Wednesday, September 29, 2004

A Day at the Spa

Today Ruthann treated both of the girls to a day at the "St. Joe's Spa." They both got baths and were dressed in their first little outfits to surprise me when I came in. They were so cute I started crying the moment I looked at them! Eden and I also had our first attempt at breastfeeding and she surprised us all with how well she did. The bonding experience was amazing for both of us.

Holland has had a rough couple of days with a bout of what seems to be pneumonia. She started taking antibiotics and had a blood transfusion yesterday and was already looking and acting better today. Eden went through the same thing when she was back on the vent, and I am hopeful that Holland will respond as positively and catch back up in no time.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Another Try

On Friday night both girls came off the CPAP and tried the cannula for an hour while we held them. That was a LOT of fun because we got to see their cute little faces and kiss their heads while we held them. They both did pretty well, but Holland had a more difficult time. Eden was a little champ! On Saturday morning they both had blood gasses drawn, and Holland's CO2 was elevated so they reintubated her (put her back on the ventilator). Her doctor did a thorough examination of her nose and said that one side is pretty inflamed and it looks like she may not be getting much air through. That's most likely the reason for the elevated CO2. We don't think she will need to be on the ventilator for long, probably not even a week. She'll stay on it just long enough for her nose to heal and get her breathing a bit easier. Holland is gaining weight better now and is up to 2 pounds 1 ounce.

Eden is attempting the cannula for an hour every twelve. So far she has done really well and seems to like it. In fact, she gets really mad at her nurse when they put her back on the CPAP! Gradually they will increase the time that she spends on cannula as long as she tolerates it well. Eden weighed in on Friday night at a whopping 2 pounds 5 ounces.

Their nurse took these pictures while the girls were on cannula. We were amazed at how much alike they look now! Eden seemed so much darker at birth, but now it looks like she has a lighter complexion. I'm sure they will continue to change as they grow...

Thanks so much for the offers of help. We really are doing okay and there's nothing specific I can think of that we need. Just keep us in your thoughts and hopefully we'll see you at the shower!
We love you all.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Another Milestone Behind Us

Great news this morning...Holland weighs 2 pounds!!!! Eden is up to 2 pounds 4 ounces, chubby little thing. John and I had a really nice visit with our babes last night and left the hospital in good spirits.

Holland has been having some ups and downs with her breathing and CO2 levels and her doctors have been putting their heads together trying to generate new ideas. They have thrown around the idea of putting her back on the ventilator for a little while to give her a break. That might help her to gain weight and get rid of some of the air in her belly from the CPAP, but it is not as good for her lungs in the long run. As of now, we are just in the "wait and see" mode. So everyone say extra prayers for Holland over the next few days that she will rally (once again) to get past this hurdle so we can move on and get her off the CPAP for good! Those CPAP's are such a pain! I can't wait to see their little heads again.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

One Foot in Front of the Other

Last night Holland and Eden weighed in at 1 lb 15 oz, and 2 lbs 3 oz respectively. Eden is back off the ventilator for a third attempt at CPAP. We think she can do it this time!

After 53 days in the NICU progress continues slowly but surely, but unfortunately with no end in sight. I can't complain much because both girls are doing so well, but I must admit that the long haul is starting to take it's toll emotionally. I've always liked the quote "If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger." Well, if it's true I should be one tough cookie by the end of this!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Yay Eden!

Hi everybody! Great news...Eden weighs 2 lbs!!!!!!!!! Plus 1/2 an ounce.

Holland is still at 1 lb 14 oz and isn't gaining quite as fast as we'd like. To help them out a bit I have started separating their milk into foremilk and hindmilk. The hindmilk is higher in fat and calories so we will give them that over the next few weeks to help them get nice and plump.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Yay Holland!

Holland tried out the oxygen cannula tonight and did a great job! That means that she was off of the CPAP and breathing on her own with just oxygen. It took her a little bit to get used to the idea, but once she got settled she seemed to like it just fine and lasted the full two hours. For now the plan is that she will be on the CPAP for 10 hours, then the cannula for 2 hours, until she gets strong enough to go to the cannula full time. She also gained a little weight and is up to almost 1 lb 14 oz.

