Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday, May 29th

Hello all~
Just wanted to pop on for a minute while the babies are sleeping to post a quick update. We are doing well. Each day Blake and Jenna do something that amazes us whether it be a cute little grin, silly facial expression or the increasing strength that they build during "tummy time".

They had their second home health physical therapy session yesterday. Both received a great progress report. Blake has great mobility. He uses his arms and legs quite a bit and raises himself up pretty well while on his tummy. Blake's main goal is to strengthen his tummy muscles. Sound funny? Yea. By strengthening his tummy muscles, he will better be able to turn over and be more mobile. Oh, and we are working on tongue formation while feeding with Blake. At times, he does great and at others he is a bit uncoordinated. Jenna's tummy muscles are looking good. She has good mobility too. Her hips could use a little loosening at times, which is her goal. We will be working on these goals on a daily basis and their therapist will be coming once a week. Overall, they are in great shape for being twins, micropreemies and considering their health history. We are all very pleased with their development.

Jason and I are doing well. It does seem that when we get one settled, the other requests attention of some kind. That and as soon as it is time to eat, Blake and Jenna's radar goes off and they call for our attention-haha. Oh well, maybe it'll facilitate some weight loss that we both so much need.

Been home as a family for nearly two weeks now and are enjoying it so very much. Sleep deprivation is s small price to pay.

twins are calling.....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New pics are up!

Appologies for the delay in putting up new pics.

For some reason I can't paste the link to the blog, so I pointed the picture slideshow to the folder. All you have to do is click on it and you'll get to the album.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A few extra minutes

Blake and Jenna are sleeping right now so I thought I would hop on to post again while I have a chance.

Both Blake and Jenna's personalities continue to blossom. Today Jenna had a long period of "wake" time. She is becoming more curious of her surroundings and is looking around in an attempt to focus in on things that are close to her. She tolerated her tummy time this evening, i think the trick right now is all about timing. As soon as she shows us what part of the day is her favored time for things like tummy time, I think she will enjoy it more. She has been able to lift AND turn her head for a long time now. She amazed us one day while still on CPAP and under 3 pounds when she lifted AND turned her head as far as her CPAP tubes would allow her. She did this frequently which surprised us all. She kicks her legs together at times and in a bicycle motion at others. We hear a coo here and there but her favored mode of self expression is grunting-just like her brother. These two grunt while awake and during sleep. In fact, we have come to use their different grunts as cues. We can pretty much plan feeds and/or prepare our plan of action according to when and how they start their grunting just before waking up. Jason and I often find ourselves laughing in amusement over this. Tonight while Jason was watching Blake and Jenna on his own, he said that Jenna was up for quite some time after her 7:30 feed looking around and taking things in. He did say that she preferred that he spend time with her helping to keep her entertained and was not enjoying swinging or tummy time. She is quite the snuggle bug. She loves to rest on your chest. When she does sleep, she sleeps real well. She can sleep anywhere and in any position. If we let her, she would probably sleep at least 5-6 hours throughout the night. At this time though, we are waking her after four hours to feed. We will see if that changes after their next check up. Gosh, it would be wonderful if she continues with being able to sleep so long. We are already soooo looking forward to getting more that 3-4 hours sleep at night. We do feed fortunate that they are on 4 hours as opposed to waking up every 2-3 hours to eat.

Blake is vvery active and has much wake time each morning and evening. So far he stays pretty content with looking at his "jungle gym" stuffed animal friends, mobile, or looking towards the windows or lights. We tease and say he is great at entertaining himself as long as he has something stimulating to look at. He spent quite some time tonight on his play mat looking at the animals and mobile. He cooed a lot and kicked his legs in a bicycle motion. When he was tired, he gave a little cry so I snuggled him up tight and he was out like a light! Wow, he is pretty easy to please.

Jason and I are thoroughly enjoying spending time bonding with our precious lil miracles. There are times during the day that we stop and think back to our stay in the NICU and recall an event or milestone and then look at Blake and Jenna in amazement. To see them now, you would never guess they were barely over a pound at birth. Each day we sink deeper into a "normal" routine. We dreamed of this for four months. Now that we are living our dream, reminiscing on our NICU days remind us how special each and every minute truly is.

