Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday, January 30

We had the opportunity to meet with the doctor yesterday and got full reports on all the babies.

The doctor is very pleased with how Adelaide is progressing. Yesterday, the staff tried bottle feeding her again, and this time, she didn't spill a drop. She took 20cc of milk, and the nurses told us that her belly got so full that she looked like a little pregnant woman. The doctor also told us that if she continues to progress the way she is, she could see us possibly taking her home in 3 weeks. You should have seen the look of shock on Kevin's face. Tara and the nurse had a good laugh. It's only a possibility, but we couldn't be more excited. We realize things could change. Adelaide is now 3lbs. 4oz.

Mattie continues to do very well. We asked the doctor what her goal was to get Mattie onto nasal cannula, and she said that she's just thrilled that she's doing so well on the SIPAP. She'd like to give Mattie a couple more weeks on SIPAP before attempting cannula. Mattie's heart rate has been elevated lately, so they've stopped her caffeine and respiratory treatments. Mattie is now 2lbs. 3oz., and they increased her feeds by an ounce.

Andrew had a great day yesterday. He has been holding steady and the steroid treatments are helping. He does have chronic lung disease, but will outgrow it. As he grows, his lungs will grow, and the scar tissue will get smaller. His carbon dioxide levels are at manageable levels. They went down yesterday after being a little elevated. We also have a goal to get his oxygen needs down to a consistent 30 percent by next week. He'll be in the middle of his course of steroids, and they would like to move him to SIPAP. There's a small window to do this, so he can be on SIPAP while still on steroids. They did the same thing for Mattie, and it has worked so far. Andrew's lungs are looking much better on his x-rays, and he is now 2lbs. 13oz.

Fabulous report from the doctor.
The possibility of taking Adelaide home in 3 weeks.
Mattie doing so well on SIPAP.
Andrew's lungs improving.
The babies have had no infections.
A date night for Kevin and Tara.

Andrew would get down to a consistent 30 percent oxygen, so he could be weaned off the ventilator (this is a big one).
Adelaide would continue to bottle feed well.
Mattie's nose would heal. She's getting red marks under her nose from the mask, like Adelaide had.
Growth and weight gain for all three.
Their eye exams on Wednesday would be normal.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday, January 29

It's amazing how busy we can get. It's been several day since we blogged, but everything is great with the babies. We've seemed some improvement in all three of them.

Adelaide has hit the 3lb. mark. She's now 3lbs. 2oz.! The staff tried her only on nasal cannula for a little over a day, and she did very well. She started to work hard trying to breathe yesterday, and the staff put her back on CPAP for 2 hours every 6 hours. Another amazing step for Adelaide is that they attempted a bottle feed her. This is really big for a baby who is supposed to be 32 weeks gestation. She sucked on the bottle and swallowed a little milk, but most of it came out the sides of her mouth. She did not brady or drop her blood oxygen levels, which is very encouraging. The staff said it was very promising.

Mattie continues to do very well on the SIPAP. Her oxygen intake is running from 21 - 39 percent depending on how agitated she is. Kevin held her in kangaroo yesterday, and it was the first time that Mattie didn't immediately calm down. She was very fidgety and kept trying to turn her head. She's been on a diuretic to get fluid out of her system, so she hasn't gained much weight. She actually lost a few oz. yesterday, but is back up to 2lbs. 3oz.

Andrew is holding steady on the Jet ventilator. His blood gas did show elevated carbon dioxide levels, but they will be checking him again. Hopefully, they will go back down. He's still on a lowered pressure on the ventilator, but no major changes have taken place with him over the last few days. He's still getting agitated and is also on a diuretic. He's been hovering around 2lbs. 10oz. One amazing thing happened yesterday. Now, some doctors will tell you that babies at this age don't smile. Kevin and Tara were looking in on Andrew, and he was wide awake staring straight up. Kevin leaned way over the isolette, so he could get into Andrew's line of vision. Kevin started smiling and talking to Andrew, when all of a sudden, Andrew smiled and his eyes lit up. We were so excited to see that and got tickled at his eyes lighting up.

Adelaide hits 3lbs.
Adelaide's first attempt at bottle feeding.
Mattie's continued good levels on her ventilator.
Seeing Andrew smile.
Good reports for the last few days.

Adelaide would continue to grow strong and make strides in her attempts to feed.
Adelaide would be able to go back to nasal cannula exclusively.
Mattie and Andrew would calm down.
Continued weight gain and growth for all three.
Andrew's carbon dioxide levels would come down.
Andrew would be weened off ventilator.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday, January 26

The big news over the last two days is that Mattie and Andrew started steroid treatments. The doctor wants to challenge them to get off the ventilator. So far, they are responding very well. Their numbers are looking good, and their oxygen needs are lowering.

After Mattie recovered from being re-intubated, Kevin held her for an hour Monday night. She did really well. Mattie is now 2lbs. 2oz., and still has her (Kevin's) temper. She extubated herself this morning, again. The staff decided to put her on the SIPAP, and so far, she's doing very well. The steroids seem to be helping her, and she's not having to work so hard. She had an excellent blood gas and x-ray tonight.

