Saturday, March 28, 2009

Neonatal ICU Reunion

This morning we went to the Harris Methodist NICU reunion and had such a fun time seeing so many of our sweet friends. During the two and half months Ella was in the hospital we were blessed through wonderful friendships with other parents, doctors, nurses and volunteers. It was so great getting to see so many of these amazing friends again who took such good care of Ella and just loved her like she was their own baby. We are so thankful for each of you and all that you have done for our family! You all have a very special place in our hearts and we are forever grateful for your love for Ella and our family.

Cassie, Tracy and the twins Taylyn and Caylyn, Lisa with her son and baby Haley, Me, Ella, Rick and Eva
Get in where you fit in! Don't you love group shots? These are some of our good friends we made in the NICU. We were all in the same room together for a long time and then Ella and her twin friends were in beds next to each other for weeks and weeks and weeks. These sweet babies were all born extremely premature and when I say extremely I mean like at 24 and 27 weeks. Amazing! They are such fighters and we have said many prayers for them along this journey. It was so fun seeing how far they have come and how big they all are. Rick and I were laughing today because we were all talking about how big each other's babies are now and several comments were made about Ella looking so big. Pretty sure that only in the NICU setting will Ella ever look big to anyone because everywhere else we go people always comment on how tiny she is. Love it. So great to see you guys today and we can't wait to get together again soon! Praying for you all and your sweet girls.

Auntie Florence with all of her little chicks. Love you Florence and we miss your beautiful singing. :) Hope you're still keeping that mic hot with your karaoke. Never give it up, you rock at The Carpenters!

Ella with Miss Sylvia, Nurse Sue and Miss Dorothy
Miss Sylvia and Miss Dorothy are two of the best volunteers! They go up to the NICU every week just to hold and love on babies. Thank you for loving on Ella while she was there and for all of your encouragement. So good to see you both! Sue was the first person we met from the NICU and she shaped my impressions of it before Ella was even born. I remember talking to her on the phone months before Ella was born and she was so encouraging and answered so many questions I had. She gave us a tour of the NICU before as well and at the time it was so hard emotionally to see everything and process that in a few months my baby would be the one lying there hooked up to all the tubes, wires and monitors. On the other hand it was so helpful to know what would take place moments after Ella's birth and see where she was going to be for the upcoming months. Sue remained a constant source of positive encouragement throughout our time in the hospital and we are so thankful for her compassion and care. Thank you Sue!

Ella with "Queen LaTisha" as we like to call her because she is the baby feeding queen. She can get any baby to take a bottle. I think she could get a rock to eat if she had to, she's amazing! There were so many times when we couldn't get Ella to take a bottle and we would just feel so defeated and that's when we'd call in the pro. Ella knew she was in trouble if we had to call in Queen LaTisha. So good to see you, thank you for loving our girl!

Ella with Nurse Shelley and Nurse Crystal
Thank you both for taking such good care of Ella. We loved getting to see you today. Crystal was Ella's nurse many times while in the NICU and she was so sweet with her and Shelley was there the night Ella was delivered. Special ladies!

It was such a blessing getting to see everyone today. There were many that we didn't get to see and we missed you all but hopefully sometime soon we'll get back up there to visit. Thank you again Harris NICU for loving and taking such good care of Ella. We love you and look forward to seeing you again!


tine said...

It's a special bond we NICU parents have isn't it? It's such an unnatural process, and nothing about it is easy. But there is a certain sweet comfort that comes in that kind of shared experience that can only be understtod by others who have walked the road. It's a club I wish no one had to be in, but I am thankful for the community of encouragement that helps sustain those of us who are members. It is good to back and see how far you have come, to be reminded of that you are in a place that, at the time, seemed so far off and even unlikely on alot of days.
Ella has come so far! What a great God we serve! He has given you two children, both already had a powerful testimony before they could even speak! I look at Sam everyday and can't believe that he was once on that battleground, covered in tubes in an enclosed incubator...where I had to ask permission to hold my own baby, and where we realized just how tiny he was because the NICU nurses called him the peanut
Amy, you and Rick have been through so much in such a short time. Although our situations are so different, as frustrating as my illness is...I also feel so blessed because I feel like matt and i have gotten to a place of closeness that for most couples takes so much longer. You and I are both blessed with incredible men as our partners. And we have such a deep longing for Heaven...when all will be made whole, and no sickness or pain will exist!
We love you guys so much! You are never far from my heart, and are always in my prayers.

Chesley said...

What a neat event to have.

Ella looks a little nervous with Queen LaTisha. It's like she is thinking "oh dear she is going to make me eat I just know it"!
Precious girl!

Randi Freeby said...

This is a neat post. I love getting to see who you and Ella saw for so many days. I love getting even a small glimpse of what you all see each day. What special people! God is so good to send us special people in special circumstances.

Ann Reese said...

Praise God for how far Ella and all her friends have come! I thank God that these babies had such great care at Harris and that now they are looking so good. Love you guys so much and I love love your two little girls.

Giggi said...

Wow! What a great reminder of the progress Ella had made! You guys have had some long days, but you have come a long way! Thanks for sharing it all with us, & praise God for putting special people in your path! We love you and continue to lift you up in our prayers!

DCVol said...

What a fun day~ you guys are so beautiful and that little Ella Bella is just PRECIOUS. KJS