Eden had a good day today as well and is up to 1 lb 15 oz. Both girls are becoming much more social lately and are waking up more to look around, especially when I'm there. Got to hold both of them tonight for a good cuddle. I sure needed it after my first long day back to work!

Friday, September 10, 2004

A Little Setback

Eden had a little setback last night and is now back on the ventilator. She was having the same problem as last time with her CO2 being too high. Her doctors have assured us that we shouldn't worry, that she probably just needs a little more time. So we'll wait to see how she does over the next couple of days, then we will try again. Both girls were weighed yesterday...Holland is up to 1lb 12oz, and Eden is 1lb 14oz. A couple oz more and we'll be joining the 2 pound club! The babies were keeping their nurses hopping today by using their tongues to push out their feeding tubes. Not a good thing when you are in the middle of a feed...Eden. Their nurse Jeanie got a funny picture of Holland caught red handed with the end of the feeding tube in her hand.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Together Again

Hi everybody! We're so happy to report that Holland and Eden have had a couple of really good days recently. To top it all off, tonight I got to hold them both at the same time!!!!!!!! It was the first time that the three of us have been together since I was pregnant. I spent the first 10 minutes crying. Then I sang them some songs, rubbed their backs, and listened to their simultaneous hiccups. They made these cute little squeeks, first Holland then Eden. It was so amazing. I had to keep peeking under the covers to look at their little backs cuddled up next to each other. They are both making a lot of progress.

Eden is back on CPAP and doing well. It's a good thing they got that breathing tube out today before she pulled it out herself! She's been pretty feisty recently and is getting good with her hands. On Monday she pulled her feeding tube out 5 times! She's also been liking to suck and bite on things in her mouth and was really chewing on her tube and pacifier. She was wide awake and gave us several big smiles last night. We stood around her isolette watching and laughing at her for a good while. What a cutie!

We had a little infection scare with Holland on Sunday night. She had a positive blood culture, but since then repeat cultures have been negative. She has caught up to Eden with full feeds on breastmilk, and has gained some noticeable ounces over the past 2 or 3 days. Thank goodness! She needed a little meat on those bones. Holland taught Mommy a good lesson today on diaper changing. Lesson: One must wait to change the diaper until the baby is finished going...three diapers later and all new bedding and we were back on track!

Thanks again for all of your wonderful comments. Daddy (aka John) and I really enjoy reading them! Love to you all...
Billie (aka Mommy)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Cruising Along

Wow...A lot has happened since the last update. Sorry to all of you who check in everyday! Holland and Eden are both doing okay, but both have had their ups and downs over the past couple of days. Holland is cruising along with her breathing. She is now on CPAP and breathing well on her own. She was on room air all day today and wasn't needing much extra oxygen. Her biggest issue as of late has been nutrition. Her triglycerides have been running high so they had to stop her lipids. She started feeding again and has been doing okay on 2 cc's of breastmilk every three hours. She'll probably stay on that for a couple of days to make sure she can handle it. She has been having some problems with high levels of direct bilirubin and her doctors are hoping that the breastmilk will be enough to help bring that down. Unfortunately the down side to difficulties with nutrition has been that Holland is looking very scrawny, like a baby bird that has fallen out of the nest. We don't let her looks fool us though. We know that she is a LOT tougher than she looks!

Eden was doing really great over the past couple of days, but had quite a rough day today. It started last night with a lot of secretions in her nose and mouth making it difficult to breathe. She had a pretty scary bradicardia episode last night while her Mom, Dad, and Aunt Laura were there. Today her CO2 levels were much too high and they ended up having to put her back on the ventilator. Much of the day was spent figuring out the appropriate settings to help her get rid of some of that carbon dioxide. When we left the hospital tonight she was starting to look better. On the bright side, the CPAP was making her nose pretty sore and being on the vent will give it time to heal. After giving her a couple of days to rest we'll try the CPAP again. Eden is starting to look like a little chub, isn't she? She is up to full feeds and isn't getting any more IV nutrition. She's up to a full 1 pound 10.5 ounces!