Sunday, December 31, 2006

Indescribable Joy !!

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.
So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he shall be given over to the LORD."
1 Samuel 1:27-28

I got the BEST surprise today!! The last day of 2006 was by far the best day of 2006 for me. Not only did I get to hold Andrew for the very first time in his life (the day before he turns one month old) but I also got to hold his brother Adam as well after not being able to for 2 weeks. I think Andrew enjoyed it as much as I did. They are both on the ventilator still but they have improved in the last few days and neither have their arterial lines anymore so they were able to be held. Since it was Andrew's first time and he still has saturation issues, they were only going to let me hold him for 10 minutes but he did so fabulous that he got to stay in my arms for almost 35 minutes.
My heart is so full!!



Saturday, December 30, 2006

2006 is almost over!

Today was a nice day, the boys are getting a tiny bit stronger and we were able to interact a little more with them without them desaturizing as badly. They are both up on their feeds and down on their O2 settings a bit but no one has come off the respirator just yet. I wasn't able to speak with Andrew's neurologist so I still have questions about his scan. Not to be outdone by his brother, Adam decided to extubate himself last night but he doesn't seem to have been affected by it. Hoping for another good day tomorrow to ring in 2007!



In this one it looks like he's saying
"Enough mom, you're embarrassing me!!"

My Boys are 4 Weeks Old!

Adam seems to be doing a little better today and they were able to wean him back to 50% O2. He is eating better and making lots of dirty diapers, those are always celebrated in the NICU because it's a great sign that their body knows what to do with the food. He's still congested but it seems a little better and the chest culture doesn't appear to show a second pneumonia.

Andrew is just meandering along (which is always better than the alternative), they are doing another chest x-ray and blood gas in the morning to see if his lungs have improved. If so they "might" consider letting him try c-pap again, I'm really hoping they will because he's been in a bit of a holding pattern the last few days and I'd like for him to get an opportunity to at least excercise his lungs a little more.

Adam's head scan results are still not back and Andrew's are a bit confusing to me, I'm hoping to reach the neurologist tomorrow to discuss, please pray that there will not be any more troubling news for little Andrew. Some definite good news for him though is that there is no sign that the ventricles have changed in the last week, Praise the Lord.

Thank you dear friends for continuing to love and encourage us and our brave little men!!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Stormy Weather

Today I was in College Station for a haircut that was about 4 months overdue. Afterwards my sister and I tried to go to Target but it was raining so hard I decided to drive through McDonald's and was eating in my car in their parking lot waiting for the weather to clear up a bit. It did and so we we left the McDonald's parking lot and went in to Target. About 20 minutes later it was pouring again and we were debating whether or not to make a run for the car or wait it out inside the store. We decided to go for it but seconds before we ran out the door this Target employee demanded that everyone go to the back of the store because there was a tornado in the parking lot.

A woman and her infant had just tried to leave when the power went off and they were trapped in between the two sets of doors surrounded by glass on both sides. SCARY!! Fortunately the power came back on and she was able to get back in the store. We could hear the wind howling over head and then it seemed to clear up. When we went outside the parking lot was a bit of a mess, the cart returns had been pulled out of the ground and were laying on the cars next to ours. Luckily the damage was all pretty minor but it did make for an exciting afternon. Good thing we didn't hang out in the McDonald's parking lot a few extra minutes because a tree fell on a car that had been near us and the sign was totally destroyed. My new mommy-mobile that Kenny got me for Christmas was totally spared, thank goodness (yes, I ditched my small car because there was no way 2 car seats and a double stroller were going to fit inside).

Of course we are no strangers to tornadoes, though minor in comparison today's storm reminded me of how it's been almost 7 years now since an F3 tornado destroyed my parents' home with my dad and some family friends inside it along with a couple other houses on the property. (Everyone inside was amazingly unharmed, Thank you God). Cars were 100 yards away from where they had been parked, matresses were floating in distant lakes, the family dog disappeared for a while (Oh the story I'm sure he could've told) and sadly hundreds of big beautiful oak trees were plucked from the ground like twigs. It's incredible how powerful nature can be and how even more powerful is our Lord who can calm any storm with a single word.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Littlest Aggies

In honor of the Aggies appearance in the Holiday Bowl, the boys wore their new Aggie hats today. And although it didn't help the Aggies defeat Cal, the twins sure did look cute in them =-)!!



