We were so excited to bring home our previous baby girl to the nursery we had prepared for her. Throughout the entire pregnancy and her NICU stay, Derrick and I had been preparing our lives and our hearts to become Mama and Daddy to Aubree, and she was finally coming home with us. No more driving home night after late night from the NICU with an empty carseat.
It was honestly hard to leave the NICU behind in a way because the group of doctors, nurses, and therapists there had become like family in four short weeks. They had taken care of our daughter at such a critical time in the most caring and skilled way possible, had patiently explained every step in the NICU to us, and had supported us throughout the roller coaster of progress and emotions that is the NICU. Having literally travelled to some of the best hospitals all over the country, we have yet to experience anything like the level of care and dedication that we did at the Willow Creek NICU. We thank God continually for Willow Creek NICU!
That afternoon on May 31st, we signed discharge paperwork, buckled her into her carseat, and Daddy carried her as we went down the elevator where the car awaited us. daddy drove home while Aubree and I sat in the back. It was very surreal to leave the hospital with our girl having no monitor or support whatsoever.
We arrived home to balloons and welcome signs. Once we arrived home, we took Aubree on a tour of the house with extra time spent in her nursery. God had blessed us with being able to take our little jewel home, and we were so thankful!
With it being such a big day, all three of us were pretty exhausted so we took a family nap with Aubree in the bassinet beside us in the bed. Only the peace of God could explain us being able to fall so hard and fast asleep with no monitor attached to Aubree or eyes actively watching her for the first time in four weeks. We had trusted God with Aubree's life from the beginning (which He worked miracles in from the start), and we had to keep trusting Him for her well being.
Since Aubree came home, our walls have never been filled with more love, joy, excitement, laughter, and sweet baby chatter and giggles. Daddy has commented on the deafening silence and emptiness in our home without Aubree in it. I can only imagine and know it must be so very hard on him when he must be there all alone without "his girls," as he calls me and Aubree.
A year later, we find ourselves back in a hospital room so very far from home. While the length of stay Aubree's current hospitalization has far exceeded four weeks in the NICU (previously her longest hospital stay), we remember the sweet joy of taking our daughter home from the hospital and look forward to that day. While we know it will not be soon, God already knows when we will be taking Aubree home from CHOP. We look forward to her homecoming in God's timing, just like we did a year ago.