january twentieth

One year ago today yesterday, Ryan was discharged from the NICU.  After almost 4 months in the hospital, Ryan would be welcomed into not his first home, but his forever home.  I remember the day like it was, in fact, yesterday.  Butterflies in my stomach would be an understatement.  We had the house cleaned, the nursery ready, diapers and formula on standby.  And we drove 20 minutes to the hospital to pick up our baby boy.  

It was so surreal and a little bittersweet.  If you recall, Ryan would be leaving his big brother behind.  I think that was the toughest part for us.  Having them together in the hospital made us feel like they were never alone.  But leaving Aiden behind brought on feelings of sadness and emptiness that would fill our hearts for the next two weeks, even though one of our boys was home.  

We arrived at the hospital and were greeted with huge grins by all the staff.  At this point our kids were the oldest in the unit and everyone grew to love them as their own.  We had to feed Ryan one last time before we were allowed to leave and his doctor came by for one last check up.  We signed what felt like a million documents, got a few scripts for vitamins and instructions on a half dozen or so follow up visits to various doctors.  We dressed our baby boy in his going home outfit, and then it happened - they unhooked him from all his monitors.  Weirdest.feeling.ever.  Up until that point we relied on these monitors to tell us that Ryan was breathing, his levels were fine, no need to panic.  But now that was over and it was up to us to watch out for any signs of distress - dusty color in his face being the primary marker for low oxygen levels.  Holy shitballs.  We are not medical professionals.  And how am I going to know if my son is breathing?!  Haha.  I know this sounds ridiculous but I guess by my reaction you could tell what state of mind I was in.  

Of course all was and is well.  Ryan came home.  Did well on the car ride.  Took his feedings.  Never stopped breathing ever since.  Made us prouder and prouder each day.  

My big boy.  I can't believe how much you've grown.

Back then you were just under 8 pounds.  Today you are just over 18.
Back then you were so unaware of your surroundings.  Today you are a quiet observer.
Back then your only voice was a newborn cry.  Today you say mama, dada, baba, nana, ok, yea, boobooboo...the list is endless. 
Back then you were a formula eating, burp me every two minutes, I'll spit up on you anyway baby.  Today we are transitioning to cow's milk, you eat three real meals a day, and you throw up on us way less. :)
Back then you had a toothless grin.  Today you have 8 teeth.

Back then we were just getting to know you.  Today we know you through and through.


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