Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday, February 28

Quick Update, as I am VERY tired tonight and can barely keep my eyes open. Today was a good day. Dr. Kansas reduced Jenna's CPAP rate from 20 to 10 this afternoon at 2. She has done very well with this new adjustment so far. Jenna's weight check will be later tonight. She sure looked bigger to me. Funny coincidence, when Blake weighed in at 2.11 I thought he sure looked bigger that night. Blake weighed in at 3.3 tonight, he gained another 2 ounces over night. He got a bath tonight and sure liked his hair being washed. He didn't care much for the rest of bath time. Jenna will be getting a bath in a couple hours.

I'm having to learn how to change their diapers all over again since they are in a new size. They are no longer in the "micro preemie" diapers but are in the preemie instead. There's a trick, you have to fold down the front a bit because they are in between sizes. Guess it'll take a few more times of practice to "prefect" the change. Sure am proud of the change though.

Friday's Report

I'm a few hours late but here is Friday's report.....

The big news is about Blake and Jenna's weight gain. Jenna is still responding real well t being put back on milk. She weighed in at 2 lbs 11 ounces! This is really good, I had a feeling that she would start to catch up to her "little brother" pretty quickly. Well, Blake did it! He surpassed his mommy and daddy's bet and weighed in lastnight at 3 lbs 1 ounce!!! He really is becoming a bog boy-haha.

My mom (known as MeMaw to Blake and Jenna) is in town this weekend to see the grandbabies. This is only the third time that she has seen them so she is real excited to be here. Of course, while she is here we are enjoying doing a little clothes shopping. It is a bit of a guessing game though on choosing the size we think they may be when they come home. There sure are some cute winter clothes which super clearance prices right now. Most of them are size 3-6months. I was thinking that they won't be "full term " size until close to their due date may 7 so they might be in 6m clothes by November. However, my mom made a good point in that when I was a baby, I was quite the "chunk" and wore clothes that were much older in size than what I actually was. I know Marice (Mimi) has told me that Jason was a big baby too. So, although that time seems it may be FOREVER before Blake and Jenna are chunky little babies, I see it as a real possibility. Can't wait to see them with chubby little cheeks. Blake appears to have a baby double chin in the works-haha.

Going to go for now and get ready to make some isolette covers for them. More updates later.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

30 Weeks con't.

Just got back from the hospital and let me tell ya, these little guys keep changing each and every day. The ounces that they are gaining are really making a difference. As we suspected, Jenna is doing well with being back on milk and gained 10 GRAMS, which puts her at 2 lbs 10 ounces tonight. Way to go Jenna! And Blake gained as well. He is now 2 lbs 15 ounces!! Haha, looks like Jason and I need to revise our bets. I said Blake will reach 3 lbs on Sunday but I now say it'll be tomorrow night. The prelim results of Jenna's head scan is not in yet so we are still anxiously waiting. I held her tonight, it was so nice. Each time, I feel that much more in love with them. Blake was a little cool, so we did not hold him tonight. He looked sooooooo comfortable all laid back in his bed that it would have been a shame to disturb him anyway. He was on his back with his legs stretched out and both of his arms stretched up over his head-haha. This is a position he choses while on his back. His nurse, at times, will move his arms down by his side or just inside his snugglie but he always moves them to the, what I like to call, the "lazy boy recliner position"....also known as the "tubing" position. He looks like he is ready to float down the Guadalupe River in a tube with his legs hanging over and his arms all stretched. Too cute! I keep telling Jason that I think Blake looks like him and looks to be taking on the Reid side while Jenna's skin tone is much different than his and seems to be taking on the Patranella side. Jenna's skin is darker and I think may have an olive undertone (Italian side) and her hair being darker too. Blake's skin is lighter as is his hair. Of course they are still so tiny and their cute little faces remain covered by the CPAP and tape. I'm sure they may look different as they continue to grow.

30 WEEKS!!! YAY!!!

Here we are-30 weeks! I am so excited. Jason called to check on them this morning and passed the report on to me. I haven't made it up there b/c I'm being bothered by allergies. I just want to make sure that is all that is going on before I go up there. Anyways, it seems Blake has sometimes been in somewhat of a very very deep sleep as he had 10 A's &B's lastnight. They checked his blood and it does not seem to indicate infection. They will continue to monitor him. Jenna hasn't had any since the 20th. Looks as if she needs to have a little talk with her "little" brother about the importance of remembering to breath at ALL times. Speaking of "little" brother, Blake weighed in at....drumroll........2 lbs 14 ounces!!!! Jason and I bet each other lastnight as to when we think he will reach 3lbs. I said March 1st and he said March 4th. Well, it looks as if Blake overheard and wants to surpass both of our guesses. 2 ounces to go! Jenna weighs 2 lbs 9 ounces. Since she was started back on milk, she has tolerated it well. I bet she starts to catch up in no time. She had a follow up head scan this AM. The prelim results have not come in yet. I pray so very hard that it brings good news.

Wow, our little girl has some strong lungs. The other night when I was holding her and she got too warm, she started fussing and made quite the ruckus. The way she was holding her head up and was determined to get the attention she needed was great to see. Such a spunky one!

I guess I'll see how I feel in the next few hours to determine if I can go up to see them. I'm not running any fever which is a good thing. It may be that this wind we have had has blown in something. I miss them already and it's only been since yesterday evening that we visited them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February 25, 2009

The kiddos are having a good day so far. Jason and I went for an earlier visit today and had some kangaroo time with the twins. Jason held Jenna tonight and talked to her almost the whole time. She always does so very well while being held and snuggled. Blake and I had a nice snuggle time too, although after a bit he started desatting a bit so it was time to return to his bed. While I held him I kept thinking about how big he is getting. From the outside, I'm sure that sounds so strange.....a baby who hasn't reached 3lbs yet and his momma saying he's big-haha. But really from what growth we've seen since he was a tiny tiny body at birth until now is amazing. He weighed in lastnight at 2 lbs 12 ounces. I changed Jenna's diaper today and it is actually time for her to graduate into bigger diapers too.

I watched "The Baby Story" today and afterwards felt a little sad and found myself shedding some tears (although the tear shedding is nothing new while watching that show). I was sad due to the fact that I don't like my associating the birth of my babies with fear, distress, uncertainty and sadness but I am afraid that is the case. Jason and I felt all of these things so intensely due to the nature of the early emergency c-section. We didn't feel the elation of happiness and overwhelming joy that parents are supposed to feel when their little ones finally make their appearance. No proud tears, only fear induced tears and heart breaking sadness that came with not knowing if they would live through the first week. I want to look back and feel happiness when I think of their birth. I thought and thought about this and tried to come up with a way to replace those unhappy and worrisome thoughts with those normally associated with your first child's birth. I simply cannot do so. I don't know how that feels or what that truly even looks like. However, what I can do is look into my angels' eyes and feel so very proud of them for being strong and having the will and desire to stay with us. I can speak to them, see them respond to our voices and cry "proud" tears, that they have made it so far since their birth. I can look at my husband holding our babies and feel an elation of happiness that our family is finally complete. And most of all, I can remember my childrens' birthdate as one of the most challenging experiences I have been faced with and know that I can face tomorrow with great joy knowing that I have my husband and children to share my life with. I will look back at the birth of my babies and be grateful that I was given the opportunity to carry them as long as I safely could and know that they are now in the best hands until they can come home with mommy and daddy, when we will no longer need to be apart.

