After 7 long weeks in the hospital, our precious baby girl was FINALLY able to come home and join her family. I’ll be writing more soon about life with 2 under 2 (wow, what a crazy change!), how I’m trying to strike a new balance in all the chaos, and giving you a peek into our nutrition (spoiler alert: even dietitians eat doughnuts and ignore vegetables!), but for today, I just wanted to let you know that she’s home, doing well, and we’re working on settling in.
When I found out that I wasn’t going to make it to term, that our sweet girl may need to be delivered any moment at only 30 weeks gestation, I was absolutely terrified I would never get to meet her. “She’s too little!”, I told my husband over and over, as the doctors discussed the possibility of that early delivery. I’ve never been so afraid. Each day after she was born felt like I was holding my breath, waiting for a call from the doctor that something had gone wrong, wondering if she would ever be able to make it home. As a momma, you love that baby before you even know them…but to meet her, to see her, to “know” her and know there is a possibility you’ll lose her, at any moment…it made each day so much more difficult and gut-wrenching. Holding your breath as you wait for her to meet new milestones and check off the boxes so she can come home.
Tuesday, we brought her home. 5 days ago. We lay our hand on her belly to make sure she’s breathing. We put our finger near her nose to see if we can feel her breath. I count the milliliters of milk she’s getting each day and monitor her stomach and diapers almost obsessively. I know this, too, will pass. That I won’t obsess as much as the days go on. That an un-drained bottle won’t always feel devastating or terrifying. That I won’t wonder if she’s sleeping too much. If her poop was too smelly. That I won’t count the ounces she drinks (or doesn’t). But right now, right now it all still feels so scary. So surreal. Bringing home a newborn is always a bit terrifying and anxiety inducing…but this baby? This little girl who needed so much more care and support than her momma and papa could give her? Who needed an entire hospital team for the first 7 weeks of her life…that’s something else entirely. Now that she’s here, now that we’re her “team”, it’s so much responsibility. So much more than just being a new parent… I can’t adequately describe it. If you’ve had a NICU baby, I’m sure you understand.
Anyway, I wanted to share that she’s home. That she’s wonderful. That she’s beautiful and perfect. And that I’m a crazy, obsessive momma. That I alternate between cuddling her and staring in awe at her lovely face, and nervously contemplating whether I should call the doctor because she didn’t eat her entire bottle at her last feed. This motherhood thing, man, I don’t think it ever gets easier. Perhaps we just get more comfortable with being uncomfortable?