Links to Amazon are affiliate links.
It was SO wonderful having everyone together! We didn’t have a set in stone plan for things but once everyone arrived we talked it through and decided Mr. Rusty and Casey would head back with Kye, Britt and Tess then Zach and Mrs. Charlotte would go with Spear and I to help us settle in and then head back together.
Getting those snuggles in!
Tessie was so excited to give Spear the gift the kids had picked out for him!
We also had the big siblings open their gifts. I was pretty pumped about them! I knew they’d be in the car a lot over the ICPC stay and got them some electronics and new movies to use on the long car rides.
So pumped for Rouge One!
For Kye and Britt I got them Kindle Fires on Prime Day and loaded them with age appropriate books and apps!
Keeli bought me On The Night You Were Born and all the kids took time to write a message to Spear 🙂
The kids all made such sweet cards for Spear and wanted to give them to him before they hit the road!
Kye was so eager to try feeding his new brother 🙂
Pretty awesome that the hospital gave us a bag to put all our freebies in 😉 Too bad it’s such terrible colors!
Getting ready to go!
Wearing the outfit we picked out as a family for him!
I had Zach go all the way down to the car to bring up the car seat so we could leave only to then find out their hospital policy is for the baby to go out in your lap not in the car seat. Oops! At our hospital in Valdosta they make you put the baby in the car seat in order to leave!
Lap riding instead 🙂
I totally didn’t complain about being pushed out in a wheelchair 😉 I kept asking random people if they could believe how good I looked for having a newborn haha! Even though it felt kinda silly, it was also nice to be treated like a new mama!
This is the sweet nurse who spoke such kind, sweet words to Mama E. She was such a light to us all and one of those people I feel like God totally put in our path for a purpose!
The power of prayer.
When we were matched back in August we were told to expect at minimum 5 days in the hospital and at maximum up to 4 weeks in the nicu.
Since then SO many people have specifically prayed for the best case scenario for Tab.
Our God? He doesn’t just answer prayers, He moves mountains.
Even in my greatest hopes I never thought we would be discharged from the hospital before Spear had even been alive for 48 hours! 🎉 Yet we were!!!
He’s perfect and healthy and nothing short of a miracle.
Pray boldly. Step out in Faith.
I mentioned in several posts that once we’d leave the hospital with Spear that we wouldn’t actually be able to go home until ICPC cleared. ICPC is basically the time it takes for paperwork from the child’s birth state to clear in that state as well as in the state you plan on traveling to. It allows us to leave Spear’s birth state with him! We knew to expect 2 weeks minimum of ICPC with the understanding that the longer our hospital stay was, the shorter our ICPC would probably be because the paper work could start rolling before discharge.
Obviously with Spear’s birth being a Friday evening, no paperwork started at all by the time we left so I knew it’d be awhile until we’d be able to go home!
Y’all know me and my planning. But I didn’t plan a SINGLE thing when it came to Spear’s birth. I didn’t know if we’d be in the hospital for a week or several weeks. And I surely didn’t plan on us only being there for under 2 days!!!
The day Mama E went into labor I had TWO people reach out to me and offer me a place to stay during our wait. My cousin Ben and his wife Liz live in Florida and offered us to stay with them and my sweet fellow adoptive mama friend, Elaine, offered us to stay with her or with her parents who had hosted another adoptive mother when her baby was in NICU at Shands.
Elaine’s parents live in Jacksonville and since Spear would need to be seen at a Jacksonville doctor for his first well check after discharge, it made the most sense to stay there. I still cannot believe the incredible generosity of Elaine and her parents to open their home to complete strangers. Elaine and I have been online friends (and have chatted on the phone) for several years but haven’t ever met in real life.
It is funny to tell people that Spear’s first night out of the hospital we stayed with total strangers haha it sounds crazier than it actually was! I do wonder what Mrs Charlotte was thinking about it all but by now Zach is used to me meeting up with online friends randomly 😉
How precious and thoughtful was this? We pulled up to their house and were welcomed with balloons!!!
Yay for FINALLY meeting!!!
(and I knew I’d be getting along with her sweet mama super well when she asked if she could get a picture of us all together…my kinda woman!)
I felt so bad the other kids weren’t with us when I saw that they’d all gone out of their way to get little gifts (Elaine) and snacks and food (Mrs. Norma). SO SWEET!
Elaine headed home and her parents went out for a bit to give us some time to settle in.
Y’all. I know I didn’t give birth. But I was EXHAUSTED. I think all the emotions and lack of sleep and just craziness of the last few days caught up with me and I could barely function. I was honestly nervous about Zach and Mrs Charlotte leaving me but didn’t want to say it out loud or make them feel guilty. It’s def not the norm to have a 2 day old baby solo at a home you’re not used to! Zach picked us up some dinner and I got ready for bed while we waited for him to get back so I could eat and then sleep as soon as they headed out!
They stayed long enough for his next feeding then hit the road to get back and I tried to sleep as much as I could. Spear had a HUGE day that day and I could tell he was just very disrupted from his comfort zone. That morning he had his alone time with Mama E, then was circumcised, then met his siblings for the first time, then left the hospital and met people he hadn’t met before either, and then was expected to actually sleep? He hadn’t had a legit nap all day long and was overtired, overstimulated, and just out of whack. It was not an easy night for either of us.
I tried to put a gown on him and cracked up at how MASSIVE it was!
Snuggles help this baby sleep 🙂
51 texts y’all. I felt so bad it took me AGES to respond to everyone and really even 8 weeks later I’m still pretty behind in my reply time! It’s that newborn life…you only check your phone at like 3 am when it’s not appropriate to be texting 😉
All the freebie bottles!!! I had brought powder formula with me for ICPC but used up all the hospital bottles I had first! I had enough to last me three or four days which was awesome!
I brought our old video monitor with us which I was thankful to have. I was able to set up Spear in one of their extra bedrooms and sleep in the other one. I just don’t sleep well with my babies in the same room…every sound they make freaks me out!
I felt like a lot of Spear’s fussy issues were due to gas and probably my lack of proper burping during our hospital stay. I’m thankful Casey had a copy of The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems and texted me info about helping babies get rid of gas 😉
I fed him every 3 hours and was surprised that he was such a slow eater. I figured formula would be quicker than breastfeeding but really he often took an hour to drink his bottle…so I’d rush to sleep and get maybe a couple hours before feeding again!
I think my exhaustion helped make being alone easier. Looking back I’m surprised I didn’t cry or get upset when Zach left but I was just SO THANKFUL to have Spear in my arms and be out of the hospital and holding such a healthy baby that it overrode any sadness about being away from family and all of my tiredness too. Thankful thankful thankful!