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.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Couple of Setbacks, But Boys Still Doing Well

It's 12:09 and it is late. We just got home not too long ago from seeing the boys. Today was one of those downer days. The rollercoaster ride we've been promised since Day 1 is well on its way. So far good days have out numbered the bad, so we really can't complain.

Late last night Anthony went back on the CPAP machine. This was not a surprise and neither Danielle or I were really affected much by this news. Though Anthony is now two weeks old, he's still a 25.6 week preemie. A baby his age and size uses a ton of energy to breathe, and sometimes they just get tired trying so hard.

According to Nurse Michelle (who happens to be Uncle Al's 2nd Cousin), Anthony just kept having spell after spell. Around 2 a.m. he had a major apnic episode and the nurse had to really work to get him back on track. NICU Chief Dr. Kamran decided maybe Anthony needs a little more help, so he decided to put him back on the CPAP. There is no time table as to a return to nasal cannula, and no indication at this time he would need to go back on a ventillator.

Anthony's feedings have kind of been hit and miss the last couple of days. He was cruising along at 5ccs. When they moved the feeds up to 6ccs, the nurses found too much residual stomach fluid for comfort. While it is normal to find all kinds of weird stomach juices in a preemies belly, the doctors wanted to hold off a feed or two and back off the amount. This finding coupled with the apnic episodes caused the doctors to pull the feeds back to 3ccs.

As of tonight Anthony had progressed from 3ccs to 4ccs, and his last feed at 4ccs came at 11 tonight. If he tolerates this last feed tonight he will make it back up to 5ccs.

The feedings have really seemed to improve the look of Anthony. In just about 5 days or so he's gone from looking like a sickly preemie, to a pink, and relatively chubby looking baby. He looks pretty much like a normal baby now, but just a mini-version.

His lab tests today came back solid and for tomorrow there are no plans or treatments scheduled. So, hopefully he'll keep eating and getting bigger and stronger. Pray for his little heart and lungs to get stronger!

As far as Jared goes, he is still on nasal cannula and has far fewer apnic spells than Anthony. He started feeding yesterday and has tolerated all of his feeds. In fact, he is now up to 2ccs every six hours. The doctors will discuss tomorrow morning if they want to advance the feeds to every three hours. The doctor we spoke to today was going to recommend to Dr. Kamran that the feeds be increased.

There is news as to the elevated white blood cell issue from the other day. All three of his blood cultures for infection came back negative, which is good. However, his third and final urine culture came back positive for two things: staphylococcus (bacteria) and yeast (fungus).

The doctor explained to us that the presence of staph bacteria is likely the result of cross-contamination from the catheter used to extract the urine for the test. Clinically, Jared does not show signs of infection. He doesn't have a temperature or anything else suggesting infection. Remember that the doctors started antibiotics as a precaution, so the likelihood of a staph infection developing at this point is low, and likely not an issue at all because the sample was likely contaminated.

The more troubling issue is the yeast. The doctor noted that Jared has what looks to be a diaper rash. Diaper rashes are essentially yeast infections. The doctor feels that maybe the yeast culture showed due to cross-contamination during urine extraction. The catheter tube, which is inserted into the penis, touched the affected area. Again, the blood cultures are negative for yeast so that is good. As a precaution the doctor started anti-fungal medication to kill the fungi wherever it might be.

We know for sure fungus is growing on Jared because tonight the nurses informed us that it spread onto his neck and face. Last night we thought it was dry skin around his mouth, but after doing some tests the doctors determined the diaper rash essentially has spread to his body. At this point the infection on the outside of his body is of no great concern and the doctors are treating it with medicine similar to what you or I might use on athlete's foot or a yeast infection.

The doctor did draw more urine for testing from Jared earlier today via a method less likely to result in cross-contamination. Pray that the urine and blood culture results tomorrow are negative, and pray that the medicine to get rid of the yeast does its work.

I know the news today isn't that great, but all things considered our boys have done very well so far. Dr. Kamran is pleased with their progress. The nurses are happy as well. Most of them can't believe that babies of their gestational age and of their size are off a ventillator. It is very common that babies of their prematurity would be on a ventillator for weeks. Our boys were on one for about four days.

Anthony is gaining weight, and Jared will be well on his way now that he is feeding. The breathing issues will fade as they get older, so we are confident and happy with their progress up to this point. Many issues still loom, but we are confident we will sail through those as well.

All in all, today wasn't a great day for Momma and Daddy. The rollercoaster ride is not fun, and the bumps in the road are expected. We don't worry ourselves sick necessarily, but the bad days weigh on us and stress us out. We have a long road still ahead, and Danielle and I will stay strong and stay the course. Our fight is nothing compared to the fight our boys have every day.

Our mantra since January 5 has been that "tomorrow is a new day." We are confident the new day will bring better news for our little boys.

Fight On, Little Fighters! - Love Daddy

1 comment:

  1. Jason and Danielle, I am extremely proud of the strength you are both showing. As you say "tomorrow is a new day" is such a good mantra. Day in and day out you two are also fighters! Make sure you take care of yourselves and get enough rest. Your strength will show your boys the important things in life. The boys are sooooooo lucky to have you two for parents. Love you, Grandma Cora