Saturday, December 30, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
The greatest gift given to me was born too early so tiny and sweet. Two baby boys were born that day, July 17 very early they'd say. One so tiny at just over 3 pounds. The other a fighter in his own right at 2 pounds 11 he tried with all his might.
Grow baby boys grow, keep growing away so mommy and daddy can take you home someday. They grew and they learned how to breath and to eat in their isoletts so tiny and sweet. Six weeks was so long to wait it seemed but great things take time to perfect you see.
They grew and grew and one bright sunny day they got to come home with mommy and daddy to play. Sleeping now so perfect are they, two little boys are going to wake up to play.
The greatest gift given to me was born on July 17th.
written by mommy
Friday, December 15, 2006
We decided to do our Christmas pictures here at home this year, due to the fact it's best we don't take the boys out in public too much because of RSV and other illnesses. We tried over a two day period to get something really good, but it just didn't happen. We got one or two ok ones, next year we will probably have them professionally done.
The boys are just growing. They have begun to try and reach, they are not grasping things too well yet but the looks on their faces when they actually see something and try to reach for it is priceless. One thing they do not like very well though it tummy time, both of them will only do it for 5 mins or so then they began to cry and the cry turns into a fit and them smashing their faces into the floor so I just roll them over. They practice holding there heads up when we hold them on our chests, maybe as they get older they will like it more.
Any way here are our attempts at pictures.
They did not like this too well and took turns crying throughout the process.
laying under the Christmas Tree, still not getting any smiles though.
Later that night we tried again while they where playing with Daddy. They were in a better mood and this is the best one we got. So cute!
Then we took the family one today which I posted at the top. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy Blessed Holiday. I already got the two best presents anyone could ask for. Lets all try not to forget the true meaning of Christmas this year.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
The boys like to watch TV. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, however it allows me to have time to take a shower somedays so I go with it. They are doing really well. The number of alarms Kolton has been having has gone down. He still has a Brady(bradicardia) about every other day now at night or when he is in a deep sleep. Karter has begun to have them too when he is in a deep sleep. The back of the monitors has a read out of the heart rates and when Karter has had one his heart rate is in the eights and stays there for several minutes. The alarm is set to go off if it drops to 80. I have read and the doctors have said that as they age their heart rate drops to a lower rate naturally, closer to what an adults is, when they sleep it drops even more. Adults do this too, we just aren't hooked up to alarms. Anyway the point is it's not a problem as long as they look fine and recover on their own, which they always do, the alarms only go off for a second or two, which is good and shorter than when we first brought them home.
Now for some pictures.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Sounds like the beginning of a high school report doesn't it? I have much to be thankful for this year.
*First off I'm thankful for all the doctors and nurses who not only got me further along in my pregnancy than 26 weeks, but also took such wonderful care of my two little guys who decided it would be just grand to come into the world 10 weeks too early. Without your expertise and intervention they would not be here today.
* Second I would like to thank all my family and friends who were and have been so supportive through this difficult time. Not only did you come see me in the hospital when I was on bedrest, bringing me food, and things to do you took time out of your busy lives and schedules to sit and talk with me. You also did the same thing when the boys where in the NICU, sometimes driving more than an hour just to sit with us in the dark room and watch their every move. I know none of you wanted to see them in that condition and it affected some of you more than others but you came and your support was such a blessing I want you all to know that. Jimmy and I were in a fog sometimes and it helped to have people other than ourselves and the doctors and nurses to talk to. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. Thank you to those of you who I don't know personally but who prayed for us none the less. I truly believe in the power of prayer.
* I also am thankful for my wonderful husband who when I just couldn't do it did all the research and asked all the right questions. He was relentless in his search for answers and educated himself, me and sometimes the doctors and nurses on what was going on with our boys. He truly has been my rock. As I stated before I was in a fog sometimes through this and I could count on him to make sure things got done or questions got asked. Not only did he take care of the house and all the animals and visit me everyday when I was in the hospital, he drove me everyday to the hospital to see the boys and used up most of his leave to come sit with us everyday. He has been a very involved father, changes poopie diapers and gets up in the middle of the night with them.
My kids and myself are blessed to have him in our lives. He's a great husband and dad.
Now that I have made myself and probably some of you cry I'm gonna go eat some pumpkin pie. Hey they rhymed I didn't mean for it to but it did.
