My house is now quiet. Sarah-Grace (SG) is doing what she does best, snoozing and Mom took Noah to my in-laws house to celebrate Easter. This past week has been amazing to say the least. My last blog, I wrote about Noah and his questions about Ellie and just how much he missed his Daddy and Sister, I also mentioned how frustrated I was with Richard's communication that day. Well little did I know Super Daddy and Princess Ellie were making a 14 hour journey home. They were in fact being escorted home by our Preacher, but not to the Target house in TN, to our house in VA.
At 12:30am on Friday I had just fallen asleep when my dogs started barking like crazy. I was so mad, because #1, I had just fallen asleep and #2, I hate when my dogs start barking when I'm home alone. I yelled for them to stop (like that ever works) but they kept on. As I rolled over in bed and looked out the back window I saw headlights across my back yard...panic...we live in the boonies...cell phone in hand, I crept down the hallway to peak out of the window. All I could see where headlights in my driveway and people walking up my sidewalk carrying a baby. First thought...why are they bringing their child here...I can't help them...why me?!?! But in true scary movie fashion I still opened my front door...looking back on all this I still can't believe I didn't go crawl in bed with Noah and hide. Walking up my sidewalk was Richard holding Ellie, my Preacher and his wife. I didn't know what to say, I don't even think I cried, I just grabbed her and hugged tight and she said "Hi Mommy, we home!" A million questions went through my head...wondering if they ran away, did St. Jude's know where they were....feeling dumb for being so mad at him for not talking to me that day...but so happy I had her in my arms.
At 1:00 in the morning we woke Noah up to share in the excitement. I had two children jumping on my bed and I couldn't be happier. I watched as a cautious Daddy was monitoring every movement she made, still in disbelief they were there. Ellie's doctor at St. Jude came up with this plan to allow Richard and Ellie to come home for the birth of SG. Since Ellie had done so well with her first round of meds, they allowed Ellie to make the trip home, but she had to be back by Tuesday to start her next meds. Richard desperately wished and willed SG to come early so he would have more time with her, we were scheduled to go in Monday morning to have her. She did not make the early arrival he had hoped for, but we got to spend a weekend of the four of us.
Making muffins for Daddy
A little sports action!
Sunday morning arrived and I had never been more excited to take my family to church. I let them both pick out their clothes for church...not caring what it was, but they looked beautiful all the same!
I couldn't help but smile all through out church. Ellie fell asleep in my lap, she had been pretty worn out all weekend...a lot more activity around here! I held her tight, no matter how uncomfortable I was, I wasn't letting go. It's amazing how two weeks away from your child can feel like a lifetime. I tried not to concentrate on the fact that they'd soon be gone again, I tried VERY hard to stay in today. After church we came home, packed the last of our bags and headed into town to my parents house, they live much closer to the hospital then we do and its so much easier to leave from there. Of course in true Baby Girl Blaine fashion it was snowing Monday morning as we went into the hospital. Ellie was also born in the snow...but she was born in January...not March!
We checked into the hospital and got settled in our room...I think we can rate hospital rooms at this point since we've seen enough of them lately...this was definitely a 10! My mother in law showed up around 7 with the local newspaper in hand...(ok she really had like 6 in her hands). I had met with a reporter from the local paper the week before, and they had also sent a photographer to our house to take pictures...which surprise Richard and Ellie got to be in. Well we had no idea it would be on the front page! That's how we introduced our nurses to "our story"....Hey this is us! As I anxiously waited to be brought back to the OR, I just couldn't be more thankful for having Richard there beside me, despite all his wise cracks and silly jokes! I love my sister so much for being willing to fill Richard's shoes (although I don't think she would have had the jokes he did), but there is nothing like having your partner in life there beside you. When it was finally time to go, I wasn't nervous or scared, again Lord gave me the peace I needed for that moment! As they were getting everything ready in the OR, "our story" came out again, the anesthesiologist, at one point bent down, kissed my cheek and told me she would pray for us. *You've heard me say it a million times, but I will never get tired of the lives we touch with our story. I will never be tired of having people turn to our heavenly father and say a prayer, because of us* Richard was super excited to be there, but to also get to watch the whole thing...like a kid in a candy store! I heard Sarah-Grace's beautiful cry right away. This sweet girl who God surprised us with, who had to live "inutero" through a week long stay at UVA, who is being born into this loving family with a crazy situation going on...is finally here. She was 8'2 and 20in long and a head full of brown hair!