Adelaide is up to 2lbs. 15oz.! She's looking like a big baby and has graduated to big girl diapers. Mattie has as well, but they look huge on her. Adelaide is now on CPAP for 2 hours, which is another step up. She still bradys on occasion, but works herself out of it.

Andrew is doing really well since the steroid treatment. He's on a different steroid than Mattie, and his course is 3 weeks compared to Mattie's 3 days. They're really being aggressive to get him off the Jet. The staff has lowered the pressure of his ventilator, and his oxygen needs are slowly going down, which is promising. Andrew is still 2lbs. 10oz.

Our sister-in-law's biopsy came back as stage 1, so she can be treated with medication.
Mattie doing so well on the SIPAP.
Mattie's great blood gas and x-ray.
Mattie responding to steroids.
Adelaide moving to the CPAP.
Andrew being weaned off the ventilator.
Andrew on multi-vitamins.
Big heads, hands, and feet.

No long term effects from steroids.
The babies will have an eye exam next Wednesday. Pray the results would show no damage.
Calmness for Mattie and Andrew.
Continued weight gain and growth.
Strength for Tara. She's tired.
Peace for Kevin and Tara.
Patience and rest for Kevin.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday, January 24

We've had a nice weekend with the babies. We had the chance to hold Adelaide on both days, and Tara held Andrew for the first time on Sunday while the staff changed out his isolette. Andrew was the center of attention with Mom holding him and Dad, Nana, Pop-pop, and several nurses looking on and talking to him.

Adelaide has been doing about the same for the last few days. She's still splitting time between the SIPAP and nasal cannula. She's now at 2 lb. 12 oz. Here comes 3lbs!

Kevin held Mattie on Friday and afterwards the staff was re-taping her breathing tube when Mattie turned her head extubated herself. The doctor had given orders to put Mattie on the SIPAP if she ever extubated herself again. So, they put her on the SIPAP, which requires her to work harder to breathe. She made it about 12 hours. By Saturday morning, the poor baby was working so hard to breathe that she was sucking into her spine. The staff decided to re-intubate her, putting her back on the ventilator, giving her a break. She immediately was relieved and slept all day Saturday. The nurse told us she was so tired because it was like an out of shape person being asked to run a half marathon. Her carbon dioxide levels were high, but have come down on Sunday.

Andrew is still struggling with his need for oxygen. He was given a blood transfusion on Saturday, which should help him. He's running around 50 percent oxygen. He continues to breathe over the Jet and his boold oxygen goes really high, and then really low. He's now 2lbs.10oz. He looks bigger than Adelaide.

Weight gain for all three.
Tara getting to hold Andrew for a few minutes, and we got to see him outside the isolette.
Adelaide doing so well.
Adelaide's nose getting better.
Mattie's test run on the SIPAP. They'll try again when she's bigger.
Mattie's big beautiful eyes that we saw today.
Over 5 weeks of life.

Andrew would ween off the ventilator and his numbers would improve.
Mattie would become more stable, so we can kangaroo.
Continued growth and strength.
Protection over their eyes and lungs from the oxygen treatments.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday, January 22

The last two days have been pretty good for the babies. Adelaide is now up to 2lbs. 10oz. She's really starting to fill out and getting baby fat on her. She's on a schedule of 2 hours with the SIPAP mask and 4 hours with the nasal cannula. She's been responding pretty well to this. She has had a couple of bradys, but she works herself back to where she needs to be. Adelaide and Mattie are now taking multi-vitamins too. This is another step forward. Her murmur that was present a couple of weeks ago seems to be gone. Kevin held her in kangaroo care yesterday and could really feel a difference in her size and weight. Adelaide's done a great job on the nasal cannula, and we hope she can continue the progress she's made.

Mattie, our little fighter. has been doing very well. She's up to 2lbs. now. Her carbon dioxide numbers have started to come down, and she's getting weened off oxygen every day. The next step is to get her weened off the ventilator, but Dr. K said that won't happen until she gets a little bigger. The goal is to try her on SIPAP next week. One nurse told us that Mattie really loves her pacifier. Mattie was on her back, both hands around her face, and sucking on the pacifier like it was going out of style.

Andrew has really been calm the past few days. Thanks for praying for him. He had an IV line that they use for sedation in his arm that went bad. It slipped out of his vein and the fluid was going into the tissue in his arm. They removed that line and put one in his head. It looks awful, but they do this a lot with babies. Mattie had one a couple of weeks ago. Since he received the new line, he's been pretty calm. It could also be that his steroids have left his body. The doctor is talking about a longer steroid treatment some time soon. It took him a long time to recover from being put back on the Jet after the attempt at the conventional ventilator. His numbers are looking better, and his carbon dioxide has come down as well. He's gaining weight too. He's now 2lbs. 6oz. The doctor says that he's still not the best of the three. He really needs to get off the ventilator and start to breathe on his own, but he has been stable for the past couple of days.

Weight gain for all three.
Visual changes in all three (we can see them getting bigger).
Our sister-in-law's biopsy went very well. Results are next week.
Adelaide doing well on nasal cannula.
Mattie's and Andrew's numbers improving.
Andrew being calm.

