Thursday, October 29, 2009

5 weeks

What a crazy week! The kiddo's are back on track. :) Nich and Hailey have H1N1 and since they've visited the babies within a couple days of being sick, all three of the babies are isolation in the NICU room until Monday. They've moved them to the back wall and are following pandemic precautions to be safe. Everyone that comes on the back side of the room has to wear gowns, gloves, masks and eye glasses and change gowns between kids. The babies have all tested negative to H1N1 but have been started on Tamiflu for the next 10 days, again just to be safe. Nich and Hailey are feeling much better - Hailey only has a cough (which will probably last about 6weeks) and Nich has been fever free for 24 hours! I don't have any symptoms, but since I was in contact with Nich and Hailey, I can't visit the babies until Monday. That has been so hard! I know it's for the best and will follow all necessary precautions, but I miss them! The unit has been very good at making sure we get up to date information about H1N1 and nurses are providing updates on the kids.

Late pictures this week due to H1N1, but I called and got their weights! :)



Brennan Nicholas 1lb 13oz (birth weight 1lb 4oz)

Brennan had a good week overall. He was on minimal ventilator settings (until his bug yesterday) and the docs were planning to extubate him (take his breathing tube out) since he had already pulled it out himself. Monday he had a GI test to make sure everything flowed correctly and that tired him out breathingwise so, they decided to keep him on the vent and get him used to feedings instead. He started feeds on Tuesday 1ml every 3 hours and is tolerating them well! Yesterday he got a bug and was acting really sick so they stopped his feeds, but restarted them today! He's been our steady by sure one. He's been able to tolerate light the best and keeping his covers open for a couple minutes. I feel like we can have conversations just by looking at each other...he is so expressive! I can't say enough it is so amazing to see their eyes and connect with them! They are getting better eye control and I know he sees me through the isolette. I can't wait to hold them and show them how much we love them!



Landon James 1lb 15oz (birth weight 1lb 7oz)

Landon is a stinker...downright stinker! He has been the fiesty one, always swinging. They put him on a paralyzer (since he fought the JET ventilator), morphine drip and Ativan all to relax him. Well, now they want him to wake up a bit to start breathing with the ventilator and to start feeding. He's not too sure...a couple times he just clamps down and won't breathe. He won't let the vent breathe for him, thus his oxygen saturation drops, heart rate drops. The nurses have to stimulate him (tap his foot, talk to him, etc) to get him to relax enough to breathe. They even tried to bag him (pump breathes in through a bag) and the bag wouldn't deflate. He is such a strong little baby! We definitely have our hands full with this one alone! He had his GI test yesterday and passed with flying colors! He may get to eat tomorrow, if everything goes well! He's off his final antibiotic tomorrow. I know I wrote this with Brennan, but it is true for all three. I cannot express how excited I am to connect and see my kids looking at me! Now that Landon's getting less sedation, I can see him and love his spunky personality!



Brooklyn Danielle 1lb 12oz (birth weight 1lb 3.5oz)

Brooklyn has been the first on two things this week! First to eat and first to be on room oxygen air! She's breathing 21% oxygen on the conventional ventilator - that's huge news! She was also the first to eat breast milk. Brooklyn did not have to have the intestinal drains like her brothers so she didn't need the GI test. She and Landon do have lung problems and PIE so this is really good news that she is off the JET vent and on 21% oxygen! Our sweet girl is growing leaps and bounds! Tuesday after I fed her, I just watched her...amazed at all our miracles, how perfectly formed they are and how much spirit they have. God gave us strong fighters and a cheerleader in heaven.

Brennan, Landon and Brooklyn's progress has been bittersweet for me this week. Don't get me wrong I am SOOO proud of them and just adore them, but feel like something's missing. We have had our what-if's surrounding Katelyn's death, and it's been hard for me knowing I won't be able to do the exciting things with her as I'm doing with the other three. I know she's in heaven, not having to go through any of this pain, one day our entire family will be together. We won't have to worry about our health, just enjoying time with our Lord and each other! Keep us in your prayers! It's what helps keep us going!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Feeding time!!

Brookyln started on breast milk yesterday!! She is taking 1cc (1ml) per hour, every 3 hours. Not much at all, but it's a start! Brennan had a GI test yesterday to check for any strictures in his bowels because of having Necrotizing Entercolitis (NEC). They followed Barium through his digestive track and then checked for fluid back up via x-ray. During the test, my sweet boy had his first poop and it was a blowout! Guess everything's working fine! :) He was able to start feeds today, but don't have a picture of it. Landon will have an enema GI test tomorrow at 1pm. If all goes well he may start feeds tomorrow evening or Thursday.