Here are a few pics.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Wow, the last week has really flown by. We've been home for over a week now and with the exception of a day or two, things have gone pretty smoothly. Blake and Jenna have settled real nicely into their home with us. We have a nice routine going that all of us are pretty happy with. There was a day or two that we weren't able to stick to the routine very well because both Blake and Jenna were pretty fussy throughout the day. Thankfully, both grandmas were here to allow Jason and I to take care of a few things. Jason was working on our fence while I had a good 5 hour nap. We are pretty sure they both had tummy aches that lasted a good day or day and a half. That was a bit trying, not being able to fix it for them. We all just spent much time trying to console them. It is a helpless feeling. Jason and I bought some powder formula in an attempt to get more for the money. I didn't think it would effect their tummies beings that it was the exact same formula, just in powder form. Not sure if that was the problem but they have been better since we changed back to liquid form.

We've taken them out for a stroll around the neighborhood, which is nice. Jenna slept the whole time while Blake looked around. On Friday we went out on a four hour outing. With careful planning, it went real smoothly. Jason and I decided to try and get out and about with them to see how it all would go. We made it out to Babies R Us and a couple other places as well as went to Rudy's for dinner! We made sure to keep them covered. It went real well, better than we imagined it would.

K....I am going to attempt to complete this post now....had to leave to tend to the twins.

We went to the Developmental Pediatrician today. Both received a great report card. Blake is a little ahead of the game. He has great muscle tone and flexibility. He tracks well and even turns his head to follow something interesting with his eyes. He makes good eye contact and lifts and turns his head while on his tummy. He is also good at "self soothing" or consoling. All great accomplishments. I am relieved to learn that Jenna is in great shape too. She had good muscle tone and movement today. She does at times self console (this started about a week ag0) and she briefly makes eye contact. She tracks things with her eyes. She does lift and turn her head during "tummy time" and is working on strengthening her upper body strength. We are very pleased with where they are right now.

Again, I need to run but I will end with their last weight checks. Blake is 8 pounds, 6 ounces and Jenna is 9 pound 2 ounces!! WOW!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Things are going good

The kids have been doing great.
Mom gave me a little break & gave me some time to get in a round of golf today. When I got home, everyone was at a Dr. apt, so I got a few hours of sleep too! Talk about a great day.
I hope to return the favor within a couple days.

The kids have been awesome. Kim and I often loose track of time as we hold them and gaze down at their peaceful faces.
The first couple days were a bit of an adjustment, but we are all fitting into our routines pretty well. Kim and I have been doing pretty good at giving each other a break so we can get cleaned up and nap for a bit.
Many many many thanks to the NICU for having them on a schedule. I don't know how we'd survive if they weren't on one. As it is, we always seem to have something to do, but it would be pure insanity & chaos if they weren't on a pretty regular routine.

The first couple days, we couldn't believe that we were all actually together and not in the NICU. There were several times that we'd be in the middle of something, pause & look at each other and say "can you believe were actually home now, it almost doesn't seem real."
I can't tell you how happy we are to be together as a family. It's quite literally, a dream come true.

So, the kids had their first Dr. apt outside the NICU. We took them to see their Pediatrician. She reviewed their records from the NICU, asked a lot of questions, and gave them a thorough look over. Both are healthy and doing good.
Jenna weighed 8lb 5oz.
Blake hasn't gained a whole lot of weight and was 7lb 14.5oz.

Today the twins had an eye exam.
Jenna has fantastic eyes (if I do say so myself, although I'm not Doctor). The Dr. agreed and said that she shouldn't have any problems and doesn't see any sign of near sightedness.
Blake's eyes were looking great as well. He doesn't see any indicators, but due to the RUSH disease, he may be slightly near sighted. He thinks Blake will have full perifial vision. That in itself is a bonus as the Dr.'s said it was certain that he'd loose is perifial vision due to the laser eye surgery.

Sooooo all in all, things have been going great. While a bit tiring, being home with the kids has been much much better than I had ever dreamed.

It's time to get some bottles ready & do various other little things before their next feed.
Take care all.

P.S. I promise to try and get some pics up soon.... Promise

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Wow, wish we were getting that many Z's-haha! Yea, as you can imagine Jason and I have hit sleep deprivation. It is real hard right now to find any "down" time that isn't used to catch an hour or two of sleep here and there. I do miss posting so am going to attempt to update a bit.

