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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What a year...

One year ago today Nick and I came home from our ultrasound devastated and crushed by the news that our twins were monoamniotic. I remember sitting on the couch feeling like there was no hope. All of our plans for a "normal" pregnancy- showers, nursery decorating, registering, simple excitement for the birth of our first child/ren- were all lost. I was distraught by the thought of a 2 month hospital stay. I/we had been overcome by sadness, yet had to keep going with a regular life- working, seeing friends,normal day-to-day activities-all with this impending "doom" hanging over our heads. How could I keep going? Did they kick today? Did I move the wrong way? Will I see a heartbeat?

One year ago today I never thought I would hear my babies cry, never thought I'd be able to hold them and see them smiling up at me. I never thought I'd get to watch them sleep, feed them a bottle or change their diaper.O All of these everyday things can get tiring with twins, but when I look back at how MUCH I wanted the chance to do all of these things one year ago, I don't mind so much. As I watch them play, learn to roll over, eat real food (and LOVE it) , sit up on their own, and laugh at the dog I can't believe what a miracle we have truly experienced.

One year ago today, we shed so many tears. Today I shed the same tears, but not for the same reason. Today I shed tears of joy. My life is completely different than it was a year ago. People having babies talk about "a year from now..." and realize things will be different. But for us, our "year from now..." was filled with tragic thoughts and terrible statistics. Instead, we had that year that the others were expecting to have: crying babies, sleepless nights, teething, fevers....smiles, giggles, hugs, love.

One year ago, God gave us lesson. He taught us how much we love each other, how much we are loved and supported by our family and friends. He reminded us to find Him in times of need and He will carry us through. He taught us to have Faith in Him. If you have any doubt, I have proof:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Good Bye NICU, Welcome home!

Ok, so I have not updated this in a really long time...soooo much has happened! First, I'll start with the last few days in the NICU: We celebrated the girls 1 month birthday and they wore new outfits (that I had to iron...really?) Memorial day weekend, Nick's Aunt had come to visit and while his mom and she were visiting the girls, they both took whole bottles. Overnight, they both took most of their bottles and were nursing VERY well...on Monday, I asked a nurse when would we stop giving them 1/2 of their feed (after they nursed well, they would drop 1/2 of the full amount of the feed down their tube). The answer I got was confusing- when they start doing better with the bottle...hummm. I didn't really say anything then, but it didn't really make sense to me. The girls never really showed any signs of being hungry, and I wondered if we keep them full, when will this ever happen?!?! Later that day, another nurse hinted that maybe we should not give them the rest of the feed if they nursed well the next time, and I was all for that! (she wasn't our primary nurse, but talked to our nurse and said she would be the one responsible) So we didn't give them more, they slept for about 3 hours and woke up hungry! Imagine that! After this, as they said would happen, the light just went on. We were told the course of action for discharge after this point is that they will set a minimum mL that they have to take w/o dropping the extra milk down their tubes (i.e. they have to take 36mL out of a 50mL feed), after a few days of that (when they don't need to put any milk down the tubes), they will pull the tubes completely and do feeding on demand and look to see consistent weight gain over another few days. Also, because they were doing better nursing than bottle feeding, they talked about to having us stay in a suite with the girls for 24 hrs to see if they would gain weight- they hinted that they might have us do this by the end of the week (WOW). We were told to watch some videos and bring in the car seat for the car seat challenge- getting ready for discharge!! About midweek, Lailey pulled out her tube, and the nurse didn't put it back in...not "until we need it" wink wink. A little later, Kennedy did the same thing (oops, says the nurse)- the tubes NEVER went back in, they took all of their feeds consistently w/o needing any minimum to be set- we owe it all to our nurse that was willing to give them a little push!! After 2 days of weight gain, there was talk of going home "not before friday, but maybe sat, sun or mon". Thrilling!! Thursday night, a nurse called the dr and discussed us going home fri (June 4th), since the girls were doing so well...dr agreed and discharge was slated for the next day! There was a catch though, they needed to show a weight gain overnight, but they had steadily gained weight all week, so we weren't worried. So we excitedly went out for our "last" dinner, did some baby shopping and cleaned the important parts of the house. On our way home, we called the NICU to check in and got depressing news- Kennedy lost weight. I was devastated and angry. Angry because the NICU had been having trouble with their AC and it was FREEZING in there all day. For fear that they would lose weight, I kept putting an additional blanket on them during the day while I was there, but came back to find the blankets removed each time...So I spent the evening busy, but fearful about the news we would receive the next day. We called in the morning, and got the same news, with the addition that Lailey hadn't made a notable gain either. UGH! Now we may not bring EITHER home...I wanted to scream and cry and stomp my feet, because I KNEW it was from the temperature in there (maybe not, but I had to blame something). Nick had taken off and we went to the NICU to feed the girls and we had a "swaddle bath" lesson from the OT scheduled for 10am (which I HIGHLY recommend if you have a newborn- it is WONDERFUL). We waited throughout the morning to talk to the Nurse practitioner or doctor, who typically do rounds mid-morning to see what the verdict was- we hadn't gotten a definite no, but a yes seemed unlikely, given the circumstances. After waiting all morning, the NP passed through, however we missed her- our nurse went and talked to her and thanks again to nursing advocates, we got the thumbs up to bring BOTH of them home! BOTH! I wanted to do a dance, as I thought for sure that only Lailey would be coming home that afternoon, if either of them. The NP was called to a delivery, so we had to wait, but we didn't even care...we went to lunch, packed up their stuff and loaded the car...this seemed surreal! We got to share the good news with our 2-south nurse friends and were able to get a pic together on the way out. What a bittersweet moment! I had been at that hospital everyday for almost 3 months! We owe sooo much to everyone there and it was sad to say goodbye...I still feel a little sad when I think of all of the wonderful people there. How can you ever express your gratitude for what they did for us?

