NICU to Nemo

Yesterday was a big day for our little guy. First, he met Aunt Onnie (my sister BethAnn) and then he was discharged from the hospital after eleven days in the NICU!! It was a huge relief to walk out of the hospital with my precious baby boy after such a long wait.

When we stepped through the hospital doors, relief quickly gave way to shock and facial freezer burn as Nor'easter Nemo blizzard-slapped our faces. It was quite a first day out in the real world for this guy. We walked a mile and took two different trains in a blizzard, myself, carrying him in a sling, and Aunt Onnie lugging a huge Adidas duffel bag with a smile on her face the whole time. (*note: if you know BethAnn, this is where you throw your head back and laugh like a mad scientist, and if you don't know her... suffice it to say she was less than pleased to be carrying anything under such unreasonable conditions.)

Nonetheless, we survived the assault on all our exposed skin, and we made it back to the apartment a friend has so graciously allowed us to use. Once we arrived we realized that we were in a kind of survival situation where we were stranded with no food. To the rescue came our friend Melissa who swooped in with some of NYC's finest groceries and takeout.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been enduring taste torture, so this was a welcome flavor revival. BethAnn is a recovering blandaholic, so she was very thrilled to experience "the middle eastern." She was so pleased with her relationship to one particular dish she shouted to the heavens between bites, "I mean, how awesome am I!?"

Melissa Waheibi was, in fact, the awesome one for facilitating such a noteworthy self-esteem transformation.

All food aside, it was wonderful to visit with Melissa and Onnie and just relax with the baby who was no longer tethered to any medical equipment. It has been so much fun to walk across the room with him.

He has quite a bad diaper rash due to the antibiotics causing explosive diarrhea. I have never felt so bad for a set of tiny brown buns in my whole life. Additionally, his umbilical nubbin is holding on for dear life and is starting to look a touch infected. After ten solid days on IV antibiotics, it is very frustrating to see any possible sign of infection, especially since the NICU doc said to bring him right to the ER if there is any sign of infection.

I feel like I have handled the big, scary stuff pretty well. I can hold it together for all of these adoption ups and downs, and I can even handle the really scary medical stuff... but, I gotta confess the these two little things just about pushed me over the edge. Fortunately Onnie was there to talk me off the ledge and encouraged me to call the doctor.

She said to keep an eye on it.

Crisis averted. So, we are here now just waiting for another of my wonderful friends to come to the rescue... My friend Julie, who is allowing us to hitch a ride back to Rochester with her on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I really do not know how we would have survived the time if not for the kindness and generosity of some amazing friends, family and even people I have only met once. Friends at home bringing meals to Tom "can't cook" Capuano, and my friend Melissa who brought life-changing meals to us here... My sister, Kristin, who is watching the two little ones in Michigan, and my sister here consoling my exhausted self when I need it most. Apart from my brief diaper rash depression, I have truly felt so lifted up and sustained by all of the encouraging words, the prayers and the help.

I know that God calls us to live in community for this very reason. Because without this awesome community of support, I would be famished, in a blizzard, carrying my own Adidas bag, and just sobbing into a dirty diaper.

Thank you Jesus for sisters, the ones I grew up with, and the ones I have inherited along the way.