Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Report

Just got back from visiting the babies. Here's the latest......

She has gone up on her feedings again, she is up to 11CCs. Her vent settings (O2) has gone down to about 37%, which we are very happy about. Tonight I (Kim) witnessed her little foot getting pricked for a a blood gas check (blood work). Poor little thing cried, turned red and was just not happy. I almost walked away cause I couldn't stand seeing her in pain but instead I tried to comfort her with my voice and by holding her tiny hand. I was so happy to see that she calmed down a tad bit when I started talking to her but she continued to cry and wiggle until it was all over. My poor little baby girl...think mommie was about to shed some tears too. She has to have this done twice a day right now but Anna said it will soon be once a day. So...Jenna has had a good day. Great progress pretty baby girl!!

Blake is going up on his feeds little by little. And all in all, things are the same for him which is great. An uneventful day is a great day really. I did get to see both of his eyes open tonight and look around-this is a first for me. I loved it!!! I started talking to him while he was looking around, he then just looked straight ahead in my direction. I love seeing them respond to our voices. What a blessing!

Can't wait to see them again in the morning. We got a few new pics. Will post tomorrow.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dr. called with good news!

Dr. Ontalan called with the results of Jenna's head ultrasound.
The ultrasound showed that both ventricles look a bit smaller than the previous ultrasound. That indicates that there are no blood clots disrupting the natural flow of fluids through the ventricle's and into her spine. Great news & very encouraging! We have to keep in mind that things in the NICU change by the minute, so they will continue to do regular ultrasounds to ensure that there is no obstruction to the the normal flow.

Jenna's has also been doing very good on the new CPAP machine. They do pretty much the same thing, however there are very small differences and some kids take to one or the other. Her O2 is now in the mid to low 40's vs the 50's she was at last night.
The O2 % is relative to the specific machine. Example being that when they are on a respirator or vent, they are getting all their air from the vent and not breathing on their own. So if the machine is set to 45% O2, then that's exactly what the lungs get. The CPAP doesn't really do any breathing for her, but provides a gentle positive pressure of air that has whatever % of O2 that it's set for. Sooooo.... If the CPAP machine is set to 45% O2, her lungs are really only getting about 30% O2. The CPAP is also much easier on her lungs than a ventilator.

Blake was having a little bit more residual from his feeds and was having a little more apnea lately. This may have been due to his stomach not fully digesting the food. So, they decided to move the feeding tube a little lower in the stomach to help with digestion. With this change, they have moved him from 4cc's of milk every 3hrs, to 2 cc's every hour. Quite a bit of an increase in food, but he seems to have handled it quite well and is resting much more peacefully.

So far we've had some great news today and we are very proud at how hard Jenna & Blake are working to get big and strong.

Everyone can now Comment!

As I get to know this blog a little better, I'm able to fiddle with the settings to make it more convenient for us as well as our millions of fans.

I just made a change to the settings that allow everyone to post comments to the articles. You no longer have to have a gmail account.

So; feel free to post a comment if you would like. It's always nice to get feedback.

I also got the slideshow working, so it'll be scrolling pics from our web album.
Wooo Hoooo

Friday mid afternoon update

I believe Kim mentioned in last nights post that they are trying to get Jenna stable on CPAP today. If she doesn't handle CPAP too well, then they will have to put her back on the ventilator. While this isn't too too surprising in micro preemies, it's still a bit of a step backwards. During this whole process, the Dr.'s expect them to be on and off the vent at various times. But... the more time they are on the vent, the more potential for lung damage. Last night, they put her on a different CPAP machine to see if she would take to that one a little better. The machines are similar, but slightly different and sometimes a baby does better on one vs. the other.
Soooo, she's doing ok on the vent today, but not really the progress we would like to see. Her O2 is at 47% right now, and we'd really like to see it in the 30's.
Her feeding is going great though. She's at 8cc every 3hrs right now and they are about to bump her up to 9cc. Dr. Su said that if she continues to do good on her feedings, then in about 4 or 5 days she should be sustaining herself entirely on milk and no longer need any IV fluids. That will be a great milestone indeed. Cmon Jenna!

