Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Officially 30 weeks today...

Sorry for no post yesterday. We received some not so good news and I was too exhausted when we got home to do a blog entry.

Lets start with our little Princess Miss Addison.... Yesterday Addison had another brain scan. While the bleeding in her brain has not gotten any worse, the blood has not begun to drain as they expected. It's starting to clot and is causing spinal fluid to sit on her brain. The technical name for this is "progressive hydrocephalus". We met with a neuro surgeon yesterday who discussed with us the possibility of needing to either insert a needle into her brain to drain the fluid or implanting a shunt into her brain. A shunt would drain the fluid to another part of her body that could absorb the fluid. The neuro surgeon is going to closely monitor her for one week and make a decision after her next brain scan on Monday. While Addison continues to have these issues with her brain, everything else with her is going great. She is now eating 8ml of milk every 3 hours and is usually pretty alert and feisty. Her weight as of 4:00 this afternoon is 2 pounds 3 ounces.

Onto our little Pumpkin Miss Alexis.... As I explained in my blog on Sunday, Alexis is still having some "brady" issues. Yesterday she had quite a few as well as she had 18 last night. The doctor explained to us this morning that she is concerned that her PDA in her heart may have reopened or she may be getting some kind of infection. They ordered more blood work, a urine sample (which she did not enjoy, because a catheter has to be inserted) and started her on some antibiotics. They also increased her caffeine doses to twice a day and ordered another heart scan to check out her PDA issue. We should know the results of all of these tests tomorrow morning. Alexis is also tolerating her feedings as well. She is only eating 3ml every three hours. The doctor is hesitant to increase her feeds until she knows what the results of her tests are. Alexis' current weight as of 4:15 this afternoon is 2 pounds 7 ounces.

We haven't really taken any new pictures lately. The girls are very delicate and because they keep it so dark in the n.i.c.u. a flash is always necessary while taking pictures. The flash on the camera really seems to be bothering them lately so we've cut back on taking pictures. The nurses and doctors told us that every movement or noise stresses them out. They say that the most important thing right now is for them to get to know Terry and I through our voices and our touch and to try and limit outside disturbances. This is why we haven't invited many guests into see them. Yes, we are keeping them very sheltered but that is really what is in their best right now.

We continue to ask for your prayers for our girls as well as for us. Terry and I are both having issues holding it together and we just ask you to pray for our families continued strength to continue to fight through these difficult times.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rub A Dub Dub....Our little Princess in a Tub!!!

Ok, so maybe she wasn't actually in a tub....But Addison got her first bath today!!! It was more like a sponge bath, but it was her first official cleaning and trust me....she needed it!!! Basically what we did was wipe her down using a bowl of water and wash cloth with baby wash on it. She was a little hesitant at first but I think she actually liked it. Once she was done with her bath she was more calm and she went right to sleep. I brought in their little infant bath towels to use. It pretty much swallowed her up but it was still super cute!!!

Alexis was having some issues today. She has been having some "brady" spells where she drops her heart rate and forgets to breath. (The technical name for this is bradycardia, but for short they call them bradys.) They tell us that this is common in premature infants but if it happens more times than you can count on one hand in 24 hours something is probably going on. Alexis had about 12 "bradys" last night so the doctor ordered some blood work on her and found out that her red blood cell count was very low and she was a little anemic. Because of this she had a blood transfusion today. We decided that since she was a little agitated that we would hold off on her bath until tomorrow or Tuesday. Alexis' current weight is now at 2 pounds 5 ounces.

Addison was also having some issues later this afternoon as well. She was also dropping her heart rate a little. Her blood work indicated that she was borderline anemic and while her red blood cell count was within the normal range, it was close to being low as well. Dr. Simon decided to go ahead and give her another blood transfusion. This will be her second. Addison is currently weighing in at a 2 pounds 2 ounces. She has gained almost 3 ounces in less than 24 hours. Terry calls her Piggly Wiggly. She actually is starting to get a little meat on her bones. She has a little belly now, which is so adorable.

Due to the fact that we just got our new video camera yesterday, I don't have pictures to post today. Normally I'm the one behind the camera, but Terry has taken the lead on learning the video. So today while I was bathing Addison, Terry was video'ing as opposed to taking still shots. Once the disk is full I hope to have figured out how to post the video on my website. I'm kinda bummed that we didn't get still photos as well, but the video is going to be priceless.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Another big day!!

Above is Terry holding Addison for the first time.
Awwwww......So sweet!!!