Journaling again........every few days I experience some overwhelming feelings and some that I have a challenge working through. I strive to find the blessings that each one can lend if I just look hard enough. Sometimes easy...sometimes very very difficult. Regardless, I know in my heart that with the support of my family and friends, as I face this unique experience, I feel comfort in knowing that we will be just fine. I can't wait to share our home with them.

wednesday morning update

Well, here we are one day short of 30 weeks! Jason and I are starting to get really excited about being in the "thirties". I was reading one of my pregnancy books lastnight and it mentioned that at 29/30 weeks, you can start breathing easier b/c if your baby was born now, he/she would have a 9 of of 10 chance of surviving due to advancements in intensive care. Wow, being born 5/6 weeks prior to that, have we beat the odds or what?! Yes, being thirty never sounded so great-ha! So, a big milestone healthwise is 32 weeks. At 32, they should be healthier, stronger and putting on the weight pretty well. Then around 34weeks, they will try out bottle feeding. the way Blake goes to town on his paci, we suspect (and hope) he will take to it (and nursing) well. We have seen Jenna either suck or chew on hers as well.

Lastnight was nice, we got to hold them together again. I started holding Jenna before Jason held Blake b/c Blake was a bit cold and needed to reach and stay at warmer temperature before coming out of his isolette. I started off holding Jenna in a swaddled position. She was all bundled up in a blanket and I held her in my arms rather than on my chest. Jason got a couple really cute pictures of that. There is one that is by far one of my new favorite pictures of her. She did ok but started desatting a bit so Sue, her nurse, helped to set her up on my chest for some skin to skin bonding. She really really seemed to enjoy this position much better. She rested so well and for quite a bit of time. I noticed after about 4o minutes that it was getting pretty warm. I thought it may just be me but about ten minutes after that, Jenna woke up ANGRY. She started squirming and lifting her head. She held her head up for a good amount of time trying to turn it and just trying to tell me that something did not feel right. Her heart rate went up and she was fussing ans wiggling. It was time to put her back into bed. Turns out, the fussing was due to the fact that she was uncomfortable. Her temp had risen and she was just a bit too warm. It amazes me how strong she is. When she was lifting her head and holding it upright, I kept telling Jason, "Look at what she is doing!". She really is a little spitfire. Once she was placed in bed, she got comfortable again and slept soundly. My little angel girl knows what she wants and isn't afraid of letting us know when things need to be changed.

Jason and Blake had a long bonding time as well. He just lounged on daddy with his arms up and legs out-his preferred position. Jason's hand can still totally cradle Blake but he has gotten a lot bigger and does not look like he can get lost in daddy's hand anymore. He is definitely a growing boy. I think (and hope) that he will reach 3lbs before we know it. Jenna is not too far behind him, especially since she is starting on milk again. Jason always looks like he is just so relaxed and does not have a care in the world while he is holding the babies. He has definitely discovered his new "zen"-haha.

I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I am beginning to get a few things done around the house and will begin to start planning and preparing the babies' room soon. When I was faced with the orders of bedrest in the hospital for (what would've been until April/May), I had to accept the fact that I would need to rely on Jason and other family members to set up Blake and Jenna's room and that I wouldn't be partaking in that fun. I was also faced with the possibility of having baby showers in the hospital. Well, now I have been "given" those things back-haha. I can't wait to get started on their room.

I plan to start exercising today as I am ready to start slowly shedding some of this left over pregnancy weight and to get some good healthy energy back. I dread the exercising and yet look forward to it in many ways too. I haven't had to try and loose such an amount before so am preparing myself to having quite the job in doing so. My goal is to be in good shape when I go to pick up my, what will then appear to be, 'newborns" from the hospital when they are released in three to four months. How awesome would that be?! However, I am remaining realistic and will be totally happy to have at least lost some of it by then. Most importantly, I want to start off with a decent amount of energy when the precious little ones are home and will be demanding so much of it. I look forward to those days. I just want my babies at home with Jason and I where they belong. We are so fortunate to have such phenomenal nurses and doctors helping to get them to that point.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Pics

I've changed the album "Mid February" to "Mid/Late February pics" and added some new ones.
It's been a little while since I've had a chance to post, so there may be a bit of cath up in this one.

So, last night we went to the hospital for our evening visit. Beth and Rhonda were watching the twins for the evening. All the nurses and Dr.'s are super great, but the nurses that take care of them on a regular basis really get to know them and give them The best care possible. It also makes us rest easier when their regular nurses are on duty.
After we made our grand entrance, both Rhonda and Beth gave us the low down on their current status.

Both of them have been looking great and getting bigger. Jenna is gaining weight nicely (especially for being on IV and not milk), but hasn't grown in lenght nearly as much as Blake. She's looking nice and full these days.
I was absolutely amazed at how much bigger Blake looks. Everything from his lil hands to his overall length. Before we went up there Kim was telling me that Blake has pretty much out grown his Premie diapers and that they were also going to put him in a larger snuggie (thing that keeps him all bundled up and secure). He's kinda in between diapers as the premie ones are too small, but he's still swimming in the next larger size. haha.

I Love all the special lil things we get to witness with them, such as when they open their eyes, grip our finger, or just stretch and yawn, but a few things really stand out to me.
The first one is that, in the last week and a half, when we go visit them and talk to them, they are now opening their eyes and looking around when they hear our voice. Just the fact that they recognize our voice & look for us, really warms my heart and fills me with pride and joy. It's also pretty neat that their eyes track together instead of being all googly eyed. haha
While that is quite the awesome, my fav thing has always been their hands. I don't know what it is, but I'm facinated by them and could just stare at their lil hands forever. I LOVE it when they grip my finger with their lil fingers and hand. They grip so hard that their lil knuckles and finger tips turn white. Speaking of their hands...... When I talk to people, they often bring up the pics where I placed my wedding band on their arm and how much it really brings their scale into perspective. Well; that picture is no longer available to us. A couple weeks ago, I tried to get my ring over their hands and they are just too big these days! :-) My how they grow up fast......

Anyways..... After we got the low down on the kids, both Beth and Rhonda said that they were having a great day and that they'd like to spend some quality time with us, so it was time to get our Kangaroo on!
It's such a big production getting them out of their issolette and into our arms, but Beth and Rhonda are pro's and make it look easy.
While Beth got Blake settled into my arms, mom got to watch and see Blake looking around. It's amazing how much they recognize us these days. A short couple minutes after we get settled in, they really relax and seem to enjoy themselves. When we are touching or holding them, their O2 requirements go way down. The nurses often comment on how well they do when we get to hold them.

While we were holding the twins, my folks stopped by for a lil visit. They got to hang out, chat, & just watch the lil ones while they were being held.

It was a pretty neat evening with the kiddo's. One I am sure to remember.

Monday, February 23, 2009

29 1/2 Weeks!!!!