I hope you all have many things to be thankful for this thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The boys had their 4 month doctor visit yesterday. The doctor said they are growing well and doing fine. Kolton weighed in at 11lb 3 0z and 22 in long. Karter was 11lb 13oz and 23 in long. He ok'd us to let them sleep up to 6 hours a night if they wanted. This is what we have been waiting for, of course they have yet to do it, but just knowing that it is ok if they do sleep that long makes me feel better. We still have the monitors and will until at least their next visit in 2 months. They need to not have had any alarms for at least 1 to 2 months and both have had an alarm in the last month when they where sick.
Today Karter had his last visit at OU Med. Center for his BPD (bronchial pulmonary dysplasia). He no longer needs oxygen and has been off it for a month, so they wrote the scrip to remove the tanks and oximeter from our home, this is a step towards more normalcy, we won't have to walk by their room and see a 5 foot ugly green tank anymore. The doctor he saw today was the one who released them from the NICU, she was happy to see us and was surprised to see how big they have gotten.
I have gotten some really cute pictures in the last couple of days, since I know everyone likes pictures here are a few. Enjoy!
Despite getting 4 shots yesterday and having his blood drawn for a CBC and running a slight fever today, he's still a pretty happy and cute little guy. This is Kolton working his charm.
Ready for their trip to the doctor. They have grown so much since they where last in their car seats and have gained 5 pounds or so since we brought them home.
Karter a few days ago, such a happy boy. He likes his bouncy seat too.
And last but not least Kolton working on his head and neck control.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Today I took the boys outside. It was a beautiful day today, the weather was nice and I figured it was time for them to get some fresh air and sunshine. I laid a blanket in the front yard and laid them both on it, they both seemed to really enjoy it and I got lots of pictures. Everyday they get more fun.
These are Karters feet, I let both of them feel the grass on their feet, I wanted to get a picture of both of their feet together, but being I was the only one home with them I could not manage to hold them both and take a picture. They both picked their feet up and keep putting them down to feel the grass, in the end they left them down and seemed to enjoy the feeling.
Karter was all smiles today.
Kolton was not as smiley but cute none the less. He's sporting two scratches on his face. I keep cutting his nails but they grow so fast I can't keep up with them.
I'm sporting some bushy eyebrows that need to be tweezed, Kolton is sporting a scratched face and Karter has cradle cap, we are working on all the above, but I think they look pretty darn cute anyway. That's what we did today,we will see what tomorrow brings.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Just these past few days the boys have began to do some neat stuff. Kolton is starting to coo and will "talk" to his daddy and me. He is also kicking his legs and arms and will even push up some on his legs when holding him. He is getting better with his head control, holding it up minutes at a time now. He has also picked his eating up sometimes wanting a couple more ounces an hour after he eats. He's bright eyed and staying up much later, too late sometimes but is better at going to bed than he used to be. He no longer(knock on wood) throws fits the minute you lay him down. Most times he is content to lay there and drift off to sleep.
Karter is also starting to coo, he started a few days later then Kolton. He has excellent head control and has had for some time. I forgot to mention they both can hold it up for a few on their tummies. Karter can also push up with his legs and is getting spoiled to sleeping in the bed with mommy and daddy. He has gotten this habit of waking up an hour before feeding time. He's not hungry or does not seem to be but just keeps crying and spitting out his binky. I put him in his Boppy and put him between Jimmy and I, he drifted right off to sleep and I think he really enjoyed that because he seems to be making it a habit. I hope on the other hand not to, I will let him do it for an hour or two and then he gets back into his own bed.
They are becoming even more of a handful because they are both getting more active and wanting to play. I actually figured out how to feed them both at the same time, which I had to do because they both wanted to eat NOW. I sat in the middle of the bed and put one on my left thigh and the other on my right, so far it has worked ok. I just have to stop feeding both to burp them.
I really look forward to the next couple of months when they began to do a lot more neat stuff. I think they are doing quite well considering how early they came into the world. On the 17th they will be 4 months and on the 26th they will be corrected age 2 months.
