As amazing as it was to be OUT of the NICU - it was also the start of "normal" parenthood. If you were like us, we had heart rate/oxygen monitors for the first month at home. It was hardly a "normal" experience. However we treasured every moment we could (even tired ones) at home.
I learned to:
Rely on others for help - for Meals. Shower breaks. Coffee dates. Family & friends are your cheerleaders - let them be!
Cut yourself some slack - I cried the first time I cut Gavin's finger when trimming his nails. Things like that happen. Parenthood is one giant trial & error experience. I can't tell you how many different bottles we tried, how many diapers we tested, and how many routines we tried (and failed) at. Just go with the flow, baby will tell you if they need something.
Speak up - You are now the advocate for your baby. If it is cold & flu season, don't feel ashamed to ask people to stay away if they are sick. Preemies are extremely susceptible to all kinds of viruses, and their immune systems are just not as tough as full-term babies. Sanitize - sanitize - sanitize!
Talk about it - Now that you are in the world of "normal" parenthood, connect with other moms to find out any tips they have. You will have days where you question your choice to be a mom - you will be lacking sleep and patience. If you have someone you can talk to - DO IT! You will soon realize that all moms go through the emotions, frustrations, and self-doubt moments. You aren't alone!
Soak it all up - This may be an obvious one, but soak up all of the time you spend with your little one. Whether it is watching them sleep, cuddling on the couch, or giving them their first bath at home. Make time to take it all in. Before you know it - they will be one, and you won't know where the year has gone!