Tonight was a pretty special night. It had been a few days since we got to hold our special little miracle babies. Jason and I were especially happy to hear that they had had a good day and would be able to get some kangaroo time in tonight. Beth helped set Blake up with Jason and Rhonda set Jenna up to visit with me. I got some cute pics of Jason and Blake before my and Jenna's snuggle time started. He was opening his eyes. Jenna peeked a few times while I was holding her as well. We all four got to sit near one another, so their fantastic nurses got a couple family pics in. I can't possibly describe the feelings of joy I have when I am holding them. We have wanted a baby for so long and have been blessed with two! While the nature of the their delivery was one of shock, disbelief and abrupt decision making, we can truly say we can't possibly be happier that we are nearing week 30. It is a bit strange knowing we have babies that are almost 30weeks gestational age but are nearing 6 weeks of age. What a concept! I NEVER imagined becoming a mom would, or even could, be this way. I remember asking Jason every day, "What do you think the babies will look like?" and "Do you think they will have hair?" and saying, "I am going to be SOO Huge!". I had already gained nearly 40lbs at 6months/delivery. While I do still wish at times I was still carrying my little bundles of joy, protecting them from the pokes and prods and suctioning and all that is involved with their care, I do feel extremely fortunate to see their beautiful faces and to watch the amazing growth and changes from day to day. I've always heard moms say that their babies changed day to day and grew so much right before their eyes. Blake and Jenna do truly change from day to day and I am so happy that Jason and I are able to witness these miraculous developments.

Jenna weighed in at 2 lbs 8 ounces and measured 13 inches long tonight, which is good beings that she has only been on IV fluids for the pat week. It looks as though they may start her back on milk tomorrow. Blake is at a whopping 2lbs 11 ounces. He continues to grow in length. He is now at 14.2 inches long!!!! Looks like he is going to take after his daddy. My mom told me today that Blake and Jenna reminds her of her and her twin brother. She had dark hair when she was born and he had blonde. Looks like we may have one blonde and one very dark brunette (or black haired) coming home with us. Too cute!!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Smooth Sunday

Dr. Dakowski called with a good report today. According to him, they have both had a "quiet" day. We LOVE quiet days! Jenna is now on a rate of 20bpm and has had no apnea. She weighed in at 2lbs 7oz lastnight. Blake weighed in at 2lbs 9oz (in case you hadn't noticed that report in latnight's post). He is having a good day today as well.

All in all it has been a nice weekend, both for the babies and for "mommy and daddy". Jason and I had a few social "outings". Really the first time in a few weeks. We went to a Dripping Springs faculty social gathering Friday night. It was really nice to see my friends from school/work. I hadn't talked to many of them since the Wednesday before I was admitted to the hospital. Jason got to meet many of the people he often hears me refer to so that was nice. Just updating and filling people in really brught back some of those early experienced emotions and the memories of what a crazy whirlwind of events we have experienced in the last six weeks. Boy has 2009 been an eventful year so far! I think we would both happily welcome some pretty low key weeks to come (other than some celebrations of making it to our NICU milestones). Anyway, we went and visited the babies on our way home which topped the night off perfectly. Saturday morning we visited with the babies again for a couple hours. We just can't get over how big they are looking. Then later yesterday things worked out to where we got to have lunch with brother, sister and niece Kaylee. We hadn't seen them in a while so that was fun. One of our favorite pass times is to go out for dinner. We met up with some friends for a later dinner lastnight at The Melting Pot. We had never been there before, it was quite the dining experience. We were there for about 3 1/2 hours. everything was really good. We left there at 11:30 then stopped at the hospital to tuck Blake and Jenna in and to tell them goodnight. We finally got home a little after 1AM. Haha, the nature of late nights out on the town sure have changed for us.

We are looking forward to our evening visit with Blake and Jenna. Maybe we they can both get some kangaroo time in tonight.

Saturday Report

Blake and Jenna had a good day today. We were fortunate enough to see their eyes open a few times today. Other than holding them, there is nothing better right now than to see them open their eyes in response to hearing our voices. Each time this happens, I feel myself being slowly wrapped around their tee-tiny little fingers-haha. Jenna is looking good and healthy, as is Blake. They haven't had hats on today so we have been able to see more of them.

Jason and I actually went out tonight with some friends for dinner and were out until 11:30. We decided to stop by to tell the babies goodnight. I got a little kangaroo time with Jenna since she has been doing much better and has had a real steady day. Jason had colone on, so he thought it would be better for me to hold her. I was happy to do it, it had been a few days due to her infection. She is just a doll! She opened her eyes while I was rocking and talking to her. As I looked down at her I realize once more how very small she is. Her little ears are so tiny and her slender fingers just fluttered about on my skin. I cherish these times with her and can't wait for the day when holding her won't involve the accompaniment of the tubes and wires. But until then, I will take every little bit I can get.

As usual, Blake was trying his best to avoid being all curled up the the fetal position. He does not seem to enjoy being all tucked in with legs and arms curled up. Nope, he seems to like the "lazy boy recliner" position. Daddy changed quite a stinker of a diaper tonight-haha. After he changed him, Blake stiffened his back and legs when Beth tried to position hi tightly in his snuggie. It is quite the humorous thing to see.

Well, it is late so time to catch some sleep.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 21, 2009

Ok, I am breathing a bit easier today. Jenna looks quite a bit better, not as swollen. She has had a good day. The test for infection is still coming back negative. I went in this morning to check on them. I didn't sleep well at all lastnight. I couldn't get visions of my little girl's pretty little face and otherwise dainty little hands being all swollen and puffy. Thankfully, the swelling had gone down over night. The doctors are pleased with how she has reacted to the meds and the way that she is "behaving". Blake was doing pretty well. I visited for a short time between running errands and then heading to Dripping Springs to go visit my students. This was the first time I've seen them since the Wednesday before being unexpectedly admitted into the hospital.

The visit went well. I sure do miss those guys. I went in to the classroom and they were all welcoming me with smiles that stretched ear to ear. They sat on the carpet while I sat and told them how much I missed each of them. I shared some pictures of Blake and Jenna with them. I then asked them if they had any questions. I was a bit leary about offering this "question and answer" session but had prepared myself for the possibilities. They are so sweet and were always so interested in the babies while I was pregnant, that I felt it was good to give them a chance to inquire about them. As you can imagine, second graders had an interesting collection of questions. Do they have hair? Are their eyes open? What do they eat? How big do they have to be to go home? Then there were questions like, do they make noise? Do they cry? Are their cries loud? Do they have teeth? What are their first words? haha! Oh, and one of my true animal lovers asked me (while having a very concerned look on her face) who was taking care of my dogs while we were at the hospital. One of the best parts was when they asked if I am coming back next year and if I am, will I teach 2nd grade again or could I please teach third grade since they will be in 3rd. That and they thanked me for the Valentine goodie bags and notes I had sent them. They also showed me a piece of manilla paper where they had measured and drew lines the lengths of Blake and Jenna. I'm glad they know I still think of them often. forward to the evening visit to the hospital.

Jason and I visited them late tonight. They both look real good. Gosh, even though we have been in the NICU for over five weeks now it still seems so strange sometimes to talk about visiting our babies! Anyways, it is so neat to see little things that reflect their personalities. They were both sleeping on their tummies. Blake was as stretched out as he could get. He likes to push against his snuggie. He looks so long laying there. Jenna was all snuggled and tucked into her snuggie. She occasionally sucked on her paci tonight. I told Jason that it would be funny to go home with one black haired baby and one blonde. Jenna's hair is real dark and still getting thicker. Blake's hair is quite a bit lighter when you see it in the light. Oh, and Blake weighed in tonight at a whopping 2lbs 8 ounces!!!!! Jenna hadn't been weighed yet.

