Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One of the Girls

Hana is now one month old! She's been very busy lately meeting new friends. We had a wonderful visit from my friends from South Pasadena: Jackie, Lara, and Stephanie. They flew in from the L.A., San Francisco, and Boston areas just to see Hana and spend some serious girl time together. Of course, we all took Hana to the Mall of America. We also enjoyed some great food and played some Dance Dance Revolution. We even talked to our friend Jessica via Skype. She lives in Canberra, Australia with her husband and little girl. It was the best time!

Hana seems to be growing and doing all the things babies need to do, which is mostly sleep. We're still trying to learn her cues, but luckily she's been pretty agreeable unless she's hungry. It seems she's been awake more of the time lately. She can be really alert and likes to focus on faces, a lot like her big sister did.

She finally had the chance to meet the Tuesday night Knitters at Borealis this week. Of course, she was wearing some of their lovely handknit gifts. She's been the third baby girl born this year to someone in the group. It's been wonderful sharing all of these moments.

Shawn has been able to take some time off and it's been great spending time together . This really is a whole new world for us. We're looking forward to watching Hana grow and change. We never really let ourselves think too far into the future before since Mieko's health was so uncertain. We know we have a great deal to look forward to, but we can't help but wish Mieko could be here to see her baby sister and enjoy her as much as we do. We know we'll be missing her a lot during the upcoming holidays, but we're also going to make sure we incorporate her memory into our celebrations. Though it will be much different, we will try to remember there is still a great deal to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Growing is hard work!

Hana is now two and a half weeks old. So far, she's been a pretty mellow baby. She doesn't cry all that much, unless she's hungry. She's a good sleeper. She would sleep through the night, except we have to wake her up to feed her. We're really enjoying this time getting to know her.

It's a completely different experience for us. The day after she came home, we had to take her to the St. Paul Children's E.R. because she hadn't pooped for four days. Her doctor's office advised us to do this, since she could've had problems with jaundice. It felt very strange to go the same E.R. where we'd taken Mieko so many times. Most of the time it was for respiratory distress and she was whisked into a room right away. This time, we actually waited. It felt weird to be there with such a healthy kid. Though it brings back some tough memories to be at the hospital, we know they always give us great care. Hana got a suppository and pooped right away. They checked her billirubin level and she was fine. Almost every time we took Mieko to the E.R., she was admitted to the hospital. We are grateful for Hana's good health.

It's also strange not to have all the medications and machinery at home. We always knew how Mieko was doing when she was sleeping since she was attached to an oxygen monitor. Now, I sometimes check Hana's chest to see if it's moving while she's sleeping. But, it is a relief to know there shouldn't be anything to worry about.

The biggest challenge for me has been nursing. Hana can nurse really well, but it took some work. We had to supplement with some bottles at first, since she was losing so much weight. That made her somewhat averse to breast feeding. After some help from a lactation consultant, she started nursing again. She's about back to her birth weight and gaining now. Mommy is still struggling somewhat to get the hang of things, but Hana is a champ.

Hana is going to Mieko's pediatrician at St. Paul Children's Clinic. Though it's sometimes difficult to go back there, it feels right for us to stay connected to those who knew Mieko so well. Her primary doctor has been wonderful to our family and we are so happy she can be there for Hana.

As you can see, Hana has been visiting with many relatives and friends. We are glad to share her with as many people as possible. Today, we went to visit Mieko's school and see the music cart that was created for the instruments we donated. It's not in it's final decorated state yet, but it looks amazing. The bus will be decorated with Mieko's and other children's pictures. We look forward to seeing the kids at Rondo use the music bus soon. They're already enjoying honking the horn!