Sunday, October 4, 2009

Homecoming Queen



After hearing my pleas yesterday to make it home before her 100th day, Lily decided that enough was enough: she was ready to come home. So this afternoon, we said our goodbyes to the NICU and brought our little Bug home.



We had a bit of a scare this morning though. Brooke called to the NICU to check on Lily to see if today was the day. The Bug hadn't had an episode since Friday so things were looking good when we went to sleep last night. We were excited and we were pumped, but we also knew that it Lily isn't completely over her reflux issues. And sure enough, Nurse Julia told Brooke that Lil' had a minor episode with her morning feeding. It wasn't serious (but none of her episodes have been "serious" for quite some time) but it happened and it couldn't be ignored. Fortunately, everyone at the NICU agreed that it was nothing more than reflux and it wouldn't effect her at all-- they were still letting her come home! We were nervous about this since we didn't want her to come home before she was ready, but they all assured us that she would be just fine here at home. We simply need to make sure that she's inclined a bit after each feeding for a half-hour or so. And since she's on a monitor anyway, we'd know if there was a problem.

And so, Brooke and I drove up to New Brunswick for the last time (of course, we'll have to go back for doctors appointments and such in just a couple weeks, but you know what I mean). We were thrilled that Lily was coming home, but we both feel a great deal of sadness to be leaving, too. The people we've met at St. Peters have been amazing. They not only took care of our babies but they became our friends. They understood exactly what we've been going through. They knew the emotional toll this takes on us as parents, and they went out of their way to do whatever they could to make sure that our babies were treated as well as any babies have ever been treated. Lily and Charlie owe their lives to them. Brooke and I owe our sanity to them. We will be grateful to all the people at St. Peters for the rest of our lives.

And as Brooke just said to me right before I started typing this, the NICU was our connection to Annaleigh. It was the only home she ever knew, and going there every day was a way of keeping a connection with her. The thought of not going to the NICU tomorrow is actually not as joyful as we thought it would be.

But on to happier thoughts. When we brought Lily in the house (again decorated by Grandma Pam, aka "Crackers"), the first thing we did was introduce her to Charlie. I like to think they instinctively know each other already but seeing them together for the first time was something we've been looking forward to for a long time. And as we brought them outside to take a family picture in front of the house, a few butterflies were flying above the flowers in front of us. If you've been following our story for long, you know what that meant to us. You'll understand why we both shed a few tears at that.

So far, Lily's first day at home has been just as we hoped: quiet. Both she and Charlie have taken their feedings well and napped between them. Roy and Roger and Tucker have all seemed perfectly okay with this second new addition to our home, so that is one less worry.

Thanks to all people gave us suggestions about Charlie's sleeping habits. Fortunately, he had a fantastic night last night. He slept until his 1 a.m. feeding and then was wide awake for an hour or so afterward. Once I swaddled him and brought him upstairs to his bassinet, he made a quick stop to lay in bed with his mommy and then slept soundly until Brooke woke him up for his 5 a.m. meal. Then he slept for another hour on his own before Brooke decided to make a run at my job as the head of the Cuddles and Naps division. I woke up at 8:30 a.m. to find that she had put Charlie on her chest and fallen fast asleep on the couch. That was a nice sight.

Tonight we'll have to find a rhythm for feedings and all the accompanying fun. The goal is to see if one of us can handle the job alone while the other sleeps. We're really hoping we can do this because we'll need the rest. In any event, I'm sure it'll be an eventful night!

Suffice to say, it's been a busy day but a good day. We are beyond happy to have our babies home with us and we are looking forward to a lifetime of fun!


Our family!


Poor Brooke has to snuggle with TWO babies now. She really looks like she minds, huh?


Together at last

'
This is Charlie at 1 a.m. Exactly nothing happens in the video besides Charlie making faces. I'm sure that nobody besides me and Brooke and maybe our parents will find it amusing, but I sure do love it!

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Lily!
So glad to see Charlie and Lily together at last!

Katherine said...

Congratulations!
Welcome home, Lily!

Your babies are just amazing! And I loved the Charlie movie.

Little Wonders said...

I am SOOOO happy for you guys. Congratulations! Also, when you get a chance, check our www.napnanny.com That's what we use for our LOs with reflux and love it. Again, congrats, no 100th day in the NICU!!

Lauren said...

I know I say this a lot but I'm crying over this post. Brooke, to see you with both of your babies... it's unreal. Although I'm sure you already know that. ;) And the butterflies... I just have no words. I love you guys.

Bridget said...

I'm so excited for you guys having both babies at home! Congratulations!

Angela said...