They keep it so dark in the N.I.C.U. that some times it's hard to get a good picture. It seems like the color is always off a little.


Quite a bit happened today!! We found out that Alexis' PDA valve in her heart has resolved itself. Which is great news!!! Alexis is also now eating breast milk as well. To answer a question that we received yesterday from someone.....I am trying to pump milk for the girls, but due to the fact that the babies were born so prematurely, I'm having some issues producing. I am hoping that this issue resolves itself in due time. I've tried just about every wives tale in the book. If you know of any, I'm willing to try just about anything!

Addison continues to thrive and is eating more and more everyday. She is now up to six milliliters(ml) of milk every three hours. This may not seem like a lot, but in the past few days she has increased from 2 ml's every 6 hours.

Addison & her Daddy had a special day today. Terry got to hold her for the first time for about an hour and a half. (see pictures above) Alexis was a little fired up today and was having some issues with her c-pap so we didn't want to disturb the little princess once she finally calmed down.

Sorry for being so short tonight. We really are trying to get into some kind of routine and are trying to focus on sticking with it. Tomorrow is going to be a big day and I'm going to need a full nights sleep to accomplish everything on the "to do list". On tomorrow's agenda.......THE GIRLS GET THEIR FIRST BATH!!!! Stay tuned for lots of pictures & video I'm sure!!! (we finally got around to buying our video camera today, thanks to all the gift cards we received to Target)

By the way.... Is anyone else having issues uploading pictures and videos into blogspot?? I know that the videos take awhile, but recently I've been having issues with my pictures too. It's so frustrating!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Q & A....

Ok, so I decided earlier today during a phone call with a friend that today's blog would be a question & answer segment. We've received MANY questions from people and we just want to set the record straight. If I don't address your question please feel free to email me at: cardinalsfan0718@netzero.com and I will do my best to answer it in a later blog. Both girls are doing great and there really isn't anything new to report so I thought today would be a great day to answer some questions.

1. Did you guys do fertility treatments? Yes, after trying for several years to have a family with no success, Terry & I decided that we would do whatever it took to have a child. We understood the potential of multiples. We just wanted our "own" child. (all the full details of our iui process can be read on earlier blog posts) For some reason as soon as you tell people that you have multiple babies that is their first question. It used to bother me but I think we both are just used to it by now.

2. How early were the babies? Contrary to popular belief....the girls were born at 27 weeks 5 days. Trust me....i know when the girls were implanted so I know exactly how far along I was.

3. "Why" were the babies born early? I only wish I could answer this question. I've gone over & over everything in my head a million times. I'm not God. Obviously he had a different plan than I did. I've finally come to accept the fact that having Addison & Alexis early was NOT my fault. Some may continue to blame me & that is their choice but ultimately God is in control of all and only time will explain his decisions.

4. Have you guys been allowed to hold the babies or do kangaroo care with them?
Yes, I got to hold the babies for the first time yesterday and then again today. Terry was going to hold the girls today, but was having some issues with one of his eyes. His eye was red, kinda swollen and itchy. Since the babies are so fragile he didn't want to take the chance of passing on any type of infection to them. We are hoping that tomorrow he will get to hold them. I'm just as excited for him to hold the babies as he is to actually do it. Kangaroo care is basically holding the baby with skin to skin contact. I take off my shirt and hold the girls directly on my chest. They love it as much as I do. Both girls seem to be very calm while I'm holding them. Their heart rates never drop or increase at all. It's such an amazing feeling, one that I think most mothers of full term babies take for granted. I would give up just about everything I own to have my girls at home with me and be able to hold them and kiss them whenever I please.

5. When will the babies get to come home? The goal is to have the girls home by their full term due date, which is July 7th.

6. Looking back now, don't you wish you had an amnio done? Absolutely not!!! Regardless of what an amnio may or may not have told us, Terry and I both knew how we felt about this. We NEVER would have done selective reduction or terminated one of our babies based on the results of an amnio. Regardless of what obstacles both our babies may be faced with in the future, it does not change the fact that we will love them NO MATTER WHAT!!! We were advised that doing an amnio on one baby could put the other at risk, so we opted not to do it on either.

