The next morning (Friday the 19th), Cory called to say he was at the hospital with our baby. He got to hold her for a few hours as they waited for surgery. In the meantime, my doctor came in and let me know that I needed two more units of blood because I was still pretty dangerously low, which meant I wasn't likely to be discharged until the next morning and I would miss the surgery. It was so hard to hear. But I resolved myself to get up after those two units and walk around, and show them I was good to go. Besides, Cory had heard from the nurses in Portland that nobody could hold Ivy until the next day anyway.
The day passed slowly. Family came back to keep me company and pass the time, which was great because surgery didn't start on time and took longer than we thought it would. I was on pins and needles, and I know Cory was too, and we couldn't support each other with 100 miles between us. Luckily my dad went to keep Cory company, which was a big help to him. The surgery was a success and since I would be discharged the next day and I felt so much better emotionally, I had my mom go home to get a good nights rest. Before that, though, she helped me take a bath in the big whirlpool tub, and also wheeled me to the baby class that's required of all parents before they're discharged. It was rough being in the room with three other couples and their sweet babies, while I was stuck in a wheelchair alone.
On Saturday, the doctor had more bad news: I still couldnt leave. Even though I had felt better, my numbers were still low (normal is 35 and I was at 15) and I needed another transfusion. I had one that morning, and then another that night. I just kinda laid in bed, trying to ignore how slow the time was passing and crying every time I heard a baby cry down the hall.
The night was slow too, but I had a fantastic nurse who I absolutely loved. She looked at post-op photos of Ivy with me, and explained what all of the tubes and wires were that were attached. She also found me boxes for my flowers and packed extra pads for me since she knew I'd be in the hospital for a week as Ivy recovered. She took out one of my two IVs as it had failed that evening, which made for slightly more comfortable sleep.
Sunday morning, I had almost everything packed and ready to go, and then the doctor came in saying I needed another transfusion. He said my levels didn't change from before the prior transfusion, so he just wanted to "top me off" and get me on my way that afternoon. By then I had a reputation - all the nurses knew I was aching for Ivy and the blood lab ladies kept saying "you again?" when they came back. The IV tech set the blood up in my hand and left for a minute, and came back to me sobbing because it hurt so much. (Every transfusion hurt but this time was worse.) Turns out that hand had failed as well. So she put a third IV into my wrist and did it there. This time it barely hurt at all, and they pushed the blood into me twice as fast as usual.
At around 2, they finally released me. The plan was to go home with my mom and stepdad, take a shower and pack a few more things and get the house closed up, go to my grandmas house and transfer to my aunt's car and make the rest of the trek up to the hospital while my mom and stepdad drove home for the week. (They will be back once we are home.)
The ride up was agonizing and surreal. It was weird to be out in the fresh air again, it was weird to sit up straight, it was weird to know that I was finally going to see my baby girl. We got a little lost a couple of times in the neighborhood surrounding the hospital and I was on pins and needles. When we finally got into Ivy's room I dropped everything I was carrying and cried all over her. It felt so good to be there with her and so horrible to know that she was in a NICU.