Today is a day that only a mother who has lived the life of the NICU can understand.
Today is coming home day, and it is as important to me as the day the girls were born.
Five years ago today, I packed them in their carseats, snapped them on the stroller, gathered all of our stuff, and signed the papers that said the girls could come home. Then Casey and I looked at each other and we ran with our babies for the nearest exit, scared that someone would notice something, or something would happen that would prevent us from finally leaving.
You see, when you spend most of your hours with your newborns in the NICU, you get to know the other parents, their babies, and their stories. We got to know one family, and were on first name basis with them, even sharing a pizza between feedings one night. Their going home day was 5 days before ours. They had spent two nights in the "care by parent" suite across the hall, and we said our goodbyes that morning. Then, as I was feeding both girls, in comes Baby J, mom (tearing up) and dad (looking devastated himself). Apparently when the nurse went to give them their paperwork, she noticed baby J was a little discoloured around the mouth. Turns out that day was not their going home day. They remained for a further three weeks - we saw each other in WalMart one very late night finishing our shopping.
So needless to say, we were worried that something would stop us from leaving too.
Nothing happened, we took the tunnel to the garage, packed the babes in the car, took pictures and headed on our way.
Today was the beginning of the rest of our lives. And I am more grateful for it than any other day there is.