June 27, 2005
We are now at the end of Day 7 with our favourite little houseguest: Hana. Those of you who read Milk Factory regularly will know who this sweetie is. We've all loved having her here--especially Ella, who has adopted a very big sisterly attitude.
The big news from this week, though, is that a nickname for Hana has finally emerged for us thanks, in large part, to Hana's nannies. Tomi recently wrote about the snug blanket-wrapping technique that seems to calm her right down. This has led us to the inevitable, very affectionate label: Baby Burrito (see picture). This is perfect for so many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Hana's mother Gabi loved Mexican food. Gabi and I spent many evenings over the years eating garlic prawns, chicken fajitas, bean burritos, and my favourite........little burrito's fried cousin: the chimichanga.
So lately, checking on the Little Burrito has been our favourite activity. Snuggled up, she's the happiest wee baby around. So for Bob, Raisin will always be his special code name for Hana. For others it's the inevitable rhyming with a certain yellow fruit. And I'm sure I heard Hana's Oma whispering a little German in her ear, no doubt trying out yet another nickname.
For Tomi and me, I have no doubt that Burrito will stick for awhile. Inevitably, though, I'm sure to settle on Chimi as she grows. It will remind me of how sweet Hana always looked when she was wrapped-up and sleeping in our livingroom. And it will be a constant reminder to me of her mom--who most often ordered the chicken fajitas, but always wanted the chimichanga by the end of the night.
May 28, 2005
Baby Hana Sleepin' over
What a great week we had! Baby Hana was here for 3 days/nights and really made an impression on her extended family. Her future body guard Ella loved having the extended sleepover and wanted to help with everything (diapers, dressing, feeding, burping) and share everything (her books, her toys, her Dad's belly, her kisses, and her germs).
Admittedly, we were a little exhausted after night #1--it was quite a shock to the system to go back to the staggered sleeping patterns. But we got a good sense of Hana's rhythms by Day 2, so things were smooth sailing after that. By Day 3, go-Daddy-O was having 3-hour afternoon naps on the sofa with Hana. Ok, admittedly that's really just an hour more than I usually nap (without Hana) anyway--so maybe it was more Hana getting used to our rhythms.
A tiring, but very inspiring few days. It's made us more sure that we want another child. It's convinced us that we're so lucky to have Hana in our lives. And it has reminded us that we are so very lucky to be able to share in Ella's life as she grows.
I get exhausted in a different way when I think about my future relationship with sweet little Hana. I want to be there to share in every little happiness and achievement. I want to see her learn, grow, live, and love. But in all that happiness, I'm always going to feel this heart-wrenching sadness and guilt because her mom can't be here, too. Gabi would have wanted to see every single one of Hana's smiles these past few days. I will at least make sure Hana knows that.
May 05, 2005
Guess who would LOVE to have a little sister?
Ella's gotten into the habit of pointing to everyone's belly and proclaiming that there's a baby inside. This can get a little embarrassing at times...don't take it personally!
Yes, she is absolutely fascinated with babies, and wants to touch their hair and hold them. Sometimes she'll put her face so close to baby Hana's that we're afraid she'll drool right into the baby's mouth. Yuck.
Her first description of her little friend:
Go for walk with Bob and Ruth. See baby Hana. Eyes open. Head moving like this (moves her head back and forth). Tiny hands. Tiny feet. Muffin.
Ella's daycare providers thought that it was so sweet that Ella was calling the baby "Muffin", but of course, she was referring to the freshly baked treat that she ate after we returned from our walk.
That's our little girl for you! When the time comes (no, we're NOT pregnant), I think she'll be a wonderful big sister and take care of all of her new sibling's baked good needs.
March 17, 2005
Because so many people want to know how Hana (and Bob) are doing, and so many friends and family members want to participate in their lives, I've started a new blog: All About Hana.
Please click the above link to see photos and get the latest news.
March 14, 2005
Hana is now over 5 pounds. She's still just practicing feeding by bottle. Once she's mastered the fine art of simultaneously sucking and breathing, she'll be homeward bound.
2-3 weeks? Or perhaps even sooner. Let's hope that her daddy, Bob, gets some sleep while he can.
Ella's made up a new song called "Hana coming home". I hope that she'll be gentler with the new baby than she is with her baby doll!
March 04, 2005
Hana update: 2months
Hana is still steadily gaining weight (she's just over 4 lbs now) and doing really well taking formula milk from a bottle. I got to change two diapers this week, and get in some quality cuddle time.
The nurses were talking about how the cuddling makes a huge difference to premature babies who have been in incubators--no surprise there, but it makes my heart ache for the tiny babies whose parents can't see them because they don't live close by, or they can't take time off work.
I wonder if they'd let people who aren't friends or relatives of a baby do some volunteer cuddling?
February 10, 2005
Happy Hana Update
Go-Daddy-O regularly emails Hana updates to Gabi's close friends and family. I thought I'd post the latest one here so that it's in our archives:
She [Hana] is now out of her incubator and in a crib. We were there to see her tonight and she looked like she was sleeping quite comfortably (especially considering the added noise of being outside the muffled confines of her incubator).
Her weight is still going up--she gained another 60 grams today. Everything seems to be moving in the right direction.
At 2lbs 8oz+, she has doubled her birth weight. Happy (belated) 1 month birthday, Hana!
January 10, 2005
The phone was ringing early this morning. People were calling because they saw Gabi's picture in The Province. No, not in the obituary section. There she was, on the front page, huge and smiling, with the glaring headline "Cancer crusader gives birth, dies." Gabi would NOT be pleased.
Later that day, Penny and I stopped to visit Hana at the hospital, only to find out that everyone had been banned from seeing her, just in case the media tried to get in and take a picture.
So, just to be on the safe side, I've taken Hana's photo off of the blog.
January 01, 2005
Welcome to the Family
We have a new addition to the family: baby Hana, who is 1.5 lbs, and a real fighter, just like her mom, Gabi. Here is our first digital picture of Hana--3 days old and 3 months premature.
After struggling with a terrifying and painful recurrence of breast cancer, her mom is no longer with us, which means that Hana (and her dad, Bob) will be needing extra love and care.
Go-Daddy-O is planning to visit Hana in the hospital every day for the next three months. Visitors are free to drop by at any hour, except at 7am and 7pm, which is when the nursing staff changes shifts.
I didn't realize that visitors were allowed to put their bare hands in the incubator and touch the baby. It was an incredible experience...tiny hands that can already grasp your finger, tiny feet. Tiny Pampers!
So there it is. Our very own miracle baby. Along with the terrible heartache and the many stages of grieving will come the joy of watching this tiny baby grow.