Continued weight gain and strength. Especially for Andrew. The only way to get his lungs better is for growth.
Our sister-in-law's biopsy report would be a good report.
Adelaide would get stronger on the nasal cannula.
Mattie would be weened off the ventilator.
Andrew would be weened off the Jet.
Protection over the babies for any long term issues due to the ventilators and medication.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday, January 20

Today was Tara's first day back with kids in the classroom. It's really tough on her, and she's exhausted. Thanks for everyone praying for her. It did help.

Adelaide has switched back and forth between the nasal cannula and a 1990s version of the SIPAP for the last day. Dr. K decided to go back to the nasal cannula because the SIPAP apparatus was still touching the area between her nostrils. Tara held her during kangaroo care today, and Adelaide did brady a few times. Once she was back in bed, she seemed to calm down. Bradys stem from the babies getting so comfortable that they forget to breath, which makes their heart rate drop. Adelaide is now 2lb. 8oz.

Mattie has been doing pretty good. Her carbon dioxide numbers have improved. Kevin held her during kangaroo care today, and Mattie did awesome once again. She really likes being held. Mattie was 1lb. 15oz. yesterday, so we're hoping for 2lbs. tonight. Mattie still has the "don't touch me" policy, but she really calms down when we kangaroo her.

Andrew is still doing reasonably well. The staff tried to move him to the conventional ventilator because he seems to be breathing on his own over the jet. It didn't work. He's just not ready for it. They put him back on the Jet today. He is still getting pretty agitated and has extubated himself a couple of times over the last few days. He's suffering from acid reflux, starts to choke, and the staff has to re-intubate him. He got a blood transfusion the other day and did lose a little weight. He's down to 2lb. 4oz. This could be do to a diuretic that they've given him recently.

Kangaroo care with Adelaide and Mattie.
Weight gain for Adelaide and Mattie.
Adelaide doing decently on the nasal cannula.
Our friend JC (no, not Jesus) for setting up the blog and updating the picture.
Kevin finishing up a project.

Tara's fatigue
Andrew would ween off the ventilator.
Andrew would be less agitated.
Mattie would be able to move to a SIPAP. They want to try next week, but she needs to have more weight on her.
Adelaide would be strong enough to stay on the nasal cannula and not brady.
Weight gain and strength for all the babies.
Our sister-in-law, Jennifer is having a liver biopsy on Friday. Pray for peace and a good report.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday, January 19

Tara got off to work just fine this morning. She was understandably tired, but was in good spirits as she left for her day.

The babies ultrasounds all came back normal again! We're thankful there are no brain hemorrhages or issues with their brains.

Adelaide has been moved to a nasal cannula air supply. This is exactly what people use when they're on oxygen treatments or need oxygen while in the hospital. The small clear tube with little prongs that go in the nostrils. The SIPAP masks were starting to effect the area between her nostrils. Babies her age don't have cartilage there, so it can leave an indention and will kill the tissue in the area. The staff doesn't want her to be deformed there or need plastic surgery in the future, so they went with the nasal cannula. This is a big step for her because it means she has to breathe on her own. So far, she's been doing well. She has had a few bradys, but nothing severe.

Mattie is gaining weight. She's almost 2lbs. Her blood oxygen numbers haven't been great with too much carbon dioxide. She's doing well on her ventilator and is holding steady. We couldn't kangaroo her yesterday because of her levels.

Andrew has been a lot more agitated lately. His numbers are OK though. His oxygen intake is around 40% and his blood gases look good. He could be agitated due to the steroids he took.


Adelaide doing well on nasal cannula.

Adelaide up to 2lbs. 80z.
Kevin got to give Adelaide a bath on Sunday night.
Andrew's good numbers.
Normal ultrasounds.

Tara as she returns to work.
Adelaide would be OK on the nasal cannula. If she's not, they may have to put her back on the ventilator.
Andrew would calm down.
Mattie's blood oxygen numbers would improve.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday, January 17

We wanted to give you a brief update, so this blog will be short. Kevin has some work he needs to finish. The babies are doing great. Please be praying for them for tomorrow - they all get their month old head ultrasounds. Andrew's numbers continue to look good and we got to kangaroo hold Mattie and Adelaide today. They are all so cute! Thank you so much for praying for our family. Your prayers encourage us and we continue to see God's work in our lives. We will blog more later.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kangaroo Care

Andrew 4 Weeks Old

Mattie 4 Weeks Old

Adelaide 4 Weeks Old

Saturday, January 19

We had a wonderful day yesterday and saw some great improvement in the babies.

Andrew has taken a turn for the better. He had a very quick and positive response to the first dose of steroids. He was being weened off oxygen most of the day and was down to 32 percent last night! We are praising God. The nurse told us that she's never seen such a quick response to a steroid shot. We're so relieved to see his improvement, but hope the steroids don't do any long term damage. His x-rays also showed a big improvement.

Tara got to hold Mattie for the first time. She was a little worried because of Mattie's "don't touch me policy". Mattie immediately nestled in and fell asleep on her mom's chest. Mattie went from The Maniac to Momma's Girl. Mattie did great, and Tara had a fantastic time. Kevin is holding her as he types the blog. She is one tiny baby! Just before Kevin held her, Mattie was pretty angry. Her blood oxygen was dropping, and she was silently screaming because of her intubation. Once she hit Kevin's chest she calmed down. We love that she likes to be held close.

