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.