Mommy feeding Brooklyn! Just above her head you can see a brown syringe. I just had to hold it upright so gravity carried the breast milk down her feeding tube. Took about 5 seconds, but I was thrilled!!! Her and Brennan eat every 3 hours at 12, 3, 6, and 9 around the clock. Brennan's was a little delayed since I did Brooklyn first. Not quite sure what I'm gonna do when we throw Landon in the mix! Definitely not a one person job!



We haven't been able to get many pictures of Brooklyn because she's so sensitive to light and touch, but today she was having a great day and I took advantage! :) She got off the JET ventilator and on the conventional and doing most of the work herself! She's breathing 21% oxygen, which is the same as room air! She has been making great progress, and so quickly!



Landon has been much more alert today. Yesterday he had a bug and was pretty lethargic, but he definitely turned around! He had his eyes open most of the day today and I was able to watch him move around and study his surroundings. Again, took advantage of a good day and snapped a pic! :)

Brennan had a great day too, just wasn't very photogenic. That's ok, picture day is Thursday! 5 weeks old and 28 weeks gestation!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy 4 Weeks Babies!

Cannot believe it's been 4 weeks!! In some ways it feels like it's gone by so fast, other times definitely feels longer. Well, without further adieu....pictures! (sorry for the delayed post..our camera died and Nich brought back the charger last night. Hailey wasn't doing the best, which made for a real quick visit-not even enough time to charge the camera battery).



Brennan Nicholas 1lb 11oz (birth weight 1lb 4 oz)

Brennan has been the wild man this week! On Wednesday night he pulled out his ET tube (breathing tube) and had to be reintubated. His nurse said it really wasn't very eventful and he did ok without it! The doctors decided to start to wean him off the ventilator if he can tolerate it and possible take him off early part of next week!!!! Now we know not to get too excited, the common phrase around here is "don't trust a preemie!" Things could change, but Brennan has been holding pretty steady on his ventilator settings and tolerating the weans well. One of the nurses showed us how to tell if the baby is breathing on his own and Brennan has been doing quite well! A couple instances we watched him breathe 2 vent cycles on his own then needed some help from the vent. She explained it like this: the vent is set for certain number of breaths per minute, say 35. If he breathes 20, the vent kicks in and helps with the other 15. If he can do 35 it won't need to help at all that cycle. His drain from his intestinal surgery came out this week as well. He still needs to poop, but everything else is looking good! He's doing so good! The doctor actually told Nich that Brennan was doing very good. This means so much to parents!! (remember when our kids only were described as critical, very sick and sick!?! :)



Landon James 2lb 3oz (birth weight 1lb 7 oz)

Landon has had an eventful week, with the pneumothorax last weekend and his cranial ultrasound came back with ventricles slightly bigger. He is recovering well, and his last chest x-ray came back showing improvement in his right lung of the PIE. Thursday he was switched to the conventional ventilator (removing the JET) and he's doing great! The JET vent was helping him oxygenate a little better than the conventional, but his settings were so low on the JET that they decided to try him on the conventional. Thankfully he hasn't gone back! Though the JET is good for him, it also causes more lung damage than the conventional vent so we're happy for him! So often on the JET he was fighting it and trying to breathe over it and he can take his own breaths on the conventional vent and boy is he ever! It's so amazing to watch his tiny little chest rise all on his own! They are such strong babies, it's awesome to see how far they've come!



Brooklyn Danielle 1lb 15oz (birth weight 1lb 3.5oz)

Our sweet Brooklyn has been making progress in another area - pooping! Today (I know not technically a 4 week update, but exciting none the less!) she had such a large poop that she desated (dropped her oxygen saturation) and her heart rate dropped a little. Apparently this was real tough for her to get out! Nurse wasn't thrilled to change her, but amazed her little body produced that much! We're in trouble with this one! :) She is still on the JET ventilator and needing a little help from Dopamine to keep her blood pressure up (boys have been off that med for quite a few days now!), but she wanted her own area to excel in! All the kids have been given diuretics to help with peeing off the extra fluid. Doesn't Brooklyn look so much better?! They have been weaning her ventilator, 1 wean a day as she's much more sensitive to change than the boys. She didn't use to be, but has recently become so. Hopefully she doesn't get spoiled from getting her way with her nurses! :)

