Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Home At Last!!!

Dear Charli,
It was Saturday, May 12 and the day was finally upon us that we could take you home!!! You passed your carseat test,

 you were tolerating bottle feeds and had been weaned off tube feedings, and you were maintaining your own body temperature and gaining weight. You were 8 weeks old and you were being released from the NICU! Your mommy, poppy, and I kept it a secret from everyone that you were coming home. Your family from Missouri were on their way to spend Mother's Day weekend with us but they thought they were going to visit you in the hospital and we didn't tell them they would be seeing you at home instead. Your church family would be surprised too, but Pastor Mitch was let in on the secret.

We were so excited to arrive at the NICU to prepare to take you home. Many of your NICU nurses dropped by your bay to tell you goodbye. Your mommy was so excited to tell you about going home that day:

One last bottle feeding before we put you in the car:

Your mommy let me get you dressed to go home while she finished everything she needed to do to take you home:

Ready for your next adventure!

LOVE the look on your face as we bundled you up, almost as if you knew excitement was coming!

Your nurse put you in a bassinette to wheel you downstairs with Mommy while I went to pull the car around:

Getting you ready to get in your Mommy's car:

Mommy secured you in your carseat:

And off we go!

First stop Grammy and Poppy's house to see POPPY!!!

To finally have you home was the answer to so many prayers and what a blessed blessed day that was!

A Grammy's Love

Dear Charli,
It seems my favorite pasttime these days includes this:


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Grammy and Poppy

Dear Charli,

Although the NICU seemed a scary place with so many tiny babies who needed such special care, it was your home for almost 2 months. Your first home didn't get to be in a cradle at your mommy's bedside, it was in a specialized basinette high up off the floor attached to so many monitors and wires. I was so fearful of picking you up from your bed so most of my visits your mommy handed you to me or one of the nurses if she wasn't there. Most of the time I visited with your mommy, but a couple of times I was able to see you with Poppy. Those were such special moments, sharing our granddaughter and getting to know you. What a sweet sweet baby you are, and how very much we love you. My heart melts anew when Poppy looks at you, and when you look back at him, there are just no words to describe what my heart does. You have stolen our hearts for certain.

We love you,

Grammy and Poppy

Friday, June 22, 2012

Visits to the NICU

Dear Charli,
Your Mommy visited you in the NICU every single day you were there. Some days being able to do so was crazy for her schedule when she started her new job, but even then she never missed a day. I am so proud of how well she has taken care of you and how very much she loves you!

I visited a few times a week and loved those times with you and your mommy. The last week before you finally came home was the hardest on everyone. The traveling had taken its toll and your mommy and everyone else was exhausted. We were anxious to bring you home and tired of the hospital and the drive. You made it all worthwhile though and we wouldn't have missed our chances to hold you and cuddle you and read to you for anything!


Charli's First Easter

Dear Charli,
I am way behind in journaling our journey! I can't wait to post all the things that have happened lately, but I don't want to leave out some important steps of our journey so the new stuff will wait.

We all had high hopes (albeit unrealistic) that you could be home for Easter. It was not to be but I ordered you a dress anyway. Your Mommy, Poppy and I drove over to the hospital to spend the day with you as soon as church was over that morning.

You looked so pretty in your Easter dress!

And so tiny in Poppy's arms!

Snuggling with Mommy

Happy Easter Charli!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Every Good and Perfect Thing....

Dear Charli,

Months before you were born, your mommy gave me free reign to decorate your nursery. Her only preference was that she likes dark wood and for the walls she wants photos of babies in sepia prints. We haven't added any photos to the walls yet (I've decided I want those photos to be of YOU!)

We are still contemplating printed canvases vs. framed prints. We've chosen some of your newborn shots we'd like to use but that's all that has been decided.

Poppy and I purchased your crib for a Christmas gift for your mommy. Soon after, your mommy purchased some dressers at a really great price. The furniture didn't match but I assured her we'd make it work.

Your mommy and I had been searching for quotes and scriptures for me to paint on your walls. We narrowed it down to your Mommy's favorite choices. How perfect that the scripture your Mommy chose was James 1:17 "Every Good and Perfect Thing Comes from Above." God certainly sent us a very good and perfect thing when He sent you to our family!