7. What did you mean by your previous post when you said 2 1/2 babies? For those of you who haven't read our earlier posts....I was pregnant with triplets. Early into the pregnancy we found out that Baby C, who we have named Hope, no longer had a heart beat. This was a devastating day for us. No one can fully know the pain of having lost a child unless you have actually experienced it. While we know now that Hope's purpose is to be an Angel looking down on her sisters, we will never forget the fact that we are parents to three girls. Yes, I did actually deliver 3 babies, baby Hope was stillborn. For some reason it still bothers me when people call our girls twins, because technically they are not. I do realize that this is something that I will just have to learn to deal with. I just ask those of you who have already made your rude comments regarding my sensitivity to look at the situation from our point of view.

8. How did you decide on the girls names? Honestly, there really is no rhyme or reason to how we decided on their names. I heard the name Addison on a TV show about a year ago and loved it. When I ran it by Terry he was ecstatic about it. I now realize that Wrigley Field is on the corner of Addison St in Chicago. Trust me, if I had known this earlier I may have reconsidered. As far as Alexis goes....Terry picked her name out of a name book that his brother and sister in law had given us. The girls aren't named after anyone. We just liked the names. We really wanted to have a family name, but couldn't come up with anything great. We didn't think that Melba, Aloise, Mary Ann, Adolf, Marvin or Albert would have been good names in this day and age. If the girls had been boys their names would have been Gregory William and Carl Patrick.

9. Are the babies identical? As of right now we don't know the answer to that question. The placenta was sent out for lab testing after their birth. We were advised that the results of this testing takes 4-6 weeks. To look at the girls they have obvious differences. But as the girls develop they look more and more alike. Right now Addison has blonde hair, but we were told that this will probably all fall out since they were born so early. Alexis also has a full head of dark hair. Their little hats, that hold their c-pap in place, prevent you from seeing their hair.

10. Who do the girls look like? This is all a matter of opinion. I think that both girls look like Terry, especially Alexis. She has his nose and facial features. Addison also has her Daddy's nose. Terry seems to think that they look like me, but I don't see it? Every one who has seen the girls say they look like Terry.

Ok, I think that is all of the questions/answers I have for now. Like I said before, please feel free to email us if we didn't cover your question here today. We would rather people ask us than assume things that are not true. I'm sure that I've probably ruffled some feathers with my answers and please know that was never my intention.

I know I've said this 100 times, but we still ask for your continued prayers for our girls. While they have been having great days, we are no where near close to being out of the woods.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

WOW!!!! The only appropriate word!

The above picture is me holding Alexis.

Above picture is Mommy and Alexis

The above picture is Alexis with her eyes open. She had her eyes open for a good ten minutes this afternoon while I was holding Addison.

The above picture is me holding Addison for the first time.

Above picture is me with Addison again. (ignore the double chin, I just had two & a half babies 10 days ago!!!)

Ok, so I had this whole entire blog almost done for today that I started working on this morning but it's all going by the wayside because I GOT TO HOLD THE BABIES TODAY for the first time!!! While most woman get to hold their babies within seconds of delivery, I had to wait 10 days. It was more incredible than I could have ever imagined!! And to answer everyone's question.... YES, I did cry! I got to hold each girl for about an hour.

We've been taking small video clips of the girls, but I've been having trouble recently uploading them into my website. I can download them into youtube but not into my website?? Not sure what the issue is but I've attached the links to view them on youtube if you are interested.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRwE3Jiz2bM (this video is Alexis on 4-23-2009)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC5UQJaGjro (this video is Addison on 4-23-2009)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaNMn7IM_dY (this video is Alexis just checking things out on 4-24-2009)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Got Milk???

Sorry for being MIA for a day, but WE had to catch up on some much needed rest!!!

So here's the latest and greatest with our gals! We will start with Miss Alexis first today. Alexis has been pretty quiet the last couple of days. She had her pick line put in her right arm yesterday and is just learning to cope with that. We did find out from Alexis' last heart scan that she has something that they refer to as a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Basically a quick explanation of a pda is.... a persistent connection between the aorta and the pulmonary artery after birth. This connection is called the ductus arteriosus, and it is normally present before birth. In most babies, the vessel closes within a few hours to days after birth. In some babies, the ductus arteriosus remains open (patent) after birth. PDA is more common in premature infants, but it can happen in full-term infants. It is twice as common in girls as in boys. So, Alexis is currently being treated with some meds to try and close up the ductus. She will have a repeat test on Friday so we should know more then. Dr. Simon (the girls doctor this week, the docs work 7 days on then 7 days off) assures us that at this point he is not majorly concerned about Alexis' pda issue.

Onto Miss Addison....she also has been relatively quiet the last few days. Yesterday Addison officially started eating breast milk. Of course this is all given to her through a feeding tube connected to her stomach, but the good news is that she is tolerating it well. They have upped her feedings from every 6 hours to every 3 hours and she seems to be responding well!!

