Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Today's Update

Adam now weighs 4 lb 6 oz and Andrew weighs 3 lbs 10 oz. Andrew has passed Adam and is now eating 6 bottles a day, I'm so impressed by him, even the doctor says that Andrew doesn't realize that he's such a little guy, I love that about him. I'm a little worried about Adam because he's slowed down on his eating today and didn't finish all his bottles. Andrew is also now on less O2 than Adam, great for Andrew but makes me a little worried about Adam, perhaps he just feels a little bit off after all the shots yesterday. Hoping tomorrow will be a better day for him. My hope is that both boys will come home together by the end of next week.

Andrew's upper GI shows that he still needs his relux meds but he should eventually grow out of that. They did EKG's and will give us the results of those and yesterday's echos tomorrow. They are also getting renal ultrasounds tomorrow to look at kidney function along with their weekly head ultrasounds.

Please forgive me for not returning calls or emails very well this week, I've been running around like a mad woman =-).

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pricked & Prodded

The boys had lots of things done to them today and they handled it like old pros, these little guys have been through so much in their short lives. The ROP has not become severe over the past week and is still mild/moderate, good news. They had their immunizations and didn't seem to even be phased by them. They both had echo cardiograms but no final word on them yet other than Adam has a heart murmur. Andrew had an upper GI done to see if he can be weaned off his acid reflux meds, no word on that yet either. No increases in the number of their bottle feeds although they are taking their bottles in half the alotted time and gaining weight.

We are back home tonight after taking our infant CPR class at the hospital earlier. We are meeting with the local pediatrician in the morning. I'm so tired =-) but the boys are really looking good .

Late Night Photos




Monday, January 29, 2007

Daily Report

The doctor that is over the boys for the week is one of the more conservative neo's (10 neo's that rotate each week) so there have been very few changes in the past two days. Both boys are on 5 bottles a day. Even though they've both gained weight the past two days, they have not increased their feeds since they moved Andrew from 4-5 bottles. Even though I'm itching to get them home, holding steady is far better than the alternative.

Tomorrow they will get their immunizations and their eye exams. Please pray that both of these things will go well and that the ROP has not worsened in the past week.

Thanks to everyone for sticking with us =-) !!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Making Progress

After visiting the boys this morning we headed back to Bryan to work on getting things a little more ready. We washed all the babies' things, put all the swings, and strollers together and hung everything up in the nursery. The only things missing are curtains, the changing table/dresser, and of course the babies =-). But you can see by the photo below the changes since we started making the guest room into a nursery in October.

The boys had a good day =-) with few changes in their progress.



What day is it?

What day is it again? Oh right, it's still Saturday, or was Saturday rather. The boys both had a good day. They both had their canula flows turned down some so that's good. Adam is now on 5 bottles and and Andrew is on 4 and they just love to eat! The only problem is that they are working so hard on the bottles that they are burning a lot of calories and not gaining weight. This is especially problematic for Andrew because he is so tiny anyway and needs to be growing faster. Please pray that they will gain weight consistently, otherwise they will have to slow down or cut back on the bottle feeds which will delay their homecomings.

The boys LOVED getting to see their Aunt Amy and Grandma Bolline and were so happy the whole time they were there. They also liked getting their first ever bottle feeds from daddy, so sweet!

If I miss a day or two on my blogging in the coming days please forgive me and know that we are working to prepare for Adam's homecoming and that no news is probably good news =-).





Friday, January 26, 2007

Praise God, Praise God, Praise God !!!!

"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100

Oh My, I don't even know where to start. I may not have everything 100% because I was having a hard time following the doctor over the phone because she had so much to cover. First the head scans, Adam's bleeds I think she said were resolved, yay, I'll confirm that later. And for Andrew, his Grade IV is now a Grade II !!!! Praise the Lord!! This doesn't necessarily mean that he will be perfectly fine because it doesn't erase the fact that he had a IV but it does mean that the damage is not progressing and the odds of hydrocephalus is much more unlikely. We will know more once we talk to the neurologist.

But wait, it gets even better!! The doctor said that we needed to get our infant cpr certification completed ASAP and to meet with our pediatrician next week because Adam may be coming home as early as next Friday, as in a WEEK from today!! YIKES!! WOW!!! She said it may be the following Monday or Tuesday but get prepared in case it's Friday. Andrew will be a little while later because he is not even 3 1/2 lbs yet and not legal to ride in a car seat, but once he gets bigger he will be coming home too!!

