Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday, March 31

As we type this, Tara is holding Andrew in her arms. We thought that he would be paralyzed for 5-7 days, but the doctor wanted to stop the medication because of some fluid in his lungs. They wanted Andrew to be able to move around a little to help get the fluid out. The only danger is that he could pull the tracheotomy out, so the nurses swaddle him with his hands down and watch him closely. His right lung was a little collapsed today, but it's back to being inflated. His x-ray looked great, his carbon dioxide levels are low, they stopped antibiotics, and he loves his respiratory treatments. We are very thankful because last night was hard. It was difficult to see his eyes look at us and recognize us, but his body couldn't move. He looks really great. He hasn't lost or gained weight and is still at 6lbs 2oz. He's also getting several girlfriends in Dallas. The nurses that care for him really like him, and a few had previously taken care of him at Grapevine.

Adelaide is doing great at home. She's really an awesome baby. She's not fussy until she's hungry. Adelaide had her first appointment on Tuesday, and the doctor said she looked wonderful. She weighs 7lbs. 11oz.

Mattie is getting stronger taking the bottle. We will be taking her home on oxygen and a monitor, so we'll room-in on Friday to practice with the equipment. She weighs 5lbs 15oz. She's almost 6lbs!

Being able to interact with Andrew.
Improvements in Andrew's numbers, labs, and x-rays.
Mattie coming home.
Adelaide being such a great baby.
The blessing of a fund started by the Carroll High School Student Council members. We are amazed and humbled by their compassion and generosity.

Continued protection over Andrew.
Andrew wouldn't pull out his trach.
Rooming-in with Mattie would go well.
Rest for Kevin and Tara.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday, March 29

Andrew's surgery went perfectly. The surgeon was very pleased with everything. Minimal blood loss and leakage from the trach and g-tube. We are praising God! Andrew is resting and looks really good. He's pink, and we can see his beautiful face. God has given us a miracle. He is under sedation, pain medication, and medication to paralyze him. They need him to be perfectly still for 5-7 days, so the tracheotomy can heal. He will be in the Dallas hospital until he weans off the ventilator. The timeline is up to him. Once he weans off this ventilator, he'll be moved to a home vent, and then he can be discharged to Our Children's House. This is an in-patient therapy and teaching location where we'll learn to care for Andrew.

We got a second good news today. Mattie is scheduled to come home on Thursday. She is consistently taking a bottle, but still on nasal cannula. She will come home on oxygen and monitors that we'll have to learn to use. We're rooming-in on Wednesday, so we can get used to the equipment.

Andrew's great surgery.
Mattie coming home.

Andrew's recovery.
Protection over Andrew while paralyzed.
Continued weight gain and growth

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday, March 28

We are thrilled to have Adelaide home. The rooming-in on Friday went pretty well. We had no major issues, but sleep was minimal. We spent the morning in the hospital taking care of Adelaide and visiting Mattie. We left at 2:00 on Saturday and headed for home. We almost didn't get to leave. Adelaide was attached with a monitoring bracelet, and our nurse forgot to remove it. As we got near the elevator, alarms started going off, and our nurse said that she forgot to remove the band. Nurses and staff started pouring into the hallways to see who was trying to steal a baby. We all had a good laugh. When we go, we go big. Adelaide had a good night, and we actually got some sleep.

We visited Andrew after leaving Adelaide with Tara's parents. He was doing pretty good. He responded really well to us being there. His blood oxygen went up, and the nurse weaned him down to 70 percent by the time we left. He was really calm. We also gave him a sponge bath. The staff started him on a round of steroids to help his lungs before surgery. His surgery is scheduled for tomorrow at 2:30cst.

Mattie's feeding tube has been removed. She took all 8 of her bottles yesterday, so we hope she can come home some time next week. She's still on the nasal cannula and is anemic. She should be getting a blood transfusion tomorrow to help her out.

A great night with Adelaide.
Andrew being calm when we are with him.
Mattie doing great on bottle feeds.
For all of our friends and family praying for us.
Cards and support from our church family.

