Thursday, December 27, 2007

Weekly Weigh-In

Our babies are growing up before our very eyes! No, seriously...they really are! We went to the pediatrician yesterday and Reid weighed 7 lb 2 oz...he gained 11 ounces in one week! Louisa weighed 4 lb 8 oz...she gained 8 ounces in a week! The doctor was impressed with their weight gain, thought they looked great and said to just keep up what they are doing. We'll go back again in 2 weeks for the next weigh-in. We'll keep you posted!

It's crazy to think that today I should be 39 weeks pregnant yet tomorrow the babies will be 6 weeks old! When the doctors told us that the babies were going to be delivered on November 16th all I could think was, "It's way too early, it's way too early!" Now I can't imagine the last 6 weeks without our precious Reid and Louisa! We are so blessed to have these two healthy, beautiful babies!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!!

Reid and Louisa

Daddy, Reid, Louisa, Mommy and Maggie

Mommy and her babies


Louisa warm and happy

Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Pictures

Louisa is often called "our little baby doll."  Well, this picture captures that perfectly...especially since she is wearing a dress that belongs to her cousin Emma Catherine's baby doll!  Yes, she is really wearing a doll dress!

Looks like Reid thought of one more thing as he was drifting off to sleep.
Sweet sleeping babies...I think I could take a picture of them sleeping every time I walk past them and see how sweet and peaceful they are resting!


Bath time!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Doctors Visits...

We took Reid and Louisa to the pediatrician today and Louisa hit 4 lbs! Reid continues to pull away from Louisa in the weight category...he weighed 6 lbs 7 oz. The doctor thought they both looked great, however she will continue to keep a watch on their growth to make sure they are gaining properly.


Yesterday we visited the eye doctor to have Reid & Louisa's eyes checked for ROP...an eye condition found in preemies. The doctor had to dialate their eyes then hold them open long enough to look at the eyes. Louisa's eyes are so tiny and apparently her eye lids are so strong that it was very difficult to keep her eyes open long enough for the doctor to get a good look. So...he had to use a clamp to keep her eyes open. This was much less than pleasant for Mom as I was holding Louisa in my lap. I made the mistake once of looking down...I didn't make that mistake again! Seeing the clamp paired with Louisa screaming made the whole thing pretty bad for me. Luckily Reid behaved better while Craig held him so the doctor didn't have to use the clamp on him. Craig more than deserved a break since he held both babies on Monday while they got their heels pricked for some bloodwork.


You can see it's been a busy week with doctors visits. The great thing is that we continue to receive good news and everything looks great with Reid and Louisa. We trust that the good news will continue as they grow and gain strength.


Of course we continue to enjoy spending time with the babies. I don't think I could count the number of times that Craig and I have looked at each other and said, "They are SOOOO adorable!" I can't even imagine what we're going to think about them when they can actually do something besides just lay in their bed sleeping and looking cute! Even at their young age, their personalities are very different. Louisa continues to be our fiesty baby (this would not shock any of the NICU nurses) and Reid continues to be our layed back baby. Louisa does not like to be changed or messed with in any way. Reid is so relaxed that it usually takes stripping him down all the way to his diaper to even wake him up, then he promptly goes right back to sleep. This always makes feeding time fun as we try to keep Reid awake. Both babies give us smiles quite often...even though we know that they don't know what they are doing, it makes our day when they smile at us! One thing we have found about both babies is that they like to use the bathroom as soon as you unfasten their diapers to change them. After today's adventure, I think it might be time to get out the "Pee-Pee T-Pee's" that we were given! We have one Pack-n-Play in front of the fireplace in the den. I was changing Reid today when he decided he couldn't wait for the next diaper in order to wet it. This resulted in me having to wipe down the whole mantle because of the stream that shot up over his head!


