Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday, February 28

The close to our week was a lot better than the beginning. All the babies are doing pretty well. Mattie and Andrew are both on a round of steroids to help their lungs. The goal is to get them off the SIPAP and on to nasal cannula.

Mattie sleeps a lot and is doing well on her oxygen levels. She weighs 3lbs. 15oz. Hopefully, she'll hit 4lbs. tonight.

Adelaide is still inconsistent with bottle feeding. On Friday, she took three bottles throughout the day with no problem, but on Saturday, she struggled. She cries while swallowing, so they're giving her medication to help with reflux and stopped bottle feeding for 24 hours. She weighs 5lbs. 10oz.

Andrew is fluctuating back and forth on his blood oxygen levels. His oxygen intake has gone down since the start of the steroids, but he rides a roller coaster of high blood oxygen levels to low levels. He weighs 4lbs. 2oz.

Weight gain.
The caregivers of our babies.
Curly eyelashes, sweet blue eyes, and chubby feet.

Andrew and Mattie would wean off and stay off the SIPAP for good.
There would be no long term effects from the steroids.
Adelaide's throat would heal, and she would be able to feed from a bottle consistently.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday, February 25

It's been awhile since we've updated. Kevin's been on a project for a client and goes straight to the NICU after work. We hope everyone is doing well.

Adelaide's test on her blood came back, and they showed normal to high amounts of an enzyme that makes red blood cells burst. The amounts are not a concern right now, and she will be re-tested in 2-3 months. The staff is going to give her folic acid and iron since she's anemic. She's still having some trouble feeding from the bottle. We attempted to feed her twice yesterday with little success. She's going to be taking some acid reflux medication to see if that helps. She's still gaining weight and is now 5lbs. 5oz. No word on when she will come home. She needs to consistently eat from a bottle before she does.

Mattie is on the SIPAP and doing well. She had her settings lowered, which is a good sign. Her carbon dioxide levels have been OK. If they take them from her capillaries, the test is high, but if it's an artery test, the level is normal. They might be giving her a burst of steroids to get her off the SIPAP. Her x-rays have been a little murky and show some chronic lung disease. They've been giving her a diuretic to clear them up, which has made her lose some weight. She's gained some of it back and weights 3lbs. 14oz.

Andrew is hanging in there on SIPAP. His carbon dioxide levels were around 70%, which is normal for him. We brought in a crib entertainer, so he'll have something to look at while he's awake. Unlike Adelaide and Mattie, Andrew spends more time awake and looking around. He has hit the 4lb. mark. His x-rays have looked OK. The nurses keep talking about what a cute boy he is.

Adelaide's test came back normal.
Mattie starting to wean off the SIPAP.
The continued blessing of receiving meals from people. Seriously, it is unbelievable. Thank you!

Adelaide would do better bottle feeding. The reflux medication would help her.
Adelaide wouldn't have any serious blood issues that are making her anemic.
Mattie would be off the SIPAP.
Andrew would be off the SIPAP.
Mattie and Andrew's lungs would clear.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday, February 22

The babies all had a good weekend. Mattie's carbon dioxide levels have come down thanks to a medication. She has had blood in her nose for a couple of days, and the staff thinks it's due to the amount of flow in her nasal cannula. They're going to lower her settings and check her carbon dioxide levels more frequently. She's been doing a good job of gaining weight and is up 3lbs. 11oz.

Adelaide is now 5lbs. 1oz. She's looking great. She is still anemic, and they sent some tests off today to see the cause. There are a couple of possibilities, and the staff wants to see why her blood numbers are dropping. One test should be back in the next day, but one could take up to a week to return. She will be getting her carbon dioxide checked twice a week as well.

Andrew has been really calm over the few days. The staff thinks that the sedation he had been on is finally leaving him, and he was going through some withdrawals. He is still on SIPAP and runs about 40% oxygen. He gained back up to Mattie and is now 3lbs. 12oz. He will be getting his carbon dioxide checked twice a week along with his sisters. This is great, so there won't be any prolonged high levels.

Weight gain for all three.
Andrew being calm and sleeping.
Adelaide reaching 5lbs.
A good weekend for all three.
Mattie's CO2 went down.