I seriously think that both girls already have their father wrapped around their little fingers. He just melts every time they grab a hold of his finger. Addison has such a strong grip and Alexis is just so dainty. It's getting easier and a lot less overwhelming to touch and interact with each girl. Terry and I both take turns changing each one and helping with their assessments every day. One day he does Alexis & I do Addison and then the next day we switch. It really amazes me how they really do know that we are there with them. Both girls can be really fired up, crying and agitated and all it takes is for one of us to place our hand onto their tiny little chest and start talking to them and then they calm down. They keep telling us to keep talking to them because it actually can help them develop faster. At this point we are willing to try anything that will help us get our baby girls home as fast as possible!!!

We continue to ask for your continued prayers. While our girls are continuing to thrive we are not even close to being out of the woods yet!!

(I've been trying to uplod videos of the girls for the last 45 minutes. Apparantly, I'm having serious issues with videos lately!! GRRR!!!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy One Week Birthday!!!

Well today the girls are officially one week old!!! I have no idea where the last week has gone. All the days seem to have ran together. Here's a real quick update on our progress so far... I'm totally exhausted and emotionally and physically drained, so I'm gonna try and be quick.

Let's start with our first born, Addison. We met with the doctor today and he showed us her brain scans. It was very interesting to see what they actually look like. The good news with Addison is that the bleeding in her brain has not gotten any worse. It's also not gotten any better. Basically we have no real answers about the bleeding. We will repeat the brain scans every Monday. Only time will tell what the ramifications of the bleeding will actually be. The doctor continues to warn us of the risk of cerebral palsy and mental retardation, but he also assures us that he doesn't feel that it is terminal. Addison is completely off her billie/jaundice lights and continues to thrive on the c-pap. She also had an echo cardiogram today and the doctor said that her heart looks great. Today she looked a little agitated, but I think she is still getting used to being off the ventilator.

Now onto Alexis. Alexis also had a brain scan and echo cardiogram today. Both her brain scan and echo came back great. She's looking good and we are just hoping that she can gain some weight. She continues to be adorable and feisty!! It truly amazes me how quickly they establish their own personalities. She's such a little diva and definitely a Daddy's girl. She always grabs onto his finger everytime Terry touches her.

I had my stiches removed today. Luckily my tummy is still really numb so I didn't feel much. As per doctors orders I'm going to go get some rest. I think I'm realizing that I'm not Super Woman and I can't do everything on my own. Sorry no pictures today, I'll work on more later this week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another MAJOR milestone!!!




I know that I said that I wasn't going to post today, but I couldn't not blog about today!!

Miss Addison is now on c-pap!!! She had her breathing tube removed around 3:00 today. It's taking a little bit for her to get used to it but she is doing well!! Both girls are continuing to do great!!! Our prayers are slowly being answered one by one!!
Tomorrow is going to be a big day for both girls. Both our angels will have brain ultrasounds tomorrow and full physicals. Alexis is having her umbilical catheter removed tomorrow and a pick line put in. (The same thing Addison had a couple of days ago....basically it's the same as an adult IV line.) We are hoping and praying that tomorrow continues to bring us good news about our girls!!!
While we were in the NICU today the lights flickered on and off. I have never seen so many people move so quickly in my life!!! The nurses all ran to check on the babies who are still on the ventilators. Luckily our Addison was off the vent when this happened! But it's great to know that in the event of an emergency everyone is on their toes!!!
Terry & I got to help with both girls assessments this afternoon. I did Addison's & Terry did Alexis'. Basically we just take their temperatures for the nurse and change their diapers while the nurse is doing everything else. It's just nice to be able to touch my girls. I can't wait until the day that I actually get to hold them in my arms!!
I'm still having some issues with youtube. GRRR!! I don't think I'm going to be able to figure out how to post the baptism video on there. I'm not totally giving up yet, but I'm close! Today's pictures are of Miss Addison. The two above pics are Addison on her c-pap!! I know she looks really red and splotchy. It's not as bad as it appears in the pictures. It's so hard to get a decent picture with the jaundice lights on her. The video below is of Miss Diva herself....Alexis. She's being suctioned out and isn't too happy about it. I couldn't resist posting the video of her sweet little cries!
Please send out extra prayers that both brain scans & physicals go well tomorrow!!! I can already tell I'm gonna have a hard time sleeping tonight!!

video

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Two Angel's Baptisms....


