Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy 3 Months! (And some love for Annaleigh)

Charlie and Lily are 3 months old today! Happy ¼ Birthday, sweet babies! I brought in cookie cakes to the nurses to celebrate. I took it upon myself to write a little message on the cookies, and my handiwork left something to be desired. But I’m sure they still tasted good. Someday Charlie and Lily will be able to celebrate with sweet treats, but today they celebrated in their own little ways.

Today Charlie took and passed his car seat test! And he did it without even studying for it! After his morning bottle Charlie was placed in his car seat for 1 hour to see if he could tolerate it without having any episodes. He did so well and was so comfy that his nurse let him stay in the seat for an extra 30 minutes. Way to go Charlie! After his test, Charlie was treated to a nice warm tub bath! Well, it may have been more of a treat for me, but Charlie seemed to enjoy it too. For the first time I did the entire bath all by myself from start to finish and it was so great. Once he was all clean and dry I dressed him in his new little “Mom’s All Star” baseball outfit – he looked so cute! Within the last few days Charlie has outgrown his preemie clothes and moved into newborn sizes. This is very exciting – and an opportunity to put Charlie in a whole new batch of adorable outfits. This evening Joe weighed Charlie all on his own – the Chunks put on 50 grams to reach 6 lbs 4 oz.

After another good day, Lily was moved back into her open crib and is doing well. The new formula seems to be doing the trick for her and she was happy, hungry and alert this morning. She gnawed on her fingers like she was starving as I tried to take her temperature and was thrilled to see her bottle. This evening she was treated to a nice daddy-daughter cuddle before eating like a champ. Tomorrow she will have her PCG test (aka the Hannibal Lector test) so the doctors can get a better idea of her behavior and hopefully get an idea of when she might be able to come home.

Tomorrow is a big day for Joe and I – we have our monitor training. The babies will both be coming home on monitors and tomorrow is the day when we learn how to use them. My mom and Joe’s parents will be joining us for the class so that they will know what to do if they are ever watching the babies.

Now, it’s time for some thank yous. It seems that this blog has become almost as much about our gratitude as it is about the babies – and that alone makes us thankful! But we need to say a special thank you today to all the people who made donations to St. Peter’s in memory of our beautiful Annaleigh. At the end of Annaleigh’s obituary we requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the St. Peter’s NICU. We expected that they would receive a few hundred dollars in our little girl’s honor. Instead, to date they have received over $2,100! We are overwhelmed and so grateful for all the support still being given to us. We are also amazed by the number of names that appear on the donation list that we do not know. Aside from many wonderful friends and family members who have made donations, it seems that several blog readers whom we have never even met have made donations for our baby as well. One reader, Jaimie W., sent a letter along with her donation that truly touched our hearts. I cried while typing it up for this post – it is so beautiful and makes me so proud to hear yet again how Annaleigh touched so many lives during her all too short one. I’m publishing Jaimie’s letter below because of its beauty and because of all it stands for. Thank you, Jaimie, and thank you everyone.

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing this letter as an explanation of my donation. Enclosed you will find a personal donation. This donation is being sent in honor of Annaleigh Lucy DiGiuseppe.

I do not know Joe or Brooke. I will never meet either of them. I will never know how beautiful Annaleigh was. I will never see Lily or Charlie grow and become strong. I heard of their story through a website and couldn’t help but get drawn in. As I read their blog the night Annaleigh died I couldn’t help but cry. I wept for the sweet little girl whose life was not supposed to be ending. I cried for the immense pain her parents were feeling. I was incredibly saddened by the fact that her brother and sister would never get to know her. I am not a religious person, I do not go to church, and I rarely pray. But that night I stayed up all night praying to God to hold Annaleigh safe and to provide strength and comfort to her family.

I cannot pretend to know what the family has been through. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child, especially one so young. I can only lend my sympathy and donate some money to help the amazing people who have helped them. It is very clear that the staff at St. Peter’s has gone above and beyond to help the DiGiuseppe family and to love all three of their children. I can only hope that if I ever found myself in a similar situation I too would be blessed with angels to love my child.

