Thursday, February 28, 2008

More "firsts"

Again, more pictures and not a lot of "talk" as I am supposed to be getting some rest while Aunt Marsha is visiting with us and helping out with the babies.

Clark's first bath - and Daddy being silly once he's warm in his lion towel. Kendall's warming up after her first bath. Emma has survived (or we survived) the first bath. Kendall looking in the mirror on the mat. Everyone on their mat during "activity time" for the first time.

I'll post more pics in a day or two. The blog limits me to this many pictures at one time. Once I've given people time to view these, I'll post another set of pics.

Everyone is doing well. We are thankful for the help of family and friends as we get used to this new life full of babies.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A few "firsts"

Pictures: First time in their own crib at home - Clark then Kendall; Uncle Tom's first time holding Emma; "Uncle" Tommy (technically cousins, but who cares) and "Aunt" Teff visiting for the first time and holding Clark; Emma's first time in her own crib at home.

Here are just a few pics to hold everyone over. I don't really have time to write much, except to say that everyone is doing fine. Our first visit to the pediatrician is this afternoon, so wish us luck. We are still working to get into some sort of routine, but more for logistics than anything else.

I'll post again soon. I hear babies stirring.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

We're Home!!!!!

Pictures: All three getting their group shot at the hospital before we left. Daddy snuck in a few on our camera. Then there is a shot of the car seats all loaded in the van as we were leaving the hospital yesterday. And there there are pictures of each baby at home as Daddy unloaded them. I promise to get more of the babies on here soon!

Well, much to our surprise, we got a call yesterday afternoon saying that we could do the monitor training, stay for about 4 hours and then we could go home - with all three babies! We were there before 1pm and did the "training" and also got the pictures done (the hospital ones). We pulled out about 5:15pm - just in time for Friday 5 o'clock traffic, but we made it home safely and we are SO glad to be here.
So far, we have only had a few alarms with Clark's monitor and they were all because of a loose lead, not anything to do with a brady (heart rate decrease or that he has stopped breathing). The alarm is quite loud, but still it has not been as bad as we were told and feared.
We are working to try to have the babies on some sort of schedule - preferably 4 hours as the nurse had been working on that as well. We've heard all sorts of advice from other parents of multiples, but they all say that a schedule is not only important, but really necessary in order to save your sanity. It will just take us a few days to get in the "groove", start getting them to know day vs night and also learn what the babies are crying about, etc. Last night was long as they all seemed to need to eat right after the other, so there was never more than a 30 minute break. We are both pretty exhausted (as Troy also had a work emergency at 3:30am, so that called him away for a couple of hours). We are hoping to squeeze in a nap whenever we can, but also realize it could be a few days before we can get settled in.
I figured everyone might be ready for another picture or two. I'll get more out here shortly as we are taking lots of "firsts" pictures - first diaper change at hoe, first bottle feed at home, first time in bouncy seat. I know...a little extreme, but what can I say, we are HAPPY TO HAVE THEM HOME!!! Check back soon for more pics.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Change of Plans

Well, it doesn't look like they will be home tomorrow (Friday) as we were told yesterday. Hopefully we will get definitive information tomorrow. As of this afternoon, we will be able to bring them all home together on Saturday, but Clark will need to come home on a monitor. We will have to get "training" on the monitor tomorrow afternoon and there is a chance that we will have to room in again (with just Clark in order to get used to the equipment). Again, all this is sort of up in the air at the moment. We are confused and frustrated and hope that things will look better tomorrow. But we are still happy that it isn't too much longer until they come home.
I'll post again tomorrow once we find out something definite about their discharge situation. Again, please pray that they will come home quickly and without any monitors. We are hopeful that Clark's brady issues will resolve themselves quickly so this will all be a non-issue. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Everyone's Coming Home FRIDAY...or Thursday!!!!

Well, the (sort of) verdict is in. All three will be coming home TOGETHER and WITHOUT ANY MONITORS!!!! We just aren't sure if it will be tomorrow (Thurs) or Friday. They said to plan on Friday and if they can get all of the paperwork done by tomorrow then it will be a pleasant surprise.
We are headed to the hospital this evening for another dreaded rooming-in session, but it will be with all three, so it's worth it. They will also have their first chance at co-bedding (all three in one crib) this evening and we are hopeful that it will go well.
We are SO excited that they will be home with us in just a day or two! Tomorrow is picture day at the hospital. Clark also passed the "fit" test for a regular carseat, so he won't need the car bed after all....another bit of wonderful news!!!!
That's all for now. I need to run as it's time to get to the hospital. We'll keep everyone posted. Thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Just Clark ...and a little update

So here he is...just Clark. Don't mind the washcloth under his face - a little preventative measure to preserve the outfit should he decide to spit up. He didn't even flinch at my evil flash, so he was out cold at the time.

