Tuesday, November 3

The time has finally arrived...

...for us to take baby Bryce home.

We've been a little out of touch since the baby shower last week trying to wrap up loose ends at home in preparation for Bryce's homecoming.

What a truly exhilarating and equally terrifying endeavor!

It's been a long time coming though I think we honestly never thought the day would actually arrive. This Saturday is Bryce's five month birthday! Boy, we've been in the Dell NICU for almost half of a year.

I personally have spent almost every day, almost every hour of every day there. And although I was there with Bryce I was also there with my new friends, mentors and confidants. Writing this and thinking of them brings tears to my eyes. I am going to miss the angels of Dell's NICU more than I can express.

These strangers who've come into my life so unexpectedly. Who knew me not from Eve but wrapped their arms around me in much needed but rarely requested hugs. Who've prayed with me when the most important thing in my life was hanging on by a mere thread. Who've laughed with me, oh how we've laughed, and even cried with me. Who've insisted on a break for me when I couldn't see myself how much I needed one. Who will ALWAYS be a part of me.

I never once imagined how hard leaving the NICU would be. But imagining a day without Lisa's companionship, without Danielle's silly stories, without Jennifer and Kathleen's wisdom and advice, without Shawna and Brandy's smart mouth comments, without the countless visits from Bryce's many wonderful caretakers* just to see how he's doing and offer a word of encouragement seems, well, just plain wrong.

I know we'll adjust and many of these ladies will continue to be a part of our lives but as tomorrow's discharge looms ever closer I can't help but feel it will be bittersweet. As we said goodbye to Jennifer yesterday afternoon and Lisa early this morning I had to choke back tears. Walking out tomorrow with Bryce in our hands is sure to be as emotionally taxing as the day we first walked into the NICU. So naive and ignorant as to what lie ahead.

I'll never forget that morning. How lost we were, trying to find our baby who seemed so impossible. Judi and Hoyt trailing quietly behind us as we navigated the elevator and hallways of Dell for the first time. We used that phone at the front, followed the instructions on the sign so carefully, as if we might mess them up and miss our boy. But Shawna came out and showed us how to scrub in, so matter of factly and yet so compassionately - so Shawna. We walked down that hallway too scared to speak, too afraid to ask questions.

I remember Mom, Poppa and Sharon were there waiting with Bryce. They were so quiet, we were all so frightened, almost scared a breath would take him away from us. And Kirby was there, methodically caring for our tiny miracle's every need. People were explaining things to us, offering us water or tissues and putting on a strong front but I knew what they were thinking. They were thinking the same thing we had been thinking all night but couldn't dare verbalize...there's just no way this baby is going to make it. And in the days and weeks that followed baby Bryce's life remained ever so tenuous, so fragile, so delicate. But our NICU staff, our friends and our family stood by us, ever so strong, so steadfast, so stubbornly unflinching.

And so here we are, many days, many tears and many new friends later. Anxiously and nervously preparing to walk out of the NICU for the first time without the intention that we'll be back in just a few hours. That we'll see our friends and familiar faces soon enough again. No more scrubbing in, no more sitting in the recliner holding the most precious and amazing thing that has ever happened to us, sharing every second of his existence with these amazing people.

As excited as I am for our future, I am equally terrified. As overjoyed as I am to finally bring our baby boy into our home, where he belongs, I'm equally saddened by the loneliness of an everyday routine that doesn't include our NICU friends.

We'll adjust and I'm confident we'll thrive. That's what we do. But we'll miss these friends, we'll think of them often and we'll forever be grateful for the miracles they perform in their jobs everyday.

*Diana, Lois, Lauren, Tiare, Melody, Thuy, Gary, Nicole, Shonda, Nicole T., Leah, T, Sam RT, Jaime, Jimmy, Lei, Dave, Kendra, Matt, Sara, Camille ... so many I can't name them all...so selflessly caring for our sweet baby boy.


  1. YAY!!!!! SO happy you are taking Bryce home!!!
    I can totally relate to your feelings about leaving, it is hard to leave the people who have saved your baby's life and have become like family. We still keep in touch with several of the nurses and have gone back to the NICU for visits a few times too. Good luck tomorrow, its FINALLY your turn, enjoy every minute of it!!!! Can't wait for the "at home" pictures.