I found your blog through Multiples and More, and have read the entire thing over the past weekend. We adopted twins born June 20 who spent 4 weeks in the NICU. Baby B came home with oxygen and is still on his apnea monitor. I have loved reading your story. I held my breath through all your pregnancy complications, cried when Annaleigh passed away, empathized with all the feeding drama, and rejoiced as you have brought your sweet babies home. Thank you for sharing your story, and good luck as you start this next step of parenting.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you guys!! I have been waiting for this day for a while!!

I am so happy to hear that AnnaLeigh was with you guys during the family portrait. She is such an important part of your family and this story. She is so loved by so many people :-)

Charlie and Lily look so comfy next to each other and I'm happy to see Brooke gets to snuggle with the babies :-) She definitely looks like she minds having to hold both of them ... lol

I love reading your story and I love to follow. This may be the last time I comment though.

However, know that there is always love from GA!!

Jen said...

Sooo many congrats!! Like mentioned above.. napnanny.. and Gretchen has one for sale on the swap spot on the multiples board. keep those little munchkins swaddled and if you need tips on how to feed two at once, let me know! The boppy is my best friend! LOL

Anonymous said...

I cried tears of joy when I read this... welcome home Lily!! The pictures of the 2 babies together are just amazing. They are such miracles!!! You deserve nothing but happiness from here on out!!

And I did find your video amusing :) He is such a cutie!! You'll have to post one of Lily next!

Stephanie said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a big and wonderful day. I love the videos!

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine what you are experiencing with your 2 babies home as sheer bliss. They are beautiful. I hope you enjoy getting to know them, I mean really getting to know them. I bet they will be some pretty great people. All the best to you and your entire family as you embark on this new journey - you're in for a great ride!
~Janet

Lori said...

Yeah to Lily coming home! It is so sweet seeing Lily and Charlie together.

Do you know about http://www.tripletbutterflywings.blogspot.com/ ? It was started by a mom who lost her triplets. She dedicates monarch butterfly releases to babies who have gone to heaven too soon. Since you associate butterflies with Annaleigh I thought you might be interested in this.

E. Merritt said...

It's so exciting to finally see the babies together. We highly recommend takes shifts at night for feedings. My husband and I would alternate and that gives each person a solid chunk of time to sleep. It is counterproductive for you both to be up feeding around the clock.

Kaitlyn said...

I'm so glad Lilly is home as well! It has brought tears to my eyes to see your family together you really can see all the love. And the butterflies being there is deffinatly Annaleigh watching over al of you.
I'm so glad you are all together!

Amy, Washington, DC said...

YAY!!! Welcome home, Lily! I am praying that both Lily and Charlie have many, many healthy and happy years in their new home! The butterflies brought tears to my eyes.. I know Annaleigh is up there as your guardian angel. Your family is so inspirational. Thank you for sharing your stories and pictures of your beautiful babies.

The Roose Family said...

Welcome home Lily! I bet seeing them together was a dream come true...enjoy!

JoLynn said...

Oh, how exciting! I remember the day we left the NICU for good...bitter sweet. So strange to not have to drive to see the kids but I could walk in the next room and see them!

Annaleigh will always be a part of you. Enjoy each other, family!

Eve - Sandi B's mom said...

Oh God , thank you for blessing this family with a happy healthy future...now the chapter is complete - they have their infants home with them and are fully aware that you God will assist them going forward -- they have had their rough spots and now with your help will sail smoothly into the life of a blessed family under your love and guidance. Your family has had and will continue to have prayers from those who love you and wish you nothing but a beautiful love filled future.

Anonymous said...

WELCOME HOME LILY!!! How wonderful it is too see both babies at home. The butterflies really brought tears to my eyes too. Annaleigh is truly an angel that will always be with all of you. It's because of her that Charlie & Lily are home. We will never forget her. She is still so loved and always will be. Looking forward to watching these babies grow :) Thanks for sharing your beautiful journey with us!

Jenn said...

Yay Lily! My family is so thrilled to learn of this exciting news! Congrats and we hope you guys get some rest but we know u will consider all that sleep deprivation a welcome blessing in disguise!

Quince Family said...

I couldn't help but tear up as I read this post...it's just perfect--you guys are home with your little babies and Annaleigh is watching you all (and fluttering about) with joy. I know the coming weeks will be a different kind of hard as you struggle with sleep deprivation and schedules but I know you will appreciate this time more than most given the journey you've had. I look forward to this next chapter as you adjust to life at home with two infants!
Shady06

Kiane from SAIF said...