The nursery finally got painted today so I am anxious to get the furniture put in the room and get everything decorated. It will be a while before Reid and Louisa actually sleep in their room, but it will be nice to have everything put away...right now their furniture is in our dining room and the hallway outside their room is lined with things that need to go in the room. If only they had waited until their due date to come, their room would have been done by the time they came home! It's hard to believe that tomorrow I would have been 38 weeks pregnant...still 2 more weeks until the babies should be here! Clearly we were not in control over this situation and thank goodness we weren't because everything has turned out wonderful and had it gone like we planned, everything would have likely been more difficult and wouldn't have turned out right.


The little people are letting me know that it's 5 minutes until time for them to eat, so I better go.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy 1 Month Birthday, Babies!!








Wow!  1 month old already...where does the time go??  It really doesn't seem like it's been a month since Reid and Louisa were born, but I think a lot of that is because they've only been home with us for a week.  It's been a great week and we have had a wonderful time getting to know our babies and just getting to love on them when and how we want to.  Craig and I finally feel like real parents, taking care of real babies in our own home...and it is definitely all that I ever thought it would be and more!!  Our hearts are definitely full of happiness and a wide range of other emotions.  Somehow the word happiness doesn't fully describe the depth of what we feel.  It is amazing how quickly we have become "those parents" who think that their babies are absolutely the best, most beautiful and perfect children who can do no wrong!  We are so blessed to have our children at home with us and doing as well as they are.  They are doing all of the normal things that babies do...eat, sleep and fill their diapers!  One of the many blessings of our babies being in the NICU is that when they came home they were both already on a 4 hour feeding schedule that they follow like clockwork.   The project manager in me loves that they are sticking to their schedule!

We have a busy week ahead with several doctor's appointments.  We're not looking forward to taking the babies out since it is going to be so cold.  We will all be bundled up warm!  We have lots to do to prepare for Christmas this week too.  Craig got our tree tonight but we had to leave it outside because it was still wet from all the rain we got yesterday.  Hopefully we can get the tree up and decorated tomorrow night.  We still have several last minute gifts to buy...for some reason time has gotten away from us this year and we are WAY behind on shopping.  Christmas will be quite different for us this year.  Obviously it will be very special because we have Reid and Louisa...what more could we ask for?  We are a bit sad though because our normal Holiday traditions of being with our families won't be able to happen this year.  I know this year will forever have a special meaning to us since it is our first Christmas with our babies and we look forward to resuming our traditions and spending time with our families.  Reid and Louisa will have so much fun when they get a little bigger and can play with their 7 cousins at Grammy and Poppy's house!  Grammy, you better start knocking out some walls to make room for all of the babies to play!  

It is getting late (early?) and I know my little alarm clock (Louisa) will be going off in approximately an hour and a half!  Please continue to pray that Reid and Louisa will grow and stay healthy, especially through the cold/flu/RSV season.  


Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Babies are home!!!

Louisa and Reid came home on Monday morning and are doing great. We have had a smooth transition from hospital to home but are a little tired. But not too tired to take pictures!!!



Pics continued...






Saturday, December 8, 2007

Oh no, the dreaded MRSA!!!

Yes, you read correctly MRSA. Like many newborns Reid's tear duct gets stopped up every once in awhile. Tear Duct? What does that have to with MRSA? When Reid's duct backs up it creates gunk that forms around his eye and the nurses just use a wet cloth and clean it off. Well a couple nights ago someone took a sample of the gunk and sent it to the lab. MRSA grew on the sample that was taken and Reid was sent to quarantine so no other babies would be infected. Please know that Reid is doing great! He has not shown any symptoms of being sick. More lab work is being done to determine if the sample that was originally taken was just a contaminant or if Reid really does have or carries the infection.

What is MRSA? The way I understand it is MRSA is a mutant strain of the staph infection that has been around for a long time but was only found in hospitals until a couple of years ago. It is a staph infection that has become immune to normal antibiotics and now it has made it's way into the general population. Many people may carry the infection but because normal people have a healthy immune system they may never get sick. The people that have a depleted immune system like elderly people, people with AIDS, cancer and of course preemies are at the highest risk.

