Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sleepy Pictures - FOUR WEEKS OLD!

The babies are four weeks old in a matter of minutes - I can't believe it's been four weeks alreaady! Wow, talk about time whizzing by.

Please enjoy a few sleepy time pictures from today. I tried to get some 'open-eye' pictures, but, I had to take what I could get and Tucker and Hunter were just TOO TIRED!




The Birth Announcement

I know everyone has seen this by now, but I just love it so much!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Hats!

The babies got new hats made for them by a terrificly talented crocheter, Jessi, at etsy.com (check out her shop at TwoSeasideBabes.etsy.com). Just had to share how adorable they look in their new beanies!

Hunter is in blue and Tucker is in yellow.





Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pediatrician Visit Yesterday

I'm THRILLED! I was so anxious to get the boys weighed. I think I just needed some reassurance that they are getting what they need and that I am, indeed, making plenty of milk for them. A week ago, Hunter was 5 lbs 10 oz and Tucker was 5 lbs 2 oz - NOW, Hunter is 6 lbs 1 oz and Tucker is 5 lbs 9 oz - they both gained 7 oz in a week! YAY!

Monday, July 21, 2008

New Pictures of the Babies!

Just wanted to share a few new pictures of the babies. I'll update about life at home tomorrow, after we have our check-up at the pediatrician's office. We can't wait to see how much the babies weigh after a week of being home!

In the meantime, enjoy the new pictures of our little blessings.





Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Morning Update

Yesterday was a good day. Both boys got their circs in the early morning and then we were given the news that Tucker was being discharged at noon. There was just no reason for him to stay any longer.

We were also told that if Hunter did well with his temp over the next 24 hours that he would be discharged today. I spoke with his nurse this morning and he did great all night - so we'll be heading up there to TAKE OUR BABIES HOME this afternoon!

I cannot tell you all how happy we are to finally be going home. As of two weeks ago, I went into unexpected labor and haven't been home since. We've been extrememly lucky to be able to stay with Dan's parents and they've been more than generous to us these past two weeks. But it will feel so nice to be home. And more than anything, Cooper needs to go home. He is so home-sick it's heartbreaking. He tells us everyday how he just wants to go home.

I'll keep you all updated. I probably won't be around for a while as we get accustomed to having TWO newborns to nurse and care for around the clock. Developing a good routine will be my next venture!

Love You All.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Night Update

Well, we're currently rooming-in with the boys in the antepartem ward at the hospital. This is just sort of a 'trial run' for our first overnight with the babies. That way, if we think of questions or run into things that might occur when we get home, we have the nurses nearby to get questions answered.

The car seat tests were performed today and both babies passed with flying colors. In fact, Tucker was sleeping so well in his, that we just left him in there for two hours. haha. They had no problems proving that they can handle the hour drive home.

The pediatrician will be here first thing in the morning to get our consent for the circs and then will do them immediately.

We are scheduled to be discharged on Monday at noon. The only "issue" that could hold us up is Hunter's temp. He's still having some problems keeping himself warm enough and they may look at that and decide he needs another day or two.

Hunter is also not gaining weight very quickly, which we've been told can be very normal for early babies who have some issues already. Tucker on the other hand is gaining at lightning speed, and weighed in tonight at 4 lbs 15 oz. Hunter weighed in at 5 lbs 8 oz, so now Tucker is 1 oz OVER his birth weight, and Hunter is 3oz UNDER his birth weight.

Please, please cross your fingers that Hunter gets this temp thing under control and starts gaining weight so we can ALL GO HOME TOGETHER. I am so SICK of visiting my babies in the hospital and being under the nurses watchful eyes!

Love you all.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Evening Update

I'm going to be brief because, quite simply, I'm EXHAUSTED and need to get to bed!

Here are the updates from today:

* Hunter is no longer in the isolette and is holding his temperature quite well.
* Tucker decided to pull out his NG tube so he is taking ALL his feeds through the mouth and is doing GREAT with it!
* Hunter is finished with his pneumonia meds and no longer has the IV line in for it.
* Both boys are in the same room now.

And the biggest news: we were advised to bring our carseats in so that they can do the carseat test on the boys tomorrow. When we questioned the nurses about it, they said we may be home as early as THIS WEEKEND! WOOT! HUGE PRAYERS THAT WE CAN GO HOME WITH OUR BABIES!

