Our first appointment was the eye doctor. Both girls checked out with flying colors. No more ROP! which means they won't have to go back for an eye exam until April to watch for crossed eyes, lazy eyes, etc. The eye people called the BPD clinic (lungs) for us to let them know that we were gonna be late in order to finish the eye exams. At the BPD clinic we learned that both girls are doing very well. (We already knew that...they fight us tooth and nail to keep their tubes out already!) The girls only have to wear their apnea monitors and O2 tubes at night now which is huge. That means we can actually carry them out of the nursery without prior planning. I know...pretty exciting, right! (you might have had to have a kid on O2 to really understand the joy that brings). We will go back in a month to make sure they are still growing well and breathing easily without O2 during the day and if that all checks out, they'll be free at last.
Finally we made it to the Nephrology clinic to check Sophie's blood pressure, which is drastically improved. The doctor lowered her medication pretty significantly and will check it again in a month before pulling her off. Apparently, the extra O2 sometimes triggers higher blood pressures so as the O2 comes off it should continue to improve.
We figured 3 for 3 checkups was pretty good and headed to Amber's parents' mini-van for Amber to nurse the girls. I'm pretty sure if someone had a camera on us tripping over ourselves folded up in the van trying to change diapers and get situated, we could win some money on AFV. The Bowman's are letting us borrow their Nissan Quest. It's one of the nice ones. Power everything. TV. Dual sliding doors. And the back door and passenger sliding door both open by remote.
Keep in mind that this is in the Vandy parking garage where people are coming and going constantly. Needless to say, Amber is a little paranoid. Therefore, my job was to hold a blanket up over the window until we figured out a way to hang it. The girl parked beside us had to think I was pretty weird sitting in the back seat holding a blanket since she couldn't see Amber or the girls. Once we got the blanket hung free of hands, I was given the duty of changing one of the girls in the front seat while Amber continued nursing in the back seat. I'm 6'1''. The van is not. As I was trying to get everything situated I accidentally headbutted the remote control...for the back door and the sliding door! Dingers started dinging, Amber started panicking, and I started bumbling over myself and whichever girl I was changing (my memory is already shrinking from lack of sleep!) to remember where the buttons were and how to close the doors. Thankfully, no one was walking by at that exact moment...or the second time I accidentally hit the buttons again and I have not been sent to sleep on the couch!
Somehow we managed to get both girls changed and fed and headed back inside to see if any of the girls' former nurses were there. We got to see a couple of them and a few of the receptionists that we had gotten close to and were ready to head to Spring Hill for the night. But we were starving. So...I'm off to the food court to find food. Amber kept the girls around the corner to keep them out of the crowd.
When I got in the checkout line, I noticed one of the girl's last doctors that we really liked standing one line over.
I said, "hi."
He said, "what are you doing here!?" which sounds like a strange greeting at first until you realize that he was worried there was something wrong with one of the girls again.
I let him know generally about the success of all three apointments and mentioned that Amber was around the corner with the girls. At this point I had gotten in line behind him in order to talk with him. He asked specifically about Mattie. I resonded, and was impressed that he remembered her name. After all, he is the head of the Neonatology department and has to see countless patients.
I said, "you have a good memory." Now that I think about it, that was probably a pretty big understatement considering his position. His reaction, naturally was to pay for his food and walk away without any response at all as I was left to pay for my sandwiches laugihng about the unended conversation.
The truth of the unanswered compliment on his memory, however, is that when I mentioned that Amber and the girl's were around the corner, he apparently tuned me out and was singly focused on going to see them because when I got back to Amber he was already there with her. Alas, I was reminded once again that from my parents, to Amber's parents, to the head of the neonatology department that when babies are present, I am invisible. Which I am perfectly happy about. :)