The tests on Adelaide would come back negative, which would mean she's just a little anemic.
Mattie would respond well to the new settings on her cannula.
Mattie's CO2 would stay down.
Rest for Tara.
Our frustration levels on small steps back would ease.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday, February 20

We've got good news and some concerns with Mattie. She is now in a big girl open-air crib, like her brother and sister. We love being able to walk by and give them all a kiss or talk to them. It's really incredible. Our concern has to do with her carbon dioxide levels. They came down into the high 70's yesterday, but are back up to the low 80's today. It's really strange because all of her other settings are great. She takes minimal oxygen and her blood saturation is great. Her red blood cells were low, so they gave her a transfusion yesterday. The staff is bottle feeding her once a day, and for the past two days, she took 15ml. She now weighs 3lbs. 10oz.

Adelaide is still doing good. She takes all of her bottle most of the time, but on some feedings, she falls asleep. We're getting close to taking her home. We hope in the next couple of weeks. She is now 4lbs. 14oz.

Andrew is still doing OK. He's being very active and getting agitated. He finished his last round of steroids, so we hope the improvements he's made will stay around, and he won't fall back. He's doing good on the SIPAP and loves his pacifier. He looks like Maggie from The Simpson's sucking on it. He gained a little weight back, but hasn't caught back up to Mattie. He is now 3lbs. 8oz.

Adelaide getting so big.
The possibility of taking Adelaide home soon.
Mattie and Adelaide doing well on bottle feeding.
Andrew is still off the ventilator.
All the babies in cribs.
2 months of life. The were 2 months on Thursday. Unbelievable!

Mattie's carbon dioxide levels would go down.
Mattie could increase her bottle feeding.
Adelaide would be more awake during bottle feedings.
Andrew would calm down and rest.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday, February 18

The babies' eye exams went well yesterday. They all came back normal. They'll be re-tested in two weeks.

Adelaide is now taking 6 out of 8 feedings by bottle. She's making great progress. She weighs 4lbs. 11oz. Kevin fed her last night, and Tara fed her tonight with success. Nana D. held her for an hour and a half today.

Mattie is still doing pretty good. The staff tried to lower her settings on her nasal cannula, but it made Mattie labor, causing her carbon dioxide level to go up. She's back to her normal settings and will get her carbon dioxide checked tomorrow. Mattie weighs 3lbs. 11oz. and took 15ml of milk from a bottle yesterday. She is unbelievably calm and sleeps most of the time. She's no longer Mattie the Marauder.

Andrew is still on SIPAP and his last x-ray looked fantastic. His carbon dioxide level was in the 60's too, which is great. He does still get agitated, but loves being held to calm him down. He's lost a little weight and is now 3lbs. 5oz.

Adelaide taking more bottles.
Mattie taking 15ml of milk.
Mattie being so calm.
Andrew's fantastic x-ray and blood gas.

Adelaide would continue to take more from the bottle.
Mattie's carbon dioxide levels would come down.
Andrew would continue to have good numbers, and his lungs would clear.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday, February 17

We had another big change yesterday. Andrew has graduated out of the incubator and is now in an open air crib. He's such a big boy. Andrew had been doing really well regulating his own temperature in the incubator, so the staff tried him out on his own. So far, he's doing really well with it. He has also spent 3 days on the SIPAP machine! His carbon dioxide levels have been looking good, but his x-ray still showed a collapsed right lung. When we visited yesterday, the nurse was suctioning out a bunch of mucus from his lungs. He was crying, and you could hear all of the junk he had in his chest. They started him on a medication to loosen the junk up, so that rattling we heard means it's working. He will have another x-ray this morning.

Mattie is doing really well. She gained close to 2oz. in a day. She's up to 3lbs. 7oz. She actually weighs more than Andrew, but we're not telling him. His weight was determined by a new scale, so we think he's lower because of that. Mattie's been on room air (21% oxygen) for several days now. The next step for her is to wean her off the incubator and into an open air crib.

Adelaide is still doing awesome. She's getting better on bottle feeding. She took a bottle last night and played around for the first ten minutes, and then decided she was hungry. She took the rest of the bottle in twenty minutes. She weighs 4lbs. 8oz.

We are amazed every day at the progress the babies have made. People talk about them being miracles, and they are. It's incredible to look back at how small they were at birth and how fragile their lives were. We thank God for His protection for our little three babies. If you get a chance, look at the pictures that were posted in December and compare them to now. You'll see what we mean.

Andrew moving out of the incubator.
Andrew still on SIPAP.
The mucus in Andrew's lungs breaking up.
Mattie doing great on nasal cannula and requiring little oxygen.
Adelaide doing better on bottle feeds.

