LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - We first introduced you to Ava Grace Green three and a half months ago. She came into the world prematurely, weighing one pound, six ounces. One week later, her mother Kim, died.
So many of you were touched by this story when we first brought it to you in August, we thought you might like an update on how Ava Grace is doing. You could call it Ava Grace: The Homecoming.
Steve Green is one proud daddy telling us, “She's been eating and growing so it's really cool.” Ava Grace has been eating so well in fact that she gained 20 ounces the first 20 days she was home. She now weighs about seven pounds, seven ounces.
Her homecoming was bittersweet. Steve left behind friends at the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children, but he was also excited to get his daughter home to begin the next chapter of her life. He says he’s “very grateful that there are so many friends and family around that care so much and want to make sure she has what she needs.”
With the tragic loss of Kim, it truly is taking a village to take care of this tiny little miracle. Both Steve and Kim’s mothers are there around the clock helping take care of their granddaughter. Steve knows Ava Grace is in good hands while he’s at work but says, “I always look forward to getting home to see her.”
He admits he sometimes gets caught up in his work and if it gets close to quitting time he says to himself, “Oh, I better start shutting down and going to get home and hang out with Little Bit.” That’s what Steve and a lot of his friends call Ava Grace now.
Besides growing a little each day, Little Bit is also starting to laugh. In fact, the first time she did that, Steve says it startled him. “I wasn't expecting that and then my mom looked at me and said did she just laugh? I said, yeah, she just laughed.”
And apparently she’s pretty good at playing possum too. “She'll crack one eye open and you think that she's sleeping and you know that she's not and then she'll watch what you're doing as you walk by and you'll see a little eye keeping track on you.”
Ava Grace hasn’t had a lot of visitors because doctors want to give her immune system a chance to grow. So, Steve has been keeping friends and family up to date on her progress by posting a digital diary of sorts on Facebook. He says two of his favorite photos were taken while he was holding her. “I have a picture where she's just kind of rolled back a little bit in her head and she has a big smile looking at me,” and he continued saying, “Then another picture I have that's one of my favorites is she's looking up at me and she looks like she's whistling. It's almost like, am I doing this right Daddy look?”
A lot of Steve and Kim’s friends have showered them with gifts. And let’s just hope Ava Grace likes cows. “Ava Grace is almost like everybody's baby too,” he said. Steve brought his daughter home to the room his wife helped plan and decorate. But perhaps one of the most cherished gifts is from Kim’s friends and co-workers who wrote messages to Ava Grace so she’d know a little more about her mom as she grows up.
Wrapped in the loving arms of family, you can’t help but think that perhaps Km Green is nearby touching the cheek of her daughter and giving her kisses from an angel in heaven. Steve says he truly feels blessed by the overwhelming generosity of people who want to make sure that his daughter is taken care of. And he’s very appreciative of everyone’s thoughts and prayers.