Coming Home!!! Coming Home!! I wasn't sure I'd ever get to use those words, God is so good!! They made it, they survived!! I've been dying to scream that for a while but I've never been one to count my chickens before they hatch, especially if they hatch more than 100 days early. Please Lord let this be. Even the doctor said she couldn't believe she was having this conversation with me, especially this early.

So now they are working to wean off the oxygen if they can, they are continuing to increase the bottle feeds, tomorrow we get to attempt breastfeeding, they have ordered their immunizations, they will get echo cardiagrams, and have a sleep study done to determine which monitors they will need, etc.

As soon as I got off the phone we frantically drove to Babies R Us to buy some essential baby care stuff so we can get by with while we are camping out here in the apartment with Adam until the day we will get to bring both the babies back to Bryan. Didn't I just mention yesterday how unprepared I am? And that was when I thought I had a few weeks!!! I'm so excited I can't think straight!!

Thank you EVERYONE for all the prayers that have gotten us this far, we have been overwhelmingly blessed by your faithfulness and love. God is AWESOME and he has been listening to us and has graciously protected us from what would have been the devestating loss of our sons. Please pray that everything will contine to work out and that we will be able to take them home as expected and that no setbacks will arise in the coming days.

Love,
Lindsey, Kenny, Andrew, & Adam

"Did I mention I'm now TWICE my original size??"

That's right, Adam now weighs over 4 lbs!!!!


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Visitors!!

Granny and Aunt Dana hadn't seen the boys in weeks due to the weather and traveling so they were so excited to see how big they were and got to hold them for the first time. The boys had a great day, Adam graduated to 3 bottles and Andrew to 2 bottles!! At this rate they'll be home by next week ;-), though we know it's still probably at least a couple of weeks away, it's fun to think about. I'm VERY excited, terrified, and COMPLETELY unprepared. But keep up the good work boys, we can't wait to bring you home!! They got to take their first elevator ride this evening as they moved upstairs into the level II NICU since they finally had some bed spaces open up together. It will be hard to get used to new nurses and surroundings after 8 weeks in Level III. No words on the scans yet.




Blue & Green



Scans Today

The boys are getting their head ultrasounds done again Thursday. Please pray that the bleeds & PVL will heal/resolve completely and that Andrew's ventricles have not enlarged.

Thank You, Thank You so much for partnering with us to pray for the long term healing and recovery for our boys.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Together At Last!!!

What a fantastic day! We had our new little family all together for the very first time, all four of us!! A day we've waited for so long. It was a big day for daddy, he held both his baby boys for the first time and even changed his first of many poopie diapers. He did great!! I'm so proud of all my boys =-) !!






"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127:3-5

More Eating News

We had a lot of fun today, I got to give both the boys their bottles and they did great!! Andrew seems to have figured out how to keep breathing while eating since yesterday and he didn't drop his sats at all and was able to complete the entire bottle, YAY!! Adam is such a champ that he's graduated to 2 bottles a day!! They both now have nasal gastric tubes to give them the rest of their feeds through out the day rather than the oral gastric tubes they had before the bottles. They have to get to 8 complete bottles a day and then they will basically be ready to come home!! Come on boys, you can do it!! Andrew is maintaining his temp so well they said he was ready for an open crib but I asked them not to move him just yet because he REALLY likes the dark and quiet isolette and is making great strides in breathing on the canula without as many episodes.

Time to Eat!!

Videos From Yesterday's First Bottle. You can hear the nurse telling Andrew that his heart rate is falling because he won't stop to take a breath. But that sound you hear is not his alarm going off, it's coming from the pod behind us. His video is first and then Adam's.



Eye Report

The boys' eyes have not become severe since last week fortunately and the ROP is still fairly mild/moderate. Andrew is Zone II, Stage 1 and Adam is Zone II, Stage II. Please continue to pray that it does not worsen and that it will resolve on its own. The eye doctor is okay with where they are right now and just said he will continue to monitor it weekly for the time being.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What A Big Day !!

Today was a big day for the boys, they got to try their first bottles!! Andrew went first and he sucked half the bottle down so fast but he couldn't quite figure out how to breathe and swallow, I guess he didn't want to miss any of that milk. So they decided to give the rest of his feed by his tube and try again tomorrow. But he gave a great try and really was good at sucking and swallowing. Adam ate like a champ! He was a natural at knowing when to stop and breathe and he let out the loudest big boy burp, unfortunately I didn't catch it on camera but it was so funny! He finished his entire feed in 12 minutes, he eats like daddy! Way to go Boys!!