Annaleigh will forever be loved and never forgotten.


Jaimie W.


Lauren said...

That letter is beautiful!

Congratulations, Charlie! Good luck tomorrow, Lily!

Feris said...

OMG that letter is so beautiful! And so true also, Annaleigh is her too short life touch more lives than many of us could just drem of. Now her sister and brother have a special angel that will be watching over them forever :)

Happy 3 month birthday babies! You two are so loved by many people that don´t even know you, and probably would never have the pleasure to meet you.

Andy and Lisa said...

That letter is beautiful.

Congratulations on monitor training! One step closer to bringing babies home!!! Our babies came home on them within two weeks of each other, and all are on monitors. We have a love hate relationship with them. We love them for the job they do, and hate them for the noise and the many tangles.
Praying Lily & Charlie will soon come home.

Denise said...

Brooke & Joe.. So happy to see that Charlie and Lilly are doing so well.. Keep up the good you can get home... Travis's mom

Anonymous said...

That letter is so true. Annleigh has touched so many so dearly. She was taken too early and is hard to accept but God has a purpose. I believe she was brought here to love and be loved so much and then taken so that she can continue that love by always being with Charlie and Lily as their own special Guardian Angel. Which is why they need to know all about her so that they can feel her presence and continue to love her and appreciate how lucky they are to have each other. Their own special bond. Keep them alive in each other forever.

Way to go Charlie passing your car seat test. Keep up the chugging of the FORMULA bottle Miss Lil. Thank You Annaleigh for watching over everyone and Happy 3 months to all three of my angels... I Love You Sweetpeas... Mommy and Daddy too... :)

All My Love, Auntie :) xoxoxo

Jennifer and Daniel said...

Happy 3 months old Lily, Charlie and Little Angel Annaleigh.

Congratulations Charlie for passing your carseat test !!!

You will all be home with Mommy and Daddy before you know it.

God Bless all of you

Stephanie said...

Adorable pictures, as always.

I don't know if you can ever imagine how much your story has touched the lives of others. While so many of us readers have never met your family we all feel so compelled to see how it's going. It is part of my morning routine to turn on the laptop and check out your blog. I am so happy for you both that things are going in a positive direction and I truly hope you have both babies home very, very soon.

Amber said...

Happy 3 months babies. I can't believe the will be home soon. They are so big and beautiful. Good luck with your training.

Midwest Mommy said...

Happy 3 months!

Can I ask a question? Since they are in the nicu when you bring clothes for the babies does the hospital have to wash them first or can you just wash them at home and bring them in? Is that an odd question?

stb said...

Happy 3-mo birthday and congrats to Charlie!

Eve - Sandi B's Mom said...

"Thank you for sharing that letter". She expressed in her words what I know we all feel. I don't know anyone in your family in person but I know the heart of the family through your blogs each day. You all have given us "strangers" a reason for caring , praying and hoping and wishing and crying and LOVING your children and your family. Your stories have touched us all in one form or another. Charlie and Lily: great job on all your milestones !!!
Sandi Blackburn's Mom - Eve

Lauren Grace said...

It was so very nice to meet you both today in the NICU.

Good Luck with the monitors and if you ever want to vent about them or need advice, you know where to find me. :)

I am hoping the babies come home very, very soon! :)

Anonymous said...

I too, am a stranger who is attached to your beautiful family from reading this blog. Your story makes me appreciate everyday. I'm so happy that Charlie passed the car seat test! And Lily is not to far behind! Happy 3 months little ones!! Love the pictures. When I think one picture is just the cutest thing EVER, you post another one!!

Diana Lopez said...

wow, beautiful letter, this is how god brings us all together, its great to read that the babies are doing well, and that Charlie passed his car seat test. hope they will go home soon.

Amy said...

What a beautiful letter!
Congrats to Charlie on passing his car seat test! And yay for Lily moving back to an open-air crib!