They did another head ultrasound on Jenna to get an update on her IVH (IntraVentricular Hemorrhage = head bleed). The results haven't come back yet, but the Dr. should call me as soon as he gets the results. I will in turn update the blog so everyone can track her progress. The last two sonograms showed that the hemorrhaging had stoped, so there is the expectation that this one will show similar results. We don't expect to see a reduction of blood in the ventricle for another couple weeks, as these things take time for the body to absorb the blood. There is the possibility that there could be a blood clot that will block the natural circulation of spinal fluid, in which case we will have to consider some kind of medical intervention. We are keeping our fingers crossed that it won't come to that.

Blake is doing great. His CPAP settings are looking really good. He's on 21-28% O2 (21% is room air). His feeding continues to go well. Every now and again he has some residual food left over, but not enough to slow his progress. He's a few days behind Jenna on his feeding as he had to stop due to his lung problem & his PDA surgery. But he seems to be making up for lost time and really pushing forward.

All in all they are doing pretty darn good and continue to make progress. Way to go Kiddo's!!! Keep up the good work.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just got back from the hospital

J and I just got back from spending time with Blake and Jenna. We spoke to Dr. Su, their primary, who had a couple days off. I am going to let J provide you all with details, he has such a knack for explaining things and putting things into prospective.

I got to help Julie, Jenna's night nurse for tonight, change Jenna's bedding as well as change her diaper. Jenna actually opened her eyes pretty wide for me tonight. It was for a short amount of time but I loved every second of it. Once we got her bedding changed, Julie got her all snuggled up tight. Snuggled up like a bug in a rug is exactly what she appeared to be. She has gone up on her feeds again! Like I said before, I think she likes to eat just like mom. Once she is up 6 more CCs, she will go on milk only diet, no more IV fluids which is a great milestone. Yay Jenna!! The milestone we are focusing on now for Jenna is for her to further stabilize on the CPAP. The next 24 hours or so will tell if she will remain on the CPAP. Her next head scan is in the morning. Please help us pray that it shows either the same or better yet that some of the bleeding has been absorbed. It may be a little early to show a big difference.

Blake is continuing to do so well since his surgery. His settings on CPAP are looking great and he continues to show how strong he is. When we got there, Janis (Blake's night nurse for tonight) had just given him a "bath". She just finished weighing him and doing the assessments so decided to let him stretch out a bit before bothering him with snuggling him back in his bedding boundaries. He looked real comfortable. He was on his back with his arms all stretched above his head and legs spread out too. His little round belly was such a joy to see! I love ALL the little baby fat we can get. He barely cracked open one of his eyes for a short amount of time. I am looking forward to seeing his eyes open. I haven't seen that yet. He is doing okay with his feeds, he is at 6 CCs. He was given an antacid to hopefully help him handle his feeds a little better. He had some old bloody residuals (left over from before his surgery) that may be interferring with digestion. They have been able to increase his feeds pretty steadily though. His next milestone is to increase his feeds more. Blake's hands are really pretty big. I took some close up pics this AM of his hands. He (and Jenna both) likes to grip and hold onto things. There is always a wire or tube readily available for their long fingers to wrap abound and grab hold of. I will post the new pics...take a look at those hands!!

Just wanted to mention that I nominate Jason for "father and husband of the year". ;) I know it's only mid January and the new year has just begun but I couldn't ask for a better partner to help me stay strong through the ups and downs and great joys of our newly found responsibilities of parenthood.

Oh, tonight, both babies weighed in at 1lb 9oz.

Thanks for keeping up with our progress and keeping us in your prayers. As you can see, I can get a bit long winded. I tend to "journal" when I hop on the blog. It is great knowing that we have so much support. We are on so many prayer groups all over the US actually. We even have made it as far as South Africa!!! How wonderful!!!!!!!!