Protection over Andrew.
Skill for the doctor and staff.
Peace for Kevin and Tara.
Mattie could come off the cannula.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday, March 26

As we type this blog, we sit in the NICU family room with Adelaide. The staff saw her off today, and it was really cool watching Adelaide being picked up and held by the staff without a wire or tube coming from her. So far, she's not sleeping and we need her to. We'll spend the night with her and leave tomorrow around 11 for home.

Andrew didn't do very well on the SIPAP. He lasted about two and a half hours and his levels shot up. When we arrived at the hospital last night, the doctor was waiting to tell us that he was going to be re-intubated. Once he was intubated, his carbon dioxide levels came down and his need for oxygen was less. The doctors have decided to push his surgery up. Kevin met with the surgeon today, and Andrew is tentatively scheduled to have a tracheotomy, a g-tube for feeds, a double hernia repair, and a circumcision on Monday at 2:30. His surgery may get bumped depending in needs on the OR.

Mattie is doing good. She got to see Adelaide up close personal today. Since Adelaide was wire-free, we set her in Mattie's crib. There wasn't a single hair pulled out of anyone's head. Mattie is taking about two bottles a shift.

Adelaide alone with us.
Andrew has calmed down and his levels are looking good.
The tracheotomy will get Andrew home faster.

Everything goes smoothly tonight with Adelaide.
Andrew's levels get down to a point good enough for surgery.
Protection over our baby boy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 25

Andrew had a better night. He de-satted less, and this morning his lungs looked better. He seems to be a little more comfortable. The move was a big shock to his system. We spoke with his doctor this afternoon, and we're waiting on some treatments the pulmonologist started on him yesterday. The plan is to wait until early next week to make a decision on a tracheotomy. There's a small chance the treatments could replace the need for the surgery. For now, they're taking him off sedation, extubating him, and putting him back on SIPAP. If a tracheotomy is needed, it will be performed later this week.

Mattie is doing well. She anticipates leaving the NICU in the next few weeks. She still is inconsistent on her bottle feeds. She did take a bottle yesterday in 10 minutes. She weighs 5lbs. 10oz.

Adelaide took 80cc of milk today followed by 70cc during her next feeding!! She's 7lbs 4oz. She's ready to go home.

Andrew had a better night.
Adelaide taking more milk.
For our marriage and having each other to share this experience.

God's will for Andrew's treatment.
Protection and comfort for Andrew.
Andrew's continued lung improvement.
Mattie and Adelaide to get stronger on the bottle.
Strength for us.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, March 24

Today is the babies' due date and yesterday was the longest Tuesday we've ever had. We got to the hospital at 2:30, and Andrew was already on a ventilator. He was very agitated and needed to be sedated. His weekend girlfriend (nurse) made a special visit to see him off. His weekday girlfriend was on duty and much of the staff gathered around as the transport team put him in a special incubator gurney. There were lots of tears flowing when we left. We followed the ambulance down to Dallas and waited to get Andrew checked in. He is heavily sedated and drops his blood oxygen a lot. His left lung is slightly collapsed, and he was seen by the pulmonologist this morning. We're waiting for his lung to inflate, and then they will re-evaluate. There's no timeline on a tracheotomy, but three doctors have told us that it needs to happen. Andrew just had an episode of clamping down. He wouldn't let the ventilator work and the staff had to come in to hand bag him. His heart rate dropped really bad as well.

Adelaide's discharge has been postponed. We hope to room-in on Friday and take her home on Saturday. She weighs 7lbs. 3oz.

Mattie waits patiently at Grapevine. She still is inconsistent on her bottles, but hopefully will do better over the next few weeks.

Our lives are going to be crazy for awhile, but the next few weeks will be really bad. We hope to visit Mattie every afternoon until the shift change at 6:00, and then head to Dallas to see Andrew into the evening while our moms watch Adelaide at home.

