Sunday, December 27, 2009

Spoke Too Soon

We are headed to Grandma's house tomorrow and Brock is not the best traveler. We have had to find a pediatrician to see him on July 4th in Colorado, on a Sunday in Dallas, and on Thanksgiving in Oklahoma City. I wanted to avoid that this trip so I took him to our pediatrician's partner today since she was having office hours. I really only suspected that he might have an ear infection, so I wanted to rule it out, or get him on the antibiotic if he had one. Well, he not only had one, but two and he also had strep. And so did his brother whom I didn't even suspect was sick. The only reason he was even there was because Tony was operating and couldn't stay at home with him. Normally we avoid taking more than one child to the doctor at all costs, so we don't expose any of the others to the germs in the office. Today it was unavoidable. And, as it turns out, a very good thing he was there. They both got a shot of Rocephin and one of Bicillin which are both very thick, painful injections. Poor, little guys. I am going to take Brock to see our pediatrician tomorrow morning and see what he about his ears. I had tubes as a child and I think Brock probably needs them, as well. I think Braden should be fine because this is only his third minor ear infection and it is Brock's seventh major one in three months. Tony asked me if I was okay with my baby going in for thinks surgery, and I am absolutely am. If it will help my baby not feel miserable, I am willing to allow him to go into an operating room without me. It will be difficult, but I can do it. I think.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Babies' First Christmas!

After an extended hiatus... I am back!

Brock and Braden and big sister Sydney have been keeping me very, very busy since I last posted during our headlong dive into sick season. Which was not influenza A, by the way, but a very nasty run-in with the dreaded swine flu. We survived without a visit to the hospital, but Brock got pretty close with fevers over 105 for six days straight and borderline dehydration. We have been relatively well since then, only minor stuff, ear infections, colds, viruses, etc.

Brock and Braden both started crawling around Thanksgiving. Braden has perfect technique and Brock, well, he doesn't. He CAN crawl, he chooses not to. He prefers to army crawl using his left arm to propel himself across the floor. Have I mentioned he is left-handed? He started sucking his left thumb about a week after Braden started sucking his right thumb around five months old. They are both starting to pull up to their knees now, so I know that cruising the furniture will not be long now. We have not had much trouble with stranger anxiety until this week. Most of the time they are simply happy to have someone hold them, not really caring who it is as long as they are not left behind while the brother gets picked up. They are extremely jealous of each other. They cannot, or will not, tolerate not being picked up first. Or fed first. Or given a toy first. Or whatever. They do not get that we will get them next. Right away. Immediately. When do they learn that? Ahhhhh! The worst is when I am getting them in the car and I have to pick one to put in first. I have to listen to the other one scream until I get the first one in the car before I can come back in and get him. I had no idea this whole other world of twins existed before I had twins. I knew they were out there and all, but I just never considered all the nuances involved with having twins.

This time last year I was on bed-rest, making twice weekly trips to L&D to stop labor, just praying to make it to 34 weeks. I never would have guessed I would only make it another two weeks after Christmas before the boys made their debut. I was so grateful that they made it to 34 weeks, but so scared that they were still so very early. After a few weeks in the NICU, and a long winter at home, they really started taking off and now they are actually bigger than their sister was at this age. When they were born six weeks early I felt so much guilt about not being able to carry them inside me any longer and protect them and keep them safe like I was supposed to. I felt like I had failed at my most important job. I couldn't even imagine ever being glad they were born when they were because of the guilt I felt. Boy was I wrong! This Christmas was so much better than it would have been if they were full term babies because they would have been only ten months old and not doing all the cool stuff they're doing now. They can clap and dance and laugh and play. They know how toys work and get excited when they see new ones. They steal toys from each other and make the other one cry. They can play peek-a-boo with each other and you hear them belly-laughing from the other room. They eat suckers and pull hair. They are way done with baby food and scream at you if you don't put food in front of them faster than they can eat it. And with two of them, this can be quite a challenge, let me tell you! I think I have actually lost about three pounds in the last two weeks (during Christmas, no less!) because they are eating more of my food than I am. They love the Christmas tree and the singing stuffed toys from Hallmark. They are on the fence about Santa this year, but I think they both lean towards liking him. They didn't care much for unwrapping their gifts, which was fine, since Sydney was more than willing to step in for them on that one. They don't really like snow because it is cold and wet. And they will both eat any Christmas treat that comes their way.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sick Season Begins With a Vengeance

If any of you out there were wondering if you should get a flu shot yet, the answer is a resounding "yes." Brock has the worst case of Influenza A I have ever seen. I am not sure if Sydney has ever even had this, but there will be no chance I will forget that poor little Brock had it. Ever. His fever has been as high as 104.1 since Sunday. Not continually, thank God, but on and off since Sunday it has been that high. We are keeping him on a very strict regimen of Motrin and Tylenol every three hours around the clock and it seems to help a little. I don't want to think how high it would be without it. He also has his very first ear infection and it's a NASTY one. He just fingers his ear and swipes at it constantly while giving this pathetic little moan and wail. He is just pathetic. He has slept in bed with me the last three nights and that has seemed to help him some. In almost four years of having kids, this is the first time we have ever had a child sleep in bed with us. Thankfully, they have never been this sick before. Braden has it, too, I think, but no where near as bad as Brock. He didn't test positive for it, but I have been treating him like he has it, too.
The reason Brock has it so bad, I think, is because last week he had hand, foot, and mouth disease. Just a light case to be sure, but his immune system was already compromised from that so it didn't take much to knock him down completely. He seems to be getting better, but we will keep him in for the next four to five days just to make sure.
Tony is going to his 20 year high school reunion this weekend, so if anyone wants to come help me with three children- be my guest. I am simply dreading being stuck in the house for two full days without any other human contact or any hope of any since we have the "sickness." Anyone get their flu shot yet?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Two Babies, One Three Year Old, and a Broken Leg Are Not Easy

People tell me all the time, "I don't know how you do it! And with a broken leg, too!" I tell them, "I don't know how I do it either." The number one thing that helps me get through, (after my dear sweet hubby, of course!) is our nanny, Rena. To refer to her as "a nanny" is the understatement of the year. She is pretty much just like having another mom at our house. She does all the same things I do, well, except nurse the babies! She makes our lives run SO much smoother and, in fact, possible at times. I have needed to go to Walmart all week, but Brock stayed home from school on Weds. (sick), too much other stuff on Tuesday and Monday, and I couldn't take all three kids with me, so I had to wait until this morning to go. Sydney can go with me in stores since she can walk, but I can't push the boys in the stroller because I have to use my crutches. Syd isn't able to push the stroller yet (the behemoth that it is) so we can't go anywhere right now unless someone comes with us.
A trip to Sam's with my dad last week looked like this: me on crutches in the store, my dad headed for the scooters, I took Syd to the bathroom, Dad met us outside the potty, I hopped on the scooter, he pushed a cart with Sydney in it while we went around the store collecting our purchases. We didn't even have the babies with us! Rena kept them at home with her.
My mom and I went to Target last weekend (Tony was on call so she flew out to help us, God bless her!) We parked at the door, got everyone out, babies in the stroller, Mom went in to get the scooter (of which they only have two! Walmart has an entire fleet!), I hopped on the scooter, Sydney sat in front of me, I pulled the stroller along side us, and Mom went to park the car! Good grief! I will be SOOO glad when this stupid stress fracture finally heals. No more running for me!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Princess and The Pea(s)

We took the kiddos to the studio today to get their pictures made in their Halloween costumes. I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story today.


