With all this fuss about Little Miss Aliya (a.k.a. Nüni), some of you may be wondering how Keana (a.k.a. Zooba) and Maia (a.k.a. Screimsties a.k.a. Maija) have been adjusting. First, let’s back track briefly (or not-so-briefly) to Aliya’s first week out in the world. During the birth, I was holding Maia most of the time, even while I was on the phone with 911, and Keana was rubbing Sarah’s shoulder, telling her everything was going to be okay. Throughout everything, I was explaining to them what was happening and that we were going to have go to the hospital and they’d stay with Grandma until everything was okay. Even after I left with the ambulance, Jennie (a.k.a. Grandma) said they really took everything in stride. I love that they have that youthful optimism and considering everything that happened that day and that week, they really handled it all amazingly well.
A couple hours after the birth, after Aliya was stabilized and up in the ICU, waiting for transport to UCSF, and Sarah was checked into her own room, Jennie brought the girls over to the hospital. I was able to take each of them individually to visit their new sister and they loved her immediately. Of course there were some questions about the tubes and wires and why Aliya had to stay there, but overall they were curious about the little things. Keana was really impressed with her finger nails and Maia was concerned about the ink on the bottoms of her feet. After a brief visit with Mama in her room, Jennie, Jacque, Keana, Maia, and I headed home so I could pack a bag for UCSF. It wasn’t easy leaving them, but I knew they were in good hands and I knew that our newest baby needed us.
While we were gone, I tried to call them at least once a day and found each time that they were being thoroughly entertained by either Grandma Jennie, Tia (Iana), Grandpa Robert or Nana Cin, Great Grandma Bev, and later Uncle Ryan. I would check in with Keana for a few minutes, and she would ask how Aliya was doing and what I was up to. That would shortly be followed by, “Well Papa, I think I should get back to what I was doing.” I would say okay, I love you, and hang up happy. Maia often wasn’t in the mood to talk and I was totally fine with that. It took a minute, but Iana and Jennie finally got into a good routine getting Maia calmed down before bedtime and sleeping through the night. On Wednesday my mom (a.k.a. Grandma Linda) and Peter (a.k.a. Uncle Pud a.k.a. Uncle Pedie) went from Sacramento to Fresno as reinforcements.
When we finally arrived home on June 24, we found the girls in really great shape considering everything that had happened. We had several nights of Maia throwing tantrums and Keana had a couple breakdowns too, but all-in-all, Sarah and I have been amazed at the girls’ resilience. Now, three weeks after Aliya’s birth, it feels like we’re settling into things as a Pentapod. Sure Maia still screams bloody hell when Sarah’s unavailable and Keana reminds us how fun things were with Tia and Grandma when we were gone, especially with regard to sweets and bed time, but I think they’re actually happy to have their old boundaries back (at least their general moods reflect that). I’m trying to treat this time off as vacation as much as it’s been healing time, so Keana, Maia, and I have been having little adventures while Sarah and Aliya rest. On Wednesdays and Fridays we swim at our neighbor’s pool down the street, we’ve had some trips to the park, and we went to the zoo yesterday for a birthday party, so it’s really been great time together.
Well, I sat down to write about some other fun things that Maia and Keana have been up to, but I better leave at this for now. This is definitely a story that’s going to slowly get filled in, piece-by-piece along the way.