Shaniqua and Fernando Gutierrez couldn't be happier to see their son, Liam, lying in his own crib. It's a welcomed changed from where he was just last week.
"Santa brought us a big gift, early this year and we couldn't have asked for anything else," said Shaniqua.
Liam was born in May, three months premature with a slew of medical problems. He was having complications with his lungs and intestines, which lead to a long stay in the neonatal intensive care unit at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children's Medical Center in Temple.
"You can tell he's at home. He's a happy baby but you can feel that he's comfortable, we're comfortable," said Fernando.
For seven months, his parents spent hours driving to and from the hospital, trying to balance their worries with the heartbreak of losing Liam's twin brother, Leo, who died from unknown causes just five days after he was born.
Shaniqua said she and her husband have yet to go through the full mourning process.
"Leo was a fighter too," said Shaniqua. "l had told Leo, give that courage, give that strength to your brother and I think he did. I think there's a part of Leo in Liam."
While there's still plenty of checkups in Liam's future, his parents said his doctors expect him to make a full recovery.
"These doctors visits that are coming up, we're looking forward to them because he's here and we can take him with us," said Fernando.
Making them all the more grateful to be celebrating "Baby's First Christmas" in the comfort of their own home.
"We're finally here. This is what we wanted," said Fernando. "We wanted to be home."
Shaniqua and Fernando said they couldn't have made it through this difficult time without the support of their family, NICU nurses and church community.
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