26 Weeks!!!

Today the twins are 26 Weeks old!

The first two weeks of their lives have been CRAZY and unpredictable. Hopefully as more time passes things will settle down, but we can't really expect that. We can hope though!

They are doing pretty good today. Blake's O2 is down a little bit more to around 26% & he's doing pretty good on his feedings. Every now and again, he isn't ready to digest one, so they just give him a little break and try at the next meal time.
Jenna is doing good as well. Her O2 is a bit higher in the mid 30's but that's not too unusual as she makes the adjustment to CPAP. The most important thing is that she's on CPAP and breathing on her own. She's feeding very very well and they expect to bump her up even more to 6.5cc every 3hrs.

So, all in all, it was a rather uneventful night and pretty much the same this morning. I like those reports. NO DRAMA is a good thing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Just talked to Anna.
She said that Jenna has been doing great after coming off the ventilator. They've been dialing down her O2 and she has been doing great.
She's up to 6cc's on her feeding and handling it perfectly.

Blake has been doing good as well. After his PDA surgery he's just been steadily improving. He's up to 3cc's on his feeds.
He had a couple sleep apnea's today, but that's expected in little ones.

So, pretty much just a smooth day so far.

Now that they have been consistently stable, they are no longer on 24hr 1 on 1 care. Now it'll be two babies to a nurse, and tonight Janice is going to be watching over them. Janice is great, and has watched Blake several times. She was the nurse that was watching him the night before he had his lung trouble. That night, she had noticed that something just wasn't right with him and she let the next shift Dr., and nurse know that something was up and to keep an eye on him.
These nurses are awesome. They really put everything into taking care of these lil ones!

Tomorrow they will be at 26 weeks..... or two weeks old..... or negative 14 weeks. However you want to look at it. ;)

A good Wednesday

Talked to the nurses a little bit ago.

As reported earlier; we've been working toward getting Jenna off the ventilator for the last several days. The longer she's on the vent, the greater the chances for lung damage. Sooooo, they've been weaning her off the vent for several days. Today was the big day that they felt she was in a good position to handle the responsibility of breathing on her own. At 9am this morning, they removed her from the vent and put her on CPAP (slight positive pressure, but she's doing the work). Since then she's been handling things wonderfully and didn't have any complications or problems.
Her feeding is going great, and all her vital stats are good. So, all in all a great day for Jenna so far.

Blake is just chuggin along. His stats have been really good, and they are increasing his feeds, so he's doing good as well.

Way to go kiddo's! Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Better Understanding

We spoke to the doctor again and gained some clarification. Jenna did have some ventricular bleeding on both sides of her brain. The head sono from this morning was about the same so they are fairly confident that there is no additional bleeding and that it has stopped. They will be doing sonograms every three days or so. We will be praying that the blood is being absorbed. We were told that this is a very very slow process. A preemie's head is very pliable because the bones aren't yet fused so there is a a certain amount of flexibility there. We are hoping that because of this, Jenna' body has handled the bleeding and fluctuations that have occured in her brain. The only thing we can do is to take things one day at a time and time will tell how this set back has effected her. She is doing very well with her feedings right now. She is up to 5cc/3hours! We were told that at 28 weeks (they are at 25 1/2 weeks now), they will start packing on the pounds.....err....ounces in this case...haha. They continue to work towards getting her off of the vent and on CPAP. She sure is wearing a cute little hat today. Jason, her nurse Anna, and I think it is very fitting of her personality-haha. Check out the latest pics.

