On July 29, Jim's mom and grandmother went home to Jasper, leaving us without extra family for the first time. We found that the babies now outnumbered us, and I admit it was a little scary. We'd never had them by ourselves before. In fact, we were scared enough that Michelle ended up staying that first night with us to help care for and feed them all night. We were quite relieved!
The next night was the first night of our first night nanny. Dear, wonderful Jean! She was so sweet to help us! She basically took time off from her real job to be our night nanny for two weeks to give us some time to find someone more permanent! She was wonderful, and the babies loved her! She worked for us from 10:00 at night to 6:00 in the morning, Sunday night to Thursday night for two weeks. Here is another place where we owe many thanks to our generous church family. They made donations to a fund set up especially for us that we were able to use to pay for our night nanny. Without this, I don't know how we would have made it! I know I would have been a walking zombie! If I had had the energy to walk! We owe a special thanks to Scott and Nikki for all their help in finding a night nanny!
August 4 was a big day for us. Jonathan, Zachary, and Reagan had their official 1-month checkup that morning, and Thomas came home that afternoon! At this doctor's visit, Zachary weighed 9lb 3oz, Reagan weighed 8lb 3.5oz, and Jonathan weighed 7lb 15oz. This put the boys at 20% and Reagan at 25%. (The rate is different for girls and boys.) That afternoon, Thomas' discharge weight was 6lb 5oz. This was the beginning of the dramatic weight difference between Thomas and the other kids. His acid reflux formula had fewer calories than the others' special preemie formula, and he ate a lot less of it than they did, having gotten a much slower start at eating. My parents came back this day too!
We had a great time that weekend taking pictures of all four kids together! It was so great to have Thomas home with us! I didn't get much sleep though. We kept Thomas in a bassinet in our bedroom and he was pretty noisy.
Zachary, Reagan, Jonathan, and Thomas
August 7, Zachary and Reagan made their first trip to South-Doyle! Fun times!
Thanks for burping me, Miss Angie!
August 8 was Thomas' first trip to the pediatrician, and an unhappy day for me! They checked his oxygen saturation and the numbers were dipping into the 80s, lower than they were comfortable with. So they called an ambulance! And back to the NICU we went. I totally lost it at the doctor's office, bursting into tears and making everyone feel horrible. It was just so completely unexpected and disappointing to have to take him back to the hospital after just a few days. And I was so tired! My poor dad was there with me. Sorry I put you through all that! And it was all so dramatic! We had to strap him into his carseat and then they strapped that to the gurney to wheel him out to the ambulance. I had to ride up front and sobbed the whole way there, but the EMTs were really wonderful. One of the guys in the back stuck his head up front to tell me that Thomas was doing just fine. I continued crying after we got to the NICU. They put me in one of the breastfeeding rooms to wait, and I just sat in there and cried. I couldn't seem to get control of myself. I kept telling myself that Thomas was fine. He wasn't dying! But I just couldn't stop. In the end, Thomas spent another week in the NICU, and this time he came home on breathing treatments. He got two a day.
In the meantime, my parents went to Pigeon Forge for the weekend, while we were joined by Granny Pam, Uncle Clay, and Aunt Carey. They spent the weekend with us. It was good experience for Clay and Carey since they were expecting their first child.
Thomas came home again the following Monday, and my parents returned to Memphis, having come back to our house after Jim's family left on Sunday.