Bringing McKenzie home

After a week in Orlando, Nikki had to leave back to Daytona so she could return to work. I was unreasonably swollen and suffering from baby blues. The team in McKenzie’s NICU pushed her to the 11th floor so I could stay with her. This was the first time Nikki and I had ever spent any time apart and while it wasn’t home, the room was comfortable and I was finally able to eat, sleep and shower all while still being with McKenzie.
The days seemed to drag, I attended some courses I needed to complete before discharge and wrote down to-do lists for our eventual return home. I never imagined the amount of love I would develop over the next several days as we very helplessly waited for any news on McKenzie’s health or discharge possibilities.
Eventually, one machine after another were disconnected; every day a new doctor or therapist would meet with me – McKenzie no doubt had the best of the best looking out for her and her future and while we were completely exhausted and overloaded with information – we were beyond thankful for those involved in the care for McKenzie. On Sunday, July 16th McKenzie was discharged.

Bringing McKenzie home was a dream come true; she was sleeping so peacefully the entire ride and proved to be just as perfect as we had always imagined. We’ve been home for two weeks today and things have been amazing but challenging. McKenzie sleeps through the night, but often turns blue. I have found myself laying in bed watching her bassinet to make sure shes still breathing. During the day she won’t take much from the bottle and so we changed her formula. It’s hard bringing home a baby, but its really a challenge bringing home a baby with a heart defect and down syndrome. McKenzie has opened our eyes to an entire new world- a world full of endless opportunities and love like none other.

While we have a long, busy road ahead for the health of McKenzie – we will continue to keep our faith that not only her development progresses well but her heart surgery is successful and her recovery is quick.

It feels like just yesterday we received the down syndrome diagnosis, foolishly we allowed it to completely alter our lives for months. When we saw McKenzie, we saw our daughter; we didn’t see down syndrome or heart defects – we saw our beautiful, god given angel. It was in this moment we realized the meaning behind our journey wasn’t to cause us struggle but to create an undeniable strength full of acceptance, patience and above all else; love.


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