As promised to many of you, here are a few pictures I snapped from today:

TUCKER RAY



HUNTER DANIEL



TUCKER AND HUNTER

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday Morning Update

It's official - the boys are now a week old. Time flies so fast when you're watching your beautiful children grow - but this week has sped by like lightning. Hard to believe a week ago I was recovering from one of the most painful, but rewarding tasks of my life, well, two, actually. : )

The boys are doing well and are now in rooms right next to each other at Overland Park Regional Hospital NICU. It was hard leaving the hospital where Tucker and I roomed together and I could hold him and snuggle him at my discretion, but having them together really does lessen the stress of trying to divide my time between two hospitals. It was so nice yeterday being able to nurse one baby and then walk a few feet to another rocking chair and nurse the other.

Hunter is showing us everyday that he is a strong little baby who wants nothing more than to keep growing and developing. He is taking a bottle now with many of his feedings and eats like a CHAMP. Some of the nurses can't believe how wonderfully he is doing in the eating department. I just look at all his chub and tell myself I'm not surprised though. = ) He had a little trouble with his temperature and was put inside an isolette to help maintain his body temperature and it proved to be extrememly helpful for him. He ate every drop in his bottle last night, which he's never done before. He's always eaten about half of it, and then had the other half given to him through his NG tube. Basically, the Doctor said that by helping him regulate his temperature, he doesn't have to work so hard doing it himself and can concentrate on using his energy to learn to eat. He will stay in the isolette for a day or two and then we'll challenge him again by seeing if he can regulate his temp in an open crib. He doesn't have his canula anymore and is doing just fine breathing room air - he know longer works really hard trying to breathe to distribute oxygen throughout his body, so we're not seeing anymore retractions in hi chest. He also doesn't need anymore fluids, so his IV has been removed. Everyday Hunter seems to overcome a little bit more and it's so nice to show up for a visit and find one less tube/wire coming off of him.

Tucker is doing well, too. There was actually talk yesterday of putting him in an isolette for a few day as well, but as of last night he seemed to be regulating his temperature just fine. The Doctor said sometimes that's common when a baby is put through the stress and trauma of a transfer from one hospital to another, so they weren't too concerned, really. Tucker's only task at this point is to keep eating well, and show that he can be weaned from his NG tube and eat every meal by mouth. Once he can eat every meal through his mouth for 24 hours, he can go home. Probably looking at about 5-7 more days in the hospital before that takes place.

Everyone has asked whether or not the boys are identical or fraternal. At this point we just don't know yet. They do have the same blood type, AB+, which is one of the more rare types, but that isn't proof of anything.As far as physical appearance, there are certainly similaritie between both boy, but there are a lot of differences, too. For instance, Hunter is a whole point heavier than Tucker, so he looks much more filled out and has a lot more fat on his body. Also, Tucker was shoved through the birth canal while Hunter was a c-section, so that could attest to different head shapes. Dan and I aren't in any hurry to find out. We think it will be really fun to watch them grow and see if we can tell in the next coming months. We really couldn't care less if they're identical or fraternal. Actually, Dan is a bit hopeful that they're identical because he thinks that would be really neat, but I'm more hopeful that they're fraternal because then it's as if I get two completely different and wonderfully beautiful boys for the price of one. In the end, all we want is healthy babies who can come home!

As for me, I'm doing okay. I'm getting around a little better each day and starting to experience less and less pain. I have to remind myself to take it easy and not to do too much, which is so hard for me. I love spending time with Cooper when I can, and find myself wanting to be at the hospital every moment in between. I have a new respect for anyone who has to leave their baby at the hospital - it's the hardest thing I have ever done, and leaving there each day gets more and more painful. Luckily, we're able to stay at Dan's parents house which is literally just 10-15 minutes away from the hospital so we can visit often. My parents are just around the corner from Dan's parents, so it's nice to know they're there for help, too.

I'll take the camera today and try to get some updated picture of the boys. Thanks to everyone for all the prayers and I hope you'll continue thinking of us and our precious babies.

If anyone would like to come see us and the babie at the hospital, PLEASE don't hesitate to! Just email me at trishwills@gmail.com and I'll tell you where we are and how to find us. We love having company and anyone who wants to come visit is alway welcome and encouraged. Please feel free to come anytime!

Love,
Trish

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pictures of Hunter

I got the BEST gift today - a visit with Hunter! I got to nurse him and he latched on and nursed for over 15 minutes - a HUGE success, especially considering he has never had any food through his mouth - just through his NG tube to his belly! He's doing extremely well, and we're planning on him coming home about the time his antibiotics are finished for the pneumonia. He has about a week left of meds, so hopefully he'll truly have the hang of nursing by then and CAN come home!

