Joelle’s birthday Part 3 starts with what I believe Corrine was thinking during this whole ordeal. Both Dave and I put Corrine to bed on Wednesday night (July 1st) knowing that at some point during the night we would have to leave for the hospital. My mom, Mimi as Corrine calls her, was staying with us. So the next morning, Mimi woke Corrine up and they went about their day. Coincidentally, Corrine came down with hand-foot-mouth disease, a harmless viral infection that causes fever and bumps all over the body, the day before. That meant she wasn’t able to come to hospital to see me before the baby was born.
Dave’s parents were on their way down from Chicago and arrived late Thursday night after Joelle was born. Since both Joelle and I were in bad shape after the delivery, the family didn’t come until later that night. Dave and I decided not to let Corrine meet Joelle in the NICU. It would be better for them to meet at home. So I took my mom and Dave’s parents into the NICU while Dave and Corrine ran a muck around the hospital.
The next couple of days went on like this. The family would visit for a few hours and Corrine grew ever more cranky when she was at the hospital. She had a hard time not seeing mommy and daddy every night. And only seeing us for a few hours a day wasn’t enough for her. Of course, that made me feel even more upset knowing that she was stressed and upset. Dave went home a few nights to put her to bed and give her special attention. We are very lucky that both my parents and Dave’s parents were able to spend so much time with Corrine.
Corrine explored the hospital with daddy. She played in the water fountains, had dinner at the cafeteria and gave momma extra special cuddles. Just what I needed to feel better.
We actually brought Corrine into the NICU on Tuesday for her to meet Joelle. Like we expected, Corrine was fascinated with the baby for about a minute and then she was distracted by all the new sights and sounds in her room. Plus, I don’t think Corrine really understood that this was her baby sister and that she would be coming to live in her house.
We were finally discharged on Wednesday July 8th. Dave parents had balloons tied on the front porch and the house was clean! Dave’s mom had bought Corrine a special baby doll and stroller as a gift for when Joelle came home. Corrine said hello to the baby and gave her kisses on the head. It was very very sweet! Then I brought down the stroller with her new baby and it was all over. Corrine could care less about Joelle! She proudly pushed her new baby in the stroller with the biggest smile on her face! Our dog, Cody, even got acquainted with his new baby to protect.
So here we are on Friday morning settling in as family of four. Corrine is definitely a great big sister helper as she’s always quick to respond when I ask her to do something for baby “sissy”. When I’m nursing Joelle, Corrine will say “eaaaaaaat”. We are looking forward to Joelle’s newborn photo shoot tomorrow. I’ve got the cutest matching Big and Little sister shirts for the girls to wear.
Last night, I found myself taking a moment to just take it all in. We sat on the couch with Joelle in Dave’s arms and Corrine cuddled up next to me and I couldn’t help but get emotional. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of happiness I feel right now and extremely grateful for the family we have become.