So now we are home! I felt like we were going to get in 8 car accidents on the way home, but we made it! Nick was able to take the week off, so we could get adjust to life at was weird not to have to go anywhere and to all be home at the same time!! All the days seem to run together now...feeding, sleeping, baby laundry, dishes (for bottle washing mostly) then its time to feed them again! We went to our first dr's appt and they are both gaining weight at a good pace. I can't complain about their sleeping schedule- 3 to 4 hours at a time. Dr says we still have to wake them up to eat in the middle of the night for a little while longer. Some nights I think they would actually sleep the whole night...we accidently slept through our alarm one night and I woke up about 5 1/2 hours later (oops!). The nursery is coming together and the baby stuff is slowly making its way out of the dining room (finally!). Nick went back to work this week- he was very sad, but only has two more weeks and then is off for the summer! My actual due date is this Tues (June 22) so the girls will finally be a corrected age, rather than a gestational week, or a negative number ;). Ok, gotta go make bottles!! Here's some pics:

1 month birthday outfits:

First family picture!

"Formal" Picture day- Last day

Photographer @ NICU:

Swaddle bath lesson:

Going home! June 4, 2010

Nurses from 2-south...We will miss you!

First night @ home

First bath @ home

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Week 3

This week the girls have really lived up to their NICU "label" : feeders and growers. Nothing very eventful, just learning to eat orally (am I @ work?) and getting bigger! Both girls have had a few apnea/heartrate drops mostly during feedings or shortly after. However they are not too concerned with these because they aren't sure if they are actually "spells" of bradycardia or just a drop because of reflux (I guess they can look the same). Nursing is going a little better...but still fluctuates from day to was a great day, yesterday was terrible. Just hoping that the good days get a little more frequent. The girls are allowed to try feeding orally 3-4 times per day now, so the nurses try a bottle feeding overnight. Lailey is doing better than her sister, but still only takes about 1/2 of what she needs. The biggest event of this week was Lailey joining the 5lb club (which was actually in week 4, but close enough)!! As of today, Lailey weighs 5lbs 3oz and Kennedy weighs 4lbs 13oz! They have really packed it on this week :)

I have two showers to look forward to this weekend! It will be great to see everyone, since I really haven't been able to hang out with anyone since before (or outside of) the hospital! Even though I feel better and REALLY want to tackle cleaning the house and setting up the nursery, my body has decided its not ready yet :( Hopefully next week! I think the girls will be home in a few weeks- someone told me last week that they might be home in 1-2 more weeks, but I don't really believe that anymore...there's a lot of feeding/breathing things that need to be learned first! But, we'll be patient and the girls will let us know when they are ready!! Here are some new pictures (happy Natalie ;) ?? )

Kennedy in her big girl bed:

Lailey's 5lb club picture, doesn't she look excited?!?