First of all, Blake and Jenna are sooooooo wonderful! We knew this the night we set eyes on them but each day we feel stronger and stronger about it and are so proud of our little heroes. Each time they crack a little smile or look into our eyes, we are overwhelmed with emotion thinking of how far we have come. Who knew something so tiny could be so very strong. They were so very fragile. Their survival and future was uncertain. to look at them now, you wouldn't know how much these little ones have been through in their short lives thus far. They amazed us each day while in the NICU by their determination, strength and will to live. The first three months were terrifying. Now that they are at home, we are so thrilles that they now can just focus on being babies. Not have to fight each day to make it to another.

Sleep depreived? Definitely. We are VERY fortunate that they are on a schedule. It is still taking some time to adjust to getting 2-3 hours sleep at a time. Between feeds, we try to eat, wash clothes, and whatever time is left we try and sleep. We are working on a schedule that will allow Jason and I to get 4 consequtive hours of sleep by letting one of us sleep while the other gets up to feed Blake and Jenna. Sometimes it works, others not, I can not tell you how fortunate I am to have Jason at home with us for a month. After all the stress and all we have experienced the last four months, we are truly enjoying each minute we have together-all four of us.

Blake and Jenna are doing really well. They are adjusting to their new surroundings pretty quickly. They certainly seem to feel comfortable. We went on our first outing on Monday to see the pediatrician. They did real well until they recieved their 4 month shots. Poor babies. They did enjoy the car ride though. Both checked out fine at their appointments. They are both a tad smaller compaired to others their adjusted age. Dr. Fosci says she was pleased with their growth since they were born micropreemies.

We went on our first "field trip" around the neighborhood yesterday. Jenna slept while Blake looked around the whole time. It was so nice to be out of the house with them. It was a nice evening.

Well, I have so much more to update but it's time to get something to eat and try and catch some shut eye. I will try and post more tomorrow as well as post some pics.

Thank you for following our progress. For those of you who comment-thank you. We LOVE hearing from you.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NICU Graduates

It is official. Blake and Jenna are now St. David's NICU graduates. After 122 days in the NICU, they have finally come home.

Oooopps....Blake AND Jenna are requesting attention now. I will have to try again later to post.
doing great.........sleep deprived but loving having them home.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The BIG Test

Okay, so I didn't reveal the news lastnight because I didn't want to get overly excited and set myself up for a possible dissapointment but today I feel much better about revealing-Jenna AND Blake had their sleep study lastnight!! Dr. Kansas is reviewing the results now so we should soon find out if they passed. IF they passed, we will be rooming in tonight with them and coming home Saturday-BABIES IN ARM!! I am so excited-cautiously excited. I couldn't get to sleep lastnight just thinking of the prospect. We are so glad that Janice was with them lastnight during their study. We checked in a couple times, she reported that they were doing well. Blake was a litle gassy and fussy but overall both were well.

Yesterday was a bittersweet day. We had to tell Anna and April goodbye. Both are off until Monday so it is likely that was the last day to see them during our NICU stay. Anna and I had a little crying session as we came to the realization that the day has (likely) finally come. There's no possible way I could thank them enough for the amazing amount of care, attention and love they have provided Blake and Jenna for the last four months. Their .....

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jenna AND Blake passed the BIG test!!!!!! We will be rooming in tonight with them and if all goes well, we will ALL be coming home Saturday-FINALLY!!!! The only change was that Blake will be placed on Theophlin (like Jenna) and will be sent home on a monitor too. No biggie!!!! We are so excited. Needless to say, we have a couple of last minute things to do......cutting it short. More later.

The BIG Switch Over

Yesterday marked one week past my original due date. Therefore, we have switched from counting down gestaional age (ie May 7th was their 40th week) to counting their "adjusted" age. Blake and Jenna's adjusted age is one week. In other words, had I had them at term, they would now be one week old. Now starts the confustion. They are now oficailly in two different age categories. Their adjusted age, 1 week and one day, and their real age of 16 weeks OR 4 months old!! Officailly, we will be celebrating on their REAL birth date. They will continue to be evaluated and compared to babies of their "adjusted age" until around the age of two.

So in an attempt to avoid some confusion when stopped in the grocery store and asked, "Oh, how old are your twins?", we will be giving out their adjusted age. Otherwise, I could see the confusion on many strangers' faces as they look at what appears to me new born babies and being told that they are four months old-ha!