Tink Twirling
So sweet...
So mischievous...
We had a lot of fun at our "shoot" today. Hope you all enjoy these pictures as much as we do!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Running Can be Hazardous to Your Health

Everything was going a little better, getting a little easier, so I decided I was ready to start getting back into shape. I didn't really want to join a gym because I don't care for the idea of paying someone a lot of money to drive to their place, put my stuff in a locker, my kids in childcare, get on a machine used by dozens of other sweaty people, try to act as though I really enjoy being there, and then getting everything together and going back home. Not appealing at all.
So I decided it would be a great idea to start running in our neighborhood. Now mind you, I haven't "run" for exercise in almost twenty years. I think, I'll start slowly and build up my endurance; it will be great. My loving hubby got me a Nike Plus for my IPod and I loved it! It keeps track of how far you've run, how long, how many calories, etc. It is extremely encouraging to someone who really wants to improve her physical conditioning through running.
I had been running for about two weeks and my knees were really starting to hurt. Hubby encouraged saying, "I hurt, too. You just run through it and it will get better." I wanted to believe him, so I kept running for another week. By this time my body is screaming at me to stop this nonsense and get my knees checked out. So, wanting to be responsible, I scheduled an appointment with the orthopedic clinic in town. They couldn't get me in until two days later so I waited. My knees were getting progressively worse, and the left one kept giving out on me. Day of appointment, guy takes x-rays and says, "Don't see anything on the x-ray, we'll put you in a brace and in PT three times a week for three weeks to build up your weaker muscles because your patella is tracking wrong." Okay. PT the next day goes alright, but doesn't seem to help any. I do my at home exercises wanting to obey the therapist.
Saturday night, while at Chuck E. Cheese (where a kid can be a kid), I was pushing the boys in the stroller and it ran into something that didn't move and my leg kept going. Huge mistake. I screamed very loudly, no one came to my rescue (T and S were spending her tickets) and I hobbled out to the car trying not to cry. I know something is very wrong at this point.
Monday morning, I went back to the clinic and sat in the waiting room until someone could see me. Luckily it was the other guy this time, the one who knows what he is doing. He ordered an MRI and gave me a Cortisone shot. Shot hurt like a mug, but didn't help at all. After the MRI, the tech told me she saw what looked like a deep bone bruise, a stress fracture, or a fracture on my tibial plateau. She couldn't say for sure though since she wasn't the radiologist. The next morning the doc calls and says I have stress fracture and the brace I was using was actually making it worse because it was pressing directly on the fracture. I say what does that mean for me? He says, "Stay off of it completely for four to six weeks." Doesn't he realize I have TWO BABIES?!!! How on earth could he possibly think I could do that? He says, "Come in and get a super duper fancy brace and crutches for when you have to walk." Seriously?
I tried that for a week and then I had to be honest with myself and realized I was not minding, so I wasn't mending. I called yesterday and told on myself. He made me come in and get a cast. From my groin to my TOES!!!!!!!! Unbelievable. So now I have this HUGE honkin' hot pink cast that won't allow me to put weight on my leg at all with the hope that it will start to heal now. I will have this for at least three weeks. So now, I have a wheelchair at home to help me move the babies about and try to maintain some independence and usefulness to my family in the meantime. My dad came out for a day last week to help me, and my mom is coming Friday night to help me while T is on call this weekend. I don't think I could survive if she wasn't coming. Thank you, Dad and Mommy, for coming to rescue me

Monday, September 7, 2009

Our Little Ballerina

Sydney didn't get mentioned last night, so today she gets her own post. She had quite a big summer. She had gymnastics with Miss Brandy again and she started ballet. Gymnastics is still her favorite and her donkey kicks are starting to get really great. She loves doing them. All the time. In the living room, the bedroom, on the ottoman, on the couch, at church. Really anywhere there happens to be a little extra room. Sometimes she performs the maneuver dangerously close to her brothers and gets in a little bit of trouble. Her cartwheels on the other hand, well, let's just say, sadly, I think she takes after her mother on those. Maybe someday she will do one, but it's not looking too good right now.
Her first experience with ballet did not go quite like I thought it would. She had a teacher that was a little, well, not fun. She is probably an excellent teacher for experienced dancers, but not so much for beginners. I understand that teaching ballet to three year olds is like trying to herd cats, as my dear hubby likened it to, but couldn't you at least try to make it fun and enjoyable? Sydney came home and said, "Ballet is kinda hard for me; I think I'll just do gymnastics." That just broke my heart because as you can see from the pictures below, she was extremely excited about ballet before it actually started. We switched to a different studio for the fall and based on the one class she has been to so far, I think it will be a much better experience for her. Her teacher is Miss Lugene and she seems to have the perfect disposition for teaching beginners. Sydney left her first class just bubbling with smiles and laughter.

Our Little Ballerina
She loves taking pictures on the stairs.

In her tap shoes. She loves them. Our floors do not.
She has become quite the expert on her tricycle.
We will get her a bike for her birthday. She can't wait!

She really loves our new house. I will let Sydney tell you in her own words, as dictated to me, what she loves so much about her new house.

"I really like my bunk beds the best cause Ardyn gets to sleep over. I think we will be best friends for ever and ever. And I love that Ardyn lives down my street so I can see her all the time. I love my sandbox in the backyard and my swing-set. I love having my room downstairs cause I get scared by myself. And I love the Woodlands playground and I am going to be a Woodlands Bear!"

We have really been blessed by the new house. Having everyone downstairs is more wonderful than I ever could have imagined. I was unsure about living on this side of town at one time, but I was so wrong! It is really great up here. No traffic, people actually play outside, it's incredibly beautiful- lots of hills and trees, the golf course is right down the street. It takes a little longer to get to church, but everywhere else we go is pretty much the same distance. And since we live in Amarillo, that distance is never more than fifteen minutes.
Our backyard has been just incredible this summer! We are out there every day and there is so much to do. It is fairly well protected from the fierce Amarillo winds, so it is quite pleasant. We have a great porch that wraps around the whole yard and it is a fun place to sit a spell and watch the kids play. The boys love being outdoors. If they are screaming out of control, we just take the bouncers outside and let them get some fresh air and watch Sydney's crazy antics. She loves entertaining them. She likes to "hold court" sitting on the fireplace with the boys in their saucers hanging on her every word. They all just adore each other. She has come a long way from crying on the floor in the sonographer's room when she learned they were brothers.