All in all we've had a terrific week! I know not to let my smile get too big, but it is so good to get good news after all the ups and downs and instability we've had! We can't believe they're coming up on the time we thought they'd be born! In the next couple weeks we should see some really exciting changes - next week (28 weeks gestation) they can have their side covers of their isolette's open and once they're off antibiotics they can eat (probably next week as well)! I can't wait because I know how good the milk will be for them if they can tolerate it. It's Mama's Magic Milk! :) The doctor said it can help heal their lungs and Brooklyn and Landon will need that. We're feeling more and more like parents, getting to change diapers and getting closer to spending more time watching them. They have such distinct personalities and want to be shown love in different ways (Brooklyn, from a distance!). We're learning so much about them and can't believe in some ways that they're ours. We truly have been given a gift to watch our babies grow and see God working in their little bodies. This journey is one we will share over and over, giving praises for the work He has done and will do! I know I've said this before, but we are so thankful for all of your prayers, comments and notes of encouragement. We don't know how much of an impact these kids are having and how God is working through them. We are trying to really focus on seeing what God has in store for us, seeing each opportunity He has laid out for us. Everything happens for a reason, and He's given us such strength to get through what lies ahead. Thank you all for your love, prayers and support! When we're feeling overwhelmed, we know the body will be praying us through!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

leaves

Today Daddy and Hailey took time to have some fun together! Sometimes in life I focus on the chore instead of the fun of doing an activity. For the past three years I have to rack one million and one leaves. However, this year I realized I have a helper! Her smile and laughter brought tears to my eyes as she laugh and giggled as I put leaves in a pile and showed her how to jump in them. She loved every minute of it! Hailey is amazing on how she has is able to help me stay focused on the fun things in life and not worrying about what I cannot control!

Nich







Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quick update

Results of the latest cranial ultrasounds....Brennan has had no change in his IVH! Landon, on the other hand, has had a slight increase in the size of his ventricles. If you remember, the last ultrasound showed them slightly decreased so now they're back to the first increased size. They're not any bigger than they have been which is good news, but we thought things were trending down. All of the stress from the pnemothorax and blood pressure inconsistency last weekend probably caused the increase in his bleeds. We probably won't know what areas (if any) of their brain and development will be affected, so we're praying for the best!

Now for the great news...Brooklyn & Landon have pooped! Hooray! A body part is working correctly! :) Funny how the littlest things bring such joy! Landon has been off blood pressure medicine for a couple days and Brennan is almost off (on 2 out of 20 of Dopamine).

Monday, October 19, 2009

A balloon for Katelyn



A couple weeks ago one of Brennan's nurses, Debbie, suggested we send a note on a balloon to Katelyn. Hailey constantly talks about Katelyn, wondering where she is, how she's doing and wondering what she likes. She said Katelyn will tie the balloon to her baby bed. :) We decided today was the day to send her a balloon. We went to Dollar Tree to pick out a balloon and Hailey, knowing that Katelyn's favorite color would be pink, picked out a pink heart balloon. It was perfect. We wrote a note telling her we loved her and missed her. There is not a single day that goes by that I don't think of her. Wondering what she would be like, what she would look like and praying for Brooklyn and the loss of a twin sister.



Hailey and Daddy walking the balloon in the Nichols Arboretum where we decided to let the balloon go. It's right next to the Ronald McDonald house.



Hailey cried like she has never cried before and I was crying right along with her. She cried because she thought she was going to get to see her sister. She wanted to see Katelyn and give her the balloon. We felt horrible that we didn't make it clearer for her, but told her again that she was in heaven with Jesus and we let the balloon go so it could fly up and take our note to her (this way Katelyn would know who the balloon was from). As luck would have it, the balloon got stuck in the tree, making Hailey cry even more. She was so concerned that Katelyn wouldn't get her balloon. I told her she would get it, the wind would come and help it get to her. She asked if Katelyn would get it by herself or if Jesus would help her. I said of course Jesus will help her get it. She didn't think he could because he was a baby (she hasn't quite understood that Jesus grew up since Christmas), but his mommy would help Katelyn.