Yesterday was a nice day. Our good friend Sandra came up for a visit. Funny thing, when I was being wheeled into labor and delivery the evening of January 15th, she was actually at the hospital. We had planned for her to come and visit me while I was on bedrest that day. When she came up to the 3rd floor, she found a very empty room 219. She waited a bit and then text'd Jason wondering where we were. Needless to say, she was shocked when he told her I was in labor and delivery. I had just talked to her a bit earlier when planning the time she would visit. So, she was one of the first people to find out I had started to go into labor. This story brings to mind, that we haven't posted about that day-January 15th- and how this whole story began. Jason and I have discussed this and plan to post about the early days in the very near future. Boy, that will be quite the trip down memory lane.

So now for the update on the kids. They had a great day yesterday. They enjoyed the company as well as lots of snuggles from us and from Anna, April and a few other nurses too. They are at the age where they enjoy being out of the crib and having stimulation. Lastnight Jenna weighed in at....drumroll please.......8 pounds 1 ounce!!!! Blake is following close behind at 7 pounds 14 ounces!! I REALLY can not believe it. They look great! Can't wait to see them in a few hours.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday, May 13th

I spent a lot of time with the kids today. When I got to the bay, Anna was feeding Blake and Jenna was being held too. Jenna had just finished her lunch. I took over feeding Blake, he did pretty well but was pretty sleepy. Once Blake was finished feeding, we got to snuggle for a bit. Shortly after, Jenna started requesting some attention so I found myself in a situation that I am sure to become oh too familiar with-juggling two babies on my own. Anna, April and Allie were all busy tending to and feeding their other babies so I was on my own for a bit trying to keep both Blake and Jenna happy. I picked up Jenna because she was screaming while Blake seemed to settle down a bit. I offered her her paci (which usually always does the trick) but it wasn't quite all she wanted. We think she may have had a tummyache or gas or something for a bit this afternoon. Then Blake started squirming and putting out some cries here and there. I put her down to pick him up and there I was.....juggling two babies. Ahhh!! What a sight. I am definitely going to appreciate every minute daddy is home from work. That and when grandmas come to visit. I must say...this challenge (juggling two babies), while I'm sure will prove to be quite trying at times, is one I am proud to accept. I can't wait to have my two little heroes at home wanting our attention.

So, my story continues. Luckily, I soon had the help of April and Anna. By the time we got them both to settle down it was time for me to do "mommy duty" (pump). When I returned, Anna was busy on the phone and Jenna was just starting to cry out. I tried to console her, again with her best friend "paci", but she wasn't having none of it. She wanted to eat!!! So, again it was time to feed. While feeding Jenna, Blake began to stir so Anna began to feed him. Didn't we just finish feeding these kiddos? Anyways, about half way through, we decided to 'trade" babies since I haven't fed Blake many times since he switched to high flow nipple feeds. He was taking his sweet time finishing up but got his required volume down. Before I knew it, I had been there for about five hours. I was so happy to have spent so much time with them and had gotten to snuggle them both.

Today was the first day that I have been faced with the challenge of both Blake and Jenna needing attention at the same time while flying solo. It was only for a short time but it was a good taste of what's to come in my near future. Although, Jason is going to be taking off of work for nearly a month to spend time with the family. Both grandmas have offered to come and help when needed as well as their Aunt Donna, cousin Shelby and many other family members.

Lastnight, Jenna weighed in at 7 pounds13 ounces and Blake was 7 pounds 12 ounces. Both had good gains. We haven't gotten tonight's weights yet.

This is the TENTATIVE plan. I emphasize tentative because things can change at any given time. Jenna may be getting her sleep study tomorrow night. If that goes well and further shows that she is ready to come home, we will room in (since she is coming home on a monitor, it is "standard to room in at the hospital one night as a transition to going home) at the hospital with her Friday night and bring her home Saturday. We are praying that Blake will be able to have his sleep study on Friday night and come home with us and his sis on Saturday as well. That would be the ideal close of this VERY long chapter of our NICU memoirs. Either way, they are very close to being home-their real home. One we can't wait to introduce them to.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Next stop.... Frustration Station!

Well.... what to report.....

The kids have been doing great, and our visits continue to be amazing. Now that they are 40wks, they are pretty much just like every other newborn I've seen (admittedly that's not a whole lot), and are lots of fun to snuggle with. Too bad it has to be in a hospital bay with a dozen other babies, parents, & nurses.