Preschool starts tomorrow and she is so excited. All her friends are in her class again and she asks me everyday if it's Tuesday yet. We have already coordinated her first day outfit with her little friend Saige. Pink playdress, pigtails with pink hairbows, pink socks, pink tennis shoes. Pink pink pink. Can you guess what her favorite color is?

Arydn and Sydney making cupcakes at their first sleepover.

Being silly in the tub.
Taking a bath after one of their many swim dates.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Eight Months Old Already!

If anyone reads this, please post a comment so I will know someone is still checking my blog. I will be very surprised if anyone actually reads this since I have quit updating it. So sorry to my loyal readers. Both of you.

Today the boys are eight months old. I know. I can't believe it either. Quick run down of all their stats:

Braden has two teeth and has just now decided to start rolling over. He has been able to do it for several months, but he is on "Braden time" and simply didn't want to do it yet. He is very curious and always wants to see what is behind him. He is very reserved most of the time. He is extremely coy and smiles primarily with his eyes. You can get him laughing sometimes, but it takes a lot of doing. He is pretty even tempered most of the time, but when he gets mad-brace yourself- because he cannot be calmed down until he is ready. He has a nasty temper and a very shrill screech. He does not like loud noises. At all. He has been sleeping through the night for the most part since June. He does wake up on occasion, but goes back to sleep pretty easily.

Brock. Oh, Brock. He is a ham! He will smile at anyone and anything. He has these amazing belly laughs that are just contagious. He has been been rolling over and army crawling for quite a while now and refuses to stay on his back. He sleeps on his tummy and always has his lovey at hand. He just got his first tooth on Friday and boy were we relieved. I was starting to think it would never come through. His emotions change on a dime, but he is easily soothed most of the time.

The boys are really starting to interact with each other-especially through jealousy. They cannot stand it if someone picks up the other one and not them. They will go from perfectly content to banshee if they see the brother get picked up and not them. They steal toys from each other and food, as well. If we give one a toy because the other one had one and they didn't, the one that had a toy will stop playing with his and look at what the other one is doing. They are the most fun to watch in the bathtub. We have this great little baby bath that I call their "boat." We can fit them in it together and they will kick each other and eat each others' feet. We have many photos and much video of bathtime.
Their favorite activity of all is watching Baby Einstein videos. Specifically, "Baby Van Gogh-World of Colors." They will be shrieking and then they will hear the unmistakable music of the DVD starting and they will stop what they are doing, turn, and look for the video. Pavlov's dogs...

We have still not had them tested for zygosity yet, but we do think they are most likely identical. To be more precise, I think they are mirror image twins. Google it, it's really cool. We learned at about five months old that Brock is left handed and Braden is right handed when they started sucking their thumbs. It is the cutest thing I think I have ever seen. They will snuggle with their monkey lovey, rub it on their face, and pop the thumb in the mouth. I will carry this sweet memory with me for always when I want to remember my sweet little boys as babies. I hope everyone gets to enjoy this precious gift with at least one of their babies.
I have run out of steam on my post, but I have much more to share. So if anyone actually reads this, please comment so I will know I am not just wasting my time blogging and I will post again tomorrow or Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Great News!

We accepted an offer on our old house yesterday! Thank you to you all for your prayers. God is surely taking care of us. We both really heard His voice when we bought our new house without having buyers for our old one. It is so nice to feel confident in Him. I wish I was able to live like that every minute of every day, but somehow I always seem to get in my own way. We will not close as soon as we would like, but at least we have a buyer. Praise be to God!
The kids are all starting to feel better, but that darn thrush will NOT go away! The nurse called me today just to chat (I LOVE our doctor's office!!!) and I mentioned the thrush problem. She asked if I was still nursing and I told her yes. She said that is why it is not going away. Because I have to TREAT MY BREASTS, TOO! Now why couldn't someone have told me that, oh I don't know, TWO AND A HALF WEEKS AGO!!!! Jeez! So now I have to put this fantastic yellow medicine all over the girls four times a day. What am I supposed to do with that? Just not wear a bra, or get it all yucky? Not wearing a bra doesn't sound too bad actually...
So our bestest nanny in the whole world has been on a much needed vacation with her family this week. And boy have we ALL missed her!!! I think she is having a fabulous time cause she texted me that she met Stacy and Clinton at the amusement park in Denver. How cool is that? She comes back on Thursday and will be here on Friday morning. I can make it. I can make it. We have had one of Sydney's preschool teachers here helping us today, but she was exhausted after a few hours. She kept telling me, "I don't know how you do this every day. I just don't know how you do it." She is supposed to come and help me again on Thursday, too, I just hope we didn't scare her off...
Brock and Braden started MDO on Monday. It went pretty well, all things considered. Neither of them ate very well, but they don't for me either. They will go back tomorrow and hopefully it will go even better. Sydney told me tonight that she LOVES that her "bubbas" go to school with her now. She thinks it's so cool they are right across the hall from her and she can check on them. She is such a great big sister. Now if we could just keep her from squishing them...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Has It Really Been This Long?

If you are reading this post, thank you. I fear I may have lost both of my loyal readers. We have been very busy the last month and a half and I have not wanted to blog in any of my free moments. I have most likely chosen to sleep.
Brock and Braden are now four and a half months old. Brock weighs 12 lb. 10 oz and Braden weighs 12 lb. We are just thrilled with their progress as they are now on "the charts." Brock is in the 4% and Braden is in the 2%. We take our victories where we can. They do not sleep through the night, but they are doing better and better each week. They typically wake only around 2-3 am and then they are up for the day between 6 and 7. They had a pretty rough week this last week. On Sunday, I realized they both had thrush. And on Friday my mommy radar was going off again and sure enough they both had strep throat. Add their twice daily dose of Xantac on top of everything and they were getting three different medications throughout the day for almost the whole week. One was twice a day, one was three times a day and one is four times a day. Times TWO babies. Let me tell you, that is a lot of medications. I will be glad when we are well again! And Miss Sydney was sick, too, with the adno virus and a secondary bacterial infection on top of that. She had a z pack for three day and an antibiotic eye drop. If I never see our pharmacy again...
Oh yeah, and we moved.
We went through the building process last year (if you followed my other blog) and decided not to move into it since our other house never sold. Neither of us felt quite right about taking the risk of moving into that house since our other one wasn't sold yet. We were working with the architect and our builder drawing up plans for another house (which was being bid out at the time) when Tony found a brand new house completed finished and completely perfect for our little family. We decided to take a chance and made an offer even though our current house still hadn't sold. We moved in last weekend and WE LOVE IT!!! It is just absolutely fabulous and perfect for us. The builder used to work with our other builder so the quality and little touches are much the same. This builder built the house for his family, but the family buying his old house backed out and he had to sell the one he built. There are so many fantastic touches throughout the house, many of the very things we have always wanted in a house that we built. And some of the things were actually better than the house we designed. I will try to post some pix when Tony gets the other computer hooked up (that is where the pix are downloaded.)
I will try to post more frequently in the future! I have missed you all very much!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

So Much Work!