Blake is having a real good day. They have dialed back the CPAP support and he is handling it very well so far. In other words, he is relying less on the positive pressure being placed on his lungs to aid in breathing and is doing more of the work himself-such a big boy! Oh-and even more excitement-he is chomping on a pacifier!!! Yes, he has a itty pacifier that one of his nurses offered him because he kept chewing on his tubes. He really seems to be liking it! Granted, his little mouth only takes in the tip on it but he can often times be found with it either resting in his mouth or chomping away at it. Yesterday, it was so cute, he had his little fist tucked into the inside of the pacifier while he was just going to town gnawing at the tip. This has surprised some of his nurses. It isn't that common to find little bittys this young doing this so early. I think he is going to really like eating-like his mom. I jokingly call him "chompers" now. We noticed today that Blake has some interesting hair coloring. On parts of his head it is jet black and on others, like near his forehead and near his neck, it is blonde!!! Jason said the front of his hair looked a little spiked at one time when he had his OVERSIZED "shades" on-haha. I keep saying that I am going to come up with some micro preemie sunshades. They do their best to modify eye shades/protection to fit their little eyes but even with their best attempts the "shades" just take over and cover their little faces.

I think back at my first glance at their tiny, fragile, partially transparent bodies and look at them now and am amazed at how much they already have changed. Their skin is looking so good and you can no longer see each rib as clearly. They actually have little round tummies now. They are just so darn cute. I just love sitting there staring at them. Can't wait til we can hold them. Once they get off of the vent and become a bit more stable, we will get some "kangaroo" time in. This is where we get to hold them and have them rest on our chests.

The support we have received from our family, friends, and new found friends has been amazing. We have been placed on numerous prayer lists, have had many calls, emails, and visits, flowers, we have had many visitors, help with preparing the house, and help with meals. Jason's mother and our friends at Hope Presbyterian Church put together a wonderful food and meal drive for us. This has been extremely helpful. We received a great deal of needed groceries and prepared meals. Preparing meals and going grocery shopping is something that has been put down at the end of the 'to do" list beings that we are at the hospital for most of the day. Having this wonderful group of thoughtful and caring people do this for us is such a gift!!!! Thank you all for helping us by sharing a kind word, helping hand and/or including us in your prayers. We are truly blessed to have you all!

Speaking of...time for dinner. We will post another update soon.


Hello to all~

Just checked in on the kiddos. They had stopped Blake's feedings later yesterday due to some residuals. They did a tummy sono this AM and said it looked "pretty good" and may start him back on feedings this afternoon. His o2 is still looking pretty good. He had a good night and is doing well. Not sure what he weighed at last night...will ask when we get there this AM.

Jenna gained 15 grams yesterday/last night!!! She is now at 1lb 11oz!! YAY Jenna!! Closer and closer to 2lbs!!! Jason and I were hit pretty hard last night with the news of her brain bleeds. We will speaking to the doctor when we get to the hospital, as it seems we are getting two different prognosis. We were told last night that Jenna in fact has grade 3 bleeds on BOTH sides of her brain. She received another head sono this AM to check for continued bleeding. The preliminary appears to be the same. The final will come back later today. Please, please, please let the bleeding have stopped.

So many emotions............questions..............uncertainty..............cocnerns.

However, we are extremely hopeful and optimistic. Our little girl has already shown us how strong she is and was deemed "feisty" and "spunky" the first day she was born. The way we look at it, she is a real fighter. The power of positive thinking and prayer, I believe, can sometimes be the best healer. Thank you all for your continued prayers. We can really use the support.

We are going to head up to the hospital shortly. Once we get some clarification, we will pass it on to you.

~Kim, Jason, Blake and Jenna

Monday, January 26, 2009

We could use some prayers right about now......

Hi family and friends~

Jason just spoke to Dr. Dakowski and received a report on Jenna. She had a head sonogram this AM and he was calling with the results. He noted a bit of bleeding on her brain. He is unsure as to the cause and is a bit surprised that it has happened at this stage. She is no longer in the time frame that he would've expected this to possibly happen. While it isn't a minimal amount, it is not a large amount either. It is too soon to know the effects, if any, this will or has caused. He feels rather confident that they have seen the extent of the bleeding but will continue to monitor. Please join us in praying that the bleeding has in fact stopped and that there are no negative effects that come up due to this bleeding.

She is maintaining the same as far as o2 and feedings and such which we are happy about. They are still considering dialing her 02 settings down and feeling it out on if she is ready to get off of vent and back on CPAP. this won't be done for at least 24 hours though and after we get the next head sono results.

