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, June 2, 2010

It's Been Quite a Month!

As you can see the frequency of posting here has slowed considerably. Daddy is back to work in full swing and Momma has but only a few minutes a day to herself. This doesn't leave much time to check in here and update the world on how the boys are doing. But, we are committed to post here when we can and let you all know how they are doing.

The theme of the last month has been sleep: how can we get the boys to do it, and how much is Momma getting? As with any baby there is a direct relationship between how much they sleep and how much the parents sleep. Danielle has been working very, very hard to set and maintain a schedule for the boys to make life easier. Thankfully her efforts have paid off greatly. Using the advice of Nicole Tafoya, who has expertly sleep trained three babies herself, Danielle has been able to get the boys to sleep at night between four and five hours straight.

This is a considerable improvement over the first few weeks the boys were home. The boys will now generally sleep from 12 a.m. to 4 or 5 a.m. That is not to say they will not fuss during that time, but at least there is no middle of the night feeding anymore. The next step is cutting out the early morning feeding. The last couple of nights the boys have not wanted that feeding, but they were extremely fussy, so time again will be our friend in getting Momma some relief from her seige.

Notice that I mention Momma exclusively as it relates to middle of the night duty. I am lucky enough that Danielle lets me sleep and does not wake me up often during the week. It's not that I can't or won't help, it's just that they don't always wake me up. Danielle hears everything. I guess it's a mom thing. She lets me sleep so that I am not totally wasted for work the next day. For this I am so fortunate and so appreciative.

The boys are now slowly making their way to regular food. At the last doctor's appointment the pediatrician said to start with rice cereal once or twice a day. The boys have taken to that very well. At first they were sloppy trying to suck the spoon like a nipple. After a few times however, they got the hang of it and now eat their cereal like champs. In the last couple of days we've introduced new food besides rice cereal. I'm happy to report that Jared is a big fan of avocado. Anthony not so much, but he eats it. The next food is banana. We started with veggies first (I know, avocado is fruit but it's not sweet so we count it as a veggie) so that they will get used to unsweetened food first.

I'm sure the big thing on your mind now is how much the boys weigh. At the last appointment in May Anthony checked in at 10lbs. 4oz. and Jared was 9lbs. 12oz. I would expect the boys to be much larger than that by now. We've noticed the last couple of weeks that they've gotten really big. They are now out of newborn clothes and into 0-3 months, with some of those outfits getting tight. Some of the outfits in fact were worn once and have now been retired. As for diapers the boys are fitting comfortably in Stage 1. Everyday they seem to grow an inch. When we get another weigh-in we will happily keep you informed.

As for their health in general, the boys are doing superb. The doctor is pleased with their progress. While clearly behind on the growth chart, they are climbing up at an intense pace; in fact much, much faster than the doctor expected. It is not a gradual increase, it is almost a straight line upward on the graph. The growth was so fast that the doctor gave us the green light to cut out a feeding, as I noted above.

The brain bleed on Anthony is no longer a concern, and Jared's was healing rapidly at the last check-up. He still has one more follow up ultrasound to make sure it has completely resolved, but overall the doctor is not concerned.

On the eye front, the boys are doing well. Dr. Adrean released them to a pediatric eye doctor. We had our first appointment with Dr. Lingua who gave the boys a clean bill of health so far. He said they are pretty badly far-sighted at this point, but that is common. According to him it should get better, but the fact that Momma wears glasses and so does Daddy means they probably weren't going to have perfect vision anyway.

Having the information about their sight has made it easier to understand their behaivor. We were concerned they weren't focusing on our face, or objects etc. Well, that was because they can't really see anything closer than three feet in front of their face. Now that we know their range of sight, they've really seemed to come alive. They focus on things, look right at us, and track objects and sounds. They also really seem to recognize us and even smile at us. Mind you its a real social smile, not an, "I just farted and so I'm smiling now."

Jared in fact really likes to do one thing in particular: watch TV. It is the funniest thing. The kid loves to watch TV. If he's near the TV he will fixate on it. He will cry if you hold him so he can't see it. When he eats we sucks on his bottle and focuses on the TV. When he lays down on the floor for tummy time or play time, he turns his head to watch the TV. It is an absolute crack up.

In general, Jared is far more alert about his environment than Anthony. He is always watching things, and looking around. Anthony is more content to relax and sleep. Jared wants to be in the action. He is harder to put to sleep, harder to keep asleep, and in general far more feisty than his brother.

I think he's going to be our trouble maker. His little personality is really starting to assert itself. Anthony's is too, but his is far more mellow. Anthony goes with the flow and is content to be awake, quiet, and happy.

Seeing their personalities developing has been so great. Seeing how far they've come in five months has been such an amazing journey. While the NICU was a difficult ride, having them home has been as well at times. There are good days and bad days at home, but with everyday they grow, and that is a blessing.

So, stay tuned here for more updates. We will make every effort to do them when we can. There is plenty coming up this month. Daddy's first Father's Day, Momma's Birthday, and this Sunday is the NICU reunion. By the way, Momma's first Mother's Day was a hit. Momma had a great day and was very happy. The boys and Schnitzel sent her flowers, made her breakfast, and bought her a very nice ring. Daddy did all the work of course, but they said to add it to their tab. Overall, it was a great day.

We continue to pray for more great days. Thanks to you all for your love, support, and (good) advice. We love you all!

Fight On, Little Fighters!- Love Daddy

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