By Ally Filinski 

Miss Pea has had a different journey to Isabelle whilst in hospital.  The whole time we kept comparing the two and if Penelope wasn't on the same path we started to worry.  Being a NICU mum for the second time I didn't find it as difficult, I knew what we were getting into, though what I didn't know was the daily struggle of not being with Isabelle and having to leave her for hours on end.

59 days we spent in Hospital, 5 days in NICU, 52 days in SCN and 2 days in the ward rooms with me.  Our journey this time wasn't as smooth as it was with Isabelle.  Penelope was born via an emergency C-section, which was an emotional rollercoaster in itself.  She needed air & oxygen support for longer then 28 days, which meant she was diagnosed with a mild case of Chronic Lung Disease.  She also didn't pass her hearing test the first time around, though did a week later.  At 32 weeks gestation she needed a blood transfusion, it took 4 hours to receive 20mls.  The whole time in hospital we were worrying, and sometimes scared to tell people that something wasn't going right, we didn't want there to be anything wrong with our little girl.  The love we have for this little one is hard to explain.  When I was pregnant I would talk with my girlfriends from mothers group and wonder, how do you love another child.  How does your heart have room for more?  One of the girls said, you just will.  And she was right, as soon as you lay eyes on them that whole emotion of love comes flooding over you and all of a sudden it's like your heart doubled in size.

Today, we are taking our little Penelope Roze home.  She has doubled her birth weight and grown a few cm's.  She is fully breastfed and quite the trumpet bum.   Isabelle is so excited that she has a little sister, she keeps pointing at her and saying Pea.  Penelope is a trooper and has fought very hard to come home without oxygen, we are so proud of her and what she has achieved in such a short time.

I'm quite emotional today walking out of the hospital with our little bundle, mainly because our hospital journey is finally over and we can live a normal life at home with our kids, though I quietly wonder to myself, could this be the last time I do this ?

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