They have another round of eye exams today. Please pray for a normal report.
Andrew's lungs would continue to clear up. His right lung would inflate.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday, February 15

Things change very quickly in the NICU. In 48 hours, Andrew went from the conventional ventilator, to the Jet, back to the conventional, and then to SIPAP. We are really excited for him now that he's off ventilation. He's done pretty well too. His carbon dioxide levels have been good, but his x-ray this morning showed a slightly collapsed lung. He was very agitated yesterday, which could have been from a raw and irritated throat from weeks with tubes down there. Tara held him for the first time in kangaroo care for 2 hours. It really calmed him down. The staff gave him a little sedation last night to help him as well. We are hoping that he can stay on the SIPAP and not be re-intubated. If you'll remember, Mattie went on the SIPAP twice for 12 hours each time before she needed to go back to the conventional. Andrew has made it more than 12 hours, which is great.

Mattie is now on full time nasal cannula and doing great. She is also being weaned off her incubator. She started wearing clothes in her incubator a few days ago and is doing really well. They turn off the heat in the machine, so she doesn't get too hot. The next step will be an open air crib.

Adelaide is doing good too. She's been having a little trouble taking a bottle recently. She doesn't seem interested and spits out the milk. The speech therapist is coming in today to work with her and Mattie.

Andrew is off ventilation.
Tara kangarooing Andrew.
Mattie doing great on nasal cannula.
Mattie wearing clothes.
Adelaide and her fat cheeks.

Andrew would stay on SIPAP.
Andrew's lungs would inflate properly.
Andrew's throat would heal.
Mattie would be weaned off her incubator.
Adelaide would take her bottles. If she can, we might bring her home in two weeks.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday, February 13

We've had a set back with Andrew. The staff was unable to put him on the SIPAP. He just wasn't doing very well on the conventional, and they decided to put him back on the Jet. His blood oxygen numbers have been all over the place and after changing his settings a couple of times, they went back to the Jet. We're pretty frustrated. This morning, we met with the doctor. Andrew's chronic lung disease is causing these changes. While we were here today, they started him on another burst of steroid treatments, put him back on the conventional vent, and started a respiratory treatment. So, we may be doing this back and forth until his lungs grow. He is now 3lbs. 8oz.

Mattie is doing good. She is trying nasal cannula three times a day for three hours at a time. The staff tried to bottle feed her yesterday. She started to feed, but wasn't coordinated enough to swallow. She got a little scared and wouldn't open her mouth again. Mattie is now 3lbs 3oz.

Adelaide is doing good. She's been taking whole bottles of milk a couple of times a day. She's fed by a feeding tube the other times. She's still maintaining her heat and is in an open air crib. She is 4lbs. 5oz.

Andrew's short stint on the Jet.
Mattie trying the bottle.
Adelaide taking whole bottles.

Andrew's lungs would improve.
Andrew would be weaned off ventilators.
Mattie would be able to bottle feed.
Kevin and Tara's frustration level. Peace and understanding.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday, February 11

Tomorrow is a big day for Andrew, and we wanted to ask everyone to be praying for him. The doctor is going to try him on the SIPAP machine. This means he'd be off of the ventilator. It is so important to get him off the ventilator. If Andrew can't get off it and goes several more weeks on the ventilator, it might lead to a tracheotomy. It would only be a temporary tracheotomy, but it's something we don't want to happen. We're praying that Andrew's lungs would grow, he would do well on the SIPAP, and he wouldn't be on the ventilator any longer.

The girls are still the same as the last report. They are doing great.

Thank you for your continual dedication to pray for our babies. We are so thankful for the friends and family that we have.

Snow Pictures

Tara and Kevin got a break from the NICU today. We had a snow ball fight (started by Kevin), made a snowman, and an ice dog house for Belle.

Thursday, February 11

Andrew has been doing much better. He's still taking antibiotics for his infection. The great news is that his oxygen intake is less. He was down in the 30% range yesterday, and their doctor texted a picture to Tara of the setting. It's great to see the staff get as excited as we are when they make improvements. The staff has also started to wean him off the ventilator and plan to get him completely off by today or tomorrow. He's doing much better, and for this, we are so thankful. His blood gas and x-rays looked very good this morning. We appreciate everyone praying for him. We can see it working. He did have another "clamping down" episode last night while Kevin was changing his diaper. The nurse rubbed his back until he started to breathe again. Andrew is now 3lbs. 7oz.

Adelaide is doing very well with life outside the incubator. It's awesome to walk by her and see her sleeping or sneak a kiss on the head. Tara and Kevin gave her a bath last night, which Adelaide did not enjoy. She cried most of the time. She had lost a little weight since being moved out of the incubator because of the energy she uses to stay warm. Even with a onesie, a sleeper, being swaddled in a receiving blanket, another blanket being laid over top, and a knit hat, she still has to keep herself warm. She gained the weight back and is now 4lbs. 1oz. There's still no word on when we could take her home. It will probably be some time in mid-March. She's only bottle feeding twice a day, and she needs to be doing that on every feeding before she leaves.

