I started to write this post last Wednesday afternoon when I got the news that the doctors were ready to send Charlotte home from the hospital. Between all of the hospital staff coming in and out to make sure everything was in place for discharge and all of the visitors who wanted to stop by to see us before we hit the road on Thursday, it remained a work in progress. Now that we have been home for 3 days, I figured that it was about time to send out an update!
So, in case there are people out there who hadn't heard, Charlotte finally got to come home on Thursday! After a full month of bouncing between NICU, PICU, heart caths, surgery and the recovery floor, we finally have our whole family under one roof! Just thinking about it is enough to bring me to tears. It felt like we were in that hospital forever, though I know how lucky we are to be out so soon.
I started keeping a journal back in February as a way to get out some of the rollercoaster emotions that I was experiencing, whether it be fear, anger, happiness, etc. With everything that has been going on lately, I have been really terrible about sitting down to write. As a matter of fact, I haven't touched it since Charlotte's last surgery over 2 weeks ago. I pulled the journal out the day before discharge, not to write, but to read and reflect on how far we have come. My entry on April 18th really jumped out at me. It was something that I read in an email, and after all that we have been through in the past month, it really hit home.
"God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow or sun without rain. He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way."
Our little girl has come through so much, and undoubtedly has many hurdles still ahead of her. For now, we are living for today and enjoying every moment as if it were our last. We are smothering her with kisses, snuggling at every opportunity and totally spoiling our little warrior. To say that little Charlotte has changed our lives is probably the greatest understatement that I could make. She has taught us what is truly important and changed the way that I look at my life. I think that my sister Jill put it beautifully when she said "I am forever a better, more grateful person for having spent the past month witnessing the miracle of baby Charlotte. Each inch of her journey has reinforced my belief in the goodness of people, the importance of family and the grace of God."
I can't begin to express how thankful our family is for all of the support that you have given to us during this time of unimaginable stress and fear. Whether it be through prayers, cards, feeding us, a roof over our heads or even by "dog sitting"...these actions have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.
Being home has been a huge adjustment. Its going to take time to figure out a good routine, but we're getting there. We have home health nurses coming to visit twice a week for the first two weeks we are home, a nurse coming on Monday to change the dressing on Charlotte's chest, 2 doctors appointments next week, medicine to give at multiple times through the day, and continued work on feeding (which has improved significantly), all in addition to the normal "new baby" things! Its chaotic, but worth every sleepless night and stressful day to have our family all together.
I promise to keep posting updates on our progress and lots of pictures.
Last day in the hospital
Home Sweet Home
Life at home is rough...
Daddy and his girls