If it feels like I haven't blogged in forever, it's probably because I haven't. In case you didn't know, two little babies are A LOT OF WORK!!! Every time I finish with one baby, I have to go right to the other baby. It feels more like an assembly line most of the time. I don't feel like I have really bonded with either baby yet and it hurts my heart. Sydney and I did nothing but bond when she was a baby.
Long gone are the days of Mommy and Sydney. We used to spend hours just playing and reading books. Now she's lucky if I get to read her one book before bedtime and help her brush her teeth. At least she had me to herself for three full years. The poor brothers will never know what that is like. Another mother of twins once told me that twins learn patience from a very early age. I am not sure what age they learn it at, but I sure wish my boys were there! I wake up with one of them before five every morning. And it's different each day. We try to survive until our friend, Rena, gets here a little before 8:30. She started coming Tuesday- Friday during the day to help me keep my sanity. She gets here, I take Sydney to school at 9, and on a good day I come back home and go back to bed until I have to pick Sydney up from school around 2 or 3. On other days, I have the weekly errands that must be taken care of before I can try to get some much needed sleep.
A typical night for us right now looks like this: Sydney to bed before 7:30. Bottles at 8:00 and bed for the boys around 8:30. One or both may stir a few times before we feed again at 1:30 or 2:00, if we're lucky, which requires whoever is staying up with them to settle them until the mid-night feed. And then they both go back to sleep until one of them wakes up around 4:00 or 4:30 just to hang out. And then the other one wakes around 6:00. And this week Sydney has been getting up before 7:00. And thus, our day begins all over again.
Just in case you missed the point of this post, TWINS ARE A LOT OF WORK.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Both boys got their blood reports back yesterday and they are "stable." Braden went down from 10.3 to 9.0; and Brock went from 9.3 to 9.6. I am not really sure what this means. I was hoping both would be around 11 or 12. Hopefully we are not going back down. I guess this is why we have them checked weekly. Thank you God for modern day medicine.

You would not BELIEVE the amount of mail we receive EVERYDAY from these doctor/hospital visits! We have a stack of papers about two inches thick explaining our benefits, or bills from each "encounter." You would think these guys were ninety and had been suffering from a slow, debilitating illness for years instead of just nine weeks old and something relatively minor. I truly think a small forest will die before this is all over. We have received paperwork for our paperwork. Why can't insurance companies and doctors' offices just use email? I opened the mailbox one day to find a large manila envelope from our insurance company with a thick stack of EOBs in it. I thought, "Finally! They figured out how to send them all together!" But, alas, no. The mail yesterday had two separate envelopes from them. Again. Good grief.

Poor Brock and Braden. They have had their blood checked so many times they barely even cry anymore when they get stuck. They have had it done more times in the last nine weeks than Sydney has in over three years. She has been stuck around six or seven times in her life, not counting shots. The poor little brothers passed that number when they were in the NICU. Since then they have both had blood drawn around ten more times, with multiple sticks at some of the draws. These poor little boys! And the end is still not in sight for them! This has just made me realize what the poor little kids that get cancer must go through. Why do children have to suffer, God? This world is not my home...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Team Brothers

In the past, we have participated in the March for Babies. Friends of ours had a little girl, Amberly, who was born premature and lived for three weeks and they created a team that we have raised money for and walked for every April. 
This year, we are forming our own team, Team Brothers, for our precious little miracle babies. I would like to invite anyone who reads this blog to participate in the walk with us this April. We will be raising money for the March of Dimes and if you would like to donate money, I will try to figure out a way to link you with their website through my blog. This is an organization that has been near and dear to me for many years as an observer; I simply never thought I would be a recipient of their good works. I did not know very much about the past of the March of Dimes until recently. 
This organization started in 1939 to find a vaccine for polio. And since then, they are responsible for almost everything related to prenatal and newborn care. 
They are the ones that developed the PKU test that every baby has to prevent some forms of mental retardation. 
They are the ones whose research led to discovering that alcohol consumption during pregnancy leads to birth defects. 
They are the ones that led the campaign for the creation of Neonatal Intensive Care Units. And I thank God every day that they did. 
They are the ones that launched a campaign in 1994 urging women to take folic acid during pregnancy to prevent birth defects. 
They helped secure passage for the CHIP program which provides healthcare for underprivileged children. 
They help provide prenatal care for women in third world countries. 
And they have provided funding for so many, many others working to eradicate premature births, genetic birth defects, mental retardation and so much more. This organization has touched everyone who reads this blog in some way. Some a lot deeper than others. If you want to know more about these amazing people who are helping babies, please check out their website
The March for Babies in Amarillo takes place on Saturday, April 25 in Thompson Park at 10 am. I would love for everyone that has been touched by The Brothers' story to join us if they are able. I will have t-shirts made up for Team Brothers and if you let me know your size, I will make one for you. If you live out of town and still want to help, let me know and I will figure out a way for you to help. I am planning on making this an annual event for our family and would love to have you and your family join us.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Who Knows?!

After our visit with the hematologist today and a subsequent explanation from my husband about what said hematologist said, I now understand this hemolytic anemia a lot more clearly. Tony likened it to how our bodies respond to a virus. We get a virus, say chicken pox. And our bodies immediately spring into action creating antibodies that fight this foreign body attacking our body. Some viruses take only a few days for our bodies to create the necessary antibodies to kill it; some, like chicken pox, take longer. But once our bodies create the antibody for any particular virus, we can never get it again because our bodies have the antibodies needed to destroy it. 
Most likely, when I was pregnant with Sydney some of her blood made its way into my blood and my body thought it was something it needed to create antibodies to destroy. She may have had this same thing the boys have, but she didn't show any clinical signs of it because the antibodies my body created weren't strong enough to harm her. But when the boys were placed in my womb, my body responded quickly and started producing the antibodies it thought it needed to destroy the "virus." These antibodies then got into Brock and Braden's blood and started attacking to protect me from them. Since they were introduced earlier in the boys' bodies, they had a much stronger effect on them than they did Sydney which is why we are having the hemolytic anemia.
What all this means is if we ever got pregnant again and the baby (or babies) had the same blood type as Brock and Braden, the antibodies would start attacking even quicker and the baby could possibly die. This also means that the jury is still out on fraternal or identical twins. Sorry, Sandy. 
And I had the chicken pox. Twice.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Second Verse Same as the First

