I could have titled this post “A Walk to Remember.” Aaahaha see what I did there. Cheeseball alert.
But seriously. After over 100 days in the NICU, it starts to feel normal. Not fun, just normal. I am so glad the NICU we’re at understands the psychological effect of it on the parents and finds ways to make the transition to going home easier, especially for families who have been there a long time like us.
The other day, we got to go for our first walk! 😱
It was magical. Scary, nervewracking, fun, amazing… magical.
We’re able to go out whenever we want now, as long as the boys are in their carseats in the stroller (not a carrier in case we trip) and we sign them in/out by telling our nurse when we leave and when we expect to be back. We’re also able to take them out without any monitors on next time since they haven’t had any apneas or bradys in over a week now.
Of course every time we go out, we’re nervous that they’ll cry (Jaxon especially as he doesn’t seem to like his car seat very much and prefers to be held all the time!). We’re worried people will stare or judge, just like probably any other family out with their kids in a public setting.
But… it’s amazing to even FEEL that feeling. Being out in public! So what if people stare, I say. At least I can go OUT and have my twins in the world.
We’re also allowed to take their oxygen, heart rate and respiratory monitors off in the room when we’re there, so we can move them all around and sit on the couch with them and not be tethered to just 2ft beside their cribs. Even that freedom alone is a really strange feeling after 3.5 months.
Our team at the NICU says this is part of “normalizing” our experience now that we’re approaching going home in a few weeks to maybe a month at the longest (we hope).
There will also be a fun 48 hour period called “care by parent” where we have to fully take care of the boys with no nurse help in our room for 48 hours straight.
That includes not leaving them unattended like we’re used to. LOL. Because we can’t eat in the room, we’re so used to just sayin’ “See ya!” and walking out to grab a bite. Can’t do that with them at home obviously. 😂
I really hope we’re in the home stretch now. We are busy getting everything ready at home for them and enjoying our new NICU freedoms. There are still heavy things on my mind, like cerebral palsy, all the physio we’ll be doing, all their followup appointments and things, but overall I am really happy that we’ll all be home soon as a family. 💙