Mattie is doing great on her nasal cannula test. Twice a day, for three hours, she gets put on nasal cannula. Kevin got to hold her yesterday for about 30 minutes while she was getting her food intake. It was another great moment to see her face without straps and tubes coming from it. Little Mattie is now 3lbs. She is doing very well.

Andrew's numbers are improving, and he's being weaned off the ventilator.
Mattie doing so well on nasal cannula.
Adelaide keeping her temperature normal while outside the incubator.
Whispering sweet talk in Adelaide's ear.

Andrew would be weaned off ventilator.
Andrew would have clear lungs and out grow his lung disease.
Mattie could graduate to nasal cannula only.
Adelaide could take more bottle feeds.
Continued strength and growth.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday, January 9

Update on Andrew.

The doctor says that he does not have pneumonia. He only has the bacterial infection in his trachea. He also had another episode of "clamping down" this morning. That is where he holds his breath and doesn't allow oxygen into his lungs. His heart rate dropped, and the staff almost had to give him medications to get his heart rate up. Andrew worked his way back up and he recovered. It's been pretty crazy for the little boy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday, February 9

On Monday, Andrew was still running high on his oxygen intake at 50 percent. Overnight, he dropped down to 42 percent. We have a little more information on what is going on with him. The initial cultures showed two different types of bacterial infections. The first one was found in his blood culture, and a second culture on the blood has not shown the infection. So, the staff thinks that the first culture was a contaminate, which means it's not in his blood, but may have come from the container the blood sample came from. We're very thankful that it's not a blood infection.

The second infection was found in his trachea. They are treating this with antibiotics. He still has a breathing tube in, and the bacteria most likely got in that way. He has two out of three signs of pneumonia, so we think that came from the bacteria in his trachea. His x-rays are cloudy, but not patchy, so they're treating him with a diuretic and medicine to breakup mucus. Andrew is now 3lbs. 2oz.

Adelaide is doing great. They are going to move her out of her isolette today and try her in a regular crib. They will wrap her up pretty tight to keep her warm until she has more fat on her. She's now at an even 4lbs. We're really excited that she's growing and getting stronger.

Mattie has been moved to the CPAP machine, and the next step is nasal cannula. This will probably come when she gains a little more weight. She's 2lbs. 14oz. She's done really well on the CPAP and is getting stronger every day.

The staff catching the infection on Andrew so early and getting him on antibiotics.
Andrew being weaned off oxygen.
Adelaide is 4lbs.!
Adelaide being moved out of the incubator.
Mattie gaining weight and moving to the CPAP.

Andrew's lungs - This is a continual request. They need to be clear and inflated properly.
Andrew's pneumonia would be cleared by the antibiotics.
Weight gain and growth for all three.
Rest and peace for Tara. She's tired as it is, and when bad news comes up, she gets even more exhausted.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday, February 7

We're going to do an Andrew update only today because we'd like everyone to pray for him.

There's been some concern over the last few days that Andrew has an infection. We didn't say anything because he's not symptomatic and his initial blood work came back fine. His temperature was elevated on Friday and his heart rate was as well, but the initial tests showed nothing. A culture was taken on Friday and the results came back Saturday night. It showed a bacterial infection, so the staff started him immediately on antibiotics. He had an x-ray this morning that was cloudy, which could be fluid in his lungs. He's had fluid in his lungs in the past, and they've given him a diuretic. He's on the same diuretic now. We are waiting on a second culture and identification of the bacteria. We're asking everyone to pray that he would be clear of infection and that the cultures would come back negative. Thank you all.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday, February 6

There has been no big changes with the babies over the last few days.

The coolest news is that Kevin held Andrew in kangaroo care for the first time on Saturday. Tara gave Kevin the chance to be the first to hold him like this, and Kevin was really excited. Andrew is still on the conventional ventilator and is running from 39 - 50 percent depending on his mood. He has hit the 3lb. mark too. He now weighs 3lbs 3oz. His weekday girlfriend (nurse C) is on vacation, and he misses her. Andrew has been getting respiratory treatments, and if he can stay around 38 percent consistently, he'll try the SIPAP.

