The V-7 were reunited this past week. On Sunday, Theo and I landed in Madison after an uneventful flight. Theo was a champ and slept most of the way.
It was quite emotional to walk into the Madison NICU and realize that we were all here, and here to stay. I just stood for a brief moment at the entry way and could see all of the entrances to their rooms and my husband standing right in the middle. My mind took me home to when some day soon I would be able to stand in the hallway and peer into their nursery and do this exact same thing. Needless to say, many happy tears followed.
The following day, our family joined us for the reunion on Labor Day. We also were welcomed by NBC, ABC and Fox/CBS who helped to capture this exciting event for our family, but also for the city of Madison as we are the first quints to reside here. Our interviews with NBC and ABC are featured below:
The remainder of the week has truly flown by. The V-5 celebrated 1 month on Tuesday and in the NICU this celebration includes a battery of tests. All of our kiddos had repeat head ultrasounds and eye examinations to assess their eyes’ maturity, and to rule out retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Also, Bella had an echocardiogram to investigate her persistent murmur. All of the quints have murmurs, but we now know that Bella does not have a PDA, Patent Ductus Arteriosis. Theo also had an examination of his intestines to see if they could begin refeeding and wake up his large intestine, just like his little sister, Ellie.
All of the tests brought reassuring news, except for one. Our little Lily Bug had minor PVL, which is Periventricular Leukomalacia. The good news is that her grade 2 brain bleed is resolving and healing, but this new finding of PVL was disheartening. PVL is an injury in the brain that affects the white-matter neurons. Infants with PVL most often display deficits related to motor control (movement), developmental delay and are at a greater risk of cerebral palsy and epilepsy later in life. Only time will tell if our little Lillian will face further challenges.
All of our little miracles are now a corrected gestational age of 34 weeks, which means we get to truly start focusing on feeding and growing. Enter this excited Mama who cannot wait to begin truly breastfeeding. No offense to my trusty pump, but nothing beats nuzzling with your babies. The next few weeks will help us to further assess Lily’s potential for feeding and motor issues, as well as, reveal our kiddos’ abilities to suck, swallow and breathe- a touch task for preemies.
It has been quite a busy week, but overall the Vanderwall family is over-joyed to be reunited. We are forever indebted and grateful for the all of the new and donated items that awaited ua at our home. I have had so much fun going through all of the items, organizing and partaking in some long-overdue nesting. So, thank you once again from the bottom of our hearts for all of the love, support, financial contributions and gifts that we have received. I can confidently say that the quints now have everything they need for when they arrive home. The only remaining item is a way to get them home. Next up on the to-do list…the V-7 mobile, or perhaps we’ll give new meaning to a VW bus!