This has been the week of travel for the Vanderwall quints. Isabella and Elliott celebrated their 3 week birthday by departing for a Madison NICU. Early Saturday morning, August 24, we packed up Bella and Ellie into a single isolette and began our transition. I joined the sisters, a nurse and a respiratory therapist for the trek on the medical transport prop plane.
It was an emotional 24 hours to say the least and got a good taste of what it may be like to go back to work and leave my little ones at home. I truly felt heartbroken to leave Lily, Kali and Theo for that day and a half. Tears flowed until we boarded the plane. I am happy to say that my heart perked right up when we landed near green grass and fresh water lakes. It also was such a blessing to see how excited Frank was to welcome our daughters home.
The girlies handled the flight and transition really well. Halfway through the flight Bella wet the bed through her diaper, living up to her latest nickname of “Bella Blowout,” and Ellie was not happy about it. For the remainder of the flight, Ellie proceeded to kick her sister to the side of the isolette. By the time we reached Wisconsin, Bella’s face was nearly plastered to the side of the chamber. Firsthand witness to sisterly love! Now settled into their new NICU home, they continue to advance in their feedings and are getting to be better breathers!
After a quick night in my own bed, I boarded a plane on Sunday morning to return to the remaining quints in Arizona. My Mama mission was and is to continue to urge the medical team towards quick, yet safe, transfers home.
Lily and Kali’s turn was early this morning. They have been ready to head home since yesterday morning but there wasn’t any room in the inn… or the new NICU.
So, we packaged these little ladies up this morning and watched as the ambulance drove away.
Again, tears flowed. Although it truly is a bittersweet event and more of a “see you later” than a goodbye, I learned that a parent’s unconditional love does not make sense. There simply is no logic in my love for our children.
Lily and Kali also arrived safe and sound in Madison. They are now enjoying their new homes in a room right next door to their sisters. The nurses reported to me that the plane ride was uneventful, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
Now, all but one are only 20 minutes from their final destination- our home. Theo and I will remain in Arizona until he is also ready to get his wings. He is doing very well and has achieved 4lbs!
He and I have already logged quite a few hours of Kangaroo care, which I believe has definitely helped his breathing to get stronger. It is amazing to watch how his vitals normalize as we snuggle together. It also helps me to continue to provide “liquid gold” for all of these hungry babies… as evidenced by the overflowing freezer dedicated to the V-5’s breakfast, lunch and dinner!
So, that is the latest and greatest regarding the V-5. Prayers remain that all five and mommy and daddy will be reunited soon! Please join me in praying that we will all be back in Madison by Saturday to celebrate their 1 month birthday!