Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Wow. This Easter was absolutely not the one I envisioned at the beginning of Lent, but, under the circumstances, was everything I could have hoped for and more. It was perfect, really, and while there were for me a few sad moments, today was actually a very joyous day. It began early for us, with Darren and I rising at 5:30 to get ready before the kids woke up. Dylan and Caitlyn, however, were both wide awake by 6:00, eager to see what goodies the Easter bunny had left in their baskets, so we woke up Meghan and proceeded to the kitchen, where they were thrilled to find such an abundance of sweets.

And, although our sweet baby Kristen is not yet home with us, she was not forgotten by the Easter bunny!

After lingering a bit with the big kids and their baskets, Darren and I finished getting ready and then headed together to the hospital, where we had the great joy of witnessing the baptism of our sweet Kristen Marie! We are ever so grateful that our favorite priest, Father Ray, took the time out of his busy Easter schedule to meet with us, to pray over Kristen and to administer such a special sacrament on such a special day.

Mass was lovely, although I did get a bit teary while talking to one of my favorite fellow parishioners about Kristen's early arrival. It just felt so strange to be there, no longer pregnant yet with no baby in my arms. I kept thinking about how much I missed her. On our way home, we stopped by the store to pick up a cake for our own little baptism celebration. We wanted our big kids to realize that even though little Kristen is still in the hospital, today was a very special day for her.

Tonight I spent a couple more hours in the nursery with Kristen, and it was so very pleasant that I never wanted to leave. She's off the oxygen now, and off the IV, and her bilirubin level is down. She's taking about half her feeds through her NG tube, and she's spending most of her time in an incubator now until she's able to keep her temps up well enough on her own. But tonight I got to hold her the entire time I was there, and I got to change her diaper and give her a bottle and it felt so good to be doing those little "normal" things that I've missed so much these past couple of days. I talked to her all about our day, and sang to her, until finally I had to put her down to come back home. Darren returns to work tomorrow and we are both dreading it. I am so glad he's been able to be home all week, but we really want to save most of his annual leave days until Kristen is actually home with us.

I realize now that this post is somewhat rambly and disjointed, but I am so very exhausted. I knew if I didn't write about today now, then I might not ever, and that would be a real shame. I want to remember this day forever.

Finally, because they're just so sweet, here are a few of my favorite pictures of the big kids from today. We spent a long while this morning just hanging out in pajamas in the girls' room, hunting plastic Easter eggs and eating jelly beans. My kids love jelly beans. And I can think of no good way to end this, so Such sweetness.


Jen said...

What a bittersweet post. I can only imagine what you must be going through with your little one still in the hospital, you still recovering, and having your other sweet babies at home. I'm so sorry you hubby has to go back to work. I hope you have lots of help, and someone there to talk with should you need it. Kristen is just beautiful! She's doing so well! Be assured of our prayers for her and your family. God Bless you! And, get some sleep! Hanging out in those hospitals can really drain you, both in body and mind.

Matilda said...

I think you are allowed a few weepy moments, heck...if I were you I'd be nothing but a big ball on tissue, tears and gunk right now! I think it is very wise for you to save Darren's time off for later, but please make sure you do whatever you need to to keep that nasty depression away!

Celeste said...

God bless, little Kristen on her Baptismal day! What a beautiful day it sounds like you had. I am so thinking and praying every day for you. I love you bunches!

Jill said...

Wow. Thank you for the beautiful post and beautiful photos. It IS so precious to see kids eating jelly beans. (I tried really hard to just happily watch the kids munch jelly beans from their baskets for BREAKFAST!)

Happy Baptism day to little Kristen. I can't imagine all that you must be feeling as I have never had have a baby hospitalized- except for my first whom I could therefore spend all my time with. What a feeling to have your heart in so many places.

God bless your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers!!!

Anonymous said...

A very blessed Easter to you!!! You and your lovely family are in my prayers!! Congratulations on little Kristen's baptisim!!

Kristen L. said...

She is so, so beautiful! My heart aches for you, Melissa. I will continue praying for all of you.

Cheryl said...

The pictures are lovely.