If a picture is worth a thousand words, prepare for a verbal barrage.

Yes, yes! That’s Becky in clothing. And another funny hat. And a car seat. Which is used to legally transport an infant in a moving vehicle. Tonight my little car headed west into the sunset. Towards H♥O♥M♥E!

Incredibly and unexpectedly, Becky was released from the hospital today. After 27 days and a few hours. But who is counting? Except the computer updating the NICU score board. Just as Becky put on a little weight, the cardiologist started watching her respiratory rate which was elevated and necessitated a change in her medications. Last night, she needed an x-ray in the middle of the night. So I never thought we would come home today.

But, if you make a special trip home to gather the mail and all the bills. And if you make plans to do a home manicure and purchase all the necessary materials from Target late on a Saturday night. And if your mom unpacks your bags and makes your bed. And if you call your mother-in-law and tell her there is no way you are leaving the NICU until your child starts Kindergarten. And if Notre Dame beats Clemson in the game of century.


That’s the magic formula! Who knew?

The nurse who walked me to the door was named Shelly. Which is a very special nickname for my mother. If you want to understand, you will need to watch the movie The In-Laws and spend a day with my mother. And my siblings. But there is no time for that right now. Family joke.


Four wonderful friends beat us home and thoroughly cleaned my house. Because, although Sam did a heroic job running things, there was no time for such mundane things as mopping floors and cleaning showers. According to the kids, he was too busy sprouting grey hair and running out of gas on the freeway.

It was such a great moment driving home. We were on the phone with my sister (who was full of joyful tears) as we pulled into the driveway. And the natives came pouring out of the front door to greet us. Well, to greet Becky. Who is the star of the show. Even the dog found a new companion and charge.

My heart is full beyond measure.

One last reflection on the NICU. Well, at least for now. I have many, many people to introduce, including my angel, my pastor, and Becky’s speech therapist. But those are stories for another time.

I have written down the names of all the wonderful nurses who cared for Becky (even Nurse Wisdom). But there are two that took especially good care of me. I hope they don’t mind my using their names. Trudy and Emily. They cared for Becky multiple times and were on duty on particularly difficult days. As I struggled to see beyond the alarms. And the tubes. And the frequently changing news about Becky. They were my support while I was alone in the NICU. And they talked me through some very low moments and willed me to keep going.

I filled with tears saying goodbye to both of them. I will never forget these women. Surely God will give me some opportunity to express my gratitude in the future. They have a special place in my heart.

Funny. I keep using the word heart. How utterly and unspeakably amazing that God has used Becky’s broken heart to touch mine so deeply.

I mentioned before that Becky and I called her nurses her “Aunties”. Well, Becky’s Auntie Emily came to say goodbye to us. Just moments before we left, she walked into our room one last time. She wasn’t our nurse today but she heard rumors that we were leaving. Which brought me to tears. Because in the midst of her busy work day, caring for other sick children and needy parents, she thought of us.

I thanked her for taking care of me. And teaching me. And giving me confidence when I thought I had none left. When my tank was empty, Emily and Trudy both filled it back up. And I found a way to keep going. At least until I could get back home to my Mom. Saying goodbye these women, one two separate days, was a most precious moment in my life.

Anyways, after Auntie Emily left, Becky began to stir ever so slightly.

I leaned in to listen to her breathing. And I thought I heard Becky whisper:

Oh Auntie Em!

There’s no place like home!

There’s no place like home!

There’s no place like home!

24 thoughts on “H♥O♥M♥E

  1. Well, this is a completely unexpected, wonderful miracle. I am so happy for you and Becky and your whole beautiful family! I just updated my family today on praying for Becky’s release, and I can’t wait to share the good news with them. Our continued prayers~


  2. Sigh! We are just doing cartwheels over here!!! 🤸🏼‍♂️🤸🏻‍♂️🤸Happy beyond belief!!! Because Becky is home, which means she doesn’t NEED to be in the NICU anymore, because she is doing THAT GOOD!! Love and hugs and more love to all of you! And, oh yeah, I hope Sam has been following your blog close enough to remember what Angela said: when you run out of gas, Jesus wears neon orange and works for the Illinois Department of Transportation, and his number is 999!!?


  3. SO wonderful. Best news of the week, hands down. That last picture…Becky’s sweet face. So peaceful in her sissy’s arms 💗


    • I am so happy to hear this news!! I will continue to pray for Becky & say prayers of thanksgiving for this wonderful news!!!


  4. Tears are running down my face for the joy you have expressed so profoundly and for the looks of pure love on the faces of my other great nieces and nephews as they hold darling Becky. Your family is so special! God answered the prayers from all of Becky’s prayer warriors.


  5. Congratulations on this epic step! Becky is so blessed to be in your amazing family! Let this new chapter of her life begin!!


  6. Hurray! Hurray! Great Aunt Carol describes running home from school to be able to hold Becky, that is, the 1963 model! I am greatly rejoicing that she is home and continuing to pray for Becky, the 2020 model.


  7. I am in tears, and so grateful for God’s faithfulness in seeing you all through these challenging days, grateful for his hands and feet working through His special women who cared for you and Becky, for the doctors whom He trained and placed in your path at this specific time, for all of you wonderful Rauchs who now welcome this precious babe home. My heart, too, is full. Sending all our love!


  8. Hurray! The family is united! God bless all theRauch family as they continue their journey together strong!

    Sent from my iPhone



  9. Such wonderful news!! A tug at all of our hearts as this little miracle is something special. God bless these special times welcoming her home.


  10. Well, my Leprechans beat Jon’s Tigers & Becky beat NICU-guess “2020” is ending on a great note. What more could we pray for Thanksgiving & Christmas !! The 3Ms are still with Becky. Love, Uncle Jon & Aunt Cynthia


  11. I’m crying reading this – so many happy tears. You are an amazing person and mother. You and Becky have left a mark on my heart and soul. I so didn’t want to say goodbye to you guys, but I’m so honored and grateful that our paths crossed and to have been a small part of the start of her nicu journey. I’ll be following : ) love, Auntie Em


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