Wednesday, December 4, 2013

With Love From Home...

Home.
We made it home.  

It has been a long, long day... after a long, long night... and I'm feeling very incoherent and exhausted.  Hope was rather fussy last night so the two of us were up a lot.  And she needs to be nursed at LEAST every three hours so I was awake much of the time.  That's the bad news.

The good news?  My little sweetheart is a champion nurser.  My milk is IN, people.  And those who know what that means may have done a collective "ouchie!" in my honor.  The hard part sometimes is waking her up to eat - but she needs to gain weight and she needs to get rid of her slight jaundice.  And breastmilk can accomplish both of those things!
One thing she needed to do before being declared ready for discharge was to pass the "car seat test" with a respiratory therapist.  This happened in the middle of the night.  Lucky for me, I had a rock star nurse who understood my need to document the moment.  While I slept, she snuck away with Hope and my camera!  She passed with flying colors!
This morning, as the princess slept in (and Mommy tried to keep her eyes open and her brain focused) the discharge process began.  
Hope's doctor from the NICU came in to examine her and told me her weight had gone from 6lbs, 1oz to 5lbs, 9oz.  He wasn't concerned about it that much - and actually told me that he never really believed her birth weight.  I had been so pumped with fluid before the delivery and it's likely that it got transferred to her.  She was very swollen (as was I!) and that has gone away (for her - not me - booooo!).  He also told me that her bilirubin was showing some slight jaundice.  Ed and I need to drive her back to the hospital for blood work tomorrow to check the levels again.  He told us, if needed, we could do phototherapy at home!

Brian and Ed showed up to take their girls home.  Hope and I both had wardrobe malfunctions, but we didn't care.  The "coming home" outfit I planned for her was about ten sizes too big for my preemie!  Lucky for me, I had packed an outfit that Miss Sara bought for her that looked on the smaller side.  And I had planned a "coming home" outfit - but forgot an essential part of it.  So I ended up wearing the same outfit I walked into labor and delivery wearing that had been all crumpled up in my suitcase to take back home.  Oh well.  If you think I spent a moment stressing about it, you'd be wrong.  I was so excited to get home with our little girl.

I was also VERY excited to let Brian hold his sister for the first time.  And it was a moment that we will never - EVER - forget.
He took it all very seriously and was really careful and sweet.  The first thing he said to her was, "I'm going to take care of you."  And all day, he proved that to be true.  He wanted to take her picture...he wanted to understand everything (and I mean everything) about breastfeeding...he would come to me if he heard her crying to ask, "Mom - is the baby okay?"  He is 100% invested.
Ed and I are so happy - and so relieved - that he is excited to be a big brother.  We lost our son... but Brian's heart was broken, too, when he lost his big brother.  Although it's impossible for Gavin to be replaced - and we don't presume at all that Hope could - there is one thing we are sure of.  Something we heard Brian whisper to his baby sister today.

He kissed her softly.
Then he leaned in for a gentle squeeze and said...
"I will love you forever."

And he will.  I'm sure of it.




47 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful moment with Brian and Hope. I really hope to get similar moment in a few months when my little boy becomes a big brother. Glad to know the whole family is home together! Congratulations again Leong Family! She's a beauty!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aw. I love you, Brian! I am 100% sure you will be an awesome big brother to Hope. Congratulations again, Leong family!

    xx from the Philippines

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just Beautiful! <3

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hope is so blessed to have Brian as her big brother. He is so sweet and wise for his age. I'm so happy that you and Hope are home and doing well. I continue to pray for you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just found your blog last week. And I have to say your daily updates on your beautiful family are a highlight of my day! God is good and is with us in the pain and the joy. I'm so happy you are experiencing the gift of your new baby girl.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kate, these are precious moments you have captured. Many blessings to you and your beautiful family. I know that Gavin is looking down and smiling on all of you and Hope. Kate, try to get some rest. I hope you have someone to help you with Brian and meals. Many hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  7. She's lovely! Where did you find her adorable car seat and cover?

    ReplyDelete
  8. brian is a sweetheart...what a blessing to watch him love on Hope!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is the most precious thing ever!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, yes.....the milk coming in!!! You want it to happen, but then I always wondered why it had to be so uncomfortable! And, I so remember those nights when you spend forever trying to get the baby to WAKE up and eat!!! It's so hard not to nod off to sleep as you're sitting there....I can recall being SOOOO tired!!!!
    Congratulations again on your sweet baby. I know that you realize how precious life is, and you'll enjoy these days to the fullest!! You have a beautiful family, and I appreciate you sharing your journey with us.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm so thrilled for you!

    May I make a suggestion? Every 3 hours is a formula schedule. Breast milk digests in as little as 30 minutes. And a newborn tummy is about the size of a walnut.

