Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brennan's rolling over!

It's official! It comes with a video! :) Sunday Brennan rolled over from his belly to his back and yesterday from his back to his belly!!! He still has some kinks to work out, but man he loves to practice! Enjoy!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

March for Babies

A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated to help our family raise money for March of Dimes!! We were absolutely blown away! We were feeling courageous and got everyone ready for their first day at church (we had a meeting for helpers after) and were hoping to walk in the March for Babies. We left our driveway only 3 minutes late and with our sanity! Felt pretty good! :) Grandma & Grandpa met us at church and came over to hang out after. They had lots of fun with the babies!

Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate and we didn't want to risk the babies getting sick so we headed home. We really really wanted to walk, but it was raining on and off the entire morning.

Our family (almost!) Brennan, Daddy, Landon (teddy bear), Hailey, Brooklyn and Mommy. We had the memory glass ball from Katelyn's ashes. Closest we could get to a family picture.

Brennan sporting his onesie!

Landon wore his too! He promises to be at next year's!

My work put together a team for March of Dimes and we had shirts made in honor of our babies and in memory of Katelyn. The t-shirt company donated onesies for the babies and a t-shirt for Hailey. We are so thankful, the shirts will be such a memory for us.

Here's the back - the hand prints and footprints are actual size. I can't believe how small they were! They're 7 months old now and have grown leaps and bounds! Today Brennan creeped a couple steps and rolled over from his belly to his back!!!!!! More on that tomorrow hopefully! :) Of course, we grabbed the camera but the memory card was full! By the time it was ready the excitement was already over. Nich promises to try to get a video tomorrow!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A sweet day with Hailey

Tonight Hailey and I had such a great night! I picked her up from day care and we went out to dinner, just the two of us! :) We went to Full Moon, a family restaurant in Albion that Hailey had only been to once before. She loves the moon and I thought it'd be a perfect surprise! They didn't have any space decorations, but there was a moon on the sign! We decided to eat at the bar (not really a bar in a family restaurant, just the place people usually wait for to-go orders). Hailey picked the place. As we were deciding what we should eat, we were just having a conversation - how did she get this big?! She told the waitress she wanted eggs and bacon - scrambled eggs and cranberry juice. Cranberry juice?! That's Hailey - she always surprises us! We just talked and laughed and really had a great time!

After we headed in to town to pick up a couple things, including Bob & Orange! She did really good picking things out, reasoning whether or not we should get something. I've taught her well to buy on sale! :) Towards the end of our shopping trip (yep she waited til the end and didn't pester the entire time!) she was getting so excited to pick up her fish! Whenever they die we flush them to their vacation! Mighty clever, I think! :) Well, she apparently got a call today that they were ready to come home and we needed to go to Meijer to pick them up! She was cracking up the fish guy, saying hmmm...I don't remember if he had black on his tail. I don't remember if he was bigger or not...She's hilarious! We finally picked out the right ones and were headed home.

Hailey showing off Bob & Orange! :) She's so goofy!

On the way there's a park she always wants to go to but it's not the best area and there's hardly any little kids toys so she agrees to go to the other park another time. She asked me if I went there when I was little, I said I didn't live her when I was little - I lived with Nana and Papa in another city. She asked where she would live. I said she could live anywhere she wanted to (but hopefully by Mommy & Daddy!) and she responded. "Well, God hasn't told me where I should live yet." Later that night I told her I was proud of her for improvising an activity because of her cast and she said, "Yep, God made me to be able to do it!" That is so true! How easy it is for a child to understand and have complete faith! I was just so proud of her and so impressed with her understanding. Today she was a reminder to me that God is in control, we aren't, the doc's aren't. God is. We should be praying and seeking his direction and we should be giving him all the glory for making us his beautiful, miraculous creation. Thanks for your precious words Hailey!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

March for Babies!