Braden is doing great since his transfusion last week. But Brock started showing signs of hemolysis this week so we had his blood checked on Friday. The doc himself called me with the results and his hemoglobin was 6.9. We went back to the hospital for Brock to receive his blood transfusion. The hematologist met us up on the floor and told us we could go home as soon as he finished the transfusion. I was so happy that I wouldn't have to stay the night in the hospital again. So Brock got an IV in his head and they started the blood at 10:30 and we went home at 3:00 in the morning. Since then, Brock has picked up on his feeding again and generally seems to feel better. 
We will take both boys to the hematologist's office tomorrow for the first time. I think he will probably want to run blood work on both boys since they both got it. He is fairly confident the boys are identical twins since they both had this very rare blood complication. It is possible they are still fraternal, but not very likely. If Brock hadn't gotten it, they would be fraternal twins for sure. I may have been a little curious about this information, but I sure didn't want to find out this way. God has been with these little boys since before they were born and He is still a constant presence. We thank Him for saving both of our sons.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Labs Are Back

Braden's nurse just called and gave me his blood work results from this morning's appointment. His bilirubin is down to 4.4 (Wonderful!) and his hemoglobin is up to 14.7!!!! Last Wednesday it was a terrifying 6.1, Thursday it was up to 9.9 after the transfusion, and now it is within normal range. Please join us in prayer as we thank the Great Physician for healing our son, Braden. We are almost 100% sure this horrific ordeal is over. Praise be to God!

Smiling Baby

It has been almost a week since Braden got his blood transfusion and he is doing great! He is eating more aggressively than he ever did before and is interacting with us as much as Brock does. He is almost a different baby. We can tell that he just feels better. A lot more energy and his coloring is almost normal. We are still on our knees thanking God that for that still small voice that saved Braden. What an incredible blessing our sons are! And their big sister, too!
We reached another big milestone today: Brock smiled at me for the very first time. It was about fifteen minutes before the next feed and I was trying to distract him from his hunger until it was time to eat. We were looking at each other and I was bouncing him from side to side saying, Shush, shush, shush, and turning my head making smily faces when it happened. He just all of a sudden looked into my eyes and his mouth turned into a smile. What a moment! I was wondering if they would smile this week since smiling starts around six weeks of age, but since they are preemies I wasn't sure if they would be a little behind on that. I guess not, at least for Brock! Maybe Braden will smile this week, too!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Voice

On Tuesday, Braden was looking more jaundiced than before and we took him to the doctor because we were starting to get pretty concerned. He ordered blood work on him and called us with the results on Wednesday afternoon. His bilirubin (related to liver, causes jaundice) had risen to 14 and was down to 9 when he was in the NICU three weeks earlier. This was cause for concern, but his hemoglobin (level of red blood cells) was 7 and should have been between 12.5 and 16.5. This was cause for alarm. The pediatrician called a hematologist and they made a plan to recheck his blood on Friday morning. I was not comfortable with that decision at the time, but did not want to be overreactive, impatient, and not trusting of their decision. I should have been.
About six hours after the plan was relayed to us, Braden's coloring worsened and he turned very pale. His breathing was labored and rapid. That wonderful gift God gives to mothers in the form of the Holy Spirit that tells us something is wrong was screaming inside me. I knew Braden needed help and he could not wait until Friday. He needed help right this minute. Tony encouraged me to listen to the voice and call the doctor immediately. He told us to take Braden right to the emergency room. When Braden and I got there (Tony stayed home with Brock and Sydney), the room had about thirty people waiting and there were three people waiting to sign in. My heart sank. The ER was the last place I wanted to take my five week old preemie baby. We haven't even taken him out of the house yet! I just knew we were in for a very long wait. We signed in and went to the farthest corner of the room to isolate ourselves as much as possible from the scariness. Much to my relief, Braden name was called within three minutes; they had rushed him to the front of the line because he was so critical. They checked his O2 sats and they were in the mid-80s so they put on him oxygen right away. The ER doctor came in and I tried to explain to him that there was something wrong with Braden's blood and we needed to run labs immediately. He listened to me try to explain everything and then I think he finally called the pediatrician which is what I had been requesting since we walked in the door an hour ago. They started the IV to get the blood and then they ran the labs. Three hours after we walked in the door the labs came back and his bilirubin had gone down to 9 (good), but his hemoglobin had gone down to 6.1. Not good. Tony later informed me that a hemoglobin level at 5 is heart failure. Braden got admitted to the Pediatric unit. When we got to our room, there were five nurses getting all of his vitals when a doctor walked in the room. I assumed at first that he was the hospitalist, but it was actually the hematologist!!! Hooray, I thought. He explained to me that he had just been to the lab to review Braden's blood and it looked to him that he was having experiencing severe anemia due to a hemolysis of his blood caused by a reaction from being exposed to my blood during birth. Basically, my red blood cells were attacking his red blood cells and destroying them to the point that he almost didn't have any left. This caused his jaundice and then his labored breathing. The next thing it would start affecting was his heart's ability to function. In order to prevent this from happening, he explained, Braden needed a blood transfusion. The blood transfusion would give Braden's blood the boost he needed to give his body strength to fight against the incompatibility of our bloods. His body might have been able to do it on its own, but this would give him extra strength and time. I called Tony to relay to him what the doctor told me and his first response was, Thank God! Of all the scary, scary things this could have been, this was the very best one. He had considered this possibility but dismissed it because he thought Braden was too old to be having a reaction like this now. These types of things normally happen within the womb or the first week of life. This particular type is so uncommon they don't really have very much research out there about it. We still have go watch him very closely for the next week or so to make sure he doesn't relapse, but both our doctors are pretty confident this is what is was and that it is over. They discharged him yesterday afternoon because there was more danger to him staying in the hospital and being exposed to other illnesses. We went back to the doctor this morning and we will go again on Tuesday and Friday for more lab work. But hopefully, this is over.
The moral of this story is: Mothers, listen to the Voice. God gives us this gift for a reason and we have to listen to it. The Holy Spirit nudging our hearts is never something to be ignored or passed off. Please listen to this Voice whenever you hear it, because it is from Him. He loves us and is trying to protect us from whatever it is He is nudging us about. I thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit and I ask that you join me on your knees to thank Him for saving Braden. Thank you, God, for saving Braden.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Sorry to all of my blog fans for not updating recently. As you have probably guessed from the title, we are in triage mode at the Fillmore house. Merely surviving day to day and sometimes hour to hour. Both boys are on a very good schedule and eating, pooping and sleeping as they should. Just when we get done feeding them at one feeding, it seems like it is already time for the next feeding. I can get a few things done in between, but not much. Things are getting better, but it will be awhile before we are out of triage mode.
Sydney is starting to feel more comfortable with them, which I fear is not a good thing. She is in their faces a lot more and I feel it is only a matter of time before she tries to pick one of them up. I have to constantly stay on top of her to ensure the boys' safety. Her favorite baby doll, Baby Debbie, is getting a lot more of her attention than in the past right now. Hopefully, the doll will take the brunt of the attention and care. She is doing great going to school four days a week and is upset when it is not a school day. I think she will most likely continue the four days a week schedule until she actually starts kindergarten. It makes me a little sad to think she is only three years old and going to school four day a week when I think she should be home with me, but she loves it and that makes it easier. She is looking forward to her Valentine's Parties at her schools this week. She has already decided what she is going to wear which is of the utmost importance to her. She has also become the boys' stylist and takes great pride at making their wardrobe selections each day. Sometimes several times a day if she has her way. She is also the bathing assistant which she takes very seriously. And the diaper getter and taker-away. So far she hasn't been disgusted by their poopy diapers...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rough Night

