On Saturday night, Husband and I went out to celebrate my birthday. Part of our celebration included swinging by the NICU to say thank you and gain some closure after our time there with Asher. I, in particular, had been feeling like it was such an otherworldly experience. So, we went to claim victory of sorts. We drove the familiar drive, ascended in the familiar elevator, walked by the familiar scrub stations...and...and...just smiled. Our baby wasn't there. He was home with his Papa and brothers, enjoying a boys' night.
We were able to see one of his nurses and give her hugs and show her recent pictures of Asher. She was so encouraging and so wonderful, just as she had been when Asher was in her care. She was genuinely so thrilled to hear of his good progress since his discharge. After we said goodbye to her, we snapped a picture in the familiar hallway. This time, I think we look a little more rested, a lot less worried, and a little wiser from the process.
I feel like I finally processed it all a little bit. To be honest, I am planning to do more of that in counseling over the next weeks. I don't know what that looks like, or even what I am hoping to achieve. However, I do know that it still feels a little bit like it happened to someone else...or maybe a Hayley robot. I just don't feel connected to the whole experience...and that means, I don't feel connected with my sweet boys' early days. I really want to reclaim those days as mine, if that makes any sense at all.
But, truth is, we have our Asher. He is safe and he is well. Our God was so good to us in answering our prayers in such decisive and visible ways. I am so thankful.