Typically Chris and I spend at least two hours of each holiday on the road between his parents house and mine. This year, however, we celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and our birthdays in the NICU. Easter was the first major holiday we were home for, and it didn’t take much planning. One month after heart surgery, we weren’t going anywhere (well, almost).
Between Bekah’s NICU stay and heart surgery, we had a visitor ban. We didn’t want to end up coming back to Akron Children’s for a cold that developed into something terrible, or any other thing that children catch in the winter. Something that would have been small to anyone else could have been life threatening to Bekah.
After heart surgery we made a plan to slowly expose her to more people (and therefore more germs) after she had been home for a while…which meant the usual sprint from one place to another was out of the question for Easter.
Instead of starting out with the Easter sunrise service with my family and then driving two hours for a late lunch with Chris’s family, the three of us woke up, dressed Bekah in her “My First Easter” onesie and sleeper (we also dressed her Cabbage Patch, Professor Helen, in a matching outfit…we know Bekah doesn’t realize they match, but we like to see how much she’s grown since the preemie clothes that fit Professor Helen—yes, that is what we named the doll) and then we read the Easter story.
It felt strange to not be running from place to place, but it felt even stranger to not be spending the holiday in the NICU with Bekah’s best friend and TLC roomie who is still there. It felt so strange, in fact, that by Sunday afternoon we had everything packed up and were making the 45 minute trip to Akron so that Bekah wouldn’t break her holiday tradition.
And, even though Bekah stayed in the Reinberger Family Center so she wouldn’t contaminate the NICU babies while we went in to visit her roommate, and we didn’t technically spend Easter with our families, we did spend it in a very familiar place with people we are proud to call our friends.
While we don’t know where we’ll be on the next big holiday, we do know that we’ll be forever grateful to be spending it with Rebekah, and we’ll be thinking of all of the families who are spending the day in the hospital.
Read the rest of Sarah and Rebekah’s story through her blog, Following Your Heart.