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.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Slow and steady wins the race!

Anthony (left) and Jared (right)
Jared with Daddy's hand on his head
Jared with Daddy

Anthony - "so big"

Anthony with Momma

Thankfully, not many eventful days in the last week, but a few good changes. They both continue to gain weight regularly with Jared weighing in at 3 lbs 7 oz and Anthony weighing in at 3 lbs 9 oz.

The weight gain can mostly be attributed to their increase in feedings, Jared is at 28cc now and Anthony is at 30cc (30 cc = 1 oz). Jared is off of the pump for feedings now and is receiving bolus feedings just like Anthony. Bolus feedings are when they let the breast milk drain into their tummy through the tube as fast as gravity allows. Jared was receiving his via a pump that pushed his breast milk within a 30 minute time frame because he was having reflux regularly after his feedings. Bolus feedings take any where from 4-10 minutes depending on how relaxed the baby is. If the baby wiggles around during the feeding, it will cause his tummy to contract and not accept the milk as quickly.

The doctors have made some slight changes to the medications they receive also. They have discontinued their caffeine which was used to stimulate their heart to stimulate their breathing. The caffeine was used to help with their apnic spells and bradychardia. Since these spells have become less and less frequent, the doctors are trying to give the boys a chance to regulate their heart rate and breathing on their own.

They have also discontinued Jared's dosage of Zantac. A few weeks ago, Jared had traces of blood in his residual feedings so the doctors started him on a very small dose of Zantac and after the first day, the blood had disappeared. They continued the medication just to help with any reflux he may experience during feeding.

Anthony's hematocrit (red blood cell count) is on the low side. The doctors are trying to give his body a chance to produce the amount of red blood cells that he needs rather than giving him another blood transfusion right now. His low cell count is not causing him any problems (increased spells for example) so they are going to wait and see if he can bring it up on his own. In the meantime, they have adjusted his vitamins. Both boys were receiving a multi-vitamin that included iron but Dr. Schultz changed Anthony to a multi-vitamin without iron and added a separate iron supplement. This way, they can increase the amount of iron he receives without having to increase the other vitamins as well. Hopefully, this will give him a boost to help with the hematocrit level.

Both boys are continually having fewer and fewer spells and many times they are able to resolve them on their own, without any stimulation. This has been good news for Momma and Daddy's nerves! It is funny, the nurses and doctors have told us all along that they will begin to grow out of their spells. You don't believe it until you see if for yourself. While the spells are not completely gone, it is reassuring to see them become less frequent.

There was talk about possibly introducing a bottle to them today, but the doctor decided to hold off a little longer. According to the nurses, the nipple is usually introduced around 34 weeks, so it should be any day now. I really want to be there for the first time, so I plan on asking the nurse every day to make sure they wait until I can get there to try it out.

It is possible that when they decide to introduce the nipple to them they may totally understand what to do, they may not have any idea what to do, or one may and one may not. It is also common that they begin doing well and then have a setback with nippling feeds. It is so much for a small baby to coordinate: suck, swallow and breathe all at once. These two little babies have been through so much already, I think we should give them a little break and let them take their time on learning something new. Only a few short weeks ago they had to learn to breathe!!

Great news! This week both Grandmas have been able to hold both boys now and Grandpa (Jason's Dad) was able to hold each of them also. It was such a proud moment for each of them...I think the Grandparents liked it too!
Their room is still coming together, slowly but surely. I have put the bedding on their cribs and have begun trying to put things away. I am kind of at a loss as to where to put things. Which drawer should the diapers go in? Blankies? Socks? decisions...decisions. I am sure I will figure it out...eventually.

Jason and I are doing better still day by day. The truth is, we are so lucky to have each other through all of this. We both try so hard to be strong for one another because you never know when you might be the one needing a shoulder to cry on (usually I'm the one crying.) We have found an unprecedented amount of strength through God and our marriage, I am so thankful for him each and every day that passes.

We are also so lucky to have each of you. Thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers - I thank God for each of you every night.

Fight On! Little Fighters! - Love Momma

1 comment:

  1. Way to go little fighters! A great report and wonderful news. Love you all. Grandma Cora