Soooo, the big question we are getting asked; "When are they comming home?"

We have no idea. Last week we were being told that they could come home "any day now". Understandably, the Dr's want everything to be as perfect as they can be before they release the kiddo's. Unfortunately one lil thing after the other keeps popping up that continues to delay their exit from the NICU. While we want them to come home NOW, we don't want to jeopardise their health over a few days (or weeks as it's shaping up). That doesn't stop us from feeling frustrated though. After going up to the NICU every day for the past 4 months, I'm really really ready to be at home.....

Today's nurse told me that BOTH Jenna & Blake had an A&B last night. With Blake we were told that they want to see 5-7 days with no A&B's before they will do the sleep study and get ready to release them. At this point, we have no idea whats going on or when they'll get the OK to come home. I just hope it's soon.
I'm sure Kim has been detailing their daily activity, so I won't bore you with all the lil things that are slowing things down.

The other question I'm getting is "What was soooooo funny?"

All the parents will be able to relate to this one. So the other day we were hangin out with the kids and Jenna needed to be changed. I learned the lesson of putting a fresh diaper beneath the dirty one, so we don't get the bedding dirty when I go to throw away the old diaper.

So there I am, getting Jenna all cleaned up and a new diaper when I look down and see what I thought was a clear tube coming out of the crib. After a brief moment of confusion I realized it wasn't a tube, but Jenna peeing all over me. She had some jet action going on because she was able to arc it all the way out of the crib and all over my jeans & the floor. Not a single drop in the crib. Mom and Janice thought that was absolutely hilarious. She caught me off guard; everyone has been telling me to watch out for Blake!
Ahhhhh good times....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday, May 11th

Hello to all. I hope all the moms had a great day yesterday. Thank you all for the sweet texts and phone calls wishing me a great first Mother's Day. I had a great one in deed. We spent lots of time at the hospital visiting Blake and Jenna. They rested with us so peacefully. I held both, at the same time for a bit. Boy, I can't describe how blessed I felt holding my two little ones. Jason then took me out to a nice lunch and made sure I had a great day.

Blake and Jenna are doing well today. When I visited this morning, they both were calling out to me for some attention. I was more than happy to provide lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles. I just can't wait to be able to be with them at all times, there to give them all the love they deserve. I know the nurses do an excellent job of wearing my "nurture shoes" when I am not there but I can't wait to keep them on my feet 24/7. ;)

Jenna and Blake are both responding well to their blood pressure meds. Our lil' guy must've thought he needed to misbehave a bit lastnight in an attempt to stay as long as his sis. He had an A&B (apnea-forgets to breathe brady-heart rate drop) lastnight and needed a little stimulation. Needless to say we were very disappointed to hear about this. He will need to have 5-7 A&B free days before the sleep study can be administered. It seems that is keeps going back and forth...first it looks as if Jenna will come home first, then Blake and now Jenna again. We REALLY hope they come home together though. Jenna is still being monitored with her Theophlin and BP meds. No word on when either will be coming home. Whatever they need to be 100% ready to be home though.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. We send you lots of hugs and wishes for a great day.

I have decided that I would like to spend the day seeing the babies, going out to lunch and then lazing around watching old movies on the couch. I'm not gonna lie, I am pretty bummed about not having Blake and Jenna home on my first Mother's Day BUT I can't wait to hold them and enjoy the day nevertheless. I have so much to celebrate today. Waiting to become a mom was such a long journey and now that my dream has come true (and has doubled!) I couldn't be prouder of my lil miracles or happier to be their mom.

Lastnight when we arrived at the hospital, Jenna was sleeping and Blake was out being social with one of the nurses. She said he was laying there crying and she couldn't bear to hear him cry so she scooped him up for some social time. His night nurse, Janet, was busy feeding another baby. We are so thankful to have so many great nurses look after them. I happily took Blake from her and held him for a while while he looked up at me as if to say, "Did you hear me calling for you?" I wish I could be there every moment that they are awake and looking around for some social interaction. I do take comfort though that it is very common that when they are up and when we aren't there, they are usually being carried and talked to by one of several nurses.

