2 years ago today, Ryan came home from the NICU. I will confess that I celebrate this day, in my heart, as much as their birthday. Because, on March 9th my beautiful boy was born, but on March 27th I finally got to actively BE his mom.
Ryan preparing for his first ride. Isn't he tiny??!!
This day was the first time - with the exception of a brief minute after he was born, before they whisked him away to the NICU - that I held my little man without a tangle of wires attaching us to the monitor. This was the first time, since he was born, that I was able to hold him outside of feeding (because preemies need so much rest, and they don't rest as well when held, when they were finished eating they were returned to their isolettes. If I stayed I just sat and watched them). It was the first time that my time with one of my children wasn't just a visit, but that I could look at him, hold him, hear him whenever I wanted. It felt for so long that this day would never come, but it did!
Our family before we left. Can you tell I cried all morning?
It was also on this day that I sobbed almost as much as the day I left the hospital and they stayed. I was afraid - as nurses, residents, and doctors started to come in to question me - that they were going to commit me for post-partum depression. I was SO happy to take Ryan home, but I was SO sad to be leaving Allie there. I felt like we would be a family, and she would be there, getting the usual short visits. Before they had each other. Now she would be alone. My emotions that day swung violently between incredible elation and a broken heart. I was so torn. To comfort me, one of the doctors told me that they had talked that morning and thought she might be discharged Sunday (it is almost unheard of for the doctors to even half-heartedly commit to a discharge date. You generally get around 24 hours notice, and even then you call the morning of to make sure nothing changed). Knowing she would be home soon was the only way we didn't end up camping out as a family in her room!
Buddy, I held you the entire day. I held you when you slept, I held you when I ate, I held you when I talked on the phone about how you were home. The only time I didn't hold you was when I went to the bathroom (unsanitary) and when I went to visit your sister (she needed my arms), and then Gigi held you! It felt so good to finally be able to hold you as much as I wanted that I literally could not let you go. I learned my lesson that night, however, when I wanted to sleep and you (very quickly assimilating to living in my arms) weren't into sleeping without being held. I slept on the floor in your room (and caught a cold in our drafty house) because the monitor wasn't working, and we spent a lot of time awake as I tried to get you to stop crying and sleep. That first night was a long night! But I was so happy to have you there that the sleep deprivation was a joy (that didn't last forever, but it was true for a while)! While you will never remember it, you did get the experience of being an "only child" (with the exception of our visits to your sister) for 2 full days. Your sister will probably hold this over you someday...
2 years later, I could still hold you all day. I love BEING your mom, and holding you when you sleep (which doesn't happen often, but I love when it does), and eating with you, and helping you call people to say hi. You cried when you thought I was leaving you in the nursery today. You didn't want me to go, and on the anniversary of the day that I finally got to be with you as much as I wanted after 18 days apart (3 of them where I was sick and didn't even get to see you at all), I was happy to stay and play. I have treasured every minute of having you home.
Happy Homecoming Day, Little Man!