We stayed in the hospital until Friday afternoon. During that time, we spent several hours in Avery's room in the NICU. We were afraid and tired and emotionally drained. Tough. Slowly, the doctors and nurses weened her from the oxygen until she was breathing on her own. By the time we left, she had lost a little weight (which I'm told happens with all babies). I'll tell you: Leaving the hospital without your kid is like leaving the dentist without your teeth. It sucks. But, Gables don't complain. In fact, after spending time in the NICU, we are painfully aware of just how many bullets Avery dodged and just how bad it could have been.
Over the next 3 weeks, Krisi spent her days in the NICU while I went to work and I joined them for a few hours every evening until we had to go home for the night. Avery consistantly gained weight and gradually began oral feeds. We were able to bring her home when she was a little over 4 and a half pounds. For the next few months, Avery is on prescription caffeine and hooked up to a portable monitor at home.
This is where we are now. Avery is home and healthy(relatively). We have a new appreciation for some of the stresses of the world of premature babies and a pretty firm understanding of life in the NICU.