Gerard watching over Ava

Ok everyone… This has been a crazy week so be prepared for multiple posts and pictures over the next couple days. There is big news that many of you might already know, but let’s still start with this past Monday.

For those that do not know, on November 12th, 2011, Jen and I lost our son Gerard James at 16 1/2 weeks gestation. There is not a DAY that goes by where Jen and I do not still think about him. Even though his life was short, Gerard changed our lives and many other people’s lives for the better. On Monday, exactly 1 year since his passing, we also thought about what a great Big Brother he has been watching over his Little Sister Ava throughout this entire process. Ava was still maintaining her temperatures outside the incubator, eating all her feeds, and in general doing GREAT! Then we got the news…

Dr. Bair (Head Doctor of the NICU and an INCREDIBLE doctor and person!) came over and said “So I heard Thursday?” Then Jen and I looked at each other and said… “What is Thursday?” Dr. Bair then proceeded to say he talked to Dr. Lueder (another incredible Doctor and a U of M season ticket holder) who said in report that Thursday was the projected day Ava would come home. Jen and I were completely in shock, filled with such joy and nerves all in that moment. And to get this news on November 12th, 2012 made the miracle of life and both of our children seem even more special.

More about preparing to bring Ava home, in upcoming posts, but as you can see Monday was a special day for both Jen and I. While parts of the day were difficult, we will always remember the day as a happy one. A day to celebrate both of our children’s lives and the day we came to realize AVA WAS COMING HOME! Below you’ll see Ava’s care board, her hospital band being cut off, and saying good bye (until they can play together at home) to her very best friend in the NICU, Chandler. We are so lucky!

The Chopps (Evan, Jen, Gerard, and Ava)