Holding each other as we both cried missing Katelyn. This was the first time I saw Hailey really cry out of sadness. It broke my heart that she hurt so bad. We cried and held each other as a family and I think this was really healing for all of us. After this, a group had dropped off "babies" in baskets with pillows and blankets for the kids at the Ronald McDonald house. Hailey named one Katelyn and took such good care of her all night. It's so hard as a mom, grieving the loss of my daughter while helping my other daughter through her own feelings. She is growing up before my eyes. She's so sensitive and I need to help her understand what she's feeling and get through it. Please keep Hailey in your prayers as she understands her feelings and mourns the loss of her sister. Even though Katelyn was just 3 days old, Hailey had been loving her since she found out she was going to be a big sister. It's been so hard on all of us, and not until today did I realize the real impact on Hailey. We miss you Katelyn!

First Video!

video

Here's our social butterfly! Thought you all would appreciate seeing our babies in action! :) When Brennan has his eyes open, he's ready to visit! I stood there for about 20 minutes just looking and talking to him. It's so fun now that they're getting so much bigger and more social! Can't wait to hold them!!!! The video's kinda long and loud, just ignore the talking and beeping in the background. The other kids have been pretty knocked out when I've checked on them. My goal is to get all of them on video and put something together. I love my kids!!! :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Prayers for Landon - UPDATE

With preemies things change on a dime...

We knew Landon didn't feel good for the last couple days, but the doc's just couldn't put their finger on it. Last night (Friday) we stayed at the hospital until 12:30am because something new kept happening. He has one of his favorite nurses taking care of him, she loves him like he's her own and we know he's in great hands. Even though he was maxed on his Dopamine (bp med) his blood pressure was fluctuating quite a bit. It'd go from a MAP number of 35 (ideal pressure) to 19 to 46 - really bouncing all around. He'd desat (his oxygen saturation percentage would lessen) and his heart rate was also high. This isn't a good combo. He already has Pulmonary Interstitial Emphysema (PIE for short) (along with Brooklyn), which adds stress on the heart and lungs. (you can click on the link for more info on PIE). Our Rocky fighter has been trying to breathe over the ventilator which makes him not receive all the benefits from the vent and tires his body out so while we were there they gave him a respiratory paralyzer so he would relax and use the support of the vent. His lungs aren't ready to function on their own without the vent, but some kids try to breathe on their own anyway. This worked for awhile and his oxygen saturation improved, however his bp got really high (50's). Unsure why, they ordered a chest x-ray. This showed worse PIE in the other lung so they rotated his body. We decided he was stable enough and went home for much needed rest. At 1:30am the doc's called letting us know he has pneumothorax, or collapsed lung, (again click on the link!) and they were going to remove some of the air under his lungs with a needle. They didn't think we needed to come up and promised to call if he got sicker. We got back to sleep. Called at 6am saying there was still air, and more of it, so they are going to insert a chest tube drain to try to get rid of the air, (same drain they used after their PDA heart surgery). He is doing well, they just need to get this air out. Again, they have promised to call if conditions change and didn't feel we needed to come to the hospital. We are confident in the doc's and know God is watching over him and guiding their hands. Please pray for Landon's recovery from this and that he gets much needed rest. Will update you if anything changes. I just wanted to get this info out for all you early morning prayer warriors!

----- UPDATE -----

Landon is doing ok. He's stable and his blood gases (measures oxygen levels, acidity and carbon dioxide levels) look surprisingly good! When they laid him on his side yesterday for the PIE, the lung hyper extended and allowed the PIE air pockets to burst, causing the pneumothorax (leaks in his lungs). During his last chest x-ray, it looked better, but his lung seemed overinflated. They lowered his ventilator settings which helped improve his blood pressure and heart rate. It's kind of a wait and see situation. It may take a couple weeks for his lungs to fully heal, but in the meantime they are monitoring his blood gases to make sure the rest of his body is receiving the right amount of oxygen and his organs are oxygenating well. Keep him in your prayers, we don't want him to get too worn out!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy 3 Weeks!

Happy 3 weeks Brennan, Landon & Brooklyn! This is such a big day for them! They are now at 26 weeks gestation and 3 weeks old. When they were born they had a 25% chance of survival, now they have an 80% chance. We're still not out of the woods, but they're so much stronger. These babies are so resilient! Today was photo day in NICU Room 1 - here's our superstars!



