This isn’t the photo I ever imagined posting, but it’s my most treasured photo of my life so far. This was taken 9 hours after Emerson was born when we were finally reunited in the NICU after we were quickly separated in the labor and delivery room after a few short minutes together. It’s not at all what we planned. I thought we would be smiling for the camera as a family, looking fresh and joyful in a brightly lit hospital room like so many photos we’ve all seen here on this platform. I didn’t get to wear the beautiful floral Plum Pretty Sugar robe I carefully picked out. Emerson wasn’t wrapped in her personalized swaddle and matching hat I ordered months in advance on Etsy. This wasn’t taken on our fully charged-up Canon camera, but rather on my husbands iPhone that was wrapped tightly in a plastic bag as required by the NICU to prevent germs from being exposed to these sick little babies. No, none of this was part of the plan. But it’s the plan that was in store for us. It’s Emmie’s story and it’s our family’s story and there’s so much beauty in that. Today I’m thinking about all the families who didn’t have a happy ending and for those who still have sick babies in the NICU. Those 7 days felt like an eternity to us and going home from the hospital for the first time without our girly was enormously painful. I’ll never forget that car ride with my husband or the tears we cried when we walked through the door of our house without her. I still can’t think or talk about it without crying and I don’t know that I ever will. So many families go through the same thing every single day for months at a time and some don’t come home at all which is just unimaginable. We love this peanut so much and wouldn’t change her story for anything.