my belly leaving him there all alone was horrible. I cried the whole way home, even though we were eternally grateful for Brayden’s recovery.
That night, our first night with two at home, Brooke was up every three hours as normal. Brayden, however, was super restless. He didn’t want to go back to sleep and cried a lot. This was extremely abnormal for him. He was my laid back baby. The next morning, when I called to check on Brody, I got horrible news. Brody was having heartrate drops all night. The total was twenty-two. He had never had that many heart rate drops.
When we got to the hospital, he was still having alarms. I had a thought, so I put Brayden in with Brody and let the two of them lay together for a while. By the time we had to leave, Brody stopped having any alarms. I was terrified that it was because he missed the noises of his brother and sister. They were all right next to each other, so I think they got used to being with each other.
Thankfully, we were heading into a weekend, since Bryan is off on Friday’s. We were able to go to the doctor rounds on Friday morning and they told us they were considering sending Brody home on a monitor. I had mixed feelings about it. In the end, Bryan and I decided that having him home with us was our priority.
The drive to and from, now with two babies, was beginning to be a lot. Leaving Brody every night was getting harder and harder. We had to wait until Monday, but we were finally bringing our third baby home.
We had many ups and downs throughout our stay in the NICU. When you have a baby, you obviously assume responsibility for this little human. You don’t expect to have to make decisions for their physical health just days into their lives. I still have problems with my memories from the NICU. Nightmares of alarms going off.
Then I get to wake up and remember that my sweet little blessings are all right in the next room. Read my next blog to find out what it was like to finally have our family all in one place!