Monday, May 28, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes

Last Monday, Mark and I took Harper and Henry back to the place where it all started.  I know it has been a year, but for us, it doesn't seem that long ago.  I also know that those doctors and nurses see hundreds of babies a year, but to us, they will always hold a special place in our hearts.  What we went through was awful, but God placed some of the most loving and caring people in our path.  I am blessed for knowing each and every one of them.  A friend described NICU doctors and nurses as, "angels in scrubs," and I couldn't agree more.  I was so sad that there were so many of the nurses that we didn't get to see during this visit, but we will definitely keep going back until we can say hello to them all.

Our first stop was the Fetal Center at Le Bonheur.  This is Dr. Mari.  He is the head of the department and basically a rock star in his field.  (Most of the pictures below are courtesy of Dr. Jacques Samson!)

This is Mrs. Janet Tucker.  She is the patient coordinator and director of the Fetal Center.  She is so precious to us!

Catching up with sweet Kelly!  She, and her partner-in-crime Laura, kept me sane while I was a patient at the Med.  We missed seeing Laura, but we'll see her next time.  Kelly is a sonographer.  I am fascinated with sonography now, thanks to them!  

Seeing Aunt Joi!  We love her so very much!  

 Henry hanging out with Aunt Joi and Uncle Jacques.  Jacques delivered Harper and Henry.  There are no words to describe how much we love this couple!  They're just awesome!
Harper showing off her mad skills.  She is a walking (assisted, of coarse) machine!

Henry with Jennie.  He loved her so much. 

Harper with Leslie

After the Fetal Center and Le Bonheur NICU, we headed over to the Med's NICU to see all of our friends.

Just a few of the nurses that we got to know and love while we were there.   Henry looks a LOT different know than he did while he was here.
Seeing Dr. Ferguson.  This is another neonatologist that we had, only we had him while we were at Le Bonheur.  He is just awesome.

He even got a wave out of Henry!

Catching up with everyone

Henry waving "bye bye" to everyone

And we were so excited to see Dr. Ravi, too.  Dr. Ravi is the doctor who extubated Henry and also took him off of the nasal cannula.  He was also the doctor on call the day Henry had his surgery.  I think I might of made him a little uncomfortable that day because I grabbed him and bear hugged him when he told me Henry was going to be okay.  :)

Family picture 

And of coarse, I could not visit the Med without seeing my friends on the 4th floor.  These women took such good care of me, and well, my entire family for the 5 1/2 weeks I was there.

 While we were there, I was able to finally meet Jamie Anderson.  She is from my hometown but we did not know each other.  She and her husband found themselves in a situation very similar to ours.  Her twins were born at the Med.  On this day that we got to meet, they were bringing their little boy home.  Praise God!  Their little girl is still there, but she is improving each day.  

Baptism Pictures

"...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…"  Hebrews 12:1-2

On Mother's Day, Harper and Henry were baptized.  We were so blessed to have so many of our family and friends present to witness something that was so very special to our family.  Mark and I do not believe for one-second that baptizing Harper and Henry means that they are saved.  No, I'm afraid that is one thing that neither Mark nor I can do for them.  I believe being saved is a personal decision to follow Christ.  Personal, meaning, they will have to come to that decision on their own one day.  What I do believe, is that a baptism of a child signifies that we, the parents, acknowledge God's love and mercy over them, and claim His promises over their little lives.  It's a way of us saying that God loves them even more than we can possibly love them, and that we acknowledge that He has a great plan for each of their lives.  It's also an opportunity for Mark and me to publicly acknowledge that we will set forth an example of what it means to follow Christ.  For us, following Christ does not mean we are perfect and without sin.  No, for us, it means that we are imperfect and full of sin, but that we have been forgiven.  We were blessed to finally share this special time with our family and friends.  

Beautiful flowers in the sanctuary

 Hanging out in Mr. Don's office with Liz, Rebekah, and Emma

 Sweet Henry and his paci.  It might have looked tacky, but I wasn't about to take his paci away!

 As you can see, Harper kicked her shoe off.  Typical Harper girl.

 Harper looking at Mr. Don like, " You're really gonna put water on my head?  You're brave!"

Mark's family 

 Our little family 

We had everything set up in the back yard, but at 7 a.m., due to rain, we moved everything inside. 

My parents

 The beautiful baptism cake my sister made.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Birthday Fun

You know what they say about the best laid plans?  My intentions were to get caught up on blogging this week so I could start on printing the blog into a book, but we had a virus hit our house and all those plans flew out the window.  On Monday, we went to visit our friends at the Med and LeBonheur.  We had so much fun, and then Tuesday, Harper started running fever.  I know this may seem unbelievable, but our children have never had a fever higher than 99.  So, when baby girl's fever went up to 102, I was beyond panicked.  I realized children run a fever all the time, but this was our very first.  I called our pediatrician, and she literally talked me off the ledge.  Harper had her first virus.  Needless to say, we haven't slept much this week.  Amazingly enough, Henry seems okay so far.  I think he had the virus, but I think his was a mild version.  Anyway, I officially feel inducted into the "mommy" club!  Fevers are no joke, and I pray we don't have anymore.  I can already hear laughter from all my mommy friends reading this, but hey, you can pray for anything, right??

So, as I said in my last post, we had a wonderful birthday celebration for Harper and Henry.  It was one of those days that I will look back on and say was perfect.  I can't tell you how much joy it brings to my heart seeing Harper and Henry interacting and even "loving" on the people that Mark and I love so dearly.

 Henry with Gan-Gan (as he calls her)

 The grill masters!  We are indebted to them!

 Beautiful birthday banner that a sweet friend painted for H&H

 Harper with aunt Stef and Quinn

 The "theme" was caterpillars.  Sissy, my sister, did a wonderful job on all the cakes!


 Cousins Tyler and Quinn

 Bouncy house fun!

Harper with her Sissy!  

 Singing Happy Birthday
Harper wasn't sure about this cake business!  This was literally the very first time either one of these babies have had sugar.

 Henry wasn't sure either.
 He did not like cake or icing.

Digging in

 Harper LOVED icing

 I mean, LOVED it!

 Henry, not so much

Harper girl showing off her skills

 Family picture

 Sweet friends from Starkville.  We miss them so much!

College roommates and their sons.  This picture just makes me smile.  

  Harper is SO CLOSE to walking on her own