Brennan Nicholas 1lb 10oz (birth weight 1lb 4oz)

Brennan has had a really rough week. I posted about his scare on Saturday, and he is doing 110% better! His blood pressure is up, only on 1 medicine (out of 3) and only on a very small amount. When their blood pressure is up and stable they pee better. When we came up today, he had just peed his entire bed again. You'd never think someone that little could pee that much! It was all the way up to his shoulders! That's good, but wow! He is getting so much more personality - he's our calm, quiet one. We are so thankful! As far as medical updates go...he had his PDA ligation on Wednesday (had to match everyone else!). He's recovering really well, especially given how sick he was over the weekend. We just keep praising God for His healing hands on our babies! He had a cranial ultrasound, which came back with good news! The brain bleeds are slightly decreased - not a huge change, but at least a change in the right direction. Only time will tell how this will affect the boys. He is still on the conventional ventilator and doing quite well on it. He's hanging in there!



Landon James 1lb 14oz (birth weight 1lb 7oz)

Landon is still pretty feisty, but calming down a bit. As you can see, he's not restrained (at the moment!). Probably sedated! We joked with the nurses that we'll have to get prescriptions for Morphine and Ativan when we bring them home because they've been on it so much here! Tonight, Landon's nurse peeked in at him because he was making his monitor go off and he had both hands on his ET tube, most likely with a crazy look in his eyes! That's our boy! Always keeping people on their toes! It's so neat to see they each have such distinct personalities! Medically, Landon has had a great week. He did get the intestinal drain like Brennan (they both match now - PDA & drains) and that is slowly inching out. He did have a perforation of his bowel, and I believe he did have Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) or their just watching him for it (can't remember and I didn't write it in my notebook!). He did have the bile vomit and has been more lethargic this week. Also, a couple cranial ultrasounds ago, the ventricles in his brain appeared larger, but was not big enough to worry about. Yesterday they came back smaller and his bleeds slightly decreased as well. Way to go boys! He & Brooklyn will be given a diuretic to help them get rid of some of the fluid (he hasn't really gained 7oz of regular growth!). Hopefully it'll get them back down to size. All in all, a pretty stable week from Rocky! :)



Brooklyn Danielle 2lbs (birth weight 1lb 3.5oz)

Our sweet, plump Brooklyn...I tried to get a flattering picture, but just wasn't happening today! She had the PDA surgery on Friday and really swelled up after. It's been really hard for her to lose the fluid. Hopefully the diuretic will help get her back to size. There isn't any definition between her belly and her waist! She's had a slow recovery from the PDA ligation - she's been really limp and needed to go to the JET ventilator. (Landon was on it for a couple days) She seems to be responding well! Brooke's the closest to eating breast milk! On Monday, if she continues doing well, they'll assess her by following dye through her digestive track to make sure everything is in tact and flowing appropriately. Occasionally in babies that haven't had food in a long time, tissue forms near the stomach which would cause a back up. I know how good that is for them and can't wait until they're ready!!



I made this collage of their pictures at 1 week old and 3 weeks old. Their skin looks better and they're filling out. Looking more like babies every day! Our amazement continues as we watch them grow and mature. Never in a million years would we have expected to be in this situation, but we have been encouraged by all of you. God doesn't give us more than we can handle, and when it seems like it is, we need to remember to lean on His strength. We can't do this alone, but with His peace, calmness and strength. There's a song with the lyrics, "He gives us strength for today" that continuously plays in my head. (preggo brain still can't remember the rest of the song!) Reassuring me that we can get out of bed each day, go to the hospital and just love those babies. He gives us physical, emotional and mental strength to endure all of their ups and downs, taking one day at a time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Random big sister pics!

Hailey came to visit and we got batteries for the camera! :)



Hailey is in charge of our room key. I know, probably shouldn't leave it in the hands of a 3 year old, but she's so careful and being a great help! She carries the key on her ankle - we can always hear her coming! This particular night, she insisted on opening the door with they key still on her leg. Not very effective, but so amusing!



Playing in the waiting room at the hospital. We can only peak in at the babies every once in a while, so we hang out in the waiting room a lot of the day too. With them so fragile, we don't want to be too far if they need anything! Hailey put together a rabbit puzzle - thanks Aunt Sherrie!!



Proud big sis after making bears for her brothers and sister! She got an outfit for her bear too - surprise...a sleeping beauty costume!



Princess Hailey coloring a picture for Katelyn. Last night we made build a bears for Brennan, Landon and Brooklyn and one of nurses suggested Hailey color a picture and we send it to Katelyn on a balloon. It's a pic of Wonderpets colored different shades of pink and she wants it tied to a pink balloon. She thinks Katelyn will tie the balloon to her pink blanket and put her picture on the wall in her bedroom. Her imagination is so precious.