Well, it is REALLY late. Actually, it is Saturday morning in the wee hours of the morning so it's time for some sleep. Can't wait to see the little angels in a few hours.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Late Night Update

Just called to check in. Blake has had a few A's and B's but otherwise is fine.

Poor Jenna had to get a PIC line IV put in. It took an hour to do!!! We feel so bad for her. Once she was given a sedative she didn't fuss and was very cooperative. This is the stuff that breaks our hearts. All the poking and proding of IVs and tubes. Poor baby is so swollen. The swelling is due to the infection as well as the blood she is given. She is given meds to counteract the swelling so hopefully they will kick in soon. The PIC line was placed because it can be used for a longer amount of time than a regualr IV. Since she will be given antibiotics for a few days and will be receiving IV fluids, it was decided that a PIC line would be best. We just hate it though, she was just poked yesterday when given a regular IV. Tonight the regular IV was replaced with the PIC line. We just hate seeing her so swollen. We are very grateful though, that she seems to be fighting this incfection quite well. We just pray that this infection will be gone soon and that our little girl feels much better.

Dr. Su delivers some pretty good news

Good ole Dr. Su called with an update.
You may have read in a prev post that Dr. Su is their primary Dr, and we couldn't feel more fortunate about that. He's way awesome, that's fo sho. He frequently calls us with updates, even if there are no profound changes and it's a "normal" day. I have to do the quotes because "normal" in the NICU is crazy insane for the real world.

Anyway.... Jenna's latest lab results came back negative again. Good sign. She's slightly swollen and a little red, so he thinks she does have an infection, but that it's too weak to enter the body. So, he'll keep her on antibiotics for a few more days. She's been breathing well and hasn't had many apnea's at all. She's also continuing to gain weight. He said he'll probably start her feeding in a couple more days.
That's pretty much sums things up for Jenna.

Blake is doing very good as well. He got a little tired of doing all the hard breathing work on his own, so they gave him a little help by setting the CPAP machine to give him breaths again. He's currently on 20bpm. He's doing great with his feeding and is growing quite well. This past Sunday he measured 13.8 inches long! That's a pretty good improvement from his birth length of 12.4" just 5 weeks ago.

All in all, the kids are doing pretty good. Jenna's news had really helped calm our nerves and re-assure us that she's getting better and this was only a minor set back.

Ya know; the hardest part of the whole NICU experience (at least for me) is that we can have several great days, then at a moments notice everything can turn around, & one of the kids can face a major challenge. At the same time, there are surprising gifts that get snuck in there as well. Case in point: the other night I was talking to Jenna and touched her cheek. With that touch she started suckling on her feeding tube. It was pretty neat. Suckling is a developmental milestone that they should reach around 32-34wks. I asked Dr. Su if that was a good indication; he said the absence of it would be an indicator, but that early reaction was nice, but doesn't really tell us how things may turn on later on. Either way, it was way cute and I loved seeing it.

Time to get some work done.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jenna and Blake's Family and Friends

Wow, we have an amazing support system- an enormous prayer circle, lots of followers, a big wonderful family, lots of friends and even some friends of friends who we've met a few of. We are so fortunate to have so many people sending well wishes and positive thoughts our way. Jason and I both believe in the power of positive thinking and positive outlook and believe that all of the positive thoughts that are surrounding our precious Blake and Jenna are helping to keep them strong and help them to continue growing. The power of prayer is truly amazing and lends for some much needed miracles.

We enjoy hearing from you all, the comments are so encouraging. We check the blog each night for comments. We also like to look at the map occasionally to see all of the locations of people who have read our blog. It is awesome to see the widespread support. It is obvious that you all are sharing our experience with family and friends, as we do not personally know anyone in many of the locations that are shown on the map. We even have support coming from South Africa and Sweeden! We are (happily)astonished by the spread of hope and well wishes that we are receiving. We would love to hear from more of you. We can't possibly thank you all enough. We have many hurdles yet and much time to be spent in the NICU but we have made it through some pretty tough times so far. Thanks for helping to see us through. We are looking forward to the day in which we are both holding our babies and walking through the front door of our home the first time as a family. It will truly be a most joyful day.
~Kim and Jason, Blake and Jenna

Mid Week

Today we'll start off with the good news....

Blake has been doing Great on his CPAP breathing settings. So well that Dr. Su will continue to wean him off even more. They'll both be on CPAP until around week 32, but they can reduce the settings to where the kids are pretty much breathing on their own. 
He continues to do well on his feeding, and is growing growing. 

Now onto the part that we dread.  (this part edited to include more information after talking to Dr. Su)
Jenna has been doing pretty good since she went on the antibiotics and they raised her breathing settings. She only had one A&B last night and hasn't had any today. So that's great news. 
The down side is that there can be some issues with the infection. If everything goes to plan, then the antibiotics will do their job and she'll recover quickly. The most severe complication is that if the infection gets into the blood stream, it can then get into the spinal fluid. That can cause big issues as then, it can be transferred to the brain (because the blood/brain barrier isn't very developed in premies). Because of her earlier issues with brain hemorrhage, this can cause some serious issues i.e. Meningitis. Meningitis would mean an increased risk of developmental issues later in life. The good news is that they would treat meningitis with the very same antibiotics that they put her on at the first sign of an issue. The positive is that there was no detection of bacteria in the blood culture after 24hrs. Hopefully we won't see one tonight at the 48hr mark. IF there is an infection, there is about an 80% chance it will be seen at the 24hr mark & a 95% change it'll present itself at the 48hr mark. Even if the blood culture is neg, there could still have been an infection, but the infection may not have entered the body, or was so weak that it just didn't grow well. Ahhhhhh the unknown.... welcome to our life. haha

But I digress. So far Jenna has been active and has responded so well, that they are happy with the way things are going. IF her culture comes back posative, then they'll do a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to verify the strain of bacteria and how serious it is. They'll also do a head sonogram to determine if it's entered the brain. They would also continue the antibiotics for a longer period. 
Another cause to her initial Apnea would be NEC (Necrotizing Endrocolitus [plz forgive the spelling or wrong med name]). This is where a bacteria is eating away at the intestines. Dr. Su doesn't think this is the cause as babies usually get Very sick if they have NEC and besides the Apnea and a small amount of blood in the stool, she's not behaving like she has NEC
When all this started, they took xrays of her stomach and intestines because of the possibility of NEC, but everything looked perfect. When they did that, they did notice that her feeding tube had shifted back into her stomach. This in itself could have caused Everything from the blood in stool, to the apnea and lower platelet count. But... being the professionals that they are, they weren't going to wait around for more symptoms, they went ahead and treated things that could develop into bigger issues if left un treated. 

Hopefully I don't bombard y'all with way too much information. Kim and I want to know every possible aspect of their health and treatment. It really helps us understand the situation and deal with things as they come. We are the kind of people that if we understand things, we are better able to make decisions and cope, where as the unknown really makes things difficult for us. Unfortunately, NICU life is full of unknowns.  

