In order for your baby to be able to leave the NICU, there is a checklist of accomplishments that he or she needs to complete before they will discharge you.
That list includes:
- Your baby being able to breathe on their own. They can be on oxygen, but they can't be on anything that helps them breathe.
- Your baby has to be able to eat and gain weight.
- Your baby needs to be able to maintain their own body temperature in a crib.
- And the parents need to complete certain training elements, including CPR.
So we were really excited when Nathan came off CPAP and was transitioned to high-flow cannulas the Sunday after Thanksgiving, after only 10 days on the machine. He was still on quite a bit of oxygen support, between 5-6 liters, but he no longer required the extra pressure to help expand his lungs. So he was moving in the right direction.
We were even more excited the next day when Nathan was transferred from the radiant warmer that he had been on since the beginning to a standard crib. In fact, we were so excited that morning when we found out that we sang and danced repeatedly throughout the day!
And Nathan's feedings continued to improve as well.
But most importantly, he was starting to look healthy. So he was making great strides. He still had a ways to go, but he was making great strides.
And it was a HUGE relief to us. It finally felt like this was it. We might not have made it home by Thanksgiving, but we were very confident that we would make it home by Christmas.