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, January 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Jared & Anthony!

First of all, Happy New Year to you all. Danielle and I must say that 2011 so far has turned out to be much better to start than last year. As you all have figured out by now, today is the boys' 1st Birthday.

We are truly blessed to have two amazing little miracles. It seems like every day that I return home from work the boys have grown an inch, gained a pound, or started doing something new. At this stage they are crawling, babbling, pulling themselves up to stand, sprouting teeth (not fun), and doing everything a baby of one year should be doing.

Given where we started on January 5, 2010 it almost seems unreal. We could have never anticipated when we left the house that morning what was to come. We could have never guessed our babies would be born that day. It was certainly a fear as we made our journey to the hospital, but not one that seemed realistic to us.

I don't think we can ever explain enough how traumatic that day was. I don't know that we can ever explain the anguish or pain of that day, which is why this day has been somewhat bittersweet for us.

Danielle and I talked about how today would be for us. We wondered how we would treat this day and how we would feel. Sadly, the day our children were born is a day that doesn't bring back thoughts of joy or happiness. We didn't know if today we'd wake up sad, anxious, or happy. In the end, I think it was a little of everything. I know that the second I woke up today I went back to January 5, 2010. I found myself reliving many of the moments. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say the events recorded here in this blog are as vivid to me today as the day I wrote them. I can remember the day as if it were yesterday (it still feels like yesterday sometimes). For much of the day it was difficult to remember that the boys are home, the boys are okay, and the boys are thriving.

I know what you are thinking: "Look at the positive! Look at how well they are doing!" Trust me, these thoughts are there, and honestly, they have outweighed any negative feelings we have. Yet, the gravity of our experience surrounding their birth still weighs on us, especially on this day. Keep in mind that just because the boys are home and doing well, doesn't mean the emotional pain and trauma from their birth and stay in the NICU have gone away or will go away for us. That is why I have taken a moment to share with you a little bit of what Danielle and I are feeling today.

With these thoughts in mind we planned our day today. I couldn't take the whole day off of work as my boss needed coverage of some cases. I did however, take the afternoon off and came home at 12. Danielle and I decided that we wanted the day for just the four of us. Given that we weren't sure how we were going to be feeling, we didn't want a big production on their actual birthday (the big production, and trust me I'll have the bills to prove it, is this Sunday). So, we went to lunch with the boys at the Shoppes at Chino Hills and then walked around a bit.

We stopped into a cupcake shop there and bought the boys each a birthday cupcake (more on that later). As is the norm for us now, several strangers commented on the twins and asked how old they were. It was a lot of fun telling people that they are the Big 1 today! The boys behaved well, and even cooperated and took their normal 3 o'clock nap.

Earlier tonight we gave the boys their cupcakes. We sat them together in their high-chairs and placed each cupcake in front of them. Because I guess we aren't as smart as we thought, we placed one candle in each and lit it. We then started singing Happy Birthday, at which point Jared lunged forward (he's shaping up to be the crazy one, by the way) and almost burnt himself on the candle. We both stopped our song midstream, lunged forward ourselves and saved our two children from our stupidity. For those of you thinking, "I'd like to see that!" don't worry. It's on tape, at least for a second, before the camera starts shooting the floor and you hear me cussing.

After the near fiasco, the boys tore into those cupcakes. They both grabbed the frosting covered things and went to town. Anthony grabbed a handful of frosting and sort of mashed it all over his face. Jared, clearly taking after his Momma's sweet tooth tried to shove the whole thing in his mouth. I have to say I'm shocked because that kid almost ate the whole cupcake. Anthony did a number on his as well. Schnitzel enjoyed the scene too as shards of cupcake made their way to the floor and then quickly into his mouth. For Momma and Daddy it was a blast. Seeing those little monkeys covered in cupcake was a hoot. It was yet another reminder of how far they've come in this past year.

The rest of the night saw relatives from both sides of the family calling the boys. Of course everyone wanted to sing Happy Birthday, which the boys adored. We put Grandma and Grandpa, Aunties and Uncles, Cousins, and even Great-Great Grandma and Grandpa on speakerphone for the boys. They both sat and stared at the phone, smiled, and lunged for it. Anthony even clapped along a couple of times.

Danielle and I can't thank you all enough for the phone calls today, and for all of your support over the last year. Without it, we'd have surely cracked a long time ago. We are blessed to have you all in our lives. All four of us love you all very much.

So, the boys are in bed now and have been since about 8 o'clock (bedtime). Danielle and I have the rest of the night to ourselves, unless another rabid tooth decides to rear its ugly head.

We get the rest of the night to think about the wonderful family we've created. We get to think about those amazing little miracles in the next room. We get to think about all of the joy that on January 5, 2010 was so uncertain. Some things are still uncertain. But, we are hopeful, we are grateful, we are blessed, and we know one thing is certain: our love for Jared and Anthony.

Happy Birthday Men!

Fight On, Little Fighters!-- Love, Daddy

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