I'm sure all of you saw the sidebar raising money for March of Dimes and a HUGE thank you to those who have donated! And one last ask for help! Our local walk is Sunday and we're planning to be there with Hailey, Brennan and Brooklyn! Landon promised he'd make it next year! In preparation for the walk, I wanted to tell you a little bit about March of Dimes and why it's so important to us...

Our micro-preemies who wouldn't have had a chance of survival even a few years ago!

March of Dimes invested $26.8 million dollars in 2008 to new research grants to better understand and eventually prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Our kids have benefited tremendously by their research and could have benefited more by new research. The medicines that helped stop (postpone) my contractions were developed in part from March of Dimes. The surfactant that helped speed up their lung development before and after their birth - yep March of Dimes. The treatment of many of their complications during the early weeks. I found this list on their website and thought I'd share - it shows just how miraculous our babies are and how important treatment is. If you want to learn more, check out the website at www.MarchofDimes.com.

Medical complications common in premature babies:
Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) - check x4
Apnea - check x3
Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH) - check x2
Patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) - check x3
Necrotizing entercolitis (NEC) - check x2
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) - check x3 (or 4 if you count Brennan's repeat!)
Anemia - check x3
Chronic lung disease (BPD) - check x3
Infections - check x lots!

We are so grateful for everyone's thoughts, prayers, and encouragement during this incredible journey! We're so thankful for the NICU staff and March of Dimes and all that has been done to give our babies the best chance! Check back this weekend for pics of our family and the awesome t-shirts my work has put together! Keeping you in suspense! :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Brennan's Home!! (again!)

Our little man made his second grand exit Monday night and headed back home! This time with a little more equipment - a feeding tube (the yellow cord out his nose and around his car seat). Not bad at all when you think of what Landon will cart home with him! :)

Brennan Nicholas 10lbs 1oz - fits a little better in his car seat!

Saying good bye to Landon - better not be too far behind! They both seem real intersted don't they!?! They look so alike when they're sleeping!

One of Brennan's primary nurses Ann. She took excellent care of Brennan both times he was in! He'll miss you so much!

Ceremonial Big Bird picture. It was sad, we were so excited for him to come home, but unfortunately I had to bring him home by myself. Daddy was home with Brooklyn and missed all the fun!

Boy she missed her brother! Just look at that grin! They're about an ounce different in size. Brennan's just scrunched down. Brooke's showing off her made development skills!

Hmm...maybe not quite sure about him anymore...

Getting ready to visit mom! I had to take them both to Brennan's follow up eye appointment in Beaumont since Nich had to work that night. He drove them to my work and we switched! SOOO thankful for my mom meeting me there!

He just looks so peaceful! We're so happy to have him home! He came home with the feeding tube, but since has taken every feed by bottle except the 2 right after his eye appointment. They dialted his eyes and made him pretty sleepy. Between all the kids, we've got at least one appointment everyday this week and 4 next week! We hit the ground running! Just one more baby....hopefully soon!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Landon's got a visitor

Got another chance to upload some more pictures!! These are from before Landon's last surgery.

Landon's big boy bed! He looks so tiny!

Yep, that's a smile! My handsome little man!

Just hanging out, he is so sweet!

Brooklyn came to visit before his big surgery. I think she was trying to give him a pep talk.

There's kinda a resemblance, right?! If Landon wasn't 2lbs bigger!

Sibling love!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hailey's hospital turn!

Man oh man! So just to add to our crazy life...Friday night Hailey broke two little bones just above her wrist. She was playing with friends at a kids play place in Chelsea, having tons of fun when she got out of her chair, tripped on her beloved green blankie and fell right on the cement floor. She cried just a little bit when it happened, they saw that her arm was wavy and that bones were out of place, called us and took her right to the U. Nich and I had just switched Brooklyn at home, he went to work and Brooke and I were just going to hang out, but instead we drove back to Ann Arbor! Thankfully we picked up a friend on the way to help with Brooklyn and trekked on in.

