The first week of Christian's life was such a happy time for us. We stayed at the hospital until Wednesday. We had to get six clearances from the Indian Tribe. We got one on Friday, two on Monday, two on Tuesday and were waiting for one more on Wednesday. Thankfully we got the last clearance that morning so we could take the little man with us! Those days were so stressful! We were bonding with Christian but were terrified one of the six clearances would fall through.
On Wednesday, we had asked the nurses if we could stay until after 3:00pm since hotel check in was at that time. They told us that as long as we were out by midnight it would be fine. So... when the attorney came to talk with A and get her signature for us to be able to take Christian we were stunned when they made us leave. It was 2pm and we had not even begun to pack. We thought we would be staying another few hours! The attorney came in and said, "Let's go." John and I were so stunned! So we were rushed trying to throw everything together, Christian was crying because it was time for him to eat, and the nurses were trying their best to help us. I didn't even get to say goodbye to A. I had seen her earlier that day and had given her a letter to try to thank her for the wonderful gift she had given us. But I wanted to hug her one more time before we left! We couldn't believe the attorney made us leave in such a rush! He said he had to walk out with us and watch us drive away with him. Jeez! At least I did get to experience the mom-leaving-the-hospital moment. They got me to sit in the wheel chair and wheeled us through the hospital with all of the patrons ooohing and aaahing at our little man. We also had an entourage of nurses with us. They all loved little Christian! Unfortunately, we were so rushed that we didn't get a picture.
He cried the entire way to the hotel which made me cry the entire way to the hotel! We were staying in a tiny bedroom with one King bed. Thankfully we only had to stay there two days before our attorney hooked us up with the Ronald McDonald House in Monroe (about a two hour drive.) I would have driven 14 hours to get out of that hotel room! I almost lost my mind. I was so scared we were going to get kicked out every time he cried. I think I slept about 30-45 in those two days and cried more tears than I care to admit. Apparently stress coupled with lack of sleep make me weepy and nauseous. It was one of those days that my mom decided I needed some help so they told us they were going to drive down and meet us in Monroe on Saturday. I was so thankful! Here's a picture of how he slept... on a changing pad between us. Terrible!
It was finally Friday and we had an appt with the pediatrician. Once we left there we could head to Monroe. I cried pretty much through his entire appt because they had to prick his heel for a jaundice test. (Don't judge me! I was having a hard time!) Here's a picture of us leaving that wonderful hospital.I was shaking as we left and I told John that I needed to drive and he could sit in the back with Christian. I couldn't sit in the back with him crying for two hours! I just couldn't! Well wouldn't you know that he slept the whole way and didn't cry once! He's such a good boy.
The minute we walked into the Ronald McDonald House I felt like I could breathe again. They had us in a suite off to ourselves with a sitting area and TV room right outside of our room. My parents were coming down the next morning and RMH was gracious enough to let them stay there too! I really don't know what I would have done without their help! They had a fully stocked kitchen where we could make ourselves some pasta, cereal, sandwiches or whatever we needed without having to go out and get fast food. They also had juices, waters, coffee and sodas that were all donated. Two of the days that we were there some high school kids came over and baked cupcakes for us. It was truly an amazing experience to have that week of bonding with him in such a positive atmosphere. My parents were wonderful too and took the night shift two nights so John and I could sleep. We were so grateful to have them there!This is Lindsay. She's one of the workers at RMH. She was great and even cooked us dinner one night!
I am now glad to be home but I will always look back fondly at the time we spent becoming a family at the RMH. Even if I could go back and change it to where we could have gone home right away, I wouldn't.