So.... the short of it is that she's doing really good right now. The antibiotics seem to be working as she's acting normal and healthy and her breathing is good. If she continues to do good, Dr. Su would like to begin her feedings tomorrow. But, as with everything in their situation, things can change at a moments notice and there seems to always be the chance for serious problems. NICU life in general. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mid February Pics

Very Special Kangaroo Time

Tonight was really really nice. Blake is having a good night and Heather felt he was in good standing for some kangaroo time. He was looking around for some time before and seemed very curious to what was going on around him. That's one reason Heather felt it might be a good time for him to come out of his isolette. Jason decided that since he had colone on that he would pass until tomorrow. These little guys skin and all can get irritated very very easily. So, I very happily accepted the opportunity. What made it so very special tonight is that he laid in my arms...uh..well, actually it was my hand in a cradles position so I was able to watch him while we rocked. It was amazing! We rocked together for about 40minutes and he kept his eyes open and was looking around for about 30 minutes! So I took this opportunity to tell him a story or two. The funny thing is, I was enjoying watching him look around so much that I just wanted to keep talking to him in hopes that he would stay interested and alert~haha. I told him all about his home and about his family. We talked about many of the books that I plan on reading to him and his sissy. He was just so cute looking at me and responding to my voice. Then, he finally got pretty tired, gave a huge yawn and slowly closed his eyes while I hummed him to sleep. He started getting a little chilly so Heather came over and placed him in his bed. It was so very nice to get a taste of what is to come when we have him and his sister at home. All of us as a family.

Jenna was pretty alert for while tonight too. Jason hung out with her for a while while I was having kangaroo time with Blake. He said she just looked around and was pretty active. She has some peeling of the skin on her feet and a few other places. The doctor checked it out and seems to think it is due to the infection which is looking like staff. We will get the blood results tomorrow. She weighed in tonight at 2.3, as did Blake. We aure hope Jenna gets over this infection quickly. She seems to be comfortable but we just want her well again. I got some really cute pictures of her holding Jason's finger tonight. I can only imagine looking back at these pictures one day while she and her brother are running around the house and think back at how very small they once were.

Update on Jenna

Talked to the Dr. a little while ago.

Dr. Dekowski said that he's not concerned with another Ventricular Hemorrhage as those things almost always happen within the first few days of life. She's already got another head ultrasound scheduled for Fri.
She's been doing pretty good today. She's only had one A&B, and she's been doing very good on her new CPAP settings. We should have the blood culture results back tomorrow, which will tell us if there is an infection and what flavor. It is possible last nights Apnea's were caused by something simpler (stomach or gut not strong enough), but is usually the result of an infection.
So, for now she's doing good while the antibiotics do their thing and she rests up. We should have more definitive news tomorrow.

Blake is doing great. Just chuggin along with his feeding and a very gradual reduction of his breathing settings.

That's all there is to report right now. Thanks for keeping up with their ongoing journey.

The NICU dance

Things have been going very good. A little too good in fact.

A little while after we got home last night, we were getting ready for bed when we got a call from Dr. Chu at 11pm.
Jenna had a big increase in her A's & B's to where they were hitting every 10min or so. That was very unusual, so they did a blood test and found that she was low on her blood platelets.
To help with her breathing, they increased her settings to 20bps. They also stopped her feeds & put in an iv to give her blood products (platelets).
The most common reason for these symptoms is an infection. However, this really worried us as this was similar to when she had her Ventricular hemorrhage.
As you can imagine, this was not exactly the news of sweet dreams.

After talking about it (worrying) for a lil while, I called Beth (her night nurse) to get a little more clarification. She basically told me the same thing with the addition that they immediately started her on antibiotics. I asked about a head bleed and she said that the Dr. didn't mention it. I asked her to ask the Dr. if they were going to do a head ultrasound.

At 6:45am Beth called back just to let me know that Jenna had been doing great through the night. The increase of her breathing settings seemed to help quite a bit and she only had one Apnea during the night. She must have forgot to ask the Dr. about the possibility of bleeding on the brain.

Soooo the latest info is that she's doing really well on the current settings. So well that they may start her feeds back up again. Her platelet's are looking good after getting the blood transfusion. They send a blood sample to the lab to determine if there is an infection and if so, what specific type.
Still haven't received any info on doing a head ultrasound or the possibility of bleeding. It's starting to annoy me a bit. Pappa bear is about to show his not so nice side. It's probably nothing, but it's eerily similar to the IVH (intra ventricular hemorrhage) she had a lil while ago, which has got us pretty worried.

On the good side: She's been doing very well this morning & they may start her feeding up again.
Blake is doing fantastic. He's doing much better on the lower breathing settings, and his tummy is a little smaller.
He caught up to his big sis on feedings (7cc an hr). He gained weight last night.
Last night Rhonda was just about to give him a bath when we rolled in, so I helped while Kim held Jenna. He's not a big fan of the bath time. He's sooo funny; when he gets upset he kicks his legs out and throws his arms up. Not to mention the pissed off look on his face. hehe
Not sure if he's completely wore out by the time she washes his head, or he actually likes it, but he just goes limp when he gets his head washed. haha.
I don't know if it's us newbie parents, or their tiny size, but this whole process is amazing to us.

Monday, February 16, 2009

32 days old

Today has been a good day. Jason and I just got back from visiting. Jenna and I spent some time snuggling (kangaroo time) tonight. She did so well. It only took her a few seconds to settle down from being moved from her bed and then she and I sat and rocked for quite a while. she was all tucked in and stayed very still while she slept peacefully. I could've stayed there all night with her resting with me. She is down to a rate of 10 on her BPM, which is really really good. She weighed in at 2lb 4oz!

Blake has a huge "CPAP belly" right now. This is due to some of the air from the CPAP going down into his belly. This may be part of the reason for the increased bradies that he has had. They lowered his rate to try and help reduce some of that. With such a full belly, it may make it a bit more difficult to breathe. He has had less bradies since then. He got a bath tonight while I was having kangaroo time with Jenna. Jason went over and held his hands and assisted in the bathing. Blake was not fond of bathtime tonight and when it was all done he was out like a light. It just takes so much energy out of a little guy, getting a bath and all. He weighed in at 2lb 2oz. Right before we left we took another look and he was doing what he often does-pushing his feet against his snuggie and stretching his legs. Boy, he is going to have some nice muscles-haha.

We are so thankful for steady days like these. It is starting to set in, the length of stay we have ahead of us. We are just really anxious to have our babies home with us.

New Pictures Posted

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday, Jan. 15th

Jenna went up to 7cc/hr tonight. Earlier she weighed in at 2.2lbs, she hadn't been weighed tonight last time we checked. She has done well on CPAP. They moved her down to 15BPM!!!! That's our girl! She was transferred to another isolette this afternoon. Same spot, just into a freshly cleaned one. She did excellent with the transfer.

Blake has had an okay day. He has had a few A's and B's. He went up on his CPAP a bit. He lost a few grams but is still holding a little over 2lbs. He has been munching away at his paci again. It is really cute to see him do it.

Haven't posted new pics yet. It is really late again tonight so I will try to post them in the morning.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Best Valentine's Day Yet

My most memorable Valentine's Day was back when I was in fourth grade in Mrs. Ward's class. I received a special Valentine's Day card from a boy I had a huge crush on. I remember thinking, ..."Wow, this is the BEST Valentine's Day ever!

Many years have passed and there have been many Valentine Day celebrations since my fourth grade year. Still, that Valentine's Day back in 1982 had always remained my most memorable and favorite. UNTIL today...................

Today, Jason and I spent a great amount of time with our littlest "sweethearts". We were able to kangaroo hold side by side, which made it a true "family event". Jason held Jenna and I held Blake. We were able to sit near each other with our babies and rock them as they rested on our chests. It was truly an amazing feeling to have all four of us this close together, really for the first time. We have been on cloud nine since. Each day I fall even more head over heels over these two very special miracle babies. And today, we both fell in over our heads-haha.

