Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bringing Home Baby ...

One year ago today, we became a "traditional family". One that included our baby, living in our home, without the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. Without the intrusion (or the security) of alarms and monitors. It was one of the scariest days of our lives and yet, to this day, remains one of my proudest.

We had waited for six, long weeks for that moment. Each day we watched jealously as other families said their goodbyes to the NICU Staff; taking pictures, giving out hugs to their favorite nurses. I watched as the empty beds were wheeled away for cleaning and monitor cords were wound up and put away for another patient.

On April 28, it was finally our turn. We were one of those families. We didn't take a lot of pictures or say a lot of goodbyes. We were ready to break into a sprint towards the exit signs, just in case they had made a mistake and wanted her back.
Just barely meeting the 4lb. weight minimum of the carseat

They couldn't have gotten our discharge papers finalized fast enough for me. I wanted our baby home, and one year ago today, it was happening.

Inspection by the Family Safety Officer
The first night home was SO LONG. I think I checked her pulse and breathing every 15 minutes. Woke up and turned on lights for every little grunt and gurgle. The next morning, over a much needed cup of coffee, Casey and I looked at each other and said, "We did it". We were so proud of ourselves for getting through the first night- with just each other. Little did we know it was the start of a long stretch of sleepless nights.

Beatrice Kate's arrival home was such a surprise, even to us, that we didn't have time to plan for grandparents' assistance or to get pink ribbons on the mailbox. There was no stork in our yard announcing her homecoming. Just the sounds of two weary and tired, but incredibly happy, new parents snuggling and loving our sweet baby girl. I know I say it all the time now, but it's amazing how far we've all come in just one year.

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