Enjoy these Hunter pictures, everyone! Before this visit, I had only seen him two times, very briefly, in the nursery at Olathe Medical Center before he was transferred to Overland Park Regional. So, this was a real treat for me - I basically met Hunter for the first time today - and it was WONDERFUL! It was the pick-me-up that I needed. :)








Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth Day Update

Here is the latest update.

Hunter, over at the other hospital (it's about 15 minutes away from where Tucker and I are) is doing WONDERFULLY. Dan spends several hours with him everyday and the report is nothing but great. As of yesterday, Hunter is eating through a NG tube and they're increasing the amount every third feeding by 3 ml. From what we could calculate, he'd be getting about 16 ml this morning. The goal is to get him up to 50 ml so that he is getting enough to gain weight. The nurses say he does excellent with his feedings and sucks his little paci really hard while the food gets pumped in. He's the biggest baby in that nicu right now, but I don't have a current weight on him. He's breathing room air with just VERY SLIGHT O2 in a nasal canula. He's regulating his temperature just fine. As soon as his heart rate settles down a bit (it's been in the 70's - 80's and needs to be in the 60's), he'll begin eating from a bottle, and has plenty of my breastmilk there to get started with. I've been a pumping machine!

Tucker is doing well, also. Yesterday, the doctors decided to change the way he was eating. As premature and small as he is, he just didn't have enough energy to finish each feeding,and wasn't gaining any weight. So, basically, all the calories he would eat, would be burned right away, while he was TRYING to eat. So he was getting no where. So now he has a NG tube like his brother, and is getting his feedings through that. Every third feeding is a breast feeding for him, and he's still latching on and suckling like a champ. He is also not getting anymore formula - just pumped breastmilk as well. :)

At this point, it is unknown which baby will be released first, and when. I will be discharged on Monday and will then go on what's called "Boarder Status." Basically, Tucker and I will still be in the room we're in now, but I won't be a "patient." I'll be free to come and go as needed, but will be able to stay here with Tucker until he's released, which could be at anytime. The doctors at both hospitals say the babies will be home by at least their 36-week gestation day, but most likely sooner.

We also got confirmation that the babies have the same blood type. I am AB-, Dan is A+ and both boys are AB+. Identical twins? Possibly. It will be fun to watch them grow and find out. We couldn't care less if they are identical or fraternal, we're just in love with them so much and can't wait to get them both home together.

I'm doing okay, as well. I'm starting to feel pretty good as far as my incision goes, and now only have slight swelling from Tucker's delivery. My hemoglobin has been really, really low - low enough my OB is considering a transfusion if it doesn't start responding to the iron supplements soon. I do occasionally get very dizzy and light-headed from it. Emotionally, I'll admit I have had a hard time. I only saw Hunter a few times for a few minutes before he was transferred and don't even know what he looks like (other than the pictures, but you know what I mean). It's so hard being here and bonding with Tucker all day, just knowing that I have another sweet baby to get to know and love, and at this point, I don't even feel like his Mother. cry I know it's all normal, though, and I just remind myself that it won't be long - and I'm so thankful that they weren't any earlier than they were, because they really won't have to stay in the hospital very long at all.

Sorry for the novel. Just wanted to update everyone. :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

48-Hour Update

We had a few ups and downs yesterday, but overall, things are going well. I will update according to each baby:

Hunter: Hunter's O2 levels continued to go up and down throughout Wednesday evening and through the night into Thursday. We got word that his numbers plummeted on Thursday night and his need for O2 increased greatly. We had a feeling that Hunter was going to be transported to a local Level III NICU, and we were right. The lead neonatologist came and spoke with us about his concerns for Hunter staying here, and that he really felt Hunter needed to be transported to a hospital more equipped to handle his prematurity level and help him get over this hump and move on. We agreed. They got things set up and the transport team arrived about an hour later. They got Hunter all settled in his isolette and brought him to my room so we could say goodbye. We were eager for him to begin treatment at the NICU. A few hours later, Hunter's NICU nurse called and spoke with Dan with an update. Hunter's bloodwork all looks really well, but X-ray has determined that he has an early onset of Pneumonia. They've started some antibiotics (two different kinds) and also began giving him 7 ml of formula since all he had recieved since birth was some sugared saline until his O2 numbers stabilized. Dan went to Hunter's hospital last night and spent a few hours there. He was very happy to report that Hunter is doing AWESOME. His O2 levels have improved dramatically and he is currently on room air with a canula and low levels of O2 being given. He is the largest baby in his wing and the doctors expect he will be released within a week, if not sooner. He's taking his feedings well and they will begin increasing the amount of milk with each feeding. My milk is in as of a few hours ago, so he'll begin getting breastmilk, as well. We can't wait to get an update this morning! We're hoping that the pneumonia was causing the majority of Hunter's setbacks, and that the agressive treatment will get him on the right track.


