Marissa has been home with us for two years today.
I love this day. We view it as another birthday for her, and even a birthday for our family. We were not a whole family until she was sleeping under the same roof as us. It was not until May 31, 2007 that she started being our baby rather than the hospital's.
While this is a happy day for our family, I am feeling very nostalgic today. Please bear with me as I reminisce. Oh, and you might want to grab a box of tissues.
Many of you reading this blog have shared similar experiences and some of you, thankfully, have not.
The fog of drugs and emotions in the first few days after she was born that clouded my brain, so as to not allow me to get a true grasp on the reality and the gravity of the situation. Neonatologists and Geneticists mentioning things like heart defect, stridor, dysmorphic features, kidney problems, ventilators, NG tubes, agenesis of the corpus callosum, syndrome... none of it registering or making any sense to me at all. Not my baby, she's perfect. Right?
The utter anguish and flood of stark reality hitting me in the face when I was released from the hospital after my C-Section. Looking in the back seat and seeing a cold, empty car seat where my sweet Marissa should be. Watching the hospital fade away in the rear view mirror, knowing that was my girl's home for now.
The endless days driving to the hospital to visit my sweet baby girl, even if I only had a couple of hours to spend with her. Walking through the doors of the hospital, greeting countless new mommies in wheelchairs with their brand new bundles of joy strapped safely in their car seats, ready for their ride home. Happy for them, yet sad for us, wondering when our turn would come, or if it would come at all.
Not wanting to see my girl in the condition she was in, yet not wanting to take my eyes off her. Wanting to be anywhere else in the world, but not wanting to leave her side. The sleepless nights wondering if she was OK and having a "good" night. The middle of the night phone calls to the NICU checking in on her. The middle of the night phone calls from the NICU telling us something else had gone wrong. The roller coaster of emotion... one step forward, ten steps back.
Needing to leave the room while she was being intubated yet again (I stayed one time and it's not a pretty sight), but wanting to hold her hand, stroke her head and let her know that her mommy was there for her through this traumatic moment. Knowing she was in the best place possible, that if anyone could save her life and make her better, these people could. Yet wanting to scoop her up and run like crazy, yelling "she's mine, she's mine, get your hands off her, she's mine!!"
Wondering if today is the day... the day she comes home to live with us as a family.
Wondering if today is the day... the day she goes Home to live with Jesus.
On this day two years ago, this little family of three started writing a new chapter. One where Daddy and Mommy and Baby finally began the process of learning about each other and what it means to be a family. Two and a half months late (79 days to be exact), but our time had come.
Today we celebrate. However, today I also am reminded of others.
Others, like Faith, who did not come home from the hospital for 14 months (I don't even want to think of how many days that was).
Others like Emerson, who has lived in a hospital for the greater part of her two and a half years, undergoing two multiple organ transplants and still fighting, showing no signs of being able to come home any time soon.
And others, like sweet Kayleigh, who spent nearly 11 months in the hospital and never got to come home to her earthly family at all.
However nostalgic I am today, make no mistake, we are celebrating. We are celebrating Marissa and the miracle that is her life. We are celebrating being a family. Thanks for celebrating with us!
Happy Homeaversary Marissa!
Marissa Lynne Cortez
March 13, 2007
5 lbs, 4 oz
May 13, 2007, Mother's Day
2 months old
First time being allowed to hold her since her trach and g-tube were placed
Best Mother's Day gift ever
May 31, 2007
One last NICU pose
"What's the hold up? Let's go home!!"
May 31, 2007
Our Little Miracle
May 9, 2009
Two years to the day after her trach and g-tube were placed
May 9, 2009
One Happy Family