Welcome home Lily! I'm so happy that both babies are now home with you :) Brooke, I love the picture of you with both babies - so sweet! The butterflies also brought tears to my eyes. Annaleigh is watching over all of you and she will never be forgotten by any of us.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me - but congratulations! I live across the country, but every time I see a butterfly, I think of your family. My strongest of prayers are with all of you! Best wishes to Charlie and Lily, and everlasting love to precious Annaleigh. Congrats!

Melissa said...

This is the best post ever! Those photos are amazing and it is wonderful to see Charlie and Lily together. It sounds like Annaleigh has also found her way home and will forever keep an eye on her family. Congrats on this amazing accomplishment. This is when the fun really begins. There is nothing in the world like have multiples, it is full of challenges (as you already know) but it is also the best thing in the world. Double the smiles, hugs, giggles, trouble, laundry, feedings, but most of all double the love!

Melissa
MelZull

Amy said...

Congratulations!! What an exciting day! (And the video of Charlie is ADORABLE!) I can see how leaving the NICU would be bittersweet ... the butterflies were a beautiful gift. :)
Praying for you guys as you adjust to life at home with your sweet babies! Hope you are able to get some sleep. (Your shift idea is what saved DH's and my sanity during those first four months with two non-sleeping newborns!)

Anonymous said...

Whoohoo!!!! I am officially doing the happy dance for you guys. Congatulations on having your little ones home.

Stacey
gbb

sue said...

FINALLY!
What a wonderful day for you all! I'm so happy that you now have Lily at home also. The Charlie video made me cry -- he's such a beautiful little guy and such a miracle.

Gretchen said...

YAY!!! I cried when I saw the pic of them together all snuggled up and the pic of Brooke holding them was PRICELESS!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! I bet having both babies home is a feeling that you can't even describe, I can't believe it has been almost 100 days! Enjoy your babies, as I know you will and again Congrats, and WELCOME HOME LILY AND CHARLIE!!!!! I couldn't forget Annaleigh because I know she is there with you too!

BTW- Charlie's funny faces and hiccups brought memories back! Meara used to get them all the time when she was a baby.

With all our love!
The Heavners

Mariflor said...

These pictures make me smile. I'm so happy for you all and it must feel great to finally be at home as a family. Your children are gorgeous, congrats!

Jamers said...

Yay for homecoming! How exciting to have them both home! Congrats and have fun with those babies!

Kitty Cat said...

HOW EXCITING! Just wait, guys... in about 4 months those beautiful babies will be smiling and giggling at each other, and i'm sure the butterflies will keep circling too ;) you are so blessed, and we (your friends and blog readers) are blessed for knowing your story! annaleigh has touched SO many lives, but so have charlie and lily bug... i know you feel like your connection to her is being lost a bit because of the NICU, but remember: your ULTIMATE connection to annaleigh is through charlie and lily! they were the first people she ever knew, and she will live on through them (and you, and the rest of us she touched) forever :)

happy homecoming day!!!!

cat (from Multiple Mamas)

Kitty Cat said...

and p.s - the first (and probably BEST) home ms annaleigh ever knew was her mommy ;)

HokieNJ91 said...

When I read the title of your post, I knew that your nicu journey was complete! Congratulations!

What a lovely picture of the 4 of you and the butterflies brought tears to my eyes, yet again.

DD also had relux and we had to keep her propped up after feedings. The bouncer had a good angle and we also used a Boppy Newborn Lounger - looks like a jelly doughnut with a depression in the middle.

Hope you guys got some sleep. Congratulations!

Denise said...

I am so happy for both of you. Those pictures are absolutely adorable...It brings tears to my eyes. (Travis's mom)

gmugrad said...

Congrats to you Brooke and Joe,
Your journey has been long and hard but finally your children are home. Your family will always be in my prayers and hearing about the butterflies brought tears to my eyes as I know Annaliegh will always be watching over Charlie and Lily.

Love

Jen

Anonymous said...

As a mom of 29 weeker twins (they are almost 7 now!) one thing I would like to say is treasure these moments when they are little. When you look at those cute faces, take it all in. When mine were that little, I was so afraid of them being little since they were in the NICU so long, all I did was worry and hoped that they would get bigger fast. Now I look back at all the time spent worrying, I don't even remember how they felt when they were small. I still haven't watched any of the video we took of them in the NICU. I'm afraid I will have regrets. The little NICU babies are fighters and they will be just fine. I wish I knew this 7 years ago. Now you know. Your babies are so precious. Congtratulations on the great job you both did and are doing. Now all the fun begins!!

Lisa
Grapevine, TX

Anonymous said...

Lily home - Charlie with the hiccups and Annaleigh flying around - what else can you ask for??? What a beautiful day...

Keep growing my sweet angels and stay with us Annaleigh...

All My Love, Auntie :) xooxox

The Home Cook said...

