This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post is sponsored by UPPAbaby, a brand I truly love. All opinions are my own.

Bringing home baby - a phrase I never thought would have as much meaning as it does to me now.

A phrase I didn't realize that some people don't experience.

And a phrase I took for granted.

3 years ago, I went into labor with my first daughter and things went smoothly. We delivered her, but I knew immediately that something wasn't right. Her breathing was rapid and shallow. It took an entire overnight of asking every nurse that came in our room if everything was okay with her, and them reassuring me that she was "just learning how to breathe" - before finally someone agreed with me. We would find out later that day that she was born with several heart defects.

During my pregnancy, I had this idea of how everything was going to go. In my head, of course I knew that something could go wrong but I never actually thought that would be us. Most times, I chalked those thoughts up to just typical pregnancy paranoia.

On December 1st of that year, I had the house ready and her nursery perfect. She was due on Christmas Day.

She came a few days late, and then suddenly, all of my dreams were shattered.

Once everyone finally agreed there was an issue with her heart, we were transferred to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta where we stayed for a month. While there, Emaline endured a nasty blood infection, spinal meningitis, and one heart surgery repair.

When we finally did get to go home, it was surreal. I'll never forget sitting in the backseat, sandwiched in between Emaline and the feeding tube supplies we were sent home with. On our way, I remember feeling excited to move on with our lives but also terrified of the long road that was ahead of us. And I was exhausted. Mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Fast forward to now: It's been almost three years, and just we welcomed another baby girl into our lives. Pearl Jo is a gift and a blessing to our family. We had her 3 weeks early at the end of October this year!

Unlike last time, we were able to bring her home at 3 days old.

This time, there was no trauma.

There was no waiting on surgery, no waiting on "news" - no waiting.This time we were able to have the newborn photo session I had so desperately wanted to have with Emaline. This time we were able to feed our newborn and give her what her body needed, instead of waiting on surgery. This time I was able to breathe.

I will never forget the 3 days we spent in the hospital... I was in total bliss. The only word I can think of to describe it is "healing." It was a healing experience for us and our entire family.

This time, we drove home as a family of four and to be honest, I felt like I was in a dream. How do I even begin to care for this newborn baby at home? Will I be getting any sleep? How does this all work? And how do I give a baby this small a bath?! All things I didn't have experience from with Emaline. Just like last time, I was exhausted... but it was different. I was on cloud 9 and more than happy to be this kind of tired.

Two months later, and things are still chaotic and crazy but I couldn't be happier. What I realize now is that experiencing both paths has actually been a blessing.

The first few months with Emaline were traumatic and we honestly felt robbed of the "newborn experience." As I type this, listening to my husband in the next room trying to calm a colicky baby... trust me, we haven't been robbed of anything this time around! ;)

For those curious, Emaline is about to be 3 years old and she is thriving. She will likely undergo future procedures and surgeries but we continue to watch her miraculously beat the odds.

I'm a big believer in the phrase, "everything happens for a reason." I am so grateful for both of our daughters, no matter how they entered this world. I may have missed out on a lot when Emaline was first born, which was really hard on my mama heart and soul. But I also learned how strong we all are, and there's something so special about that girl... we have no doubt that she will change the world.

We chose the UPPABaby MESA car seat this time around and I'm so glad we did! Putting little tiny PJ into a car seat was terrifying because she was so small - but it felt so comfy and safe. The MESA is optimized for preemies, starting at 4lbs and goes up to 35 lbs which was great for my peace of mind... you really never know how big your baby is going to be!

Now that shes two months old, we still love it and it goes in and out of the base so easily! Of course it has stellar safety ratings, but UPPAbaby was the first to offer a naturally fire retardant free car seat through the use of merino wool... how cool is that?!

It also clicks in to the MINU stroller using easy adapters, and into the VISTA and the CRUZ without adapters. Click here to shop the carseat and see what all they have to offer. If you or someone you know is in the market for a new carseat, I honestly am SO beyond impressed with the quality of this brand and recommend checking them out!