Carter was back to his old self again by this morning, and he'd had a good night. Can't say the same for me -- I think I got two hours of sleep! He didn't have any apnea spells after he got to the IMCU, and slowly became more alert and hungry. The surgeon came by to check on him one more time around 11:00, and then said he would write the order to release us.
We left around 12:30, just after Carter got some lunch and I pumped one more time. The car ride home was smooth, and Carter seems to be doing well. We took a nice long nap this afternoon. I really needed to sleep! It's amazing how hard it is to sleep in the hospital, with the nurses coming in all the time. Carter was hungry every two hours on the odd hours, and the nurses were coming to check his vitals on the evens (after which he'd be awake and fidgety). So I was getting up every hour, basically, plus the few times I had to pump.
It seemed like as soon as I put my head down and alarm would go off, or a nurse would come in, or Carter would cry. I finally fell asleep with him in an uncomfortable rocking chair, and got a good 45 minute stretch. The rest of the two hours of sleep I actually got in the morning when I propped myself up on some pillows with Carter on my chest in the fold-out bed. Doug had to leave around 4:30 am to catch a flight, so he wasn't able to help. But you can operate on very little sleep for a while, and we managed just fine.
Here are some pictures:
Carter is all tucked in.
Here is a view of all the stuff he was hooked up to.
I took a video of him this morning, in which he is very cute. :-D
Overall, it was interesting to be back in the hospital. It reminded me of how out of control I felt when he was in the NICU. He didn't really seem like our baby for a long time, and I was afraid that this hospital visit would bring those feelings right back. It really didn't, and that's because the staff at DCMC is so incredibly family-friendly and supportive. There was never a point at which I felt like the nurses were interfering with my care of Carter. I felt like a parent at every moment, unlike the way I felt in the NICU.
It's interesting how having a child in the hospital makes you see them both as very fragile and incredibly strong. It doesn't make sense that you would feel both things at once, but you do. It was also interesting having such a small baby there. Most of the other patients were children of school age, and it was interesting to see the looks of sympathy on their parents' faces, as if they were silently thankful they didn't have to bring their children in as babies.
Overall, the experience in the hospital was a positive one. I'm glad the surgery is behind us, and I'm really happy that Carter is doing so well. Thanks for all the positive thoughts and prayers sent our way!