Woohoo!!!! Seeing you both standing in front of the house with both babies in your arms brings tears to my eyes. Love, love, love it!

Amanda said...

Congrats Lily on coming home!!! So happy for you all.

I'm so glad Annaleigh was with you yesterday for your pictures. What a wonderful moment!

Congrats again! I can't wait to see what the future holds for you all and I can't wait to see Charlie and Lily grow big and strong!

Amanda

Anonymous said...

I never comment on stuff like this and you guys don't know me, but I am so happy for you both!!! What a wonderful day for your family and I wish you nothing but the best and continued blessings for your family!! God Bless!!

Mom2Be said...

YAY for Lily being home!!!! : ) I got tears in my eyes with the butterflies. You may be away from the NICU, but Annaleigh will always be with you guys and watching over all four of you. Congrats on your babies being home! Btw, the video of Charlie's facial expressions is priceless. : )

Amy said...

I am so happy for your family! Welcome Home Baby Lily! You've got a wonderful Mommy and Daddy and Brother, and you will love being home with them! Way to go baby!

Anonymous said...

although i do not know you i have been following your story for quite some time. my heart is so happy that you are finally bringing your babies home. i am an organ tranplant nurse, and we often have many patients who stay with us for a long period of time-we really get to know the families and patients that end up going home to have healthy and happy lives. your comments about the nurses and doctors who have taken care of your children is truly why i continue in this profession. thank you!

The Paro Family said...

So happy they're both home! They both look awesome and are so so cute! Welcome home Lily! I know she's in great hands. Enjoy them!

Oh and those swaddleme swaddling blankets saved my sanity. Really.

Colleen said...

So happy to see the whole family home! It looks like Annaleigh followed you :) Can't wait to see all the blog updates of what's happening at home!

Jade said...

Congratulations on Lily coming home!! I know you are so excited to have them both together and at home. What a beautiful family photo!!

Sparkly*Bride said...

Congratulations on having both of your babies at home!

Kristine McKowen said...

Welcome home Lily!

Those pictures are an awesome sight!

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Tucson -- Congratulations on having the babies home -- what a beautiful family -- may you have happiness and love always! Love, Aunt Rhea

MrsSchoon said...

I am so glad to see that both babies are home now! I know you are just overjoyed! Enjoy these precious days however tiring they may be. They will grow so quickly!! I just packed up a ton of tiny clothes last night that our baby can't fit in anymore!

Anonymous said...

congratulations to the entire family!! many blessing from here on out! : )

Marcie said...

Amazing. I am so happy for your family. I am touched by the butterflies who made their appearance at your family photo op and am sure that Annaleigh is smiling down upon your happpiness. Congragulations on having your family home. -Marcie

The Deans's said...

So teary as I write this to you guys... CONGRATULATIONS! So happy to hear the bug is home and she and Charlie are together now. And the butterflies... you're lttle Annaleigh is there with you all, I just know it.

Anonymous said...

YAHHH LILY!!!! I am so glad they are home. I can only imagine what a bitter sweet feeling it was. You will be amazed at how well they will thrive at home once they get use to. I was so worried about my littlest who was just 4 lbs when he came home, but once he got into his groove he did awesome. He is now a 19 1/2 lb 1 year old and looks like a mini football player. I have been praying for your family since I first read your blog and will continue to. It's not easy in the beginning, but it really does go quick, so hang in there and enjoy every minute of them :)

Jill (mom to GBB @ 29 weeks)

Jenn said...

I am so happy they are both home. I love the family photo and the videos. I am sure Annaleigh is smiling at you all together.

Karen said...

Congratulations on finally having your babies home! What a journey you have all been on. It's so great to finally see you moving on to the next chapter of your lives.

Karen

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!! This blog was wonderful. Those butterflies are no coincidence....

Lily looks beautiful and that video of Charlie is PRICELESS! LOL.

The pics of the babies together--- wow. Lovely.

I am THRILLED for you all.

Cheryl

Rebecca, from CT said...

YAY!!! Both babies are home!!! And Annaleigh is there too!! Now the fun begins!!! I absolutely love the picture of Brooke with both babies!!

Elizabeth from NE said...

I had 32 week twins last February and can certainly relate to some of the NICU stuff. Congratulations on being home!

Robert and Carmen said...

I've been following for a while, but never posted. Congratulations on the homecomings! Enjoy the new family time at home! Carmen

Rebecca said...

I think Lily just had to get home before Uncle John did. Stinker. ;)

Such wonderful news-congrats!!

Jamie said...

Congrats on getting your sweet babies home. They are adorable! Two babies are hard work but it's pretty awesome!