30 days with Hannah

Wow where has the month gone! It feels like yesterday when we left the Grace Centre for the first time with our little girl. As we walked out I half expected someone to come and tell us they’d made a mistake and we couldn’t actually bring Hannah home yet, but here we are – 3 weeks at home and Hannah is a month old!

IMG_9279Thank you for your prayers for us and Hannah over the past few weeks. So far we are doing well, and really enjoying settling into this new phase of life. Generally Hannah feeds and sleeps well, and we’re adjusting to the broken, irregular sleep that caring for her involves. She is a really content little thing and it’s such a joy to learn to care for her!

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We’ve been getting out on Gus’s day off to explore our local area with Hannah in tow.

Once home, Gus eased back into work and is now fully back in the swing of things. For me, I am amazed at how differently things can go from one day to the next. Some days everything goes smoothly and I’m able to get lots of jobs done and have a nap or two. But then other days Hannah doesn’t settle well or wakes constantly and it gets to 3pm and I realise I haven’t had breakfast or lunch! (Thankfully the second of those two days doesn’t happen very often).

Hannah is getting better at "tummy time" every day!
Hannah is getting better at “tummy time” every day!

In terms of a medical update, Hannah has had a couple of checkups so far and her oxygen levels are good. She was slow to put on weight when we first came home, but her checkup this week showed she’s now caught up. In coming weeks we’ll see her paediatrician, surgeon and cardiologist to see what they think about her progress. This week she also had her first of what I think might be many chest x rays at our local hospital. I was really nervous for how it would go, but Hannah was a trooper and the radiographer was really patient (he also said he was looking for a very old lady when he called out her name in the waiting room, confusing ’15 on her date of birth as 1915 not 2015!!).

One thing Gus and I have to keep an eye on is Hannah’s body heat. Due to her weak heart she’s not able to regulate her temperature very well, so we need to make sure she doesn’t expend extra energy because she’s too hot or cold. That’s been a bit tricky due to the inconsistent weather recently, but we’re getting better at it all the time. It means lots of skin to skin cuddles and enjoying using our heater!

Since we’ve been home I’ve had the opportunity to further reflect on Hannah’s time in hospital. We are so thankful for God’s generous provisions for us while we were there. One of those was that Gus was able to be around all the time. While we did meet many other parents in the Grace Centre, most of the dads were only able to be there on weekends because of work commitments. And another of the dads was a taxi driver and so would come and visit his son at 3am each day when his shift ended. I think sharing the 24/7 hospital experience together has helped bring us closer as a couple and as parents.

We are also thankful to live fairly close to the hospital, making it easy to call on friends and family for help. I continue to give so much thanks to God for the wonderful practical and prayer support we’ve received from you all, thank you. In the Grace Centre we met families from Newcastle, Canberra and Wagga Wagga – and one couple had been required to stay in Sydney for a month before their baby was due in case it arrived early. Please keep these families in your prayers as they work through such a stressful time without their support networks close by.

So that’s a recap of our first month with Hannah! Over the next couple of months I plan to blog as we have updates about Hannah’s progress and a better idea of when her second surgery will be. And in the meantime we’ll be spending lots of time watching Hannah grow and develop.

Please give thanks for …

  • Hannah’s first month of life and her continued good recovery from surgery
  • Our time settling in to being parents and looking after Hannah
  • The support we’ve had from family and friends both in prayer and practically

Please pray for …

  • Hannah’s upcoming medical appointments
  • Our family life, wisdom for Gus and I as parents and love for each other even when we feel tired
  • Families in the Grace Centre, that they would find comfort in God’s love

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. 1 Peter 1:3-4

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