Friday, March 30, 2007

A Mother's Hope

"I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place. . . . How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you. . . . Praise be to the LORD, for he showed his wonderful love to me. . . . Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD". Selections from Psalm 31

Today was a good day for all of us, we didn't even see a drop of rain on our long drive to Houston and back. We think that Andrew did well on his sleep study but we won't know anything until Monday after they've processed the data. But the downloaded data from his and Adam's apnea monitors all looked very good. Praying that he can come off the oxygen!!

The neurology appointment was so encouraging. Of course he can't give us any guarantees but he said Andrew looked fantastic! He agreed with everything the occupational therapist had said and felt that he is developing normally so far. This is not to say that his life may be free of all obstacles but this is light years from what we were originally told. The neurologist said he was extremely encouraged by everything he saw. To hear that coming from such a respected and wise pediatric neurologist was pure joy to our ears.

Andrew's brain hemorrhage was something equivalent to a massive stroke in an adult and we were given such a discouraging outlook for his future, so to hear that he could possibly lead a relatively normal life is nothing short of miraculous to us and can only be attributed to our good and faithful God who is so much bigger than all we could ever ask or imagine.

We are forever indebted to every individual who has prayed so faithfully and specifically for our children and without whom I'm not sure where we would be right now. We know that there will likely still be bumps in the road ahead but we will continue to face them head on, only by the grace and mercy of a loving God.

The day that I learned the news of Andrew's brain hemorrhage, I spent several minutes alone by his bedside praying and I told him how proud I was to be his mama and that God had selected him just for me. I told him that no matter what his gifts or limitations, the Lord would use him to do amazing things in this world. I have experienced this already as my faith, my priorities, and my over all outlook on life have been transformed over the last four months.

I have been so blessed by this journey, however difficult or painful it has been at times, because I have seen the powerful hand of God reaching down to touch our lives. I'm not simply saying this because our prayers have been heard but because we have continuously felt the presence of the Lord, never leaving us for a moment. I have learned that you cannot truly see joy and hope and goodness until you have experienced loss and anguish and affliction upon your soul. My friends, it is worth it!

May God be glorified by the lives of these precious children and may He continue to pour out His grace and love upon us all.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

OT Assessment

Today the occupational therapist from Early Childhood Intervention came to assess the boys. They automatically qualify for the program based on their medical history but the assessment showed that they are developmentally on track so far. The very good news is that neither baby, particularly Andrew, showed any signs of spasticity, rigidity, or abnormal muscle tone which are the typical early signs of cerebral palsy. Of course this is no guarantee that Andrew will not develop cp later on but at least so far he appears to not be showing any signs. She said that often infants that will develop cp will appear either floppy or drawn up at this stage and he seems to be like any other infant. Again, both praising the Lord and asking for His continued grace upon Andrew as he was given such a grim prognosis due to his severe brain bleed. The OT will return every month to reassess the boys progress and work on any issues. First thing will be to help Adam improve his sucking efficiency.

Tomorrow we go back to Texas Children's for the day for neurology and pulmonology, praying that Andrew can get off the oxygen and that the neurologist echoes what the OT said today and perhaps will even improve on Andrew's long term prognosis. It is supposed to pour down rain all day tomorrow so we are praying for safe travel.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bless His Heart

Andrew had his appointment with the pediatric cardiologist today due to the events a few weeks back. I'm not sure it was a particularly helpful appointment but at least it wasn't overly concerning or disturbing. The doctor seems to think that he has an overactive vaso-vagal reflex which is basically the reflex that people experience when they see blood and then pass out. This doesn't make a lot of sense to us at all since we've NEVER seen him have ANY "episodes" of any kind EVER.

But the good news is that if this is what he is having, it's not a dangerous thing and he will likely outgrow it over time. The only negative thing that it looks like may come out of this is that perhaps they will keep him on the oxygen support and monitor longer. Please pray that this will not be necessary as the oxygen will cause further damage to his lungs over time. We see the pulmonolgist on Friday where hopefully he'll get a good report. But we are SO happy that it doesn't appear that he has any major heart issues!!

