1 year ago today, my little cheeky monkey Lux was coming home for the first time after her first 11 weeks spent in hospital. She had a rather dramatic entrance to the world. Her birth story (that you can read here) was the beginning of her story, coming home was the end of one journey for Lux and that start of our story as a family. I've still not got round to writing about her first 11 weeks on the NICU unit at St Michael's Hospital, Bristol. To be honest, I'm not looking forward to writing it as I'm sure it will bring back a few painful memories and just thinking about some of those panic stricken days still makes me feel sick but if its anything as therapeutic as writing her birth story it will do me some good!
After 11 long weeks on the ward it was time for Lux to finally come home! It felt like a dream, something we'd be hoping for, visualising and dreaming about since she was delivered at 27 weeks and now it was really happening.
She was still so small when we brought her home, around 5lbs.
We were so excited to dress her ready to go home. It was the first time she wore trousers, a cardigan and some booties. I had planned on dressing her in a Kermit the frog costume but unfortunately she wasn't big enough to wear it!
Putting her in her car seat, walking out the ward doors and standing in the elevator was so surreal I can't tell you. Someone in the elevator commented, "looks like a new one" and Jon chuckled back, "she's 3 months old!" It was so weird, leaving the hospital with her, a dream come true. It was emotional enough but Jon then had to put The Lion King soundtrack on and The Circle of Life echoed through the car park.
Everyday Lux was in hospital me and my partner Jon took photos and videos of Lux. Jon turned some of these into a video that shows her journey home. I'm really proud of Jons video, its a real project of love and I hope it shows. One day we'll show Lux just how amazing she is.
Coming home was just the most magical day but it was also pretty scary! All the time Lux had been in hospital she had been on monitors to read her heart rate and all of a sudden she was ours and that felt a little overwhelming. Not for long though as we got into the swing of having a baby pretty quickly and she's been such a good baby, sleeping through the night and eating well.
Its hard to put into words how I feel today, a mixture of pride, joy, bliss, and I little bit of sadness at just how quickly Lux is growing up! She's come such a long way since coming home. She's now got 2 teeth, starting to stand on her own, brushes her hair and teeth, points, loves her food (she even likes olives), plays with her toys in the bath, loves reading books, loves twinkle twinkle little star, crawls everywhere and gets into mischief. Crazy stuff! There was a time when it looked like all these things would be impossible and we might even lose our little monkey but we are so lucky to have her with us and so healthy and happy! She's going to have a second birthday on the day she was due, 30th october and when her "corrected" age will be 1. Its hard not to compare her to other babies her age, although I really shouldn't as some can walk already and a part of me wishes Lux would just catch up immediately but she'll get there in her own time.
So today as well as looking back its time to celebrate, have a little party for 3 (and Bellamy the dog) and look forward to her exciting and amazing future. Goodness knows what she'll be like in a years time! I can't imagine her much bigger than what she is and I hope she's not in too much of a rush to grow up as I I'm not sure I can catch up!