Preparing for Home

Over the last week Hannah’s recovery from surgery has gone really well, with minimal complications along the way. It’s been wonderful to see her tubes come out and monitors be slowly taken off, and much easier to give her cuddles!

Hannah's new high dependency unit bed
Hannah’s high dependency unit bed

To our surprise, the doctors have started talking about getting her home soon – within the next few days! We had been expecting to be in hospital for another couple of weeks, so Gus had to go out and pick up the car capsule and pram which we had on lay-by till the end of the month!

But before the Grace Centre are happy to send Hannah home they encourage new parents to “room in” for a night or two. This involves Gus and I staying in a parents room (like a small motel room) within the Grace Centre overnight, with Hannah! It then seems like we’re on our own looking after her, but the nurses are close by if we have any problems / questions. It also means we and the doctors feel more confident about us taking her home! Even though Hannah has had some amazing nurses, one thing I’ve found hard this past week is that a nurse knows more about my baby than I do because even though I spend most of my awake time by her bedside I’m not there 24 hours a day. So I’m really thankful for the program of rooming in with Hannah and being able to take over responsibility for her care from the nurses.

Off we go to "room in" for the night!
Off to “room in” for the night!

Another milestone to reach before we are able to take Hannah home is meeting with her specialists and learning how best to care for her at home. That has involved learning how to prepare her medication (dissolved aspirin to act as a blood thinner to avoid clots blocking the shunt), completion of her newborn hearing test, meeting an occupational therapist who videoed Hannah’s movements to be reviewed again in 3 months time, and meeting a cardiac consultant to talk about postoperative care of Hannah’s BT shunt.

Before these meetings I had endless questions running through my head. But what stood out from speaking to the specialists was their encouragement to treat Hannah like any other newborn. When I mentioned to her cardiologist that sometimes I forget she has a heart problem he said “That’s good to forget and treat her normally. Just don’t forget your appointments here!”.  We do need to remember that she is slightly more susceptible to getting sick than other babies, but overall it won’t be helpful for Hannah or us if we wrap her in bubble wrap and become super overprotective.

Like any parents of a newborn, Gus and I are both excited and a little terrified about taking our little girl home. We’re expecting not much sleep and lots of staring at Hannah and each other in awe over the next few months!

Please give thanks for…

  • Hannah’s speedy recovery from surgery
  • The opportunity to “room in” at the hospital and practise looking after Hannah within the supportive environment of the Grace Centre
  • How God has answered our prayers over the past few weeks

Please pray for…

  • Gus and I as we learn how to care for Hannah and be Godly parents
  • Our transition to being at home together
  • Other families in the Grace Centre as they too get closer to bringing their baby’s home, and patience for those for whom this is still a long time away

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

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