Saturday, August 23, 2008

Failed photo shoot

We tried to take some pictures of the boys earlier this week, but the shoot didn't go well. You'll be relieved to know we had a professional help us out, so more (better) pictures to come soon! For now, these will have to do!





Our first week together



We've had a busy week getting to know our babies. Grandma has been here this week helping us out, and we couldn't have done it without her! Daddy had to go back to work yesterday, and Grandma and I managed just fine. What I'm not sure of is how things will go in a few weeks when I'm on my own with my three sons!



These are pictures from Monday when Ian arrived home to see his brothers.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Ian and Thomas

Ian had a great time seeing Thomas. We're not sure who enjoyed it more - Grandpa or Ian!



Friday, August 15, 2008

First 24 hours at home

We are home safe and sound! The first 24 hours has gone fairly smoothly. Ian went to see Thomas the Tank Engine today in Chicago, and will spend the rest of the weekend with Grandpa and Grandma. We miss him very much, but it has been nice to have some time to figure out how things are going to work these first few days. The four of us (Daddy, Mommy, Garrett and Brennan) are working on a routine. Between thrush treatment, vitamins and milk fortification, things are a little more complicated than we expected!

The drive home yesterday from the hospital went smoothly. I sat in the back seat to keep a close eye on the boys. The drive from the hospital to home takes about 40 minutes, so I decided the front seat was not an option!



Once we got home, I was anxious to hold them at the same time. Because they were hooked up to monitors in the hospital, I wasn't able to try this before. It felt great, and I'm sure my technique will improve with time!



The boys pretty much stuck to their NICU feeding schedule of every 3 hours. It takes about an hour to feed both of them, so we were able to get several 2 hour blocks of sleep... not as bad as I remember with Ian on night #1, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens!

We took the boys to their first visit to our pediatrician this afternoon. Garrett weighed in at 5 pounds even, and Brennan was 5 pounds, 10 ounces. The doctor said they look great, and wants to see them next week for a weight check. It was fun to take them out in their stroller. I remember reading in a twins parenting book that you should allow extra time for errands because people will want to stop you and chat about the babies. It's true - every person we passed had to peek or make some kind of comment!

Nana and Papa came for a visit this evening. We are definitely all enjoying having them at home where we can hold them, relax and just enjoy our tiny little miracles!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This is the day...

...we think!

Ian is on his way with Grandpa to Chicago. They are going to see Thomas the Train tomorrow! Very exciting!

Daddy and I are heading now to bring the babies home! After yesterday's experience, we will believe it when we are in the van on the way home, but it's definitely starting to seem real!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Keep arms & legs inside the ride at all times...

I hope you've strapped yourselves in for our roller coaster NICU ride!

Today's agenda went something like this:

8:30 a.m. - Get a call from the neonatologist that one of our carseats is too big

11 a.m. - Get staples removed from my incision (doctor's office is connected to the hospital)

11:30 a.m. - Nana and I go to Babies R Us to buy new carseat

12:30 p.m. - Take new carseat to the NICU

1:45 p.m. - Leave hospital with plans to return with Daddy after work to pick up the boys

3:20 p.m. - Daddy arrives home from work

3:30 p.m. - Get a call from the neonatologist - wants to keep the boys at least another day because they have not been feeding well last night or today (Ugh!)

3:40 p.m. - Daddy and I head back to the hospital to be there for the 5 p.m. feeding

7:00 p.m. - Arrive back home in time for Daddy to get to a meeting

We're trusting the doctors to do as they have said all along, "Not a day too early or a day too late."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Last Day in the NICU!

Tomorrow, we bring our little boys home!

Side by side in their beds


Garrett


Brennan

Monday, August 11, 2008

First day home (for Mommy)

We made it through my first day home. I felt like I was planning my entire day around a set of stairs! I'm still pretty tender from surgery, and the fact that I didn't move a whole lot in the hospital is making moving around a little bit of a challenge.

Daddy brought his mini refrigerator home from work so that we can use it in our bedroom for a while (basically for drinks and breastmilk!). Ian and I hung out upstairs most of the morning, then came downstairs for lunch (Daddy came home long enough to make lunches for us) and playtime with Megan in the backyard (thanks, Lisa, for coming!). I went back upstairs to put Ian down for his nap, and stayed up until Daddy got home from work. I'm having to think hard about what I'm going to need for the next several hours to minimize the stairs!

Good (and somewhat surprising) news about Garrett and Brennan... they are on target to come home on WEDNESDAY! We knew they were doing well, but wow!! They both kept their temps up in open beds and ate well today. There are a few other hoops for them to jump through, but things are looking VERY good for our little boys!! Keep the prayers coming.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm going home...

...back to the place where I belong!

The doctors have released me, asking me to be on the lookout for signs of infection. PLEASE continue to pray that this is OVER, and nothing more will need to be done! Our little boys are doing so well, and I want to be healthy when they are ready to come home!

