It's no surprise that my brother's baby girl, Cynthia Joy, gave us a little lip when we snapped her first picture at the hospital. She has daddy's nose too! She's two weeks old now and clearly has a fighter spirit for a preemie.
We had planned this trip several months ago to Ontario, California, where Paul and Michelle live. We were going to be part of their last baby shower. Of course, no one expected that Cindy would be born at this point. Ericlee, Mom (Nana), Meilani and I packed in the car early Saturday morning and headed south. Our first stop when we arrived was most definitely the San Antonio Community Hospital where little Cindy needs to stay for a few more weeks until she gets stronger and gains more weight. I was so eager to actually hold her in my arms. The whole idea of my *little* brother actually being a daddy and having a baby still overwhelms me.
Paul as a dad is still kind of a funny thought; Michelle, however, is a natural mommy. Even though she has to care for her little one in the hospital she already speaks in those sweet mothering tones and takes care of Cindy like a pro. It's a very humbling experience to watch her change a 4-pound baby's diaper and untangle Cindy from her little cords. Right now she is still being fed through an IV. Amazingly, Michelle is able to pump milk and they can give it to her through the IV. She's very dedicated.
Despite all the extra care in the hospital and tubes and stuff she has to endure, Cindy is already interactive. She stuck out her tongue for the camera. She is working on her sucking skills with a little pacifier. And her long fingers are very good at gripping. I just couldn't get over how tiny she is - almost half the size of Meilani when she was born - but so perfectly formed and alert. Michelle says her hair was dark when she was born but you can see it's starting to lighten so she may favor Mama's looks after all.
On Sunday, Mom and I helped with Michelle's shower held at a friend's house. We, of course, contributed some food, including these cucumber tea sandwiches and Italian pizzelle cookies to go with the tea party theme. Cindy already has lots of sweet little girl clothes - a whole closet full of mini dresses and onesies, hats and shoes. At the shower, she also got a stroller-carseat combo, a video monitor (only the best technology for Paul's daughter) and a hand-knitted blanket from Nana Maria.
We loved our time with Paul and Michelle and friends. We also snuck in one more trip to the hospital Sunday night to kiss the baby girl. Please continue to pray for Cynthia Joy. She had a blood transfusion tonight and we're hoping she can continue to eat the breastmilk so she can come home soon.