After 10 whole weeks at Great Ormond Street Hospital; Martha Grace was finally served her eviction notice on Sunday 19th January.
We were getting Martha dressed and fed when the nurse casually mentioned "oh yeah, you don't want to be doing that when you're home!" I scoffed "You're talking like we're going home this week, haha!"
The nurse looked puzzled at me; "Haven't they told you??? I'll just go to find a Doctor."
Then they confirmed, pending results of the ECHO, ECG and Pacemaker tests - Martha would be coming home that week.
I phoned Mark as soon as I could just to warn him; the ward Consultant could veto the whole thing onMonday morning based on the fact that Martha had been through so much.
We were allowed to take Martha out of the hospital on Monday afternoon, so we took her to a cafe. Upon our return the Doctor removed her **Hickman line, this was it - if they were taking out the only reliable access they had then they must be wanting to send her home. It was time to let our closest friends and family know. We were aiming to go home on Wednesday afternoon.
Martha finally had the ECHO, ECG and Pacemaker check at 3pm on Tuesday afternoon. I felt as sick as a dog. Going home hinged on these tests results. But we wouldn't know for sure that Martha was allowed home until the consultant had reviewed the results. A few hours later our nurse popped her head around the door to say Dr Giardini had looked over the reports and there was nothing there that would stop Martha going home as planned.
Wednesday morning was a busy one, packing after 10 weeks in hospital is a lot of work - it's amazing how much stuff we had accumulated during our time there. But we had one place we needed to visit before we left... Flamingo!! We couldn't leave without personally thanking the staff there for everything they had done for Martha, for them to see the difference in her which was all down to their hard work and knowledge of Heart Babies. I felt quite emotional leaving the hospital and the safety net it provides - but we were going home!
We arrived home just after 8pm, my Grandparents brought Isabella home a short while later already in her pyjamas and ready for bed. Osh was with his Father - he didn't know we were coming home. I got to surprise him by turning up at his school to collect him on Thursday afternoon; he spotted me through the window then flew through the door, down the steps and launched himself at me. That was the best feeling in the world.
We've been home for 5 days by now. The night feeds and the washing are the only things I'd complain about. But we've had a lovely first weekend reunited as a family of 5 and are looking forward to celebrating Christmas over this coming weekend.
**Hickman lines are usually removed under general anaesthetic, however Martha's was tunnelled rather than cuffed and these can be removed on the ward as easily as central lines.