I wish we could say we got to take it easy on our first day back, but that’s not how this family rolls. Tess has declared midnight to 4am her fussy time. Let me assure you, she did not consult us before establishing this distasteful precedent. We’re hoping to talk her out of it over the next week.

We miraculously got ourselves up and caffeinated and Tess cleaned up and fed before our 9:15 eye exam across town. The clinic is great, but man! Those exams are the worst. She absolutely shrieked during the whole thing, which left me white-knuckling Dave’s knee to keep me from decking the incredibly nice doctor checking her eyes. Same result as before: in zone 3 stage 1 of development and ROP, respectively. She didn’t think we had anything to worry about, and we’ll see her again in a few weeks.

Dave and I shot over to babies r’ us to return the unneeded monitor, and then came back for some quick unpacking before doctor visit 2. Our pediatrician knew me as a kid and is great. She thought Tess was adorable, meeting milestones so far, and generally doing better than she could have expected. Yes, we were bursting with pride! Tess is officially 6 pounds, 1 oz and 19″ long. She’s staying on the 24 cal preemie formula and prune juice, and our homework is to feed her like crazy! I almost feel like we need to let mom step in – the fam joke is mom force feeds all the babies into robust health. We’re hoping Tess will be challenged by her cousins’ giant size to catch up.

Sarah, Quinn and Madeline came to see – not touch! – the baby. If mom can force feed, Sarah can bodyguard. Even as a paranoid and hypervigilant mom, I didn’t have a moment’s worry. Good rule-following friends! We missed them. I sense many adventures as the team reunites.

While Dave fed Tess, I organized the nursery. It seems silly, but as a blind woman taking are of Tess at 3am, I like to know where the wipes are without looking! It also felt great to have some order in the chaos.

Then we headed over to mom’s for dinner with Caela, Grace, Katherine and mom. Family dinner is always about family, but tonight’s was about kids! Grace was, as expected, intrigued by the covered baby carrier. Intrigued but banned, except for looking from a safe distance. I think she watched Tess eat with a fair amount of curiosity before running off to find something more entertaining. Katherine had a rough night, and wow! Does that girl have pipes. Poor thing! Mom wove her magic grandma spell, Caela did her best, and Dave and I unfortunately couldn’t do much in case she’s sick. Both girls have grown so dramatically it kind of took my breath away. I’m not sure how much rest mom got with Grace racing off, Katherine screaming, us showing up and cooking dinner, but for us it was part of coming home!

5 thoughts on “Milwaukee!

  1. Such an amazing adventure and you guys are doing a stupendous job of documenting and sharing it with us. Thank you for that!

    I just got caught up on the last few days’ posts … I am so happy for you and hope you continue to experience a smooth settling in at home. LOVE the pics and continued blog and I can’t wait to be able to meet Tess in person someday! Hugs!!!

  2. I love the photos of the three of you at home. We would always call the time between 4-8pm and 3-5am the witching hour when Lilia was little. I still remember those hours like it happened yesterday. The only advice I have is to share those hard times because they can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Seeing that both you and Dave have been working together with Tess from the beginning, I’m sure this goes without saying.

  3. WELCOME HOME!!!!!!! I loved reading your amazing journey and traveling back to Milwaukee! Amazing! Best wishes and we can’t wait to meet your little miracle Tess!

  4. How wonderful is it to have you home with all of us? We share your joy on so many levels!
    Blessings to so many wonderful friends…most especially Tess’s birth family. What greater gift could we dream of?
    Love always, sassy

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