We very happily made it to our NICU reunion again this year! I always wonder if we will be sick since that's what kept us away from the kids' first one, but everyone was well this year, so we went to go visit some of the people who helped us fight for our kids' lives. It's always an emotional afternoon, seeing those who invested so deeply in our kids, and watching the nurses and doctors' faces light up as they see four healthy, happy kids in place of the fragile preemies they remember.
Sean, Caleb, Elijah, Abby, Amy, and Ellie
The first person we saw when we walked in was Amy. Amy was the nurse who helped us prepare to go home with our babies. We had a very long meeting one evening (that Sean and I tried to stay awake through) on how to prepare our home for the arrival of preemie quadruplets. We were *so* exhausted already, that we couldn't imagine actually bringing them through the front door. But Amy was so sweet and helpful as we got ready to make the transition.
Abby, Ellie, and Elijah
After seeing Amy, we headed over to the coloring table. Three of our kids thought that was a great idea, but Caleb was being a pickle (which is why it looks like we only have triplets in the above photo). Caleb doesn't do well in new places that are loud and have a lot of people, so we kind of expected that. Unfortunately, it meant that we had to leave the coloring table before the other kids had fully finished their creations. Good thing we have a LOT of crayons at home!
And then we got to visit with this couple:
This is Dr. Florendo (the woman) and Dr. Gibbs (the man). Dr. Gibbs was one of the perinatologists (high-risk OB-GYN) that followed and took care of me during my pregnancy. He was also the doctor who walked in mid-haircut in my hospital room. My hairstylist had driven up so that I didn't miss my appointment while on bedrest. That's a pretty hilarious memory!
Dr. Florendo was our babies' neonatologist while they were in the NICU. She was absolutely phenomenal, and we loved running into her the week prior at the Farmer's Market.
But I think the very best part of this story is that Dr. Florendo and Dr. Gibbs are married! The NICU had to majorly prep to handle four infants coming in at the same time. They would get a report on my condition every day that I was on bedrest so that they would be ready. We didn't find out until after our kids were born that Dr. Gibbs and Dr. Florendo made sure to compare notes so that both my medical team and our kids' medical teams would be fully prepared. I love that so much!
On our very last day in the NICU, Dr. Florendo called down one floor to the perinatologist office and let her husband know that we were leaving. He came up just to say goodbye to us. We were able to thank both of them for working together to send us home with healthy babies.
It was awesome to see them together again and show them that all of their hard work paid off!
Ellie, Sean, Abby, Caleb, Stephanie, and Elijah
We also got to see one of our night nurses, Stephanie! We always slept really well when we knew that Stephanie had our kids overnight. She knew our kids so well, and truly loved having them as patients. There have been several times over the past 3.5 years that she has come over just to visit and see how big they have gotten. We love Stephanie and seeing her is always a highlight of our NICU reunions!
And then it was cookie time!!
Clockwise from left: Abby, Elijah, and Ellie, and Caleb
Yes, Caleb was having a rough day. In his defense though, our reunion was scheduled during nap time. Yikes!
Abby, Elijah, and Ellie
And then it was time to take four very tired children home...
Sean and Caleb
...but we still made time to stop by the photo booth on our way out!
We made it about 30 minutes this year, which is a definite improvement over last year! Here's hoping next year is even better!