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 26, 2006
Today is the boys original due date, and they're already 10 weeks old!
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!