Last night was rough. Both boys slept fitfully from midnight to three, and Sydney woke up at 1:30. Braden finally went to sleep after the three o'clock feeding, but Brock was awake until the seven o'clock feeding. If they keep doing this, I am not sure I am going to make it. I require sleep. Period. I do not function happily if I don't get sleep. I am normally pretty calm and patient, but all bets are off if I don't get sleep. Did I mention I didn't get much sleep? I do have a wonderful friend named Michelle who voluntarily came over this morning so I could take Sydney to school and then get some sleep while she cared for the boys for a few hours. This was a gift straight from God. He must have known I would require this today and set it up for me last Friday. Again, Michelle, HUGE thank you to you and many blessings on you. You are the best!
My dad arrives tonight just in time to help me out this week. This will be a big help because Tony is working all day tomorrow and then going out of town until Saturday night. But then he is taking off the next three weeks! What a wonderful time this will be for our family to get to spend together bonding and surviving. It is our plan (and hopefully the pediatrician's) to get the boys on a schedule that will have them sleeping twelve hours at night by twelve weeks old and having both of us at home to get them there will be awesome. We can just take turns sleeping and staying up with the boys.
A big thank you to Lori for the blog cuteness info. I hope you all like the spiffy new look for my blog. If it changes again, it's just because this website has so many cute options!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Computer Lessons

I received some computer tutoring today from my sweet husband. He showed me how to upload pictures and move them where they need to be to post them on my blog and Facebook. He also is so sweet that he reconfigured the laptop to make it super easy for me to use it for all of my blogging updates. He also showed me how to upload video clips and once I figure out how to edit them for posting, I will be adding some video. Too much in one day will probably fry my already overloaded brain. I think I am going to ask my friend Lori where she got her super cute blog decorations and soon you will see a new and improved background on my blog. But too much work all at once will wear me out even more than I already am. Sometime soon.
I am starting to get pretty tired. Still functioning pretty well considering, but I think it's starting to catch up with me. Braden is experiencing some tummy troubles and fusses some throughout the day and night. The day is okay for that, but getting up every fifteen to thirty minutes is really taking its toll on me. I will fall asleep for a little snatch and then he will need help. I will just get back to sleep, and then he will need help again. And then it happens again, and this time it's Brock! Ahhh! Tony somehow trained himself during residency to fall asleep the minute his head hits the pillow, and I think I will ask him for sleeping lessons next...
And I have added a few new pictures to the car bed post for those of you wondering what on earth a car bed looked like so scroll down to see them.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Great Report

The boys went on their first big adventure today: to the doctor. I think this is the only place they will be visiting until the end of March, or so our doctor requested today. He said it is always a little better to take them out after Spring Break because the "sick season" seems to have settled down by then. So we are going to just settle into a nice little routine here at the house until then. They both got excellent reports from the doctor today. Brock now weighs 6 lbs 4 oz up from 5 lbs 9 oz on Saturday and 5 lbs 1 oz at birth. Braden now weighs 5 lbs 14 oz up from 5 lbs 2 oz on Saturday and 4 lbs 12 oz at birth. The doctor was so impressed with their weight gain he said we can back off on their middle of the night feedings to every four hours or so. Everything else he checked was just perfect. I asked if I could switch them to all formula and he said no. He wants them to get all the breast milk they can get at least until after Spring Break. Shoot. I was so hoping it would be okay. They still have to ride in their car beds at least another couple of weeks until they are the size and age of normal newborns. I am not sure they will still fit lengthwise because the limit is twenty inches and they are both nineteen and half inches already. Oh well, at least we don't go anywhere.
In other news, Max and Jake have found a new home. It is a really great home for them. There is a stay at home mom and a ten year old girl and a five year old little boy for them to play with and loved on by. They seemed really excited to be going with them. It is a little sad for me to have to find them a new home, but I know it is the best thing for them because we just don't have the time to spend with them that they deserve. They are outside all the time and Sydney only plays with them about twice a week. This will be a very good thing for them. We have told Sydney that we will get another puppy when the brothers are older and they can all play with the puppies together. She seems to be okay with them leaving. Time will tell when she gets home from school and sees they are gone.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weather Delay

Well, the boys were supposed to have their first photo shoot today, but it got delayed due to weather. Hopefully we will be able to do it tomorrow and then I can get their birth announcements together to mail to all of you, my loyal readers. Speaking of my loyal readers, I want to give a shout out to all of you who post comments. I love to read them and they really do encourage me to write more frequently. Thanks, Lori, for your response to yesterday's post; I worked particularly hard on that one to get the humor of the story across. I love ya, girl!
One thing they tell you about having two babies at a time, it is hard. And it is. Brock was fussy all night last night and Tony held him from 4:30 until 6:00. And he had to feed both boys between 5 and 5:30. When he got them both back to bed, I had to get Brock and hold him not even five minutes later. This was okay until about 6:30 when Braden started fussing, too. So I tried to put Braden paci back in for about fifteen minutes until I realized that wasn't going to work so I had to try and hold both of them (not easy to do) and soothe them at the same time. And then Sydney woke up! People always say it is hard going from one kid to two, I say try going from one to three! I can't even imagine how my friends (not really) Jon and Kate did it going from 2 to 8! And I saw on the news this morning that somebody in California was delivering seven babies today and when they got the seventh one out, they found another baby!! How do you not know you are having 8 babies?! I cannot even imagine having eight babies. I only have two (three with Sydney) and I feel like I will never be able to function without help. God bless them.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Car Beds

