Having Lucie home has been so surreal! It's been amazing! Wonderful! Marvelous! It's weird to be sitting on the coach instead of scrambling to eat our dinner to then hurry off to the make the shuttle to Mt. Sinai on time. I was telling Drea yesterday that not having the NICU band on my wrist anymore feels like a chain has been removed from my arm and a burden has been lifted. These first few days with Lucie at home have been exhausting as we learn more and more about her with each hour, but they have been better than we could have ever imagined as we yearned to bring her home for such a long time.
Before I move on to Lucie's update, I have to share something that has been on my heart about how we were able to make it through even 1 day of the 111 days that Lucille was in the NICU: our relationship, belief and absolute hope in our Lord, Jesus. Yep, the J-word!! His name can be quite divisive, especially these days, and maybe that's why I feel compelled all the more to share. A youth pastor of mine once said, "If you had the cure for cancer would you keep it to yourself?" Of course not! And although I don't have the cure for cancer, I feel that our relationship with the Lord has allowed Drea and I to experience something very meaningful and worth sharing about.
Since our first posts, you've heard us drop our "Christian-ese" religious language, with a "pray for this" here, and a "thank God for this" there. We weren't doing that mindlessly, or for "fun", or because when things are going wrong, you should pray... We were doing that because, in a nutshell, we believe that God sent His one and only son (Jesus Christ) to live the perfect life that we couldn't live, and to die the death that we deserved (John 3:16). We believe that this is a gift that we have been given to any that would put their faith in him, and that the most amazing part is there is nothing we have to do to earn this gift and there is nothing we can do to lose it either. Trust me, I've done my fair share of "trying" to lose it. It is through this act of faith that we get to experience a personal relationship with Him. Everyday. He's in our lives, He's a part of our lives, and we hope, He's pouring out onto others through our lives. It's not about rules and religion to us, it's about relationship.
Don't get me wrong, we have had our share of doubts, questions, frustrations, and anger with God, especially these past few months, but we know that in the end God works all things together for good. Not necessarily what WE think is good for us, but what God KNOWS is good for us. We were upset and FURIOUS at times that God allowed Lucie to be born so early and that he allowed very scary, painful things to happen, but we would try to remind ourselves about times where we could see God working for good. Drea's 24-week check up was the Monday before we were supposed to leave for Miami for Christmas. If this appointment was the week before (when she wasn't 4 cm dilated) or the week after, the doctor would not have seen that she was in pre-term labor and we would have gone on our merry way. We would have been up in the air where the pressure from the plane and that would have been disastrous for Drea and Lucie. So in that one example, of thousands that we've experienced these past several months, we were able to see God works things together for good. God allowed something to happen that we never would have wished for, but at the same time, protected us from so much that could have gone terribly wrong. Things we are aware of and millions of things that we probably don't even know about.
Thanks for listening to my two cents, we had to share while we still had so many of you as a captive audience, and thanks so much for all of your prayers, love and support throughout this turbulent journey so far. If you have any questions, debates, or thoughts about our faith, we would be happy to talk about them with you anytime, preferably over a cup of coffee (or even a whiskey! See? We Christians can have some fun!). You are always welcome to join us at church... you can even hold Lucie! We hope you will stick around and take part in what is yet to come. We know raising Lucie will have it's challenges, but we also know we will get to experience amazing triumphs as she accomplishes one new task after another. (Hooray for her being able to flip her head from one side to the other!)
So! On that note, on to Lucie. She is doing wonderfully and enjoying many firsts: first bath (at home), first pediatrician appointment, hanging out with friends, first cab ride, first stroller ride, and sleeping through everything that New York City and Bess have to offer. When we went to her pediatrician appointment on Friday, she weighed 7 lbs 11 oz, was 20 inches in length, and her head circumference was 35 cm. The doctor was so pleased to see her, and said that she is "Thriving so well at home already!" What an encouragement.
Well, I should start wrapping this up, since it took three attempts to post, and the little one is starting to stir. All hands on deck, am I right! Have a wonderful night all, and God Bless! We will continue to post, just not daily.