Build-a-Bear pics and Hailey's visit to the hospital pics coming soon! Stay tuned! Oh and those eye opening pics from the last post that I promised! (I can write the blogs at the hospital, but all the pictures are on my computer back at the Ronald McDonald house...that's why pics are always delayed!)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

If it's not one, it's the other...

The babies change everyday, if not every hour! Here's an overall update. All babies have their PICC line which can be used longer than the lines through their umbilical cords for medication, manage blood pressure and other goodies. This is a huge accomplishment! It goes in a vein from either their leg or their arm to their heart. Brooklyn and Brennan are through their leg and Landon is through his arm (pretty sure! I might have to go down and look at them to make sure!) Each of the babies have also opened their eyes! Brooklyn was first (10/7), Brennan second (10/8) and Landon last (10/9). We took pics last night of everyone, but haven't got them uploaded to the blog. Check back! :)

Landon is now our superstar! He's hanging in, really steady. He's keeping us sane right now! :) He's so fiesty he had to be in a 5-point harness! His arms and legs are always flailing and touching tubes and leads that he shouldn't be. Today I got to change his diaper! His nurse let me do it all by myself! When I first opened it up he was still peeing...I'll definitely have to get used to having boys! :) Another bonus - I got to hold his hand (well he held my finger) to calm him down and just show him some love. He had a white-knuckled grip on my finger!! Not sure if it's his because he didn't want me to go or because I bothered him! :)

Brennan is now the one they're most worried about. The last 2 days he has gotten progressively sicker. Yesterday his blood pressure was so low. He was maxed on his Dopamine and Dubutamine (blood pressure meds) then they added Epineferin to try to get it up. It was still hanging low and the docs weren't sure what was causing it. He hasn't had any new infections and his PDA is moderately open (rather than really open like his siblings). We woke up this morning to a message from the doctor saying he was critical and we needed to come as soon as possible. They thought he was in renal faliure because he hadn't peed much at all. They thought he wouldn't make it and we were trying to prepare ourselves for losing him. We called our church and family to start the prayer warriors early - God is in control. The docs said they were reaching the maximum medically that they could do, but we have God in our pocket! :) He had the best nurse, we were worried when we got to the hospital, but after seeing who was taking care of him, we were so at ease! We all were praying and watched another miracle take place! God is sooooo good! His blood pressure started rising and he started peeing! Never been so excited for pee and higher blood pressure!! The heart surgeons and gut surgeons are following him and said they probably need to act this weekend. They're just not sure what is wrong. He had an abdomenal ultrasound to see if he had dead bowel that needed to be removed or fluid build up, but that's not the case. This morning the heart surgeon said he wanted to make sure all other reasons were explored before jumping to the PDA surgery because he was so sick. He has taken a major turn for the better! He still may need some type of medical intervention, but the nurses are able to wean him off some of the blood pressure medicine and he has been peeing consistently. Horray!!

Brooklyn is such a trooper! She had her PDA surgery yesterday and pulled through great. She is pretty swollen from the surgery and they are really wanting her to pee to get rid of some of the fluid. In the last 24 hours she had a larger breathing tube put in (with the smaller breathing tube, there was extra oxygen just coming right back out her mouth), PDA surgery and a PICC line inserted. She has had major surgery and is in recovery. They said she'd perk up in a couple days. She's hanging in there!

We are so thankful for all of your encouragement and prayers! God is our strength - there's no way we could handle this on our own! Each day with these little guys is such a blessing and we have witnessed so many miracles. Our faith is so strong! Our babies have such great care, but medicine only goes so far, as Brennan showed us today. God is in control and steady. Our babies are weak, but God is their strength. We hold on to this. Thank you all for EVERYTHING you have done and all the support you have given, from the bottom of our hearts. We are so grateful!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

2 weeks today!

Happy 2 weeks to our babies!!! :)

Here's pictures that I'm sure you all have been waiting for! Thanks to Britt for lightening them so you can actually see their faces!







Brooklyn Danielle Pollak, 1lb 8oz. (Birth weight 1lb 3 1/2 oz).

