Sunday, January 11, 2015

Coming Home

Brooks finally got to come home Tuesday after 7 weeks! He was doing well taking bottles and ended up pulling his NG tube for feedings out last Friday. They decided to leave it out and see how he did with eating. He ended up doing well so he was circumcised on Saturday. They also did his car seat test and he failed the first time. He had to sit in his car seat for 2 hours while they monitored his oxygen. Sometimes they drop their oxygen and/or heart rate. He dropped his oxygen a little bit. They used blankets on either side to keep his head straight. So Sunday night they tried again and moved the blankets around and that was the ticket-he passed! He had his hearing test and had passed, he continued doing well with bottles over the weekend and was still gaining weight so when I called Monday morning I was expecting to prepare to bring him home. Well, he had lost 13gms (1/2 ounce) and he didn't meet his calories the day before so they decided to keep him:( His weight loss really wasn't substantial (he had pooped 55gm shortly before he was weighed!) So they told him on Monday not to poop before he got weighed:) But in combination with not meeting his calories it was part of the deciding factor. I was a little disappointed, but knew if we had waited almost 7 weeks we could wait one more day. They said the attending was really on the fence, but they were afraid he was getting tired and they didn't want us to discover that at home and have to come back. So anyway, Tuesday morning I got the call from his Nurse Practitioner with the good news. We took Brennan to school, stopped to get a couple of things that we found out we needed the day before and went to get him. When we got there his Nurse Practitioner came in with the paperwork and we were ready to go! The nurse the day before said not to expect to get out before noon and it was 9:30! The nurse that day said she had never discharged anyone so quickly because the paperwork usually wasn't ready. I think his NP made a great effort to get everything ready for us so we could get home:) I was still packing stuff up because  expected it take longer. So I kicked it in high gear and had Casey pull the car around:) 

He slept pretty much the whole way home:) He was ready to eat when we got home so we fed him and just hung out until Brennan got out of school. 

Casey went to pick Brennan up and didn't tell Brennan Brooks was home. Brennan knew it was a possibility, but he was still surprised and soooo excited! I have the cutest video I will have to upload. So sweet:)

He has loved having him home. Here we are at a 3am feeding. He has been up for a couple of those. He doesn't even wake up from Brooks crying, but one night he happened to wake up in the middle of the night (which actually isn't unusual) right before a feeding and then when Brooks got up, he of course wanted to stay up. It's been a bit of musical beds for Brooks and I, and Brennan sometimes. Sometimes Brooks and I sleep in our room and sometimes we sleep in the nursery. Brennan mostly sleeps in his room, but I think this night he brought his blankets into the nursery and we had a little sleepover in there:)

Brennan made this sweet sign with my mother-in-law last weekend to welcome Brooks home.

This was the sunset the night we came. It was seriously breathtaking. I had not seen a more beautiful sunset in a long time. Although when I do, I immediately feel like it is part of Reese and Scotlyns' work. That night I felt like they were welcoming their baby brother home.

The picture above is in our backyard, but I didn't feel like my picture did it justice so I wanted to share this image as well. It was gorgeous.

Brooks has been eating around 2oz every 3-4 hours. He was eating every 4 hours the last couple of days in the hospital so we kind of tried to hold him off until then, I was afraid he wouldn't take as much if we let him do 3 hours and he could meet his calories if took at least 2oz every 4 hours. But after a day or two he seemed to be ready to eat at 3 hours and he did just about as well at 3 hours. Maybe slightly less, but overall he would be getting more throughout the day eating every 3 hours than every 4 hours. He is on a lower calorie formula than when he was in the hospital, but higher than regular formula. It is a 22 calorie per ounce formula and apparently it's a little like gold. For now, they want him to have only pre-made formula and no powder. Well it is hard to find in pre-made. They gave us a list of places that sell the powder, which there are several and we had actually already gotten some before I knew that he needed pre-made. The liquid however, there were 3 stores that sell it the 32oz can and 3 stores that sell it in the 8oz bottles and one store is the same for both. Well, only one of these stores carried it and it was only the 32oz can. I had ordered some when they told us, but it wasn't here yet. My mom drove to every store in the area looking for it. Well, we ended up buying out the one store that had it and I placed another order online with my friends prime account to get it in 2 days. So we have stock now:) And I had no idea, but apparently now with powder you are supposed to boil the water when you prepare it, even if it is store bought nursery water. Either way, we will be sticking with the pre-made stuff for now. So if anyone has Enfamil coupons laying around, we will gladly use them:)

They wanted Brooks weighed twice per week so we opted for home health visits so we wouldn't have to get Brooks out in the cold and expose him at the doctor office. The nurse came on Wednesday, the day after we were discharged. She was very nice and everything was cleaned and she washed her hands so I was happy (more about my freakish santizing later)