Adelaide is still doing well. The staff has decided to stop using the pronged mask for now. It's leaving an indention under her nose. Kevin held her when Tara was holding Mattie yesterday. We have a picture of the duo kangaroo coming soon. Adelaide did brady a few times while Kevin was holding her, but he learned to tickle her feet to wake her up. She gets too comfortable and forgets to breathe, so a little tickle wakes her up.

Andrew's huge improvement.
Tara and Kevin geting to hold Mattie for the first time.
Mattie doing so well with kangaroo care.
All three had oxygen intake of 20 to 40 percent.
Date night for Kevin and Tara (We pigged out at Saltgrass Steakhouse).

No long term effects of steroid shots.
Continued growth and strength.
Andrew's lungs would continue to improve.
Mattie and Andrew would be weened off ventilators.
Tara preparing to return to work on Tuesday.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Adelaide Pictures

Adelaide's Bath Pics

Friday, January 15

It's been a couple of days since we posted, and there have been a few changes. There are always changes in the NICU. It's like what they say about Texas weather. If you just wait a few minutes, it will change. We'd like to give a shout out to the NICU nurses who have been reading the blog. Thank you for keeping up with us and thank you for the awesome job you do in taking care of our babies. Please excuse any medical terms that we misspell :)

Let's start with Adelaide. The staff decided to keep her on the SIPAP machine, but only use the mask to give her oxygen. The pronged mask that went into her nostrils was irritating and causing bleeding. She's still on the normal mask. They decided to give her 48 hours on the regular mask to help her sinuses open up and for her nose to heal. She's doing very well. She's on minimal oxygen. She's lost a little weight, but is still over 2lbs. at 2lbs. 2oz. Tara had another kangaroo care with her yesterday. Adelaide was a little more vocal. Tara could hear her cry pretty loudly when the nurse put her on her chest. Adelaide did settle in and snuggled with her mom for an hour.

Mattie has had the most changes over the last few days. The doctor wants to ween her off ventilation by the end of the week, so they took her off the conventional ventilator yesterday and put her on the SIPAP machine with a mask. She did generally OK for the day. She had moments of needing more oxygen throughout the day. The staff decided to change her mask to the pronged mask that goes into her nostrils, and that didn't go very well. Mattie started to brady (heart rate drop) and her blood oxygen dropped. They quickly increased her oxygen intake to 100%, and she stayed that way for about a half hour until they decided that she wasn't ready for the SIPAP, re-intibated, and put her back on the conventional. We know that you might be wondering why they would do the pronged mask, if both Adelaide and Mattie have had trouble. The staff needs to change out their masks every four hours because of the wear and tear each mask can do on their noses. Having the same mask on for long periods of time could damage the cartilage in their nose, so they try to give them breaks. Since being on the conventional last night, Mattie's oxygen intake has been moved down to around 30%, which is great. Mattie is up to 15ml of food with extra fortifier. She now weighs 1lb. 14oz.

Andrew has been doing pretty well, and we've had an answer to prayer with him. We were really struggling on making a decision to allow a course of steroid treatments. The doctor told Tara yesterday that he's been staying at around 50% oxygen, which she can live with for now. She would like to give him the next 10 days to see how he does before making a decision on steroids. So, we need to still pray that his lungs would be clear and functioning properly. Andrew did have an episode Wednesday night while most of us were sleeping. He had a bad case of acid reflux and it came into his mouth and clogged his breathing tube. The nurse quickly removed the tubes, but had trouble suctioning it out of the back of his throat. They were finally able to remove it all and re-intibated him. He seems to be holding steady. He's now up to 19ml without fortifier, but weighs 2lb. 6oz. Can you say starting linebacker? Last night, Andrew got down to around 45% oxygen.

UPDATE: As I was typing this the doctor from the NICU called. They would like to try and give Andrew a small burst of steroid treatments instead of a longer treatment. They will be three doses of steroids to help his lungs. She also said that Mattie's lungs "look great". Awesome!

Adelaide's cry getting stronger.
Mattie's attempt at the SIPAP.
Mattie's response to going back on the conventional.
Andrew's holding steady on his settings.
Andrew's lungs holding steady.
Andrew coming back up quicker when his blood oxygen drops.
Andrew's need for less oxygen.
Friends bringing us meals to the hospital.
Care packages left on our door step.
Friends coming to the hospital to help us figure out insurance plans and lend support.

Andrew's lungs would be clear, and he would respond well to the ventilator.
The small burst of steroids would improve his lungs dramatically and would do no long term damage.
The pronged mask wouldn't irritate Adelaide's nose.
Mattie would respond well to the SIPAP during the next try.
For the people of Haiti. We have a nurse in the NICU from Haiti, and we'd like everyone to pray for her friends and family.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The babies had a relatively good night last night, which is such a praise because when we arrived at the NICU after dinner, Adelaide was bradying. We mentioned this in our last blog - it's where her heart rate and oxygen level take a drastic dip, like she's holding her breath. The nurses believed it was from acid reflux, but Adelaide did that several times in a row last night. It scared us, but the nurse and the nurse practitioner decided to suction out her nose and throat, finding that she was plugged up with blood and mucus. The prongs from the oxygen mask cause irritation, so they have given her some medicine to help, and she will be on the prong-free mask for 48 hours while her little sinuses and blood vessels heal. Besides that, Adelaide is still doing well. Tara was able to hold her for a few minutes yesterday while they changed her incubator, graduating her to the next size. She is no longer the heaviest of the three even though she is getting the fortified milk. Andrew has just caught up to her.

