On Friday, it happened. One year ago, on a muggy August morning, after 5 months of NICU life, we finally brought him home. His apnea monitor alarmed before we even got on the interstate. He wanted to make sure we remembered who was boss in this car. We said our teary goodbyes at the hospital. And the Ronald McDonald House. And our family of 3 was finally under one roof.
The first month, Darrin and I spent sleepless nights watching his monitor. Listening to the hum of the oxygen concentrater box. We literally took 3 hour shifts around the clock of being awake, one of us was awake with him 24 hours a day. There was a white dry erase board with a schedule of his feeds and medicines. The med list was 5 deep and he got many of his meds several times a day. Thank heavens for that dry erase board.
6 months of isolation followed. Lysol was the official aroma of the Hucks household and Purell was within arms reach at any given moment. Our only outings were doctor’s appointments. But I can’t lie. We loved it. Relished it. Every single moment of isolation. To spend these long awaited days at home with this kid that had brought us to our knees so many times over the last 5 months. Well, it was poetic.
And slowly, the weekly doctor’s appointments became monthly. Then Tucker got pink slips from some doctors, amazingly they said things like, “He doesn’t need to come back for a year”. They came and picked up the oxygen tanks. And the monitor. We started crossing meds off the dry erase board. For good. And eventually Darrin and I slept without one eye opened to the green flashing light on the breathing monitor. And this kid, the one that was so fragile and impossibly small, became stronger and mightier. He amazed us. Every day.
And so here we are 365 days later. As Darrin and I sat by Tucker’s isolette one night in the NICU, about 1 month in, we began talking about a party. One that we would have for this little baby, that at the moment, could fit in the palm of Darrin’s hand. But more than a party for this baby, we knew we wanted to celebrate our people. The people who had rallied around Team Hucks. To pray. To send food. To mow our grass. To do our laundry. To send emails to their neighbors and churches and co-workers asking them to pray for this little 1 lb baby. We got good people.
We wish everyone who had ever uttered Tucker’s name in prayer and good thoughts could have been here on this day of celebration. It was a day to commemorate Tucker’s triumph, yes. But more than that, it was a celebration of our Team. Who rallied and loved us through the most difficult year of our lives. And it was a day of thankfulness to the One to whom we all prayed and often begged, to heal Tucker. The One who said, “Yes.”
If you weren’t there in person, you were absolutely there in spirit. And in our hearts. Know that we gave thanks for you. Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for understanding our needs. In short, thank you for loving us. The day was full and perfect.
” Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; Thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness; That [my] soul may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to Thee forever.” Psalm 30: 11-12