The results from the boys head scans didn't come back in time for me to get the results today so I'm still praying that they will come back improved in the mean time. Adam is still struggling and needing high O2 settings. He has completed his antibiotics but is still ill so they will likely culture a sample from his chest tube again to make sure he hasn't developed a second pneumonia, poor little thing. He also doesn't seem to be tolerating his feeds as well and is on a continuous feed. Andrew is doing alright but is still not ready to be weaned off the vent as his chest xray is still very hazy with fluid and so they are trying a new kind of lasix to try and dry up his lungs. I sure hope my sweet angels will be feeling better soon!

"He's My Son"

"He's My Son" by Mark Schultz

I'm down on my knees again tonight
I'm hoping this prayer will turn out right
See there is a boy that needs your help
I've done all that i can do myself

His mother is tired
I'm sure you can understand
Each night as he sleeps
She goes in to hold his hand
And she tries not to cry
As the tears fill up her eyes

Can you hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can you see him?
Can you make him feel all right?
If you can hear me
Let me take his place somehow
See he's not just anyone
He's my son

Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep
I dream of the boy he'd like to be
I try to be strong and see him through
But God who he needs right now is You

Let him grow old
Live life without this fear
What would I be
Living without him here
He's so tired and he's scared
Let him know that You're there

Can you hear me?
Can you see him?
If you can hear me
Let me take his place somehow
Please don't leave him
He's my son

"I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Joshua 1:5

Andrew & Adam

Both boys are having their weekly head ultrasounds done again tomorrow. Praying still that both would show signs of improvement, especially for Andrew's Grade IV hemmorrhage and that his ventricles are not enlarging. Andrew's head measurements are all within expected growth rates so far and that is encouraging for him. The Lord does answer prayer, one of Adam's bleeds has completely gone away and we know He can heal both boys fully if this is His will.

Andrew is still working towards getting back on c-pap but this is a slow process for him because his poor little lungs have been damaged a lot from everything he's been through and are just not strong enough to sustain him off the vent right now. Praise the Lord that he is now on 100% feeds and no longer has any IV's in his skin, this is a big deal because it means there are fewer potential infection sources for his body.

Please continue to pray that Adam would be healed from his pneumonia. He is on a lot of O2 right now but his chest xray does seem to be improving. He seems to be retaining water as his sweet little face looked very swollen today. It may be several more days before he is strong enough to be weaned off the vent. He's been our little rock through so much of this and it's so hard to see him struggling now.

My mommy's heart has been aching a lot this week as I want to hold them both so desperately, especially Andrew since he's going on a month old and I've yet to be able to. But even more difficult for me right now is that until this point I've been able to cherish being able to talk to and touch them but their fragile lungs have made even this difficult for them as they can't concentrate on breathing and be stimulated by anything in their surroundings. So I feel like I'm losing what little bonding I've been able to do. Knowing that even the most gentle touch or whisper may cause them to struggle to breathe is such a cruel feeling.

Everything that's so simple that we take for granted is such a struggle for them to do and I want to make everything better for them and I just can't. But I know that despite the things I can't do for them, their Heavenly Father can do all these things plus so much more than I've even thought to ask of Him. What comfort there is in that! Hopefully they will quickly outgrow this phase and their lungs will be able to tolerate more every day, may the Lord give us all abundant hope and fortitude.

Thank you for continually taking Andrew & Adam before our good Lord.

"I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber." Psalm 121:1-3



Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"You Are My All"

FYI, This probably seems like a weird song to go with these pictures but this site wouldn't let me upload any of my own music so I chose one that has a good message that applies in general, not necessarily coordinating word for word with the photos =-).

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Fun Baby Stuff

The boys' name signs finally came in and I put them together today. We will hang them over each of their cribs. I love how they turned out=-).

Also all the wall pictures that I ordered arrived. Here are just a few of them. They match the green and blue theme perfectly.

And what nursery would be complete without stuffed head mounts for future little hunters. These two cuties from Grandma Bolline were a big hit =-).

"New" Blogger

Has anyone switched from the traditional version of Blogger to beta or the "new" version they are offering now?? You have to have a google account which I don't have. Also once you switch you can't go back so I want to find out if it's worth the time to switch or not before I do something I might regret.

Thanks for your help =-)

Monday, December 25, 2006

"Pre" 1st Christmas

We decided that since the boys are negative 2.5 months old developmentally now and no one should have to spend their first Christmas in intesive care, we are going to consider this their "Pre" 1st Christmas so they will actually end up with 2 first Christmas's =-). It's only fair since we can't really spend this one as a true family all together at home.

The boys are doing pretty well. Andrew continues to eat like a big boy and is on 15cc's every 3 hours. When he gets to 18cc's in the next few days they will remove his pic line and he will be on 100% food. He is doing pretty well on his breathing so they may move him to c-pap in the next day or two. He may go directly to an isolette because he is EXTREMELY sensitive to light and sound which aggravate him and interfere with his ability to concentrate on breathing. I hope he will be ready to make this transition, this will be a step in the right direction for him.