Daddy's first bottle with Kennedy:

Lailey in her big girl bed:

Holding hands!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Its surprising to me that these girls have really only been on this earth for a little over two weeks! I was reading the last post and thinking, "Wow, I can't believe that was only last week." So much has changed (for the better!) since last week! First, Lailey's IV was completely removed. Saturday, I was home alone and got a phone call from the NICU at 9:30pm. I think my stomach dropped through the floor...however they were quick to say "everything is ok"! Phew- they were just moving the girls downstairs to the other NICU- they said that this NICU was where they moved babies that are stable, and it is the last step before sending them home! This NICU is on the 2nd floor (where I was for the past 2 months), so I get to visit all my nurse friends everyday :) When they moved the girls down, they moved Kennedy into a regular crib because she was maintaining her heat well. Lailey was moved down in her isolette, however they removed the heat to see how she would do. She was in her own crib by Monday evening! Now that they are maintaining heat and in cribs we can hold them as much as we want... Hooray! Drs discontinued the caffeine that both girls were receiving to prevent apnea spells and have not had any spells since that has happened ...knock on wood. Also, I have been attempting nursing with both girls during two of their feeding times. Now that I can drive, I can get to the hospital for their 8:30/9:00am feed, then Nick and I go up together for their 5:30/6:00 feed. We can only try nursing for two feeds a day for now because they burn up so much energy trying this new skill that if we tried any more, they would burn more calories than they take in. Neither girl is truly "nursing" as of yet, but we're trying! Lailey is doing better digesting her food and is tolerating the fortifiers which increase the calories of the breast milk. They attempted to increase the calories before, however she could not digest it and they has to go back down. She finally gained a little weight (2oz) and has plateaued around 4lbs6oz. Dr says if she doesn't gain by Monday, they will increase the calories again. Kennedy continues to gain weight and now weighs 4lbs3oz- Maybe Lailey is just waiting for her sister to catch up! Saw the nurse practitioner on Tuesday and she had said that if they remain apnea free and begin to eat orally and gain weight, that they may be able to go home within 2 weeks!

Lailey learning to suck her thumb:

Best Smile ever! (Kennedy)

High 5 daddy! (Lailey)

This week I also got to celebrate my first mothers day, which was absolutely amazing...It meant so much after these crazy/confusing/scary past few months!! Nick made me breakfast, we went up to the hospital, and went to Kyle's and Jen's. Nick's parents were able to come to the hospital and hold the girls too...Nick gave me a beautiful ring with the girls' names carved into it- a perfect present :) He also made a huge steak dinner on monday (which I have been craving since I was in the hospital) so I got a whole extra day of celebrating!

Kennedy and Nana:

Lailey and Pops:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Today the girls are 33 weeks, technically...or negative 7weeks old. For some reason this has seemed like a REALLY long week! I feel like they were born a month ago!

Kennedy is still doing great. She remained off the vent and hasn't needed any assistance breathing. She is still g-tube fed, but is at the max amount and was just increased a couple mL's because she has started to gain a little weight back. Her IV was removed completely a couple of days ago since she is tolerating feeds so well! I was able to observe the PT last week and she says that everything looks good so far (are there standards for negative 7 week old babies?).

Lailey is doing well too-she's had a few more complications than Kennedy, but nothing too serious. She stayed on the warming table thingy a few more days than Kennedy (who went into an isolette almost immediately), but is now in an isolette. She needed some photo therapy due to jaundice. She had on these super funny "shades" which looked like tinted swim goggles haha (that's right, we laughed at (with) a preemie baby with jaundice) they were sooo cute! We forgot the camera, but thought we could get a pic next time, since they told us she would need the light for a couple of days...however the next day, no sunglasses, no light needed anymore! Great news, but maybe they will put the goggles on her just for a photo that mean? She also has had trouble digesting and they were not able to increase her feeds at all for awhile, but as of Monday, they have been able to increase them and she is almost at her max too! Hasn't gained weight yet, hopefully soon. She still has her IV, however they were able to remove the lipids that they were adding to it. They removed her vent after a few days and moved her to a C-Pap...she looked sooo uncomfortable :( After a day or so of that they moved her to a nasal cannula with forced air. They were going to do 6hrs with the cannula, 6hrs with C-Pap, but she was doing so well with the cannula that they decided to do 9hrs cannula, 3hrs Cpap. That didn't last long, and now she's just on the nasal cannula with forced air- no O2 added, just room air and she is tolerating this really well. The nurse even said that when she pulls the cannula out, her O2 stats don't drop, which is a great sign! Yesterday they even got her dressed for the first time :) This is good news, not only because its so cute, but it means they aren't watching her chest for signs of distressed breathing!