Andrew's lungs are still not improving. Because his oxygen intake is still fairly high, the doctor has suggested steroid treatments which would help speed up the growth of his lungs and would also help him to get rid of the extra air pockets. This would help decrease the amount of oxygen he would need from the vent. Tara will be talking to the doctor about the treatment today to determine when and how the steroids would be administered and the possible side effects from these types of medications. Andrew continues to give the nurses a run for their money. He is getting big at a whopping 2 lbs. 4 oz.

This morning, Mattie was moved from the jet ventilator to the conventional. It is a step in the right direction. She continues to be the feistiest of the three. Last night, Tara was able to change her diaper and help calm her down. She weighs 1 lb. 11 oz. and they have increased her feeds to 12 mL. They are hoping to get her solely on Tara's milk by the end of this week. They are also continuing her respiratory treatments; the nurse told us we should see better results from these treatments now that Mattie is on the conventional vent. All three babies are trying to turn their heads even with all of the tubes and hoses. They are very strong and mighty despite their sizes. We are very thankful.

Mattie moving to the conventional ventilator.
Adelaide graduating to a new incubator.
Weight gain for Andrew.
Increased feedings on all.
Getting to see Andrew's big eyes.

Clarity and wisdom for Kevin and Tara as they make a decision on Andrew's steroid treatments.
Andrew's lungs would work properly and be clear.
Mattie would respond well to the conventional ventilator.
Adelaide's nose would clear up, so she won't have to go back on a ventilator.
Once Adelaide's nose clears up, the prongs wouldn't irritate her.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11

The babies had a pretty decent day, so the update today is short.

Adelaide moved up one more ml of milk and is now getting 25ml. She's also receiving a powdered fortifier to help her grow. She's been dropping her heart rate a little more frequently and her blood oxygen has been dropping on occasion. This is usually due to the babies holding their breath. The nurses feel that she's suffering from acid reflux, which causes her throat to have substance in it all the time. This can cause her to slow her breathing, which makes her heart rate drop. Again, they tell us that this is common.

Mattie had a pretty good day. She got weened a little more from her ventilator. She had one of her lines removed since it was old. The line tested her blood pressure and was there to pull blood for labs. She seems to be a little more comfortable, but still gets angry when anyone touches her. The poor girl had three different lines at one time. A line in each arm and one line in a leg.

Andrew got moved off of photo therapy. His jaundice levels were down again. It's great to see his eyes now since they keep eye patches on them while on the therapy. Andrew got increased to 16ml of Tara's milk. Both Andrew and Mattie have been put on a different iv fluid as well. This is a step up. The staff is moving them to a lighter iv fluid since they're getting more nutrients from the increased feedings. The next step for them is to have fortifier added to the milk. Andrew has been placed back on the Jet ventilator. They want to try him another time on this ventilator since his numbers and lungs have been looking better. So far, so good.

Andrew off of photo therapy.
Tara had another hour of holding Adelaide.
Mattie having a line removed.
Lung improvement.
Andrew graduating to the Jet ventilator.

Andrew would respond well to the new ventilator.
Protection over their lungs.
Adelaide's acid reflux would go away, so her heart rate would not drop.
Andrew and Mattie would be weened off ventilation and get more stable, so we can hold those babies!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday, January 10

We had a fabulous day with the babies. We got good reports this morning on all of their blood gases and x-rays. Andrew and Mattie's lungs have started to improve, and they've been weened off their ventilators a little. It's great to celebrate these things, but we're also aware that tomorrow is another day, and they could have lung problems again. Kevin and Tara went to church this morning and got to visit with several people. It's great knowing so many people are following our blog. We hear that it's a little difficult to become a follower and leave comments, but we've heard lots of stories about people reading and praying for our babies. We'd like to say hi to everyone that we don't know. Thanks for keeping up with us and praying for the Three Peets. Thank you to all of our friends and family for following along as well. We love you.

After a Sunday afternoon nap, we headed to the NICU, and Kevin got a chance to hold Adelaide for 2 hours. When we arrived she was a lot more active then the previous day, so when the nurse put her on Kevin's chest, she was squirming and throwing her arms and legs around. We soon found out why. Her diaper was full. The nurse quickly took her back and changed her. Adelaide slept on Kevin's chest for most of the time, making sweet yawning sounds, sighs, and grunts. Kevin even closed his eyes and fell asleep for short periods of time. The kangaroo therapy (skin to skin contact) is really good for the babies. It helps them to regulate their temperatures and heart rates, which helps them to fall asleep, which in turn helps them to grow and get stronger. Kevin also sang U2 lullabies to her. Tara had another chance to hold her after Kevin, but not with the skin to skin contact. It was still very special for her. After dinner, Tara had a really fun experience with Adelaide. The nurses gave her a bath, and Tara was able to wash and dry her. It was awesome! Adelaide cried and squirmed. She was really slippery. Tara had a wonderful time washing her hair and combing it.

