Olivia had a night without apnea, so after going through a painfully long discharge summary, we secured her in her carseat and drove her HOME!!!
We brought her in and set the seat on the floor. Amore greeted each of us, her whole body wagging. Then, she noticed someone new. She sniffed gently, looking at us and looking back. We pet her and reassured her, then Olivia moved her foot and Amore started to bark. The front of her body was lowered onto the floor as her rear end wagged. It was as though she had never seen such an interesting chew toy before, but she'd take it!
Later, we all went to my parents house. In the hospital, Olivia could only have 4 visitors on her visitor list, so some people hadn't seen her yet. My brother, Nick, met us at the car to look at her, but said she was too small to hold. Inside, Olivia was greeted by Bailey, Buddy and Nora, my parent's dogs. Bailey lay next to me, staking her claim. Buddy's big, golden retriever nose inhaled Olivia in deep breaths. Like Amore, Nora had never seen such a thing- they took turns jumping up next to me for a sniff before running off to play.
My dad, who never did overcome his hospital-phobia, but came up with a bunch of lame excuses instead- 'No, can't go today- I need to shave. It's 90 degrees out. My grass is too long...' Even though we teased him about it- reminding him she was in a children's hospital and nobody would be looking for any reasons to keep him there- I know it was pretty hard on him. My dad absolutely loves babies.
"She's so small," he said, as I put her into his arms. He sat for the longest time, looking at her, taking her in, touching her hands, her face, her hair. "It's hard to believe."
"What?" I asked.
"After everything..." he said, "She's perfect."
Amy came over with her children. Coral had seen Olivia in the hospital, but her brothers hadn't. Terran, almost 4 years old, kept touching Olivia's hair and hands, "She's so soft." Phoenix, 7 years old, grinned from ear to ear, "She is so cute."
Olivia slept as she was gently passed from arms to arms to arms... kissed and sniffed and welcomed and loved- holding her is believing.
Grandpa and Olivia