Monday, August 16, 2010

We're Home!

We are home at last!  It has definitely been the longest, hardest journey we have ever been on.  After being born 16 weeks too early weighing 1 lb. 2 oz. and 1 lb. 8 oz. and spending 133 days in the NICU, Camdyn and Cade are finally home.  The NICU became our second home, so it was a little sad to leave our NICU family, but we couldn't be any happier having our babies home! 

Our rooming-in and discharge day was wonderful.  Finally, something turned out the way I wanted it to be.  Jim and I went to celebrate with a "last supper" (so to speak) at Macaroni Grill before heading to the hospital for the night.  When we got to the hospital, Cade was finishing up his car seat study.  Then, our nurse wheeled their big crib out of the NICU and into the rooming-in room.  Jim and I got no sleep that night, but we didn't really care.  It took us 1 hour and 45 minutes to do their first feed with mixing formula and breast milk, measuring, setting up the feeding pump, feeding, and cleaning it all up.  We got a little better at the process as the night went on.  In the morning, they brought us breakfast and the doctor came to do a final assessment. 

Our family arrived around noon and met us in the room.  Brylee, Colin, and Aunt Brandi met the twins for the first time.  We went back into the NICU with the babies to get them in their car seats and say good-bye.  As we walked out of the NICU, our family was waiting in the hallway with cameras and video cameras.  We felt famous!  We walked out of the hospital with babies and balloons in tow just like all those lucky parents who I saw daily leaving with their baby or babies.  It was our turn, and we couldn't have been more proud.

We then loaded all of our babies into our car and headed home.  We have had so much fun with Camdyn and Cade being home.  We get to love on them whenever we want.  I no longer have to call up to the NICU to check on them.  I am able to breastfeed Camdyn whenever I want without having to make a plan to do so.  We get to give our babies baths every time.  This journey has taught us to appreciate every aspect of human life and parenthood.  You appreciate every, and I mean every, breath your baby takes.  You feel privileged to change diapers, feed, clothe, and bathe your baby.  You are overjoyed to rock, hold, and even touch your baby.  You see the beauty of a rising chest and hear the melody of breathing.  And you realize just how beautiful life is. 

Brenna has been enjoying the babies at home too.  On our way home from the hospital, she gave us a constant report of what the babies were doing in the back seat.  She was really cute when she said she was so proud of our babies.  Today when I told her we were taking the babies to their doctor's appointment (with their pediatrician) she asked me if they were going to have to stay there for a really long time.  How sweet and sad.  She wanted to make sure that we got to take them back home again.  She is such a proud big sister.

Jim has been the most awesome husband and father throughout this whole journey.  So many times when I felt my world falling down around me, he was there to hold me up.  People say that I have been so strong, but I have nothing on the strength of my husband.  He has been able to accept whatever bad news we have been given and remain hopeful when hope was bleak.  He has shown me how to be a more positive person and to count our blessings.  Now that we are home he has been so helpful.  It really takes both of us to care for the twins while being good parents to Brenna.  I really don't know how I would have done this without him.  I thought about how we should celebrate our 8th anniversary when March rolls around instead of waiting for the 10th anniversary that most couples celebrate.  I am not sure if we'll be able to go anywhere with three kids at home, but we will celebrate somehow.  After all, our 8th year of marriage has so far been the hardest, most trying year.  And, I have developed a new love and appreciation for my husband.  Life doesn't always work out in neat 5 year increments or even 40 week pregnancies for that matter, so I think people should celebrate what life gives them.

Here's a pictorial journey of our way out of the NICU for all my blog followers.  I know you all have been waiting anxiously for this post just as we have. 

Dr. Breed holding Camdyn and Cade.  I wish we could have taken pictures with all of our doctors, but they weren't there when we left.  Thank you to all the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and speech therapists who have helped our babies make it to this point and to the desk staff who greeted us with a smile and made us feel welcome.  We will be eternally grateful.

