The Best Christmas Present
The Best Christmas Present...The Day Attley Came Home
It’s been one year since our NICU journey came to an end. As I reflect on this time last year, it really was a Christmas Miracle that Attley came home before Christmas.
The week before Christmas…
The week before Christmas was full of ups and downs in regards to Attley eating and taking enough milk by bottle to move from timed feeds (feed her every 3 hours) to cue based feeding (she dictates when she eats by rooting or crying). Slowly she was starting to take more by bottle and by mid week we had started cue based feeding which led to feeding amount requirements.
I remember vividly sitting in her room, silently begging her to eat enough to reach her goal...doing all I could to stay positive and pray that she would make it home before Christmas.
Three days before Christmas she had a goal to drink 200mL within a 24 hour period. If she could do that for two days, we would be able to be discharged and sent home. As I left the hospital on the 21st, Attley was on her way to making her 200mL goal and we had a glimmer of hope that she could do it and would be able come home. We went to bed that night hoping she would meet it and we could do one more 24 hour period and go HOME.
We called the hospital bright and early on the 22nd to find out that she surpassed her feeding goal! We were SO excited and yet nervous to get our hopes up.
On the 22nd and the 23rd, Attley fell short 2mL and 5mL of meeting her 200 milliliter goal. We were crushed but also really proud, because even though she didn’t meet it, she was SO close! Since our pediatrician group rotates doctors, we had a variety of opinions and instructions. One of our doctors happened to be rather strict, and didn’t like how short Attley fell of her goal and wanted us to continue to stay in the hospital and work on eating.
From our perspective, Attley was ready to come home. She was so close to her feeding goal and was having some serious congestion due to the dry air in the hospital. It was starting to become a vicious cycle...the air was dry due to no humidity in hospitals, therefore she couldn’t eat to meet her feeding goal, and she couldn’t meet her feeding goal because she couldn’t breathe well. Christmas Eve arrived and we were prepared to spend the holiday divided between the hospital and being home with Emmett. It was important for me to be in on rounds with the pediatricians because I wanted to discuss our breathing concerns and frustrations about her being SO close.
After an hour of sitting with Attley, the new doctor for rounds came in and I said my spiel about her breathing and eating cycle. How I knew if we took her home where she could have a humidifier, she could meet her goals. I’ll never forget, he looked at me and said “I totally understand what you are saying, let me think about it for a few minutes and I’ll come back in.”
He went and chatted with the nurses and a few minutes walked in, looked me in the eye and said “Would you want to go home today?”
In tears, I answered “Yes!”
From that moment on, we were in a mad dash to get things ready at home, hospital tests she had to pass (car seat test), and get some prescriptions filled to help with her congestion.
By early afternoon, we were officially discharged! I’ll never forget driving home and thinking what a miracle today was. It also taught me a few life lessons that I wanted to share on her one year “coming home” anniversary.
always keep faith. Always.
Your voice matters. Speak up.
Christmas miracles happen and they can happen to you.
I’m so grateful to be spending this Christmas Eve, at home chasing around Emmett and Attley and being together as a family of four.
We want to wish you heartfelt Merry Christmas from my family to yours as well as abundant joy and a faith filled New Year.