It is true, the memory of my fourth grade special Valentine card has stayed with me through the years but today there's been a new memory form that has by far become my favorite. No other Valentine's Day has had what it took and I am pretty confident that there won't be another anytime soon that will "out run" this special Valentine's Day. (Thanks Anna and April for arranging things is such a way for us to sit as a family). We even received the BEST Valentine card ever. It was from Blake and Jenna (with a little help from Anna and April)! It has Blake's foot print and Jenna's foot print, heel to heel. Their footprints form a heart and it has a special poem to go along with it. It says:

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Our feet are so tiny
Because we couldn't wait to meet you!
Blake and Jenna's card that has melted my heart today. No card can possibly top this one! Today, I heard a grown up version of that little girl voice in my head say, "Wow, today is the best Valentine's Day ever!

Again, our blog has become my journal today. I just had to share today's events with our family and friends. I am working on posting new pics now. Check them out! I think you will find that both Blake and Jenna are growing nicely.

They are both having a good day with feeds and settings. Dr. Su decided to try and make a couple slight adjustments to their CPAP settings. They both have done very well with the added "responsibilities" today. We are so very proud of them. Jenna's head scan looks about the same. The ventricles look, if anything, smaller and the previous thought that there was damaged surrounding tissue seems to have not been the case.

Today has been a blessing that we are very thankful for. We continue to pray for continued strength and growth and that Jenna continues to overcome the brain hemorrhage without complications.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mommy gives Blake a bath!!!

I am so excited about our visit tonight.

We went to the hospital a bit later tonight. On our way we decided to call them to let them know we would soon be there with some bottles so that they wouldn't have to take any out of the freezer. We spoke to Heather and she mentioned that Janice was away from her desk getting things prepared for Blake's bath. We got to see Jenna get her bath lastnight so I really wanted to see Blake get his. Heather was nice enough to ask Janice to wait a few minutes until we go there. We were excited to hear her agree to wait.

Once we got there, Janice told Blake that mommy was going to give him a bath. My face MUST have lit up. I would get to give my little 2lb 3 oz baby boy a bath! Ha-Now, I played "house" a many of times growing up and played mommy a million times. However, I never dreamed that I would be giving such a tiny baby a bath. Janice asked me if I wanted to. "Absolutely", I believe was my reply. It was great! The key, she said, is to do it fast so that we could make sure he stayed warm enough and wasn't "disturbed" for too long. Granted, at this stage, they are still having "sponge baths" but never the less there is some scrubbing and hair washing involved. Okay, so I had a tub of warm, soapy water and soft little cotton gauze cloths to wash him with. He did well. At times he wasn't too fond of the scrubbing part but at others he seems to just stretch out. But, the cleaning behind the ears was definitely something he did not approve of. We have a great picture of that. He wrinkled his little brow and squinched his eyes so tight you would think that he was squeezing lemons with his little eye lids. The cutest part was when I scrubbed his back, we saw that he has finally grown tiny little butt cheeks. Haha-he looks like a little wrinkled old man from behind. So cute!!! Once I washed his hair, it was like turning on a switch. He was relaxed and calm. Each night, we talk to, sit with and touch our babies. But, I am so grateful to have been able to do this tonight. It was truly special. Thanks Janice. Proud daddy Jason was there taking pictures the whole time.

Jenna is doing great. We really enjoyed sitting with her tonight just talking to her and watching her little fingers flutter about from time to time. We just can't get over how long her hair is getting. Lastnight when she got her bath, her hair on the back of her head near her neck was feathered. It looked so soft and shinny. What a beauty!

Well, while there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss being pregnant, and miss my big pregnant belly (you all know how much I enjoyed the pregnant belly), it is days like these that make those "voids" much more bearable. It IS true, we are missing out on some of the perks of a "normal" 9 month pregnancy and that is very difficult to deal with at times but it is the circumstances that we are experiencing that makes days like these so very special.


Friday happenings

Dr. Su called a little while ago with an update.
Both are doing Great today, as they've done most of the week!

Blake has been moving down on his CPAP settings. He went from 30 BPS (breaths per second) down to 25. His O2 is in the mid 20's, which is awesome after the setting change.
He's on 5.6cc's per hour and will be moving up to 6cc's in a few hours. Because he's doing so good with his feeding and he's getting all the nutrients he needs from milk, they no longer need the IV at this time. They've left it in the last couple days just in case he needed it for some reason. But, it's getting to the end of when they are still good in the vein, so they are going to remove it later today.
Last night he weighed in at a whopping 2lb 3oz! That's a gain of 3oz in one night. Not too shabby.

Jenna is doing just as great as Blake.
She too went down on her BPS from 30 to 25 & is handling it just as good. She's also in the mid 20's on her O2.
Her feeding is at 6.3cc's per hour. I'm not really sure what she weighed in at last night. I either forgot, or wasn't told.... not sure which.

Another good day in the making! Way to go kiddo's.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

28 weeks.... AKA.... 4 weeks old!!!!

Well, here we are at 28 weeks. Blake and Jenna are now 4 weeks old. And what a great way to celebrate! Jason, Blake, Jenna and I had some great family time today. This has been, by far, one of my best days as mom in the NICU. Jason and I were at the hospital for a big part of the day today and Blake and Jenna were both able to come out for some really good bonding time. I got to hold Jenna for quite some time today. It was so nice just sitting together and having daddy near and Blake not too far either. Our baby girl did really well while out visiting with us. She and I were so relaxed and cozy. When it was time to place her back in bed, Anna asked if I wanted to put in her in her bed. Nervously, I said yes. It is such a production to take her from her bed to place her on our chests, and then back to her bed again. I was a bit afraid of not holding her the right way when transporting her. She is just so small and is connected to so many monitors and then there are the long CPAP tubes. However, it turned out just fine. I really enjoyed helping to make her comfy and cozy back in her bed.

April was back today and was with Blake. Shortly after our visit with Jenna, it was Blake and daddy's turn. Blake is so funny. Again, while waiting for daddy to get set up, he just laid back all stretched out. He really did well hanging out with daddy today. They rocked together for about 30 minutes. Jason agrees with me that there is something special about holding your warm little angels in your arms that make you so relaxed and calm.

We went to dinner and then went back to the hospital. We arrived just in time to watch Jenna get her bath. They still get sponge-type baths. This is the first one we have watched. Jenna didn't seem to like her bath until it got time to wash her hair. She seemed to like the head massage. Janice was with Blake tonight and reports that she had "withdrawls" and missed her little buddy. I think he missed her too. They've gotten to know each other pretty well-haha. We are so happy to have such caring nurses!

I'm feeling much better today and almost a bit embarrassed about feeling down yesterday. I am so truly grateful for each and every moment we have with our babies. And although it is very very difficult at times. I take much comfort in knowing that the day will come when we get to do all the things that we long to do as a family. The day that we bring our babies home will be such a celebration.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Same ole same ole

Got the morning update a little while ago.

Anna & April are taking care of them today. Yay!

Pretty much as the title says. Same ole same ole.
Jenna had two heart rate drops (A's & B's) through the night and one this morning for Anna. That's not bad at all for such lil ones. Her feeds are going good and she's trying to catch up with her brother on weight. She's still at the 1lb 15oz mark, but she's been gaining grams of weight each night. If she gains a couple more today, she should break into 2lb territory!
So all in all, she's doing great.

