The stay at the hospital was open-ended like so many of them recently. Originally the estimate was about four days of recovery. It ended up being six. After two days in ICU (with the creepy hospital noise), we were moved into the general wing and things slowed to a crawl. Anne-Marie's pain level versus her strength level were way out of whack and she quickly fell off schedule. First one day and then two.
We tried to take our time and not rush to get home. Anne-Marie struggled with her appetite. I had more trivial issues like running out of clean clothes. By the time we hit Friday, Anne-Marie was starting to eat and I ran to the nearest shopping center to buy anything I could find on the clearance rack (with slightly hilarious results).
On Saturday, January 11th, we left the hospital in the late morning after pressuring the doctors to expedite the process in order for us to avoid the Seahawks game day traffic. We snuck through just in time. My mom had rearranged our house to "recovery configuration" while we were away, which is how it's set up even still.
It had been six days in the hospital, but that only accounted for the first of six weeks of painful recovery. Progress was slow and the work it required was tedious and frustrating. The pain was intense and the fatigue was frustrating. Anne-Marie couldn't stand up straight for over a month. Concerns about infection came and went and very, very gradually, things got better.
During that time she only left the house once: for her post-op appointment. Various family members took care of the kids until early February, when we left them at home with Anne-Marie for the first time (and Elisha and I had our "parade experience"). The first big outing was the day after Valentine's Day. We went to get Thai food and window shopped for about 20 minutes.
Unbelievably, that was now two months ago. We are now on to the next challenge...