He is now up to a whopping 4lb 14 oz....just shy of the 5lb mark! We are so pleased. Emma hit 5lbs last night and Kendall is up to 5lb 3oz today, so they are all still working hard to get a little chubbier.

We are still waiting to hear if and when they are coming home and if they will all be coming home together. We are still sort of expecting that Kendall and Emma are coming home either Thur or Fri, but hope to know for sure by tomorrow.

We are busy getting last minute things done around the house and even had dinner out last night as sort of our last "date night" before we have to worry about making arrangements for the kids when we go out. It was nice to be out and at a quiet restaurant and, of course, we still ended up talking about the babies. Funny how things change.

Check back tomorrow sometime to see what we find out. If you don't mind, please pray that we will be able to bring all three home at once. We are really concerned about having to leave little Clark behind and hope that it won't be necessary.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Another Day Closer to Home

FORGIVE ME CLARK, as I didn't get a picture of him yesterday. When I took these of the girls, he was being changed and fed and I didn't want to interrupt the process with my evil flash on the camera.
Emma has her fist close to her face and is pretty in pink (though you can't really see it). Kendall is wearing the green flowery outfit (I'm starting to become a fan of those little flowers) and has her little hands up. (No picture of Clark, I'm sorry.) And the last one is part of the huge rainbow we saw in West Knoxville earlier today. Sort of a reminder (see the dark clouds in the background) that things are going to be OK - babies will be home soon and nothing else matters more to us right now than that. We are ready to be full-time parents to these amazing little miracles.

Today was a good day in the NICU again. The nurse was very sweet and the babies were adorable....OK, they are always adorable, but it was worth mentioning.
At this point, we are still working towards a Friday discharge, but it could be sooner. Apparently we are waiting because of Clark's brady eps. All three have eps occasionally, but his are more frequent. Our understanding was that they aren't necessarily too concerned as mostly they occur during feedings and he always self-corrects.
Aside from that issue, Clark is feeding well - or at least eating quite a bit - and he's gaining weight. For the time-being, we have nicknamed him "Little Pants" since he is the smallest, but we know that he will outgrow that nickname soon. We still think he's most likely our "zen baby" as he seems to be the quietest of the three.
Emma (AKA "Fussy Pants") is still the screamer when she is ready to get some attention - or is it just food that she wants???? We haven't quite figured out what is keeping her up between feedings when we are there, but it seems that she is always hungry. She ate her 2pm bottle in 4 minutes and later nursed for 9 minutes and then proceeded to suck down the entire 5pm bottle as well. We also think that she's pretty lonely in the room by herself. We are hoping that when the babies come home, she might be soothed by having the other two in the room or in the crib with her (we are planning to have them co-bed for a while).
Kendall, whom we affectionately call "Piggy Pants", is still spending her time growing and putting on weight. She had lost a little weight day before yesterday, but then was back up over 5lbs again yesterday. She is still pretty quiet until she is ready to eat and even then, she is easily comforted with the bottle and some snuggle time.
We are supposed to talk with the dr or nurse practitioner tomorrow to get a better idea of when to expect them home and the status of the car bed for Clark. Again, while we are planning for Friday, we are still hopeful that it could be sooner, so we will see what they tell us. There is a chance that we will room-in again for one night this week before they come home, but again, that's up-in-the-air.
I know that our babies are doing well because of the prayers of so many people, so thanks again for your continued prayers.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy 2 Week Birthday and Happy First Valentine's Day

Pictures: Emma in purple and the cute hat. Kendall in pink. Clark in his "tanning bed" keeping warm before bathtime. Daddy giving his first bottle feeding to Kendall.