The only problems this has caused so far is that it restricts us even more when it comes to how we interact with Reid. Everybody that goes to see Reid has to wear a gown and gloves, including the nurses and doctors. He cannot be touched because we have to keep all the other children in the NICU safe. Carrie and I understand the rules and are more than happy to obey but it does stink that we can't really touch or love on our son right now.

Good news is that Louisa is doing really good. She continues to amaze us with her moxie and mighty might attitude. Like Carrie mentioned a few days ago, nobody has told 'Doodle' that she is little. Today she weighed 3 lbs. 7.7 oz. and continues to drink 60 - 65 cc of milk at every feeding.

So please continue to pray for our children that they will continue to progress and that the MRSA test will come back as just a contaminant. If not, then pray the antibiotics that will be given to Reid take care of the infection and that he and his sister will be home soon. Also please pray for God's mercy with Brian and strength and understanding for his family. Brian's condition has continued to get worse and it is heart breaking to see such a small little boy suffer so much. Also praise God that many prayers were answered for Matthew's miracle, another little boy thats lung condition unexpectedly cleared up. This was a condition that was expected would take surgery to correct.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Photo ops...

Those of you who know me well know that I am always looking for something cute to take a picture of. In the past, it was usually either my nieces and nephews or our dogs. Well...I definitely have 2 new favorite subjects to take pictures of. I know Reid and Louisa are going to get tired of Mommy always having the camera on them, but who could resist a photo op like this?!?

Reid


Louisa

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Life in the NICU...

...changes SOOOOO quickly! You just never know from day to day what is going to happen. Reid has been having "episodes" of apnia (where he forgets to breathe) which usually occur when he is eating. Sometimes he gets choked or sometimes it's like he's concentrating so hard on eating that he forgets to take a breath. I know, it sounds simple to us, but to somebody who should technically still not be born for another 4 weeks, it's a hard concept to remember! Of course they are watching Reid carefully and doing several things to help him including giving him a blood tranfusion today which should give him an extra boost and get him back on track.

Meanwhile, little Louisa continues to show everyone that she is only little in size, not might! One of Louisa's nurses summed it up very well when she said that nobody told Louisa that she was small, and she sure hasn't realized it on her own! She is now eating close to the same amount as her brother who is more than 2 pounds bigger than her! Because Louisa is doing so well, it is now a good possibility that she and Reid will come home a lot closer together than we originally thought...they could even end up coming home at the same time : ) We are very anxious for that day when we have both babies home, but because things seem to keep changing, we are not exactly sure when that will happen. We will definitely keep everyone updated as we hear more and as the time for them to come home gets closer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

UPDATE...

On Sunday evening I posted that we expected to have Reid home by Wednesday. He could still be here by that afternoon but now we expect it to be either Thursday or Friday. When you ask people what to expect you get different answers depending on who you're talking to. The latest info is based on what the Neonatoligist expects.

Please continue to pray for the twins and Brian, the little boy who is next to Louisa. And even though the NICU is a very critical nursery the babies, parents, nurses and doctors that are there are great people. One of the biggest reasons Louisa and Reid are doing so well is because of the people that are taking care of them. So, Thank You: Dr. Brawley, Dr. Cothran, Dr. Sharpe, J-Lo, Mrs. Debra, Mrs. Pennie, Mrs. Molly, Mrs. Donna, Mrs. Jeanneane, Mrs. Sherry, Mrs. Bonnie, Mrs. Ellen, Mrs. Kathy, Mrs. Camylle, Mrs. Kathy, Ms. Lauren, Mrs. Jennifer, Mrs. Natalie, Mrs. April, Mrs. Marsha, Mrs. Carla and everyone I have forgot to mention.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

EXCITING News!!!!

Today we visited the NICU and were given exciting news! Louisa and Reid both have been advanced on their feedings and both of them are taking every feeding by bottle. When babies are close to full term this is not a big deal. But for preemies this is one of the three big goals (breathing, eating, temperature control).

