Yesterday was your 100th day in the NICU... but also your 1st day home. When you were born 4 months early and I researched all of the scary things that would likely befall you, I thought your homecoming would be a lot different. Even just a month and a half ago, I thought you'd come home on oxygen and a pulse ox. I thought you'd struggle with eating and forget to breath. I thought we'd dangle over you late into the night, checking every 30 seconds to make sure your lips weren't blue. None of this happened. Instead, your homecoming unfolded strangely similar to the way I thought it would had you been born full term. Lot's of full throated crying and sleep deprivation and pride, but very little fear.
You've seen more than 3 months of life already. You've braved ET tubes and blood transfusions and infections and feeding tubes and chronic lung disease and suffocation and you've brushed with a thousand different species of frailty. You've endured more pain and hardship than most people would experience in their entire lives. But the most incredible thing of all? It all happened before your life was ever supposed to begin.
Your due date is still two weeks away, but I feel as though the lives of all three of us have finally begun.