Hail and Farewell.

In the military, there is a tradition during the typical move cycle whereby the leadership of a unit welcomes new arrivals, and gives a final send-off to departing individuals.  When I thought about the situation we were in, this term got stuck in my head.  So, in the ‘random information about people’ way in which commanders typically introduce those being hailed and sent off, let me introduce:

James Jack Markham.

Joining the unit yesterday afternoon, his hobbies include recreational oxygen use, screaming at nurses, and relaxing in his free time.  He does not yet qualify for combatives, as he weighed in at 3lbs 5oz and 17.5″ tall, but this has not stopped him from practicing Tai Chi push hands with the NICU staff.  He scored well on his entry exams (APGAR scores were good), but will need to be in remedial training for about 4 weeks.  Based on this, he will be assigned a temporary barracks rack at the hospital until at least early May.

All joking aside, the boy has a strong grip:

And he’s already responding well to his mother’s touch and voice:


And on the other side of the day, we said both hello and goodbye to ‘Baby A’.  While we have picked out names for both genders, due to the amniotic band issues, the doctor was unable to determine gender at birth.  We are having testing done so that we can honor Baby A’s memory appropriately, and will share that once we have more information. Many thanks to everyone who was praying for us to be able to get through this.  I don’t expect anyone but Kelly to fully understand this, but the day was both harder and easier than I could have ever imagined. While losing a child was incredibly painful, the joy of having another one doing his damnedest to get out of the NICU as soon as possible goes a long way to assuage the sorrow of our loss.

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