NICU Milestones: Going Home from the NICU

September 28, 2020
going home from the NICU, NICU milestones, hand to hold

Whether it’s been days, weeks or months, the day has finally arrived – you’re going home from the NICU! No matter how long you’ve been in the NICU, this day is one to celebrate. Keep reading as families share their memories of that special day.

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The outfit we picked for her to come home in was so large, I’ll never forget that her socks went almost to her knees. Her onsie said, “I rocked the NICU like a boss”. 

After 39 days in the NICU, we finally brought Lucia home. We spent her last night in the hospital together as a family for the first time. In a letter to my daughter, I wrote that day “Today we celebrate. Today you get to feel the sun on your face, and breathe in fresh air for the first time – and as a family, we get to begin your journey.” 

We had watched for 39 days families packing up their babies in their car seats and walking out the sliding glass doors. It never got easier. I remember how proud my husband was carrying the car seat with our child in, and the sigh of relief I let out once she was in the car and I was sitting in the back seat with her. It was finally our time to go home together.

Jennifer D., Texas, mom to Lucia, born at 32 weeks

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I was completely overcome with pure joy! We had pictures taken that morning with photographer in the NICU. Dad and I cried like a baby wheeling her out of the NICU to take her home. It felt like we were finally real parents, like we finally had custody of our child. It was liberating and terrifying, but overall it was pure heaven like we had never known.

Britni E., North Carolina, mom to Sarah Grace, born at 24 weeks

going home from the NICU, NICU milestones, NICU discharge, hand to hold

Going home day was great, as our original day got pushed back due to a brady/destat. We made dinner that night for the Ronald McDonald House, and it was brought to them by “Owens Bad Behavior,” but we needed to laugh about not going home that day. So when we did graduate, Nurse Becca had been practicing making graduation hats at night and I commented that I knitted. So Owen got the first graduation hat.

Kristine G., Illinois, mom to Owen, born at 32 weeks, 6 days

going home from the NICU, NICU milestones, hand to hold

Going home from the hospital is a day we will never forget! Because my daughter’s entire NICU stay was during the pandemic, no family members were able to see or visit her. When Ellie was finally discharged from the hospital, the two grandmothers were the welcoming committee right outside the hospital doors! Seeing them waiting for us was almost too much for my Mama heart to handle. It was extra special for my husband’s mom, as this was her first grandchild. The date of our discharge was also important because it was in the same month that our dads (Ellie’s two grandfathers) had passed away one year and nine years prior. The nurses were so kind to take pictures of the special moment. They were celebrating with us too!

Ashley B., Tennessee, mom to Ellie Grace, born at 28 weeks

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Celebrate the milestones.
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