With his bilirubin levels down the doctor finally gave us the green light to bring Coleman home. He no longer needed to be under the three lights at the hospital, a “blanket light” would be sufficient, and that type of light could be operated at home.
I was excited because the trips to the hospital were finally over. Kolette was excited because she’d finally be back in her own bed. Coleman, a little unsure about whether his new parents knew the first thing about what they were doing, was a little pensive. But, permission was given and, ready or not, away we went. We loaded Cole in his car seat and the three of us went on our first family trip.
As you can imagine, once at home there was a lot of stuff to organize and put away. When you get home from the hospital not only do you have to take care of all the stuff you took with you, you also have to worry about all the stuff you accumulated while you were there–and for this kid that filled two cars. Kolette was therefore grateful to have her mother meet us at the house knowing that she could help Ko get her arms around this big project.
We arrived home, came in the doors, made sure Coleman was comfortable and began “Operation Organize.” (You have to remember that when we went to the hospital on Monday we thought we still had three weeks to get everything prepared.) Needless to say, there was lots to do.
After about three hours of heavy cleanup, substantial arrangement and the ordering of a pizza, the phone rang. Kolette answered the phone in her standard cheery demeanor. On the other end of the line was the local pharmacy. They called us asking if we still wanted the billilight blanket the doctor ordered. I was sitting close enough to Kolette that I too could hear what the person on the line was asking. Immediately, Ko and I looked at each laughing and horrified all at the same time.
At the hospital, we were instructed that our first item of business at home needed to be acquiring the billilight and getting Cole on that light as soon as possible. We’d gotten so wrapped up in putting things away that it almost 5 hours since Coleman was last “under the lights.”
We told the pharmacy we did in fact want the light and we wanted it ASAP. 15 minutes later the light was in our house and we were working on getting it in Cole’s crib. When we lifted him out of his bassinet we realized he was wet. In fact, he was more than just wet, he was soaked–another thing we’d forgotten our responsibility to follow up on.
Being the trooper Coleman is, he didn’t make a sound or report us to Child Protective Services. Later that night, as we lay in bed Coleman did began to cry. At first, we thought it was just payback, but as he continued crying it was clear there was something more behind it.
Even as new parents we knew there was going to be a lot of crying when we got him home, and we knew it was best not to pick the baby up every time he made a sound. So, we stayed in bed listening as he would cry, then calm himself down, only to begin crying again. About an hour and a half in, and a 30 minutes before his feeding was actually scheduled, Kolette finally decided to see if he might just be hungry again. The minute she began feeding him, the crying stopped. And not just for little while, but the whole night.
So, in his first night home we forgot his billilight, made him lay in a wet diaper, and starved him until his face was red from crying. I’m sure Coleman is wondering if it’s possible to get back in the womb, and if so how quickly he can make that happen.
Oh well… Never a dull moment!