This week started out, two days after my surgery, celebrating my mommy's birthday. I'm sure she didn't want to spend her special day in the hospital and would rather have been elsewhere besides Michigan, but I heard her say that she was exactly where she wanted to be, celebrating her birthday with her daughter and her husband. Nowhere else would have been as special. She sang "Happy Birthday" to herself as she breastfed me, I smiled at her, she smiled at me, and I think I felt her tears land on me. She told me she loved me over and over and I just smiled back at her. I'm happy that she was here with me all day. Daddy sang "Happy Birthday" to her later on and that made her smile even more.
The day after Mommy's birthday, my flight nurse Lori and my respiratory therapist Jennifer returned to transport me back to California. I was dressed in my travel outfit (a gift from my California NICU friend Cielo) and ready to go after Lori checked out my heart and other vital signs.
I said bye to my friends Brian, Sydney and George in the Michigan NICU and thanked my wonderful nurses too.
The Learjet was all warm and ready for us when we arrived at the Pontiac airport. Once again, there were lots of people there to get me onboard the plane. It didn't take long for us to get out of that cold place.
Mommy and Daddy were silly and took lots of video tape and pictures since they said someday I'd want to know about all these adventures I took them on before I even got home.
The flight home was reeeaaallllyyy long since we had big headwinds. In fact, we had to make an unplanned stop in Reno, Nevada to get more gas! The landing in Reno was quite scary since there were gusty winds and rain showers in the area of the airport. I didn't notice since Mommy was holding me close to her chest during the landing because I didn't want to be in my incubator anymore.
See the casinos in the background?
Finally, we got more gas and flew another hour home, flew over my house in Hayward that I haven't seen yet, and landed safely at the Oakland airport. I thanked my pilot Vanessa and her copilot too for getting us all home.
The nice ambulance team from Alta Bates met me at the jet and took me back to my home in the NICU in Berkeley. The nurses, staff and doctors back in the NICU welcomed us "home" and eagerly asked how things went for us in Michigan. It really was like coming home to family since my mommy, daddy and I have become so close to all these nice folks that have helped me in my fight for life these past nineteen weeks.
They weighed me when I returned to my special room and I was officially over six pounds!
Jonnie, my primary day nurse, was so happy to see me the day after I came back. Here she is lovingly holding me in her arms. I just love Jonnie and her sweet voice.
My mommy and daddy took these beautiful photos out the window of my room that faces the city of San Francisco. Isn't this a beautiful sunset? Michigan was okay, but there's nothing like this view and I'm lucky enough to have this room that my parents and I have enjoyed together.