Cade doing his car seat study.  Camdyn had already done hers before we got there.

Daddy telling the babies that they were about to room-in with us.  Notice that the monitors are off!

Our nurse, Thad, wheeling the babies out of the NICU and into the rooming-in room.

Cade and Camdyn wearing their 'going-home' outfits.  How cute!

proud big sister Brenna with her babies.  Camdyn's shirt says "little sister", Brenna's says "big sister", and Cade's says "little brother".  I thought that was so appropriate because we will finally have our family together.

Mommy getting Camdyn in her car seat.

Daddy getting Cade in his car seat and Brenna helping Mommy with Camdyn.

Brenna with the twins just before leaving the NICU.

Camdyn and Cade looking very sweet in their car seats.

We're on our way out of the NICU!  This is our first family picture with all five of us.

leaving the hospital

Camdyn and Cade in the car ready to go home!

Brenna and the babies in the back seat.  It's pretty tight, but they do fit.

We're finally home!  All my babies on my couch AT HOME!!!


Curtis & Kathy said...

How wonderful!!! What a joyous day!!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful, joyful day with us. I'm so happy for you guys to all be together at home.

agcat01 said...

Happy tears! It is amazing to see you all home again. Our prayers won't stop now...rejoice and be glad. what days you have been given. Heather T.

Lachelle said...

So happy for all of you! What a journey. Thanks so much for keeping us all updated with the blog. The pictures will be such wonderful memories for later on.

Diane said...

What a journey your family has been through. May God continue to bless you all. Thanks for keeping us all so informed. I had shed many tears reading about your past 4 months.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! You guys have been amazing parents and will continue to be! Camdyn and Cade are very lucky to have you both. It was a joy and honor to be a part of their journey. Best of luck!

-Nurse Jen

Megan said...


Natalie (aka Momma) said...

I am just ecstatic for all of you! I'm adjusting to life at home with my twins after the NICU. Give me a call or shoot me an email if you need support or want to talk. I'm thinking of you and your family.

Lindsay said...

I know how exciting that day is! I am so glad that your family got to experience the day as it should have!!!!

Glad that you are all together now!!!!

Donna Mossholder said...

Yea...sorry this post is late and very sorry we missed saying goodbye to you......very bad timing but we can now exhale yet another sigh of relief and get back into the "normal" routine. We will miss you so much and I will have to meet another set of parents to get us through, but none as special as you guys!!!!!! Durnit I wanted to buy you those balloons but it looks like someone beat me to the punch. So glad you got to carry them proudly out the door. Hope things will be smooth sailing and keep us updated on your beautiful kiddos progress. And I so agree with you on that whole amazing husband thing. Chad has been my savoir through all of this and I think he even surprised himself along the way at his unbelievable strength. We married good we did!!!!!! Lots of love

Donna Mossholder said...

ps....kuddos to the mommy too. What an extremely emotional journey and your kiddos could not have had a stronger and more stalwart mommy than you. Awesome job mom!!!!!!!!!

Ellen said...

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow." We are so happy for all of you and glad you've got those babies at home! We love you and look forward to meeting the newest additions to the family!

All our love,
Ellen and Andrew

Betty Jackson said...

We're so happy for your family. You've had an incredible journey. May God continue to bless you and yours.
Betty, Clark, Jan, and Will

Jenn said...

This made me cry! The babies are so chubby and beautiful. I am so happy for your family! Now the real fun begins...

Anonymous said...

I woke up to see a comment from April on meeting her niece & nephew....Praise God on such wonderful news! I have enjoyed following your blog, and I will continue to keep your family in our prayers and thoughts! I can't believe how much your babies have grown - all 3 of them are precious! Thanks for reminding all of us how blessed we are. Have fun! - Michelle K

Allison said...

I cry every time I read your blog and today was no exception!!! I know I'm a little late reading/posting but I just wanted to tell y'all how happy I am for y'all!! Little miracles!! :)