    Preemies do tend to be very sleepy, and it can be difficult to wake them (especially if they've had the Hep B shot in hospital--that one knocked my preemie out for literally days). But going too long between feedings contributes to newborn jaundice (and she does look yellow in the photo), as well as dehydration. A more typical newborn nursing schedule is every 30-90 minutes.

    Seriously.

    I researched this after I got yelled at by a hospital nurse for nursing "too often." The lactation consultant was the first one to tell me about the every 30-90 minutes thing, and I did find a lot of articles on it.

    Bonus: if they nurse more often during the day, they are more likely to sleep for longer stretches at night!

    Although she is so adorable, it might be hard to sleep, because you'll want to keep looking at her adorableness.

    Anyway, congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Naww. Those last few lines brought tears to my eyes. It amazes me how much the same parts of your birth story relate to mine. Hope's weight and the fact that my sons take home outfit was too huge. We had to go buy prem clothing :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. She looks so much like Brian! She's really a beautiful baby, a truly gorgeous girl. Much love and joy to you all x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just waiting for your next crisis because that seems to be the story of your life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really! Thats what comes to mind after seeing the beautiful pictures of Brian with his new baby sister!

      Delete
    2. Disgusting, anonymous. Have some balls and post your real name. And why visit this site if you are going to bash?

      Delete
    3. Whoever You Are "Anonymous"....Get Off This Page....How Dare You!!! This Is The Most Loving,Caring,Kind,Generous,Empathic, Etc,Etc WomanI Have Ever Encountered. Her Trials Have Been Many But The Love She Gives To Her Family Shows In Her Writings & Photos. We Wish Her Nothing But Happiness & Blessings And We Thank Her For Sharing Their Beautiful Story With All Of Us. If You Don't Agree Or Have Anything Negative To Say 1. Use Your Real Name 2. GEt lost....KarmA Is a Wonderful Thing!!!

      Kate, We Love You & Your Beautiful Family, Thank You For Sharing Them With Us. ,Hope Is Beyond Beautiful And The Smiling Picture Was Gavin Whispering In Her Ear.
      ((Hugs)) From Ct Xoxo
      Sorry Had To Get That All Out!!!

      Delete
    4. Wow... just wow...sounds like someone needs to get a life....

      Delete
    5. I only hope Kate is way too busy with her new beautiful baby girl Hope, adorable son and loving husband to even see that horrid post. What a hateful thing to say to someone who is enjoying such love and bliss right now and who truly deserves to experience it. She has opened up her heart and shared the most intimate details of her suffering with so many. To see someone intentionally try to inflict further pain on her makes my stomach turn.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous is a TROLL
      You just get off on stirring things up
      You are just jealous and full off hate and enjoy trying to hurt others, TROLL

      Delete
  15. She is absolutely beautiful Kate!! Congratulations to all of you. Gavin will take fabulous care of all of you from above. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh Brian! That is the sweetest thing. And so true. I don't know you and I hope it won't seem inappropriate to comment just from having read your blog, but when I read this I thought of Gavin too. Brian knows what it is to be a sibling, he learned that in his relationship with Gavin. So, in the way he knows how to love Hope and expresses that, so much of Gavin's love and input is coming through to her too.

    Wishing you much love, joy, and as much sleep as can be hoped for, in these first days at home. Lucy

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love happy endings and yours is beautiful. I cried with joy for your precious family. Enjoy every moment with your family and have a very merry Christmas. xx

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh dear, I am just in tears. This story of you all coming home is so beautiful. I am so excited we can all share in this 'journey'. Thank you for sharing it with us. You have so many pulling for you, praying for you, supporting you, cheering you on. I'm so happy you all headed home together! Now, hopefully you can get some rest....wishful thinking! I remember those newborn days. XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  19. precious! as far as the sleep thing, get a Pocket Nanny, it helped me so much on finding a routine and getting a schedule down for both myself and baby, I also got some sleep in there ;) for the jaundice, sit by a window when the sun is shinning through, it will help clear the jaundice right up, all 3 of mine had it when they were born. For the Pocket Nanny, you can find it at Babies R Us or here: http://itzbeen.com/

    ReplyDelete
  20. be still my heart. Happy homecoming and new beginnings ♥

    ReplyDelete
  21. Absolutely precious!! Brian is such a special little boy! Hope is absolutely gorgeous. Maybe as you get settled in at home a little more rest will come. Congratulations, so happy for you that you are all home together!