Yesterday was their 2 week "birthday" and also their very first Valentine's Day. Troy and I ended up visiting them late last night and got to spend some quality time with them and also the nurse and nurse practitioner.
First of all, I should backtrack a little and explain what's been going on....
Tuesday night was our first chance to "room in". We had already scheduled the required Infant CPR training class (with Aunt Karen also) for 7:30-9:30p, so we did not get settled into the room with the girls until after 10pm.
The intention of rooming-in (I think) is to give us the opportunity to learn how to care for them "on our own" and still have the help of the nurse on duty. What it also means is that we are at the mercy of the nurse and the hospital. As Troy pointed out, the room was not really set up for success as it was very small and didn't have certain things that would have been helpful (a small fridge so that we could have had breast milk when we needed it, rather than having to call and wait for the nurse, for instance).
The first 8 hours were pretty rough as we learned more about both girls (we only had the girls and Clark stayed in his room with the nurse since the room is set up for twins with two monitors, etc). We have heard that Emma is "feisty" and had a few fits for the nurses, but we had only seen brief glimpses. During the first night, we experienced what they were talking about. As soon as we started to go through the routine (take temperature, change diaper then feed baby), she would get really upset. And it would quickly escalate. Since she is on a heart monitor and she got so worked-up, her heart rate would get as high as 225 and the "red alarm" would continue to go off while she screamed. I believe I have mentioned how challenging it is to change a diaper when there are wires everywhere, so we weren't particularly fast. And then it would take some time to either get ready to try to nurse or to get the bottle ready. All the while, Emma is pitching a HUGE fit....and the's still going off. Needless to say, it was a little stressful at first. BUT we learned a MUCH better routine and either I would be ready to go or have the bottle ready to go as soon as Daddy got started with the rest and we did just fine by Wednesday morning.
Kendall didn't have the 911 emergency to eat, so it wasn't as difficult. We've decided that Emma is going to be our little "drama queen". Aside from those outbursts, she was really sweet and was definitely more interested in cuddle-time even after she had eaten. Kendall did a lot of sleeping in between feedings as she was pretty pooped.
We decided that it was best to just spend the 24 hours rooming in and then left late Wed evening as we found out that the girls would not be going home this weekend as they had originally discussed (the reason we "roomed-in"). According to the nurse practitioner, it looks like we could have all THREE of them home with us as soon as next Friday (Feb 22), provided things continue to go as they are.
All three babies continue to gain weight and are doing really well. We have switched them all to bottles (of expressed breast milk) or breastfeeding and are trying to eliminate the need for tube feeding completely. In order for them to come home, they have to be able to feed without the tubes for 48 hours straight.

Kendall tipped the scales over 5lbs last night, which is a major milestone as they were not able to send her home in our car seats if she is under 5lbs. She is eating well, although she did have a tube-feed yesterday afternoon. She is still "chatty" with her little noises and coos. She tends to get pooped-out during feeding time, but still manages to gain quite a bit each day. The results of the repeat head ultrasound came back and she is showing the brain bleeds on both sides of her head. Both of these are ONLY LEVEL ONE problems and will therefore correct themselves and are NOT a concern. We were relieved to hear that. In other news, the nurse this morning says that she has passed both the car seat "fit" test (she can sit up in it safely) and the car seat "tolerance test" (where she can maintain her heart rate while sitting up in a car seat), so that is GREAT NEWS!

Emma is up around 4lbs 12oz, so she is very close to hitting the 5lb goal. She is very good at sucking down a bottle quickly so we expect her to get there fast. While she has gotten a bad rap for her outbursts, she is still oh so sweet as she tends to want to hang out with you and always seems to be watching or listening very intently. She also had a repeat of her head ultrasound and they found that she also has a LEVEL ONE brain bleed. Again, this is no cause for concern as it will correct itself and she will suffer no long-term effects from it. Emma also passed both the car seat "fit" and "tolerance" tests this morning, so she too can come home in a regular car seat whenever that happens. Woo hoo!

Clark is gaining weight really well as he's up to 4lb 8oz (that's 8 oz over his birth weight!). He still looks like a little peanut, but is working hard to catch up to his sisters. He is most likely going to require a car bed in order to bring him home as we don't expect he will hit 5lbs by next week (assuming they MIGHT be discharged then) and even so, he's still pretty skinny, so it would be hard to fit him into the car seats as they are. This would be VERY temporary and we are just glad that the hospital offers these as an option to get smaller babies home (and at no charge to us). Mommy gave him a bath last night (her first try at this). He did great and seemed to love being under the warmer (I called it his tanning bed), but wasn't particularly thrilled once I applied the wet washcloth, etc, but we managed to get through it.