Adam's pneumonia has been a pretty nasty little bug and he's still struggling to get over it. He continues to have a lot of fluid in his lungs and I could even feel the raspiness when I put my hand on his back, poor little guy. But in spite of this he has been able to remain on fairly low O2 settings and they continue to use methods to dry up his lungs so he can be weaned off the ventilator hopefully soon. They are increasing his feeds slowly but he continues to grow in spite of not eating as much as his brother.

He now weighs 2 lb 8 oz!!

He now weighs 2 lb 2.6oz

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever." Isaiah 9:6-7

"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." Romans 3:22-25

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Dear Friends,
From our family to yours, may you have a blessed Christmas and may you know the true Joy of this day, not the gifts under the tree but the gift of salvation to desperate sinners like myself by grace and through faith in Jesus Christ, God's only son, whom he's given for you and me. Thinking about the baby Jesus born into this world with a destiny of pain and sorrow and then thinking of my own little sons, I am amazed once again at the love of our Lord God who sacrificed his only child, blameless and pure, for sinners such as us. WOW! My mind is unable to grasp the depth of this.

May you be filled with His Mercy, Hope, Peace, & Love this year.


The Bollines

Saturday, December 23, 2006

We may be Tiny but . . . . .

. . we are getting bigger!!!

Adam 1 Week & 3 Weeks

Andrew 1 Week & 3 Weeks

Friday, December 22, 2006

Cute Daddy Comment & My Naughty Boy of the Day

Kenny hadn't really gotten to see the boys much without their hats on and so when he saw Adam's whole head for the first time he said "Look! He has really weird ears!!" I looked at Kenny with disbelief and said "Sweetie, he has your ears. In fact they both do ;-)" and then I died laughing. These three will definitely be quite amusing to me over the years, I can already tell.

But that's not the only thing Kenny has in common with the twins, looks like they also take after their daddy's ability to get himself into a quandary. Today Andrew decided that he was tired of the ventilator and the feeding tube so he proceeded to extubate himself while one of the nurses was trying to remove an IV which he apparently didn't appreciate, all the while spilling milk all over his clean bed linens.

They were able to respond quickly and reintubate and replace the feeding tube. Now they will be following him to make sure he didn’t get any milk in his lungs, which could lead to yet another infection, praying this will not happen and they felt it was unlikely. So this is why the neonatologist gave Mr. Andrew the Naughty Boy of the Day title, what a little rascal!!

Pictures from Today

Here are some photos from today. The boys got to meet their Aunt Rachel today and got their first skin exam from our own family dermatologist, she confirmed for me that they have some major dry skin issues right now from no longer being submerged in amniotic fluid ;-). Adam is the first picture, you can see where he had his PDA surgery on his back where the steri strip is. Andrew is in the bottom photo with Aunt Rachel and he's resting with the simulated hand on his back, this is suppossed to make them feel cozy, like mommy is there all day with my hand reassuring them.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Three Weeks Old on Friday!!

The doctors determined that Adam's pneumonia was caused by e coli bacteria. They are starting him on a new antibiotic today that should run for 10 days. He seems to be feeling better, they are continuing with the same methods to get his lungs ready for going back to c-pap after he is feeling good again. He is doing well on saturizing at fairly low settings of O2 and breaths per minute (this means he is doing the majority of the breaths himself). Good news on his head ultrasound, the bleed on the left is completely gone and the one on the right is about the same, Praise the Lord.

Andrew continues to be fairly stable; they are continuing to work him towards returning to c-pap as well. He is eating a lot and is half way to full feeds, Go Andrew. He continues to struggle with desaturation when he moves around. His head ultrasound showed that his ventricles may have increased slightly in size but his head measurements are within range so the doctors are not overly worried at this point, however the enlarging of the ventricles is one of our biggest concerns right now so we continue to ask the Lord that they would not enlarge. Over all there is little change in the actual hemorrhage.

Here are a few pictures from today.
Thanks Tolmsoff Family for all the goodies for all of us including these new teeny tiny puppies.

I got to see the back of Andrew's head for the first time today and I couldn't believe how much dark hair he has. My mom said mine was pretty dark at birth and then fell out and grew in lighter.

Adam is my little blondie.
He is growing a lot and now weighs almost 2 lbs 6 oz.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Another Day Closer

Another pretty good day. The doctors are still trying to determine what strain of bacteria Adam is fighting so that they will know if he's getting the right antibiotics. Both boys are working towards getting off the vent and this included breathing treatments, diuretics, and blood transfusions. Hopefully they are both making progress and getting stronger. Andrew continues to do very well on his feeds and Adam was able to start his back up today.

