Saturday, May 24, 2014

Shiloh: Meeting Her Siblings and Heading Home

Shiloh's first full day was a busy one….she was meeting her siblings! And for mommy, I was going to get up and moving so a busy a day for both of us.

The hospital has a strict visitors policy that includes no children visitors but if you talk with your doctor beforehand and get a special permission form then children can come outside visiting hours. My doctor was incredibly understanding about my need to see the kids and how that was beneficial to my recovery and was happy to oblige. On a side note….about random forms and permissions….we also had to have a form giving us permission to take pictures in the hospital. We had gotten that when we did the tour and had it cover the month of May as a precaution. No one asked whether we had it but of course if we didn't I am sure someone would have said something. 

Since I knew the kids were coming that morning I wanted to make sure to get up for the first time before they arrived so I didn't worry them. So the nurses helped me get up and moving and then I was able to do it unassisted just before they got there. 

And then Peyton and Graham arrived and it was such a wonderful thing to watch them run in to see their new baby sister and the joy and excitement on both of their faces. They had no interest in me but immediately were trying to look at Shiloh and asking to hold her. 

Peyton brought Shiloh one of her loveys that she had when she was younger but never used or got attached to. It was sweet to watch her want to share with her. Peyton very much took on the oldest sister role and was making sure to direct the order of who was to hold her when, how to hold her and the guidelines. Then when she was holding her she was all about checking her out, telling her who was who. As I expected she didn't hold her long, once she was done instructing her about what was happening she was bored and wanted to play a game of Go Fish with me.

My three beautiful blessings!
Now, Graham on the other hand would have held her all day if he could. As I expected his naturing side came out in full force and he was in awe. He kept wanting to hold her, saying she was "adorable," and then quickly became her protective older brother telling us to "watch her head," "take care of my baby," "put her hat on," and so much more. He was so excited and kept telling her "welcome to our family." It was very sweet and he is very much in love with his sister!

After holding her on the couch they came and sat with me and they kept introducing themselves to Shiloh and explaining who was who in the family. They loved that her eyes were open and she was watching them. 

It was a great morning watching them meet their sister and also a little crazy! Nothing like the quiet and peacefulness of the hospital contrasted with two active kids to bring you back to reality :)

The rest of the day was spent cuddling, resting and trying to move around easier. Then around 4:00 PM I was told that they needed the private room and I would have to be moved to a shared room so they packed us up and moved us next door to a room that with a Saudi woman. We had our own separate areas closed off by curtains but it was considerably smaller and a shared bathroom. I had expected to share a room my whole stay so I was alright and thankful for the time I did have alone but I moved right at the start of visiting hours which meant a very steady and full stream of visitors for the woman next to me. When I say visitors it wasn't just one or two coming for a minute and then leaving, it was five or six at a time coming in with desserts, coffee and tea and setting up a mini party. Very festive and a significant gathering! The nurses kept trying to apologize for the noise and also try to enforce their two visitor at a time policy but were not having any luck and I kept trying to tell the nurses that it was fine, they wanted to celebrate with their friend and that as long as they were gone at 8:00 PM then she should enjoy her visitors. I did have a couple of instances where they kept trying to come into my area to see Shiloh. The first time was to bring me some of their tea and desserts and offer congratulations which I was very appreciative of but the second time I had to establish some boundaries and say I needed privacy. Thankfully John arrived shortly later and there was no way they were coming in with him there. It was a very interesting experience to witness the festiveness and large gathering going on and even John said that Friday night when he came up that the hospital parking lot was packed and there were so many people buzzing around visiting. The rest of the night went fine and was able to get some good sleep and then the next day….we were being offered the chance to be discharged early!

I really was hesitant about leaving early in fear of doing too much at home but I felt that being in a shared room I wasn't walking around as much, I was having some difficulty in getting my pain medication properly managed and felt I could have better control of it at home and I was so uncomfortable in the hospital beds that I felt I could rest better at home. We had arrangements for the kids already made for all day Sunday and kept those in place and then John would be gone at work from 9:30-11:30 and then 12:30-2:00 which wasn't too bad for me to be alone. My doctor cleared me and then the pediatrician cleared Shiloh so Saturday afternoon John came to pick me up and take us home.

When Peyton and Graham came home they had complete outfits knitted by my grandma and so I had brought a part of the one of Peyton's for Shiloh to use to carry on the tradition. However when we started getting her dressed she spit up everywhere and all over the outfit so that one was out.

Then I pulled out a cute Gymboree dress and diaper cover I bought her but it was huge so I was worried we had nothing for her to wear until I found some backup PJ's in her bag and a white bow. Not exactly the picture perfect coming home outfit I had been planning but it was clothes for her to wear and we were coming home with a healthy and perfect little girl! How you realize the important things by child number 3!

Leaving the hospital in Saudi was pretty easy, no paper work, no one really checking her ID versus mine (granted she was the only Western baby on the floor), I could chose to walk or not, no stress test for the car seat and it was just very casual. The nurse did walk us out and wish us well and off we went. The drive home was rough. The roads here are bad, the driving is bad and fast and bumpy and that is pretty painful coming home from a c-section. But we made it, got settled at home and then the big kids came home and we were in the midst of the beautiful chaos that is our life now and we couldn't be more thankful for it. So blessed!

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