The Home Invasion

25 Apr

April 25, 2013. This is a day that our family will never forget, even though we’ll never try. In honesty today is almost as important as the day Nolan was born. It is the day that we got to bring Nolan out of the NICU and into our home. Into his home.

Incredible doesn’t seem to describe the feeling. No adjective really does…. There is no way to translate the emotion we feel in our hearts today. In fact when we got him home we laid him in his crib we have set up in our bedroom and just sat down on the bed and watched. That’s literally all we’ve been able to do for the past 6 weeks so it’s all we know. Watch. Watch our baby grow, watch our son change, watch the beginning of our very life start in a curtained-off area of a dungeon of a room.

Maybe some of you have had to deal with the emotions of having a baby in the NICU. It’s not fun. I don’t really wish that on anyone. There are great days and there are bad days. There are days, at the beginning, when you can’t even hold your baby. There are days, toward the end, when you don’t understand why they are holding your baby from you. There are many days when you feel like a part-time parent — an emotion that particularly takes hold when you drive away every night and he is stuck there with someone else to feed him, hold him, console him. The NICU is fantastic in many ways but after 6 weeks it is nothing short of a celebration to leave behind. The only upside would be based around the wonderful nurses, especially a certain few who took an interest in our little guy. We really couldn’t ever say “Thank You” enough!

And now he is home. It truly is a surreal feeling. As with everything around us since March 15, we are having to redefine our life. Normal is no longer normal, just as “chunky” is now anything over 7 lbs. As we pressed the doorbell to enter the NICU that last time Josie (aka Mrs Pickle) turned to me and said, “Can you believe we don’t ever have to press that button again?”… The daily trips to the NICU and spending as much time as possible there had become our life. So now we must again redefine what life is.

Life is a ride. Since September 2012 when she showed me that + sign, through a roller coaster of a pregnancy, and culminating with Nolan’s premature birth, I couldn’t tell you what a regular day for me was last summer. As the weather (finally) warms up here are things I am looking forward to in the coming months, a sample of our new “life”:

  • Reading baseball strategy to Nolan, and watching more Rockies games than I care to count
  • Taking the little guy everywhere with me, and with us
  • Showing off how cute he is to anyone and everyone that will listen
  • Waking up at 3 AM to change his diaper and feed him a bottle while catching up on Yakyu from across the Pacific
  • Strapping Nolan into a stroller and taking an evening stroll around the block

Everything now revolves around this little bundle of my flesh and blood that I love in a way I didn’t think was possible. Josie really described it best when she told me yesterday, “You know, we keep saying that we have missed out on the past 6 weeks of his life…but really we just got to enjoy 6 weeks we should have never even had with him.” This statement is too true. As I listen to the tiny squeals come from our baby boy upstairs, I know one statement is even more true: I couldn’t enjoy this life more if I tried.

 

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