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.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Boys Eating Well, Getting Bigger

The boys have had a few stable days in a row now. As we noted last time, both of them are on the CPAP machines to help them breathe. Both have responded well, as the number of apnic spells have significantly decreased.

A couple of nights ago Daddy and Grandpa were in the NICU with Dr Uy (pronounced "You-E") doing rounds. She stopped by to chat with us about the boys' progress up to that point. I informed her of our preference to have the boys on the CPAP machines. She just smiled. I assume that most parents want to push their children to progress from breathing machines as fast as possible. Danielle and I are no different as we would like to have the boys do as well as possible as quickly as possible. But, we were a little concerned how quickly the boys went from CPAP to nasal cannula.

The boys were having constant spells on the cannulae. Danielle and I were concerned at how difficult it was for them to breathe. We didn't like the energy they were using for that purpose, and were wondering if they could go back on the CPAP. The doctors made the decision to put the boys back on the machines before we could bring up our concerns, and we were glad that they did. I told Dr. Uy, and my impression was that she smiled because maybe it's unusual for parents to want their children to "take a step backward" when it comes to breathing machines. In any event, being on the CPAP machines is the right move at this point, and the switch seems to be paying dividends.

After this discussion I asked Dr. Uy what the plan was for the boys. She said that they would likely remain on the CPAP well into this week to give them an opportunity to get stronger. She then said that the plan is for them to simply "grow and get stronger." For now this means there are no tests, procedures, or anything else scheduled for the boys until further notice.

This has been the plan for the last couple of days, and it has paid off. In the first place it looks as if the boys are getting some actual sleep for a change. They aren't having lots of apnic spells that would keep them up, and they aren't seeming to get poked and prodded every five minutes lately. Sleep is a good thing for anyone, but especially two little lives that need to conserve as much energy as possible.

On the feeding front, Anthony is up to 20cc, which is his max until he gets a little bigger. He is also off of all I.V. fluids, and at this point does not have one I.V. anywhere in his body. The doctors recently started him on a breast milk fortifier too. The fortifier increases the caloric content of the milk. Anthony is also receiving a vitamin supplement and iron. The iron helps with red blood cell production, and will hopefully curb the need for future blood transfusions. His last blood test showed that his red blood cell production had gone up by itself. So, it appears the treatments are working.

Jared has really come along as well. He is up to 8cc. Every time his feeds jump a cc, the I.V. fluids come down. This is good news for him. The doctors have informed us today that they are being a little more aggressive with Jared's feeds because they want to advance him to the point of having no I.V. fluids. When this occurs they can take out his PICC line, just like Anthony. The PICC line, though necessary, is a ripe place for an infection to start. Infection can be a very dangerous thing for the boys at this point, and any reduction in the possibility of one is a positive.

If you were wondering about their weight here it is: Anthony now weighs 2lbs. 8oz. and Jared weighs in at 2lbs. 5oz. In the last two weeks or so we have seen a steady weight gain of about 1oz. every three days. Little heifers!

As you can see at this point the boys are very stable and doing well. While we cherish the last few days, we are still guarded. The nurses tell us that at some point the only worry will be them getting bigger and stronger, and there won't be a worry about a major setback. They can't tell us when that day is coming, but we are positive it is coming soon.

Your prayers and thoughts have been working, and they are what is getting us through this. We can't say enough how grateful we are to have all of you supporting, and loving us. We are truly blessed. So, we thank you, and so do the boys!

Fight On, Little Fighters! - Love Daddy

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