Blake is doing well and has had a good day so far.

Thank you all for your continuous prayers!!!!!

Still truckin along

Got a chance to go visit with the lil ones this morning.

Both of them have been behaving themselves for their nurses.
Blake has been doing great and they have upped his feeding and he's handling it well. Not really much to report as they've just been hanging out and eating. He's been off the ventilator and going good with that as well. His o2 has remained in the low 30%, which is pretty good.

Lil Jenna is doing good as well. She seems to be pretty comfortable on the ventilator and isn't quite ready to do all the work on her own. Dr. Dekowski is going to continue to wean her off the ventilator, but do it slowly and let Jenna tell him when she's ready to try breathing on her own. He's thinking another 24 or more hours. We are completely fine with that and want her to give it a shot when she's ready.
She's been handling her feeding very very well, and will most likely go up to 3.5cc every 3 hours.

So.... pretty much same ole same ole for right now, which is good enough for us. We are happy to have "un-eventful" days like these.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Smooth Sailing Sunday so far...

Jenna is doing well, still on CPAP. She has been feeding well with 3cc/3hrs with no residuals until this last feeding (which can be expected). When we visited earlier she rested peacefully the whole two hours we were there. They just turned her on her tummy, which she seems to like so well.

Blake is also having a good day. He is being fed 1.5cc/3hrs with only residuals at this last feeding as well. Blake, like sis, is really enjoying when he rests on his belly.

K, I think Blake has daddy's ears and Jenna's ears are like mine. They already look so much better from last week...especially their skin. And even though they are still so very tiny, they don't look quite as scrawny as last week. Can't wait til they are at 2 lbs!!!

Thank you all for your continuous prayers. All four of us are finding strength in your support.

Love to all~
Kim, Jason, Jenna & Blake

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Evening report

Just got off the evening check in call with the nurses.
Jenna is doing good. They are still dialing down her ventilator settings. Other than that she's doing good. Just resting up for her next big progress.

Blake is doing good as well. He's on the CPAP and doing great. They continue to reduce his 02, and all his vitals and tests are great. They increased his feeds to 1cc every 6hours.

All in all a pretty smooth day after they got lil Jenna settled in and comfortable.

January 24th, 2009

Jason is on his way to visit the babies now. We called early this morning at 5 and then at 7 and again at 9 for updates.

Blake is doing great on the CPAP. We can't be more pleased that he is off of the ventilator and is breathing fine on his own. After a bit of sleep apnea last night and being put on some medication to help regulate, he has done very well. His blood O2 levels are looking good. He is also still taking to the feedings well. That's our boy!! He weighed in last night at 1 lb 7 ounces, What he did lose was due to much of the swelling going down that he had from surgery. So, all in all he has gained 4 ounces since birth. His right eye is still trying to open wider.

Jenna was a little "sassy pants" last night and actually pulled her airway out by squirming around so much. They tried to just place her on CPAP rather than vent afterwards but her blood ox levels were not looking good so they decided to intubate her again. She has done well since. Hopefully she will be taken off of the ventilator in the next day or so. Jenna is now 1 lb 9 oz-5 ounces bigger since birth. Both eyes are cracked open.

I am battling a cold and a congested cough so have made the VERY HARD decision not to go visit my babies right now til it goes away. They are just so acceptable to germs and infection that I don't want to take any chances. Jason has been visiting and taking lots of pics for me. I can't wait to see them again. I wonder if they will have their eyes open wider by the time I get to see them again.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Another step in the right direction

Just spoke to Blake's nurse.
Blake has been doing great coming off his ventilator. He's been doing so well that they plan to take him off the ventilator in the next 30min to an hour. He'll then be breathing on his own and have a little help from the CPAP.

While this is a great step forward, there is the possibility that he may not take to the CPAP and need to go back on the vent. We are hoping not, but have to be ready for all possibilities.

