Taking my heart baby home for the first time: a milestone moment

The first time you take your baby home from the hospital is a milestone moment for everyone, but so much more so when it is a moment that almost up until when it finally happens, you hardly dare to dream it could.

Taking my heart baby home for the first time: a milestone moment - Little Hearts, Big Love

The last time I had stepped foot in my house had been four weeks earlier. I had been in early labour and I had no idea whether I would be lucky enough to be able to bring my baby home.

 

The room that had been earmarked for the nursery was still undecorated; the few baby clothes we had been given were in a drawer or in my hospital bag. When I first fell pregnant, I had visions of decorating a nursery; plans that were put on hold after finding out that our daughter had a serious heart condition at the 20-week scan. In-utero surgery had given us a tiny glimmer of hope for our daughter’s survival but we were repeatedly told throughout my pregnancy not to get our hopes up. I could not bear the thought of decorating a room that my baby might never get to sleep in.

 

We had no buggy, no car seat, hardly any of the things that most people buy before their baby arrives. We’d been given a Moses basket (one of the few things I’d prepared but I’d put it in the spare room, ready to close the door on it if I had to). All of these things were bought by my hubby a few days before we were ready to come home.

 

Four weeks in hospital. Three surgeries – two of them open-heart, ten days in intensive care, ten days on the cardiac ward and then transfer to a hospital nearer home. Tiny steps along the way – from watching my baby in an intensive care cot, to those first cautious cuddles juggling tubes and wires; then the freedom of wires gradually being removed, allowing movement further and further away from the cot itself. Being able to move around the ward, my tiny girl in my arms and then being able to put her in a buggy and leave the ward for a short time whilst still staying within the hospital itself. I can still remember the first time I was able to leave the ward with my baby; the feel of warm autumn sun on my face and the sheer joy of being able to step outside, if only for a moment.

 

And then finally, we were able to go home. The joy of being able to put my baby in her car seat, clip it to the buggy and wheel her outside to the car was a feeling I will never forget. I wanted to shout it out to the world – we were going home and we were taking our baby with us!

Taking my heart baby home for the first time: a milestone moment - Little Hearts, Big Love

The house felt so strange – it seemed like a lifetime since I had left and it looked different somehow, alien almost. It felt like I was looking at my own home through the eyes of a stranger – such an odd feeling and one that has recurred with every return from an extended hospital stay, although never quite so strongly as that first time.

 

The main thing though was that we were home at last, the three of us as a family – a moment that we had barely even allowed ourselves to dream of when I had left home that day four weeks earlier. We were finally together, finally able to have a taste of normal family life and although we knew that there would be many steps ahead on our journey as a heart family, and many hospital stays and surgeries to come, we were home for now and it was the most wonderful feeling ever.

Taking my heart baby home for the first time: a milestone moment - Little Hearts, Big Love

Inspired by Mum Turned Mom for The Prompt #100 – “Milestone”

 

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26 thoughts on “Taking my heart baby home for the first time: a milestone moment

  1. Aww, what a difficult time to have to go through. I can imagine how happy and relieved you felt when you finally got to come home with your baby.xx #coolmumclub

  2. Aw, what a heartbreakingly beautiful post – with such a wonderfully happy ending! I’m so pleased for you and your family.

    My little girl had some very minor complications and I know how terrifying that was! It must have been a horrendous time for you all.

    CONGRATULATIONS, wishing you every happiness for the future x
    #coolmumclub

    1. Thank you Kate – it was a very tough time but such an amazing moment when we finally got to come home 🙂

  3. Awww, this literally gave me goose bumps when I got to the end of this post. What a lovely ending. I’m so glad you got to take your baby home with you. I hope everything continues to go well as I’m sure it will because it seems you have a little fighter there 🙂

    #coolmumclub

  4. I can relate to your home feeling alien… Each time I stay at the hospital with Rainbow, it feels so strange to return home.

    Bringing your baby home is something most new parents take for granted and given the prognosis for Jessica, I can’t imagine how you would have felt.

    You are such Beautiful & strong family! 🙂

    1. Thank you Beth – I can imagine that it must feel strange for you too going back and forth between hospital and home. Hope that you get to take Rainbow back home again soon x

  5. Even though I know the story, reading this perspective really brought those first few weeks home to me. I can’t imagine how terrifying and exhausting it must have been, and I am so happy that you made it home with your beautiful little girl. Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

    1. Thank you Sara – it was terrifying and exhausting at times but there were amazing moments too that helped get us through and that feeling of finally being able to go home was just wonderful.

  6. This post gave me goosebumps! Even though I know Jessica is doing well to this day I could really feel (a tiny taste of) all those emotions you must have felt. Such relief! 🙂 xxx

    1. It was a huge relief to finally be home with her – I can still remember just how amazing it felt to finally be able to leave the hospital (although a little scary too to be at home and responsible for doing everything by ourselves!)

    1. Thank you Vicky – it is a big moment for any first-time parent I think, but it felt like such a huge achievement for us given all that we went through to get there.

  7. A beautiful post. I know exactly what it’s like to bring a baby home when you hadn’t daren’t dream it. They feeling of relief when you walk through the door.
    I’m so glad your little one is now doing well

  8. What an incredible journey for you Louise. I have to admit that I’ve read random posts of yours for as long as I’ve been blogging (around 2 years in earnest) and I never knew your full story… x

    1. Thank you Carol – it has been quite a journey so far with more yet to come but we are so lucky that Jessica is here and doing so well x

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