Friday, November 03, 2006
I realize it has been awhile since we last updated. A lot has been going on. Both boys came down with a cold, but before we knew it was a cold we had to make our first trip to the emergency room. We called the doctor on call in our town since it was the weekend and she said it would be better to take them back to Childrens Hosp. just in case it was RSV because that is where they would send us only by ambulance. So we made a trip there and wouldn't you know it Kolton was as sweet as could be. His alarms didn't go off once and he was up and smiling. The doctor did diagnose him with a cold and reflux, which we got medicine for and pink eye, I thought he has just scratched his eye and was going to take him to the doctor on the following Monday for this. Anyway they both had to be seen being they share the same bed and such and both were tested for RSV, which they didn't have. So we leave there and wouldn't you know it Kolton's alarm went off the minute we got in the car. Apparently this is normal when kids are sick and the doctor said all kids probably do it but we just don't know because they don't have monitors hooked up to them. So it took a week for them to get over this. Kolton got it first and his alarms went off quite a bit with his cold. Then a couple of days later Karter got it, but it made him have lots of drainage and a stuffy nose, so he threw up his food a lot. I spent a good four days praying and holding and begging him not to gag. On top of this Jimmy and I both got sick. It's very had to take care of twins, but taking care of them when you don't feel well is even harder.
I also realize we have not posted any pictures lately. This is due to the camera batteries being dead. We are charging them now and will takes pictures in the next day or so.
So that is what has been going on here. Now I suppose I should go tend to one or both of them. They have actually been awake 7 hours, that's right 7 hours and they don't want to sleep now unless you are holding them. I think we might have spoiled them and times like these we pay the price. Welp gotta go help Jimmy.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
The boys are doing well! They're still not going more than 3 or 4 hours without eating and we're really really tired but we can't really do anything but accept it. We know it won't last forever...we hope! Here are some new pics that we took tonight. Notice the beautiful blankets that were made for us by our dear friend Gina N. Thank you Gina, we really appreciate it.
RSV (Respiratory Synctial Virus), due to their prematurity, our babies are more susceptable to a very common, and highly contagious virus. Premature babies like ours do not have the normal resistance provided by mothers to their full term babies. In order to mitigate some of the risk we've decided to give our babies Synagis. Soon we may start charging people to look at this site. It turns out that Synagis costs $3400/month for what amounts to a few drops for each baby, and we're getting 7 months worth for a total of $23,800. Fortunately for us, insurance is covering 70% of the cost, leaving us with bill for $900/month for the next 7 months. The frustrating part to this is that if we didn't want to work and carry insurance, the state would pay all of the cost for us....is this discrimination?? I think so...
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Things have been going fine with the boys, well as good as to be expected. They both are getting spoiled and don't want to sleep in their bed at times. It's Kolton mostly. He will be sound asleep and you put him in his bed, his eyes shoot open and then his mouth does. He will cry for an hour if you let him. I don't and that why he does it. I try the binky first, then talking to him or singing, then touching him. He will stay asleep but as soon as I walk off he starts to cry.
Something funny. The other day I was changing him before I fed him and he had a string on his sock, so I pulled it off and went on about my business. As I am feeding him I look down and I see his little toes sticking out of his sock. This cracked me up. Evidently the string was holding his sock together.
They have been more interactive her lately as well. Sometimes they will stay up the 3 hours between feedings. They are starting to smile more often. Karter is a pro at holding his head up, Kolton is working on it more and more every day. They have begun to reach for things at times. Karter reached up and touched daddies face the other day, wish I would have had the camera handy. They are good babies and have not given us many problems. The only thing I wonder about it Karter grunting so much. At times he will grunt until his face turns red. He is not pooping or anything like that so I don't know. He doesn't seem to be in pain when he does this though.
Here are a few pictures we took of them in the laundry basket.
Kolton was a little unsure about it at first.
But after a some food and a clothes change he was happy again.
(ok I've tried 4 times to get the picture I want here to install and it won't I will have to try later as it is time to feed them.)
I'm so glad Karter's oxygen is off, it makes it so much easier to move around the house, I was getting stir crazy staying in one room all the time. And it you can see his cute little face now.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Well, our little guys have discovered that mommy and daddy have a life when they're asleep and they want to stay and participate in it. It's amazing, they can be sound asleep in your arms, the minute you lay them down, one or both of them will get going and try to coax you into picking them up (which we resist as much as we can...sometimes :> ).
Karter not sleeping.... Kolton not sleeping...
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Woohoo..It looks like Karter has outgrown is need for oxygen! Of all the attachments our preemies have to wear, they're all pretty bearable with the exception of the oxygen. It creates a giant sized hassle to take the babies anywhere (even to another room in the house). We've been taking his oxygen off about once a week just to see how he does and this time his oxygen has stayed saturated for almost 36 hours. We're still going to keep his oximeter on until we meet with the doctor on tuesday but all in all, this is a giant and long awaited step for him and us!.
