Today is Connor & Merasia's follow up, one year hearing screening. When they were born, they had the hearing screening that most (or all) newborns get upon delivery and before being discharged to go home. But, because they were preemies and Connor was low birth weight, they have to have a follow up hearing screening every year. I know there's nothing to worry about, but it's just routine.
We have to go to our big hospital here in Vermont for all follow ups, and that's an hour and a half away from where we live, in "the city," if you can call it that in teeny tiny Vermont. ;-)
I was at this hospital for 3 whole weeks while on bed rest with the twins. From 32-35 weeks, I laid in bed, endured a 20-30 minute non stress test every single morning (and sometimes longer, if I was actively contracting and in labor, which happened a few times...), ate frosted mini wheats for breakfast, watched A Baby Story, Jon and Kate, and my soaps, read books upon books and magazines as well, filled in all I could of the twins' baby books, ate...and ate....AND...yep, you guessed it...I ATE. Getting out of my room and down the hall to take my morning shower was the highlight of my day. Well, that and whenever Frank was with me (usually afternoons and at night) and he took me for my one half hour wheel chair ride a day and I actually got to see outside and get some fresh air. I developed my own little routine and made myself at home. Hey, what else was I to do anyway? I was stuck there until the babies decided to finally make their appearance, or I made it to at least 35 weeks...whichever came first.
We were given a tour of the NICU, in case we became familiar faces there at any point, and it was depressing to say the least. We were also given a tour of the Ronald McDonald Children's Hospital unit, where sick children and their families stayed. It had special rooms for parents to get quiet, non interrupted sleep for a night or two, a living room with TV, a computer with internet access, books, magazines, and a kitchen with all sorts of goodies to munch on for everyone there. It also had a bathroom with a shower and washer and dryer, which Frank got some good use out of while we were there. And the best part was all of it was free for patients and their immediate families, so had we needed to stay there longer with our babies, we would have had lots of great resources available to us.
We were a few of the lucky ones though, and I was discharged at 35 weeks exactly, still pregnant. In fact, more pregnant than I had ever felt before. The babies had grown considerably bigger and this was very apparent in my round belly that now measured to be that of a woman who is 45 weeks pregnant with a singleton. The doctor laughed out loud when he put the tape over my belly and measured me before discharge. It was pretty comical, if you think about it.
I felt like they were going to fly out of me at any minute with my heavy belly that just kept dropping lower and lower every day.
They did "fly" out soon after that...about 10 hours after being discharged from the hospital and only 3 hours of sleeping in my own bed, to be exact.
Stepping back into that hospital for the first time since I left, on January 8, 2009, is going to be so surreal. It was an extremely emotional time in our lives, and will no doubt bring back a flood of emotions.
We are, however, looking forward to seeing some of the nurses and doctors that so graciously took care of me during that time, but have yet to meet the precious babies that they so worried over for 3 stressful weeks.