One pound, 7 ounces, 652 grams.
That's what Hazel Grace weighed when she entered this world on August 1st, 2013. A soaking wet, bleating little 11' handful that was whisked away from us before her scent had even settled on our skin.
And now, that tiny waif of a soul, that barely-there child, a heart just a beat away from heaven and lungs that could not even support the body that fit in a palm,
that girl-child of ours weighs almost 10 pounds.
Six months later, after that fateful day in August, I hold Hazel Grace in my arms, and she sits heavy on my chest, no longer able to tuck into the hollow of my collar bone like she did that day so long ago in the NICU at INOVA Alexandria Hospital, the very first time that I held her.
She's actually kind of...chubby!
Little baby legs filling out and gathering rolls of baby fat, the second chin hiding her neck that becomes more sturdy every day, round tummy, smooth arms waving...
And I see it for what it is:
Someone close to me recently said that they don't believe in miracles anymore. That they used to be wide-eyed and believing like I am, but that now they are sour on the whole thing and that miracles just don't happen. 'But what about Hazel Grace?' I say. 'She is a miracle. How can you not see a miracle in her?'
'But she's your miracle,' was the response that came. 'She's yours, not mine.'
But that's just not true! Hazel Grace is our miracle, to be sure, but she's not only our miracle! She is a miracle for all of us. For all of you out there reading this who have cared about our sweet baby and prayed over her and our family, she is your miracle, too.
There is no possible way that I can personally thank everyone who has prayed over us, lent a helping hand or a listening ear, blessed us with gifts of time, money or much needed equipment and goodies for Hazel Grace, or just been there when things got really tough,
but please don't think that it has gone unnoticed.
Every gift, every prayer, every kind word or helping hand has been tucked away in my heart and in the heart of this family.
You have made this possible, and Hazel Grace is your miracle just as much as she ours.
So breathe it in, the milky fragrance of the miracle of a sweet baby,
And sigh it out with a word of thanks to our Heavenly Father who is the One who made any of this even possible.
And it is with sincerest thanks, and a promise to do better at keeping everyone updated, I present to you
Hazel Grace. The micro-preemie who's not so 'micro' anymore.