Not much medical news on the girls to report today. Everything is just about the same as yesterday. We had the girls baptised today. A chaplain from the hospital came and performed the "ceremony". The above pictures are of the little bibles & the cards that Grandma & Grandpa Zehner got them for their special day.
Since the girls are still considered in "critical care" the hospital wouldn't let actual "holy water" be used. The nurses provided sterile water from the NICU and the chaplain blessed the water. The sea shells shown in the above picture were used to hold the water. The original plan was to use the sea shells to pour the water onto the girls but the nurses weren't having any part of that. The chaplain, with his shaky hands, dabbed a little bit of water onto both girls in the shape of a cross. My Mom poured the remaining water from both shells onto Terry & I.... half of the water from Addison's shell onto me & the other half onto Terry....and the same for Alexis' shell.
I'm working on trying to figure out how to upload the video of the baptism onto youtube. Once I figure this out I will post a link.
I decided that unless something major happens tomorrow that I'm going to take the day off from blogging. I've been doing my best to keep my blog up to date because I know that we have people from around the world reading it and praying for our girls. Things are pretty stressful right now and I hope you all don't mind if I take a break for a day. Again, I can't tell you all how much we appreciate every ones continued support and prayers for our girls.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The sweetest sound you ever heard.....

To be continued..... It took me about 45 minutes to figure out how to scan these pictures and it still isn't right... Dinner time... will post for today in about an hour.

Ok, lets try this again....Today was an eventful day for all of us. When I was watching Alexis I heard the softest sweetest little whimper/cry. I don't know why I didn't realize it, but since we are on day two of Alexis without her breathing tube in her throat she can actually cry. It was probably the sweetest sound I've ever heard. Alexis continues to thrive without her breathing tube. She still has her c-pap apparatus, which looks worse than it really is, but she seems to be holding her own. Terry got to change Alexis' diaper today and take her temperature for the nurse. He was a little apprehensive about this. It's very overwhelming the first time, because of all the cords attached. My first time changing them was pretty scary. It's easy to be fearful of pulling out a cord or tugging on something and hurting them, so I understand why he was afraid. (Alexis is pictured on top, with the little white hat on. The hat actually holds her c-pap in place.) My mom saw Alexis yawn. She's a little diva. She's always all stretched out with her foot tapping. We should have some more pictures up soon. Terry put his wedding ring around her leg, it kind of puts the size thing into perspective. I hope to have those pictures soon!

Addison also had a great day today. One of her cords into her belly button was no longer doing its job. They say that this is normal and that sometimes the cords only last a few days. The cord that was no longer functioning was Addison's food source. (I don't remember the actual technical name of this cord) She had a pick line (not sure of the spelling) placed into her left arm this afternoon. Basically this would be comparable to the same as an adult having an iv placed. They had her slightly sedated while doing it but she did a great job. I also got to change Addison's diaper & take her temperature. She had saved up a pretty massive poo for me. Due to the way she is being fed, her poo pretty much resembles a tar like substance.

Both girls weights are increasing, which is great!! I can't totally remember the exact figures, but I know that Alexis is up 30 grams from yesterday and Addison is up 10 grams from yesterday. (yes, the metric system is a pain in the ass!!!)

The girls are going to be baptized tomorrow afternoon at 1:00. We've gotten special permission from the NICU to have a few extra people present. We are only allowed to have 2 people present per girl, meaning we can only have 4 people in our area at a time. Everyone in the NICU has been really great and has been super accommodating to all our requests. It makes it easier to sleep at night knowing that they are being cared for so well. The above picture was actually taken by the girls night nurse, Carrie, yesterday. The nurses during the evening apparantly do a lot of scrapbooking for the parents of the NICU babies. I thought this was very cool!! The evening nurses are not usually as busy since they don't have as many parents in and out. Carrie had made a scrap book page of Alexis, on her first day without her breathing tube. And she made a page for Addison as well. Again just another thing that makes me feel a little better about their level of care. Until tomorrow.....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today's been a good day...

Both girls are having a good day today. They keep warning us that it will be a major roller coaster ride for the next few months.

Alexis is already known in the NICU as the "one with the attitude". I wonder where she gets that from???? She always wants to be involved. She likes to hang onto & pull on all her cords. Yesterday she pee'd all over me when they let me change her diaper. I was so excited to do it because we are barely allowed to touch the girls and holding them is totally out of the question. This afternoon around 3:00pm Alexis had her breathing tube removed. She is now on cpap. We pray she continues breathing mainly on her own. She looked very relaxed and calm all day.

