Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chloe's Coming Home Day

Tuesday was the one-year anniversary of Chloe's long awaited arrival home. I remember that day so well. It was MLK day. Dave was home from work and we were working furiously to get the house ready. Every speck of dirt and dust had to be removed. We had an argument because I was freaking out about the temperature in our bedroom. It had to be a perfect and steady 72 degrees F (like the NICU) and Dave was having trouble making that happen. He put a space heater in our room and even had our furnace replaced. As it turns out, heating a 60's era house is not an exact science. Somehow Chloe survived and suffered neither heat exhaustion or hypothermia. Heck, she didn't even lose weight from her body working SO hard to keep it's temperature up. Whadoyaknow. Poor Dave puts up with a lot sometimes. (Side note: He gets a lot in return! Hehe)

It's weird to think Chloe's only been here for one year. It seems like she's been here for much longer than that! Some people comment that "the first year just flew by!" I remember asking Dave, at Chloe's first birthday, if the first year seemed to go quickly or slowly. We both agreed that it was both. But now I'm thinking of her first year at home and it seems like the past year has gone by very slowly.

There are a couple of reasons why I think this might be:
1. Because, even though I'm trying not to, I'm also counting in the first 5 months that she was in the NICU.
2. Because I'm actually home with her this time. I worked full-time and commuted almost two hours a day with Solana. I got to spent a whopping two hours a day with her for her first three years. Those years flew by. But I get to spend every luscious waking (and sleeping) moment with Chloe. Maybe that makes the year seem fuller? I don't know. But I do know that it's definitely been a full year!

Chloe's homecoming day is printed on our annual Snapfish calendar. The plan was to celebrate it somehow. I didn't intend to have a huge party with balloons and presents or anything. Just maybe a cake...? But the day came and went. We included Chloe in our dinnertime prayer and I sauteed some bananas with butter and we all shared a special dessert to celebrate Chloe's special day. That's it. Nothing crazy. And I wasn't moved to do more so I was totally ok with that and I'm pretty sure Chloe was, too.

The thing that did strike me on that day was how long ago it seemed we celebrated Chloe's birthday. That celebration seemed like it was AGES ago! The thought of managing a home life and a NICU life for that long seems overwhelming when I look at it from this perspective. Dave and I were so lucky. We had very differing views on how much NICU time was appropriate but we negotiated a visitation schedule that was acceptable to both of us. We were fortunate to afford a maid during that time and ate more fast food than usual. It was such a stressful five months. We tagged off when he got home from work and I'd get home sometime around 11:30 or midnight. I don't know how we made it through so well.

I guess I figured out what this date can be - an opportunity to be grateful. Our little girl came home and is doing really well. Solana is happy and healthy. Dave and I are happily married. You can't ask for much more.


The Hillbergs said...

what is that banana recipe? it sounds yummy! of course, anything sauteed in butter will be yummy.

Megan B ♥ said...

Happy one year with her home in your happy, temperature-controlled home :) We always do something very special to commemorate the day that Crew successfully escaped from Alcatraz: We celebrate Kinley's birthday :)