Part of my hesitation in having a baby overseas was the fact that my family would not get to be at the birth. I envisioned the waiting room full of my family and best friends, the visitors, the flowers, the meals... everything! I knew that having a baby in France wasn't as easy as calling them up and saying "Hey, my water broke! So head to the hospital!" Our little town is a 10 hour flight, 3 hour train ride, and 1.5 hour car ride away... so it isn't that simple.
What I didn't expect was that my family would make the effort anyway.
My Mom was planning to arrive in France on my due date of January 28th but once she heard I had gone into labor, they switched their flights and flew out the very next day. She arrived on January 21st when Stella girl was only 2 days old. Since my hospital stay was 5 days, I was still able to have the experience of my mom visiting us in the hospital and it made things feel somewhat normal. They were able to stay for 2 weeks and helped us through the inital transition back home. Gigi and Opa did laundry, cooked, cleaned, and all that good stuff as Logan and I tried to figure out a rhythm with Stella back home.
My Dad and Kelley had purchased their tickets to arrive on February 1st! The reason behind this was that it was the day the hospital would induce me if Stella hadn't arrived yet. The last thing I wanted was Pappa and Mimi to come to France for a week while we sat around and waited for Stella to join us on the outside world. We knew by them coming Februrary 1st, they would have a full week with their grandbaby.
We took this picture the night before they arrived... and let me just tell you... if you want to know what "Happy Hour" LOOKS like, here is a perfect example :)
This was taken the very first moment they arrived at The Colorado after 24 hours of traveling! My Dad said his heart was beating out of his chest.
The first time Pappa held Stella. She was exactly 2 weeks old and still tiny as ever!
There was only one day of overlap between all the grandparents so we had Logan's friend Nicholas take pictures for us with everyone. Having all 6 of them in the same place will not happen very often and we wanted to take advantage of it. We know Stella will treasure these pictures forever and so will we. Having everyone there to meet and love on our little girl made France not feel so far away despite the obvious ocean that separates our families. To say I am grateful my parents came over to meet our daughter would be an understatement. It was what made these hard and lonely months being so far away completely and totally worth it.
I will forever treasure the 3 weeks we got to spend with the grandparents for the rest of my life. It was such a fun time of hanging out, relaxing, catching up, exchanging belated Christmas gifts, marveling at our tiny new addition, and introducing them to our everyday life in France. We even took Pappa and Mimi to the hospital where Stella was born so they could see the nursery and the maternity wing. I think it helped them put everything into context and my Dad is so happy that someday he will be able to tell Stella he saw the place where she was born.
Thanks to Gig & Opa and Pappa & Mimi for coming to visit us in France. We miss you but can't wait to see you again in April so Stella can meet the rest of the extended family and all of our friends :)