Well, as it seems, we are on the tail end of our NICU adventure.....phew. I say adventure because what an experience it has been. We've been up and down, and down, and then up....sometimes maybe even sideways, but it looks like we are about to be up...up and out the door with no looking back. Let me rewind a little bit since I've been such a slacker lately with updating you all.
On Good Friday (April 2nd) Easton got his "big boy shunt", and what a big boy he has been since that. Things couldn't have gone better that day for our lil man, well minus the fact that I set my alarm for 6 and never turned it on and didn't wake up until 7:30.....out of all the days, but we made it to his bedside with plenty of time to spare, but of course we did, it was GOOD FRIDAY after all. What could really go wrong. We got the call at 11:11am to wheel him on down to the OR....good timing I thought, and yes, I am still one to make a wish when 11:11 comes around- what does it hurt?! Like all of the other surgeries we left him after meeting with Easton's OR "team" (he doesn't really have an OR team, but 4 out of 5 surgeries, he's had the exact same people in the OR right down to the nurse, so I think it's only fair to refer to them as his team :) ). As we walked out those extra wide doors and headed to our seats in the waiting room I felt like dancing. I felt relieved, I wanted to celebrate....that's not saying that I wasn't worried and was hoping and praying that this would be his last trip, but I knew that he would be just fine. And he was.
To us, and I'm sure to Easton the worst part of surgery is the whole waking up process while intubated. This is always the hardest part. Watching him struggle and try to cry but nothing comes out, and us knowing that he is ready to be extubated but the Dr's having to wean him off the vent. They wonder if he's in pain, or if he's just really ticked that he has a tube down his throat. Me, I know that my baby is ticked. At one point I just wanted to reach down and pull it out myself...but I'm pretty sure that would get me ticked out of the NICU and really where would that get me? Luckily for me though our lil sweets decided he had enough and extubated himself. Yes, he's done this before but this time he couldn't pull out his tubes with his hands...he just bucked it our of place. As we all sat there and watched him, we started to hear a faint cry, and that's when Danielle, his night nurse ran and got respiratory......and indeed the tube was no longer where it should've been. That lil genius of ours.
He amazes me. Us. The determination that this little boy has is unreal. As each day goes on he continues to to push and show us more and more of just who Easton is. It's amazing what a big boy shunt can do for a baby. He cries when he's hungry. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but I mean he cries...he demands food. He never really did that before, and I love that when he wants something or needs something he lets the whole Birch room know it here at the NICU. I love that he uses his voice, I hope that he continues to do so throughout his life. I never want him to just sit back quietly and let his needs or wants pass by. I don't want that for any of my kiddos.
I would say that his favorite thing right now is to check out the NICU. I turn him around and sit him up on my lap and he just looks...he looks for hours (okay maybe only 2- 2.5 hours at a time, but that's a long time for a wee one) and he loves to be held, and to get his chubby cheeks pinched and or kissed. Maybe he doesn't love that so much, but I sure do love doing it to him! He's so sweet, and I can't wait for you all to meet him. And that brings us to the even sweeter part.....
Home. Yes home is on the horizon for the Rapp Family! Nae will finally really know what it's like to be a big sister, and for the first time ever...EVER... we will all be able to be in the same room together :) We don't have an exact date yet but within days. On Friday we will be setting up a time for our home oxygen to get set up, and after that we will have monitor training. From there on out we just sit and wait for them to give us the go. We are really hoping that it will be sometime this weekend :) I can not wait to be able to spend my days with both of my babies (and daddy too when he's not working). I want to just live, just be home- be able to play...be able to take pictures of "Nae" and "Deas" together, be on our own schedule, get into our own routine. Just be us.
I can not believe that we will be home just shy of Easton's 2 month birthday. We never imagined that we would be here for so long. NICU is hard. It's tough...it can break you down...it wears on you, it's it's own little world, it can consume you. Although it is an amazing place and it does amazing things for our babies that need extra care it also sucks...to put it bluntly..... we have met amazing nurses and doctors, and they have cared for our little boy in ways that we were not able to do, and for that we will be forever grateful. But at the same token, I feel like we have lost the first 2 months with Easton....were we there every day with him, holding him when I could, talking to him, loving him, feeding him...absolutely, but it's different. It's manageable, and even enjoyable at times...but different. I just can't wait to get home..can you tell?
I can honestly say that Caidence has absolutely with out a doubt benefited from our time in Buffalo. For starters, she has a surrogate family.....Geoff, Cherie, Charleigh and Quin- we do not know what we would have ever done without you guys. Caidence is going to go through withdrawl when we are home....the cousins are going to have to step it up...she's not going to know what to do without all of her new friends. She has really come out of her shell....she used to walk in the kitchen at the Ronald McDonald house with her hand over her eyes if anyone tried to talk to her. Not only would she not respond, she would sometimes even cry....now she runs around like she owns the place telling everyone she sees a little story. She's so much more outgoing which is a wonderful thing to see. She's not afraid anymore. She's2 now...and acting like it. Yes with a little sass, but the independence is what I'm talking about. Nae has her own opinion about things, and sometimes compromising is hard for her, but we are working on it and she is doing really well. Also, Caidence is quite the fashionista...think SJP meets baby gap/target....It's quite the statement to say the least. Her hair is always a mess and shes apparently big into layering various articles of clothing, with a million colors and patterns. Yes, she is somewhat of a hot mess.....but it's her, and we love her and her snazzy self! She's had a wonderful time in Buffalo, and I'm sure she'd be willing to come back anytime.
That's it for now....<3 from the rapp's!