When we got there, she and Josh were hanging out in the ER. Hailey had told all her nurses that she was a big sister and about all her babies. She always says she has 2 brothers in the hospital, 1 sister home and 1 sister in heaven. She is so sweet!! Most people don't know how to respond. One said "Oh I'm sorry." It's ok, Hailey's getting through it, it's her way of keeping Katelyn with us and she's ok.

She had eaten a couple crackers before she fell, so they had to wait 4 hours before giving her sedation! They moved us into a bigger ER room where they were going to fix her wrist. She watched them put in her IV even though the patient support was doing a great job trying to keep her distracted. She didn't even flinch! I think the babies get their strength from her sister too! A little after 10 they started her sedation and I stayed with her until she was out. While the sedation was kicking in she got a little scared because of the side effects. It was so hard, I think harder being there with her than the babies during their complications. She wasn't in pain, but she still knew what was going on and was so strong. We read books, colored (very creatively - thanks to Brittney!) and watched movies while we waited. Annette and Josh helped take care of Brooklyn so I could focus on Hailey.

They rebroke her arm, held it upright and wrapped it with a plaster splint. The xrays looked like they were able to align her bones straight as an arrow! We'll go back next week for a real cast. Here's some pics! These are from my phone...laptop will be fixed on Tuesday! Thanks Kate!

As she was waking up. It's the only picture I could get with the splint. She wasn't crying, her eyes were just watering from the sedation.

Fully awake! That's our Hailey! :)

When she was fully awake she got her rainbow popsicle did great! By the time we were discharged, Brooklyn needed to eat again so we went up to the NICU and let Hailey visit the boys while I fed Brooke. It was a really long night, but thanks to GREAT kids and GREAT friends it was as smooth as possible! I'll take more pics of her in her cast...it isn't slowing her down at all!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ganging up already!

This video is from February, but just got a chance to post it! Here's our turkeys ganging up on me! :) We so miss being at home!!

Landon's Extubation! - update #2!

Here's my miracle baby boy!! Not the best picture, but you can see his cannula! He's on high flow which is a little different than before. It's a cross between cannula and CPAP. It gives him higher peep (pressure flow). He's at 4 liters and regular low flow cannula only goes up to 2 liter. (Brooklyn came home on 1/8 liter and before surgery Landon was on 1/4 liter. Just to give you reference.) Also, the docs and nurses are quite impressed (and surpised!) that they didn't find a floppy trachia, called Tracheomalacia. Almost all 23weekers that were on a ventilator as much as Landon do have Trachemalacia and need a Trach. We're not! :) God is good!

He did it!! Landon's on CPAP and his airway looks great! No more swelling! I always get so worried about him, he has so much going against him, but God is so faithful and guides him through! To God be the glory, Landon always waits until there's no other explanation!

Landon finally pooped Monday night and has pooped every assessment since! (every 3 hours!) They took him down for a lower GI and gave him an enema, which did the trick! They found no obstruction and opened the poopy flood gates! Now about his airway...he's going down this morning to the OR to be extubated! He's had 3 really good sprints (take off the vent support with his breathing tube still in to see how he does) Monday and Tuesday, so here goes! The reason they want to do it in the OR is to do a bronchoscopy at the same time to get a good look at his airway. They had trouble reintubating last week because his esophagus was really swollen. The goal is to get off the ventilator, but if not they'll put his breathing tube back in. Worse case scenario, if his esophagus is swollen and floppy, it may not stay open so they'd do an immediate Tracheotomy. We're praying he does great and that his airway is strong!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Girly Girls!

Growing up I was NOT a girly girl. I think that's why I've been blessed with one! :) Here's some cute pictures of the girls!

Grandma mailed Hailey this skirt & headband for Easter - SOO adorable!

She wouldn't let me take pictures of her looking at the camera!

She would while she was holding Brooklyn! They are just so cute together!

Hailey absolutely loves being a big sister and teaching Brooklyn how to do things!