So, it sounds like there is a very good chance that they could be coming home one week from now! We are SO excited and happy that they are doing so well. We will "room in" again next week before they are discharged and will hopefully be able to have all three with us at once. This will give us a better view of the "logistics" of three babies before we bring them home a day or two later.

We continue to be so thankful for the prayers and support of everyone. I know that many of you have contacted Chanda because you are interested in helping out. We had decided that we would wait until the babies come home before really needing too much. It's difficult to find time to eat at home, let alone meet people who might bring meals since we are going back-and-forth to the hospital everyday, so it seemed best to wait a little while before getting started. We ARE going to need your help, so please do not be "discouraged". :) We just realized that it would make more sense to hold off until we are all under one roof.
Also, I should mention that since the babies are preemies and VERY susceptible to illness and infection, we will probably not be able to bring them out in public or show them off as much as we would like - at least at first. Please be patient with us as we figure out how to keep them safe and still get to show them off to visitors. Our biggest concern is anyone who is in contact with school-aged children, esp elementary school aged children as they pose the biggest threat in terms of the germ-issue (sorry kids). Hopefully everyone will understand that we have to do what is best for our little ones. We will try to make sure to post pictures on the blog or have them developed and out at the house so we can share them with any of you who might stop by.
Thanks for checking on us. We'll be in touch again soon.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Good Day for Everyone

Caption for pictures: Grandpa with Clark. Nana (the other day) with Emma. Aunt Karen with Clark. Kendall in the pink hat (can't leave her out). And Clark in his cute froggy outfit with a slightly surprised look on his face - Mommy should have left the flash off.

Grandpa(Louis) came to visit and was able to spend some quality time with little Clark while Kendall slept and Emma ate. And Happy 75th Birthday to Nana (Elder)! We were glad that she was able to come and see the babies on her special day.
We were surprised to hear from the nurse this morning (and got a little worried at first), but things were fine. She was calling to see if we would be available to "room in" with the girls Monday for 48 hours. Apparently all that is keeping them in the NICU is their feeding situation. We will stay for two nights (Troy will have to come in and out) and try to nurse them (or bottle-feed if necessary) for the entire two days - although it is still up-in-the-air if it will actually be Monday and Tuesday, or later. The purpose is to see if the girls can handle eating on their own (without the help of the feeding tubes) for the entire day without getting too tired. This is something that can take time with preemies as they build up their "endurance" (I guess that's what it is). If they can't keep up, then we will try again in a week or so. If they can do it, then they could come home as soon as the end of this week. That was the BEST news we could have heard (except for news that ALL THREE would be coming home).
Clark is just a little behind and would probably not be ready to go home quite as soon as the girls....although his breastfeeding session today was the best of the bunch. He nursed like a real champ and it was a relief. He was so cute in a little froggy outfit. He is having a little problem with what are known as "bradys" where his heart rate drops below 100. In his case it is usually around 60-65. Today it was as low as 55. In most cases, he is able to self-reverse (I think that's what they called it) where his heart rate returns to normal very quickly. There were a few more episodes yesterday than usual, so they ran some blood work. There is a slight chance of an infection, but it could just be his prematurity. He just needs a little time for his body to remember to keep breathing and keep his heart rate steady. Most likely the doctors will use caffeine (in a preemie-dose) to get his heart rate regulated (don't ask me how, but they made it make sense). Aside from that, he is gaining weight and is up to 4lb 3.2oz, which means he has now passed up his birth weight and we are really happy about that. He is such a cutie pie and still just seems to have the most peaceful expressions.
Kendall is up to 4lb approaching 5lb, which is really exciting. She stays pretty sleepy which we think is helping her gain weight faster. She is just so sweet and you can really tell that she is bigger than the other two when holding her. Today they had her in a girlie pink outfit, but I think she hated the little ruffles around her face. She always seems to have a hand right next to her face or folds her hands together. And she's still making those cute baby noises that really make your heart melt. She also nursed really well this afternoon making Mommy one happy camper.
Emma is doing really well too. She is still gaining weight and is up to 4lb 6.6 oz, so she too is above her birth weight. Her hair seems to be getting a little longer and has little duck tails in back. Too cute. She seems to be very interested in what Daddy has to say when he spends time playing with her. Her eyes are open wide and she wiggles and moves her hands around a lot. As with her brother and sister, she was a nursing pro today. I tend to spend a little more time alone with her because I feel so bad that she is in a room by herself. It makes me think that she needs a little more attention when we are there.
Daddy continues to be the diaper changing zen master. He really does a great job at being a dad already. He loves to try to get them stimulated (just a little as they get tired so quickly and we need them to keep up their strength for eating) by talking and singing to them. He makes diaper-changing time a little more fun and less yucky by playing with them, so there are fewer crying episodes when he is in charge. He's also really been so helpful with me and the pumping. He feels so strongly that breast milk is so important for the babies and his help has made me get through 10 days of it. He still wakes up with me at 4am so that I can get it done faster and get back to bed.
Once again, I hope it's OK to ask for your prayers this week as we work with the babies on feeding. Hopefully we can get through the rooming in time with great success and the doctors will determine that the girls are ready to come home this week. Also, please pray that Clark's brady eps will go away and he will be home as quickly as the girls, or not far behind. We are so thankful for all of your prayers already and feel fortunate that our little ones have done as well as they have so far.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Family pictures on their 1 week "birthday" 2-7-08

