On the Thursday after the babies were born, I was discharged from the hospital. It should have been such a happy day, but instead it turned out to be the worst day I have ever experienced. I knew in advance the babies would need to stay a few more days in the nursery because of their complications and I thought I had prepared myself for that, but I learned that there is no such way to really prepare yourself to leave your newborn babies... and that was only the beginning of our emotional torment.
As I was stepping out of the shower that morning, Carly's nurse knocked at our door.. I could overhear her conversation with David on the other side of the door. She told him that Carly was experiencing more difficulty breathing because the CPAP machine had unknowingly scratched and irritated her nasal passages causing them to fill with blood and become blocked. She cut a whole in Carly's pacifier and ran the nasal cannula into it to get some oxygen in her until a team from the Columbus NICU could get to LaGrange. The news was shocking.. our last update on her was encouraging.. we thought she was making progress... but no one knew the damage that the CPAP had caused. She allowed David to go to the nursery to be with our angel as they prepared her for transport. At the same time, Boone was finally officially off all of his machines and monitors and allowed to leave the nursery for the first time. They brought Boone to me in my room (they warned it would be best if I was not there as they prepped Carly). I think they knew that was the only way they could keep me away.. to bring me Boone and know that David was with Carly and she wasn't alone.
The team from Columbus did a thorough evaluation of her... they determined she would need a ventilator. At that point, they sedated her and David was asked to leave as well. We waited in my room with Boone. After intubation, they brought my sweet girl to me to say goodbye... I still don't know how I found the strength to make it through that moment. Not only did we have to tell her goodbye, but we had to turn right around and tell Boone goodbye, too. He returned to the nursery and we raced to Columbus to get Carly settled.
The rest of the afternoon, we sat at Carly's bedside watching her limp body rise and fall with the force of the ventilator. It was determined that she also had some issues going on inside her lungs... the nodules inside were not able to fill with air and work the way that they should. She was given lots of medications to try to help her body heal and develop.
I was an emotional wreck.... crying, shaking... totally numb. It felt like I was unable to care for any of my babies... I had not been able to spend time with Lucas in days.. someone different picking him up from daycare everyday, Boone was in LaGrange, Carly in Columbus.... Every place we went, I had to leave 2 of my angels behind.
Carly remained on her ventilator for 3 days before being extubated and put on regular oxygen. She got to come off of that 2 days later, but she still had to be monitored very closely. Her oxygen level would drop at times causing concern that she may have to go back on the oxygen... but she proved to be such a fighter.
Boone was released from the LaGrange hospital on Saturday, October 30. It was a bittersweet day.... I was OVERJOYED to bring one of my babies home, but there was still an empty carseat in the van, an empty swing at home.. and David wasn't with us. He missed Lucas waking up from his nap to find his new baby brother..... but, I was so comforted that one of us could be with Carly.
Carly continued for the next 3 days without any extra oxygen and on Wednesday, November 3rd she was released from the hospital! Our family was FINALLY whole!!!!
Pictures of homecomings to follow.