Re-adjusting to life at home after being in hospital

I remember the first time I set foot in my home after Jessica was born. We’d been in hospital for a month. How strange my house felt, how I looked around as if I was seeing it for the first time. What was once familiar suddenly felt very unfamiliar. I was glad to be home and yet I felt unsettled and uneasy too. For a short time, I felt like a stranger in my own home. The transition from hospital to home was something I hadn’t expected.

We’ve had a few hospital stays lasting several weeks since then. Each time we return home, there’s that weird feeling again. A period of readjusting to normality, a brief time where home feels unfamiliar and strange. I should feel overjoyed at being home again. And yes, of course I’m glad to be home but being home is unsettling too. I find myself missing the hospital, the routine that I’ve grown used to. Having someone there to ask questions whenever you have a concern. Missing being able to talk to other parents; being surrounded by others who have similar concerns, similar experiences.  Home feels quiet; almost too quiet. As crazy as it seems, there is a part of me that wishes I was back on the ward again, back in the safety net that hospital life had become.

A drawing of Jessica in hospital and a drawing of us at home as a family after the hospital stay -

Transitions can be a little scary. Moving from intensive care to high care, from high care to the ward, from the ward to home. The gradual decrease in external support – going from one-to-one care and continual monitoring, to shared care and intermittent monitoring and then all of a sudden, we’re on our own. Feeling a little overwhelmed by the responsibility of keeping our child well that has now been handed firmly back to us. Adjusting to new routines, new medicines. Now it’s our job to remember what to give, how much to give and when to give it. The routines that we were familiar with before our stay in hospital have disappeared and we have to adjust to new ones.

All those emotions that we held in check during our hospital stay now come out. Not just for us, but for Sophie too. Two weeks apart were harder on her than perhaps we realised. She stayed strong during that time too. But now, she is unsettled and fearful. She clings to me and wakes up crying in the night. I know she is scared that I’ll leave her again. Even though she enjoyed being with Nanny and her cousins, even though she seemed to cope well, those two weeks have left her unsettled. My attempts to reassure are only partly successful at the moment. It will take time for her to adjust.

Thankfully, so far Jessica is the one who seems least unsettled by the transition from hospital to home. Maybe there will be emotions that need to come out a little further down the line. Maybe she really has just taken this in her stride. Time will tell.

We all need that time to adjust. Our home will feel safe, comforting and familiar once again. The new routines will become the norm. It will be all right. We’ve done this before and we can do it again.

Hot Pink Wellingtons


  1. January 18, 2018 / 1:53 pm

    This is a great post that explains all the normal feelings of coming home from hospital.
    Even as an adult, returning from a spell in hospital, short or long, has been unsettling & obviously, as mum, I have to deal with Nathan & Cerys’ emotions too. Andre is always the one that keeps it all in. I always say that the high of actually getting home is followed by a low because the only way is down. Eventually you find a balance.
    As you say, gradually everything will settle down again, and the new routines will become normal. Just give it time xx

    • Louise
      January 18, 2018 / 3:18 pm

      Thank you Donna. It is strange to get back to normality, glad it isn’t just me that feels this way! It’s just getting used to new routines again and as you say, that all takes time x

  2. January 18, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    Gosh I’d never even thought about things like this, it must be such a difficult time. I’m so impressed with how brave both of your girls have been.

    • Louise
      January 20, 2018 / 1:50 pm

      Thanks Nat. There are challenges with settling back in although thankfully things are now settling back down again! 🙂

  3. January 18, 2018 / 9:30 pm

    This makes so much sense. My father in law always used to talk about how institutionalised a hospital is…you get ‘into’ it very quickly if you spend any time there…throw that into the mix of the safety net and support you talk about and i can well imagine it being not as simple as one may first think. Ahh little Sophie, sounds like she has done brilliantly (as has Jessica obviously) – it’s only natural I’m sure for emotions to surface now. Xx

    • Louise
      January 20, 2018 / 1:51 pm

      Thank you Lucy – it’s definitely true that you adjust to being “institutionalised” very quickly and it does then take a little time to re-adjust to normality once again. Thankfully Sophie is becoming more settled now x

