The day after surgery was “work day”.
I was to borderline force them to try to eat or at least put things in their mouths.
And I had to get them up and out of bed. That was much easier because they clearly missed each other. They may beat on each other all day when they are completely fit and healthy, but when they don’t feel good, they want to be close to each other. Peter was especially needy and had been asking where Robert was right from the beginning.
They got reunited and taken for a walk to the play room. But, they quickly tired out there.
After a nap for each of them (and one for me, too) we started working on getting the boys to take actual feedings through their mouths. Using a syringe, I painstakingly squeezed drinks of chocolate milk in to their mouths. They hated it and tried to do anything in their power to avoid feedings.
Eventually through bribery, threats of staying longer in the hospital, and sheer will, they took a full feeding orally. And with that, they were graduated to the regular hospital population.
The boys were a little stressed by the move so, they refused to go to their own rooms. They had rooms next to each other, but Peter preferred to just sit in the rocker in Robert’s room.
We then got the good news that if they boys could take another full feeding (a single serving carton of chocolate milk was considered a feeding) in the afternoon, we could be released to go home. The boys weren’t very hungry and definitely didn’t like having a syringe in their mouths, but they wanted the tubes out of their noses, the IVs out of their arms, and the “luxury” of a hotel bed was enough motivation for them to each take a feeding without fighting.
Before their release, I ran to the Target that was right behind our hotel and got milk, yogurt smoothies, instant breakfasts, nutritional shakes….the whole nine yards. I was going to be ready for them!
And then, it happened! We got all the monitors and tubes removed. We were going home!
We hustled to the hotel and I tucked my guys in to bed. They fell asleep right away, clearly relieved to be together and out of the hospital. And then I caught the picture that really says it all about why we took this trip. This is why we begged for help, took out loans, fought and clawed our way to St Louis….
This is something I have never seen before. Ever. Not even after the first surgery did I see anything like this. Peter, my sweet little man was sleeping with his mouth comfortably closed. He was never able to do that before. He would barely do that while awake so, to see him completely relaxed and still able to have his mouth closed….amazing. This made it all worth it.
But, we still had a ways to go before we could get home…