Monday, November 30, 2015

2 Special Events

We had two special events this month. The first was James's Thanksgiving performance at preschool.  I was so proud of my little Native American.  

Kate didn't get to go to the performance, she had to stay with our babysitter but she was glad to get to see Granny Baker after. 
The other special event was a complete surprise to me.  After the doctors told us Andrew would not be home for Thanksgiving and the day after he had a really bad event I went to the hospital to see him and was talking to one of his nurses about how sad I was that he would be in the hospital for the holiday. I explained to her how I had been dreaming of our family all sitting around the table together and how disappointing it was to me that it wouldn't be a reality for some time. I also shared that though the babies were over two months old we had never all six been together. Well, two days before Thanksgiving (we still didn't know that Andrew would be coming home) I was back at the hospital and the nurse asked me to come with her.  She led me to a private room where my parents, Ryan's mom, James, and Harrison were all waiting for me. Several of the nurses had cooked us an entire Thanksgiving meal. Turkey, sides, desserts, drinks- all of it!  The nurses hooked Andrew up to the portable heart monitor and shut the door to give us some privacy so we could have family time and eat together. Hands down one of the most wonderful things anyone has ever done for me.  The compassion and kindness that these nurses showed our family moves me to tears every time I think about it. The nurse that cooked the turkey had worked the day before (so over a 12 hour shift) and had gotten up at 4 a.m. that morning on her day off to put the turkey in. They had the table set with fun plates and special cups for the boys and one of them had even gotten chick fil a nuggets for James and Harrison because they knew that they loved them!  It was an incredibly special time for me to finally be together with Ryan and all four kids for the first time and to get to have that wonderful meal together. 

Daddy and Kate

So much yummy food!

Finally all together!

I have such a love and respect for all the nurses that took care of our babies both at the hospital here and in Greenville. They didn't just tend to their physical needs, they also loved them and cared for our family as well. They showed such kindness to James and Harrison whenever they came to visit.  Multiple times they gave me hugs when I was having a particularly hard day and they provided endless amounts of encouragement to me as a mother.  Many nights I would call the hospital to check on the babies before going to sleep and they never minded, no matter how late it was.  When I would bring Kate with me to the hospital and she would get fussy they would come take her and hold her while they continued to work so that I could have time with Andrew. They work so hard and are so busy yet they were never to busy to take time to help us in whatever way they could.  It was interesting how after spending day after day at the hospital you begin to get to know each other and form friendships.  I am so thankful for each of them! 

Nov Misc

This was a hard month but it ended in a fabulous way!  Here are some of our November memories...

When the babies were born I realized their going home outfits were WAY too big so I bought these sweet preemie ones for them. Kate got to wear hers home but Andrew decided to stay for the extended session in the hospital and before I knew it he was so big I realized his wasn't going to fit by the time he left! So I squeezed his chunky self into it for a couple of pictures. 
Don't make sister mad! She has a mean punch! 

What an expression! 
Hanging out with Nene 
After we realized we were going to be in the hospital for a good while longer we tried to brighten up our corner and added the bouncy seat so he could have a change of scenery  

Snuggling Kate and treasuring these moments. 

He is the humor in our family!  This morning he said his hands were cold and asked to put socks on his fingers while he drank his juice, lol. 
Creation by James- surely Luke Skywalker would have been on the ship with the pilgrims!
Kate's first follow up doctor's appointment 
One of the nurses made her this sweet hat 

Harrison really wanted to come to the hospital so my mom brought him by himself one evening 
When we were leaving he asked the doctor, " Andrew can come home too now?"
My big helper 
Wearing James's coming home outfit 
Multiple times throughout this journey I hit a wall. So thankful for friends who provided prayers, encouragement, texts, phone calls, and support in so many ways.  This day Rebecca took a day off of work to come meet me for lunch and to get me away from the hospital for couple of hours. It recharged me and gave me a much needed boost!
School pictures! 

Often I would try to read my devotionals while rocking a baby in the hospital

Joe and Marianne came one night for dinner. When I made our reservation I told the hostess we had a preemie and they stuck us by ourselves in a corner away from everyone. People have been so good to us! 
Andrew didn't mind sharing his space with Kate. Oftentimes when she got fussy the nurses would come hold her for me so I could have more time with him. Such great caretakers! 

I had to take this picture- that is a heck of a lot of milk. I felt like I was attached to that pump all the time. The sad thing is Mr. Chubs (a.k.a. Andrew) went through all this in about a day!!! 
Kissing sister goodbye for the night 

The boys went to the beach with Nana and Pop and they sent me this picture. Always gives me a little picture into future life when James gets his license and they are off together- yikes! 

This night James asked to come with me to the hospital and I was excited because I got to give Andrew a bath-  his first from me. One of our wonderful nurses involved James a lot that night and he was SO proud to get to help. 

One of the most special things about this was it was the first time I got to hold him or see him with nothing attached- no tubes, wire, needles, nothing. 

I missed a lot with my big boys during this time but tried to make the most of the time we did have. Dinner date at Panera!
The first weekend Andrew was home Ryan was working and I was alone and it was absolute chaos. Babies and big kids crying, Andrew's heart alarm going off, etc. I looked over and this was how the boys were staying entertained. Lol
hanging out in the new crib
"Mom, I'm just checking on her mom."

A friend let us borrow this fabulous stroller and bassinets and best of all Andrew's monitor fit underneath 
ready for a walk!
James and I went to see the Polar Express and got to meet Santa after

Kate had her follow up with the pediatric ophthalmologist. Both babies had a mild case of ROP but thankfully it resolved itself.
Happy Boys!