Little Audrey Hawn Alguire is now at home, following weeks of touch and go time at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
CORNWALL, Ontario - The roller coaster ride that was the summer of 2013 for Andrea Hawn and her husband Jason Alguire has finally pulled into the station.
And riding in the front seat is their three-month-old daughter Audrey - the little bundle of joy that spent weeks at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario fighting for her tiny little life while hooked up to machines that helped her breath and eat, is finally home.
The reality of motherhood and being a parent is finally sinking in for Hawn, who for weeks stood by while doctors and nurses took care of little Audrey.
"I get to take care of her now, because before it was all them," she said in an interview. "Now I'm doing everything."
Audrey was born this summer nearly a month early, following an emergency C-section. At the time doctors discovered a duct that allowed her to breathe while in-utero, had begun to close.
Much of the summer for Hawn and Alguire was spent shuttling back and forth between Cornwall and Ottawa, and worrying constantly about Audrey's quality of life as time progressed.
The good news is she is doing very well - as evidenced by the fact that she was allowed to go home a few weeks ago.
But she's not out of the woods yet. While the breathing tube has been removed, Audrey is still "topped up" via a feeding tube when she stops suckling from a bottle.
"(Doctors) are very satisfied with how she is starting to heal," said Hawn, adding pulmonary hypertension - or extremely high blood pressure - is the big concern now.
She concedes there are still more questions than answers.
"There still so much more that is unknown," said Hawn. "They've told me to treat her like a normal child, but just remember that she is sick.
"I feel like I am starting to be a mother."
Hawn and Alguire expressed deep thanks for all the help they received during the summer.
Hawn's co-workers set up a fundraising drive to help offset the costs of travelling and living in Ottawa for extended periods of time.
"I couldn't believe the outreach," she said. "I was amazed at the response from the community."