Friday, January 20, 2017

Oh Virginia

Greetings All!

Well, we're home.  :Deep breath:

I'll say it again.  We're home.  I can hardly believe it, but I am more grateful than words could ever express.  The journey home was exhausting, but so worth it.  Let me catch you up a bit.

As you may know, a very generous friend helped us get home by way of private jet. We are so grateful to that family as well as to those of you who tried to help us find a way home.  There are no words to be able to tell you how supported I feel.  Thank you.  From my parents' friends from high school to my friends from my hometown to our new friends in Cville to nurses in the NyICU at St. Josephs, thank you for your generosity and love.  I believe it's Proverbs 22:9 that says the "generous will themselves be blessed."  God bless you, generous ones, we are so grateful.

Once we learned that we could fly home via private jet, we began to pack up our Arizona house.  A big thank you to the St. Joseph's NyICU nurses who came to help with the children while we packed.  We couldn't have done it without you.

I'm still recovering physically from my C-section and being on my feet all day as I packed up the rental house was by far one of the toughest physical activities I've had during this postpartum period.  Still, I did go to my last postpartum check up and I've been cleared for all physical activity.  That's a good thing because I'm pretty sure I'll never rest again.  Oh well--on we go!

We packed up the Arizona house and prepared for departure.  Both Michael's and my moms are in AZ with us, so we flew my mom back to Virginia ahead of us to prepare for the arrival and Michael's mom stayed behind and helped us get on the plane.  Then, she flew to Virginia behind us.

The private jet experience was one like I'd never experienced.  I certainly understand the luxury behind this industry.  Wowsa!  We caused quite a spectacle with our five car seats, dog, and 3 adults piling onto this luxurious jet.  Many heads turned as we transferred car seat after car seat out of the car and into the plane.  The kids did SO well on the plane--it must've been that excellent care!

Ready for departure!  Five car seats and all!

We fed all five kiddos two meals while in flight.  I'm afraid I didn't receive the beverage service, but the kids did!
Landed safely in VA!

Millie was bored the entire movie to watch!
We asked one of the amazing nurses at the nursery ICU at St Joseph's in Arizona to fly on the jet with us in case a medical emergency arose.  She was a rock star.  Changed diapers, fed meals, and kept ME calm all in the course of three hours.  Her husband even drove us to the airport.  We absolutely adore their family.  

After loading into our family's cars, we arrived home.  What a treat.  I think I finally breathed a sigh of relief.  We made it.  I'd gotten our family home.  Maybe these super mommy powers were a real thing?

Many thanks to Screenco (and my Dad) for this adorable sign!!
As we walked into this home that I hadn't seen for almost six months, I smelled the "my house" smells and saw all of the items I'd lovingly furnished our home with.  I immediately felt more in control of this chaos and ready to tackle my new challenge of managing this family.

The first few nights were tough because the kids were adjusting to the new setting (and the new time zone), but with the help of two sets of grandparents, we made it through.  I can't tell you the amount of joy it brings me to watch my children with my parents. My dad can sing some excellent songs as he holds these little ones. He's especially charmed little Ava.  She thinks he's the best thing since sliced bread!

Given that we flew home, we had to leave our car in Phoenix.  Michael's father left VA on Sunday and flew back to Phoenix and promptly drove our car back cross country.  Talk about an act of love!  We're so grateful to him and Michael's aunt, Aunt Margie.  She lives in Scottsdale and has been such a source of support for us. She joined Michael's dad on the drive back east.  It was great for him to have company!

As we got settled, exhaustion set in.  After such a big trip (and lots of packing/unpacking), we were also only sleeping in 2-3 hour spurts.  Unfortunately, for me, I also developed mastitis.  I was dealing with fever, chills, body aches, and breast pain all in the course of adjusting to our new way of life. Thankfully we have both grandmas here with Michael and me as we prepare for our au pairs to arrive in February.  I'm so thankful for our friends who have been bringing dinners and helping with babies this week.  I know I  couldn't have done it without them!

First trip to the pediatrician

The first trip to the pediatrician went well.  We got all of the kiddos to the appointment on time, dressed in coordinating outfits, of course.  Everyone is gaining weight and the doc is pleased with their progress.  Luke, Isabelle, and Clara are all above six pounds.  Millie is 5.14 and Ava is coming up at 4.12.  Given Ava's surgery (and the fact that she's only taking breast milk), this is great progress.

That's about all for now!  Babies just started crying for the 10:00 pm feed, so I best get moving.  They are eating on a 3.5 hour schedule, so I feed them, pump, and then try to sleep for an hour or so before doing it again.  Please let me know if you're in VA and would like to come hold/feed a baby, I'll take you up on it (as long as you've had your vaccines).  

More to come later!

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