Weâ€™re at the hospital again today. But today, weâ€™re in a hotel-like room. Itâ€™s part of the NICU here, called the â€œParent Sleep Room.â€ Funny huh? I wonder if they sense the irony that no parent will actually ever sleep here. Before a NICU baby graduates, parents are offered the opportunity to room-in; they spend the day with their kid â€“ no monitors, wires, beeping or dinging. Itâ€™s meant to give paranoid parents the chance to practice. Yay, weâ€™re a happy family but the nurses and doctors are just down the hall should anything go awry (or more likely, should parents suffer a panic attack).
Should all continue to go well, Destroy will graduate tomorrow. (I looked for a newborn size cap and gown. Wasnâ€™t successful.)
Destroy Anthony was born 70 days ago at 2 pounds 3 ounces. He was so tiny. I didnâ€™t even get to see him â€“ all I got was a glance toward the Giraffe isolette as they wheeled him quickly down the hall to his Pod B6 home in the NICU. Most of the doctors repeatedly stated they thought Search would be the first muppet to break free. â€œOh, definitely, heâ€™ll be the first to go,â€ theyâ€™d say as they gestured toward Search.
Then 10 days ago, both muppets got their two-month vaccines. A series of three shots and that was it â€“ instead of getting sick, Destroy broke out the big guns. I can imagine him thinking, â€œOh, I am SO outta here before they stab me again!â€ He started eating all his food and breathing like a big boy.
We arrived at the NICU at 7:30 a.m., right after shift change. After saying hello to the boys and feeding a very hungry Search (heâ€™s obviously not far behind), we put Destroy in a plastic wheely crib and rolled down the hallway. We quickly adjusted to having a mobile child â€“ heâ€™s got no strings to hold him down, heâ€™s a REAL boy now (Pinocchio reference for any currently confused). And then we commenced staring at the child.
Destroy started out fussy and promptly conked out after an indulgent breakfast. We spent the next three hours staring at him as he slept contentedly in his bumble bouncer. He had formula for lunch and is now soundly back asleep on Daddyâ€™s chest.
Nurse Susan and Nurse Anne (Destroyâ€™s primary nurses for night and day shifts) will be sad to see him go. Weâ€™ll come back and visit.
Make way for muppets. Destroy is heading out with his brother not far behind.