Blake is pretty much doing the same.
A couple A's & B's but nothing out of the ordinary. Eating well and tolerating it. Growing, resting.... You know.... The Micro Preemie thang.

Every Thu the NICU puts on a class for the parents (Parent University) @ 2pm, so I'm finishing up some work, then heading to the hospital to get some education.
Anna said that Miss Jenna Lu has been doing good today, so we should get a lil parental bonding time and do some Kangaroo. If Blake has been behaving, he'll get a short reprieve from the isolette as well.
Momma really really enjoyed her Blake time last night, but it was rather short @ only 15min. His O2 saturation went down into the 60% range, so it was time to put him back in his lil home. Kinda a bummer to only get 15min, but it doesn't really bother us. Any time at all is a blessing and it just makes us look forward to the next time even more.

The whole baby thing hasn't exactly gone to plan, but we feel very fortunate to have our lil ones with us and are cherishing every experience.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday Night

Just following up from Jason's earlier post.

Jenna and Blake are doing well tonight. Not a lot to report from earlier other than the fact that I got some kangaroo time in with Blake. When Delia handed Blake to me tonight, he was still in his snuggie. When she brought him close to me, she handed him to me in a cradled position and when I looked down at him all snuggled up and held him for a split moment in my arms, something about this made me finally feel like I was acting like a "real mom"....doing wjat real moms do. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love having my babies rest on my chest. There is nothing like it. Not sure what made tonight's "transition" from isolette to my arms (although it was only a few seconds) so different and so very special. Perhaps it was that I have longed to hold my little ones in my arms and look down at them while they rest. Looking back, when I found out I was pregnant, I had this vision of looking down at my babies while they were laying in my arms.

While doing kangaroo care, Jenna and Blake rest on our bare chests. When they are in that position, and with them being so teeny tiny, you really can't see them well. You can see the top of their heads (or oversized hats in this case) and a fluttering little hand but you don't really get a good look at your beautiful babies while they rest on you. You don't get to just sit, hold and gaze at your baby. Part of me thinks....gosh, don't be so picky, at least you get to hold them occasionally. Yes, this is true but I guess in one way I feel cheated in the new parent experience. So far I STILL have not been able to hold my baby AND just sit and look at him/her at the same time. This must seem a bit strange unless you have been a NICU parent and this must almost sound a bit over the top but it is a feeling that I am experiencing. Now, I know that it is a matter of months that we, too, will parent our newborns just like the next new parent but it sure is hard having to wait so long. But enough of that....I am teetering on the self pity emotions that are part of this experience. So............let me move on. I have made a promise to myself that when the time comes, I will make sure not to take any of the new mommy perks for granted. At the same time, I strive to realize and enjoy each mommy perk that I am currently experiencing. I thank God for every minute I am able to reach in and touch and bond with my precious babies while they rest in their isolettes. Tonight's kangaroo time with Blake was so very rewarding. Just holding the little bundle was amazing. I wouldn't trade this very special time for anything.

~Good News!!!~
Jenna was able to go down on her CPAP pressure this afternoon, which is a really really good thing. Since this adjustment was made, it was suggested that we give her time to adjust and get used to the change. In doing so, we skipped kangaroo time with her tonight. We are so proud of how she has done so far. Can't wait to hold her again!!!!

Smooth sailing so far

Called in to check on the lil ones and spoke with Anna.

Today has been a pretty chill day for the twins. Not much going on; which translates into a pretty good day.

Jenna only had one Apnea. All her other stats are pretty much the same.
Mid 30's on her O2. Still at 5.7cc's on her feeds.
This morning Jenna had her eyes wide open while she checked out the world around her. She was also pretty active and squirming around.

Blake is pretty similar. He's in the low 30's on O2. 3.7cc's on feeding. Not much to report.

The Dr. (Dr. Su) hasn't made rounds yet, so hasn't set forth today's orders on feeds or CPAP settings yet.

Both of them have had a very uneventful day.
Right now, they are in the "boring" phase of the NICU, as some people tend to call it.
They aren't really going for any huge milestones right now, just growing, eating more, & staying healthy. Because of that, some of our posts may in turn be rather boring.
But that's ok; we don't like Drama around our house, so this works out well for us. :)

Anyway; hope everyone else is having as good a day as we are!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Some Tue night snuggles

Just got back from visiting the kiddo's.

They were so cute tonight. Both of them were in exactly the same position, all snuggled up.
Jenna had a Brady right as we walked into the bay, but she quickly recovered on her own. Heather said she had already had another one in the hour she was there. Sooooo unfortunately she wasn't behaving enough to gain a lil outside time. Mom was sad, but we both understand that she needs to be in a good state in order to handle the stress of being moved around and out of her isolette.
So, we just sat with her and watched her sleep.

Blake was doing pretty much the same thing except he didn't had any A's & B's.
Deena said Blake seemed stable enough to give Kangaroo care a shot. This was Blake's second outing and the first time mom got to hold him & she was glowing!
He did pretty good. He didn't d sat and seemed very comfortable after we got all settled in.
Him and mom had about 15min of snuggle time before he was tuckered out and ready to rest again.

Both of them have been doing very good with their breathing. Both are down into the low 30's on their O2.
Jenna gained back an oz and is at 1lb 15oz. Sun she measured in at 12.25 inches long. She's still on the same amount of feeding.
Blake gained another oz and BROKE THE 2LB MARK!!!! Whooo Hoooo
Their weight has been fluctuating a bit, so he'll probably hover around this weight for a couple more day before putting this milestone behind him. Still an awesome thing though!
He measured in at a stringy 13.25 inches. He's grown quite a bit since his grand entrance.
His feeds remain the same.

We are very thankful for another good day. Hopefully we can string about 30 more like this one. ;-)


Jason worked from home today so we got a morning visit in together this morning. When we got there and peeked in at Blake, he was "fighting his boundaries". haha He kept stretching his legs out of his snuggie. He also had his arm stretched out. Sure reminds me of when I was pregnant with them. Blake was always stretching out. Most of the time I could feel his feet way low and his head up in my ribs. I told Jason several times, I think he is standing up in there. On most of the sonograms, he was sitting upright. Guess he prefers to be all reclined and stretched out even today. Think he'll ask for a Lazy Boy recliner by the time he is home? haha Jenna was all bundled up and resting nicely. I just can't get over how shinny her hair is. That and it has gotten pretty thick and is getting longer. So cute!

They both went up a .7cc on their feeds. Blake is at 3.7/hr and Jenna is at 5.7cc/hr. Last time we called and checked on them this afternoon, Jenna was at 30 o2-yay!!!

Well, we are about to make our evening visit. Hopefully we will get to hold our little darlins......

Monday, February 9, 2009

February 9

Today has been a steady day for Blake and Jenna. I went and visited this AM and they were both sleeping during my entire visit. They were both snuggled tight and looked just so comfortable. I sure wish they were snuggled up with me though. I stayed for a while just watching them sleep.

I bought some material to make Valentine isolette covers. I plan to make some covers throughout their stay and then once they graduate from NICU, I want to piece them together to make baby blankets for them.