Addison is a fighter. She also looked so calm & peaceful all day today. She had her first blood transfusion this morning & is doing well. We take things hour by hour with her. All we can do is continue to pray that the bleeding in her brain subsides on its own. I also got to change her diaper today. She's not nearly as feisty as Alexis but she definitely has some Irish blood in her.

I'm writing this blog post from home tonight which is kinda bittersweet. I felt bad leaving my girls but I was also starting to go stir crazy in my room. I will be calling to get an update on both girls shortly. Hopefully, I will actually be able to get some sleep tonight in my own bed?

We've been noticing that all the babies in the NICU have their own personalized space. Whether it's a stuffed animal on the nurses area, balloons, signs etc. most of the babies have something. I've been feeling bad because our girls are listed as Baby Girl Smith 1 and Baby Girl Smith 2 on their tags and don't have any personalized items. My Mom brought them pink Easter bunnies to put on the nurses station area. Today my sister sent us some balloons & a cute picture frame. I'm working on getting them personalized name tags for their incubators but tonight we are going to work on their covers. The outside of their cubes are usually covered. My Mom bought some fabric so we can make their own fleece covers as well as liners for their incubators. Terry's about to grill us some dinner and then we are going to make their covers. While I hate the fact that they aren't here with us, I want to try and personalize their NICU stay as much as I can. (I know that probably doesn't make sense, but I don't really know how else to explain it)

We still ask for your continued prayers. Please forward our prayer request to anyone who is willing to say a prayer for our little angels! We can never have too many people looking out for us!! At this point prayer is all we have. We continue to put our trust in the Lord knowing he will guide us during this process. We love you all!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What a roller coaster...

Today's been kind of rough so I'm turning this over to my Mom to make today's update. Both Terry & I are on an emotional roller coaster right now, so I feel it's best to let my Mom post for today....

Today Janet called the house and said that Terry needed to get to the hospital because the babies Doctor wanted to talk to both of them.
When we got here the Dr was here in minutes. She said that Addison had a bleed in her head. On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the worse, on the right side was a 1 and that it may heal on its own. On the left side it was a 4. This has a chance of about 25% that this could take care of its self. But if not they will be dealing with cerebral palsy, missed spelled, but you get the drift of what they may have to deal with. This bleed was found when they did an ultra sound of the head. Alexis seems to be fine but she will be checked on Monday. Both had x-rays yesterday to see how the tubes placement in their chest was doing. They both are still on respirators, but are initiating their own breath and the machines just helps them along.
All of these issues are just do to the fact that they were so early.

The one thing that we must remember is the power of prayer, so please keep Addison and Alexis, Janet and Terry all in your prayers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Girls are here!!

Addison Grace & Alexis Faith joined us on Monday, April 13Th @ 3:34am. After about 12 hours of pretty consistent contractions the medication would no longer stop my labor. Around 2:00a.m. baby girl Addison really was wanting to come out. The doctor came back, checked things out and said that it was time to deliver.

Addison Grace weighed in at 1 pound 15 ounces and was 13.7 inches long.

Alexis Faith weighed in at 2 pounds 2 ounces and was 14.17 inches long.

Both girls are in the N.I.C.U. (neonatal intensive care unit). Every hour they get stronger and stronger. Addison is really fighting her breathing tube. She is trying to breath on her own. Which is great!! They are not giving her any artificial air. She is breathing what they call "room air". Basically she is breathing the same air as we are just with a little help. Alexis is also pretty feisty. She wants to be involved in everything that is going on. When we last visited, the Nurse said that when she changed Alexis she was hanging onto her cords and was kicking around like crazy. They assure us that the fact that both girls are moving around a lot is a great thing!! Both babies will receive brain scans tomorrow morning and we should know much more then.

Terry and I both are pretty exhausted with everything going on. We are trying to get into some kind of schedule(which is easier said than done). We usually visit the girls early in the morning, around lunch, and once in the evening before the nursery closes. We truly appreciate every one's continued support and prayers for our little girls. Please don't be offended if we don't take your call or answer your text messages right away. Things are pretty chaotic with nurses in and out constantly, as well as there are a ton of dead cell spots in the hospital. We will do our best to keep this blog updated so that everyone knows what is going on. It's just been a little difficult to do. We honestly are living each hour by hour right now and the best that we can do is to continue to ask for every ones support and prayers!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

No more Easter!!