Because Reid breathes room air, can maintain his body temperature and now is taking every feeding by bottle he has no reason to stay in the NICU! We expect that by Wednesday we will be able to welcome Reid home and will finally begin to feel like real parents. The down side is that Louisa will still be in the NICU but all she has to do is gain enough weight to maintain her temperature. Today she weighed 3 lbs. 1.4 oz. and hopefully will be home in a few weeks.

So please continue to pray for Louisa that she will continue to have good days and that Reid will have no setbacks between now and Wednesday. Also please say a prayer for Brian and his family. Brian is a little boy whose isolete is next to Louisa's and his prognosis is not good. He is a really sick little boy so please pray for him to have no pain and strength for his family.

Now, I am going to get some sleep while I still can...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pictures of our Babies

LOUISA
Our Little Louisa

One of the many faces of Louisa

This is what happens when the nurses wake Louisa up...I think this is why they call her fiesty!
Mommy, Daddy and Louisa
*******************************************************
REID
Mommy, Daddy and Reid
Reid smiling at Mommy

Daddy and his boy

Our cute little elf
Mmmm...these fingers are GOOD!!






Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Proud Husband and Father...

To say that I am proud of Carrie and our children is an understatement!!!

Carrie has handled the last 6 weeks like a champ. From unexpectedly being put on bed rest and then 2 weeks later being blindsided with a one week hospital stay and the ultimate early delivery of the twins she has been the definition of grace under pressure. She did everything the doctors asked and now supports our children by everyday spending as much time as she is allowed in the NICU. I am blessed to have her as my wife and our children are blessed to have her as their Mommy.

Louisa and Reid are AWESOME!!! Except for Louisa's little hick-up, the twins have improved everyday. Louisa has earned the reputation of having the most attitude of any baby pound-for-pound in nursery 6. Her personality is one of the biggest reasons she has done so well. Reid is our little burrito that stays wrapped up and content all day long. As long as you feed him and change his diaper he doesn't make a peep and the last few days has received the good baby award of the nursery. I am really looking forward to the twins coming home so we can take total care of them and they can play.

All the support we have received from family and friends has been astounding. Carrie and I have felt the prayers and we see God answer them everyday. So please don't stop! Continue to pray that the twins will have infection free days and will continue to obtain the goals the Doctors give them. Also please pray for the other children in the NICU and their families. The NICU is truly a special place but has many very sick babies. So please remember them in your prayers as well.

Carrie and I are going to try and do a much better job of keeping you updated. Please visit often and let us know when you do...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Our 2 Little Miracles...



To make a very long story short, on Friday, November 16th, after a week long stay in the hospital the doctors decided it was best for everyone (me and the babies) for the babies to be delivered at only 33 weeks and 1 day.


So...Kenneth "Reid" was born at 6:55 pm. He weighed 4 lb 15 oz and was 16 3/4" long. Our little Louisa Claire was born at 6:56 weighing only 2 lb 11 oz and 15" long.


Reid needed a little help breathing when he was born. He was on the c-pap, then nasal canula but he is now breathing completely on his own! He progressed really quickly and we are quite proud of him! The doctors said that hopefully he will be home in the next 7-10 days. He still needs to learn to drink his whole bottle (he is currently getting 2 bottles a day and the rest he gets through a feeding tube). We just came from the hospital and Reid finished his whole bottle for the second night in a row (Yeah, Reid!!). He'll have to keep this up for a few days before they increase him to 3 bottles a day. He is quite handsome and for the last few days our nurses have named him the good boy of the nursery!