Andrew's transfer went well.
Adelaide continues to get stronger.
The support from the NICU staff.
The support from our family and friends.

That Andrew wouldn't clamp down.
Andrew's lungs would inflate.
Wisdom for the doctors.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday, March 23

Thank you all for your prayers. Andrew had a really good night. His bi-carbonate levels came down significantly, and his carbon dioxide levels came down as well. We were really excited about the good news until the doctor called this morning. Even though, his bi-carb and carbon dioxide levels were lower, he is working too hard to breathe on the nasal cannula. The doctor wants to make sure that Andrew doesn't get pulmonary hypertension, so she suggests that we re-intibate, put him back on a ventilator, and send him to another hospital to have a tracheotomy performed. We've decided this is the best plan, so Andrew is being put back on the ventilator today and will be sent to Baylor Downtown Dallas. He will receive a tracheotomy and will have another few months stay in the hospital. When his oxygen levels are lower enough, and he is stable, we will be able to take him home on a ventilator that hooks up to the tracheotomy. He will live with the home vent for up to two years. Each baby is different, so it could be a shorter or longer time. Andrew weighs 5lbs. 11oz.

The rooming-in with Adelaide is now being put on hold until we can get Andrew settled. We hope to room-in later this week and bring her home after that. Adelaide is 7lbs. 2oz.

Mattie is still doing really well. She's on very little air from her nasal cannula and her carbon dioxide levels are low. She weighs 5lbs. 8oz.

The doctor is not waiting for pulmonary hypertension to set in.
Andrew had lowered bi-carbonate levels.
Adelaide is still coming home.

Pray that Andrew's hospital transfer would go smoothly.
Pray that Andrew would react well to being put back on ventilation.
Pray that Andrew's tracheotomy would go smoothly.
Pray for Kevin and Tara as we make decisions for the babies.
Pray for us as we'll have one baby in Dallas, one in Grapevine, and one at home.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Andrew's Prayer - March 22

On Sunday, Andrew was really huffing and puffing on his nasal cannula, so the staff put him back on CPAP all day, stopped his bottle feedings, and started a round of diuretics. The staff doctor returned today, and she is concerned about his elevated bi-carb levels. The elevated levels are a side effect of all the diuretics that he has been on. The extra bi-carbs make him breathe and hold back carbon dioxide, which leads to his elevated carbon dioxide levels. Is this clear to everyone? She has decided to put him on the cannula full time and start a supplement that will help lower his bi-carb levels, which in turn, should lower his carbon dioxide. If this doesn't work, we may need to re-intibate and put him back on ventilation. She told us that another option might be to move him to a children's hospital for a tracheotomy. The doctor is giving him until the end of the week to show progress. If there is no progress, then we'll discuss our options. Please pray that his lungs would clear, his carbon dioxide and bi-carb levels would lower, and he would improve. We don't want to go down the road of re-intibating or a tracheotomy.

Update on Adelaide - We're now going to room in tomorrow night and take her home on Wednesday. We're really excited and can't wait to get our first baby home.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday, March 19

Just a quick update. Adelaide did a car seat study today. Well, actually, she did two car seat studies. The first one didn't go very well since the car seat wasn't leveled. Her heart rate dropped after 1o minutes. They leveled the seat and tried it again this afternoon. She went a full hour with no problems. She's been feeding consistently for a couple of days, but does have a few episodes when she forgets to breathe. We'll need to keep working with her over the next few days. We're going to "room-in" at the hospital Wednesday night. We will be using one of the rooms there, and we'll have Adelaide for the night. If there are any problems, we can call or go over to the NICU for help. Please pray that she continues to progress on bottle feeding and learns to breathe as she does it.

Mattie and Andrew are great. They're still doing the same as the last report - growing, trying out bottle feeding, and looking as cute as ever.

Please pray for us as the reality of bringing a baby home is setting in. We have doubts about our ability and anxious moments of panic. Hopefully, all you parents know what we're talking about. We know God is faithful.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday, March 17

Happy St. Paddy's Day! We've had an OK week so far with the babies. Tara had the chance to spend extra time with the babies today because of her spring break.