Brooklyn laughs now! We're trying so hard to get it on camera and on video, but here's our best attempt so far! I love this stage! :)

After church yesterday, we were zonked! We slept for 3 hours! Now that's a Sunday afternoon nap! Even Spice (our cat) slept with us - all the girls!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter from the Pollaks!

What a weekend! As most of you know, Hailey is a complete girly girl! She has been eye-ing her Easter dress in the closet for quite awhile (I buy their holiday clothes end of season the previous year for super cheap!) and has been so excited for Easter! Two weeks ago when she came down to visit, Easter decorations were out at Ronald McDonald and she asked why. I said because we're getting ready for Easter! "Easter?!?!" Since then she's been so excited!

We took the girls to an Easter egg hunt at a church in the area Saturday morning and Hailey had so much fun! Brooklyn did great too!

Hailey made the bean bag in the hole during bean bag toss! She's got quite the arm!

Nich and Brooklyn! What great sports!

Our little scavenger! She LOVED finding the eggs and really looked for them! They were actually sprinkled across the yard in plain sight, but she enjoyed "the hunt."

We were talking about what our plans were for the weekend and told her we would go to the Easter egg hunt and then next day go to church on Easter Sunday. I told her Easter Sunday is when we celebrate Jesus going to heaven. Being the thinker she is, she asked why we look for eggs on Easter too. I said because after Jesus died, people were looking for him but couldn't find him. Of course, "where'd he go?" I said, he went to heaven. "Oh! To make it for Katelyn!?" I just smiled and said yep, and for all of us too! That afternoon Hailey and I colored Easter pictures for the boys and she colored one for Katelyn since she couldn't come look for eggs. She wanted to go get a balloon that could carry her picture and a small Easter toy to heaven. She can't wait to get to heaven and see Jesus, Katelyn and Papa Art (Papa Heart to Hailey). What an amazing little girl she is!

After the festivities, we headed home for the night. It was so nice to be home!! Hailey & I dyed eggs and then got a little carried away and also did onesies and our underwear! She dyed everything and did a great job! She went to get her mixer because it was WAY more effective at mixing the dye before dipping! :) I'll post another picture of the finished products!

We can't forget the boys! :) Here's spiderman bunny Brennan wearing his ears!

Landon wasn't too keen on the idea either...Oh well, he's adorable!

Brennan, Brooklyn & Ann (one of Brennan's primary nurses) all sporting the ears!

More posts to come...with pictures! I got access to a laptop with internet and got all these pics uploaded! Our laptop's on the mend and should be back shortly!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Quick prayers for Landon

Surprise, it's about Landon again! So I can just give a quick update and will know more on Monday...Landon's still on the ventilator from surgery last Friday. The docs tried to extubate (take him off the vent) yesterday without success. He did his notorious clamping down on cannula which was really scary as they had no means of making him breathe. He's been showing good signs on the vent and doing a lot of breathing on his own or above the vent. He's on about medium vent settings still. Today Nich talked with the docs and they want to do a couple tests on Landon Monday. He still hasn't pooped since surgery Friday even after suppositories. They're concerned about his bowels and a possible obstruction. When they fixed his hernia, his intestines had grown around the hernia and it was complicated. They're not using the Gtube until he poops so they know everythings working right. He's probably going to have a GI study again on Monday. Also, because of his clamping, they also think there's a problem with his airway. After they get the bowels under control, when they extubate him next (hopefully soon!) they'll take him down to OR to do it so they can get a good look at his airway. They talked about the need for a trach or home ventilator again.

Please pray for Landon (and for us!)! We thought he beat this after he recovered from the Human Metapneumoviraus and went to cannula. He very well may be testing us and the doctors, he is a miracle and we need to keep our eyes on that! God has gotten him through SO much, and we cling to that! Landon just needs a break to rest and recover. I'll update on Monday (or close to!). We know when we post a prayer request, the prayer warriors start! So we're praying for a complete turn around and clear test results in a few days!