Brooke is our eye opening superstar! Her eyes cracked open yesterday afternoon and I was the lucky one to discover it! Today they are all the way open and absolutely beautiful. Yesterday I was saying goodbye because Nick & Britt were waiting in the waiting room, and when I peeled back her isolette curtains, she was looking at me! I just stood there with tears streaming down my face out of love and joy. It was so amazing to connect with her, I can't wait to see the boys! She has been through quite a bit over the last 2 days - her blood pressure and oxygen saturation have been really rocky and she's really keeping her nurses on their toes! This rockiness is because she needs the same surgery Landon had 10/3. It's called a PDA ligation. We thought today was her lucky day, but she got bumped to tomorrow. She's supposed to be the 2nd case tomorrow. That could mean anywhere from late morning to early evening. I'll be waiting, cheering her on!





Landon James Pollak 1lb 12 oz (Birth weight 1lb 7 oz)

Landon is nicknamed "Rocky." Even though he's small, he can throw a mean right hook! Whenever the nurses change his bedding (which is quite a lot since he keeps peeing an ocean on his bed!) they lift him up and he's swinging! He hasn't clocked anyone yet, but he's quite a fighter. Landon has been pretty finicky, he lets his nurses know when he's not happy and shows them he can make his monitor light go off to get that attention! He has been off Dopamine (a blood pressure med) for 2 days - we're just not telling him! :) He did get the same drain Brennan got earlier that week and today they found something growing in it. What was growing is resistant to one of the antibiotics so they had to change up his medicine. Both Brennan & Landon are on a clinical drug trial called Meropenen (I think I spelled that right). This will help with their gut infections. We feel this is a really safe med, it is used in adults and children, just hasn't been approved for preemies. They are keeping a really close eye on them and this study will help the FDA pass the drug treatment for little babies that need it. With Landon, the docs are also worried about his IVH. Both boys have this, Landon's is significantly bigger than Brennan's. All babies are getting Cranial Ultrasounds every couple days to monitor the changes. Landon's preliminary results showed the bleeds to not have changed. His ventricles are slightly bigger and the docs are consulting with Neurosurgery to see what the plans are for him. This is not something that will happen anytime in the near future (meaning the next couple days!), just keeping an eye on it. They ordered daily head circumference measurements to keep an eye on the growth.





Brennan Nicholas Pollak 1lb 5 oz (Birth weight 1lb 4 oz)

Brennan is our tiny consistent one! We need that right now! Over the course of a day, Brennan now has the least amount of changes. Sometimes his oxygen saturation dips, but he generally fixes himself. Surprisingly, he hasn't gained much weight, but the docs aren't concerned. I already mentioned quite a bit above with Landon that applies to both boys - Cranial Ultrasounds, intestinal drains, head circumference measurements, Meropenen. The nurses joked they might move them so they don't copy each other! Once I looked at their monitors to find everything identical! Luckily it was good identical! They can copy each other all day long if it keeps them stable! Brennan is still on the conventional ventilator and doing pretty good on it still! Way to go buddy!

It's so amazing to see them and know they're our little blessings! They are absolutely beautiful! Hailey is obsessed with being a big sister and seeing those babies - I think she see's right through all their tubes and lines and just sees them. That's what we try to do too. I know I talked to many people while I was pregnant about being really nervous to see them with all their tubes, but now I just look at them in awe. They are so beautiful to us, Landon's big head and all! :) We are developing individual relationships with them, and just love to look at them. We are so thankful every single day for our miracles, no matter what we're going through now or the road ahead. I can't imagine anything else! :) It's amazing how God prepares our hearts for what's in store. He can get us through anything if we keep seeking Him. We want to thank EVERYONE for their prayers, cards, emails and notes of encouragement. God is using you to help lift us up and give us strength. We are so thankful for each one of you and your generous hearts! We've never felt so strong and loved! :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Landon's turn - UPDATE

Landon pulled through just fine - he's our little trooper! Been through so much! Apparently this surgery is a quick and somewhat routine by the sounds of it. It doesn't take the doctors very long to do it, or decide to do it. After we were checking on him and the nurse opened the side of the isolette and let me hold him with both my hands. I just love to touch them and it's so special because we can't do it very often. Saturday we got to kiss Brooklyn & Brennan - that was great too! We were grinning from ear to ear on our way out! :) Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement. I really get encouraged reading your emails, comments and cards. Each one of you are so important and helping us get through this tough time. Praises for these miracles!

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Just a quick update - Landon is having the same surgery as Brennan did on Friday. He threw up buile a little bit ago and the docs acted really quickly. They are doing the surgery in the NICU in a couple minutes. Brooklyn has a yeast infection as well as her bacteria infection in her blood. They determined it's not pneumonia, but a blood infection. Please pray for us too, personally I'm feeling really overwhelmed and ready for a quiet day. Lord, go before my baby! He is still recovering from his last surgery, but our faith is in You.