This picture is the very first time that Karter has been outside just for the fun of it (not going somewhere to get poked and prodded):
Kolton has now amazed us! He was able to roll-over from his tummy to his back on his own! Three times no less! I'm posting video of his third attempt for everyone to see. Please excuse the poor quality, I had to grab the nearest camera and it was a digital still camera that wasn't really built for video.
Click here for the video!
Here's a cool pic I just happened to catch as they were falling asleep...
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I added some more pics to Flicker. Just click on the pictures flashing in the side bar to see them.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Things have been going pretty well. Both boys are doing good, growing daily. Jimmy and I are pretty tired due to the every three hour feeding schedule. They wake up on their own and are eating quite well.
Here's a few pictures of them.
Here they are on their pillow pals that Nannie and Papa got them. They are so soft.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Today is the boys original due date, and they're already 10 weeks old!
The boys had their final bi-monthly ROP test today! They have good results and the doctors think it highly unlikely they will ever need surgery. We will now move to routine 6 month eye checkups. The ROP check is pretty stressful on the little guys, they get their eyelids held open with a clamp and a suction cup is used to move their little eyes around while the doctor shines a really bright light onto their retinas...ouch. Kolton and Karter are both doing well, they're becoming much more alert and staying up more. Now, if we can just get them out of their 3 hour feeding schedule. We haven't had more than 2 hours of sleep at a single time in the last 3 weeks.
Here's the latest pic, the little guys like to sit around and flip channels....
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
Yesterday the boys were two months old. In hind site it feels like it was two years ago. We are settling in to a routine I think. Feedings are going well and they pretty much sleep between the feedings, which as you have read are every three hours. Jimmy and I sleep between the feedings also.
Things I have noticed..... Kolton is the sensitive one. He does not like change, change or stress will cause him not to eat well and have more bradycardias. His coping mechanism is to just go to sleep and ignore what is going on. Karter does not react to the stress like his brother does. He will pretty much eat anywhere and does not have nearly as many bradycardias as Kolton. His monitor has only gone of twice since we brought him home. With that said he does not want to give up his oxygen just yet. The doctor lowered his flow to 1/16 lpm last week. He has done really well on this except for when he eats. When he eats on that flow he can't breath as well and will drop his oxygen saturation into the lower 80's, to fix this we just bump his oxygen up to 1/8 lpm when he eats and drop it again afterwards, it works well for him and he is able to eat comfortably.
On Saturday they swung in their swings for the first time. They both seem to really like it and where asleep in no time. I actually tried to take Kolton out and put him in his crib, he woke up and cried, so I put him back in the swing and he fell back to sleep. The swings are so cool and they have all kinds of neat gadgets that they can play with as they grow. Thanks Nancy for the swings, the boys seem to really like them.
On Sunday, they got all dressed up for pictures with Nanny, who had been with us for two weeks, and was going home that day. Thanks Mom for coming, it was a big help and a stress reliever to know that someone else in the house might know what they're doing with babies because we sure didn't. We have begun to figure it out though, I think.
So that's pretty much what we have been up to. Life continues to move forward as do we, as does the piled up laundry and the high grass in the backyard and the broken garage door and the clogged toilets, so off I go to tackle something that needs to be done.
Friday, September 15, 2006
It's been a while! We've been busy feeding twins at all hours of the day and night!
Karter and Kolton have completed their next to last eye exam to check for ROP (Retinopothy of Prematurity). The retinas are one of the last things to develop in a baby so when babies come too early, the eyes sometimes didn't have a chance to finish, as a result, the blood vessels of the retina can grow out of control and cause blindness. The more premature the baby, the more likely the chances for ROP and the degree of blindness. The boys show no signs of ROP at this point. The eye doctors says that they're chances of developing ROP at this point are very very low. They have one more exam in two weeks and then they will go in every six months for checkups. The ROP exam is very unpleasant for the baby and in our case it caused Kolton and Karter to experience a bit of a set back. Kolton began have episodes of bradychardia before we were even out of the doctors office! No one informed us that causing the babies stress could cause this to happen. Fortunately they've calmed back down now and we have no appointments scheduled for a week or two. On a better note, We've been able to turn down Karter's oxygen from 1/8 liter/minute to 1/16 liter. This means his lungs are growing out of his BPD (Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia). BPD is caused by what the doctors have to do to premature babies that can't breath on their own. The babies have to be intubated and the pressure and oxygen concentration cause scarring on the lung tissue. Fortunately, most preemies grow out of it as their lungs increase in size, the scar tissue decreases relative to the overall lung volume. We took Karter off of his oxygen tonight for about 25 minutes just to see what would happen. He stayed in the 90% saturation range the whole time! We're going try this again on and off and let the doctor know the results. It tells us that his BPD is not very serious and soon he will no longer need oxygen. As a result of our oxygen test, we were able to get some pictures of Karter without his cannula on. If he looks big, it's because he is! He's over 7 pounds now. His brother is between 6 and 7 and moving on up.
