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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy One-Year Homecoming Anniversary

October is a month full of milestones. It's hard to believe it, but one year ago today, Sharon and I brought Hallie home with us for the very first time. We thought that she was HUGE at the time and were amazed at how much she'd grown in the past few weeks. She was a whopping 5 lbs. 11 ounces upon her release from the ICN. We were nervous about some aspects of this new chapter of our lives: would she be OK on home oxygen and would we ever get rid of all that oxygen paraphenalia? would we be able to respond to alarms and perform CPR if need be? would she stay well? how would her eating be? and could we possibly survive without the built in support network that the nurses who had become our friends provided to us? But mostly we were thrilled to have our big girl home.

Looking back on things, of course, we realize that she was so tiny and fragile and that she had a whole lot more growing to do. It's amazing to think that she's put on more than 15 lbs since living with us; that she is not only off of the oxygen and no longer in need of canula retaping (thank goodness) but she is also mobile and alert and engaged and even eating better than she used to and beginning to vocalize.

A lot has happened in this past year and, alas, I don't have the energy for a full-scale photo retrospective. But here's a few shots of our girl a day or two after we brought her home with us:

She sort of resembles the new Hallie, but just barely (and only if you disregard all of that pink tape and the fact that she' wearing a hat, which is something that we're convinced she will refuse to do even in the thick of winter now that she's a big girl with a strong will.

Here are a few shots we took of toddler Hallie tonight:

What a belly! The shirt she's wearing was put on during a quick post-emesis change and was the only one hanging out at the bottom of the diaper bag. Clearly it doesn't fit her anymore, but it does give her a sort of teeny bopper look.

Check out all of Hallie's teeth--she's got 8 big ones and who knows how many coming in:

Here she's doing a Mick Jagger impression. She seems to be getting a lot of satisfaction:

Finally, I've called this one "string theory." The theory is that Hallie loves strings so much that if we get her to walk while holding onto one, she'll forget that she's pretty much balancing on her own and just begin walking. It's not a bad theory (Sharon and Vanessa receive the credit for devising it) and it just might work. At least it sure seems that way:

Anyway, Hallie Rose, you've come a long way baby, and your mommies are thrilled to have you home for a whole year!


Ms.Kitty said...

Hallie- Don't listen to your mommies, your belly is not big. You are just right! It is hard to believe that it has only been a year and that it's already been a year! Glad the girl is thriving.

Judith and Jason said...

What a great milestone. I am sure it went by soooo quickly. Remember when they told you the time spent in NICU would fly by too...
She's a thriving, beautiful girl! 15 pounds is amazing! Her teeth look great! And her eyes are always so expressive!

Cora said...

Yeah, congrats on the 1 year milestone...only 17 more to go! I'm so glad Hallie is doing so well...that string idea is great. It looks like she is soooo close to walking. Keep up the great work!

BTW--Have the arching, flailing, and crying temper tamtrums started yet at your house like they've started at ours?

Be Inspired Always said...

She's beautiful.


Nathali said...

Hallie is such an inspiration to other preemie babies. I haven't been following your blog for that long. How long was she on oxygen? I can't wait for that to be a distant memory...

abby said...

Officially, Hallie was on O2 from when she got home in early October until June (so 9 months). Unofficially we had discontinued the O2 in February or March. It was a great relieft to get rid of the tanks, though, and know that, unless something horrid happened, that she'd be ok. (We actually missed one and still have it in our bedroom...I think we through out the cannula but in a pinch we can call up our NICU friends. God forbid this should ever happen!)

Sonia said...

Happy Homecoming Anniversary! I didn't realize Isaac's homecoming was so close to Hallie's. Isaac came home on Oct 7 last year. :)