It will be so nice to see my house after 17 days away, to sleep in my own bed, and to be with my family in our space! Thanks especially to my mom and dad who have helped with all of the day-to-day logistics of caring for Ian (eating, sleeping or napping, and where and when... more complicated than you might realize!). Teachers start back to school bright and early tomorrow morning, so I'm arriving home just in time for Daddy to head back to work! Once the little boys come home, he will take some time off for us to get adjusted.

Again please continue to pray for physical healing for me, Garrett and Brennan. Next blog entry will be from home! Hooray!

(You know you've been in the hospital a long time when the nurse hugs you goodbye, tells you her work schedule, and wants me to stop by and visit as I come to visit the babies!)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Change in plans... again!

Well, I'm here another night. :(

They stopped my IV antibiotics as of noon today, and want to watch me for 24 hours to make sure I don't develop a fever. They are worried that the infection might have just been suppressed by the medicine, but not eliminated.

Daddy, Ian and especially I want so badly for me to be home and healthy! Please, please, please pray for this infection to not rear it's ugly head!!!

Our little boys continue to do very well. Daddy spoke briefly with a neonatalogist today. Their feeding tubes are gone, so our goals for them are now consistent weight gain and body temperature control. The temperature control is strictly a maturity issue, and they are very close to accomplishing this. They are both eating well, so this just needs to continue. So far, I'm able to keep up, and it's nice to know that I am still able to help them out even if I'm spending most of my days in a hospital room! The doctor mentioned they COULD come home as early as THIS WEEK! (Another reason to pray for health for ALL of us!)

A New Day!

Mommy here. Daddy has been posting ever since I went into labor... hasn't he been doing a wonderful job?! I know we will all be very busy soon, so I have a feeling we will both be contributors, regardless of the fact that it's "Mommy's Journal."

I made it through last night with NO FEVER!! If I make it to dinner time today with no fever, I can GO HOME!! (This is my 16th day here, but who's counting?) PLEASE PRAY FOR NO FEVER!! The nice thing is they will remove my staples before I leave, so I've stayed here long enough for that to heal well. Not too many moms get that opportunity!

Thank you for all of your words of encouragement, cards, e-mails, phone calls, visits, gifts, and especially for you prayers for us. It has been a difficult part of this long journey, but we feel so blessed to have Garrett and Brennan join our family...

My three sons... WOW! Still can't quite absorb this abundant blessing!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ian Visits His Brothers



We finally decided to take Ian for his one and only permitted visit to meet his brothers today. WE told him about 30 minutes before his visit and tried to prepare him for what he was going to see. He was very excited and was not intimidated by the NICU at all. Our nurse had to meet us at the door and escort Ian to the babies.

He was very gentle with them and really enjoyed getting them to hold his finger. He was very curious and had lots of questions for us. Our nurse was great and even set us up for a family picture. Mommy nursed Garrett and Daddy fed Brennan a bottle. Ian was eager to help feed the boys too.

Proud Big Brother


Getting His Robe On


Peering in on Garrett


Getting Garrett to Hold His Finger


Tickling Brennan's Foot



Holding Garrett


Ian is Loving Garrett


Ian Helps Daddy Feed Brennan

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A hospital is no place for rest



Mommy is trying to beat this infection and being in the hospital seems to be hindering that process. Nurses are coming to set up her next IV medicine on such a regular basis that she's having trouble getting any solid sleep. Last night it was 1:30 am, 4:00 am, 7:30 am,... it just keeps going. Mix in regular pumping for our very hungry boys and she can get a few cat naps. I guess she's practicing for when the babies come home.

The boys continue to improve. Mommy nursed Garrett this afternoon and Brennan was wide awake for his bottle. The nurses are going to try both boys in bassinets again tonight or tomorrow. Brennan is finished with his antibiotics and hopefully he is done with IVs.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Feeding time

Mommy and Nana got to bottle-feed the boys this afternoon. They forgot a camera, so no pics. Sorry. The nurse on duty did take some pictures and printed them for mommy to have in her room.

Brennan put on a few more ounces today and he is in the bassinet holding his temperature so far... They continue to increase his milk allowance.
Garrett held firm on his weight today and can now eat as much as he wants.

Garrett is excited about eating. Everyone has to wear a gown when holding the babies unless mommy is nursing.


Brennan has his IV in his head. It looks bad, but there are good veins up there and he can't mess with them as much.


The CAT scan on mommy showed no problems. Her blood cultures are coming back fine. Her temperature spiked again this evening. The doctors seem confident they are ruling out the big stuff and continue to treat it as an infection with strong IV antibiotics.

Stumped

The doctors are stumped with Mommy. They changed an antibiotic, ordered a CAT Scan, and will keep her another night tonight. Hopefully she responds to the antibiotic and/or they find the problem. She is tired of being in bed at the hospital.

Garrett and Brennan finished their whole bottles this morning. The nurses continue trying the boys dressed without heat to test their ability to maintain their body temperatures. This appears to be the major goal for our boys. The nurse said that Brennan is ahead of most babies his age, and Garrett is acting beyond his age- especially the way he's eating. Go boys, go!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Battle Continues

Mommy continues to fight a fever tonight. It only seems to appear in the evenings. The doctor's solution is to continue the antibiotics. Hopefully, with some rest tonight, she can fight this infection once and for all!

