Posted (Tina) in All Posts on May-21-2008

ATTENTION SHANDS STAFF: Ella will be coming by the NICU for her last visit before heading home to Colorado. Join us this Thursday, May 22nd, anytime between 6:15pm – 8:15pm in the conference room. Hope to see you there!

Other than Ella getting up extra early this morning (you always know it is too early when it is still dark outside), we had a great day together. She was in such a great mood, especially during her bath.

She had 2 good PT sessions between yesterday and today. I recommended a different approach to mix things up and sure enough, Ella responded much more favorably. Thank goodness!

You know it is bad when you have to bribe your daughter for tummy time. She was content while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on my Mac. I can tell that she is getting stronger each day.

Today, she was actually smiling at the PT which warmed my heart. It has taken a session every day for nearly 4 weeks and finally, she is not completely melting down. I know that process is going to have to start all over again in Denver. I just hope that the new PT I’ve scheduled is a good match for us.

Once again, I’m thankful for the experience we have had since we left the hospital. We have been exposed to excellent surgeons, physicians, occupational therapists, and physical therapists during our stay. Although parents can get a “gut feel”, it is nice to feel more knowledgeable about what to expect for Ella and to have gained more discernment in this arena. Since parenting is new and Ella’s care is so different than an average baby, this investment of time was a wise decision for us. This way, when we go home to Denver and are screening doctors and therapists, we have a comparison in our minds.

We lose our couch, rocking chair and end tables tomorrow. Although we have sold some other items on Craigslist, that will really make it final: we are going home. I’m hoping that camping out for the next few days isn’t too tough with little to no furniture. We lose our dining room table and desk on Saturday. Ella’s crib sold to a sweet lady that is preparing to be a grandma. She drove 45 minutes to view it and leave a deposit, and insisted on letting Ella sleep in it as long as possible even though this means an extra car ride. Isn’t that nice?

We’re excited to go and visit the NICU staff tomorrow evening. It should be fun to see some familiar faces that we have not seen in awhile. I think it will bring into perspective just how far Ella has come, even from leaving the NICU in late January.

Josh only has 2 more days of work and of being in Gainesville. He is a little excited to be starting the process of going home.

So far, it appears that the weather is going to cooperate during both trips. We are supposed to get lots of rain on Friday in Gainesville (2-3 inches), so we’re hoping it clears up by the evening & early morning of Saturday when the car packing and driving begin.

I can’t believe this chapter is ending…its been so long. One thing is for sure, Gainesville will always hold a special place in our hearts.