First of all, my beautiful niece, Hope Chang, made her entrance into the world on September 24, 2011 at 10:40 a.m. I went to bed last night with the news that my brother and sister-in-law had checked into the hospital. And I woke up and received the news of her arrival. How may you ask did I receive this news? Facebook, of course! Another example of how Facebook has changed the face of relationships and interactions. =)
I couldn't be prouder to be an uncle. My Chinese name is 愷伯 (Kai Bo). The second character in my name means an uncle of one's father. My parents gave me the second character in my name because as the oldest male in my generation, I would be "大伯" to all of my brother's and cousin's children. Now with Hope's arrival, I have am now officially living up to my name. =)
Hope is the completion of the double portion of blessing the Lord has poured out upon my family. My parents and grandparents have waited a long time to be grandparents and great grandparents respectively. And in one year, they get double the blessing.
You'll remember that actually Alicia was originally due only a couple of weeks before her cousin. Had Alicia been a few weeks late, rather than three months early she and Hope could have been practically twins. =) I love that Alicia and Hope are so close in age. I can only imagine the kind of stuff they're going to get into as they get older. Look out world, the Chang Girls have arrived!
In other news, Alicia got her hearing test done a few days ago. This is a hearing test that all children get right before they're discharged from the hospital. Today we were told that her hearing is normal! Praise the Lord! Another huge sigh of relief. I was reading the preemie book, and for all the things that Alicia went through at birth, the chances of her having hearing problems were actually quite high. But God was gracious. =) Great thing, cause Alicia is going to need her hearing if she's going to be the great musician that she's supposed to be. =) (Says Daddy.) haha.
Well, we realized today during our evening visit that it would be the last time that I would see Alicia before she gets discharged on Friday! So absolutely crazy. I can't believe we've finally reached the end of this journey. And we are now about to step into the crazy, fun, hectic, exciting, nerve-wracking but absolutely rewarding world of full-time parenting! Our lives definitely changed when Alicia was born, but I can only imagine what our lives will become once we actually get her home!
Part of me can't wait to get her home so that I can cuddle her, hold her and play with her whenever I want to. Now that she is more stable, and we are preparing to take her home, Linda and I have been spending more time with her at the hospital, and I am just loving the extra parent-daughter time. Our little girl is truly a darling.
However, I have to admit, that I am a bit wary. I mean, there's so much to learn! I want my girl to thrive, but there are so many facets to that. For years, I've observed parents around me and taken notes on the things that I like and don't like, things that I want to do and things I don't want to do. And now, now, it's all coming to a point. I feel like I only get one chance at this and I don't want to mess it up. =)
Just realizing that a lot of parents must feel the same way, and actually the fact that I'm thinking about these things is a great sign. It means we have a healthy, bouncing baby girl!
I'll keep y'all posted on how things go! I'm sure I'll be contacting many of you for advice soon and very soon.