Saturday, May 29, 2010

34 weeks and 2 days

Everyone is doing very well. Errol is up to 4lb 7oz. They tried to give him a bottle yesterday but it didn't work well. I may attempt to nurse him today. Not sure though because I developed mastitis yesterday :( Hopefully I caught it early enough and it won't be as bad as it was with Jozey. Avery weighs 3lb 12oz and attempted the bottle without success yesterday too. Layla only weighs 2lb 5oz still, but had a high calorie fortifier added to her breastmilk finally like the others. Nothing else exciting to tell except that they are all sharing a room now which makes visits so much nicer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Two Weeks Old (34 weeks gestational age)

The babies will be 2 weeks old tomorrow and 34 weeks gestational age Thursday. They are doing unbelievably well.

Errol is 4lb 4oz and is taking his feedings very well. He is getting them by gravity in his feeding tube and may start bottles soon. He is very calm and sweet. He has a great smile.

Avery is also doing well with her feedings. She should be switching from the tube feeding pump to gravity feeds soon. She still likes to curl up on her side with her hands cradling her face. She is up to 3lb 10oz now.

Layla is 2lb 4oz and is going slower with her feedings, but definitely making progress. She is so funny and fiesty. She makes the tighest little fists till her knuckles turn white. One of the nurses yesterday showed us how to firmly but gently confine her in our hands to settle her. It worked like magic. They said she may continue her temper for a while because of her size. She will probably beat the other two up as soon as she can :)

Had a very nice, but busy visit last night. Tub bath for Errol and bed bath for Layla. I feel better every day and am loving spending time with Jozey.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Beating the Norms Everyday

Babies are doing super! All are ABOVE their birth weights now! It's normal to lose weight like they did, but getting back to birth weight doesn't have to happen and doesn't usually happen until they are two weeks old. They are 9 days today.

Errol is 3lb 14oz from 3lb 12oz. He is adorable. He loves to smile already. Adam gave him a bath in a little tub yesterday while he was swaddled and said he loved it. Still has a lot of dark hair and looks more and more like Daddy everyday. We got to dress him a couple days ago :) His bili lights are off and it's so great to see his eyes all of the time now. He's maintaining his temperature well and is tolerating his tube feeding like a champ. Adam got to give him his first gravity feeding instead of the pump yesterday. This doesn't usually happen until they reach where the would have been 34 weeks. They were 33 yesterday. He may get to bottle feed or nurse soon. Still haven't decided about the nursing. I'm pumping for them now and getting more than I ever did with Jozey. I don't plan on nursing when they get home, but I may occasionally try in the hospital to help with our bonding.

Avery is doing well also. She weighs 3lb 5oz form 3lb 4oz. They had to put her on some caffeine to help her keep her respiratory rate and heart rate up, but they said it's a common thing and seems to be helping. She's on a little oxygen now to help until the caffeine becomes effective. She is off of her bili lights too and loves looking around. She is a little more stingy with her smiles, but adorable anyway. My mom got to hold her Wednesday and loved it :) We should be able to dress and bathe her soon, once her resp and heart rate situations get under control.

Little Layla amazes us every day. She is so feisty. She is up to 2lb 1oz from 2lb even. They are increasing her tube feedings and her digestion is getting better. She is the only one that still has an IV in. She has a PICC in her arm. She had one in her leg, but it started to get swollen so they moved it. She is also on caffeine. Adam's mom got to hold her yesterday :) I get very nervous holding her when she isn't swaddled. She's so tiny. Her little cheeks have fattened up a bit, but she pretty much still looks like a little old lady or a bird :) Fine with us, she's our miracle. She may get one if not both of her bili lights turned off today. She's been under them so long, she just stares at everything when she gets a break from her "sunglasses".

I'm doing very well. Amazed at the weight that's dropped off already, especially since I was so swollen after the surgery. Got my cerclage out yesterday and was able to take steri strips off incision last night. Still sore, but not too bad most of the time. I can drive and pick up Jozey starting Wednesday. Can't wait! Today is our first day home alone in a long time. It was so nice being able to sit on the floor and play with her again.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Babies First Week

All of the babies are doing very well. Errol had his IV removed last night and is doing great being feed breast milk exclusively. All of them have feeding tubes in their noses and get fed through it every three hours. I think he is getting about 20ccs. He has his temperature monitor off and will probably get his bili light turned off tomorrow. It'll be nice to see his eyes all of the time and not have to peek under those little sunglasses they have to wear because of the lights. He still has episodes of low/high heart and respiratory rates like the others, but is still adjusting to the outside world. He looks so much like Adam. He has jet black hair and a long oval face like his daddy. We have been able to hold him the most. He wiggles for a while, then settles in and nuzzles your chest and goes to sleep. He likes to lay on his belly in the isolette a lot.

