Welcome to Our Blog! Our Story Starts Below...

Welcome to our blog! We set this up as an information hub about the progress of our little twin boys who were born on January 5, 2010. We along with our little boys first thank you so much for your love and support, and hope that this blog will give you an opportunity to follow their progress as they grow in the NICU at St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton.

Our little boys had a harrowing journey to get here. They were born at 25 weeks and 6 days, which is needless to say, very early. Jared William, was born at 10:49 a.m. feet first, and on the bathroom floor of the delivery room. Anthony Michael was born at 11:30 via C-section after he decided that he wanted to come out hands first.

Our story started on Monday, January 4 after a doctor's appointment with Dr. Gray. Danielle had been feeling generally, "crappy" the day before and reported what sounded like some contractions. The doctor decided to send us across the street to the hospital just to make sure everything was okay. After a couple of hours in labor and delivery the staff confirmed a few contractions, but very far apart. Her cervix was not dilated and the babies were fine.

The doctor sent us home and told us to keep track of the contractions, and so long as they weren't less than 7 minutes apart there was no need for concern. The next morning Danielle started feeling contractions again, but this time they were about five minutes apart. She called the doctor who said to wait another hour and see if they went away.

I was just getting ready to walk out the door to work when Danielle had a contraction that just about doubled her over. Deciding something wasn't right, I called the doctor and said we were coming to the hospital.

On our way to the hospital Danielle was having severe pains in her lower back every three minutes. When we arrived at the hospital Danielle was hooked up to the machines which registered no contractions at all. The doctors and nurses did not think her pains were contractions but constipation. After several attempts to alleviate that Danielle went into the bathroom still having severe lower back pain.

After a minute, I heard a scream, and Danielle was screaming that her babies were coming out. The nurses came rushing, as did the doctor, but Jared was too impatient to wait. He was born on the bathroom floor. After Danielle was moved to the bed, Anthony wasn't so cooperative and an emergency C-section was performed.

The NICU unit was quick to respond and help the teenie little babies breathe and fight for life. Jared was 2lbs. 1oz. and was 13 and 1/2 inches long. Anthony was 1lb. 15oz. and was 13 inches long.

The whole thing was totally unexpected, and frankly more traumatic than happy. But we are blessed with two gorgeous little miracle babies!

Our boys came home to us on March 26, 2010, after spending 81 days or about 12 weeks in the NICU at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton. As you may note from our previous posts below, the journey was not without its bumps in the road.

There were highs, and there were lows. We and the boys braved two laser eye surgeries, and countless other obstacles and scares. But, we never lost confidence in the medical team in the NICU, and always kept our faith that God would lead us through this time.

Our steadfastness paid off, because now the boys are happy and healthy at home! This of course brings with it a totally new set of challenges that we are exicted and eager to experience. The task of caring for twin newborns is a daunting one, but a welcome one.

So, just because the boys are now home, don't think the blogging will stop. It may not be as consistent as before, but we will do our best to keep you all updated on their progress, and give you a window into our lives raising twin boys.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Boys Doing 95% of the Heavy Lifting, New Pictures!

Jared Holding Nurse Mary's Finger
Anthony Showing Off His Baby Blues

It's pretty late and we've just returned from our visit to the NICU to see the boys. Both of them are doing well and are nice and stable.

Jared is cruising along and since the removal of the mucus from his chest has had fewer spells. In fact, he only had one spell for each shift nurse today. His Ibuprofen treatment continues to its last dose tomorrow. For now he is tolerating it well. All of his baselines are stable, and his urine output has only dropped a little, which is expected.

We are hopeful his follow up echocardiagram will show a closed PDA. Keep in mind though, that even if it closes for now, it could re-open. According to Dr. Bassiri, PDAs can open and close, and open and close. In fact, it is possible for a 1 year old child to have an open PDA that requires medication or surgery.

Jared remains on the CPAP at room air, and is still off the light therapy for jaundice. It is so nice to see him without his sunglasses, but I have to say both of them look so cute with them on. They looked like little snowboarders!

Anthony is still stable and his spells seem to have abated a little since yesterday. These spells are disconcerting for Momma and Daddy because when they happen alarms all over the place go off, the heart rate slows, and the oxygen saturation in the blood drops. I had to get more education about these things so I asked Dr. Bassiri. According to him they are nothing to worry about. Apnic episodes (times when they stop breathing or the heart slows) are common, and expected with preemies. It is important to let them work their way through these episodes and grow out of them.

The bottom line is that Dr. Bassiri told us not to fret about them, so we won't (as much). I don't care what anyone says, when those alarms go off we will worry.

We learned tonight that Anthony has a Grade 1 bleed in his brain. He had a head ultrasound on the day he was born and none since. No bleeds showed up on that day, so it must have occured between then and now. Since we don't have a baseline scan, we don't know if this bleed has gotten bigger or smaller. The bleed is only on one side however, and given that it is a Grade 1 bleed is of little concern at this point. Like Jared, the doctors will continue to scan their heads once a week and check the status. So long as they don't get bigger they should take care of themselves.

In positive news, Anthony is tolerating his feeds very well. So well in fact that they have increased them from 1cc every six hours to 1cc every three hours. It is crucial that he tolerate feedings and get more of Momma's breast milk. Dr. Bassiri tells us that though they get nutrition via I.V., they really improve when fed normally, especially when the food is breast milk.

Dr. Bassiri mentioned tonight that most of what neo-natal doctors do is "an art, not a science." I thought that was an odd thing to hear from a doctor until he explained a bit more. He clarified the remark by saying that essentially treatment on preemies like our boys is observational and responsive. The doctor tonight told us that the boys are doing 95% of what is keeping them alive. Nurse Mary puts it this way: "We only help when they raise their hands."

If you think about this for a second it is remarkable. What a testament to the resiliency of human life, and to the power of God! Our little boys came out so early, yet so complete. Though their bodies are very immature, they still have the tools to sustain life and grow.

Indeed they are little Fighters, because that's how God made all of us.
Fight On, Little Fighters! - Love Daddy

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