  2. This post brought such joy to my heart and tears to my eyes!!! I have prayed for this day for you since this journey began and I was sent to your blog back in June. I am so incredibly excited for you! I know how excited I was after such a short stay in the NICU, I can't even imagine how you must feel!! I can't wait to see all of the homecoming pictures, and Bryce in his Dr. Suess' room. How wonderful! God is so good, what a miracle and blessing He has given you!!

  3. I'm elated that Baby Bryce is going home!! One day soon I'd LOVE to meet him! Congratulations on such a miraculous milestone.

    Bristelle and Family

  4. Katrina, Caleb and Bryce,

    Words can not even begin to express how happy I am for each of you. This is truly a miraculous story and should prove to everyone the power of prayer and the power of love and devotion. This is just the beginning of yet another journey in your lives and another milestone met. Congratulations and we love you all very much!

    Love and hugs,
    Weslea and Brian

  5. I knew this day would come! That little boy is such a miracle from God and he has touched SO many lives. We can't wait to meet him. Please let us know if there is anything at all that we can do to help. Love you guys and GO TEAM BRYCE!

  6. Yeah, Little Man!!!
    We're so happy your going home tomorrow. Please continue to update your blog as often as you can so we can continue to follow your day to day achievements.
    All our love,
    The Pulley's

  7. Katrina,Caleb&Bryce;
    God is great. Thank you one and all Dell staff for Bryce's care and love you shower on him.


  8. Katrina and Caleb,

    Today begins a colorful new chapter in your life. Embrace it, enjoy it and love him all you can. I'm so happy for you both. Bryce has made me realize how precious life is.

    P.S....now he can sleep with you in your bed at home!


  9. Trina, Caleb and Bryce,

    The day is finally here when nothing will ever be the same. I remember thinking that when we brought Timmy home. And it hasn't been. It is so much better. Since I have been hurt I wait each day for Tim to come home from school and I thank God I have the opportunity to watch him grow. And now you get to spend time with Btyce and enjoy his childhood. Each day is special. Bryce, you have given all of us a renewed faith in God and life. God bless you and your parents. I hope to get to see you soon.
    We love you.
    Gene, Lolo, Andrea, Timothy

  10. Oh this is so wonderful. I am so so so happy for you guys and this is going to be a fun and exciting journey. How exciting! Take it one day at a time. You know the NICU is only a call away.

    And you and your family have been such an inspirtaion to all of us, and this has been a long awaited moment.

    Yay Bryce!!!!!!!!!!


  11. I am SOOO excited and beyond happy that you get to finally bring your sweet baby home!! I know Y'all will be just fine!! :) So wonderful!!

  12. What fantastic news!!!! What a gift Baby Bryce is. Such an amazing strong little man... always knew this day would come and we are so happy for you all. Looking forward to more pictures and to meeting Bryce.

    Love, hugs, and prayers,
    The Banasau's

  13. Love you guys! I can picture you guys driving home... A large, black SUV with Caleb wide eyed and both hands on the wheel. He's constantly looking in the rearview chekcing on you and Bryce -his precious cargo. You in the back right next to Bryce holding his hands or his chair 'protecting' him from the outside world. You can't take your eyes from him. The speedometer reads just over 30mph and there is a line of cars a mile long on the highway behind you. Horns are blaring and passerbyers are staring Caleb wondering what the he** is wrong with him. But neither of you miss a beat. You, Caleb and Bryce are in your own world... just the three of you.

  14. I am so elated at the news! This is wonderful and God is SOOOO good. You guys have touched SO many lives through your ordeal and it just shows that God has big plans for that little guy because he has already started it! I will be praying as will Point of Grace Church for you every day and have prayed since Bryce's traumatic entrance into this world. My heart has embraced your family and I hope one day I can meet you and meet this miracle!

    May God continue to shower you with His blessings and love, day in and day out.

    In His Service,
    Stephanie Tollett

  15. I am so glad to hear this news! I was just hoping and praying that you all would get to be home before I got to finally come down there. I won't bother you of course during this most amazing time, but I'll be next door and elated to know that Bryce, Caleb, and you will be home and enjoying the blessed life that you all so greatly deserve!

  16. Love on that little boy every second you can! He will grow so fast and you'll find yourself looking at baby pictures wondering where the time went. Congrats to you, your family and Bryce! I just knew he would come through with all the folks you had praying for you. God IS Good!!!!!

  17. Yay!!! That is just so awesome!! I've been praying for this day. What a beautiful sight to see Bryce in his car seat and on his way home. Many more blessings to you and your family!


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