Andrew was giving the nurses fits this afternoon for awhile. His blood oxygen levels would drop, and they were having to continually adjust his oxygen intake. His improved lungs are the big story though. We're so happy. We just hope it continues. One of the nurses showed Kevin the x-rays, and he could see a huge difference in what the doctor showed him the other day. Andrew is back up to around 2lbs. in weight, and they increased his feedings again. Andrew calmed down in the evening and was sleeping peacefully when we left. He was also put back on photo therapy for jaundice. They are doing some blood tests tomorrow morning to check his liver functions. There's a chance that the iv fluid he's given is too much for his liver to handle, which makes him jaundice. If it is, they will just give him a different type of iv fluid.

Mattie has gained weight as well and is almost 2lbs. She weighed 1lb. 13oz. tonight. The nurses agree that she will be giving us a run for our money. She's definitely the feistiest. We're gathering a few nicknames for her too. Mattie the Marauder, Mattie the Maniac, and one nurse likes to call her Sissy. Kevin changed her diaper tonight, and Mattie got so mad; she turns red all over. She was crying and throwing her arms around. We hope she outgrows this "don't touch me" phase. We can't wait to see what God has planned for her with her personality. We already love her spirit so much.

Kangaroo therapy with Kevin and Adelaide.
Bath time with Tara and Adelaide.
Improved lungs - The prayers are working!
Weight gain.
Beautiful heads of hair on all three.
Adelaide's and Mattie's eyes now open wide - they look around and turn their heads to see who is talking to them!

Andrew's blood test would help determine why his jaundice levels keep changing.
Continued protection over the babies lungs from long term issues.
Continued weight gain and strength.
Mattie and Andrew would become stable enough for kangaroo therapy.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday January 9

The big news that began yesterday...Adelaide was put on SIPAP, which means that she is no longer on a ventilator, just a tiny oxygen mask with some pressure behind it. She is breathing on her own. We have been praising, thanking God. Tara was able to hold her kangaroo style this morning for an hour. Kangaroo style is a way of holding the baby on the chest with warm blankets covering the baby. This hold helps regulate the baby's breathing.It was the first time that Tara held one of the babies. We both were in tears.If Adelaide does well enough, Kevin will hold her tomorrow. Adelaide did really well. She kept her oxygen level and heart rate up. She held her daddy's finger very tightly. We listened to her coo and yawn, and Tara could feel her breathe and wiggle. What a blessing life is!

Mattie and Andrew have shown improvement. Andrew's x-ray showed better lungs and his feeding has increased. His blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen in his blood has been doing good. He really struggles with his lungs and the amount of oxygen he takes. Mattie also has trouble with her lungs, but has shown a lot of improvement. Her blood gases have come back very good, which means her carbon dioxide levels are good. She's up to 1lb. 12oz., which is only 2 oz. behind Andrew. She's catching up to him. Mattie has also increased her feeding.

Tara getting to hold Adelaide.
Adelaide on SYPAP.
Andrew's improved x-rays.
Increased feeding.
Mattie's weight gain.
Kevin's shoot went very well.

Mattie and Andrew's lungs would improve.
Mattie and Andrew could be weened off their ventilators.
Continued growth and stength.
Protection over the babies' eyes. The equipment they are on can cause eye issues.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday, January 7

We've had a disappointing day. After we heard about Andrew not doing very well, we got ready and headed to the NICU. The doctor gave us updates on all the babies and showed us Andrew and Mattie's x-rays. Andrew had a blood gas that came back bad. His CO2 levels were high, so they did an x-ray to check. His left lung was over inflated and his right was small and murky. When we told you that they were going to purposely deflate his lung, we didn't really know what that meant. It only means that they keep Andrew on his left side, so most of his air intake goes up to his right lung, and his left lung will get smaller. He had another x-ray a few hours later and there was improvement. He was still on quite a bit of oxygen to help him out. They also decided to give him a blood transfusion, which will help his levels to improve. One bright note is that Andrew is off of photo therapy. He's still hovering around 1lb. 14oz., but is getting 8ml of milk every four hours.

Mattie's x-ray showed a small right lung and a murky left lung. She's also getting quite a bit of oxygen to help her. Her feedings are increased to 4ml every four hours, and she's off of photo therapy too. Her blood oxygen levels continue to go up and then go down every few minutes. So, the alarms go off when they're down, they'll stop for a few minutes, and then they go off when she goes too high. These up and down levels, the babies doing good one day and not the next is starting to frustrate us. We know it's a long haul, and we've been prepared for the bad days, but we wish those babies were big and at home. We try to stay as even keel as possible, but it does get hard.

On the very bright side, Adelaide is doing awesome. It's hard to not look at her and wonder why the others are not doing better. She's now taking 24ml of milk every four hours, which is the max for a baby her size. They're discussing taking out her iv line they put in last night since she's feeding so well. She will also be getting fortified formula, which will help her get even bigger. She's now 2lbs. 5oz. They are slowly weening her off her oxygen and hope to challenge her tonight by dropping her levels to see how she handles it.

