After the ventilator came off, things moved much more quickly. While her parents were expecting more setbacks with breathing, Audrey had made a jump and wasn’t going back. On December 28th, she was taken off of CPAP, and given small amounts of oxygen (“low flow”) through nasal prongs. And then, while we were visiting on New Year’s Eve, the oxygen was removed. For the first time, she was breathing entirely on her own and we could see her face.
With that, she no longer needed the critical care of the Level III nursery. Efforts were afoot to get her a bed at a Toronto Level II. In the end, the very next day, January 2nd, was the day.
Transfer was a difficult and upsetting process. We were, of course, thrilled that she was doing so well. And we knew that the unit was full: sicker babies needed her space. But we had lived in that big room for 6 weeks. We knew the staff and other parents. We were attached to the nurses, especially Audrey’s primaries. It was comfortable and almost like home. Unfortunately, because it happened quickly, and because none of them were working that day, we didn’t get to say goodbye in person to her primary nurses. I hurried down to the bookstore downstairs and picked up cards to thank them. And then we were on our way.
That night was difficult. It was harder to leave her, when we didn’t know the nurses who were caring for her. But the following day, I walked in to discover two nurses who also worked at Mount Sinai. And shortly, one of the parents we had befriended at Mount Sinai walked in, following the isolettes carrying her twins. That was the biggest relief of all.