We've been waiting a couple of days to update because we thought we'd have some good news on Adelaide, but wanted to wait to announce it to make sure it was going to happen. After her great weekend of bottle feeding, we were really hopeful when the NICU called and asked us to bring a car seat in on Monday. The staff performs a car seat study on each baby before they leave the NICU to ensure they can breath properly while sitting in a car seat. The position is something they're not used to. Well, we brought the car seat in, but found out that she struggled with her bottle feeding Sunday night and all day Monday. The staff has tried several different techniques (reducing calories, changing length of time between feeds, waiting on her to wake up hungry to feed, etc.) to help her over the last few days. She's had moments of doing well, but she doesn't do it consistently. So, for now, the car seat study is on hold. Adelaide weighs 6lbs. 12oz.

Mattie continues to feed from the bottle when she cues that she wants to. If she's alert and is rooting around, then they will try to bottle feed her. She's done really well most of the time, but does have moments where she's not interested and can't take the whole bottle. She's making slow progress, and the therapist said that she is a "textbook" preemie when it comes to feeding. It takes a lot of energy for her to feed, so there are times when she's too sleepy to eat. Mattie has been weaned a little on her nasal cannula and weighs 5lbs. 3oz.

Andrew is doing really well. He had a great blood gas on Monday with his carbon dioxide levels in the 60% range. He now alternates on CPAP and nasal cannula every six hours. He sure does hate having the CPAP mask on though. His weekend nurse tried him on his first bottle on Sunday. He did pretty good for the first time. The staff now tries a bottle every twelve hours with him. He's slowly getting better. He gets very excited when he starts on the bottle, so they have to pace him. He starts sucking so fast, they have to take the bottle out of his mouth to give him a second to breathe. Andrew is 5lbs. 6oz.

The babies will be 3 months old tomorrow.
Finishing the nursery.
The call for a car seat study even though it hasn't happened. We got pretty excited.
Adelaide improving on her feeds.
Andrew's great blood gas.
Mattie improving on her bottle feeds.

Adelaide will consistently feed from the bottle without bradying, and her acid reflux would go away.
Mattie would continue to improve on bottle feeding and being weaned off her cannula.
Andrew's gases would continue to look good, and he would do well on the bottle and be weaned off the CPAP.
Andrew's slightly abnormal EKG would not lead to any complications. The girls EKGs were perfect.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, March 13

We hope everyone is having a good start their weekend. We're not looking forward to losing an hour of sleep tonight, but the good news is that Tara is on Spring Break next week and will get some much needed rest.

Adelaide was held from bottle feeding for 48 hours. The staff also started her on an antacid in addition to the relux medicine. On Friday, she took a bottle twice in the morning with no problems, but struggled with her bottles in the afternoon. Today, the staff is bottle feeding her for every feeding, and she has done really well. We're hoping the trend will continue. She weighs 6lbs. 9oz.

Mattie is holding steady and doing well on nasal cannula. She takes a bottle every other feeding, and yesterday she completed the entire bottle for the first time. She did it again once today. Mattie weighs 4lbs. 14oz.

Andrew is alternating between CPAP and nasal cannula. He recovered after last weekend's drop. He definitely enjoys being on nasal cannula more than the CPAP. His oxygen intake is still high, but we're thankful he's not on ventilation. Andrew now weighs 5lbs. 2oz.

Adelaide has taken all her bottles today with no issues.
Mattie is improving on her bottles.
Andrew read his first book today.
Spring Break for Tara.

Adelaide would continue to do well on the bottle.
Mattie would wean off nasal cannula.
They're getting EKGs this week to check their hearts. Pray the results are good.
Andrew's oxygen needs would lower.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday, March 10

We've had steps forward and steps back over the last few days.

