Today officially marks the girls’ 160th day of life, and after spending 80 days in the NICU, the girls have been home 80 days.
For every day that a nurse took care of our girls, I have taken care of them. For every surgery, blood transfusion, and head ultrasound that Ella received, my girls have had kisses from us.
For the scary talks the doctors gave us, now we’re getting giggles and smiles. For every tear that was shed, we’re getting coos and babbles.
For every night our girls were away from us, in a hospital room tucked in the corner, they have spent the same number of nights with us, at home.
It’s not always easy, in fact many times, it’s been downright hard and, sometimes, I’ve felt like a failure, but they’re home. Whenever I want I can scoop them in my arms, without wires, machines, alarms. I can, and do, sneak in and check in on them every night. We decide how they spend their day, without asking for permission.
We owe so much to the nurses and doctors and support staff who took care of our girls, and of us. We literally owe them Ella’s life, and with her fluffy mohawk hair, her laugh when she gets changed, and her easy-going attitude, you would never guess the start she had at life, and we owe that to them, too.
With all the appointments and exercises, sometimes it goes unnoticed that they’re worth it because, she’s here, she’s alive, and with different care, she may not be.
For every 80 days I had to say goodbye and leave my girls, I say goodnight instead. For every 80 days of fear and uncertainty, sadness and frustrations, we have been a family. A family without having to visit the hospital, a family without rounds, without others leading the charge. For 80 days, we’ve been a family.