My wife found out she was pregnant on Mother’s Day. Now, on her 27th birthday, she gets the best present she could ask for: We get to take our son home. They told us his recovery would take six to eight weeks. In the end, it took him a few hours shy of three weeks to get to a point where the doctors felt comfortable enough to let us go. Less than half the time we expected. He did so well…
It’s strange sitting here in my own room. I spent the entire drive home today wondering how they really let us leave with this little baby. Despite being with him for three weeks, it is incredible how new everything feels. When Henry started groaning in the car, I jokingly asked Sofia, “What’s his heart rate?” Later, when we were trying to figure out how much milk to put in a bottle, I asked her to just ask the nurse. We are on our own now. No more trained professionals. Just friends and family–and I love that. Even if it does scare the hell out of me.
As I think back on our time in the NICU, it’s hard to truly express everything we experienced. I had absolutely no idea what took place in a NICU. But now I know so much. From the 24-hour kids who just need some time “under the light” to clear jaundice, to kids like Henry who just need their intestines to heal, to the kids who take their last breath, the things that happen there are things I could barely even imagine before. To say that I saw the worst and the best that humanity has to offer would not be an understatement.
Henry’s recovery has made us so grateful. He spent ten days healing his intestines before he started feeding. Ten days. After that, we never had a single setback. Spit ups here and there, but that is normal baby stuff. For the severity of his case (how much was outside his body), this was not something our medical team prepared us for. I do not believe in an active God and therefore do not believe in the concept of miracles. What I now know, however, is that modern medicine is the closest thing I know to a miracle. Henry’s condition has a 100% mortality rate 75 years ago. Now he has a three week recovery and no life-altering effects. That Is just insane to me.
Now comes the part we’ve been waiting for. We get to watch him grow. We get to meet the little man inside his skin. It already feels overwhelming…but I already love it. I am sure the lack of sleep doesn’t help. This has been such a long road. We found out we were expecting on Mother’s Day 2018. We got the diagnosis right after our third anniversary in August. We moved down to the Ronald McDonald House in mid December. Henry joined us December 27th. And now, to celebrate my wife’s 27th birthday, we got to take our baby home.