Friday, November 15, 2013

"We're going to see Bubby"

Anytime we go to a hospital, which since Noah died, has been about 4 or 5 times, Ava thinks we are going to see her Bubby. We, of course, explain to her that Bubby is still with Jesus in heaven and then proceed to tell her why we are going to the hospital and who we are going to actually see. I think it is sweet that she gets excited to see her Bubby. In her little mind, that is all she knows of her sibling, was the hospital. She doesn't understand getting to take a baby home, or having a sibling to play with, having to share toys(at home), or mommy's attention. She is obsessed with babies right now though. She has a baby doll named Bubby. She loves to get Noah's blanket off my bed and use it for her babies, during her nap, sometimes she gives it to me and says, "Bubby's blanket, he was a sweet sweet baby". etc. She knows all she needs to know for a 2 and a half year old. She is so smart and sensitive. Ava knows when mommy is sad and will crawl up in my lap, hug me and say, "it's ok mommy. I love you. You miss Bubby?" She loves deeply. She is aware. I wonder how this process will look as she gets older, but I hope that she will always look back at each step of her becoming more aware of her Bubby and the impact he had on us all, with pride. I pray that she will always know that she is a huge part of Bubby's story, that she is a huge part of Mommy's healing and that she is the apple of Daddy's eye, the one who can always make us smile, surprise us with her sayings, frustrate us with her (mommy's) attitude. haha. She is our sunshine and as she likes to say, "I'm mommy's sunshine and daddy's moon". :) She brightens up our life and I know God gave us to her first for many reasons. She gives me so much to live for everyday. She pushes me to be better, to extend and teach grace, to love, to laugh, to stop and play, to soak up life. She is such a joy and I'm beyond grateful for her role in our family.
brand new ava
going home

Mommy & Ava's 2 week adventure before Bubby came
 Ava had to grow up so much when this journey started and as I watched her go through the process, as we all did, she just amazed me at every point. I cannot tell you how much she adapted under such crazy circumstances. She started the journey as a baby and has grown into quite the little, sassy, spontanious and goofy little girl. She truly is our, "amazing Ava" as Tpaw coined.
Driving to Ft. Worth to start the journey

Big sister day!

The only way she would get in the big bed with mommy
Ava would not get in my hospital bed with me unless there was a popsicle involved, so I totally bribed her. She did amazing on Bubby's birthday! She was well behaved, she did so great with it all and made mommy so proud.
meeting Bubby for the "second" time
During the entire week I was in the hospital, she was so sweet for her Mimi and Pop and everyone she was around. Her grandma, papaw, etc. She ate great, played well and gave mommy plenty of snuggles and kisses.  I remember wondering how I was going to split myself in two so I could be with both babies. I couldn't be at home, with my newborn and my eldest, doing all the normal things, snuggling, letting her hold him on a pillow, etc. It was hard for me to not be with both of my babies at once. She always

kept me smiling. Through everything, she made it better. I cannot imagine going through it all without her. I am certain that God knew we would need her gorgeous eyes, silly smile, funny laugh and constant energy. God knew I would need her snuggles, kisses and hugs to keep going. I just know that God has huge plans for her in every season of life. She certainly has shown us that from the day she was born.
waiting room fun (always in a waiting room)

RMH breakfast

footy jammies at RMH

Pop & Ava spent lots of time on the slide
I cried every Sunday afternoon that she and Nick and sometimes mom and dad would leave. I just knew she would forget me or come back to ft worth and be scared of me or something. Silly I know, but I truly worried that she would fall behind developmentally as she traveled all the time, had no schedule, was with different people all the time, eating randomly, napping in waiting rooms, etc. As a mom, I was so strung out on not being there and not being with Noah at the same time, but every time, she would just impress me and show me some new thing she learned or wow me beyond my expectations.

brushing her teeth like a big girl

Playing on the Cook's playground
playing with Daddy
Ava loved the playground and the "cove" at the hospital. She would play for hours and it was so nice to have something for her to do during all the downtime when she could not be in Bubby.  I am just still, so thankful for all she learned and experienced during Bubby's life.

Skyping with Mommy 

Mommy & her babies

                                                                                                         Sometimes Ava gets                                                                                                            pushed to the side 
                   when it comes to the story 
                     of Bubby and I felt like it 
                          was time that I showcased 
                            her and her amazing 
                            journey as Big Sister.  
visiting her bubby

Ava's first plane ride

waiting room nap (again)

Bubby's valentine from Sissy

Valentine's Day with Mommy

Snow cones with cousins on Bubby's Memorial Day

First family photo
Last Family photo of 4

More hospital fun
another waiting room nap

 Ava has been and still is Mommy's Sunshine. There are weeks like this one, where I do not want to raise another child. I do not want to have sleepless nights, potty train again, etc. Lord knows what he is doing and what he has planned for us, but I learned from Noah that I must be surrendered to His plan and not count on my own. The frustrating days are deeply frustrating, but the amazing days are more than incredible and remind me that our toughest days are always worth it. Ava has been and will continue to be our sweet girl and we are so thankful that we get to watch her grow, develope and learn. The other day I looked in the mirror in the car and saw her worshiping. She had her eyes closed, hands raised and was moving her head back and forth and singing along to "Forever Reign"... She's smart, she's aware, she is amazing. I realized that without her Bubby and his story, she might not have such a deep knowledge of Jesus as she does. I'm thankful for that.
Meeting Bubby and Nurse Kathy gave her a "magic wand"
Sometimes I miss hospital life. I do. I didn't struggle to realize the worth of my family. It was made aware daily. I didn't forget how precious my friends were, I was always desperate for them. I am thankful for the life lessons we learned, the life we shared and lived, the love we grew and the way we got to watch Ava grow and learn while Bubby was alive.
I'm thankful for nurse Kathy, who informed us and made us aware that Ava could come into the PICU and meet her brother. We didn't realize it until she let us know, because we were used to the NICU rules. Without Kathy, we might not have our first family pics or have the sweet moment of Ava seeing her bubby for the first time. Thankful for the nurses that would always go out of their way to make Ava feel at home and loved on at Cook's.
Bad days come and go, often, but Ava always makes even the worst day bearable with her love and her smile. She is my precious girl and I will forever and always be thankful.

LOVE you Ava! Mommy and Daddy are so thankful for you and your part of our story.

Blessings to all,
Noah's Mommy

The W's

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