The Homecoming

Elijah was discharged from Arnold Palmer Hospital for Women and Children on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2004. The little Irishman surprised us all. His crib still lay in pieces on the floor and his car seat still needed assembly. Born at 34 weeks with a large SCT, he still managed to come home 6 days after his birth and 5 days after his surgery for the removal of the tumor. This was another prayer answered. Our firstborn daughter, Gabriella, had spent 14 weeks in the NICU after being born weighing 1 lb, 10 ounces at 26 weeks gestation. Ivana and I knew what the NICU was like and we prayed to be spared that peculiar form of agony and anxiety.

During weekly ultrasounds over 4 months, our ultrasound technician had commented that Elijah was a good eater and always had a full stomach. He did not miss a beat in that department when he came home. Elijah seemed to nurse around the clock. By his due date of April 20, 2004, he weighed 9 lbs., 12 ozs. and was over 22 inches long.

His older sisters love to hold him, kiss him and bathe him. They dwell on his every movement and shriek with joy when he directs a smile their way. Elijah reminds us daily how grateful we are for the gift of his life.

Michael Redmond Gibbons


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