Avery is tolerating her tube feeds very well too. I think she is getting just a little less than Errol. Her TPN (IV nutrition) is being decreased and will hopefully be off soon. She loves to lay curled up on her right side with her hands together up by her face. She has strawberry blond hair, but seems to look like my sister. We have each held her once.

Little Layla is strong, but having some issues with digesting her food. She only gets 1.4ccs every three hours. Her's goes in slower than the others. Errol's and Avery's feedings go over one hour and Layla's is stretched out over two hours. The problem is that when they check before the next feeding to see how it has digested, most of it is still in her stomach. They checked her for a bowel obstruction and just found some gas. She has had at least 6 bowel movements, which is way above what her siblings have had.Dr. Belcastro, their neonatologist, said this is a common problem in babies who had cordflow issues in utero like she did. It's hard to tell who she looks like right now since she is so tiny and bird like. Adam says when she stretches out on her back and has her bili light glasses on that she looks like a little old lady laying on the beach sunbathing :) We have each held her twice. It made me very nervous. She's just so tiny and fragile.

Errol and Avery may move out to the other part of the NICU to make room for less stable babies sometime this week. There is a triplet room there where they can all eventually be together. It has a set of triplets in it but the Dr says they will be going home before ours do so we will get it sometime. That will be great to have them together.

If anyone wants to visit them, let us know. We will be out there most evenings. You can't get in without us. Thanks for the continued prayers and support.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Who's hungry?

We had a great day with all of our babies yesterday! Everyone is off of CPAP and are now breathing COMPLETELY on their own. Errol and Avery's feedings were increased. Layla pooped twice! That may not seem like a big deal to you, but we are so proud of our little one for amazing everyone. While Adam was holding her, Layla got her first tube feeding! All of them had their echocardiograms (heart ultrasounds). The girls' were normal, but Errol showed a slight defect. This exerpt from a website explains it better than I could. "The ductus arteriosus is a short blood vessel that connects the main blood vessel supplying the lungs to the aorta, the main blood vessel that leaves the heart. Its function in the unborn baby is to allow blood to bypass the lungs, because oxygen for the blood comes from the mother and not from breathing air. In full-term babies, the ductus arteriosus closes shortly after birth, but it frequently stays open in premature babies. When this happens, excess blood flows into the lungs and can cause breathing difficulties and sometimes heart failure. Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is often treated with a medication called indomethacin or ibuprofen, which is successful in closing the ductus arteriosus in more than 80% of infants requiring these medications. However, if medical therapy fails, then surgery may be required to close the ductus." Right now his hole is very small and he is show absolutely no signs or symptoms of complications from it. They are going to watch is closely while he's in the hospital and as he grows. We aren't worried. These babies have already beat more than this. We have gotten to hold all of them now. It's just amazing.

We had a nice suprise last evening when my parents brought big sister. Jozey for a visit. Can't wait to get home to her :)

I'm starting to feel better. Still sore and very swollen, but walking and getting around better. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.

*Thinking we need to change our Blog name to something including the whole family now that the babies are here. Any suggestions??? I'll pick my favorites and post a survey so everyone can help pick. Our idea was "Adam and Mar Plus Two Pair" :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

First NICU Days

We are suprised and amazed at how well our babies our doing. The were all on cpap and a small amount of oxygen at first. Now Errol and Avery are breathing completely on their own and the only tubes they have are feeding tubes and IVs (Avery and Layla have PICC lines). They are all getting IV nutrition, but Errol and Avery are also getting small amount of tube feedings (high calorie formula and the small amount of colostrum I've produced so far). We've changed all of their diapers and held Errol outside of is his isolette. They are all under bilirubin lights for jaundice. Errol's is normal newborn jaundice. The girls have an antibody to my blood and that is causing theirs. No idea when they are coming home. That's everyone's first question. It's one day at a time.