I never did get to finish the story about the car beds. When the boys failed their second car seat challenge, the only way they would get to come home was in a car bed. The nurses in the NICU called Babies R Us to see if they had any and they were told they had two of them in stock. The nurses placed them on hold and called me to tell me to pick them up. I raced over to the store and ran in to get them. I went to the counter and told them I had two car beds on hold. They acted like they had no idea what I was talking about. Finally, someone who did know came up to where we were. She told me to come over to the Toys R Us side because they were on hold over there. I thought this strange, but went along with her. She took me to customer service and the lady there asked if I wanted the blue or the red. I told her I needed both of them. She said are you sure? You probably just want the blue one because it costs less. I said are you sure? I think they are the same thing, just different colors maybe. She said come with me to see the pictures of them so you can pick out which one you want. I thought this was really weird, but went with her. She led me to the back of the toy store where the children's furniture is which I thought was really strange. She showed me a poster with pictures of toddler CAR BEDS. Beds that were shaped like race cars.
Now I am laughing my head off from the slight communication error. I call the NICU and tell them the story, knowing that if I can't find two of these little beds today, my sons are not coming home for a few more days. I call my dear, dear friend, Jennifer, and put her on the hunt. This sweet friend calls all the home health stores in town and works overtime trying to find one (two) for us. She calls seven stores and no one has one. She is just about to call me in defeat when Britkare calls her back and informs her they have two in stock. She thanks them for calling her back, places them on hold, and calls me right away. I race over to the store and pay for them and then rush them up to the NICU so the boys can begin their car bed challenge. Which Brock passed by the skin of his teeth. Braden did really great on it. By the time I got back to the NICU, the story about the car beds at Toys R Us is already a cherished classic by everyone in the unit. I think someday when the boys are big enough we will have to go back to Toys R Us and purchase two car beds just to complete this story.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Boys Are Home!

Our rooming in went so well last night that they kicked us out after the 8 am feeding today. We got home around 10 and have been busy ever since. We were not able to get anything really organized before they came home so we have been hopping. Laundry, trips to the attic, diaper changes, attention for big sister, assembling Pack n Plays, and all of these squeezed in between feedings that last an hour every three hours. So we feed for an hour, have two hours to get things done, and then we start all over again. I appreciated the NICU when they were in it, truly I did, but I just didn't fully grasp the grueling schedule until today. Hopefully, I will be able to fall asleep quickly in the two hours between feedings and not wear out completely. Tony is still on call until Monday at 7 am. A call weekend has never seemed longer.
Grandpa (Tony's dad) has been here since yesterday and he has been completely wonderful. Sydney simply adores him because he plays with her and gives her the attention she is so desperately craving right now. I couldn't ask for a better friend for her right now. They are on their way to Chick-fil-a right now for dinner and the playground. Tony's mom is coming some time tomorrow and she is absolutely fabulous when it comes to babies. She is the baby whisperer, I think. It will be so nice having her here during this first week home while we are still trying to establish a well-oiled schedule at the house. The schedule the NICU set is in place and we are sticking to it like glue so far, but having her here will enable us to succeed at it. 
Thank you, everyone, for all of your prayers and thoughts for our family the last months. They helped us keep them in the womb as long as possible in order to keep our stay in the NICU shorter and it kept them from any serious complications. We ask for continued prayers of strength, patience, and endurance. Especially endurance. We love each of you dearly and thank God for you in our prayers.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rooming In!

I got a call from the nurse at 7:55 this morning telling me she had just received an order for us to room in with the boys tonight!  If they (we) do well tonight, they will come home tomorrow!!! This is the big night we have been working so hard to get to for the last two and a half weeks. They are finally ready. I only hope we are! 
They repeated the car seat test again today, and they failed. Again. They did better, but their O2 sats still dropped to an unacceptable level. Luckily Babies R US has two car beds in their limited inventory and I am on my way to pick them up so the boys won't have to wait at the hospital for another week when the hospital gets some more. Apparently failing the car seat test is not very common and they do not keep them in stock at the hospital. Thank goodness Babies R Us has some! And to think, we have only had a Babies R Us for about a year, before that we were just out of luck.
Of course, Tony is on call this weekend so I will probably be doing some of the rooming in tasks solo tonight. But, this is as close to our real life as it gets so why not start out with him on call right from the get go. That's how it will be at least some of the time. Say some prayers of thanksgiving for us and some of endurance as we take this last step before the real journey begins. At last.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Let's Try That Again Please

Well, the car seat test did not go according to plan. Both boys failed-and fast. They are going to repeat it again with both of them today and see if they do any better. I am just not sure they are ready for this challenge.  And I do not want to take them home if I can't put them in a car seat and not worry about them. We will have to get what is called a "car bed" for each of them from the home health store and I am just not comfortable with that. I am not even sure what that would look like. Maybe they will do better today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Baby Steps

This afternoon I got to try nursing the boys. And both of them took to it like a duck to the water. They both nursed for fifteen minutes and then pulled off and fell into a deep, deep sleep. They loved it!  Hopefully I will be able to figure out how to feed them both together just as easily and then we will decide if I want to nurse them or keep bottle feeding. I am still undecided. I would really prefer to bottle feed formula, but if this is really better for them (and not just from a breast milk vs. formula viewpoint) then I will certainly consider it. For today, I am just glad they both nursed as well as they did.
Their nurse asked me to bring up their car seats today for the car seat challenge. This is where each of them has to sit in the car seat with all of their leads on and not have any drops in their O2 sats, breathing, or heart rate for two hours. I think they will both do this without any problem, but it is one more thing they must complete on their NICU checklist before we can take them home. 
Once they have completed all of these tasks and not taken any of their feedings through the tube for 48 hours, then we will "room in" with them. Tony and I will both sleep in a hospital room right across from NICU and take care of the boys all night while they are still hooked up to their monitors. The nurses will come in and check on us and help us with whatever we need. I think it is really just a safety check to make sure we are ready to care for premies at home. I also have to complete a CPR course that the nurses will give me. Tony gets a pass on this part of the test. Once we have completed this "rooming in," we get to bring them home!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


The boys reached a significant milestone in the NICU today: they are now in open crib. For those of you familiar with NICU procedures you know how big this is, for those of you who don't, this is one step closer to coming home.  They have been bottle feeding most of their feedings for the last three days and their caregivers feel they are ready for the next challenge which is maintaining their own body temperature. They have been in individual isolettes thus far and today they ordered a big crib for them to share together. So not only have they reached the next challenge, they will be in the same bed!  I am so excited that they will finally be together!  Once they are sleeping next to each other I think they will do so much better.  Tony went up at the five o clock feeding and helped transition them to their new "big boy bed," and I went up at eight to see them in it for myself.  I also took some pictures and video which I hope to post on here as soon as Tony uploads them to the computer. I still don't do that.  I don't really have much interest in learning how either since Tony is so very capable and efficient at it. I pump milk-he does gadgety things. We each have our duties.  
On our list of NICU challenges:
Bottle feeding- check
Open crib-check
Maintaining temp- so far check
Next up-
Car seat challenge!
Rooming in with Mom and Dad
More on all of these future challenges soon!