Blake weighed in at 7 pounds 9 ounces-YAY! We love to see that weight gain. This is one thing that is going to determine when he will be able to have the sleep study and get discharged. Unfortunately, Blake had a small Brady the night before. He recovered on his own but this has to be recorded and will push his possible discharge date back at least 5 days. Jenna was taken off of cannula lastnight and is doing great. She is doing well on her theophlin. Her blood pressure has still been teetering on the high side so she has been started on the same blood pressure meds Blake is on. she weighed in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces!

Okay, we are having some issues with running out of disc space for uploading pics. This may take a bit to resolve. I am attempting to post new pics now. I will also tell Jason he needs to post the incident I referred to a few days back.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday Morning Report

Jason and I had a good visit with the kids lastnight. It was bath night lastnight. Jenna had her bath first. It was right before her feed so she was a bit fussy until she got in the water. She seemed to relax while in the warm water. Once it was over she had worked up quite the appetite. She took a full 110 CCs! She tipped the scales lastnight at 7 pounds 9 ounces. She had a good "quiet wake" time after her meal. Her eyes were open wide and she was pretty alert. Her eyes are really very pretty, a bright blue. Her hair is finally coming back in real well. It is growing back in dark.

Blake enjoyed his bath as well. Daddy gave him his while I rocked Jenna. He tried to stand up at one time so daddy took that opportunity to give him a good back scrub. Blake is doing well on his Q feeds (every three to four hours) and is taking more at each feed. He weighed in at 7 pounds 6 ounces.

We spoke to Dr. Kansas lastnight about the kids' progress. We are waiting for Blake to have a few days of consistent weight gain before scheduling his sleep study. With Jenna, we are waiting for her lungs to strengthen a bit more. The plan is to remove her from cannula today. Hopefully her Theophlin meds will have regulated that issue for her. The earliest we are looking for discharge as of now is the end of next week. We are praying that the last of the "fine tuning" will take place in the next day or two so we can plan discharge and bring them home with us. We are so very thankful for their good health and continued growth. They look wonderfully plump.

New pics will be posted later today.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday, May 8

Well, here we's Friday. I was really hoping to have my babies home with me on Mother's Day but the way it looks so far, that's a "no go". Jason and I have had to "regroup" the last few days and get ahold of our disappointment and realize that this disaapointment is something we can certainly muddle through. We have been through much harder situations. They just look so good and healthy and ready to be home and we are MORE than ready to have our family at home. We've waited this long, we can wait a few more days. We are just thankful that they are as healthy as they are. We certainly want to make sure they are 100% ready and do not want to push too much.

Blake lost a few grams lastnight (although it may be a difference in scales). He is feeding every 3 1/2 - 4 hours and seems to be doing better as far as volume intake is concerned. He looks great with his chubby chipmunk cheeks. His blood pressure is still a bit high so the doctors are still working on dialing the meds in just so.

Jenna is still on cannula. I'm not sure if she will be taken off of it today or tomorrow. She has been on Theophlin for a couple days now. We attended a training on the use of a home monitor for her. Since she is on Theophlin, she will be on the monitor when she comes home for a bit.

When I visited today, both ate well. I was able to spend some bonding time with them, which I always love. They haven't been seen by the doctor today yet so I am waiting to hear if there are any new orders.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Oringinal Due Date/40 Weeks

Today marks gestational week 40, Blake and Jenna's original due date. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine having 16 week old babies by my due date. I figured we would be a couple weeks early, a month at the most. Even after being hospitalized and put on bed rest at 23 weeks, we never imagined the events that took place even possible. As Jason and I walked to the NICU yesterday we saw Jamie, one of the two labor and delivery nurses that were there with us the night the babies were born. It seemed it was nearly a lifetime ago that she was at my bedside monitoring my contractions and administering magnesium as an attempt to avoid early delivery. I vividly remember the day she was triaged to my room in postpartum (The room that I was staying in during bed rest and was to stay in until delivery which was supposed to be four months later) due to my passing a very large blog clot and how quickly she whisked me away to labor and delivery. She was great....very fast, precise, matter of fact about things yet compassionate as well. Jason and I experienced a brief stroll down memory lane lastnight when we saw her walking into a patent's room. We continued our way to the NICU, in disbelief 16 weeks later, to see our precious miracle babies.

