A week ago, Gabrielle was finally able to come home after 10 long days at B.C. Children's hospital. On the final day of rounds with the doctors, and after they gave us the word that we were discharged and wished us luck in the stem cell transplant, I once again got very emotional as I thanked them for all their care and for making Gabrielle healthy again. I can't tell you how grateful I am for these guys and how much I liked all of them. They're amazing. While Gabrielle was in the hospital, Regan and I took turns staying the night at home with the boys and the hospital with Gabrielle. We want to make sure that we keep life as 'normal' as we possibly can for James and Michael who don't quite understand the realities of what we're faced with as a family. This month has been birthday-o-rama month with kiddy birthday events almost every weekend. With the busyness, James and Michael have been able to attend a couple, but have missed most. The picture, though, shows them at their friend Lilly's pirate and princess party. James loved dying his hair green. What a bad looking dude!
Can you guess who took this picture? Yes, Regan of course! In true style, Regan and Uncle Ryan as well as Gabrielle were watching a hockey game in the hospital and claimed that Gabrielle really really liked it. She does look rather content. I wonder how long the three of them watched the game for? Is Gabrielle going to be an Oilers fan like her dad? Hmmm...we shall see.
It was quite challenging playing with her and keeping her 'active' while she was attached to IV's, oxygen and had her feeding tube pouring out her nostril. Tummy time? A little difficult I shall say! I was so nervous I would pull something out every time I picked her up out of her crib. I guess I kind of got used to it by the end, but I tell you, as soon as those nursed unhooked her from everything I was the happiest mommy ever!
While Gabrielle was in the hospital, the four of us went to visit a place no family ever wants to go to: Canuck Place. What an amazing place, full of caring people, and it should be a great resource to access when we need it. They want us to come and stay a couple of nights as a family before we head back into the hospital for her transplant so that they can get to know Gabrielle. They offer pediatric palliative care. What? Wait a minute. Me? Us? Are you serious? I must still be in denial.
James thought it was the most magical 'castle' ever with art rooms, toy rooms, music rooms and a cool 'volcano' room that consisted of padded walls and floors and big balls and gymnastic equipment to run and go crazy in. It took Michael maybe 5 seconds to clue in that he could run as fast as he could into the padded walls without getting hurt. Something tells me that they'll have fun on our family 'vacation' to Canuck place sometime in the near future. Sometimes I wish I was 19 months and almost 4.
I can't tell you how good it is to have my baby home. It was very hard for me to come home to bed and not have her in our room with us while she was in the hospital. It felt very empty, I felt very empty. On the nights I would be home without her, Regan would stay at the hospital. I had my bed all to myself, however, I very eagerly welcomed James to sleep with me. I am going to savour every minute of every day with her at home. We only have 10 days until she is back in the hospital.
Gabrielle loves bath time and while we were in the hospital she only had sponge baths while lying on her bed. She wasn't able to kick her legs around in the water as she does at home. She must be so happy to be out of the hospital and back to her noisy, busy, crazy home!
Here's Daddy and Gabrielle at the end of a day cuddling on the couch. She was just staring at him the whole time so I just had to reach over and grab his iphone (which he has with him every second of the day) and take a quick picture. I couldn't imagine doing this with anybody else but you Regan. You remind me to focus on the positive instead of curling up into a tiny ball on my bed.
Gabrielle; I'm so relieved and happy to have you home where you belong. We missed you. We love you. It wasn't the same at home without you.