Don't let the pictures throw you off - no babies are home yet - but we seem to be getting closer every day to the first of five big homecomings. We do not have a definite date yet for any of the babies. The pictures above are of Jack and Brooklyn having their car seat test. They put the babies in the car seat for an hour with the monitors on to make sure the seat doesn't cause any issues with their breathing and heart rate. All of the babies had this test yesterday and all passed! They have all also cleared their hearing exams!
There is talk of Jack coming home towards the end of next week, possibly along with Lila which would be awesome! But every time we think the course is set, there is a minor setback with one of the babies or one of them decides to make a push to be the first one home. Today's setback - four out of five babies had spontaneous heart rate drops today, all except for Jack, but he continues to have them while feeding. And today's push - Ryan is stepping it up with the feeds and if she continues, she will definitely compete for the first one home. Our hope is that they come home soon, but more importantly that they come home when we are 100% certain that all of their issues are resolved, of course!
Our other hope is that they all make it home as closely together as possible. As it is right now, Casey and I go to the NICU every afternoon together. However, once a baby is discharged from the NICU, they can no longer return. This means that Casey and I will have to start alternating when we go to the NICU so that one of us will be able to stay home with the homebound baby. Since it is certain that the babies will not all be ready to go at the same time, we are hopeful that their individual discharges all happen within about a week's time of each other.
In preparation news, we had the first of two JonesLife Volunteer Orientations this past Saturday at our house. In all, 22 volunteers came to the house so we could meet them all, show them the house and baby care area, and go over all of the general guidelines for how all of this craziness is going to operate. We have organized several infant CPR classes for the volunteers so that most of them have now had some level of training. We are planning one more orientation for two weeks from now and we expect about twice the number of volunteers this time around. This Saturday's group was very engaged in the discussion, came ready with questions, and seemed to be excited about the pending homecoming. Casey and I are very happy with the way things went and were quite impressed with the volunteer group!
In other preparation news, it looks like I'll be trading in my truck this coming week for a Ford Expedition EL (the "EL" stands for Extra Long!). It'll be a sad day to wave goodbye to the truck that has served me well for the last 5+ years, but what must be, must be. I've driven a truck since my sophomore year of college and hope to get back into one sooner than later, but we couldn't make the numbers work this time around. I'll be taking over Casey's Tahoe for the next couple of years and Casey will take the reigns of the mini-bus...once the back up alarm has been installed. Please join me in a brief moment of silence as we say goodbye to my beautiful Betty Ford...
I'd be lying if I said the stress wasn't getting to us...it is. Though it is not overwhelming and we are keeping a positive spirit as we look forward to life with five plus Eliot, please pray for us to continue to keep our heads straight and our focus clear. We are so thankful that the most dramatic life event that we have experienced in our lives to date has been and will continue to be overwhelmingly positive! Yet it doesn't come without its share of questions and doubts about the future. And for those times when our vision is blurred by the weight of it all, we will continue to lean on our faith, our family, our friends, and our new-found extended support system that comes to us daily through blog comments, emails, Facebook posts, cards, and phone calls all offering love, support, and encouragement for the challenges that lie ahead. Thank you to all for pitching in and helping out, no matter what shape or form that help has taken, we are forever grateful!!!!!