When Louisa was born, our tiny girl came out breathing completely on her own, not requiring any help at all! This week has been quite rough for Louisa. On Sunday she started acting not like her normal, fiesty self and we could tell something was wrong. By Monday it was determined that she had an infection. She was put on antibiotics and is now acting more like herself again. She is still a little pale and weak, but she is doing much better. She will stay on the antibiotics for another 8 days to make sure the infection is completely gone. It was a very scary couple of days, but with lots of prayer she is getting better. Louisa is up to 2 lb 15 oz now, so she still needs to gain a bit of weight before she can come home. She will also have to maintain her own body temperature and be able to take all of her feedings by bottle (she is now getting 2 bottles a day). She has already proven to be quite strong and the nurses tell us that we are really going to have to watch her because she is so fiesty! We don't really understand what they are talking about because every time we go to see her she is sleeping like a perfect little angel! Of course as her parents we couldn't be biased or anything! We are praying that Louisa will grow quickly so she can be home by Christmas. We are so excited for the day when our babies will both be home with us!

We have been truly blessed with wonderful doctors and nurses. From the decision to deliver when I did, to the care for the babies in the Special Care Nursery since the babies were born, we know that we have had the absolute best medical care possible. We wish so much that our babies were at home with us now, but we know that they are getting wonderful care at University Hospital.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been praying for our family. We have felt those prayers and know that our babies would not be doing as well as they are without those prayers.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The one who REALLY runs our house...



If you know us well, you know that MAGGIE runs our house. She "directs" us as to when she wants to be in or out of the house, and when she wants Belle to be in or out of the house. For such a tiny little dog, she certainly has a lot of attitude in her eyes when she looks at us. We are very interested to see how she reacts when she's not the only baby in the house. I'm sure she'll be jealous when she's not getting all of the attention like she is used to and I think our other problem will be keeping her from taking all of the babies toys and blankets. Maggie came in the den the other night with a baby rattle in her mouth, knowing it wasn't hers because she just dropped it and looked up at us as if to say, "I know it's not mine, but can I pleeeeeeeeease have it??" All I said was "Maggie, that's not yours" and she tucked her head and walked out of the room.


This picture of Belle is from a few years ago. She's often hard to get a picture of because she doesn't like to get far enough away from you so you can actually get a picture...she just wants to be as close as possible to you at all times.

Maggie and Belle are definitely our first 2 children so I thought they should make an appearance on the website too.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

31 Weeks!!


It's really hard for us to believe that today is 31 weeks! I have people tell me all the time that it seems like my pregnancy has gone by really fast and I have to agree! The last week has been a bit slow and trying with all of the stress and anxiety of doctor's appointments and bed rest and worrying about the babies, but...we made it through. Craig has done a great job of taking care of me, fixing my meals, making sure that I don't do more than I'm supposed to and making sure I stay calm despite the frustrations of the week.
The babies seem to be doing okay. The doctors won't measure them again for another 2 weeks : ( We are very anxious to see if all of the extra rest and protein drinks are helping our baby girl get bigger. I have definitely been feeling her move more, so hopefully that means she's growing or maybe it means that her brother is actually letting her stretch out a little bit. It's hard to think of him actually letting her have room to move around with all of the moving and stretching that he does. His new thing is to push the inside of my belly button with what I think is his foot...you can see the picture...I don't think my belly button needs any more help sticking out! If I had to guess from the way that these two act inside of me, I would say that he is really going to be a character...definitely the bold and rowdy one. While our precious little princess is going to be dainty and sweet...definitely one to sit back and evaluate things before she engages. Only time will tell if my mother's intuition is right about our babies. Hopefully only another 6-7 weeks!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Change of Perspective

