Now begins our new adventure. The start of life at home for Harper. Tomorrow we get to bring our baby girl home after 60 days in the NICU. Even though she will be home in our arms a month earlier than her due date, it has been two months too long. All at once we are feeling impatient to get her home, but unprepared to have her home. It’s a complex mix of emotions. We have been waiting for this moment for what seems like a lifetime (her lifetime at least), and yet now that it’s happening we don’t feel quite ready. After seeing a highly trained team of neonatologists, NICU nurses, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, and physical therapists give round the clock medical care to our baby, who are we to take her home?
It feels like a graduation. It’s a moment we’ve been eagerly awaiting for so long, but now that it’s here we feel nervous, excited, and sad. Nervous about what happens next. Nervous about Harper’s future and our skills as parents. Excited for the moment we’ve been longing for since our daughter was born. Excited to finally be at home with both our kids instead of having to split our time between them. Excited to get on with life and leave this frightening experience behind us. Sad to leave behind the nurses and therapists that became part of our daily life. Sad that things are changing just when we got used to them. Sad that this isn’t the jubilant homecoming of the healthy full term baby we had expected, but instead bringing home a baby with fragile lungs and immune system who will still need to be on oxygen for several weeks.
These thoughts have been running through our minds the past few days. Slowly, the anxiety is melting away and being replaced by eager anticipation. A friend of mine posted a quote on Facebook the day I went into labor. It stuck with me.
“Sometimes the happiest ending isn’t the one you keep longing for, but something you absolutely cannot see from where you are.” – Shauna Niequist
This may not be the ending we had imagined for ourselves when we found out we were expecting baby #2, but it’s a beautiful ending nonetheless. God has been at work in our lives and in our hearts throughout this journey. This has been a humbling experience that has truly taught us to put our daughter’s life in his hands. We can look forward to tomorrow with peace in our hearts.