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 3, 2010

Jared on Room Air, Anthony Cruising

Thankfully, the last few days have been very stable for the boys.

As we noted yesterday, Anthony is free of all breathing machines and oxygen. He is doing 100% of his breathing and not receiving any oxygen supplement. I hate to mention it for fear of a jinx, but he hasn't had any major apnic spells since being removed from the CPAP. The plan for him is to keep eating and getting bigger, which he has in the last couple of days. Last night we found out that in 24 hours Anthony gained 60 grams, which is roughly 2 ounces. He is now tipping the scales at 2lbs. 8oz. So big in fact, that he is up to the next size diaper and gets to wear "clothes."

When we came in last night Anthony had a "shirt" on. It looks more like a vest and latches together with Velcro. He can't be totally outfitted yet because the nurses may still need to give him quick attention and can't be bothered with undressing him. But, it is good for us to see him all snugged up and somewhat dressed. More and more he's starting to look like a "normal" baby and that excites Momma and Daddy.

Jared is now off of all breathing machines. At 11am today he was put on room air with no oxygen assistance. This is a trial run for Jared to see how he does. His apnic episodes have decreased tremendously, so the doctors feel we may as well give him a chance. Of course he's had a rougher time than his brother, having been intubated just a little over a week ago. However, Dr. Patel and the nursing staff are now confident that he is strong enough to go it alone. We are a bit nervous, but have faith in the NICU medical staff. There isn't too much to worry about though because help is always standing by if he tires out.

Jared is on full feeds now and is off all I.V. fluids. His PICC line has been removed too. Full feeds are considered 15cc or greater. He is up to 17cc and will stay there at least for today. His last two feeds have resulted in residuals of about 4cc which is too much for comfort. Late last night his feeds began to be administered via an automatic pump. When Anthony was having trouble with feeding the switch to the pump really helped and he hasn't looked back. So we are hoping the same thing occurs with Jared. As one doctor noted last night, "What's usually good for one is usually good for the other." I guess that's the deal when you have twins.

Jared gained 4o grams from his last weigh-in. He now weighs approximately 2lbs. 6oz., so he too is well on his way. His numbers look good this morning, which is a direct result of the blood transfusion he had yesterday. Provided he stays stable today, there will be no further tests on him. We like that.

We were lucky last night to have Dr. Hicks back in the NICU. Dr. Hicks was the neonatalogist on the day the boys were born. We immediately liked Dr. Hicks and were fortunate to have him. Not only is he a "neo" but also a pulmonologist (lung doctor). Having him around right after birth was a blessing, because the most important thing preemies need to do first is breathe.

Dr. Hicks had been gone on vacation for the past few weeks but last night he was back and paid us a visit. He only had the best things to say about the boys. He was very pleased with their progress and informed us that the biggest worry at this point is infection.

Neurologically Dr. Hicks tells us that boys are looking "great." He said while there are no guarantees with a Grade 1 bleed on the brain, he is confident it won't be an issue for our boys, which is right in line with 90+% of all babies with that level of bleed. Apparently the doctors won't even scan the brain again for another couple of weeks. There really isn't any need for intervention at this point since Grade 1 bleeds almost always take care of themselves. We like that too.

We were also told that hopefully the NICU rollercoaster will slow somewhat for us. Dr. Hicks told us that generally the first couple of weeks are the hardest and after that things should slow down. We really, really like that.

One of the great things about Dr. Hicks is that everytime we have seen him he has always made it a point to stop and ask us, "How are you two doing?" Many doctors are what I call, "clinical." Their job is medicine and anything else is just fluff. Danielle and I really feel like Dr. Hicks is sympathetic to our situation, and that he isn't just doing his job but helping keep our family in one piece. That isn't to say we don't love all of the doctors in the NICU. They are all amazing and have been amazing with us. They each have their own charm, and we love each of them for different reasons. I think we're attached to Dr. Hicks more though because he was there on January 5. His name is the one on our little security bracelets from the hospital, and I'm sure his name and face is one we'll never forget.

While Danielle and I are hopeful about the optimism, we are still guarded. We know that things can turn in the blink of an eye in the NICU. I don't think we will be totally comfortable until they are home with us. But, each day things seem to be getting a little better and a little easier.

But, like we've said from Day 1: today is a good day, but tomorrow is a new one. Let's hope tomorrow is always better.

Fight On, Little Fighters!- Love Daddy

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a great report! Love reading all that you guys write. GG