As I have seen a few other bloggers state right after the arrival of their second child, we are in survival mode. Gavin is doing wonderful and is truly such a big helper. However, sister's temperament is not as easy-going as big brother's. I think a lot of her fussiness is going through a growth spurt. And this child can sleep in any position on someone, or on the floor or even in a room full of noise, but she does not like to sleep in her cradle. That being said, I could just eat her up. And whether it is a true sign of being content or if it's just gas, I melt when she smiles. Ava is already such an integral part of our family and I could not imagine her not being here.
As my husband pointed out, my last blog post sounded like some dramatic cliffhanger to the ending of a book's chapter. Christmas surprises did not end with the birth of Ava. We came home Christmas Day (late in the evening). The next morning, our new family of four celebrated Christmas together.
Later we headed over to my in-laws for Christmas. The boys are at such a fun age and were quite surprised by an appearance from Santa. One little boy (Gavin) would have been very happy to do without seeing Santa but we managed to get him next to him without balling his eyes out. Ava didn't seem to mind Santa.
The next day, we took Ava to her doctor's appointment where our doctor advised us to have her billirubin levels checked for jaundice. I could already tell she was somewhat jaundice after leaving the hospital and had tried to get her in the sunlight as much as possible. We did find out that she is probably going to be long and skinny. She is in the 18% percentile for weight (6 pounds, 13 ounces) and the 80% percentile for height (20 3/4 inches long). A few hours later, the doctor called telling us to head to the hospital downtown. Those are not words a parent wants to hear, but I am thankful to live in such a place to have award-winning hospitals within driving distance. You can see how yellow she was in this picture at the doctor's office.
When we arrived, Ava's levels were so high they admitted her to the highest NICU floor. At the time, everything seemed very surreal. I had to constantly remind myself that this was only temporary. While praying for Ava, I had to say a little prayer for those babies around her who had been there much longer. One man, with a smile on his face, told us that he was excited that his little boy would be going home in February. His child had already been there a year and was born weighing just over a pound. It put things into perspective.
We were truly thankful to be able to stay in the Ronald McDonald House the four days we were there. What an incredible blessing that was to have a place to rest and get a shower all while on the same floor of the hospital as your child. I also can't say enough about the nurses, especially those in the NICU level 2 where Ava was moved after she had improved. She was pretty content to just chill out with her sunglasses on under that blue light. Thankfully on New Year's Eve, we were given the green light to go home. Gavin had been with my parents and we were completely overjoyed to see him. He still says he misses us when we were at the hospital with Ava, although he keeps telling us it happened last night. This is like take number 20 to get a New Year's family picture.
And for the risk of being too wordy, we also celebrated Christmas with my family on New Years Day, but..... I'll save that for next time.