I woke up this morning and fed my baby girl Ireland. She woke me up is what I should say. We sat on the couch together, but she really wasn’t in the mood to eat. She wanted to laugh and play and talk to me. She kept looking up at me, smiling, milk dribbling from the corners of her mouth as I tried to feed her.
She’s come a long way since January 27th, the day she was born. A hell of a long way. Born weighing under five pounds, she now weighs almost fourteen. She still has some reflux, but it no longer causes her to stop breathing. She is grabbing things, laughing, making a new array of noises every day.
She is healthy. She did recently (on May 21st) have surgery to correct a small issue she had with her anal opening being a bit misplaced. She came through the surgery well, though, and is recovering.
When I look back at her time in the NICU and all the hours Marcee and I spent walking from the Ronald McDonald House to the hospital to feed and hold and change Ireland, the memories are bittersweet. We were away from our boys and our baby girl was fighting to adjust to the harsh reality of being born premature, but we were with her. We were able to nurture her and help her adjust a little bit faster.
We have the Ronald McDonald House to thank for keeping us that close, and the hospital, of course, for their hard work. We thank God too.
Those were trying times, more for Ireland and Marcee (who was recovering from a C-section and hysterectomy while tending to our baby girl), but we were blessed then as we are blessed now, with family and friends (and even strangers) who are willing to step forward and help us give something back to the Ronald McDonald House Charities for their generosity to not only our family but countless others as well.
For that, Marcee, our sons (Seth, Ethan, and Caleb), and me will always be grateful.