Adelaide is struggling again with bottle feeding. She goes a day of good feeds, and then either cries while taking the bottle or is so tired that she falls asleep. The staff thinks it's acid reflux still, and she is on medication to help her. Yesterday was not a good day for her on the bottle, so the staff is going to hold all bottle feeds for 24 hours to see if she can get better. They're mixing a little bit of rice cereal with her milk to add some weight to it. They hope the weight will keep it in her stomach and not come up her throat. The good news with Adelaide is that she's off of nasal cannula and breathing without any help. She weighs 6lbs. 7oz.

Mattie has been doing really good. She's taking bottles every other feeding. A majority of the time, she takes most of the bottle. She does get tired and falls asleep because it takes a lot of energy for them to bottle feed. She weighs 4lbs. 9oz. We've been joking that wouldn't it be ironic if she passes Adelaide and goes home first. The little dynamite makes it home first.

Andrew has been struggling the past couple of days, but Sunday was really good for him. The staff tried him on nasal cannula in the morning, and he loved it. He slept five straight hours and had an awesome carbon dioxide level at 5:00 that evening. He started to labor that night, and the staff put him back on CPAP. They decided to alternate CPAP and nasal cannula on an eight hour and four hour shift. Last night, his blood oxygen levels dropped really low, and the staff had to put him on SIPAP to get him back up. When we left last night, his levels were better. He was at 36% oxygen this morning, but his carbon dioxide levels were up again. They're not super high, but elevated. We have to remember that the girls went through this back and forth too. So, we're hoping he gets settled, and they can try him on nasal cannula again soon. Andrew is 4lbs. 13oz.

Adelaide is off of nasal cannula.
All the babies are growing.
Mattie is doing well on her bottle feeds.
Andrew got a try on nasal cannula.

Please pray for some families we've met in the NICU. They're at a different hospital now, and their babies are going through a tough time. We ask that you pray for healing for Baby Taytem and Baby Tara. Pray for strength and encouragement for their parents and wisdom for the doctors and staff.
Pray that Andrew would settle his levels and stay on SIPAP. We don't want a return to ventilation. Pray that his lungs would clear, and he would be able to get back on nasal cannula.
Pray that Adelaide would be able to successfully and consistently feed from a bottle. This is her last step to go home.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Our First Family Picture

Check out the look on Adelaide's face on picture 3. As Tara pulled them in tighter, Adelaide looked at Mattie like, "who in the heck are you?"

Andrew - 10 Week Pictures

Mattie - 10 Week Pictures

Mattie is already borrowing Adelaide's clothes.

Adelaide - 10 Week Pictures

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday, March 4

It's hard keeping up with the updates when work is so busy. As an owner of my own company, it's a good thing to be busy though.

The babies have been doing really well lately. Adelaide has improved on her bottle feeding. She now weighs 6lbs! She's taking 3 bottles a day. Adelaide is still on nasal cannula and had her blood gas today. Her carbon dioxide levels were great. She also had her two week eye exam, which looked good.

Mattie is now 4lbs. 20z.! She was weaned off the SIPAP to the CPAP, and now to the nasal cannula in the last three days. It's great to see her face again. The SIPAP/CPAP has head gear and a big mask that covers a lot of their face. Her blood gas this morning was really good. The staff has been checking her carbon dioxide levels every time she moves off a machine. Her eye exam on Wednesday was good as well.

Andrew has weaned off the SIPAP and is on the CPAP. His next step is to move to nasal cannula. We're really happy for him. His carbon dioxide levels have been good since the move. He weighs 4lbs. 5oz. Andrew's eye exams went well on Wednesday too.

We're thankful for the weight gain on all three.
They're 11 weeks old tomorrow, but would be 37 weeks gestation.
Mattie weaning off SIPAP and CPAP.
Andrew weaning off SIPAP.
Adelaide's getting a butt.

Sustaining their low carbon dioxide levels.
Protection over their organs from steroids and oxygen intake.
Andrew moves to nasal cannula.
Adelaide takes bottles consistently