Friday, October 2, 2009

1 week, 1 day update

I missed the 1 week posting, but all these pictures are from yesterday! I wanted to make sure everyone saw to pray for Landon this morning. Let's get down to business!

We are so proud of our little babies. They are really fighting. We're amazed all the time with the dedication of the nurses and the love they are showing our kids. I know this post is right after the other update, but big sister Hailey was really worried about them. She actually was crying on the phone tonight and wanted to talk to and see her babies. I love her! So, big sister, these pictures and updates are for you! Your babies are doing great and miss you (so does Mommy and Daddy!!)







Brennan is back up to his birth weight and our little trooper. He's doing really well after surgery - his issue was his bowels. Funny thing: He gets the hiccups so often! He and Hailey bonded because she likes it when she gets them too! :)





Our big boy! He has been so strong! At first we thought he was a stinker, but giving all that he's gone through he is a fighter!!! Now that his blood vessel is closed, his lungs, kidney's and blood pressure should adjust. They used a titanium clip so the doc assured us he's ok to go through a metal detector! :) He's also up to his birth weight! Funny thing: he pees all over the bed all the time and the nurses said he had a speedo diaper on because he is getting big for his diapers :)





Our sweet little girl. She is so calm and stable. She has been able to tolerate changes the best. Now that they're all in the same room, they sometimes gang up on the nurses, but Brooke has such a sweet look when she gets her attention. :) Funny thing: she waves to Hailey!



Hooray for a bin full of breast milk!! They should be ready to eat in 8 days! :)

Surprise! - UPDATE

He came out with flying colors!!!!! PRAISE GOD for 2 healthy recovering boys! I can't describe how relieved we are and so thankful! God is good all the time. We asked Brooklyn's nurse to keep her isolette blanket on so she couldn't get jealous of her brothers having surgery and act up! :) They did do a xray on her lungs and saw a spot they were suspicious of pneumonia so they are treating her for that. They took a culture and we won't know for a couple days, but they put her on medication for it just in case. THANK YOU for all your prayers and encouragement - God works miracles and we are seeing them everyday!!

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We don't yet have an update on Landon...we waited for quite a while for surgery. It just started at 5:15pm. He has been a rock star on his conventional ventilator! They're not going to leave him there long, but he was pretty stable and gaining strength. Keep praying!!! The surgery should last about 2 hours.

The surprise is Brennan just had surgery and all went well. He's the big brother and had to squeeze a surprise surgery in before his brother. Brennan had a small perforation in his bowel. They put in a drainage tube to allow the extra air in his abdomen to vent. They may need to do more surgery down the road, but for now he sailed right through surgery! The docs are concerned about possible Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Hopefully he perks up tomorrow morning, but they are pretty confident this drainage will help quite a bit.

Pray for Landon - UPDATE

UPDATE - They can't do the surgery with him on the JET ventilator so they need to switch him again (he moved to the JET at 7pm last night). He needs to be on a conventional ventilator like the one Brennan and Brooklyn are on, but he couldn't stabilize on it last time. They'll wean him onto the conventional ventilator this morning and hope he takes it well. This just creates one more hurdle for him, but they're hopeful he'll make a good transition and be ready for surgery this afternoon. He had a really good night last night - they best yet! Pray he's got the strength for the surgery after the ventilator switch!

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We get updates EVERY hour it feels like! We just visited the babies for the evening and talked to the neonatologist. After reviewing Landon's echocardiogram, that blood vessel we mentioned yesterday is affecting his blood pressure quite a bit. Last night and today it has bounced from doing good, spiking high and dropping low. They're concerned and want to do the surgery clip the blood vessel or ductus arteriosus that we thought was doing ok. The doctors haven't given us a time yet, but we're expecting sometime early tomorrow morning. The surgery will take about 2 hours and since Landon isn't strong or stable enough to move to an OR they are turning our NICU room into the OR. They will shut it down for visitors and do the procedure right in his isolette. He has definitely been a fighter and been through so much. Please pray he stays strong and makes it through this surgery! It's a minor surgery, but major for such a little guy. The doc's are hopeful this will resolve some of his blood pressure, lung and hemorrhage issues. We will keep every updated as soon as we learn the results. God, our baby is in Your Hands!