I'm really missing getting to hold Adam and I continue to long for the day when I will get to hold Andrew for the first time but right now the priority is getting them well and off the ventilators.

Please pray for their brain scans tomorrow, that improvements will be seen in both and especially that Andrew's ventricles are not enlarging. We are still praying for a miracle healing for the brain hemmorhage and have faith that the Lord will do so if it's His will.

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him." Lamentations 3:22-26

Tiny Tushies

Everyone is always asking me just how tiny the boys really are and honestly the pictures are deceiving in my opinion because even I am taken aback again every day when I go in to visit them because of their shockingly small size. Just ask my mom about her first time to see them. But every time I see them I am gently reminded of the power of our Almighty God who created these babies and knit them together and of the miracle that they are even able to survive as small as they are.

So here is another attempt to answer this question for you. Below you will see a preemie diaper next to a tiny newborn diaper (5-8 lb size). The preemie one is MUCH smaller. Then take a look at one of my boys wearing the preemie diaper, it's swallowing his tiny rear end. The nurses joke that my boys like to flash them with their back sides because their diapers weren't staying on very well.

Is that the cutest little tush ever???

I won't say which baby this is so that he won't be totally embarrassed when he reads this one day ;-).

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Daily Report

Both boys have had a pretty good day despite them being under the weather lately .

It turns out Adam was developing pneumonia and a urinary tract infection yesterday and these were the reasons for his troubles last night, poor little baby boy. But after a few transfusions, antibiotics, diuretics and time on the ventilator, he is improving. They were able to bring his O2 back down to 45 and they are hoping to start weaning him back off the vent and restarting his feeds. I'm so thankful they were able to catch these infections in the earliest stages. No indications that they are in the spinal fluid, thank you Lord.

Andrew has been doing so well on his feeds now that they were able to increase the amount again today. They are beginning to wean down his O2 and vent settings so maybe he will get to return to the c-pap after a few more days of resting. His EEG didn't really show anything real conclusive so at this point they believe the facial twitching was a symptom of stress from his infection. But there seem to be no signs of the twitching anymore, YAY, but if he starts doing it again they may give him some Phenobarbital.

Both boys will have their head scans on Thursday rather than Friday due to the holidays, so we are already praying that those will look good/better/encouraging for both of them, especially that Andrew's ventricles would not be enlarging.

"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor." Psalm 8:3-5

"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." Psalm 32:7

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalm 73:26

Monday, December 18, 2006

Wide Eyed & Wonderful

Andrew seemed to have a really good day. He was SO alert and responsive while we were there. Turns out he did have an infection the other day in his chest but fortunately they caught it early and it does not appear to be in his spinal fluid and they don't think it was real severe. He is on 10 days of antibiotics and will likely be on the ventilator for several more days.

I got to change his diaper for the first time! He is doing well on his feeds so they were able to increase the amount. Andrew is still having some minor issues with his sats but they were able to lower the settings a bit on his ventilator. He continues to be much more active than his brother, kicking his legs and moving his arms all the time, even while sleeping. This is great for his physical development but is part of the problem with maintaining his sats since he doesn't relax much.

Please Lord, continue to heal Andrew from both his infection and brain hemmorhage. Help his lungs to mature so that he will be able to come off the ventilator soon. Thank you for allowing the doctors to catch his infection before it became more severe.

Adam's Turn

I guess Adam decided that it was his turn to get a little more attention so he decided to act up a little bit tonight. He was doing great earlier in the day when we took the photos below but when we went back later to say goodnight, he was in a little bit of distress. His O2 requirements had gone all the way up to 91 and he was pretty pale, plus he had his first spell of apnea so they decided to re-intibate back on the ventilator to give him a restful night. So he is out of the isolette and back in the warmer but they think this will be a brief stay (We sincerely hope so!)

Fortunately his chest and tummy x-rays look okay but the dip in sats and increase in O2 could be early signs of infection and better to be safe than sorry. So he is on a round of antibiotics and is getting a blood transfusion so they will stop his feeds for the night, plus he is getting another spinal tap.

Dear Lord, Please help Adam to be back to feeling good very soon and heal him from any infections that may be trying to grow in his fragile body.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Everyone Looks So Tired !!

Adam is quite at home in his cozy new isolette!

Andrew looks pretty cozy as well!!

So do Kenny & Kelsey.
It's hard work being a new daddy and an old doggy ;-)