For more pictures of the boys please check out this website:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Getting Stronger

The boys are getting stronger every day and we thank each of you for your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes.  Brock is taking full feedings a couple of times each day and attempting his feedings most of the time and only occasionally gets the whole feeding through his feeding tube (in his nose). The times they don't attempt to bottle feed him are when he has taken an entire feeding the time before and he is just tired out.  At the 2:00 feeding today, I got to the NICU at 1:30 and Brock had worked himself into a fit.  He was trying to turn over in his isolette and could just about do it, but not quite.  He got so mad, his heart rate was over 190 (normal is around 140 or so). I reached into his bed and helped him turn over completely and gave him his pacifier. He was so happy! His heart rate went back to normal and he stayed awake the entire time I was there from sometime before 1:30 until 2:45. I have never seen him stay awake that long and he took his entire feeding (44 cc) from a bottle.
Braden woke up for about 35 minutes while I was there and took 24 of his 39 cc. He is no longer receiving breathing treatments and both of them are off of the phototherapy light for treating jaundice.  Braden is still a little more tired than Brock, but I think he is catching up every day. I got to give both of them a bath yesterday and they loved it.  Braden was in hog heaven until the nurse had to scrub his head with adhesive remover to get all the tape gunk from his IV out of his hair. That made him quite mad.  Brock wasn't nearly as "gunked" and enjoyed it the entire time. I loved getting to see them without all the wires and leads all over their little bodies.  I have two beautiful sons with the softest skin I have ever felt.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Together Again

My doc released me from the hospital yesterday and I went home without my babies. That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  Both boys are in NICU and will probably be there for a couple of weeks. Tony thinks less, I think more, so I will just say somewhere in the middle. Brock and Braden are in about the same place with regard to everything. Weight, temp, jaundice, energy and strength.  Brock is doing better at feeding than Braden is and is taking 40 cc every feeding to Braden's taking 15 cc. Braden wasn't tolerating food very well yesterday so they were giving him his fluids via IV. Today, they have added food back in small increments. He seems to be doing well with it.  
My dream came true today and many prayers were answered: I got to hold both of them together. There are no words in the English language to describe how this felt.  It is just not possible to articulate this, so I won't even try.  It was the first time they have touched each other since they were born and they were visibly calmed.  It was such an incredible gift that I will never forget for as long as I live.  Please thank God for this wonderful blessing.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Babies Are Here!

Brock Andrew and Braden Michael could not decide which one them would come out first, so they agreed to be born in the same minute. The brothers made their debut on Tuesday night, January 6, 2009 at 9:11.  Brock weighed in at 5 lbs 1 oz and Braden weighed in at 4 lbs 12 oz.  Their pediatrician was able to be in the OR for their delivery and he sent them both to the regular nursery based on their high scores on the APGAR.  Braden did remarkably well in the nursery and has been there since, but Brock was having some trouble breathing and went to the NICU at around 1 am. He has been there since.  Brock had a chest xray and had what is called a "wet" xray, which tells us he had some amniotic fluid in his lungs.  They started him on IV antibiotics (NICU protocol) which will last at least 48 hours.  We find out this morning if he is ready to stop taking this medication. He is in an isolette and breathing room air which is very good news. He is not feeding as well as they would like and will probably have his feeding tube placed back in sometime this morning so he can get the fluids and calories he needs. He will be in NICU until he can eat 30 cc (1 oz) in 30 minutes for eight consecutive feedings (one entire day) and has been in an open crib for 24 hours while maintaining a consistent 98 degrees.  He will probably be in NICU for a little while. No one will say how long, but I think at least a week or two.  
Braden is doing extremely well in newborn nursery.  He is taking almost full feedings (25cc or more of his 30 cc) every three hours. He is keeping most of it down, too.  We do have to be very aggressive while feeding him because he did not develop the sucking skill in utero.  Now that I have learned how to feed a premie, his feedings with me are going much better.  He was under the warmer most of Wednesday to keep his temp regular, but his doc had him in open crib yesterday to see if he could maintain 98 degrees and I am very happy to report that he did not go back under the warmer one time.  He is doing very, very well.
I am doing as good as can be expected after major surgery, two babies, and the NICU. My doc is letting me stay until tomorrow since the boys are still here, but I could go today if I wanted to. We ask for your prayers for both our boys to come home just as soon as they are ready to leave the hospital.  It has been very hard to not see them together yet. I know they are right where they both need to be and that is where I want them to stay until they are ready.  It makes me sad to think they don't know where their brother is.  This must all be very strange for them. God is watching over them and He will keep them safe and comforted when I can't.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Weekly Update

The doc said we haven't changed much since Saturday and to still take it easy.  At this point, he doesn't want to give me any more meds to stop contractions because the toll it takes on my body is more detrimental to the boys than just letting them be born.  If my contractions are five minutes apart again, it's go time.  I'll let you know!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another Trip to L & D

We got sent back to L & D last night. Luckily they were able to stop my contractions with some turbutilene (sp?) and they sent us back home.  Sweet Tony said, "Well, if it takes us coming up here once a week for the next two weeks to keep them in a little longer, then that's what we'll do." And as usual, he is so right.  We were only up there for about two hours and our babysitter was able to come as soon as we called her, so it was not all that much trouble.  For every one day they stay in the womb, they stay out of NICU for three to four days!!!  When you look at those numbers, a little inconvenience and turbutilene is nothing.  I am back to full bedrest once again and I go back to my doc tomorrow morning for my weekly check. I shall update all of you tomorrow morning after the appt.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The End is Nigh

Tuesday's sonogram and appointment went well.  We learned the boys each weigh almost four pounds and look good.  I have started dilating and really have to take it easy. Like I haven't been doing that for a month and a half already!  Tuesday afternoon, my contractions got to five minutes apart and my doc sent me to L and D for evaluation.  They determined I was not in "active labor," gave me some medicine and sent me home.  Thank goodness.  I was placed on full bedrest for the next three days and told to obey it completely.  And so, I have not done anything since Tuesday, including blogging about our trip to L and D because the laptop was upstairs and I am not allowed to go get it.  Tony has been on call this week so we have not had him around much.  Sydney and I both had a horrible day on Wednesday-it's best not to even discuss it.  Yesterday and today have been much better.  She is watching way too much tv, but if the alternative is having two babies in the NICU for an extra couple of weeks, I will let her watch as much tv as is required to keep her happy.  Her best friends are either out of town or sick so she can't play with them.  There is hope just around the corner though-school starts Monday!  She will start at her new Monday Wednesday school next week and she is very excited. She will still be at her Tuesday Thursday school so she will have activities Mon- Thurs from now on. Praise the Lord!  She and I are both just super excited.  
We will officially reach the 34 week mark this weekend and I am so relieved.  My doc said when we started this journey if I made it to week 34, he wouldn't stop me if I went into labor.  So the boys will really be here any day now.  I still have contractions all the time and they are increasing in intensity.  I will try and let all of you know when the show starts if at all possible.