2017 IN REVIEW

There's something to be said about the end of a year. It's like ending a chapter, not finishing a book... there's always another chapter ahead but when you finish that chapter you take everything you've learned from it and carry it forward in your story. 

2017 taught me a myriad of things that I'll forever carry forward in my heart. We created indescribable relationships, met incredible families, and formed ever lasting bonds with some very, very special people. We took adventures, we discovered new found joys, and we learned what works for us and what doesn't in this new role as parents. We learned about ourselves, and about one another as parents, husband and wife, and as individuals. 

We experienced highs and lows, we rejoiced in milestones, and fought frustration in set backs. We mourned for friends, and we celebrated with friends.

And we experienced some pretty incredible highlights.

Last year at midnight we were driving home from the NICU during a blizzard after saying goodnight to Hazel... this year she is home with us and we will be celebrating with a turkey dinner, and a cozy night in!

Happy New Year to you all, and THANK YOU from my heart for following our journey! 2017 brought some amazing things (it will be hard to beat bringing Hazel home!) BUT 2018 is already shaping up to have some incredibly memorable moments!

CHEERS!

 

 New Year's Eve 

New Year's Eve 

 Hazel's last cuddle with Mama before being extubated. 

Hazel's last cuddle with Mama before being extubated. 

 First day on CPAP. 

First day on CPAP. 

 A couple days after moving onto CPAP Hazel left the walls of the NICU for the first time with ITT (Infant Transport Team) to be transferred to BC Children's for a surgery that wouldn't happen (Until halloween this year). She had to be intubated again for travel.

A couple days after moving onto CPAP Hazel left the walls of the NICU for the first time with ITT (Infant Transport Team) to be transferred to BC Children's for a surgery that wouldn't happen (Until halloween this year). She had to be intubated again for travel.

 While at Children's Hospital Hazel pulls her breathing tube out and a code pink is called as I sit at her bedside.

While at Children's Hospital Hazel pulls her breathing tube out and a code pink is called as I sit at her bedside.

 After 24 hours at Children's Hazel is transported back to Royal Columbian and extubated once again and back onto CPAP. This was her last intubation with exception for her laser eye surgery a few months later.

After 24 hours at Children's Hazel is transported back to Royal Columbian and extubated once again and back onto CPAP. This was her last intubation with exception for her laser eye surgery a few months later.

 Towards the end of January Hazel gets to finally wear clothes for the first time at 3 months old. Even the preemie sizes were HUGE.

Towards the end of January Hazel gets to finally wear clothes for the first time at 3 months old. Even the preemie sizes were HUGE.

 The end of January also brought big changes in the NICU. Hazel busted out of the Giraffe incubator and into a big girl crib!

The end of January also brought big changes in the NICU. Hazel busted out of the Giraffe incubator and into a big girl crib!

 February brought the scare of RSV and we were put in the isolation room.

February brought the scare of RSV and we were put in the isolation room.

 February brought a wild winter storm and made getting to RCH to see Hazel very stressful.

February brought a wild winter storm and made getting to RCH to see Hazel very stressful.

 February 14th. Hazel has her first Valentine's Day while in the NICU

February 14th. Hazel has her first Valentine's Day while in the NICU

 February 16th. We reach 100 days in the NICU

February 16th. We reach 100 days in the NICU

 March 4th my sisters and Mama throw me an incredible baby shower.

March 4th my sisters and Mama throw me an incredible baby shower.

 Near the end of March we were allowed to take Hazel for walks outside of the NICU

Near the end of March we were allowed to take Hazel for walks outside of the NICU

 I turned 30 on Easter! The nurses decorated Hazel's bedside for my birthday and made me a card and gifts from Hazel and Jeff took me for an afternoon out on our own brewery tour.

I turned 30 on Easter! The nurses decorated Hazel's bedside for my birthday and made me a card and gifts from Hazel and Jeff took me for an afternoon out on our own brewery tour.

 We finished Hazel's nursery!

We finished Hazel's nursery!

 Hazel came off CPAP and onto low flow oxygen!

Hazel came off CPAP and onto low flow oxygen!

 Hazel hit the ground running with her oral feeds

Hazel hit the ground running with her oral feeds

 May 1st we brought home our baby girl after 175 days - 6 months - in the NICU

May 1st we brought home our baby girl after 175 days - 6 months - in the NICU

 We woke up with Hazel for the first time ever.

We woke up with Hazel for the first time ever.

 I had my first Mother's Day

I had my first Mother's Day

 We celebrated Daddy's birthday!

We celebrated Daddy's birthday!

 One of my best friends finally got to meet Hazel since she lives across the country!

One of my best friends finally got to meet Hazel since she lives across the country!

 Hazel had her first bath in the kitchen sink!

Hazel had her first bath in the kitchen sink!

