Over the past 60+ days, I have dreamed about bringing you home. I couldn’t wait for your brothers to meet you and to finally have all my boys under one roof. The daily trips to and from the NICU always seemed too short and whenever I wasn’t with you, I felt enormous guilt. I always felt that I left a piece of myself in room 15 where you laid alone.
All the nurses and doctors would make mention that discharge day would sneak up on you, and I know from prior experience from your brother that it does. When a doctor mentioned that you would be home by the weekend, both your dad and I just shook our heads in disbelief. You were still on oxygen, is he crazy? Well, that crazy doctor wasn’t off by much and instead of coming home over the weekend, you were discharged on a Monday.
Heading to the hospital that day seemed surreal, I kept on thinking some small hiccup would happen and we wouldn’t bring you home that day. While I know every pregnancy is different as well as a NICU stay, I was just comparing your stay to your older brother. While you were both 27 weekers, your NICU journeys were vastly different. Liam came home after 101 days, and you came home after only 66.
Being able to hold you for the first time not attached to any monitors and my hands not catching any wires was just amazing. I felt for once, you were under my control and I was calling the shots as your mother. I hugged you as tight as I could hold your little 4 pound adorable self without the sounds of any monitors beeping.
Once we received the OK from all of the doctors and staff that we needed to, we were finally able to bring you home. And you know the image always depicted in the movies of the mom leaving the hospital in a wheelchair with her newborn? That actually happened for us, just 66 days later! While it may not seem like a big moment to others, it was something that brought tears to my eyes. I was actually able to carry you out in my arms like a proud mother for everyone to see.
As we passed the other people in the hospital on our way out, I was beaming with the biggest grin on my face. It was such a proud moment. People in passing would comment congratulations and smile as we were pushed by. While we were waiting on your dad to bring the car around, an elderly lady just smiled and said “nothing is better than a newborn baby” and I had to agree.
While putting you in your car seat for the first time I must have readjusted the straps at least six times. I sat next to you on the ride home and held your hand on every horrible pothole we hit on the way. Once we entered our house, I brought you by the Christmas tree and just soaked it all in. You were home, finally.
We only had a couple hours before your brothers came busting through the doors to meet you after they got off of school and boy, were they excited to meet you. They couldn’t get over how tiny you were and they both begged and pleaded to be the first one to hold you. You just happily rested in our arms as we all beamed over your arrival home.
I hope you never doubt how loved you are. You have brought so much joy to our family and have made my heart even bigger with love for another child. You were our missing puzzle piece. Welcome home our little caboose.