Thanks for your prayers!!

p.s. Mommy seems to have a minor but annoying viral throat infection and praying that it goes away REAL soon and that neither of the boys will come down with it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Andrew's Busy Week

Andrew will be keeping us quite busy this week. He visits the cardiologist on Wednesday, then he and Adam both see the occupational therapist Thursday, and then finally he sees both the neurologist and pulmonologist on Friday.

Praying that he gets lots of good news from all of these visits, that his heart is in good shape, that he will get to come completely off the O2 support and that the neurologist is encouraged by his progress.

On his most recent head ultrasound his bleeds were totally resolved and there was just a small cyst where the large head bleed had been, not sure exactly what that means but hopefully we'll get some more info as we continue to trust in the Lord's plans for Andrew's life.

Outdoor Fun

The boys are finally big enough to try out their bjorn carriers so we took them on a brief walk since Andrew was "unplugged" from the O2 (he's only required to use it for eating and sleeping). The boys loved it and looked around quite perplexed. Carriers are supposed to be good for preemies, I guess that's because it may feel a little like being back in the womb, since they missed out on a lot of that. Looking forward to more times like these!


Monday, March 26, 2007

One for the record books . . .

. . . or at least for the baby books that is =-). Andrew rolled over for the very first time today. He did it not once but three times. Whatever the future holds for you sweet Andrew, you make me so proud to be your mama. God has been so good to allow me to have these little men in my life!

Adam, my little stud =-)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bath Time



Bath Time is quite an event around here. It takes a lot of help to get Andrew & Adam squeeky clean. I just love the way they smell afterwards! If you think their belly buttons look funny that's because that is the location of one of the three hernias that they each have. Hernias are a very common side effect of prematurity in boys. We see the surgeon on April 3rd to discuss their future surgeries that they will have probably in May.

Friday, March 23, 2007

4 Month Check Up

Weight & Length Check:
Adam 7 lbs 3 oz and 20" long
Andrew 6 lbs 14 oz and 19 1/4" long

The boys are getting so big! They were pretty good for their shots (4 sticks in the thigh per baby and one orally) but they are pretty fussy & irritable now. The doctor is having them take baby tylenol so hopefully they'll feel better soon. Even though they are barely the size of a newborn they still had to get the same dose that all 4 month old babies get. The occupational therapist from ECI is not going to see them today after all but will come next week.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tomorrow

Tomorrow the boys go back to the pediatrician for another well check up and to get their 4 month shots. I'm a little nervous about the shots because they really threw Adam for a loop for several days last time, he's much bigger now so hopefully he won't have any trouble like last time when his sats dropped way down and he wouldn't eat. Praying we don't have a repeat of that.

After that appointment an occupational therapist from ECI is coming to our house to evaluate the boys and to determine if they need to start any therapies at this time.

The boys have really had several good days where their reflux has not bothered them terribly and they've been much happier fellas. Hopefully we can keep the doses properly tweaked so we can keep them comfortable because it's wonderful to see them so content.
Adam trys out his big boy bed

WHEEEEEE!!!!

Andrew loves his bouncey seat

So does Adam!

Adam can kick back just like daddy!

Generations

Looking cute couldn't put the aggies back together again.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Good Report

Andrew and Adam got another good report on their eyes. The ROP has continued to regress and Adam is now Zone 3 or as the doctor said it's sometimes called "Zone Three, Home Free". Andrew has one eye that is Zone 3 and the other is almost there, so he's doing well too. Maybe only one more exam and we'll be done with that. We are so thankful that the Lord has protected them so far from the progression of this potentially blinding disease.

Early Morning

We have to be in Houston at 8am this morning for what will hopefully be one of our last eye exams. So as soon as I finish typing this it will almost be time to start packing up the boys so we can get on the road. Monday morning in Houston rush our traffic at 8am is just a really unfortunate time to have a doctor's appt!! Especially when mama had to get up at 3am and granny at 4:30am. We will be so looking forward to a nap once we get home!! Daddy had to stay up with them until 3am so he may be in for a nap as well!

Tuesday the boys will be evaluated by ECI to see if they are eligible for enrollment in their developmental services program. This will be based off of their birth age and not their gestational age so they will likely qualify since they are not doing what a typical 3.5 month old would be doing. I'm interested in starting as early as possible on any needed therapies to give them the best chance at overcoming any developmental obstacles they may face.

