Monday, July 4, 2011


Sunday was a great day. We found out early that McKinley's doctor would release her from the hospital. Her overnight nurse had prepared a speech as to why McKinley should be home. We agreed. The doctor didn't see a problem with her coming home. So we set plans in motion to bring our baby girl home. Home to see her room. Home to be with us, away from people who would poke and prod and draw blood. Well, away from most of the people who will prod and poke and draw blood. She was about to meet her brother, Jackson.

We had deliberately NOT brought Jackson into the hospital room to meet his baby sister. We were confident that he could not abide by the "sibling visitation rules, guidelines and expectations" (for example, sibling must be quiet, able to sit for ten minutes and focus on the infant...0-3 for the J Train). So we decided to wait until she came home. Jackson had spent the weekend with his Honey and Poppa (he is a BIG fan of Honey and Poppa) and they brought him home Sunday morning while Danielle was at the hospital petitioning for her daughter's release (we had drafted a letter to the Governor, just in case) while I was at work (yes, Craig is writing this update...gets me out of diaper duty and diaper dooty).

Not knowing what to expect, Honey and Poppa began peppering Jackson with comments and direction about his baby sister about to come home. Danielle sat through the seven hours of mandatory videos parents of NICU babies must watch (punishment that I view as comparable to diaper duty, so thankful I missed that as well). After Danielle dutifully "took one for the team" I made a beeline post-work to the hospital (after making very certain all videos had been watched). I scrubbed in and took the first of two loads (the one sans baby) down to the van. I tightened the carrier base in the seat, as the momma was not comfortable with its lateral movement. After some light cursing and some heavy sweating, the seat base was tightened and load number one was deposited. I had to put it into double time so we could get back to the van before the HUGE bag of frozen milk Danielle had pumped would thaw. So we strapped the baby girl in and headed out to the van to head home.

Once home, I grabbed the camera and Poppa grabbed the car seat and Danielle went in to introduce Jackson to his baby sister, McKinley. The pictures that follow will show basically what that first meeting was like.

So far Jackson has been a sweet and loving big brother. He is still finding his way around with a baby in the house. But he is getting the hang of it. His Uncle Kurt and Aunt Amy brought over a bag of cool toys just for him (and they took a few seconds to hold that sweet baby girl as well) and Jackson got to spend quality moments with both mommy and daddy.

All seems to be going well. The baby girl is feeding every two or three hours and is really getting the hang of it all. July 4th will always be a special day. For the USA it will be Independence Day. For us Smiths it has become Family Day, the first full day we FOUR got to spend together. So I am home. My wife is recovering very well from her surgery. My CHILDREN (it is weird to say that but also pretty dang cool) are coming along. We are up to our elbows in diapers right now. But we can deal with that. Our baby girl is out of the hospital. Our son is becoming a big brother. We are home.


The Austins said...

Congratulations on your beautiful family! I am so thankful your beautiful daughter is home with her awesome big brother. God is so good!

Leslie said...

Hooray! The pictures are precious (and you look great, Danielle!). July perfect.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! What precious pictures of a beautiful family! Jackson will be a great big brother. You are so blessed.

Love you,
Sheryl Kennedy

mgoff said...

This is so sweet. He looks so happy to have a sister! he is going to be an awesome big brother! SO glad you guys are home, cant wait to hear all about it!

jerrslilbride said...

I am so happy for your family. I let a prayer group that has been praying for you know of this update. It was such an honor to forward THIS one to them. SO HAPPY for you all. Praise the LORD