Adelaide is still doing great. Tara bottle fed her on Friday for the first time, and Adelaide fell asleep. She did take about a 1/4 of the bottle before falling asleep though. Kevin bottle fed her for a little while Friday night. She did ok, but coughed up the milk a few times. We're still in practice mode, but it's amazing what she's doing at a 33 week gestation. Adelaide is now 3lbs. 13oz. 4lbs. should come in the next day or so.

Mattie's status really hasn't changed that much. Each day, she gains a little weight and is up to 2lbs. 9oz. She's still doing well on the SIPAP and might be moved to the CPAP next week. Kevin and Tara gave Mattie a sponge bath on Saturday, and a fun time was had by all.

Kangaroo care with Andrew.
Andrew moving across the NICU and next to his sisters. They're all lined up.
Adelaide bottle feeding twice a day.
Giving Mattie a sponge bath.

Andrew would get down to 38 percent oxygen consistently.
Mattie would wean off the SIPAP.
Continued protection from infection.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday, February 3

The babies had their eye exams today and everything went well. A big surprise to us was that Andrew handled the procedure very well, and Adelaide didn't. Her blood oxygen levels dropped, but she recovered. The results were what they expected to see with preemies, and all three had the same results. So, it was good. They'll be re-checked in two weeks.

Adelaide is doing so great on bottle feeding that they're moving her to twice a day. She took 32cc today, and Tara will be taught to bottle feed her on Friday. Adelaide is now 3lbs. 10oz.!

Mattie is still doing very well. She's taking about 28-30 percent oxygen, which is great. She's gained 1 ounce and is 2lbs. 7oz.

Andrew is still on the conventional ventilator and doing good. He's at 45-50 percent oxygen and spent most of the day sleeping after the procedure. He's 2lbs. 13oz.

Good report on the eye exams.
Adelaide trying two bottles a day.
Andrew doing so well during eye exam.
Mattie's less agitated.

Andrew's need for oxygen would decrease. If he can be consistently in the upper 30's, he could be moved to SIPAP.
Protection over their lungs and body parts from the medications and oxygen.
Continued weight gain and growth.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tuesday, February 2

Andrew has moved to the conventional ventilator! We're so excited for him. He continued to do very well on the Jet ventilator this weekend, so on Monday, they tried him on the conventional ventilator. It's the step before the SIPAP machine. He was doing fine on the conventional until they took a blood gas and his carbon dioxide levels were 90%. This is very bad, so they moved him back to the Jet for the rest of the day. Well, he responded so well to going back on the Jet (the change can be shocking to the babies) that they tried him again on the conventional this morning. His first blood gas showed a carbon dioxide level of 55%. They moved the Jet away from his isolette and out of the NICU, and he's now on the conventional. He's taking about 50% oxygen on it, but it's one step closer to no more ventilators. When Kevin sent Tara this news by email, she responded back that she felt like dancing. He's gained weight too. He's up to 2lbs. 12oz.

Adelaide is doing great. Our little chunky girl is up to 3lbs. 8oz. The staff moved her off of the CPAP and on to nasal cannula full time. So far, she's responded very well. Kevin got to hold Adelaide today, but not kangaroo style. He cradled her. It was a much better view. He got to talk to her and look at her as her eyes darted around the room. Adelaide had another successful bottle feeding session. She took in 31cc with minimal spills.

Mattie is still doing very well. She's on the SIPAP machine and is running in the upper 20's to low 30's for oxygen. She's up to 2lbs. 6oz. and has really calmed down. She's less agitated while the nurses give her care, and her levels don't drop as much as they used to.

Andrew is off the Jet!
Weight gain and growth for all three.
Increase of their feeds.
Adelaide doing well on the bottle.

Their eye exams are Wednesday. Please pray for a good report.
Andrew would continue to do well on the conventional.
Andrew would be weaned off ventilators.
Adelaide would continue to bottle feed well.
Mattie would continue to do well on SIPAP (We love putting "would continue")
The new young couple in the NICU. Don't know their names, but they've got a very tiny baby. Pray for peace and understanding for them and protection over the baby.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Holding Andrew Pics

It was only for 10 - 15 minutes each time, but it was sweet.

Andrew Pics - 6 weeks

The first picture is Andrew smiling at us while we were talking to him. It's a little fuzzy, but we got it. The fourth picture is his first try at clothes.

Mattie Pics - 6 weeks

Miss Mattie getting her prongs put on in reverse order. She's been doing much better with this process. The nurse told us that she was very calm getting the prongs on today.

Adelaide Pics - 6 weeks

No, the pacifier isn't really big. Her head is small. The first picture is her being swaddled after kangaroo care. She's a little Peet in a pod