She was immediately ready to eat...although she did wait patiently for Mommy.
You never know how much this moment will mean until you are faced with the idea of not having this moment. It may have been a short visit, but he was here, he got to hold her, kiss her, change her diapers. He got to be there when all his children met for the first time. Most importantly I got to have him there, my supporter in everything I do, was right there beside me. I am truly blessed.
The kids showed up soon after she was born.
Just like when Ellie was born, everything just felt right. This is how our family is supposed to be. In 24 hours we would be split again, but for this moment, in today, we were the Blaine's, family of 5.
My girl's....this is a hard one because I don't know when they will get to see each other again, and by the time they do, so many things will have changed. I am beyond grateful for the iPads so that they can see each other every day, they can be there as much as possible for the firsts and all the other moments in between.
4:30 am rolled around Tuesday morning, and my Dad, Ellie and my sister showed up to pick up Richard and drop my sister off. Ellie came in, smile on, Hi Mommy, we going on a plane! While its not easy to say goodbye to them, I again was covered with a peace from above. I knew this little fighter was off to conquer some more meds, surprise some more doctors and wrap some more people around her princess fingers. I knew Super Daddy was well prepared and he felt complete getting to see his new baby girl.
They've been gone for a few days now, we are back at home. Sarah-Grace is amazing. I always knew God provided but I cannot share enough what he has done with this sweet little baby and what this momma can handle. She doesn't fuss unless she's hungry or you are changing her clothes. She sleeps, day and night, I only have to get up twice at night to feed her, nursing her is going great compared to the previous two babies. I feel like I'm healing well, with my mom here, I don't feel the need to do everything, like cook or laundry (I do do those things on occasion).
I've only gone crazy post prego crazy once, and it all started because the computer wouldn't connect to the internet. I called Richard to fix it, like he'd be able to do that a million miles away. He told me just to close it and walk away, of course I argued and he calmly loved me and tried not to argue back with me. Its hard not to have your fix-it man here, especially when it's probably something dumb that only your husband could fix anyway. He knew there was more to it then a silly computer issue. I'd been struggling with staying in today. Not having Ellie here is hard, yes I now have SG to focus on, but my mind still wanders some days...especially since SG allows for so much down time. Richard and Ellie had skyped me the night before from the play room at St. Jude's. They wanted to show me the juke box that Ellie loves to dance to. They put a song on, "I'll fly away" and started to sing. Every part of my Mommy skin started to crawl. How can he let her sing that? (we sing it in church all the time...but now it has a whole new meaning to me) What if she flies away before we do? Luckily I stopped my brain right there, or something did...probably the dirty diaper I was attempting to change. The thoughts of tomorrow and months from tomorrow came flooding into my brain. All I could do was hang up with them and cry. I do take comfort in knowing that if something does happen to Ellie, she will be in Jesus' arms. I know we would see her again one day, but the Mommy in me doesn't want that to happen...I want her here. I started to wonder if I was naieve because I don't go researching this illness, not that there is all that much info out there on it. I don't look for things like survival rates, and mortality rates. I don't ever think past today, I don't imagine my life without her in it. I don't know the final destination of our journey, but I'm okay with that. I can't waste this time stressing something that I don't have an answer to, nor do any doctors. I truly believe it is God who is working though our doctor's to help Ellie. He has the answers, and I will trust in Him to guide me down the right path. Sorry if this one is hard to read, as a mom I don't think we ever imagine having to think these thoughts, and I'm sure if you are a mommy reading this you are imagining being us, putting yourself in our shoes. I tell you, the only way you will ever make it though a journey like this, is Jesus. No one else will ever be able to give you the answers or the comfort you seek.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
Prayer, Praise, and Pink
~Carly and Sarah-Grace