When we walked in it was nice and peaceful and dark. There is a window that looks outside in bay 6 so when the sunlight comes through, it reminds me of the kind of lazy afternoon, perfect for catching a mid afternoon nap. This time it was quiet, no crying babies requesting food, a changed diaper or extra attention. Blake and Jenna were both sleeping. I woke Jenna up and started her feed before she got a good chance to realize how hungry she was. We find that the longer she lays there after waking up, the longer she realizes she is real hungry, the more angry she becomes. It is much easier to wake her slowly but offer her her feed quickly once she wakes. She is quite the fire cracker. Dynamite DOES come in small packages. She is quite the beautiful little sparkler, cute as can be. She did very well with her feeds yesterday. The doctors are giving her another day on caffeine to see if she levels off. Otherwise, she will be put back on Theophlin. She can come home on either medication. Caffeine is administered once a day while Theophlin is three times a day. Whatever it is she needs is fine by us. Right now, It seems our little Jenna may be the active one. She prefers being held and played with or snuggled while awake. She does not like to lay in bed and chill out much. I think she would get up and jump and run around if she could. Oh! Jenna and Blake had a "memorable" moment yesterday-HAHAHA! I'm going to let "daddy" post about that one though. Pretty funny! At least for Janice and I.

Blake had a good day yesterday.He really enjoys hanging out in the 'Infantino" sling. When I got there yesterday afternoon, he was hanging out in the sling, being carried by Anna. I peeked in the sling and he looked soooooo comfortable, all hanging out sleeping. It looked like he was laying in a hammock but one that is super soft and cushioned. Lastnight Janice asked Dr. Untalon if Blake could be moved to a feed schedule in which he is fed when he wakes and "requests" which moves from every three hours to a range of 3-4 hours. At times he is not quite ready to wake and eat when the three hours roll around. Dr. Untalon said it was fine to try. Janice and I think this may suit him better. We'll see how it goes today. He is so funny. He can be found just "chilling out" in bed gazing at his mobile, entertaining himself already! As of right now it seems he might be pretty "easy" and "low maintenance". I'm sure that is subject to change at any given moment.

I have not gotten lastnight's weights yet. When I call to check on them this AM, I'll get the full report. Today is going to be a busy day. We have monitor training at noon since we are pretty sure Jenna will be coming home on a monitor (standard for babies who require caffeine or Theophlin). Then at 2:00 we are going to be speakers at the weekly "NICU Parent University". Amy (our case manger) asked us if we would speak at the weekly meeting. Apparently there are a lot of new parents in the NICU, lots of real "early" ones. At one time this week, the NICU had 70 babies! I'm not sure if that is still the case but I know they are full (plus some!). We will be there as "seasoned" parents.

We brought in a cake as a small thank you to the NICU for the amazing care that they have provided our family. On it, Kathy wrote "We'll Miss You ~Blake and Jenna". It has a pink graduation cap and a blue one. It is hard to believe that we are finally approaching their graduating from the NICU. I get teary every time I imagine walking out of the NICU doors, babies in arm. It will be an overwheming joyous moment, indeed!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

112 Days

As the title says, we are on our 112th day in the NICU. Tonight it certainly feels every day of that plus many many more. We both have "NICUitis". It is growing stronger and stronger each day we get closer to having Blake and Jenna at home.

Jenna and Blake have been off of caffine for six days. It takes 5-7 days to fully get out of their systems. The last two days Jenna has had a few bouts of desats. Today, she dipped down to 86% oxygen saturation and was unable to get back up on her own. This is likely a result of coming off of the caffine. She has been put on cannula for 12-24 hours to help bring her oxygen saturation back up and help her rest. She is also going back on caffine. As soon as the caffine starts to take effect, they'll be able to take her off of cannula. This change is not too unexpected.

The sleep study has been postponed for a short amount of time.

Blake's weight gain has been inconsistent. He has stayed the same some nights, lost a few grams others, gained some others and then back and forth again. The doctors added a little more fortifier to his milk/formula mix.

Their new stats are:
Blake 19.29 inches long
Jenna 18.89 inches long
They will be weighed later tonight.

They have both been introduced to a carrying sling. Both got to go and ride around in the slings. It is so exciting to us that they are able to be "social" and do things that "big and strong" babies do. We can't wait to do these things more.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We've Moved Again

As we move forward in the final stretch of our NICU stay we are finding ourselves busy in different ways. We are trying to get things done that will be a lot easier to accomplish before our little ones are home. The house is ready, we're just trying to tie up loose ends.