Kevin's been working at home this week and has a shoot tomorrow, so it will be tough getting back in the swing. Tara had a tough time today with the news about Andrew, and she just wants time to move along faster. She longs to hold those babies and have them home. It will be even tougher as she prepares to go back to work on January 19. Once the babies come home, she'll continue with her leave.

Adelaide doing so well. Full feeds, weening of vent, and iv line removal.
Andrew and Mattie off of photo therapy.
Andrew slowly improving from this morning.
Dinner being left on our door step. The meals have been an awesome blessing.
A bag of baby supplies left for us by another couple at the NICU.
Work for Kevin.
Sleeping in for Tara.

Andrew and Mattie's lungs to inflate to proper size, be clear and functioning correctly.
Andrew's blood gases would improve.
Mattie's monitor levels would improve.
Mattie's feeding would increase.
Kevin's video shoot.
Tara preparing to go back to work.

Andrew - 2 weeks pictures

Mattie - 2 weeks pictures

Adelaide - 2 weeks pictures

Wednesday, January 6

The babies had an eventful day on Wednesday. The day started off relatively normal. The babies were all comfortable, and Andrew and Mattie would drop their levels on occasion. This is becoming a normal occurrence. Kevin came to the NICU to pick Tara up for an appointment, and the nurse greeted him at the door to ask him to stay outside. Tara was eating lunch in the cafeteria, and Mattie had pulled out her breathing tube. They were trying to re-intubate her. The staff assured us that this is normal for babies and it won't be the first time one of them pulls their air tube out. Mattie is fine, and they were getting her back to stable last night.

We have another poop story, so fair warning to those who don't like bathroom humor. Kevin got to change Adelaide's diaper at her 4:00 touch time. Adelaide had only wet her diaper, so Kevin was thrilled to not have to deal with meconium. The nurse told Kevin that Adelaide and Mattie had big poopy diapers earlier in the day, so nothing was expected. As Kevin wiped Adelaide down, she began to poop all over the clean diaper he had given her. The nurse began to laugh, and Tara was standing behind Kevin laughing as well. With the nurse's help Kevin cleaned up the meconium and put a fresh diaper under Adelaide. She went again! Sticky black tar all of the place. By now, the whole NICU heard us laughing and were asking what was going on.

During the 8:00 touch time, Adelaide's nurse noticed that half of her chest was puffy. Tara had been helping with Adelaide's care, and the nurse pointed out the puffy side of her chest. Adelaide has an iv line that goes up her arm and into her chest for feeding. The line had apparently moved and caused the iv to be leaking into her chest cavity. They removed the line and inserted a new one into her wrist. The fluid in her chest will be absorbed in her body, and she's not in any danger.

Andrew had a pretty decent day. He was resting most of the day, but still gets in a tizzy when the nurses touch him during their care times. He got very upset during the 8:00 touch time when Kevin changed his diaper. The nurse had to bump up his oxygen and wait several minutes for him to calm down after she turned him to a new side. Even though Andrew throws his fits, several of the nurses have taken a liking to him since he's so cute. UPDATE - As I was typing this, Tara called the NICU for an update. Andrew's labs came back awful, and his x-ray shows that his left lung is in bad shape. The doctor is going to purposely deflate his lung and start over. He's on full oxygen and will be getting blood gases every hour to check his levels. Here's another step back.

Adelaide increased to 19ml of milk every 4 hours.
Poopy diapers for all the babies.
Mattie looking bigger and beginning to fill out.
The awesome staff at the NICU.

Andrew's procedure to collapse his lung would go well.
Andrew would have improved lungs and lab work.
Andrew would sustain the improvements.
Adelaide's puffy chest would go down, and her body would absorb the fluid.
Mattie would not pull out her air hose and that she would be calm.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday, January 5

Hi everyone. Sorry that we're late with the blog. Kevin's been back at work recently and then up at the NICU at night, so it's been tough keeping up.
The babies are still doing ok.They've all seen some improvement over the last few days.

Adelaide is now feeding on 14ml of milk every 4 hours. They doubled her intake. So, she's getting a half ounce each feeding. She's still off of photo therapy, and we've been enjoying watching her open her eyes. She's still doing very well.

Mattie had a lot of mucus in her lungs the last few days, and they've been doing a mist to break it up. The doctors were afraid of infection, but so far no infections have been found in her blood count or cultures. She still gets mad when the nurses do their care, but she's doing better. Her lungs are also still murky, but improved.

Andrew is doing well on the oscillator. His numbers have been holding steady, so they're going to treat him like a normal preemie, which means the frequency of his tests will be less. They feel he's improving enough to be left alone on the every two hour tests.

By the way, we really enjoy seeing who's following along and who is leaving comments. We read them all and love hearing your stories and hearing from people we haven't talked to in awhile.

All three babies are improving.
All three babies have increased their feeds.
Adelaide doubling her food and still off photo therapy.
Mattie and Andrew's lung improvement.

Protection from side effects of ventilators and medications.
Mattie to increase milk.
Continued clearing and improvement of lungs.
Continued growth and strength.
Protection from infections.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday, January 3

Today, Andrew and Mattie's lung issues continued throughout most of the day. The doctor decided to switch Andrew back to the oscillator, which he has responded very well. Mattie's still struggling some. Both of her lungs are now looking cloudy on the x-rays. She was given a mist to break up some of the mucus in her lungs and her blood gases looked better. They also ran cultures and blood tests on Mattie to check for infections. So far. the blood work came back negative for infections. The cultures will take a day to return.

