Friday, December 30, 2011

At our hospital, it was generally considered bad karma to tell parents about a discharge date too far in advance. Most doctors and nurses stuck to the vague "around her due date" answer and we didn't push it because we didn't want our hopes dashed. As it became clear that discharge was close, the neonatal team gave us a target week, then a window of several days. Then one day during rounds we were told "if today's test come back clear, you can take her home the next day." Two days later we left the hospital as a family for the first time.

Here are some other preemie moms' experiences:

What kind of warning did you have before taking your baby home?

  • "With DS we knew a week ahead of time, but didn't have a "set" date. With DD we had a weekend."
  • "We called in the morning to check in before we went to see him. They said he would probably be going home that day - bring clothes for him. When we got there they started packing him to go. "
  • "With Ian, we had about 3 days notice. Enough time for us to go through all the prep work for discharge. With Jack, we got about 5 minutes notice, lol! Apparently the NICU had called me to tell me that we could take Jack home, but phone was dead and I hadn't noticed. So we found out we were taking him home when we went to visit him. Luckily, they "counted" the discharge prep-work from taking Ian home to Jack's discharge and we'd already had both carseats in the car because we thought we were taking Jack home the next day, so it all went smoothly regardless of our lack of notice."
  • "The NICU staff told us from the beginning that our son would be sent home on/around his due date, but he was actually discharged a few weeks earlier because he was doing so well. We had about 3 days notice that he would likely be able to come home that weekend. Our son had to be breathing on his own (still on oxygen, but no CPAP or ventilator) and eating consistently and gaining weight well without the aid of the gavage tube. My husband wants me to write that we felt rushed, which is true, but we also were relieved that the baby was doing well enough to come home."
  • "Not too much - they told us a few days in advance."


Precious and priceless so lovable too, the world’s sweetest littlest miracle is, a baby like you.

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