Tucker: We are HAPPY to report that Tucker has the nurses and doctors EXTREMEMLY pleased with him as a 34-week preemie. Not only has he been eating and on room-air since birth, but yesterday morning he began regulating his own temperature and was able to STAY IN OUR ROOM WITH US! It was so nice not having to be wheeled to the nursery anymore - I had my baby IN MY ROOM! What a blessing! They started allowing me to nurse him at every third feeding, but sticking with the high-caloric formula for the remainder of the feedings. He really needs to start gaining some weight so I'm pumping a lot and saving it for later. Late morning, the pediatrician came by and gave us even MORE incredible news - he said that if Tucker continued to do so well, he would be going home with us when I'm discharged on Saturday! They're just baffled at how well he is progressing without needing any interventions other than the formula. He is doing well with his weight, too. 24 hours after birth, he had only lost 5 oz of his body weight, going from 4 lbs 14 oz to 4 lbs 9 oz. The nurse weighed him last night, at the 48 hour mark, and he was still at exactly 4 lbs 9 oz. They were very pleased that he hadn't lost anymore weight! He's nursing like a champ and beginning to take more and more formula with each feeding. I'm extremely amazed at his will to grow stronger and stronger, even at such a young small preemie. He's such a little fighter!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pictures of the new babies!

HUNTER












TUCKER










Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Introducing: Tucker Ray and Hunter Daniel !!

My energy level is quite low at the moment, so this entry will most likely not be as lengthy as it could be. Just bare with me!

Monday was a busy, non-eventful day until later into the afternoon. We had a great OB appointment that morning at 1030 am that was nothing more than a routine visit for 34 weeks. Then we had a 145pm appointment in the sonogram department at the hospital for our monthly growth scan. Then were to head upstairs for our first NST in the Birth Center at Olathe Medical Center. That's when things gotinteresting . . . once they hooked me up to the machine, they started picking up contractions that I was having quite reguarly, although not painfully noticeable to me. They decided to check me and then call the Doctor. I was dlated to 2 centimeters, 50% effaced and -2 station. The doctor showed up an hour later, and said she'd check me and then send me home. She was proven wrong when she noticed I dilated from 2 to 6 in less than an hour! At that point, I wasn't going home.

By Monday evening I had progressed to a 7, 70% effaced and -1 station.

I labored all day on Tuesday, and things really started moving later in the evening. We knew the time was drawing near!

Finally, at 1012pm, Tucker's water broke. A few minutes later, at 1018pm, Tucker was born and laid on my chest. He was delivered vaginally with NO DRUGS AT ALL! Woot!

Next was Hunter. He was still very high up in the uterus after his brother was born, so I knew I had some good, strong pushing to do to get him down. After pushing for over an hour, the doctor became concerned as to why he hadn't progressed downwards, and decided to do a sonogram to check his placement. Sonogram showed that Hunter was now completely breech with his feet near the cervix. At that point, we decided a c-section was the best option to get Hunter out while he was still stable and not showing any signs of stress. That proved to be the absolute BEST OPTION for Hunter's well-being, because the doctor discovered the cord was wrapped around his neck, went down his back and then wrapped TWICE around his leg.

Needless to say, I'm a bit sore in several places and extrememly tired! Here are the babies' stats:

Tucker Ray - July 1st, 2008, 1018pm; 4 lbs, 14 oz; 17 3/4 inches long
Hunter Daniel - July 1st,2008, 1154pm; 5 lbs 11 oz; 18 1/2 inches long

So far, the babies are doing great, considering they're prematurity. Tucker, although the smaller of the two, is breathing room air (was never on oxygen) and eating every three hours. I was even able to nurse him this morning and he did GREAT. Hunter is having a few issues here and there, but the doctors are monitoring him really well, and are hoping he won't have to be transferred to a hospital with a NICU. He's on a bit of oxygen, and they're slowly weaning him off of it.

I am going to rest for a bit, and then I'll post a few pictures of our new babies! Love You All. :)