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a wonderful coming home story - for your whole family... God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  23. SNIF! What a beautiful post. You can see how happy Brian is in that picture--we have one too of Elena when her sister was born. I don't think I've ever seen such joy on a little face as when they hold their newborn sibling for the first time. Congratulations on Hope's arrival, and making it home so quickly, and for successful breastfeeding!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'll love you forever, I'll love you for always, I'll love you forever, my little sister, you will always be! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have been following the Leong family journey since the day Gavin had his seizure. Today, I am "signing off" as one journey has ended and a new one is beginning. To me - the online journey ends here. We watched and waited as Hope made her surprise appearance and now debut into the world. She is here, she is healthy, she is loved. Kate, with this new baby I hope you will get back to the business of living and slowly let go of the business of blogging. Over the months Hope will start eating solids, get diaper rashes, learn to sit up, get her first ear infection and start talking. This will be wonderful, but it is for you now, not us. And fellow readers/followers if you feel it would be hard for you to let go of their story, you should probably do some soul searching as well. As my little son sometimes says to me when he wants my attention and I am on my phone or iPad "Mommy, I want to talk to you and you are in your screen!" Let's all step away from our screens. Use that time to do something real. Focus on our own families. I wish the Leongs and all of you the best. Peace, out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just wanted to comment that everyone lives differently; for some, time spent writing or reading a blog may take away from living life, but for others it may enhance life. Kate has shared in the past that her blog is her journal, and I don't think her need to stop processing her thoughts and emotions through writing will stop now. And as a mother who also values processing through writing, though mine is private, I know it doesn't take away from time I give my son. While I fully agree that a lot of us probably should spend less time on screens and more time with people, I also think there is value to the honesty Kate shares with us, and what her readers can gain by viewing it.

      Respectfully,
      Rachel

      Delete
    2. Hi, Megan! Enjoy the extra time with your family!

      I can see how if I had only started reading this blog on the day of Gavin's seizure I might feel that this was the end of a single journey. Having been here (a little) longer, I tend to see a variety of journeys here. Or maybe just one much longer journey? Anyway, from my perspective, Chasing Rainbows has never been about separating "the business of living" from "the business of blogging," since Kate has been doing both with grace for years. Indeed, her blog is an extension of her love for her family and a testament to the many ways that that love has inspired her to help others, to be generous with the lessons she has learned from that love.

      I totally agree that we should cut back on things that disrupt our families' needs, but the small time I spend reading this site doesn't have that effect. And, going by her own statements, this blog refreshes Kate; it doesn't drain her or take away from her mothering. So I, for one, look forward to many new smilestones to come!

      --Molly

      Delete
    3. Dear Megan,

      If you only checked into Kate's blog during Gavin's life until now, I expect you feel as lucky as the rest of us do. I'm sure you agree, the opposite of a 'Debbie Downer, one of the best part's of Kate's blog is her optimistic take on life - as life happens. And who could predict miscarriages, a stillbirth, a precious child with a mysterious diagnosis who suddenly DIED, a grieving sibling who had his own early health concerns, a marriage to nurture, pregnancy, hormonal slap downs, high blood pressure, an irritable uterus, no sleep, exhaustion, reflux and a miracle named Hope? Sign off now? Each to his own and no offense. For me, I can't wait to see what happens next with this gripping writer and her wonderful family.

      Delete
    4. I think it is important that those who have popular blogs don't feel duty bound to keep them up to date if they don't want to, but if blogging feels right then I don't think it needs to take anything away from daily life. And I totally trust Kate to get that decision right, so as long as you want to blog Kate then you will have many grateful readers. And if you ever don't want to for whatever reason, which only you can decide, people will still all be wishing you the best.

      Obviously Kate knows more than most what being there for her family involves, and it couldn't be clearer that that is her top priority. So if she feels blogging enhances her life, then I'd be happy with that! No offence to you Megan as everyone can decide what to follow when, but I don't think the advice you gave with signing off is necessary.

      Delete
  26. I loved the pictures included, Hope is so cute!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hope will be your family's 'healer', something to focus on, especially for Brian, hopefully he won't feel so lonely and bereft now that he has his beautiful little sister to look after :)
    You can see how tiny she is with Brian holding her!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Such a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  29. That made me cry and smile all at the same time. Glad you are all home together as a family!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Beautiful - I sit at my desk reading this smiling big with tears in my eyes. Brian is going to be a rockstar big brother. Congratulations to you all!

    ReplyDelete
  31. They are so precious together. You can see how much love he's been given by how much he so willingly gives to sweet Hope! Congratulations, and so happy you all got home safe and healthy!

    ReplyDelete
  32. What beautiful children you have. And, can I just say, how lucky is the girl who marries Brian someday?!?! What a sensitive (in a good way) little boy. Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi, I have been following your story since shortly after Gavin died. Love reading your prose, it's beautiful. I am so happy for you with the safe arrival of Hope. She hasn't even opened her eyes in pictures yet, but she looks just like Brian to me. Congratulations :)
    Erica

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Header design by Susie Q. Designs