  4. January 18, 2018 / 10:17 pm

    Yes! I totally get this! When we returned home after the girls had their surgery it felt so strange for me. I had stayed the whole time in hospital with them but my fella had came home a couple of nights because he had to work towards the end of our hospital stay….It is a strange feeling indeed.
    I hope you all feel normal again soon…Poor Sophie. Sending hugs xxx

    • Louise
      January 20, 2018 / 1:52 pm

      Thanks Kim, glad you could relate too! It is strange having to readjust to home life, especially when you have spent the whole time in hospital with them. Thankfully we are all feeling much more settled now x

  5. January 19, 2018 / 8:16 am

    Awwww, it must be so hard on you all, and I can understand that fear of being home after the safety and support of the hospital. I have been so amazed reading Jessica’s progress and how you have all been doing throughout this whole process, both Jessica and Sophie are really brave little girls. I am continuing to send lots of happy thoughts your way. I hope that everything settles down for you all soon.

    • Louise
      January 20, 2018 / 1:53 pm

      Thank you Jenni. It certainly does take some getting used to! Thankfully we are all starting to feel much more settled again now x

  6. January 20, 2018 / 12:08 am

    I can imagine how strange it must feel adjusting. Glad Jessica so far is coping well, and I’m sure Sophie will adjust back soon. Hope things settle back to the new normal soon for you all #sharingthebloglove

    • Louise
      January 20, 2018 / 1:58 pm

      Thank you Emma. It is strange trying to readjust to normality. Thankfully we are all starting to feel much more settled now x

  7. January 21, 2018 / 1:33 am

    Hi, I’m new to your blog. I found you featured on #blogcrush and the title appealed to me as a Mother who’s bad a life limiting illness from birth and now grown up. Hospital admissions are difficult, even if you’re a pro from complex medical needs. I’m looking forward to reading your other posts and getting to know your journey. If you’d like to follow mine please check out my blog below and add me on twitter @ambitioust2428

    • Louise
      January 21, 2018 / 8:25 am

      Thank you Fi. I can imagine that hospital admissions never really get easier even when you’re used to it – I’ve certainly found that to be the case so far. Will definitely have to check your blog out and follow your journey too 🙂

  8. January 21, 2018 / 12:51 pm

    I’m so pleased to hear you’re all home and Jessica is adjusting well, but I can completely understand the difficulties that come with it. To be suddenly feeling solely responsible after having a huge support network in place must be scary and a big adjustment – I really hope it gets easier for you all. I’m sorry to hear Sophie is struggling, it sounds like she’s done so well in getting through it all up to hear, I guess it’s natural for it to come out now things are more back to normal for her. I really hope she feels a bit more settled soon. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Louise
      January 22, 2018 / 8:38 pm

      Thank you Katy. It has definitely taken us a bit of time to adjust to being at home after getting used to life in hospital. Thankfully we’re all starting to feel more settled now x

  9. January 22, 2018 / 6:37 pm

    I’m so pleased that she is home. But I can understand why it can sometimes feel better to at the hospital where the doctors are there on hand for anything. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Louise
      January 22, 2018 / 8:41 pm

      Thanks Laura. It does help having them on hand for reassurance – being at home again can feel a little scary at first especially after having that medical advice constantly available. Thankfully we’ve all settled back down into our normal life once again now x

  10. January 22, 2018 / 9:53 pm

    This brings back so many of my own memories of staying with my daughter in hospital. I’m glad that Jessica is doing well and adjusting to her new normal, and I hope that Sophie is okay – it must all feel very strange for her. Sending much love to your whole family.

    And this post resonated so much with someone that they added it to the BlogCrush Linky. Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂 #blogcrush

    • Louise
      January 24, 2018 / 12:09 pm

      Thank you Lucy. We’re starting to settle in to normality a bit more now thankfully 🙂

  11. January 31, 2018 / 1:14 pm

    I’d never thought about this, but it makes a lot of sense. Glad Jessica is taking it in her stride. Sophie did so well to be away from you all for so long, no wonder it’s been a bit unsettling for her.

    • Louise
      February 3, 2018 / 9:04 am

      Thank you, it has been strange re-adjusting. We’re all much more settled now though.

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