It was on the morning of the 17th of December 2020 when we received the call. Stephan is ready to be discharged. It felt unreal. Our son is 8 weeks old, and finally, he would come home for the first time.

We rushed over to the CTICU and experienced the most overwhelming moment of our lives.


I was busy packing Stephans things while taking notes of everything the nurse was throwing at me, feeds, medications, follow-ups, things to look out for, what we would need at home, dieticians, speech therapists, just tons and tons of info. After looking at my notes when wee got home I laughed at the scribbly mess that covered the page.


While I was doing all this, Andree was figuring out the car seat. In typical Jolene style I wanted to do that too as I had read the user manual so I would know how to connect it. Needless to say I probably delayed the process by 10 or 20min. Eventually I gave it back to Andre with eyes filled with tears, how the hell am I going to do this if I can’t even figure our the seat!


While Andre was still busy I received training of how to feed Stephan through his recently installed Peg. I then was handed a list of medication to pick up from the pharmacy on the way out, together with a bag filled with meds that weren’t finished in hospital. 


I have no idea why but it felt like we needed to get out of there asap, before they changed their minds about sending us home. 


Eventually I heard the “click” of the car seat and a sigh of relief from Dad. Stephan was strapped in! 


And off we went. Dad on his way to the car and Mom on her way to the pharmacy to pick up his take home meds. And it was there where I finally cracked. Stephan had to be fed in 2 hours and the line at the pharmacy was not getting any shorter. It was hot in there and the mask over my face felt like I was being suffocated. I hated the idea that I was going to mess up his first feed already. 


I dialed my sisters number and called in a complete panic, desperate for the reassurance I needed that I was not fucking this up already. I sat down on the nearest char and filled my mask with a mixture of tears and snot. 


Eventually I got what I needed and ran back to thee car, expecting Stephan to be hysterical and hungry. But there they were, dad and baba napping away like there was not a care in the world. 


As we exited the parking lot, we looked at each other and said, well, here we go… It wasn’t until I placed your car seat in front of the Tree that I realised you were finally home. And just in time for Christmas.