Jason and I spent a couple hours visiting them tonight. We were both missing them quite a bit. On Sunday we had spent several hours there during the day and in the evening had decided to stay home and get some extra rest. Although we called a couple times and checked on them and then at midnight we were both up and contemplating making a midnight run to visit our little angels. We missed them very much. We did manage to go to sleep but both woke up this morning with them on our minds. So tonight we felt like we were catching up. Blake's feedings went up to 3cc/hour. He has had a stable day. Jenna has also had a stable day. They both weighed in tonight at 1 lb 14ounces. Blake's little face was all covered up tonight. Between his CPAP and tape, chin strap, and over sized cap that covered his eyes, we could only see his cheeks. We didn't want to disturb him, he seemed to be sleeping well. They had just completed the suctioning and assessment before we got there so he was tuckered out and was resting. He looked very peaceful. When I peeked in at Jenna and started talking to her, she opened her eyes and looked around. As Jason and I continued to talk to her, she looked in our direction. It is just so wonderful to see her respond to us. Then a little later as I just say and watched her, she vegan moving her head. She was actually trying to turn her head from facing left to facing right! And she could've completely done so if it had not been for the CPAP tubing. She is very strong! Our little gal repeatedly lifted her head enough to turn it midway, as far as she could reach and hold her head there while trying to completely turn it. I had to get in there and move her head back to facing left and gently hold it there to encourage her to stop. She has always preferred laying on her tummy with her head facing to the right. She does know what she likes. Thing is, to help develop and strengthen the muscles, they have to be rotated from time to time. From tummy to back, facing right, facing left.....Jenna was having none of it tonight though. She must have tried a good 6 to 8 times while we were there. Heather, her night nurse tonight, said she is quite the "spit fire". I agree. And we love to hear this. It is so wonderful to hear and see how strong and feisty she is. Fire crackers do come in small packages afterall. Beth, Blake's nurse tonight, has spent time quite a bit of time with both and says she thinks Blake may be the laid back one and Jenna may be the instigator. It'll be interesting seeing more of their personalities show.

Well, it is late and time to sleep. We are hoping that they have a stable night and morning in hopes that we will get some kangaroo time with them tomorrow. I just can't wait to snuggle them!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Update

Today has been a nice day. We've spent quite a bit of time up at the hospital today admiring our little ones. We often times just sit and stare as they sleep so peacefully with an occasional flutter of their fingers and toes. Jenna kept "fanning" her tiny fingers and would briefly open her baby blues. Blake also rested well today. He was sleeping on his back for much of our visit. His long slender legs were just hanging over his "snuggie" boundary and every few minutes he would stretch his legs out in front of him. He also kept stretching his arm up over his head and then back down by his side. It is so amazing to sit and watch these little movements. While pregnant, I imagined just sitting for hours watching our sleeping babies. I never imagined it would be this way. Never imagined peering at my beautiful babies through a plastic isolette. Only giving them an occasional touch on their arms and legs or heads. Tiny heads, the size of a plum.

Nope, never imagined things would be this way. Granted, knowing we were having twins, we foresaw the possibility that they would be born early and would have a possible stay in incubators. A short stay. Not a three or four month NICU stay. It is incredibly hard to sit and watch your precious newborns open their eyes and look your way in reaction to your voice and not be able to scoop them up in your arms and just love on them. I know in due time, we too, will be able to cradle and parent our babies just like all other parents of newborns are doing. Patience is something that you learn with "NICU parenting". No matter how patient a person you may have been before, it is a character trait that redefines itself daily. I read a quote yesterday that has stuck with me. "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have". Jason and I decided after one very difficult night, that being positive IS the only choice we have. We decided that above fear, concern, anger, times of sadness and distress, our babies need us. They need us to be strong and positive. We know that we are entitled to the less pleasant feelings and expect to feel each and every one. But we decided together, that we would deal with those feelings the best way we can and then place our focus and energy into being positive and as strong as we can. I am so very fortunate to have Jason as my partner in all of this. Without a doubt, having him by my side, helps to keep me strong. He helps me find strength each day, by just being such a wonderful husband and daddy. We are also blessed to have the care, kindness and prayers of so many people. Together, these things help to keep us strong.
Blake and Jenna are having a more stable day today. Jenna is doing better with the CPAP. She is doing the same with her feedings. She lost 2 ounces but it is due to some medication. She is at 1lb 13 ounces. Blake is at 1lb 15 ounces tonight. He, too, is doing well with the feedings. He is at 2.5 cc/hour. We noticed lastnight that the glue on his scar (from PDA surgery) had come off. You can barely see a line/scar there already! For both of them, their hair has grown longer. Jenna's is still very dark thick and pretty shiny. Blake's appears to be a dark brown with areas of blonde. I'll tell ya, they sure are cute!!!! (proud mamma here).

Grandma and Grandpa Patranella came to visit today. They have been anxiously awaiting a visit. Grandma, AKA MeeMaw, had only had a very very brief peek at them before. They both have looked and looked at pictures while awaiting to lay their eyes back on the latest additions to the family. They were very excited and we had a really great time.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A so so day

Well; today has been kinda a so so day. BUT.... we are still happy.

So last night the Dr's decided to try to further reduce the breathing machine settings. Both Jenna & Blake went down on their BPM (beats per minute) from 25 to 20 bpm's.
This is part of the normal process of weaning them off breathing assistance. As such, sometimes they do great with the changes, and some times they don't.

Well, neither of them really "took" to the new changes. Jenna required higher amounts of O2, and Blake had quite a bit more A's & B's (Apnea & Brady). This continued through the morning, so they decided to bump both of them back up to 30BPM. It was a valiant effort, but in the end, they lost a little ground. When we visited them, they were both on higher than previous O2, & Blake was still having more A's & B's.

This isn't too too unusual and not really unexpected as this is all part of the NICU experience with wee lil ones.
Sooo..... Not a bad day by any means, but not really any progress either. These type of days are going to happen and we are much happier with them than bad days.

On a side note. Kim and I went out to my cousin Kristen and Abram's house today for a little graduation party. We'd like to congratulate Abram on graduating from the Austin Fire Academy! It's been a year since he took the entrance exam, and he made it through 6mo of intense training. Congras man, we are proud of ya!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Valentine Pictures

Hi family and friends~
We now have some pictures of our little valentines in a new picture album titled "Valentine Pictures". Take a look....

Tonight's visit went well. Jenna is at 1 lb 15 ounces!!! She is having 17cc/3hours. She went down on her CPAP machine settings from 30 to 20 breaths per minute and is handling it fairly well. We decided to give her a rest and some time to adjust to her new added work load so did not do kangaroo care tonight with her. All of these adjustments are in turn attempts of weaning her of the CPAP support. Although we are very anxious to have some more holding and bonding time, we are more than willing to give her the time to adjust and get stronger. We are so happy with her weight gain and strength.

Blake is at 1lb 14 ounces. He is at 1.5cc/hr. His CPAP settings are down from 25 to 20breaths per minute. In case it wasn't mentioned before, the CPAP, in a way, is like a fan blowing air into their mouths to help keep their lungs open and delivers a certain amount of breaths for them (according to the setting) but for the most part, they are breathing on their own, doing the work themselves. Blake is doing okay with the reduced setting, he has had a few apneas today though. For this reason and for reason of giving him time to adjust, we did not do kangaroo time with him either. I am REALLY looking forward to holding my little boy for the first time but would rather give him the time to adjust and get even stronger.

Don't forget to check out the "littlest sweethearts" pictures!