It all came about very suddenly. She had been moved to the "normal nursery" and her doctors told us they were talking about when to release her but nothing had been determined and they were continuing to observe her. I "happened" to call the nursery Thursday morning (she's been home for one week today!!) and they said "oh, she discharge-y (that's Konglish for discharge) today, now!" I couldn't believe what I was hearing! Caleb started running around jumping up and down and chanting "Baby sister's coming home - yay yay yay!" and I called Steve at work to tell him we needed to leave and pick up our baby girl! We scrambled around gathering clothes, carseat, etc and had to run to the bank to wire transfer money to pay her bill (in Korea they don't offer payment plans, you have to pay your entire bill before you leave. Thankfully, Korean National Insurance covers NICU stays fairly well....the actual birth was not covered much but her stay in the NICU was well covered) and we got up there as fast as we possibly could!
We met with one of Evelyn Grace's doctors (Dr. Choi) and he reveiwed her case with us and told us what to watch for at home and how to care for her holes on the side of her chest where her tubes were while they heal. In the end, our case is one like many other Hydrops cases - despite extensive testing they were unable to find a "cause" for the Hydrops but it appears to have self-healed and now that she is breathing, her lungs matured and her fluid has been drained, she seems like a healthy preemie. Although we can expect her to be slightly delayed developmentally for the first yea or so due to being early and spending time in NICU, at this time they can't detect any long term issues as a result of the Hydrops. They will continue to monitor her but for now, things look really really good. Praise the Lord! We are so thankful to Him and also to the doctors and nurses who cared for her at Asan Medical Center.
When I unzipped Baby Girl's carseat, I found this fun surprise: Steve and Caleb bought us girls a matching mommy and baby girl bunny set - one for me and one for her (her special "lovie"). It was a really fun little surprise :) Thanks, Guys!
Bustin' her outta there!!!! Oh happy day!!
I have hardly let her out of my arms since we arrived home and have been soaking up every second with her - even now I'm typing with her sweet little self snuggled up with me. Poor Steve hardly gets to hold her! Steve recently blogged about getting back to "life as usual."
We had a follow up visit with her doctor on Monday - 4 hours spent in the hospital doing blood draws, xrays and meeting with him to review everything and then waiting for a copy of her records to be made etc. Her blood work again came back looking really good, her infection level is way down and back to normal range. Her breathing checked out well, her chest sounded clear, her holes are healing up nicely and not infected, her chest xrays were too blurry so we'll redo them again next week. Her weight is very low and she isn't gaining very well (or having the level of output he would like to see) so prayers for her eating to improve and weight to begin going up would be great. Also, continued prayer for full recovery and no relapse. So far things seem to look really really good.
She struggles a lot to eat. Nursing is very, very hard for her (and me!). Her sucking reflex seems to be very weak, as is her latch and she has trouble swollowing (both when she nurses and with the bottle). She is also very, very sleepy and has trouble staying awake at all to eat. We try stripping her down, tickling her, using a wet wash cloth etc and she sleeps, sleeps, sleeps. Baby Girl, you need to EAT!!!
In the meantime, we are eating up and savoring every minute with her - so thankful and humbled to have her with us, to have her alive and to have her as part of our family. As I watch her chest move up and down (which I do A LOT - my new favorite past time), I can't help but be filled with awe and thanksgiving - knowing Who sustains each one and thankful for every. single. breath.