We had an incredible surprise yesterday (their 1 week old "birthday")....the nurse let us hold all three babies at once. This is the first time we have seen them side-by-side and the first time they have been together since before birth. It was SO special. They slept through the whole thing, but we were happy to have them in our arms at one time. We took a lot of pictures, but will only be able to post a few here. For the record, I'm in a hospital gown because of nursing and "kangaroo care" (skin-to-skin contact with the babies is suggested) and I look like poo because I was feeling pretty emotional....but no one is looking at me anyway. :)
A little info on the pics: Baby in pink hat is Kendall. Baby in purple checked blanket is Emma. Baby with blue plastic near his face is Clark.
Kendall is now also in an open crib, so all three are in the open, which is really nice. Troy and I are able to pick them up and put them down on our own and it's much easier to change a diaper in the open than through two "portholes" in an isolette.
So, back to Kendall....she was just shy of her original birthweight, so we expect her to be there today. She is doing well and was maintaining her body temp in the new crib. She is still the one who makes the most "noises". She gurgles, coos and hiccups more than the other two. I haven't witnessed too many crying spells with her, but that might just be our timing. I think Troy is calling her Cinderella. We were surprised when they were together that it appears that the two girls do look pretty similar, although Kendall's hair is lighter than Emma's. I'm sure that could still change though.
Emma has actually passed her birthweight up by just a very tiny amount. She is still the most active and also the most "feisty" according to the nurses. Our day nurse, Angie, yesterday had her out of the crib visiting the nurses station. She thought Emma was feeling lonely in the room all by herself and that was probably why she tends to be a little more fussy at times. We have seen a crying outburst once or twice, but they are always short-lived and usually are directly related to having her diaper changed. I think that Daddy is calling her Snow White, but I could have that wrong. She has so many cute little expressive looks and she has those eyes that just make both of us melt.
Clark is still the little peanut of the group. Yesterday, they had him wrapped up pretty tightly, including the use of a pee-pee pad, in order to keep his body temp up. If you see the blue plastic sticking up out of the blankets in the pics, that's the pee pee pad. We said he looks like a little mini-burrito. He is just so tiny and has the sweetest, most peaceful look on his face - most of the time. When he gets upset though, he gets super-red and belts it out. But again, these crying spells are very short-lived (thankfully). Usually he just sleeps when you hold him, or looks up at you and he also seems to listen intently to Daddy's stories. He too is getting close to his original birthweight. We are hoping that he can maintain his temp a little better on his own and without all of those blankets as I think it tends to make it hard for him to gain weight with all of the energy he uses trying to keep warm. He's had a couple of spells where his heart rate drops, but always bounces right back on his own and they tell us that is normal for babies who are at 35 weeks gestational age.
We have had some really wonderful nurses tending to our little precious bundles. While they have really weird schedules so it's hard to know who will be there, it does seem that the same ones request to be with the babies when they are there. So we've been getting to know them while we visit. One of our favs is Angie. She is so helpful and seems to really care about the babies. She likes to be sure that they are in baby outfits and not just white onesies, etc (the hospital receives many donated preemie outfits that they put on the babies - something we will be doing once they outgrow the outfits we have). She is the one who was able to let us get our first family pictures all together and we are so grateful for that. She also has a great sense of humor. For those of you who know Troy, that is a good thing. He keeps us laughing in there.
He'll probably kill me for this example and I hope I don't offend anyone, but I have to share a funny. Keep in mind that you just have to find humor in some of all of this or you will go crazy. Anyway, he has been really helpful with our decision to breastfeed/pump. He feels very strongly that they should get as much breast milk as possible because the babies will benefit greatly, especially since they are preemies. So, he helps me with the pumping. Since I'm new to it, it can be awkward and time-consuming, so having the help makes it go faster.
Anyway, we are pumping at the hospital during visits also. Troy and I have made sort of a "competition" in the breast pumping to see who's "side" can get more milk....I know, sounds weird, but it's helping us get through it. So, nurse Angie was in the room and we were getting started and he starts singing the song...Kung Fu Fighting (not sure about the name). But he says..."Everybody was breast pump fighting. Those teats were fast as lightning"...and Angie just starts cracking up. I'm laughing and he's encouraged. I know that there will be more breast pumping theme songs to come. He's just cute and fun like that.
Again, I hope no one is offended and realizes that we are just doing what we can to make this time a little less stressful and bring in some laughter. And I hope he doesn't kill me for sharing that little story. He's just too funny sometimes that I have to tell people about it. :)
We will be heading back later today. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. For those of you who know us personally, you might be able to get a better perspective of their size since you can see Troy holding them together. They are tiny, but definitely doing really well and should be coming home in the next couple of weeks....maybe sooner....and it couldn't be soon enough for us.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