Adelaide spent most of the day sleeping. She's off of the photo therapy and is slowly being weened off her oxygen. The doctor said she's doing terrific.

We had a very sweet moment Sunday night. Tara got the chance to wash Andrew's face and suction his mouth. After she washed his face, she got to hold his hand and talk to him for about 10 minutes. Andrew was moving around quite a bit, but his levels never dropped. Kevin thinks that it was his mother's touch that calmed him down. Tara couldn't stop talking about what a great experience it was. She said it was the best moment she's had with the babies so far.

Adelaide doing so well.
Adelaide off photo therapy.
Andrew responding to oscillator.
Tara's time with Andrew.
Increased feedings.
Kevin's Dad coming up to clean up back yard and remove leaves.
A clean house.
The nurses at the NICU giving us two custom picture frames with the babies' hand and foot prints.
Encouragement from the other parents in the NICU.

Improvement in Mattie and Andrew's lungs.
Fluid around Andrew's heart would go away (normal after surgery).
Adelaide would slowly be weened off the Jet ventilator.
Tara and Kevin could take the setbacks in stride.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saturday, January 2

We have poop! Mattie had her first last night while we were in the NICU. They finally gave her a glycerin enema to help her get started. Kevin had the honors of changing her first poopy diaper. In the memory of Jed Clampett, who while shootin' at some food, discovered oil, Mattie had black gold...Texas T down there. We're only sharing these details for a giggle. We know all of you parents know about what we're talking about. Oh, the joys of meconium.

While visiting the NICU today, we met with Dr. Shoemaker, the head of all the Baylor NICUs. He's still concerned, but not worried about the kids. He did tell us that all of our children were behaving badly today. All three have some lung issue going on right now. Andrew and Mattie both had collapsed right lungs, and Adelaide's x-ray showed small pockets in her lungs. They tweaked their ventilators and had them laying on their sides. They did an x-ray on Mattie this afternoon, and her lungs have improved. Andrew's x-ray was this evening, and he's gotten worse. They have now taken him off the conventional ventilator and put him back on the Jet. The Jet is the ventilator he has had so much trouble. These are the small steps backward that they told us to expect. All the babies have increased their feedings and are still under photo therapy.

Mattie's first poop!
Increased feedings on all of them.
All three of their eyes are now open.
The doctor is "concerned", but still not "worried".
LeeAnn, Adelaide's nurse last night, found a malfunction in her incubator. We're thankful she was attentive to notice this and fix the problem.
Our niece, Sarah, turns 14 tomorrow. We're having a fun family night.

Andrew would be OK on the Jet and not clamp down.
Andrew's carbon dioxide levels would lower. They're high because he can't get rid of his carbon dioxide properly.
Andrew's and Mattie's collapsed lungs would inflate.
All three of their lungs would improve.
Continue weight gain and strength.
No side effects from ventilators or medications.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Friday, January 1

Happy New Year, everyone! We've had a great couple of days. First, Andrew had a very successful surgery. His vitals were looking pretty good yesterday and today. The doctors have also moved him off the oscillator and back to the conventional ventilator. That's a big step! He is now 1lb. 14oz., and his hair is turning blond. His hair is curly at the back of his head too.

Kevin and Tara spent some of New Year's Eve with the babies and more time was spent New Year's Day morning. They were all doing very well. Adelaide is now 2lb. 2oz., and she has been so peaceful the last few days. Kevin changed her diaper this morning, which was very wet. She's been on a steady diet of Tara's milk too. Adelaide is still on the Jet. We need her numbers to go down before she can be weened and moved to the conventional. Her eyes have also opened. Kevin and Kevin's parents got to see them this morning. They're dark and cloudy, but they were opened briefly.

Mattie is gaining weight too. She is now 1lb. 8oz. She's also been getting a lot of Tara's milk. She's been sedated lately, which is good for her. They moved her to a very small dose of morphine, which they use all the time on preemies. She's been sleeping much better now. She still hasn't pooped, but the nurses don't seem concerned. She's also on the Jet and has more oxygen going in then her sister. Kevin got some pics of her without her hat on that he'll post soon. Tara's changed two of Mattie's diapers. We're definitely feeling more comfortable handling them. It's hard when they have so many wires and tubes coming out. Mattie has an IV or line in every extremity, but one.

The NICU moved the babies' head ultrasounds up to last night, and we found out that the results all came back normal. This again is a huge thing. It means they have no brain hemorrhages. We thank God for protecting them over these last two weeks. That's right, they are now two weeks old. Thank you again for praying for us and our babies. We're thankful for your love and support.

Andrew's successful surgery
Andrew on the conventional ventilator
All three received normal head ultrasounds
All three on Tara's milk
All three have weight gain
Adelaide and Mattie's eyes opening
They're all still doing "reasonably well"

Andrew's response to the new ventilator
Andrew's recovery
Mattie would poop
Their jaundice levels would improve
Continued weight gain and strength
Continued protection from side effects of ventilators and medications