The big day is here! Birth at 32 weeks (31wk 6days)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I had afternoon appointments Wednesday and since they were at Jozey's nap time, mom's friend Crystal came to the house to watch her. We got to the doctor's office at the hospital a little after 1:00. The non stress test was first and it went well. Next was the ultrasound. Everything was good with Errol and Avery, but when she got to the cord flows on Layla, I knew the babies had to be born that day. Dont know if I've explained this before, but a NORMAL cord flow tracing should peak above or below the baseline (direction depends on if they are looking at the umbilical arteries or the vein)then return close to the baseline but not touching it and rise or fall again. With ABSENT end diastolic flow it returns completely to baseline and has a break or gap then starts again. With REVERSE end diastolic flow it returns to baseline and crosses it, peaking again on the opposite side. Dr. McKenna had explained to us that the progression of this problem usually goes intermittently absent, absent, then reverse. If untreated or unrecognized babies die within 24 hours of reverse flow. Layla's flow was now intermittently reversed. I recognized it, but didn't want to alarm my mom so I occupied both of us with a game of scrabble on my phone while we waited for the dr to come in. When Dr. Kovach came in, she said the babies needed to be born that evening. It wasn't an emergency since it wasn't completely reversed, but we had made it clear that we wanted her out as soon as she was in danger. They scheduled the csection for 6:00pm and mom and I spent the next hour figuring out who we needed to call and making plans for Jozey.

Since I didn't make my goals of weeks and 5 pound babies, I made sure they would let me walk to pre-op at least. I walked there from the triage area a little before 6:00. Once I was there Adam got into his surgical clothes and sat while they took me into the OR to prep me. I agreed to let a student do my spinal, why?...I have no idea. He had to stick me twice and I was very uncomfortable throughout most of the surgery. He kept asking if it was pain or pressure. I said, very painful pressure. I didn't feel them cut me, but I felt every tug and pull after that. At one point I was bawling. Me hurting upset Adam and right after Errol came out crying, he had to put his head between his legs to keep himself going. We both missed Avery coming out, but they said she cried too. Then came little Layla. Her cry was the most wonderful sound I've ever heard. Adam went to the resusitation area with the babies while they finished up with me. They did a low bikini incision on my skin, but had to do a vertical classical incision on my uterus since the babies were all so small and fragile. While Adam was in with the babies, he passed out and fell on the floor. After some smelling salt he was fine :) All of the babies were immediately breathing on their own. They put them on cpap for some extra help though. Errol weighed 3lb 12oz, Avery weighed 3lb 4oz, and Layla weighed 2lb. We are so thankful for our litle miracles.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

So excited to be 31 weeks today! Appointment yesterday was great. All three passed their non stress tests with flying colors. Layla's end diastolic cord flow was still compromised on ultrasound but everyone's weights were excellent! Errol and Avery each gained 15oz in two weeks. They are now 3lb 9oz and 3lb 3oz! Layla gained 8oz which is less than them but twice what they said she needed to gain. She is now 2lb 2oz! I was feeling miserable for a couple days before my appts, but getting such good news really helped. I really think I can make it to 35 weeks now. 30 weeks was a big deal though. My next short term goal is 32 weeks, then we will shoot for 35. Having a lot of contractions, but the never get too unbearable. Hands and feet are starting to swell just a bit and sometimes they get a little purple. Reflux is probably the worse thing right now. Doesn't matter what I eat or how I lay. Took a phenergan to help me sleep last night and was still in a daze at 11:00 this morning. Luckily my grandma was her to help with jozey. Thanks again for all of the prayers, calls, and support. Will never be able to tell you all how much it means.

Almost forgot. Our friend Teresa volunteered to start meals again. No pressure or obligation, but if you would like to help you can reach her at (937)609-1318 or Teresa.Abney@workflowone.com.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

30 weeks

Well after a stable ultrasound and great NST (non stress test) I got to come home Wednesday! I'm very suprised at how exhausted two weeks of just laying in a hospital bed have made me. I'm still resting as much as I can and taking the stairs as little as possible. I had appointments at Miami Valley today. First was my ultrasound. All of the babies anatomy was still great. Layla kept opening her mouth wide and closing it right on her placenta. I guess since her cord isn't feeding her that well, she's decided to eat her placenta :) Fluid levels were good on all babies. Layla's end diastolic cord flow was intermittently absent but it was completely absent last time so the doctor was pleased. From what I understand from information from the drs, absent end diastolic flow means that blood is pumping to her fine, she just isn't pumping it back as well. Next was my NST. And NST is where they place an ultrsound sensor on my stomach over each baby and also one somewhere in the middle to monitor for contractions. What they are looking for is for each baby to have 10 accelerations (increase in heartbeat of at least 15 beats that remains increased for at least 15 beats) in twenty minutes. Today they also had me press a button with each movement I felt (I might as well have just held the button down, they were very squirmy :). The accels were great and I felt tons of movement. I will have the same tests every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until the babies are born. Next Wednesday I will also have a growth scan to check weights. The dr said she wants to see that each baby, especially Layla, is gaining at least 2 oz per week. It'll be two weeks on weds since last weights, so Layla needs to have gained at least 4 oz. That would put her at 1lb 14oz. If any of them haven't gained enough the dr said we will have to talk about delivery. So the prayer for this week is at least a 4oz weight gain for each baby.