Joshua is our 4th child and I have always felt badly about his coming home from the hospital story when he was born. I thought for sure the nurses wouldn't let me bring him home.
Joshua Benson Hull was born shortly after 4am on a Friday. It became evident that he was having a hard time breathing. The nurses said he was grunting. I held him quickly and then they took him away. He was placed in the NICU shortly after being born. It was determined that he was born with a pneumothorax, a small hole in his lung.
He was placed in a hoodie with oxygen and got a few IV's. Dan and my brother-in-law Paul gave him a blessing. I was so grateful and felt that things would be fine. They kept taking xrays to determine if air was still escaping from his lung. They said that these kinds of small holes usually seal up on their own but if it didn't surgery would be needed. After a day or so the amount of air that was leaking was getting smaller so we knew that the hole was sealing up. During this time we were unable to hold him. I was in my recovery room on Saturday afternoon when I was told I could go up and hold Joshua. It was so great to hold him again.
I came home from the hospital on Sunday evening. It was so hard to leave him there. I was pumping and storing milk and I would need to take it up throughout the day. They thought he would be there for a week. My mother-in-law came on Monday morning and was such an amazing help. I'm so grateful she was here.
After coming home on Tuesday from my visit at the hospital I got the call from the nurses saying that the doctor had OK'd Joshua's release for that afternoon! We were so excited to be bringing him home a few days before what had been stated that morning. It is protocol to have Social Services call the families of the children in the NICU to make sure that they are going home to a safe environment. She asked if we had a crib for the baby and a car seat. I told her that I had everything, he's my fourth child. We were told to be there at 3pm and that we had to watch a car seat safety video and then we could bring him home. I said, "Perfect, we'll be there at 3."
Ok...this is the part where I thought for sure, "Yeah, he's the 4th child" and "There's no way they're going to let me take him home."
I called Dan to let him know we could bring home Joshua so he came home early from work so that we could pick him up. I put together the diaper bag with his coming home outfit and matching blanket.
Dan's truck had been acting funny so we made arrangements to drop off the truck on our way to the hospital. We would be picking up the rental car, too. So we drove the truck to the car rental place. Then I drove the rental car and followed Dan as he drove the truck to the shop. Then Dan got in the rental car and we drove to the hospital.
We arrived at 4. We were an hour late picking up our son!!! I felt so horrible. There were other parents there with their children who did not know how many more weeks or months or if they would even be able to bring their babies home at all and here I was able to bring mine home and I was late. We watched the safety video and then we were told that we had to get our last paperwork clearance so that we could officially check out of the hospital.
Dan and I went downstairs and the lady looked us up on the computer, she checked my hospital tags on my wrist, and then asked to see a photo ID. I opened up my purse and realized that my wallet was in the diaper bag. I then realized that the diaper bag was in the truck. I then realized that the truck was in the shop. I didn't have the diaper bag with me!! My wallet was in there and so were Joshua's clothes. I told the lady that I didn't have my license with me. She checked Dan's ID and I answered all of the security questions correctly but she needed to see something with my picture on it. I looked through my purse to see if there was anything in there that had my picture on it. And then I saw it. I pulled out my Costco card and said this was all I had. She took it and copied it and said that would be fine.
We went back upstairs to take Joshua and the nurse asked me if I had clothes for him. I told her that we had forgotten his diaper bag and that his clothes were in the bag. Once again, I could feel the stares of some of these parents. I tried not to look at them. I asked the nurse if it was OK to take the hospital shirt he was wearing and if we could have the hospital blanket as well. She said we could.
So Joshua came home wearing only a white hospital shirt. He didn't have any socks or pants. I was waiting for Social Services to stop us on our way out. They didn't and it's been a wonderful 3 years! We love you, Joshua!