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Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

Happy Home-iversary

One year ago today we brought our baby home for the first time. All 4 pounds 12 ounces of him. He was 44 days old. The longest 44 days of our life.

We'd slept over at the hospital with Xavier the night before in the NICU's special 'parent care' room- our trial run for coming home. He was still hooked up to monitors, but the joy of sitting on a couch or taking a phone call and having him right there was amazing. We woke early and had breakfast together... all of us- as a family. The nurse came in and took X back to the unit so they could get his stats and wait for the doctor to do his rounds. We waited, and waited and waited... minutes taking hours in our eager anticipation. Finally the doctor came to do his rounds, we nervously stood by hoping he didn't find some last minute issue that would keep us from going... finally he turned to us, "He's ready for discharge."

We had checklists to go over, papers to sign stating that he was in fact our child, one last shot to squirm through. His nurse removed his leads and monitors and handed him to me - for the first time cord-free.

Before I knew it we were snapping him into the car seat, grabbing our things and preparing to leave. It was so surreal. After so many days this artificial place had become our home, the nurses and doctors our extended family. As eager as we were to put it all behind us I was beginning to realize there was a part of me sad to leave. We said our goodbye's and Donna- our angel of a nurse- led us to the NICU door and for the first time we stepped over the threshold with our boy. It was really happening. Down the hospital hallways to the front door- she waited with me as David pulled up the car - "hospital policy", but we both knew it was more. We couldn't have done it with out her.

David arrived at the curb and she walked us outside. He'd never been outside. I will never forget the bite of that afternoon - the sun in the sky, the crispness of the air - we were REALLY about leave. I put X in the car and slid in beside him. David got behind the wheel. We said goodbye to Donna, and drove away never looking back.

We arrived at our house and it immediately became a home

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  • Blogger Heidi says so:
    10:49 PM  

    beautiful!!!! I'm all teary this is so touching for you guys. Thanks for sharing. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    11:07 PM  

    "he's ready for discharge."
    "he'd never been outside before."

    Those two lines brought tears to my eyes!!! top

  • Blogger Adventures In Babywearing says so:
    11:31 PM  

    Oh it's just too precious. Look at that little bundle. 44 days- I can't imagine it. I am so glad you have him home snuggled with you now. top

  • Blogger isunshine says so:
    8:10 AM  

    Congratulations on the home-iversary! What an incredible year I'm sure it has been with many more to follow! top

  • Blogger Robin says so:
    8:39 AM  

    Like Steph said - 44 days, I can't imagen. Hunter was there for 8 days. We stayed in the parent care room too before he could leave. They weighed him before I nursed and after I nursed (in grams) to make sure he was getting enough. I was worried, but he was a nursing champ! Happy Home-iversary!!! top

  • Blogger Happi says so:
    8:18 PM  

    What a beautiful post. That is a very precious thing to look back and remember. : ) Blessings to you all. top

  • Blogger Christie says so:
    11:40 AM  

    your post brought tears to my eyes! 44 days! Bless you! We were in the Nicu for 2 weeks, and I remember leaving nicu like it was yesterday. You're so right about being home. It was finally a home. One of my best friends had a baby at 30 weeks yesterday, and is having to travel down this difficult road now. I only wish I could help her fast-forward to see what wonderful little miracles they all turn out to be! Happy Home-iversary to you! top

  • Blogger Lynanne says so:
    9:44 PM  

    So very touching. I can't imagine having a child so small. My kids are elephants at birth in comparison.

    I've never had an NICU experience but my younger son was in the PICU for a week when he was only a few weeks old (he was hospitalized for 3 weeks total). No one prepared me for the emotions I'd have after we left the hospital. I was so glad to have him home but I felt so alone without the support from the nurses. top

  • Anonymous O Mama Mia says so:
    11:24 AM  

    what a life-changing awesome blessing. Your words made it all the more beautiful. top

  • Blogger Glass Half Full says so:
    4:01 PM  

    I remember desiring to go home after my two sons were born, but I couldn't the wait if my sons were to stay at the hospital. Your post was beautiful and sweet! top

  • Blogger Awesome Mom says so:
    11:19 PM  

    I remember that feeling. When we walked out of the hospital with our son for the first time it felt like we were kidnapping him. It was strange to think that he was finally our child and we would be the ones in total charge from now on. top