I am so proud of you.
I have been dreaming of writing this letter to you since you were born.
You are home.
You right now are sleeping peacefully on my lap, smiling in your sleep.
It makes me so happy to see you smile, even if it is just in your sleep because of the nightmare you have survived. I am glad your battle didn’t rob your happiness.
If anything, all I can hope besides for your health is that this burden you and your brother have had to go through rest on your dad and I’s shoulders and you both will leave this journey far behind you, never knowing how strong you both had to be.
I can’t believe how far you have come…you the youngest…the littlest Teall.
I prayed hard the night before you came home that all that you have been through would be left at the hospital doors and bringing you home would be a second ‘birth day’.
This birth day, unlike your actual birthday, is a day to celebrate you fighting so hard to be in this world, it will forever resemble just how strong you are.
You are so loved.
Having you home, to hold, kiss, love, hug and just get lost in staring at your sweet face has filled half the hole in my heart that has been empty the day your first home became the NICU.
While your NICU journey was a roller coaster filled with fear, heartbreak, terror and concern. And those sleepless nights that were supposed to be from your newborn cries were from the ache and worry in my heart leaving you and your brother there, I want you to know there was a lot of love and happiness entwined in that journey.
There are men and women there who saved your life, who love you and cared for you and filled in our roles as mom and dad when we could not be there for you.
They held you, sang to you, cuddled you. They changed your diapers, fed you bottles and bathed you. They also measured and weighed you, took your temperature and watched you ever so carefully. They xrayed you, hooked you to IVs and PIC lines and administered many medications to you. They made diagnosis, they made medical plans and eventually they discharged you, to many of them it was bittersweet. They were happy to see how far you had come and that you were finally going home but you wormed your way into so many of their hearts and they were going to miss you.
They were everything we wanted to be for you and everything we couldn’t be.
I read a quote the other day, “sometimes super heroes don’t wear capes”, it couldn’t be any truer. You and your brother were cared for by super heroes and I plan on telling you that your entire lives, their titles don’t serve them justice. I can just see you both telling all your friends on the play ground in elementary school that you were both saved by super heroes as babies and it makes me smile.
We will forever be thankful for those super heroes.
You also have a lot of people who love you and have not met you. They love you through pictures and cling to updates. You have only been lucky enough to meet your Grandma’s and Grandpa’s because of how frail and fragile you are. Even though your uncle’s and aunt, your great Grandma, family near and far and dear friends who have said countless prayers have yet to actually meet you – they love you and even though you being home doesn’t change the fact they can’t visit you and hold you like they would want to they are so thankful you are home.
Your journey in the NICU has reminded us how quick life can change and that it rarely takes an expected path.
Because of that we look forward to the future with you and your brother but more than that we are thankful for the right nows.
And right now I can’t express to you just how thankful we are that you are home.
So here is to your birth day, your fresh start, your new beginning, we are so excited to see where you will go.
Today I cut your hospital band off my wrist. I kept it on all this time because it symbolized our bond from the day you were born. I promised myself I wouldn’t take it off until you were home safe and sound. Whenever I felt weak I drew strength from it, inspired by you and your brother. Before you could know love, laughter, joy and peace had to be strong and because of your strength the rest will follow. I have no excuse to be weak…you were born at 28 weeks, 2lbs 10oz and you are such a warrior. You are an inspiration.
Welcome home love, we missed you.
With so much love,