At first it felt luxurious to be home. Going back and forth to the NICU multiple times a day was exhausting, and I was so happy that I could spend an entire day in my pajamas and not have to be at the hospital for the first time in months. My daughter, born at 28 weeks gestation, had spent 68 days in the NICU as she grew from 2-and-a-half pounds to just under 5 pounds. Before that, I was on bedrest in the hospital for two weeks due to chronic placental abruption. I was so ready to be at home and create my own routine, not one set by NICU rules.
Unfortunately, in leaving the NICU, I left behind a huge form of socialization. I had come to know the nurses, our doctors, and many other NICU families quite well, and suddenly I found myself very isolated at home. Not only was I tethered to the house because my daughter was attached to an oxygen concentrator, but I also spent most of my time in just two rooms; the two where her oxygen tube would reach.