Wow! What a journey! After spending 147 long days in the hospital, Benjamin has finally left the hospital. Benjamin got to come home last Wednesday on only oxygen, an apnea monitor and multi-vitamins. Todd and I couldn't be happier and I got to have two Valentine's, just as I had hoped.
To take you back, a little over a week ago the doctors increased Benjamin to full bottle feeds (8 bottles a day) and told us that he would have a sleep study done over the weekend to see what amount of oxygen he would need when he went home. The sleep study is basically letting him sleep over night while changing his oxygen settings every few hours while being hooked up to a machine that records how he does on each setting. His study was a little longer than usual because he was tested on 3 settings - 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 of a liter of oxygen. We were told that if Benjamin could handle one of these settings, he could go home after his eye exam on Tuesday. After receiving the results late Monday night, the doctors told us he did very well and he would be going home on an 1/8 of a liter - the lowest setting - and an apnea monitor. So on Tuesday night, we decided to room in at the hospital so we could partake in "Care by Parent". While hooking Benjamin up to the apnea monitor, we had a few alarms due to loose leads which was scary and nerve racking. Those familiar with an apnea monitor can relate to the noise, those who are not, imagine a siren blasting in your ear. After settling in our room, we noticed how quiet it was compared to the NICU. Benjamin noticed as well since he started to cry and continued to cry for half the night. Todd and I took turns holding and rocking him and finally about 3am he went to sleep and stayed asleep until 9. The only time he woke up was for his feeding. The first night was tough; I guess Benjamin was breaking us in for parenthood. The following nights Benjamin has been home has been much easier since we had some idea of what to expect, plus we have had our mom's help us during the nights.
So far, Benjamin really seems to be adjusting well to being at home. We took him to his first appointment with his new Pediatrician on Thursday and he now weighs 10 pounds 6 ounces. : ) We are so thankful to God for our precious miracle and thank each of you for your prayers over the past 147 days. Please keep Benjamin in your prayers for steady progress and development as he grows and matures. He will have another eye exam this Tuesday and another Pediatrician visit on Thursday. He is scheduled for an appointment with his Pulmonologist in 1 month and hopefully they will determine he no longer requires oxygen assistance.
We are so excited that this day has finally come. We had no idea what was in store for us when I went into premature labor at only 23 weeks on that September night, but God did. He knew what a blessed day it would be when we finally got to bring him home. Our God is BIG! He has given us the most precious gift in the world with our son Benjamin.
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