Friday, September 08, 2006
I really had no idea how hard a 3 hour feeding schedule is...
The feeding takes almost an hour, so you get up, feed the babies, try to go to sleep as quickly as possible, sleep for 2 hours, and then repeat. If we had only one child, we could alternate nights, with two, one person can't do it because it would take 2 out of the 3 hours and you can't live on 3 hours of sleep a night for very long. People with single children have it pretty easy I suspect...
We had a bit of a scare today, Kolton has been having some problems eating enough formula, we called the pediatrician and were told to feed him a round of pedialyte and then try and feed him formula during the next session. If he didn't eat the formula we were to take him to the emergency room ASAP for testing (and a possible spinal tap :< ). A week or two ago we ran out of the hospital formula but went and purchased several containers of the exact same formula in power form not really thinking much about it. We decided to buy some of the same formula in liquid form to see what effect it had. Kolton downed the pedialyte in about 6 minutes, he acted like it was koolaid. Then for the next feed he downed his whole feed of the liquid formula. I decided to do a taste test of everything he's been getting. Everyone always wonders what formula tastes like. Well, it tastes far worse that it smells! For the record, pedialyte tastes like sweat. Liquid formula tastes like cardboard, and powdered formula tastes like cardboard that's been wrapped around a dead fish! We're not feeding them powdered formula any more.... Here the boys are with their tummys full up:
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Karter and Kolton were discharged today. They're at home now, and we're running our legs off trying to keep up with them. They're currently on a 3 hour schedule and this is the first morning after our first night of being parents to our children. Last night was tiring but not as tiring as either of us thought it might be, we look forward to spending time looking into our childrens beautiful eyes (even if it's 3 o'clock in the morning). At every feeding I get to look at them and chuckle at how wonderful they are. The alarms haven't gone off too bad and we suspect they will go off less and less as we go forward. I'm sure we have many moments of panic in our future but probably not much more than most new parents and we will get through them day by day. Our babies seem very healthy and normal in every way (except for the machines they're hooked to which won't last forever). We will most likely update this site with pictures and updates for a long time, please...stop by or drop us a line at mailto://email@example.com.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Tomorrow is supposed to be the big day! We're going home after almost 47 days in the hospital. It's been real and it's been real (it hasn't been fun in any way). We have a lot of people to thank, many doctors, and many nurses. The doctors did good work, but it was the nurses that kept us going sometimes. We had no idea there could be such a variety of nurses in a hospital! A few nurses really stood out and I've been putting together in my mind just why some stood out. The ones that take the time to sit down and talk to you were the ones that made this mess bearable to us, I had no idea that nurses were teachers as well. Just to name some of the more amazing nurses, I'm not going to include last names, but they know who they are. If I left you off, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!
Lori W. - Wish we would have had you more!, but it seems that the critical babies needed you more than we did. The NICU is a better place because of your presence.
Jennifer B. - I think you should end up writing orders, not just taking them.
Keri. - Thank for your tenderness towards our little ones.
Casey - Thanks for teaching us how to feed a baby instead of letting us try and teach a baby how to take the food from us.
Michelle - You said this was your calling..and I believe it!!
Julianne - Thanks for teaching us how to feed a baby and taking our first family portrait, and assuring me that my babies head wasn't really going to fall off.
Cindy - Thanks for reassuring us when we were stressed out a 2 o'clock in the morning because our babies turning blue.
Brandy and I would love to stay in contact with all of you in the future, if you're interested, please email your email address at firstname.lastname@example.org, if not, then that's ok, we know you're busy people.
Now for some pics!
The first spit up on Brandy!