We have been doing "kangaroo care" with the girls everyday for an hour, which is the most wonderful hour of the day! The nurses always say they feel so mean putting them back to bed because they do so well during that hour! They can only be out of their isolettes for about an hour a day so this is the only time we can hold them. We have gotten to change their diapers (which may not sound like such a great thing to all you parents out there, but it is for us! ) and get Kennedy dressed a couple of times, other than that, we aren't allowed to do too much. Therefore, after a while of staring at them through the isolette, we wonder what to do?? We don't feel like leaving them, but we feel awkward hovering! So strange. Both girls also have started to suck on their pacifiers (Lailey sucks so loud you can hear it outside the isolette!), so hopefully their feeding tubes will be moved to their nose soon so we can start bottle/breast feeding, or at least practicing! Ok, I think that's it for now...we have started a journal so that we can write down specific information like weights and feed amts so that we can actually see the progress...we are told so many things that we'll get home and say "Wait, what did the nurse say about____?" So hopefully this will help us remember what day it is!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Girls are here!

So Tuesday I woke up, well got up (because there was no sleeping Monday night) at 4:30 to take an all important last shower before my final monitoring session. The girls were monitored for the last time and I was taken down to L&D where everything happened soooo fast. IV's, catheters, ultrasounds to check the positions and all of a sudden the OR and the thing I dreaded the most- spinal...Which was awful! They must have tried it 5 times- I say they because it was actually the student, not the actual anestesiologist who was attempting it. He would hit bone and hit my siatic nerve 3 times...worst pain ever. Finally the actual dr tried it and got it in 2 attempts- the one that actually worked bearly hurt...ugh! Everything was still going so fast- they tested me for pain and I had non so they started the section- i was wondering where the heck nick was and he was wondering what the heck was taking so long! Finally he got in there, sat down for about 3 sec (or what seemed like 3 sec) and then we heard the best sound in the world- Lailey crying as the Drs pulled her out (8:49am, 4lbs 4oz, 17 1/2in). They hunted around for Kennedy and she was born at 8:51 am, 3lbs 9oz, 16 3/4in- no crying at first but Nick says she started when they put her on the warming table. Nick was able to peek over the drape for both girls, thinking that he would get a little woozy, but ended up being just fine (DAD POWERS!). We also got a picture of the umbilical cords and the knots and twists. We were really really lucky by the looks of it..

Sorry if that grossed anyone out... I got stitched up and went right to recovery for a few hours. Don't really remember the rest of the day, but I do remember getting wheeled up to the NICU, where I almost threw up on our brand new babies :( People told me lots of things and I tried very hard to stay awake while they were talking but I'm pretty sure I kept drifting off! Oops. Came back to my room and slept on and off for the rest of the day. I think Nick did to, but he ran up to the NICU a few times to see what was going on.

Kennedy was on the vent for a couple of hours, but then ripped it out herself, was put on some oxygen, but that too was removed soon has been breathing room air since. She is in an isolette and is only on the feeding tube and IV fluids. Lailey was on the vent until last night and now she is on a C-Pap. They also moved her from the warming table to her own isolette...steps in the right direction. Both are tolerating feeds well, which they increase by very small amounts every 12 hours. Today I got to do what they call "kangaroo care" (they put the baby on your chest- skin to skin for about an hour) with Kennedy. They say its very important for very small babies. Nick got to hold Lailey- the first time she has been able to be held! Hooray!


Lailey still on the vent- she looks sooo angry, she looks better now, but I don't have a picture of that right now:

I have had a recurring fever which has been attributed to nothing so far. Possibly a UTI, possibly a reaction to the surgery in general. So they put me on an antibiotic and resting has helped. Hopefully it goes away soon. All I can say is thank god for Percistat (sp?) :) Hope to be home on Saturday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Birthday Eve

ARGH! 8 hours from now I will be on an operating table! More nervous than excited, unfortunately...thus why I am still awake. Tried to stay busy all day so I didn't really have to think about it. Lots of visitors today which helped pass the afternoon. I am excited to see what our daughters look like! I think they will have Nick's (big) nose (....don't tell him ) and he thinks they will be bald but grow up to have blond hair and blue eyes. I ordered "NICU approved" preemie clothes and they came today (great timing!) so that was fun to open - they're soooo tiny and cute! Now the girls can be fashionistas in the NICU! Hoping and praying that everything goes smoothly to try to get SOME sleep....