Truly, a fabulous day. It took a bit for us to believe that we were actually bringing Luke home yesterday. As we were hanging out in his hospital room, the nurse practioner came in and said, “Go ahead and unhook him from all the monitors and get him dressed. He’s all yours.”
It was a bit bittersweet. We had a chance to say heartfelt goodbyes to some of our nurses, doctors and staff. And then as we looked around his room one last time, I could feel the emotions bubble up. It’s hard to put into words what one feels when you walk out of the NICU.
One, I’m thankful we get to leave with a baby. Because as I witnessed last week, not all families get that gift. Two, you start to worry – at least Scott and I did – that maybe the doctors shouldn’t be sending you home. It’s like being first-time parents all over again. Is his belly distended? What’s that red spot on his head? What if he doesn’t gain weight? Are we sure we’re any good at this? Oh, I had those questions and so, so, so many more. Three, you’ve been in the “NICU zone” for so long that it’s hard to come off that adrenaline and acclimate to the real world.
I’ll be honest (you know, because I rarely am). It’s hard for me to see a nearly full-term pregnant mom. Baby showers don’t conjure up all the same warm and fuzzy feelings they did before I had Luke. Walking through the baby aisle at Target doesn’t feel quite the same. Sitting in the waiting room at my OBs office is not fun.
We’ve changed. I’ve changed. And I realize that all I’m feeling is normal – maybe not completely and totally healthy – but normal. At some point I’m sure Scott and I will start to process all that we experienced with a professional. But for now, we’re just going to enjoy having Luke home. The rest will come in time.
When the kids saw Luke for the first time, it was like they had just unwrapped their favorite Christmas present. “Oh Mom, he’s so cute,” was uttered by Anna-Laura at least a dozen times. Clare keeps asking to wash her hands because she doesn’t want to get “Wuke sick.” And, the boys just can’t get enough of him. It’s pretty awesome. And, as we sat on the couch tonight, taking communion from a friend, she commented that it was such a beautiful sight. Theresa, I agree. Having the seven of us in one place, under one roof defies description.
Luke’s follow-up visits are many. And, we definitely have one, maybe three surgeries in our future. The first will be in about a month. The other two are those infamous “watch and wait” ones.
Forgive me now if I take a few days vacation from the blog. We’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming come Wednesday, for the Top Ten. I do have something I’ll post in the morning, so be sure to check that out. Until then…