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, February 10, 2010

Boys Move to the Other Side of the Tracks

Over the last few days the boys have been doing great. As of today they are 31-weekers! Anthony is topping the scales at 2lbs. 10oz. and Jared is holding firm at 2lbs. 7oz. As we've noted ad nauseam no news is good news. In any event there are still some significant developments to report.

Since being admitted to the NICU the boys have been on one side of the unit. There are two sides, one for "really sick babies" and the other for "stable babies." As of Saturday night our boys have been placed on the "stable" side, which means the main goal at this point is to eat, sleep, poop (at which they are adept, trust me), and grow. According to the doctors the main concern at this point is growth, and perhapas most importantly infection.

We aren't sure if the move is entirely out of confidence, because we like to joke that the only reason they were moved is because they aren't as bad off as the several new arrivals that have shown up over the last week. In fact, last Saturday night the boys were flying solo in the NICU. When we returned the next morning three new babies were admitted along with a set of twins. As of now there are seven babies in the NICU, so needless to say it got busy in a hurry.

While it has only been five weeks, it seems like years. Our boys are the senior members now in the NICU. But, maybe for the first time since they've been there, they aren't the sickest. In fact, just a day or so ago a brand new 26-week preemie was admitted. Seeing him was sort of sad but also brought a sense of relief to know that we are past that early, horrible, scary stage. The new baby is on the light therapy, and seeing that blue tinge of light stirs up lots of emotion for us. Time has lagged, but at the same time it has flown. It seems now that the doctors are moving on a "week to week" basis, but Danielle and I are still taking things one day at a time.

So you may be wondering about the PDA and the brain bleeds. The story from the doctors is that neither seem to be negatively affecting the boys so they will simply be monitored and determinations will be made at a later date. As you may recall Jared's ductus was closed according to his last echocardiagram. Still, it could reopen at a later date, and could have already since the doctors and nurses have continually heard a heart murmur. A heart murmur is still heard with Anthony too, but like Jared he doesn't seem to be affected by it.

According to Dr. Kamran they will both be given an "echo" before discharge. If there is no PDA then great. If there is PDA then the boys will be referred to the cardiologists at CHOC for a determination on what to do. The good news is that even if the PDA is significant, the boys are out of the surgery red zone. Instead, a catheter with a coil on the end would be inserted into a large blood vessel, woven up to the heart, and the coil would be placed into the ductus permanently closing it. Of course this is far less invasive, and dangerous than the ligation surgery which appeared to be a near certainty a few short weeks ago.

As for the brain bleeds the last round of ultrasounds show that on both boys the bleeds are still there, and still Grade 1. The best news is that they have not enlarged in any respect. What this means is that there is no further treatment needed in the NICU. In fact, they will not be given any further ultrasounds before they leave. Grade 1 bleeds usually take care of themselves without any intervention, and because they haven't gotten bigger, and are not harming the boys now, there is no reason to worry about them. The only concern now is the effect the bleeds will have on future development.

Though remote, there is a chance that the bleeds could have an effect on future development; i.e. learning, etc. But, this will be monitored closely throughout the first two years of their lives. Nurse Imelda (NICU Clinical Coordinator) gave us paperwork and information about the Developmental Clinic at CHOC. She recommended that we participate once the boys go home. The clinic will monitor their development and track their progress both for their health and for study. Danielle and I think that is a good thing and will certainly participate.

On a very positive note, Momma got to hold both of her little monkeys at the same time. This time though she got to "Kangaroo Care" them. Kangaroo care normally occurs right after birth when the little naked baby is placed skin to skin on Momma's chest. The idea is that the skin to skin contact promotes bonding, helps soothe the baby, and promotes breast feeding for the baby. While on Momma's skin the babies can feel her heart beat, and her body heat keeps them warm. After spending the time on Momma the boys in theory should sleep better and be more calm.

So, the other night Nurse Cindy took out our little boys, stipped off the preemie clothes they are now allowed to wear, and placed them on Momma's bare chest. It was so amazing to see how relaxed and comfy they were. They slept like rocks after too. It was amazing to see the bond the boys had for each other too. The first thing Anthony did was snuggle up as close as he could to Jared's back. He tucked his head down and placed his face right on the back of Jared's shoulder. All Daddy could do is take pictures and cry.

If we can find some pictures without all of Momma's goods showing we will try to post a picture or two because the sight was just so precious and amazing! Don't worry Daddy fans, I am allowed to Kangaroo Care too, but I let Momma do it first because she missed that chance at birth.

So, that is the story the last couple of days. Hopefully that is the story over the next few days, with the exception of more weight gain (Dr. Kamran says to expect a growth spurt any day now). Though things are looking up, we are still guarded and in need of your thoughts and prayers. So don't stop!

Please also pray for Uncle Scott Krukow and his family. We were shocked and saddened to learn that Scott's dad, Walt, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away on Monday night. He was a great father, husband, and all around great man. I have nothing but fond memories of him and will forever. I am so happy that one day I can teach my boys to play cribbage, and it will give me an opportunity to tell a story about Walt, who helped teach me to play, and who I played with often (usually teaming up to beat the pants off Uncle Scott and John!). So, please pray for Scott's family as we have, and ask that God guide them through this tough and trying time.

We love you and the boys love you Krukow Family!

Fight On, Little Fighters!- Love Daddy

1 comment:

  1. Just love reading these blogs! You have both been so good to keep the info coming! I think about you two (actually four) all the time and if prayers can make our boys fight harder then it is all worth it. You are special and I love you for your sensitivities! GG