Today we went to St. Louis Children's Hospital for your newborn followup appointment. We had scheduled this appt when you left the nicu just more than six months ago. Six months?!?! I can hardly believe it's been that long.
I was so happy to see that Dr. Colvin, the red-headed pediatric fellow, would see you today. She was so kind, so understanding, and so sweet with you -- then and today. She, along with a Dr. Harris, looked you over really well. They were so impressed with your strength. Other than your huge head -- :) -- they say you're practically perfect. We'll keep working on your therapy for your muscle tone, but they really noticed great improvement already. In all, we left today with a great bill of health. What a blessing.
Driving to the hospital this morning and finally pulling in, I felt nervous yet safe. Still, all those feelings of being with you in the nicu came back again. When we left, a huge wave of relief washed over me. I felt so, so blessed.
Tonight at home, after you and your brother and sister were in bed and I had vacuumed and washed the floors, I sat down on the couch and looked on Facebook. I saw our friend Faith had posted something. Faith's baby Edison ("Eddie") was in the nicu with you. He was there for 15 weeks! I learned a lot from Faith during our time there together. Thankfully, Eddie is home and doing well.
Anyway... Faith posted something that took me to a page for a boy named Marshall. He was also in the nicu with you. He was on the opposite side from where you were on the center island. I remember his monitor alarms went off...a lot. I saw his mom and dad (always wearing a hat) walk past us a lot, as well. They always looked hopeful, but fearful. I didn't know their story, but I felt for them. I really did. As I saw their Facebook page tonight, I learned that Marshall had passed away. He spent about nine months at Children's. His lungs were small and weak. After spending Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's in the hospital, he welcomed Spring with a trip outside to smell the fresh air and touch grass for the first time. But his body was too sick; Heavenly Father took him home.
My feelings this morning were full of gratitude and relief. And tonight, I feel so sad. So, so sad. I see Marshall's sweet face and I immediately see yours. I can imagine the way his skin feels, the sounds he makes, even his smile. Now his sweet, young parents don't get to see, hear or feel these things. I am devastated. I'm surprised at how emotional I am about this. And yet I am reminded of what is this Sunday. Easter. And the phrase, "death has no sting" comes to mind. I am happy that Marshall is free from his imperfect body. He is perfect now. He is safe in the care of our Heavenly Father. Still, I am sad, truly, for his mom and dad. My heart physically aches for them.
I checked on you tonight before I came to bed. I just wanted to pick you up and hold you and never wanted to let you go. I am so thankful to be your mom. I am so thankful you are healthy and strong. And I know part of that gratitude is selfish because I know the challenges you could have would be harder for me to watch than for you to endure. You are a strong, sweet boy. And I am endlessly grateful to have you as my baby, my son, and to be your mom.
To celebrate Lizzie's third birthday, she invited over a few of her friends for a little party. The theme (I use that term loosely) was "Princess Tea Party," which I have to say, was perfect for this little group. Each of her friends came in their own favorite princess costume. We decorated crowns, blew bubbles, had a little tea party luncheon, and then topped it off with a little "Frozen" dance-off in the basement. They were delighted.
Thank you, Kristin and Sherry, for making the invitation and tea party favor bags. How cute are these? We ironed on the tea pot and included some dress up jewelry, white gloves, and treats for our princess guests.