 Canada Day!

Canada Day!

 We took Hazel on her first flight, and went to Montreal in July

We took Hazel on her first flight, and went to Montreal in July

 Hazel caught a virus and we were transferred to Abbotsford Regional Hospital by ambulance and admitted for a week.

Hazel caught a virus and we were transferred to Abbotsford Regional Hospital by ambulance and admitted for a week.

 My grandfather that lives in East Africa got to meet Hazel for the first time

My grandfather that lives in East Africa got to meet Hazel for the first time

 One of the biggest highlights of 2017.... Hazel came off her oxygen and was tube and wire free!

One of the biggest highlights of 2017.... Hazel came off her oxygen and was tube and wire free!

 Hazel started solids

Hazel started solids

 We spent endless time on the river and the lake when the smoke from the forest fires didn't have us stuck inside

We spent endless time on the river and the lake when the smoke from the forest fires didn't have us stuck inside

 We had countless dates with friends at the zoo!

We had countless dates with friends at the zoo!

 we took hazel to the aquarium

we took hazel to the aquarium

 Hazel visited 4 pumpkin patches in the Fall

Hazel visited 4 pumpkin patches in the Fall

 Hazel reached 10 lbs! Hooray!

Hazel reached 10 lbs! Hooray!

 We took Hazel to Squamish

We took Hazel to Squamish

 We vacationed in Whistler with Hazel for 4 days

We vacationed in Whistler with Hazel for 4 days

 We went up the sea to sky gondola for the first time!

We went up the sea to sky gondola for the first time!

 Hazel had her first thanksgiving

Hazel had her first thanksgiving

 Hazel sat in a shopping cart for the first time

Hazel sat in a shopping cart for the first time

 First hay ride!

First hay ride!

 We visited Hazel's retinal surgeon and were discharged from his care! YAY!

We visited Hazel's retinal surgeon and were discharged from his care! YAY!

 We visited more pumpkin patches

We visited more pumpkin patches

 Halloween came around so we had a halloween party for our NICU friends + babes

Halloween came around so we had a halloween party for our NICU friends + babes

 On October 31st Hazel had the PDA valve closed in her heart at BC Children's Hospital - the procedure she had been transferred for when she was still in the NICU back in January. She was the first patient to have a heart catheterization in the new operating room.

On October 31st Hazel had the PDA valve closed in her heart at BC Children's Hospital - the procedure she had been transferred for when she was still in the NICU back in January. She was the first patient to have a heart catheterization in the new operating room.

 A freak snowfall in early November allowed Hazel to experience snow for the first time!

A freak snowfall in early November allowed Hazel to experience snow for the first time!

 I took my little princess to Disney on Ice!

I took my little princess to Disney on Ice!

 and then she turned ONE!!!

and then she turned ONE!!!

 Hazel's first Christmas tree

Hazel's first Christmas tree

 Daddy showing Hazel the Christmas lights

Daddy showing Hazel the Christmas lights

 And of course Hazel met St. Nick.

And of course Hazel met St. Nick.

 We started to get stronger on our legs!

We started to get stronger on our legs!

 We got discharged from Hazel's cardiologist, clear of any pulmonary hypertension and no longer a murmur in her heart so we went up to Grouse to celebrate!

We got discharged from Hazel's cardiologist, clear of any pulmonary hypertension and no longer a murmur in her heart so we went up to Grouse to celebrate!

 We went to Bright Nights at Stanley Park

We went to Bright Nights at Stanley Park

 This munchkin stood without holding onto Mama!

This munchkin stood without holding onto Mama!

 Hazel and I saw the lights at Van Dusen with my sister

Hazel and I saw the lights at Van Dusen with my sister

 We left Hazel with a sitter for the first time and had our first night out since Hazel came home. We went to Jeff's company christmas party

We left Hazel with a sitter for the first time and had our first night out since Hazel came home. We went to Jeff's company christmas party

 Hazel's first REAL Christmas morning! Also the best photo I have of her FIVE teeth!!!

Hazel's first REAL Christmas morning! Also the best photo I have of her FIVE teeth!!!

 We explored the snow more (and hazel was less than impressed)

We explored the snow more (and hazel was less than impressed)

 And then ice fell on snow, then snow on ice, then ice on snow, and snow on ice until finally a thick crust of ice formed (the ice was all from freezing rain) with a light dusting of snow. 

And then ice fell on snow, then snow on ice, then ice on snow, and snow on ice until finally a thick crust of ice formed (the ice was all from freezing rain) with a light dusting of snow. 

 And finally.. Hazel is on the move! We've installed the baby gate and Hazel has decided she wants to get moving this new year!

And finally.. Hazel is on the move! We've installed the baby gate and Hazel has decided she wants to get moving this new year!