She had a little portable scale and Brooks was 5lbs 6oz! Last weight at the hospital was around 5lb 4oz, but the scales can vary and he had his diaper on, but I was confident it truly was up at least a little bit. She was scheduled for twice per week, but left it up to us if we wanted her to come again last week. We go to the doctor in the morning so we chose to have her wait until later this week. It is just another thing for him to have to get undressed and go through that stress. Even though it seems small, for him it is a lot. Everything else is going well and as long as he is eating, I wasn't worried about her coming back again last week. I am curious what he will weigh tomorrow-stay tuned:)

He did get his first bath at home, which still consisted of a sponge bath since he was circumcised. He did better than he did in the hospital. These were after-I mean seriously, that face-he's the sweetest! 

I'm not sure how he will tolerate a regular bath, we have a little mesh sling for him to sit in the tub so maybe we will try that next time and see how he does. He does not like to be messed with, he doesn't like to be naked and especially does not like to be cold! I can't blame him! I am surprised we got these pics and he is content:)

Brooks has about one long period of awake time per day. He is content for part of it, although he still has a lot of involuntary movements so sometimes he gets a little worked up, not really crying, just not content. Usually swaddling helps and he is mostly swaddled, but I do unswaddle for feedings because he tends to get too sleepy if he is swaddled and doesn't want to finish his bottle. When he has those moments and isn't content, I usually walk him around and sing to him, sometimes greenie (the big green pacifier) helps. He is having longer awake periods and he is really looking around, taking in his new home and all the sounds that come with it (mostly his crazy big brother running around:)

He loves to snuggle. Oh boy. When he was first in the NICU he was very angry at the situation (which I don't blame him one bit) and he liked to pull out his tubes, the important ones that kept him alive like the breathing tube. So he got the name maniac among others. I was asked who he got his temper from (probably me), but by the end his nurses and therapists said he was a snuggler. So we get lots of snuggling time in:)

Otherwise, the weather is dreadful so we have been hunkered down trying to stay warm. We have enjoyed our bird feeder that has been getting alot of action lately. Make sure you feed your birds in the winter-it is especially important because it is harder for them to find food in the snow (even though we haven't had much of that-they still seem to appreciate it) These 2 Cardinals are always hanging around and they are both so beautiful.

Female Cardinal

Male Cardinal

We also had a deer friend in our backyard yesterday. He was limping so I was a little worried so I called Bi-State Wildlife Hotline and they said if it is an adult who is walking around and is eating that they let them be. I wasn't sure the deer would still be close by if they came to get it anyway. We stopped watching it after it crossed the street, but later that day my mom stopped by and she said she saw it back near our yard so maybe he is hanging around for a bit.

We also saw another kind of deer this weekend, a reindeer..and Olaf. I saw a post on facebook Saturday that these two were going to be a couple of miles from our house and I knew Brennan would love it so we got dressed and headed up there.

Brennan had so much fun. We weren't event there long, but we usually do stuff like this all the time and we really haven't been able to take Brennan do to much lately. And so many changes for him, it was nice to get him out for a little bit.

When Brooks came home Brennan had a little bit of a stuffy nose, barely anything, but we were still careful to keep him out of Brooks' face and wash his hands often. Well, now he has picked up something else much worse. I have been running around behind him sanitizing everything, constantly reminding him to wash his hands and not to get too close to Brooks. I feel terrible for him because he can't help that he is sick, but we also have to take these measures to make sure Brooks doesn't get it. And he is obviously old enough that he understands, but he is still a child. I also feel bad that Brooks is finally home and he still can't be near him. I know this is only temporary and I keep trying to tell myself that, but the days are long when you're waiting for warmer weather, a well child and another child to be big enough that he doesn't have to be in a bubble. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely thankful, but it is very stressful for me right now. 

Brennan has really gotten into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lately. He found the mutagen online that turns the turtle into the Ninja Turtles and he wanted to make it.

Casey went out and got all of the supplies. Very easy! Water+borax+clear glue=slime

Casey also made a tube to put it in out of pvc.

And we added glow sticks.

Brennan was thrilled!

Brooks was too:) He is happy at home with his family and we are so incredibly, indescribably happy as well♥


  1. This is all so awesome Kim. He is so precious and Brennan is such a fine big brother. Those stresses are like you said temporary but how you handle those situations just proves how good a mom you are. By Summer Brooks will be strong enough to jump right in there and play with Brennan and all his cousins. it will a party for sure.
    And yes, I totally believe that sunset was straight from Reese and Scotlyn saying hi to all of you and smiling that Brooks and Brennan have such wonderful parents. You all are so cute. Enjoy being together. We love you. Stay warm and safe. Auntie M and Uncle T

  2. Welcome home Brooks. I have been following your journey and praying every day. You have come so far!