Thank you all for praying and sending us your well wishes. It has been a packed day and I'm tuckered, but so so thankful.
As I said earlier, our day started with us visiting the first hospital Linda went to when she started having contractions in order to take care of some paperwork. Afterwards, we went home and finished packing up. Then we headed over to the hospital about 11:30.
As I walked into the SBR this morning, the first thing I noticed was that there seemed to be a buzz of activity around Alicia's area of the ward. The second thing I noticed was that our daughter was gone. Well, OK, she wasn't gone, but her incubator was gone. In it's place was a pink open-air bassinet with our sleeping soundly inside. They switched her over about an hour or two prior to our arrival so that she could adjust to maintaining her body heat without the aid of the incubator.
When we got to the SBR, it was a mad rush of activity, Linda had to pump and we had to feed Alicia, but before that we needed to change Alicia into her first outfit ever, courtesy of her Auntie Ems and Uncle Jens. She looked absolutely adorable in the outfit and all the nurses cooed and awwed over her. After her feeding, Linda's sister and brother-in-law arrived with Linda's cousin and her husband. They were there the first night that Alicia was born, so it seemed fitting to have them with us as we finally brought Alicia home.
About 30 min before leaving the SBR, the head nurse from the NICU came up to check up on us. Apparently all the nurses in the NICU were wondering what was taking us so long and when we would be down to see them. =) The head nurse, had her own camera in her hands, which I thought was cute. =) She was really sweet to watch Alicia as I finished taking care of some last minute paper work, collected our things, (I had no idea we had accumulated so many odds and ends over the 4 months), got instructions on Alicia's supplements and medicine, and paid our hospital bill.
After saying goodbye to the nurses in the SBR it was time to head down to the NICU to say goodbye to our dear friends down there. These "aunties" as we call them, were the ones who took care of Alicia for the most critical time of her life. They really all fell in love with Alicia, and it felt like a homecoming to bring her down, even though we were leaving. The head nurse carried Alicia out the SBR snugly as if she were her own child, and escorted us down to the NICU. As soon as we entered the NICU, one of the nurses rushed out to greet us, and swept Alicia out of the head nurse's arms. Alicia's primary physician also met us at the door and gave us some last minute instructions about which doctors to see when we move up to Taipei. As we were talking to the doctor, the other nurses noticed we were there, and started looking around for Alicia. That's when we noticed that our daughter had somehow disappeared. We found her a few minutes later in a corner of the nurses's break room with the nurse who had taken her when we got to the door. What ensued was a cooing photofest with all the nurses vying for their chance to take pictures with Alicia. Alicia was quite accommodating and even woke up for a bit so that they could take pictures with her with her beautiful eyes open.
After about 30 min. in the NICU, we finally got on our way. I transferred all of our belongings from my sister-in-law's car to the car Heather was driving. We took some quick pictures of us leaving the hospital, and then we were off!
Our little girl was a born traveler. In our two-and-a-half-hour car ride home, she barely made a peep. She slept nearly the whole way up with the exception of a 30 min. break to eat. Amazing.
I kept taking pictures and videos the whole way up wanting to capture as much of the momentous occasion as possible. Don't know how the videos turned out, but Heather and Linda had fun teasing me about my over eagerness to capture everything on digital.
I can't help it. My family was coming home, FINALLY! =)
Things have been so amazing so far. As I said earlier, I'm a bit tuckered. But I'm so thankful. My daughter is home. I no longer need to drive 10-15 min. to see her. I just look up from the computer screen and she's there. =)
It's been an interesting time so far, but I'll tell you guys about that tomorrow. For now, I've got to go and get Alicia's milk ready. It's almost time for her midnight feeding. =)