[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.0.7″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]
A new year is upon us, which means new resolutions, new opportunities, and new beginnings.
I know that I’ve been quiet on here for a long time, but not without good reason. For me, 2019 was one hell of a year, becoming one of the most stressful, frightening, exciting, happiest, and wonderful year of my life all at the same time. Let me explain.
As everyone was kicking off the New Year, I lay in hospital bed, catching small glimpses of the fireworks and celebration happening far away. I had already been there for two days. January 1st went by quietly with family coming and visiting me in the hospital, playing games, and keeping me company. They spent a majority of the day with me, and as the night crept in – I smiled and waved everyone goodbye, hopefully counting down the hours and minutes.
Every minute was precious, and every one that passed meant a higher chance of survival… but now it was time.
Within minutes the room was a blur of activity. I blinked back my tears, and tried to swallow the lump in my throat as my body shook uncontrollably. My fiancé held my hand tight and met my gaze. I could see the fear in his eyes too, but he put on a brave face as be told me it would all be okay before they wheeled me into the operating room.
They told us that he might not cry, that he might not survive, but to our surprise the room erupted with the sweetest sound we have ever heard as our baby boy took his very first breath on his own.
Our baby boy, our little 950g wonder -born prematurely at just 26 weeks and 2 days gestation was here, making his grand entrance on January 2nd, 2019 at 1:06am.
And so began 2019, our NICU journey, our first taste of parenthood.
He was so impossibly small -nothing but skin and bones, hooked up to endlessly beeping machines. His eyes were still fused shut and his skin was so delicate that we were unable to hold him for a week. I cried every single day. The goodbyes were the hardest, and I dreaded when I had to leave his side to try and catch a moment of sleep.
We spent 113 long days in the hospital, and during that time we rode the NICU rollercoaster. From the highest of highs, cheering him on for every small step – every gram of weight gained, him opening his eyes, first cuddle, his first bath, moving out of his incubator to a big boy bed, drinking his first drops of milk, then his first bottle, getting off oxygen, and finally coming home. To the lowest of lows. The tears, the hard times, and the ‘close your eyes and pray that the devil doesn’t know you’re there’ moments. From reintubation, a ripped off and re-sewn on ear, chemical burns, brain scans, brain bleeds, weight loss, multiple blood transfusions, a broken arm, and the heartbreaking waiting game to finally bring him home.
I don’t remember a lot of the days in between. The days just seemed to repeat, like a cruel version of Groundhogs Day. A blur of feedings, updates, and cuddles -with nights that ended in tears as I made the journey home.
The second best day of our life finally came on April 25th, 17 days after his predicted due date.
Our son finally got to come home.
We were happy, yes, but a different emotion dominated the day. The moment we stepped through the door it was like a weight had been lifted off our chest, relief flooded over us, and it was as if we could finally breathe again. Serenity.
Of course, our journey didn’t stop after the NICU, and for a while our days and weeks were filled with endless doctors appointments, physio sessions, eye exams, and follow ups. But each day he grows stronger, and the appointments move further and further apart. He is now one year old, and nearly 20lbs. Our days are filled with reading, playing, talking, trying new foods, visiting the cows, chickens, and horses, cuddling on the floor with his best friend -a big husky shepherd who adores him, and his most favourite thing of all… holding mamas hand as we walk all around the house!
Here’s to a new year full of exciting adventures, precious memories, and many more ‘firsts’. I’m glad you’re here on this wild ride with me. If you are currently going through your own NICU journey, please know that my heart goes out to you and your little ones. Our family is rooting for you.
Health & Happiness,