ANDREW

Chug, Chug, Chug!!!



ADAM

Going, Going, GONE!!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Eye Exams

The boys both had a pretty good day today. Andrew is struggling a little bit on the canula during his feeds but his blood gas looks good and they don't want him to go back to c-pap so they are trying to give him every opportunity to stay on it and are working to clear his lungs out more. Please pray that he will make it on the canula and stay level II. Adam is doing well and is working to transition from continuous feeds to single feeds so that he will be ready to try a bottle soon. Tomorrow the boys will have their eye exams repeated. Please pray that their ROP is very mild and is not getting worse


Twin Day

Today we dressed alike, how fun. But our diapers don't work too well so we both had to have our clothes changed along with our snugglies and blankets, boy did that nurse love us!! Andrew is on the left and Adam is on the right.



Sunday, January 21, 2007

Congratulations Boys!!

After 51 days of critical care in the level III NICU the boys have officially graduated to level II. Although they didn't go very far, one pod in the front of level III has been temporarily designated as level II since they are completely full upstairs right now. Which is fine by me since they are finally together and are in a cozy spot. Now that they are level II, I can be a much more active participant in their care and can basically hold them whenever I want so long as it doesn't interfere with their feeding and they are doing alright with their sats. YAY!!!!

They plan to give them their first bottles sometime this week. If they can tackle the feedings successfully and they continue to progress with their breathing, we should get to take one or both of them home in 4-6 weeks !! We desperately want to take them home and start the next chapter in our lives. Praise the Lord for all that he's done over the last few weeks!!

A few pics of Adam:

"Look at me, I'm wearing clothes!!!"

Andrew is now able to wear clothes, what a big boy!! I was there while they were switching his feeding tube out so I got to see more of his face without the additional tube and tape. He looked so adorable! I also got to hold him for about an hour and a half. Althoug he is having some bradycardia issues (sudden drop in heart rate), overall he is doing really well on the canula. I'm so proud of you little guy!!




Saturday, January 20, 2007

Head Ultrasounds

First the good news, Adam's bleed continues to show that it is going away. Andrew's bleeds are stable and the ventricles have not enlarged.

Unfortunately we learned that Andrew's scan shows signs of PVL, Periventricular Leukomalacia. Which is basically damage/softening of the white brain matter around the ventricles on both sides of his brain. We don't know at this point if it is mild or severe and hopefully will get more answers once we talk to his neurologist this week. From what little the doctors have told us it has a similar prognosis to that of his hemmorraghe. Whether or not this worsens his overall prognosis at this point they can't really say.

So basically this is just one more thing for us to pray for at this point and we will just continue to hope and pray that the Lord will heal Andrew and that he will recover and that any effects will be mild or none at all. Even the neurologist will be unable to predict Andrew's long term outcome. Andrew has already beaten the odds just by being alive and thriving and we know that he will surpass every expectation if it's the Lord's will for his life. We pray that it would be glorifying to the Lord to heal him completely and work this miracle in our son.

Although we will never give up hope and will always pray for the best, we will love Andrew unconditionally no matter how his conditions may manifest themselves and we will make sure that he reaches his full potential and beyond. The same goes for our son Adam.

"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up." James 5:13-15

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God."
Psalm 42:11

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of
the sea."
Psalm 46:1-2

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

Friday, January 19, 2007

REUNITED =-)

Last night they rearranged the NICU because it's really filled up with a lot of new tiny & critical babies in the last week, they grouped them all together based on their conditions. Andrew & Adam have both been doing so well that they moved them into a pod together since they are both on the edge of being ready for graduating to level II. I'm so happy for them to be close to each other now and can't wait for the day when they can actually touch each other again and interact. I hope they can be in the same pod upstairs as well.

No word yet on the head ultrasounds but both boys are still doing very well on the canulas, Praise God.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Way to Go Andrew!!!

Notice anything different about Andrew? Look at that beautiful face, he's on the nasal canula!! What a surprise! I'm so happy for him and just praying that the Lord will give him what he needs to be successful and sustain himself. Please also pray for the head scans today, praying that the ventricles will look good and the bleeds will be improved. Praise God, He is so good!!



Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Andrew Photos

Photos from Andrew getting weighed tonight. He gained 2 oz and is now 3 lb 2 oz. He needs to gain 80 more grams and then he can wear clothes!! In the second photo he reminds me of a little old man with a receding hairline, what a cutie pie!