Mila was SUPER FABULOUS the entire journey home. She slept 85% of the time!!! We had bulkhead seats on our long flight which made it so much nicer (a whole separate post about our seatmates who were just amazingly sweet). She only cried once on the long flight and it was a screeching cry for only a few minutes, but I think that wasn't her fault :) She only showed signs of distress once, as we were exactly half way over the Atlantic Ocean...the worst place to be! I was holding her and looked down and noticed her color had changed and looked pretty awful. Her face was very pale and a little greyish-bluish. Mike checked her fingers and they were purple. My heart started racing and I felt a huge knot in my stomach. Even though Mike is a cool cucumber I knew he was nervous too. I prayed so hard right in that moment. He counted her breaths and took her pulse and the numbers were a little lower what they had been typically, and we could both tell that her heart rhythm was different. We had gotten used to feeling her heart rhythm and knew it was definitely beating in a different rhythm. Then she started crying and was very upset, which I took as a good sign that she could actually cry. I picked her up and walked her around and after she cried her heart out she seemed to be returning to normal. Her color returned, her fingers were still purplish for a little bit longer, but her heart rhythm had returned to normal and her pulse was back up to where it had usually been. But it scared the crap out of me! We were exhausted as I had only gotten about 2-3 hours of sleep for the past three nights, but after this happened, I had enough adrenaline to get me home!
When we landed in D.C. what happened was amazing. Our incoming flight was late and we only had 1 hour and 20 minutes to clear customs, passport control/secondary inspection, security and book it across the airport from the furthest point possible. We got off the plane and the passport line was SUPER long, but it was moving at a decent speed. They told us which line to go in and thank God we were given the nicest officer! At this point we only had an hour and I kept thinking when we did this with Zoya we were in secondary inspection for at least an hour. The woman looked up and said, "I'm not going to make you go to secondary inspection, I'll just stamp her passport right here and do the paperwork over my break, I don't like to make babies wait." Ummm seriously???? This in itself was a miracle. We thanked her over and over and she just smiled. I thought Mike was going to kiss her but he didn't. We then waited in another long line to reclaim and recheck our checked baggage. Then there was another line to check passports and they let us through without having them checked. We had just enough time to make it to the other side of the airport and when we got to our gate they were boarding within 5 minutes of our arrival. There is no way we would have made it had that nice woman not let us go through.
I have never in my entire life felt so covered in prayer. I just had a sense of peace the entire journey home (except for our one scare). I felt like we were walking on sunshine. It honestly felt like we were just soaring. It was so surreal how well everything was going. I know all of your prayers made our entire trip so smooth. It was super fast (6 days including travel!) and all went exactly as planned. I could feel with every ounce of my being that higher power carrying us through.
Mila was so exhausted all day yesterday, I think the lack of sleep finally caught up with her. We came home to a super welcome home from some friends and family. It was so emotional to finally be HOME with my WHOLE family. I will post another post when I have time with airport pictures :) She slept most of the way home from the airport and then my fabulous husband took over for the night. I got 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep and I'm finally feeling somewhat human today. Mila sleeps about 4 hours at a time and then wakes up to eat, and usually goes back to sleep for another hour or two if we're lucky. She catnaps throughout the day. I'm hoping her schedule normalizes soon, but until we have a better idea of what's going on with her heart, we aren't too worried about a schedule. We're letting her sleep whenever she wants and however long she wants and eat whenever she is hungry. She is only taking about 4 ounces at a time every 2 hours or so. She coughs a lot after she eats which worries me a bit. I switched nipples and she seems to be doing a little better with that. She is very stuffy and has a cough in addition to the feeding time cough, but overall seems to be doing very well considering everything. We have cardiology appointments in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. We debated taking her to be seen today but decided to just keep an eye on things. I know she needs this time home with us and time to settle just as much as she needs medical care. So now the plan is to spend today and tomorrow loving on her and Tuesday to Pittsburgh.
I honestly can't even believe the changes we've seen in her. It brings me to tears when I look at the pictures of our first couple weeks together and then I look at her in my arms. God is good. He has used, and will continue to use, Mila's story to touch so many hearts. I have so many things to blog about and one of those is how Mila has changed hearts in Ukraine and how others there have truly learned for the first time that love can give life to a child with Down Syndrome, in spite of their beliefs that children with down syndrome will never have any quality to their life and the belief that there is nothing that can be done to help a child with DS. Hearts are changing. It is beautiful to be a part of.
Just a couple pictures for now....
|Our driver, Nico and his wife. Nico is a driver for RR families, but to us he is so much more. |
We have come to love him, and I love how he looks so proud in this picture!
He is a very interesting man whose heart is also changing!
|Basile, Family of 4!!!! Woooot!|
Thank you again for all of your love, support, comments, and prayers. We are so blessed to have every single one of you cheering us on!
More pictures to come, I promise, as soon as I get a few other thing done :)