May will always be a special month for me. For most, May brings with it the end of the school year, vacation planning, and other events that mark summer’s arrival. For me and my family, May holds a different meaning. It marks the month we brought our son home from The NICU.
As of May 2013 he has been home two years. It seems just like yesterday that my family was scrambling to get everything prepared for his homecoming. He spent six and a half months in the NICU, so we had a long laundry list of preparations. When we first heard we were going to bring him home our first reaction was disbelief. He had been in the NICU for so long that we thought he would be in there forever. Then we felt fear. We were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to give him the care he needed like the doctors and nurses could in the NICU. My wife and I had to take a step back and take it all in. We realized that we had a lot of work ahead of us. He was going to come home on oxygen, a feeding tube, and an ostomy bag. We had to make sure we had all of his follow up doctor visits and therapies were scheduled. There was CPR training, oxygen training, ostomy/stoma care training, feeding tube training, and other training I’m sure! We needed to prepare his room and his wash his clothes and bed clothes and we made sure there was sanitizer everywhere!
When the day finally came for us to bring him home, we were overcome with joy, but in the back of our minds we still had the fear of not being ready to care for him. I had that fear until I clicked his carrier on the car seat base. Then he looked up at me and cracked a smile. At that point I realized that yes, we are ready to take care of him, not just because of all of the training and preparations, but because of the love we all had for him. I gave my wife a hug and kiss and told her, “We’re ready.” And I’m happy to report, we were right!