Great news Blake! Keep up the good work.

Jenna has also been doing good. She's just relaxing. She handled the increase in her feeding well (she's at 1.5cc). They turned her on her tummy and she's been much happier. Dr. Su said that he'd like to get her off the ventilator soon, but he wanted her at a good position before he makes that change.

All in all, it's been a great day of progress.

Friday AM Report

Blake is doing well, taking to the feedings. His blood gases were stable and looking good throughout the night so they were able to cut back on the oscillator (ventilator) a bit. We are praying that he continues to move in the right direction. The doctors want to continue to wean him off of the oscillator as soon as possible. Lindsey, his nurse until 7pm, says he isn't as swollen as he was earlier. The swelling was due to surgery. He has lost 10grams but she says that was due to the swelling going down.

Jenna is doing well this morning as well. She had a good night. Her sugars were a bit high so they did some adjusting to her IV fluids to help her regulate them. This is not uncommon in preemies. She is resting on her tummy and enjoying it.

We plan to go to visit in a bit. Will update more as the day continues.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The weigh in.

We got the latest weigh ins...
Jenna started things off weighing 1lb 4oz. They waited a few days before they started regular weigh ins. Yesterday she gained 10grams. Not a lot, but still gaining. Today she weighed in at 1lb 8oz.

Blake weighed 1lb 3oz when he first got here. Yesterday he weighed 1 lb 5oz. A great gain. Today he weighed 1lb 9oz!!!!

Some of their gain could be attributed to fluids, but the bulk of it is just growing. So thats certainly positive news for us.


Today we made it to WEEK 25!!! A great milestone!

Jason updated on Blake's recovery. We are so proud of our little guy for handling surgery so very well. We are excited to see that his right eye is trying to open. It is cracked open a bit and is so darn cute!

Jenna is getting a central IV line placed in right now. The line going into her tummy/umbilical cord has been used for the max amount of days. both of her eyes are cracked open so she does not look quite like a pirate today-haha. I saw her right pupil today. Can't be more excited.

We are grateful for another stable day and pray for continuous strength and growth.

Photo Album

I haven't been able to figure out how to get the slideshow working, so here is a link to their photo album in the mean time.

Here is a link to the news article that Kim was in. She must have been pretty excited about it because she went into labor while she watched it.

1 Week Update

Dr. Su gave us some fantastic news today.

Her blood gases look very very good, so they are going to start reducing her O2 (currently at 35%) and ween her off the vent even further. He'd like to get them below 30% before they take her off the vent, and they anticipate doing that in the next 24hrs.
She's been taking her feeding very well, so they are going to up her milk from .5cc to 1cc.
Yesterday morning Jenna cracked open her right eye. At our mid day check in, Anna told us that she passed her first poopey! Ahhhhhh milestones. Didn't think I'd ever be sooo excited about poop. When we called in this morning Anna told us that she opened her other eye! Yea! Both eyes now open.

Blakes recovery from yesterdays surgery has been fantastic. Dr. Su said that he has recovered much better than most premies and that he's exceeded his expectations. He recieved Blakes blood gas report while we were talking and said they are perfect and that he hoped all results were this good.
One things premies have to deal with after the PDA surgery is the adjustment of the blood pressure and flow, and Blake has adjusted quite well. He'd like to give him another day of adjustment and rest before he starts increasing his feeding. But so far, he has been handling the feeding very well. He thinks that he should be able to increase his feeds tomorrow, but as with everything in the NICU, he's going to let Blake tell him how much he wants.

So, Dr. Su said that they made it through their first week (the most critical) very well and he was very very pleased with their progress. He cautioned that there are still going to be some up's and down's & setbacks, but all in all, he was very happy. Comming from Dr. Su, that is a wonderfull compliment and we couldn't be happier.
They are both strong kiddo's and are scrappers, but their progress is also due to the wonderfull care of the nurses and Dr.'s that are treating our babies like their own. They truely are amazing.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A few pics

Here are a few pics we've taken over the past week.