After our release from the hospital last night, we returned home, showered, and changed into Actual Clothes. We took ourselves out to Red Robin’s for a celebratory dinner. After nine months hiatus from blue cheese (okay, seven-and-a-half months), I enjoyed every bite of my blue-cheese hamburger.

Our visit to the NICU this morning was filled with good news. Based on the echo results from yesterday, Jayce will not need immediate heart surgery! It was confirmed he has two valves on his heart instead of three (like Grandpa Pigford!), which will likely result in a heart procedure between 35-40 years of age (also like Grandpa Pigford), but it is not life threatening.

Also—and I know everyone will think I’m crazy but Josiah agrees with me—I swear on my word processor Jayce visually looks bigger than yesterday. I can see more fat on his arms and stomach, less bony shoulder blades.

Justine also had a big day! We were present for the doctor rounds this AM, and they gave us the green light to remove her respiratory machine! She is also permanently off her IV (if there are no regressions). If she does well off the machine, she is done with it for good. Tomorrow, they are going to try bottle feeding for the first time. If she does well, the little feeding tube in her mouth comes out. She will be 100% tube and wire free!

It was my turn to hold her today, so I got to spend an hour with her without any medical attachments. I am amazed how much she looks like a real baby now! She held my finger and stared at me for quite a while. Jayce spent a lot of time staring at his dad today, too.

The rest of our day will be unpacking the house and enjoying a mini-staycation. Josiah has several days off work and we’re technically still kid-free. We’re making use of this time by playing our new board games from Christmas, watching movies together, and finding ways to begin connecting with our kids even before they’re home. We washed baby blankets last night; after we sleep with them a few times, we can take them to the kids so they still smell us when we’re gone.

Throughout this experience, I have had the opportunity to fall in love with Josiah all over again. He has shouldered the work of surviving this with me every single step of the way. He continues to run interference between me and life while my stitches heal. His faithfulness persists despite interrupted sleep, major life change, and the temporary deferral of his needs for mine. I can’t imagine doing this without him.

What a wonderful day. We are so thankful God saw fit to bless the kids with steady growth. We ask for more of the same!