6 days old and still TOO CUTE!!!!

Today our babies are 6 days old. They are still doing really well. We are posting a couple of pics, though they may not be perfect. We got a couple of Clark and Kendall tonight. The one of Emma was a few days ago, but one of our favorites so far. So you know who they are: Pink hat picture is Kendall(today 2-6-08). Bow and pacifier picture is Emma (from 2-1-08). The other is Clark and Mommy (today 2-6-08). And if you look at a closer version, they will be really blurry, so be warned.

Right now, we are working to get them back to their birth weights. They are all just shy of that and should reach this goal in the next day or two. Clark and Emma were moved to open cribs yesterday - woo hoo - and Kendall could be in an open crib by tomorrow, provided that she keeps her temperature up. ALL THREE are no longer getting any nutrition through IVs and the IV lines were removed. We were super-thrilled about this as those IV lines looked awful (especially those in their heads) and it was always a big fear of running into them or accidentally tugging on them. They are still receiving some feedings (pumped breastmilk or formula) by way of a tube in their nose, but also doing some actual breastfeeding. We will hopefully be able to get them good at breastfeeding and then add back bottles (to give them milk that has been pumped), which means that they will be able to remove the tubes into their noses at that time.

We had one little scare today as Kendall's ultrasound of her head showed a little something weird. There is a risk of brain hemmoraging (spelling?)with preemie babies born at or before 34 wks. There is no sign of blood, but a couple of "shiny spots" and they want to check this again on Monday. On a scale of 1-4, with 1 being not too bad and 4 being bad, she isn't even a 1 - meaning that it is not serious (at this point). The nurse practitioner said not to worry as he expects it will be just fine. They are just being cautious. We are, of course, worried, but have decided to take the advice of the RN and the Nurse Practitioner and try to assume the best instead.

Hope you enjoy the new pictures. Please continue to keep the babies in your prayers, especially regarding Kendall's upcoming ultrasound on Monday and that it will show no signs of problems. For all of them, we want continued growth and progress so that we can get them home soon. Also, please keep praying for Troy and I as we adjust to the situation with visiting the babies in the NICU and having to go home without them everyday. It is not easy and we are hoping it won't last long.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Just Pictures - see prior post for 2/3 update

So, we know that everyone wants to see pictures. We are really busy trying to spend as much time visiting with the babies and recovering from the c-section that it has been hard to get pics organized. We tried to just find one of each for now. We will go back at some point and try to share the first pics as well.
They should be in this order: Kendall in light green and sleeping. Emma in lavender with the bow in her hair. Clark is being held by Daddy.

