Friday, December 23, 2016

Quints for Christmas

Hello hello!

Merry Christmas! This week has been yet another whirlwind. 

St. Joseph's Hospital hosted a press conference on Wednesday to celebrate our children as the first set of quintuplets in hospital history. We are grateful beyond words to St. Joseph's.  I can't say enough about the OB nurses (Jessie, I know you're reading this. Love you, girl!).  These ladies took amazing care of me pre-labor, during my surgery, and post-op.  Most of all, these nurses are my friends.  Since we have such a small network of friends and family out here, these doctors, residents, and nurses have become our extended family.  I can't imagine going through this experience without them. They will forever be etched in our memory and on our hearts. 

The NyICU staff never ceases to amaze me.  The NyICU at St. Joseph's is a well-oiled machine brimming with some of the most kind, giving, and comforting individuals you can imagine.  There are so many ups and downs in the NyICU.  These men and women know how to comfort us while making sense of some of the most nerve-wracking situations.  I actually love sitting with the nurses every day and getting to know their stories.   These nurses look out for our babies and for us.  To give you an idea, one nurse who I love texted me to say went shopping for our kiddos a new outfit.  These nurses truly care--heart and soul.  I can't tell you how much they mean to me.  Our family will be forever grateful. 

I imagine if you're following our story, you saw some sort of press coverage for us this week.  We so appreciate the support and excitement.  I think the highlight of our week was when the Busby family (of TLC's Outdaughtered) contacted us.  We love their show and have learned so much from them and their adorable six daughters.  We are so thankful to have someone lead the way through this quintuplet world.  It makes us feel less alone, just knowing they are walking this quintuplet path with us.  This is my favorite picture from this week.  We had such fun dressing everyone and getting them together.  I can't believe they were all in my belly--how did that even happen?!

L to R:  Millie, Clara, Luke, Isabelle, and Ava

On to an update on the kiddos..that's what you're really here for!  Ava is doing MUCH better this week.  Thank you so much for your love and prayers.  She is now taking my breast milk from a bottle AND she has gained more weight than any of the other children and now weighs the most of the quints.  Can you believe that?  What an answer to prayer! She is, however, dealing with some reflux, so we are going to work on getting her a slower flow nipple in hopes of improving her eating situation. 

Per usual, Clara is killing it.  Clara is just an ounce behind Ava in weight and Clara is totally off of her feeding tube and eating entirely from the bottle.  Clara was also the first child this week to come out of her isolette.  An isolette is that glass-looking box that the kids have been in for the last three weeks.  Once the children weigh enough and can maintain their own body temperature, they "graduate" to an open air bassinet.  This is a huge step forward.  Of course, Clara was the first to get her bassinet yesterday.

So proud of our Clara!  Maintaining her own body temperature with just a swaddle blanket.

Following Clara, both Millie AND Ava (wow, I know!) graduated to bassinets this week.  We are so proud of our girls!  Luke is a little slow to gain weight, so we're going to keep him in the isolette for a few more days.  Isabelle is gaining weight, but a bit slower than the other girls, so she'll be just a few days behind them as well. 

Millie's breathing has been a little erratic this week, so we put her on some oxygen just to help her lungs mature a bit more.  We imagine she'll come off of this by the weekend.  Millie also had an infected tear duct this week.  One of the nurses put a bit of my breast milk on her eye yesterday and it's almost totally healed today.  I'll admit, it reminded me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Windex.

Isabelle and I had some great snuggle time today.  She's our dainty one.  She's so funny---she makes all kinds of noises and coos as she eats and snuggles.

I could snuggle sweet Isabelle all day!

As we enter the Christmas weekend, I've been thinking about what it means to be truly kind and generous.  We have been shown so much kindness--it's been eye opening for me. God has given us so many gifts this season--I'm not sure the word thankful does my feelings justice.  From a stranger buying our lunch at Chick Fil A to our parents flying out here at a moment's notice to a warm hug from a supportive nurse, I can't begin to describe just how much kindness has been shown to us here in Arizona.  If you're reading this now, I want to encourage you to think about how you can show kindness to those around you.  A meal to a new mom?  Buying the lunch of the stranger behind you at a fast food place?  A last-minute angel tree gift?  Kindness is truly contagious.  Please search your hearts and think of to whom you could show kindness.  It is such a beautiful fruit of the spirit. 

Michael and I will spend Christmas with our new (large) family.  We will miss our moms, dads, and siblings during this holiday, but we are looking forward to seeing them when they visit next week.  We love you all and we thank you for your love and support.  God bless you during this special season.

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