So, I think that I've decided that I'm officially done celebrating Easter. I will chose another day to celebrate the resurrection of Christ but for now I'm over Easter. Bad things always happen on Easter. My only Grandpa that I've ever really known had a pretty severe stroke on Easter many years ago. I'll never forget the look in his eyes while he was laying on the floor while my sisters and I were trying to figure out how to call for an ambulance in the country. Surprisingly enough....not everywhere in the world has 911. Two years ago on Easter I said my final good byes to my Grandpa as he was slowly making his way to heaven. Easter always stirs up bad memories for me.

Now onto today..... Here is my disclaimer....this is kind of gross so if you don't want to hear the full details I suggest you stop reading now...

I woke up this morning around 7:oo. Got up used the bathroom, checked my blood sugar, just typical stuff. Terry made me breakfast and I laid back down in bed. About 9:00 I felt this weird feeling in my stomach....almost like passing gas. Too much information I know, but in all fairness I did warn you. I sat up to go to the bathroom and gush....I thought I wet my pants. When I stood up it kept gushing down my legs. I made it to the bathroom and it still was coming out. For some strange reason it took me about 2 or 3 minutes to realize what the heck was going on. The feeling was not what I expected my water breaking to feel like. I grabbed my go to book(what to expect when you are expecting) and tried to look up water breaking. Surprisingly enough, there is nothing listed in the index under water breaking. Something told me I needed to call the doctor. I paged the on call doctor. Wait....wait....Phone rings....It's Dr. Cleary calling from church. I can hear the choir in the background. I explain to him what happens and he told me that I should meet him at the hospital. Terry and I run around the house for a few minutes and off we go to the hospital. The whole entire time fluid is still leaking out. (see disclaimer before you make that disgusted face!) We get to the hospital, sign some forms (which I don't think is appropriate to have you sign legal documents when you are in the middle of freaking out but whatever) and I'm wheeled into a triage room. IV placed, cultures taken to make sure my water did break, Beta Strep test performed (that sucks!), and so many other things that I don't even remember.

About noonish, I'm wheeled into a high risk pregnancy room. I was given a steroid shot to help develop the babies lungs in the event that they do need to be delivered. Contractions have been varying anywhere from 4 minutes to 12 minutes apart. I've been given two different medications to try and stop the contractions both seem to work well until it wears off.

At this point we are just playing the waiting game. I'm not dilated at all, but due to the fact that my water has ruptured, I'm not going anywhere until these babies are born. No one knows when this could be. Dr. Cleary said that sometimes it's two days and sometimes it's six weeks. Now we wait and pray!!!

I do have my laptop in the room here with me. I will continue to post updates as long as them will let me. Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!! This will definitely be another Easter I will never forget!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Photo Friday....














As promised, I finally uploaded the pictures of the babies room. Jynxie likes to sneak into their room and roll all over the rug. I couldn't resist including pictures of her as well. She's been very curious trying to figure out what is going on lately. Enjoy!!! (Yes, we are aware of the fact that all the stuffed animals and pillows have to be removed out of the crib.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quick Update...

Just a real quick update from our doctors appointment and ultrasound today. There is good news and bad news to report. I feel like lately, I've been swamped with bad news so lets start with the positives....

Both babies look great!!! Baby A who likes to hang out really low is weighing in at 2 pounds. She was being rather stubborn and did not want to cooperate for pictures. We could see that she was getting rather agitated by the poking and prodding. Baby B who likes to hang out in my upper rib cage is weighing in at 2 pounds 5 ounces. She also was not in a very photogenic mood today. She only wanted to show us her bottom. I told Terry that they definitely are his girls. They are mooning people already!! The doctor said everything looks great and the babies both look really healthy.

Now onto the not so great news... Just before we left for our appointment today I got a call from my OB's office that I once again failed the glucose test. I am scheduled to meet with a dietician tomorrow to set up my new diet and learn how to use the diabetes monitor that I will check my blood sugar with 6 times a day. Sounds like fun huh??

I also learned some interesting information. Things that I have been eating that I thought were good for me actually are really bad. I have been drinking a TON of juice. I'm supposed to drink 100 ounces of liquid everyday so juice is one of my beverages of choice. The lady told me from now until after the babies are born NO juice. She also said that I shouldn't be eating any fresh fruit before noon?? I usually consume either 2 bananas, 2 oranges, or a large amount of cantaloupe with my breakfast. She advised me that fresh fruits (especially melons) contain a high amount of sugar. I wasn't happy to hear that. Cantaloupe has been my snack food. I eat almost an entire cantaloupe every day. Who knew that I was actually causing this myself? I thought I was eating really healthy? Guess not!