3 days old and they have stolen Mommy & Daddy's hearts

So, they are only three days old and we are sunk. We just can't get enough of them. Last night we just sat and talked about all of the little things that we think are so cute and sweet. Troy even said that it doesn't bother him when they cry because he just likes to hear them.
Holding them is so incredible. They are just so precious, small, warm, sweet, innocent......perfect. It's hypnotic to sit and cuddle with them in the NICU. I end up nodding off as I'm so completely relaxed and comforted by their presence. We hope that they get as much from the visits as we do.
Emma is in her own "room" in the NICU. Kendall and Clark are sharing a space in a twin room. We decided that Emma was doing so well that she could hold her own a little better and therefore get her own space. Dogwood Cove is the name of the area of the NICU where they are now and it is really a nice setup - very peaceful and more home-like.
Emma is still continuing to set the pace. She is eating more, not spitting up, digesting well, etc. She is also the one most willing to make the commitment to breastfeed. According to the nurse today, it sounds like she might get her IVs out in the next day or so. They put a little bow on her head the first or second day and it's still there. She is just too cute and it's been said that she looks most like her daddy. She has this tiny little squeaky sound that she makes, but do not be deceived as she can belt out quite the cry when she wants to.
Kendall is also doing well. She has an IV in her head, so her cute little bow had to be removed. They have put her in lavender outfits and they really look adorable on her. Troy insists that she is a mini-me (meaning a mini version of her Mommy). She is doing pretty well with her feedings and is making small improvements. They also hope that her IV will come out in a few days (which means we can get the bow back on her little head).
Clark is the mellowest one. He seems to be very content to sleep a lot. We think this is good since he's the smallest and needs to gain the most weight. He's got the most peaceful look on his face when he's sitting in our arms. Most who have seen him seem to think that he looks most like his Daddy with his dark hair, etc. Daddy has enjoyed telling him stories about his family, dogs, nursery, etc. He's had very little interest in nursing so far, but seems to like the cuddle-time with Mommy or Daddy when he can get his turn.
We were happy that Grandpa (Louis), Nana (Elder) and Aunt Karen were all able to meet the babies over the weekend. Unfortunately, that's all of the allowed visitors, but we think that they are doing so well and being over-achievers that they will probably be able to come home sooner rather than later (though we still expect it to be at least two weeks).
Please continue to pray that they continue to progress and get home to us quickly. We are still pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming support from friends and family. This is such an amazing time in our lives and we are excited to share it with all of you.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Today is your's my birthday too"... and me too - January 31st

Our tiny little miracles arrived with lungs fully-functioning. There were approximately 26 people "attending the birth" in the OR, so it was quite noisy, but I was still able to hear all three babies crying amidst the chaos and it was the most BEAUTIFUL thing I have ever heard.

Here are the stats:

Baby A: Kendall Marie Louis - arrived at 9:44am weighing in at 4lb 7oz and
17.7 inches long (45cm)

Baby B: Emma Claire Louis - arrived at 9:45am weighing in at 4lb 5oz and 17.9 inches long (45.5cm)

Baby C: Clark William Louis - arrived at 9:46am weighing in at 4lb and 17.5 inches long (44.5cm)

They are, of course, absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way. They have been in the NICU's larger open room and are doing so well that they will be moved to a private room in "Dogwood Cove" (just more of a step-down unit where constant monitoring is still provided, but not one-on-one care that they have at the moment). This is actually a great indicator that they are all doing exceptionally well and could mean that they will come home much sooner than we might have anticipated.

All three have been on room-air since the beginning, although I believe that Clark had just a little help with oxygen right at first. They are in enclosed isolettes that help to regulate their body temperatures. They are feeding quite well, although their weights are down just a little bit (as is the case with almost ALL newborns),so they still seem to be holding their own.

We are SOOOOO pleased that we made it to the 34 wk mark as that was our goal and we felt like they had the best chance at that point. We feel it is probably the reason that they are doing SO well already.

I will post more tomorrow (now that we FINALLY have internet access). Hopefully this will give everyone the main highlights of information that you are looking for. I apologize that we haven't posted pics yet, but we need to pull some and be able to identify who is who (it got a little confusing in the operating room and soon after their birth in the NICU). We will get that together and post the pics tomorrow (I mean later today as it is 2:30am Saturday morning).

We are incredibly blessed to be sharing such wonderful news with all of you. They are simply more amazing that we could have ever imagined and we are enjoying learning more about them each time that we visit. Thank you again for your prayers and support.