Daddy got to bottle-feed both boys tonight. Garrett finished his bottle in a record 4 minutes. Brennan was very sleepy, but he got most of his bottle down before completely falling asleep. Both boys' weights are up and they are now past their original birth weights. We are grateful for their progress and continue to pray for even more.

Another Day



The boys continue to make progress. The doctor increased the amount of food they are given again.

They tried Garrett in a basinett today, but his temp. was a little too cool, so now he's in a coverlet to maintain his body temperature. They also took his IV out this morning. As long as he continues to gain weight, he'll stay off an IV. The only things he's connected to now are heart and breathing monitors and a temperature monitor. Mommy nursed him again today.





Brennan is still going strong. He has been too sleepy to nurse, but they said he was wide awake at 8am this morning and drank well from a bottle.

Mommy's infection just won't go away. They continued antibiodics all day today and will keep her one more day. Hopefully, she'll go home sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Ian and Daddy slept in their own beds last night. Ian was happy to be home with some normalcy. He'll be happy when he gets back on his normal schedule of Curious George after breakfast and then playing with dinosaurs, trains, cars and his "park" (the playset) the rest of the day. He keeps asking when mommy will not be wearing her hospital pajamas. We are trying to find the best time to take him to the NICU to see his brothers. He is only allowed one visit, so we want less wires and tubes on the babies when he sees them.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mommy and Boys Get Acquainted

Mommy made it to the NICU today! She held Brennan for 15-20 minutes and then she got to nurse Garrett. He is a natural and true to his reputation, he ate very well. He was so full, he wouldn't even take any more from the bottle afterward. It was a great meeting. Now mommy is exhausted and will try to get a nap.


Garrett peeking around


Brennan

3 Days Old

Garrett is always hungry. The nurse said he demands to be fed first and she is hoping the doctor will approve increasing his food today. He seems to be a "feisty" boy- a word several nurses have used. At this point we like feisty, but this will be a new thing for us if it continues. His jaundice levels are down, so he may go off the photo light as early as today.

Brennan continues to make great progress. They turned off his warmer today and dressed him. Hopefully he can keep his body temp and both boys can go to cribs soon.

Mommy is feeling better today, although she is running out of spots for the IV port. The latest one is precariously on the top of her left hand. It has to be at just the right angle to work, so she is being very careful not to move it too much. Because of her infection and the course of antibiotics they are giving her, she is going to stay another day here.

The exciting news is she will be cleared to see the babies today! She is excited about nursing the insatiable Garrett during her visit.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday, August 3

Brennan is off C-PAP!! They decided to try him without it this morning and the nurse says he is breathing better by himself than he was with C-PAP. Your prayers are working- keep it up!! Daddy got to pick him up as the nurse was preparing to give him a bath.



Garrett is doing well too. They put him under the photo light for his jaundice today. Daddy got to feed him his bottle again this morning and change his diaper.



Mommy had another low grade fever this morning, but she is feeling better this afternoon and will most likely be discharged late tomorrow. She is anxious to see the boys again.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

1 Day Old - PM



Garrett continues to make progress! He has begun to drink from a bottle!! Daddy was able to feed him tonight after changing his diaper. This is all very exciting, because learning to suck, swallow and breathe all at the same time is one of the key elements to going home. Garrett still has a way to go, but he's making big progress.





Brennan is still working on his breathing and enjoys blowing bubbles. He always seems to be stretching his legs- trying to get taller, I guess.



Mommy got a fever for a while today. It's under control and she's feeling better, but now she has to wait another 24 hours to see the babies. This is starting to wear on her, but she continues to pump and it's going straight to Garrett for now.

1 Day Old

Garrett is breathing on his own today! The nurse said that when mommy's water broke, he started to mature more quickly and so his lungs were more mature. It's so nice to see his face without tubes! They started feeding him through a tube today! Mommy started pumping, so he got mommy's milk. They also gave him a bath and dressed him. The doctor said Garrett was a little jaundice and would probably go under the light soon.

Brennan still needs the C-PAP and probably will stay on that or oxygen for a while. They say his lungs are getting better. The Dr. hopes to start feeding him on Sunday.

Mommy is feeling more pain today. The nurses are taking good care of her and she is resting today. She hopes to get to see the babies via wheel chair today.

Friday, August 1, 2008

They're Here!!

Garrett Edward and Brennan Paul entered this world at 3:16 and 3:17 AM. Mom is resting well. Garrett weighed 4lbs 8 oz and is breathing with the help of some extra oxygen. Brennan weighed 5lbs 4oz. and is using the C-PAP to assist him with taking deep breaths. Both boys are doing great!

Garrett


Brennan


The nurses rolled mommy's bed up to the babies in the NICU around 6 this morning.






video

Here We GO!!!

It's 2:45 AM. Mommy is 5-6 cm dialated. Nurses are scurrying to get her ready! Babies will be here soon.