So for today, No new pictures of the girls(insert sad face here). I'm sure I will have another post soon. We meet with the dietician and diabetes counselor tomorrow at 1:00p.m. EST so that should be interesting.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The latest & Baby Shower #3 (Chicago)

I've been meaning to get on here to update for about a week, but I've been playing the pity party game and haven't been able to bring myself to admit everything that is going on.

So, I left off about a week ago after my glucose test. Well, last Wednesday morning I get a phone call from Nurse Ratchett at my doctors office. (I REALLY love my OB, but his nurse is a witch) So, she procedes to tell me that I totally failed the glucose test. She said that I failed the test by more than 50 points and that it appears that I have become a full blown diabetic. She also indicated that I've become extremely anemic.

My first thought was guilt. The nurse made me feel like this was something that I caused. I've been so careful to eat right and make sure I gag down all my vitamins everyday. There have been SO many times where I've wanted to have a huge cup of coffee, a pepsi or a gigantic piece of chocolate cake etc. While it's been so tempting to say, "I'm pregnant and I'm eating for three", I know eating right will help the babies continue to grow strong. After that phone call, I immediatly start surfing the internet trying to figure out what I could do to fix the problem that obviously I had caused. I quickly learned that 65% of woman who carry multiple babies have gestational diabetes. Carrying multiple babies puts such a such a strain on the mommy's body that pregnancy hormones block insulin's ability to do its job. When this happens, glucose builds up in the pregnant woman's blood. Even the most healthiest of woman can become diabetic while carrying multilples. I also found out that woman with negative blood types are more apt to contract gestational diabetes. Woman who carry the RH factor in their blood may also be more at risk for GD. Inherited from my Mom, I have both a negative blood type and the RH factor. So, it seems like from the beginning, the odds were stacked against me. While this made me feel a little better, I still can't help but feel like I did something wrong.

So, what does this mean for us now.... I had to repeat another glucose test to see just how bad my body's insulin resistant really is. This morning we went back to the lab. I had blood drawn prior to the test. I drank the orange goop once again. Still tastes like crap!! I had to wait an hour and have blood drawn. Wait another hour have blood drawn again. Wait another hour have it drawn once again... repeat this process for 6 hours...the Nurse couldn't find a vein in my left arm so If you look at my right arm right now, I look like I'm some kind of drug user. Seriously, I may have to take a picture of my arm because minus the pain, I have the coolest purple bruise. So, now we patiently pray and cross our fingers for the results of the test. (approx. 48 hours) We hope that my levels come back low enough that everything can be treated without insulin shots. Worse case scenario...My doctor said he would have to admit me to the hospital until the girls are born and feed me through an IV. BLAH!!!!
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Saturday, April 4th was my final baby shower in Chicago. Obviously, due to the bed rest restrictions, I wasn't able to attend this shower either. Terry went in my place. He left Friday afternoon. I was really kind of freaked out to be home by myself. I all reality, I think that I was more afraid of having the babies while Terry was out of town. Friday evening my good friend Sue, picked me up and we went to Wal-Mart. While this doesn't sound very exciting to most....I was super ecstatic to make the trip. While I felt like a total idiot, cruising around the store in a motorized wheel chair, I quickly learned to blow off the stares of everyone. I was out of the house and I didn't care!!!

Saturday was the actual shower. I don't really know anything much about it. This makes me so sad!! I know Terry's Mom and his sister Gretchen spent so much time making everything perfect and I missed it. I really have no idea what the shower entailed. Terry forgot our camera so I don't have any pictures. I asked Terry what games they played...He doesn't know. I asked him what the restaurant looked like...He says it looks like a restaurant. I asked Terry how the food was...he said it was food. I don't know if he is down playing everything so that I don't feel even worse about missing the shower or if he is just being a guy and doesn't really care about stuff like this? I do know that we received a ton of adorable baby gifts. We received all of the remaining pieces to finish the nursery. Terry is in the process of putting everything together. Once all the bedding is washed and on the beds I will finally post pictures of the finished product. It looks so great!! Hopefully I will have these pictures up by the end of the week.

I just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone for looking out for me this weekend while Terry was gone. Having such great friends has made my bed rest so much easier!!! I can never fully explain how much you guys mean to me!!!

Check back soon....we have another ultrasound tomorrow. I'm hoping the girls cooperate and we get some good photos.