I had a wonderful shower in Bryan this weekend. We have received so many generous gifts. Our diningroom is FULL of gifts.

Blake and Jenna are doing well. Blake is 7lbs 3ounces and Jenna is 7lbs 5 ounces! There is talk that thry will be performing the "sleep study" on them tomorrow. IF the results are good, it looks like we will be rooming in on Wednesday and home on Thursday.

We have been moved once again. This time we have been moved to Bay 6. It is pretty crowded but we take much comfort in knowing that our next move will be the BIG one-home.

Thanks for keeping up with us. I am keeping this one short beings that it is 2AM. More to soon follow.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Celebration of Baptism at 39 Weeks

We had lots to celebrate with Blake and Jenna yesterday. Yesterday marked 39 weeks gestation for them which is truly amazing in itself. We also had them baptised yesterday. Father Bert is a pastor of St. David's who we had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know months ago. We met Bert right before Blake had his heart surgery. We asked to meet with him and asked him to pray with us before Blake underwent his surgery. Bert is one of those special people who you feel a real honor in knowing. He is very compassionate about his following and carries a real positive and understanding presence with him. All four us of made a real connection with him and we knew pretty early on that we would like him to share this day and event with us. We are so glad that he agreed.

We had a friend, Wayland, photograph the ceremony. He met up with us beforehand to take some pictures before the baptism. Jenna wore a little cotton white dress and Blake wore a collared white oxford buttondown onesie. They sure looked adorable. Each had a satin white bib with a beautiful cross on each. They did very well for their photo shoot before hand. They had just eaten so we weren't sure they would still be awake. Blake was wide awake for it and for the baptism. Jenna was awake too. I think she was still hoping she would be offered more to eat. She ate very well beforehand. During the baptism she did well too, although she needed to be offered her paci. A little substitution for the real thing. She is quite the eater. Both sets of grandparents were present for the baptism. They acted as Blake and Jenna's sponsors. We may plan to have a second ceremony with family and friends attending sometime later on. Blake and Jenna have known only St. David's as their home and have reached so many milestones while there that it seemed appropriate to celebrate such an event at St. David's as we near the end of our stay.....mark the start of their a new beginning. We were glad that April and Anna were there to witness the event. We wish we could have all of our St. David's family of nurses attend (all of Blake and Jenna's "aunties") as well as Dr. Su. We did get plenty of great pictures thanks to Wayland. We can't wait to see them.

Both sets of grandparents participated in the baptism, we are glad for that. They all stayed afterwards to spend some bonding time with the babies. Both Jason's mom and my mom held the kids for a while and rocked with them. Then is was time for both grandpa's to get some bonding time in. They really enjoyed it and so did Blake and Jenna. It was then time for dinner for Blake and Jenna after all of the excitement and visits; however, they were so "spent" that it took quite a bit of coaxing to have them finish it.

All in all yesterday was a wonderful day for celebration. We have so much the be thankful for. We thank God for each and everyday that he has given us with our little ones, for each and every goal reached-no matter how small or large. He has helped us to accept, guide us, keep us strong, and rejoice. Once again, we would like to thank all of our family and friends for their support and continuous prayers. We are nearing a very exciting and new chapter of our lives. There will be many moments of uncertainty and question but with continued support and prayer, we know we are well equipped to accept the challenges that are yet to come.

Amy, our case worker, is working on setting up home health care. Blake and Jenna will be receiving Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Physical Therapy. They will require more than the typical 2 visit and month care so she is helping to set us up with the correct match to meet their needs. This takes such a great stress from us. We are truly grateful to her.

Dr. Bary evaluated the kids yesterday. He is a Neonatal Nephrologist (kidney doctor) and was evaluating the twins for their elevated blood pressure. Jenna is borderline while Blake is experiencing some high blood pressure. I will let Jason explain more of what is going on, as he is always so good at explaining the medical details and all. They started Blake on some blood pressure meds lastnight. It is going to be a bit of a game of guessing and adjusting to find the right dose. We are praying that this is a quick process so that it does not prolong his stay and prevent same day discharge with his sister. We have experienced everything together thus far and we continue to pray that we will be able to end this chapter of our lives together and start our new lives together as a family...all four of us on the same day.