The far wall above your crib says:
Sometimes the smallest things
take up the most room in your heart--Pooh

The words on your bookcase say:
Child is a
Story Waiting to be Told

Your room is finished except for a few minor finishing touches and pictures and decorations to hang on the wall. It's all waiting for you to come home, and then it will be complete.

I imagine one day that your mommy might come into your room and find you coloring on your walls. I wonder if your response will be "I'm painting like Grammy does!"

Every day brings us closer to bringing you home and we so look forward to that day.
We love you bunches and bunches!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Uncle Mike!

Dear Charli,
The first Sunday after you were born was a treat! Your mommy's uncle Mike, Poppy's twin brother, came to visit. It was a treat because he lives far away in Hawaii and was in San Antonio for a class with the Army. He arrived on Sunday morning and as soon as Poppy got out of church they headed to San Antonio to see you.
They also brought our dear friends, the Wilcox Family. You have so many people who already love you so much! All of them are anxious to have you home to love and hug!

Your first visit from Uncle Mike:

Uncle Mike also brought presents from Hawaii! This photo was taken much later but it was the first time your Mommy brought you some of your own clothes to try on. Uncle Mike and Aunt Debbie gave you and your Mommy matching Hawaiian sun dresses. We are anxious to get you home and take photos of you and Mommy in your matching dresses!

I think you are the prettiest baby I have ever seen!

Snuggles Again!

Dear Charli,
On Saturday after surgery you came off the ventilator and your mommy and I were able to hold you. The favorite part of our day is snuggling you!

You no longer had the vent tube, but now you had a feeding tube. The feeding tube is the white tube in your nose. It contained your Mommy's milk but it emptied into your lower intestines, below the surgery site, not into your tummy. Your doctors wanted to be sure your lower intestines worked properly, and your surgery site had to heal before any food
could go through it.

I love the look on your Mommy's face every time she holds you. There is so much love there!

I can't wait to bring you home!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Post Surgery

Dear Charli,

Your surgery was Thursday morning and Friday night you still had not awakened. Although we were concerned by this, doctors were not alarmed. Your nurses encouraged us to try to waken you Friday night.  I video recorded you trying to waken, but no success.

You were a bit puffy, especially in your face, after surgery. The nurses explained you were retaining fluid after surgery.

All the extra tape on your face was to keep all your tubes and wires in place. You have a new tube after surgery, one hooked up to a ventilator to help you breathe. By Friday night you still weren't breathing on your own. Your doctor hoped to be able to wean you off the ventilator by Saturday.

We couldn't hold you while you were on the ventilator. We could stand by your bed and talk to you and touch you though.


You would open your eyes just far enough to peek at us but you didn't fully waken Friday.

Hoping to hold you soon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Surgery Day

Thursday morning, March 22, your mommy and I were scheduled to be in the NICU to see you at 6 am to get kisses before surgery and so the surgeon could talk to your mommy. Your mommy still had not been released from the hospital so when we woke we just had to get dressed and go upstairs to see you. Poppy and Granny drove over to the hospital very early so they could see you before surgery too.
At 7:30 we still hadn't seen the surgeon. At approximately 8:30 they finally wheeled you down to surgery and we all went to the 3rd floor surgery waiting room. We were told surgery could take 2, possibly 3 hours to repair your intestines.

The nurse put you in an incubator and wheeled you away:

We got one last glimpse of you as they pushed you down the hallway:

At approximately 10:25 am Dr. Thomas came to the waiting room to let us know your surgery went well and that you would go straight back to the NICU for recovery.

After surgery, for a couple of days, we couldn't hold you while you were on the ventilator. You remained on the ventilator until you could breathe on your own again.

It was hard to see you hooked up to so many tubes and wires but we knew they were all in place to make you well again.

Praying it won't be long until you are healed and home!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

First Bath

Dear Charli,

Wednesday evening, March 21 your nurse, Suzanna, asked your Mommy and me if we'd like to give you your first bath. We of course said "YES!" It was just a sponge bath due to all your tubes and wires but you had to be cleaned up good before surgery the next morning.

Grammy washed your hands and between your fingers:

Mommy washed your arms:

and your belly:

and your legs... I teased Mommy that it looked like she was playing with a doll!

and you were not at all happy when Grammy washed under your chin:

Mommy got you a clean diaper:

You were not crazy about getting your hair wet:

but getting it rubbed and washed wasn't so bad

All that work made you so sleepy. Good night sweet Charli. Sleep well.