not something I talk about a lot, huh? Probably should, huh? But I won’t bore you with that because well this is a happy place, duh! But it is funny amongst preemie moms I have heard and agree it’s like people are afraid to ask what it’s like. Like people are afraid to hear the truth that it was downright scary, terrifying and yet the most rewarding thing. But hey in the end we are just moms and dads like the rest of you. Our babies just made a super early appearance.
For most parents the happiest day(s) of their life is the day they have the baby(ies) are born. But for Devin and I , unfortunately, that was one of our worst. That was a day that really I know I would rather forget and the 58 days after it that would be great to forget to. You see because in those 58 days we didn’t get to be parents, it was like we were but we weren’t. We would go and see this baby and they would say he was ours but he didn’t feel like ours. We didn’t get to care for him, we didn’t get up at 1,2,3,4,5,a.m. when he cried. In fact we as his parents didn’t know his cries. Well at any rate the happiest day of our lives was the day we brought our baby home from the NICU at Children’s National Medical Center. And that was exactly one year ago today. So for us the real journey of being parents and becoming a family began on that day.
It was so odd, you know, everyday we went to that NICU and everyday we would hope they would say ok get ready he is coming home next week. But it didn’t happen so we waited and waited some more. Then one day they say ok you are rooming in tonight and he will go home the next day. You are taking him home with this equipment, and you need a pediatrician appt set up, and all this other stuff before we will release him. OMG the panic! Rooming in is something every preemie parent does, is supposed to do, the night or 2 nights before baby is released, depending on room availability, so you get acquainted with your baby (strange huh?) and the equipment that your little bundle of joy is coming home on. We didn’t end up rooming in, they couldn’t get their act together haha so they gave us a crash course the morning of discharge on the apnea monitor and sent us off with a good luck.
I remember preparing for Brendan to come home, oh my god I was so nervous and Devin worked a 24 hour shift so he could be off without using vacation time. I stayed up and cleaned and cleaned, and then ironed (my cousin Jennifer can verify this since I was talking to her, she thought I was nuts. I know I was nuts but it killed time.) Brendan’s dust ruffle and sheets. Because well,duh, wrinkled sheets aren’t good enough for my baby. And I scrubbed toilets, bathtubs, sinks, floors, windows, all clothes were on the same kind of hanger and everything was perfect for Brendan’s arrival. You know the one thing I forgot to get? FOOD! Of all things! And do you know that night before Brendan came home we had the strangest storm ever…with hail the size of golf balls. That was a sign to how Brendan was about to take on the world.
Our first night home as a family went perfectly! We ended up grilling burgers and just staring at our baby. Cherokee, the dog, was confused by this new little cooing baby in the house. But it went well and surprisingly we slept. I guess the 24 hour cleaning bonanza finally caught up with me. We were at peace and knew if anything went wrong that Brendan’s alarm would let us know.
And so this past year has definitely brought us many obstacles that we never thought we would have to face as parents, yet here we are we survived and have a healthy thriving little boy to show for it. Let’s hope the next year goes just as smoothly as the first!
Today we are celebrating one great year for Katie, Devin and Brendan as individuals and as a family. We did it!
And just because I love this picture…