Well I hope today will be easy and we can get lots of rest later on!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Blue & Green

Adam, I just adore your chubby cheeks!!
Andrew takes a break from his O2, I hope we get to see a lot more of his sweet face in the coming days!!

I hope they will always be this sweet =-) . . . .


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sharing

Adam & Andrew decided that it's much more fun to share their swing than to swing alone!


Sweet 16

The Aggies have advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1980!!!! Gig'em Aggies!!

This is a picture of my nephew Luke, isn't he a cutie? He's only 5 months older than the twins but he's much much bigger! It will be neat to compare them to each other someday once the twins are cleared to play with their cousins. It's amazing how much Luke looks just like my brother, except for the red hair, we aren't sure who that's from.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Gig 'em Aggies!

Today the boys helped cheer the Aggies on to a win over Penn in the first round of the NCAA tournament. They looked so cute all dressed up in their Aggie attire.

Good news on the boys sleep study, Adam has been completely released from his oxygen support!! It is so awesome to finally see his sweet face without anything inhibiting it. Andrew was borderline in his results and will have to have his oxygen continued during feeds and deep sleeping. He will have his sleep study repeated in 2 weeks and hopefully then he'll be ready to come off completely as well. We are so thankful for answered prayers!

Adam, "Look at me, I'm tube free!!"




Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pulmonary Update

We are so thankful that we had safe travel today despite the bad weather and Houston traffic. Thanks for thinking of us with all the prayers for safety!

Although exhausting, today went fairly smoothly. We won't know whether either baby can get off the oxygen support until at least tomorrow, still praying for good news!

Praises: The doctor discontinued the boys' caffeine meds because their apnea has improved, so no more morning coffee! Also Adam has been released from his breathing treatment (Andrew was off prior to discharge from the NICU).

Thanks for all the prayers!!

Pulmonology

We will be leaving shortly to head to Houston for our long day. Andrew won't see the neurologist though as they rescheduled his appointment. Please pray that the boys are ready to come off of their oxygen and some of their medicines as well. Thank you!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Showers

Here are some photos from two baby showers a while back that I never got a chance to post. Andrew & Adam got a lot of really nice things and we had a lot of fun. We really appreciate everyone's generosity to us and the boys!!





Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fingers and Toes

Is there much difference between 2 lb and 6 lb fingers and toes??




Happy Day

We took the boys on a mini-road trip to Granny and Pa's ranch this afternoon and we had a really nice time, it was so great to get out of the house for something other than a doctor's appt! It was the first normal seeming day we've had since probably October and the boys really did well. Granny and I took the boys on their first ever walk and they loved it and slept comfortably. I think that's the first time I've walked more than 50 yards in about 6 months, it felt great! Kenny got to go fishing with Pa and they caught 40 fish including one 7 lb'er, that's a fish bigger than the twins!!





Sweet Boys



The boys have been very good for us this weekend although we've been quite tired. Not that I'm happy that the Aggies lost in the Big 12 Tournament, but it was sure nice to get Granny Debbie home late yesterday. We were able to catch up some on our sleep last night, Thanks Mom!

This coming week is going to be very busy. Tomorrow we have head and kidney ultrasounds in the morning, followed by RSV shots, then I have a dr appt in the afternoon. Wednesday we head to Houston for an all day trip to Texas Children's where we will see Andrew's neurologist and then both boys will see the pulmonologist and have 3 hour sleep studies done. It's a blessing that the pulmonoligst was able to see us (we were scheduled to go Friday but they had an opening) so we avoided having to make two trips to Houston.

Please pray that everything looks good on all the tests and especially that the sleep study would show that they no longer need oxygen. Also pray that Andrew's severe head bleed continues on its path of complete resolution. Wednesday's all day trip out of town carrying all the wires and tanks and two babies that will require the packing of several bottles and much medicine will be quite an experience, please pray that it will go smoothly and that we can all be patient and calm throughout our adventure.

Have a great day!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Due Date!!!!!

Happy Due Date Andrew & Adam!!
The boys had a good checkup today and have both gained weight nicely in the three weeks since they've been home. We are praising God for today and SO happy to have these sweet boys in our lives.
Adam 2 lbs, now 6 lbs 7 oz
Andrew 1 lb 11 oz, now 5 lbs 15oz