Monday, March 2, 2009

"My Story..."Monday: Preparing Our Home


It has been quite some time since I wrote a "My Story... Monday" piece, so in case you've forgotten, I left off with when we we finally knew for sure our little girl would be getting released from the hospital. It seemed like such a whirlwind there at the end... she had been hospitalized for over 3 1/2 months but, for so much of that, we knew there was no chance of her going anywhere. Once the ball got rolling, it really rolled...

We had a lot of preparation to do at the hospital before she could be released, but we also had a lot to do at our own home. We had been living two hours south of our hometown for all those months and, as a result, our home was anything but "baby-ready".

In fact, the very first thing that needed to be done during that first week of April was to take down the Christmas tree. Yep, that's right... I had gone into labor on Dec. 22nd and she had been born on Christmas Eve. As a result, all of Christmas decorations were still up around the house. Fortunately in this scenario, we had an artificial tree so it wasn't as big a mess as it could have been.

We also had to do some quick touch-up cleaning. We didn't deep-clean the whole house or pay to have the vents completely sucked cleaned or any of that... though some preemie parents do choose to. Since our little girl did not, in fact, have significant breathing problems and we did not have a family history of asthma or allergies, it was not necessary for us.

The cradle had to be set up and we had to make sure there were adequate outlets for her oxygen tank and her monitor. We had purchased four disposable coolers to use in addition to our own two regular coolers for the sole purpose of hauling frozen milk home. But, before we could even ponder that, we had to make sure we bought a chest freezer and got it cooled down below zero degrees. I had hundreds of bottles of expressed milk to put in it. I was very, very fortunate in that department.

We didn't spend any time at all on the "fun stuff" like hanging sweet little outfits and decorating her nursery. In fact, the room that would eventually belong to our daughter was not painted or decorated in any way at that point. It would be awhile before we would even think to tackle that project...

Keep in mind, we had a 14-month old to entertain while we did all of this too. He had never met his sister yet. Because she was born during RSV season, no visitors under age 12 were allowed in the NICU. I'm sure he noticed, on some level, that we were in a different place and that we seemed to be running around a lot. But he was still a baby himself. And, as far as he knew, our only baby...

That would all change very soon however... because we were about to leave the hospital for the very last time. And this time... our little girl would be with us. I'll tell you about the first time our children met each other next time...

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