videoAs you can hopefully see from the video clip, our little boy seems to be doing great! However, it looks like when he is born he will need a long lesson in sharing with his sister! At my appointment with Dr. Ware on Thursday, they measured the babies again and according to their measurements, baby boy was 3 lb 10 oz and baby girl was only 2 lbs. Big difference from the week before at Dr. Williams office. The measurements are not precise by any means, so we are thinking that they are both somewhere in between the two measurements. Since he is continuing to get quite a bit larger and she is not growing near as much, Dr. Ware has put me on bed rest until the babies come. She explained that he is actually compressing her cord, so she isn't getting all the nutrients that she needs and the more energy that I exert by walking around, etc. the more blood flow, calories, nutrients that I am requiring for myself which means those are nutrients that the babies (specifically the girl) are not getting. Obvisously this was a HUGE shock to us. We woke up that morning and were getting ready to go to the doctor and I said to Craig, "Today is 30 weeks and we're all doing great!" How quickly our perspective changed! Dr. Ware's biggest concern right now is getting the little girl to pick up weight, so I am now drinking 3 protein drinks a day in addition to my gallon of water and of course my normal meals. I stay pretty full most of the time but...whatever the babies need to keep growing! The good thing is that at this point the doctors don't have any reason for concern that I will deliver early since I am not having any contractions or any other signs of early labor. Hopefully with the extra rest I will be able to wait until 37-38 weeks to deliver. Dr. Ware also wants me to be monitored twice a week, so they will be keeping a very close watch on me and the babies to make sure everybody is doing okay.

Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers. This recent turn of events means a lot of adjustments for everyone and the way we thought things would go. Clearly God is in control of this situation and He has a perfect plan for how and when our little miracles will arrive!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

29 Week Report

The babies are definitely growing! At Friday's appointment (29 weeks, 1 day) Baby Boy measured 3 lbs 1 oz and Baby Girl measured 2 lbs 5 oz. There is still a big difference in their sizes, but they seem to be growing at about the same rate (just over a pound) since the last time they were measured. It's always so neat to see what they are doing inside of me. Baby Boy was holding up his index finger as if to say, "I'm 1st" or "I'm #1" which of course we already knew by his weight! Meanwhile, Sister was folded in half as she often is with her toes touching her forehead...maybe she'll be a gymnist one day. Hopefully next week we'll have more baby pictures to post.


Friday, October 12, 2007

28 weeks


Not too much exciting going on this week...which is a good thing! We like non-exciting weeeks because that means babies are kicking and growing and everything is as it should be. We went to see Dr. Ware (the specialist) yesterday and she was pleased overall. Apparently baby boy is still taking up some of his sister's space. While they both have plenty of fluid, she is only using a small part of her space because big brother keeps taking her space and pushing her in the corner (I think this is usually under the ribs on my right side!). So, doc wants me to add a protein drink to my diet each day to hopefully help little girl pick up some more weight, which means brother will pick up more weight as well, which means Mommy will pick up more weight too! Mommy is more than okay with that as long as the babies are getting what they need. We have appointments (and sonograms) the next 2 Fridays, so we will get measurements on both babies and see if baby girl is catching up in size.

The picture I'm posting was taken at 27 weeks...I'm sure that I've grown even more in the last week!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

October...already??


Wow. It's already October 2nd and as each day, week and month passes that means we are closer and closer to meeting our 2 little ones! I am now 26 1/2 weeks pregnant. The doctor has said that he won't let me go past 38 weeks (Dec. 20th) so at most we only have 11 1/2 more weeks until the babies come. I think we get more excited with each week that passes and definitely with each sonogram as we get to see how big they are and what they look like. We had a 4-D ultrasound done at 25 weeks and it was amazing. They estimated that our baby boy weighed 1 lb 13 oz and our baby girl weighed 1 lb 4 oz. A pretty big difference between the two babies, but the boy has always measured bigger than his sister. The doctor thinks everything is fine, but she does want to keep a watch on them to make sure brother is sharing the food with his little sister. The babies are constantly moving...which I love to feel. Each little movement (well, the movements are starting to not feel so little anymore) is reassuring to me that they are doing okay. Sometimes it really feels like they are playing when they both start moving at the same time...we can't wait to see them play and interact when they are born. It will be here before we know it! We have sonograms scheduled again in the next few weeks, so I will try to update with new pictures afterwards. Right now we think baby boy looks more like Momma and baby girl definitely looks like Daddy!

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