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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our Family Is Back Under One Roof

Thank you so much for all of your texts, calls, emails, and prayers.  Tayden was discharged from the hospital this morning!!!  He has been eating well and only coughs every now and then.  The pulmonologist visited him yesterday and said that his breathing will definitely improve as he gets bigger.  He explained that preemie boys have a harder time than preemie girls, but stated that Tayden's lung x-ray looked excellent!  The virus that caused the infection takes 7-10 to shed from their bodies and they will have the cough for 2-3 weeks.  Their lungs will still have particles of the virus for up to 8 weeks.  The doctor pointed out that the summer is a season of very few infections so the twins will have time to get bigger and stronger before the fall and spring when harmful infections are more prevalent.  For the time being we are going to the extreme of enforcing a mask and glove policy for all visitors.  We are also asking that if you or anyone in your household has been sick or feels they might be getting sick, you refrain from visiting.  I know this may seem a bit overboard, but we are determined to avoid hospital stays.  The occupational therapist also came to see Tayden and she said that for a 30 weeker, his development is right on track.  She did give us a few exercises to do with him to strengthen his neck.  There is a formula they use to calculate their developmental age, and they are at 6 weeks, despite being 14 weeks old.  She said that by the age of 2, the babies should be caught up to their peers with no signs of their premature beginning.  God has been so good and continues to guide every step we take in this journey.  Being at childrens' hospitals these past two weeks made us realize that things could be worse - much worse.  The twins spent a total of 5 nights in the hospital, but there are children that spend weeks, even months at a time there.  I can only imagine how tough that would be on the whole family.  Parents must work, but want to be with their sick babies.  We saw some kids that didn't have any family with them during the day.  It was very sad!!!  We are so very blessed!      

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I would imagine that one of the most important lessons we can teach our children is to share.  I think that the twins are well on their way to getting it down.  Brooklyn shared her croup with Tayden and tonight he is in the hospital.  Tim is staying the night with him and I am at home with Brooklyn.  We were very impressed with Cooks this time around - much better than our ER visit last Tuesday.  They just got a new entertainment system so that you can play games, watch movies, or surf the net from the comfort of your room.  This helped Tim make the decision to stay!!!  The doctor said that Tayden's breathing looked good - we are hoping that the breathing treatments we have been giving him for a week will keep him from getting as bad as Brooklyn did.  He does have a terrible cough and he has a tiny appetite.  The doctor warned us that it will probably get worse before it gets better - UGH!!!  They put him on the cannula (I reminded him how he had overcome this equipment before and that he should not get too comfortable with it this time around) and got him on an iv to keep him from getting dehydrated.  He was sleeping well when I left this evening.  I feel like I am on the never-ending roller coaster ride.  Each time it pulls into the station and I go to stand up, the ride starts again before I can get off.  Each ride brings new faces and some of the same faces that I am so glad have not found their way off the ride either.  There have been some very low lows, but the highs have far outnumbered them and keep us going each day.  I am starting to think that we should convert the nursery into a large bubble to keep the twins protected from germs for the next few years.  They got this without going out in public - so what scary germs are we going to find when we do actually take them out???  I must thank my sweet mother for being such a big help.  She has been puked on, pooped on, but most of all loved on.  I am pretty sure that is what keeps her coming back.  She makes my experience as a mom of multiples easier each and every day.  I will never be able to thank her adequately for what she has done and continues to do for us each day.  We love you so much SueSue!!!!  Please keep us all in your prayers.  We are hoping that sweet Tayden will be home in the next few days and we can move on to happier and healthier days.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Brooklyn Is Back Home!

Brooklyn was discharged this afternoon and is back at home resting well.  She still sounds very congested and is coughing pretty badly at times, but she is eating much better and seems to feel much better.  Tayden has started to cough a little, but the breathing treatments we are giving him seem to be helping.  Thank you all for your prayers!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sweet Brooklyn

Update on Brooklyn

We went back to the pediatrician to follow-up on Brooklyn yesterday and she was very concerned about her cough.  On Wednesday she had started to eat less and when she was hungry she had a hard time keeping her formula down because she was coughing so bad.  Her doctor decided that we should have her admitted to Children's Hospial of Dallas so that they could keep a close eye on her and the pulmonary specialist she has been wanting us to see is based in Dallas and does his rounds there and could see her quickly.  We made the drive to Dallas about 4:00 p.m. yesterday.  We did have to process through the ER and finally made it to a room at around 10:00.  They had things much more organized than Cooks and we were very impressed.  Her oxygen level did sink a little, especially when she would cough so they put her on a nasal cannula.  This definitely gave us flashbacks to the NICU!!!  Once she got to her room they decided to start an IV because she was on the verge of being dehydrated.  She has a very nice big person room all to herself with a metal crib in the center.  We were so used to her being in a room with other babies and nurses so this is definitely a change.  We made the decision at around midnight for Tim to stay with her and for me to come home to tend to Tayden so that my mom could get some rest.  I just talked to Tim and the pulmonary specialist came by this morning and is thinking that this could all be the result of her aspirating during one or more of her reflux episodes.  They did a nasal culture in the ER yesterday and he anticipates the results to all be negative and at that point he would like to give her a round of steroids to clear up her lungs.  She has had a few breathing treatments and been suctioned a few more times and is eating well.  So now we just wait to see what the results of the nasal culture show so that we know what the next step will be.  We are still giving Tayden breathing treatments at home and he is doing very well.  Thank you so much for your prayers - please keep them coming!!!

Update - The doctor just came in and her culture showed that she has the croup.  He said that they are seeing a lot of it in babies right now and that he thinks she should be much better in 3-5 days.  If she doesn't get better as fast as he would like her to he will try the steroids.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

3 Months Old - Interesting Evening

The babies turned 3 months old today and made sure that we had an eventful day.  We went to the pediatrician today for their D-Tap shot and for a weight check.  Both babies weigh 9 lbs. 4 oz.!!!!  The doctor said that they are gaining weight nicely and looked really good.  Brooklyn does have a case of craddle cap and eczema on her face.  We had noticed a knot on the back of her neck and the doctor said it was probably a lymph node, swollen due to the skin irritations.  We felt good about the visit and had a good afternoon.  It is now 4:00 a.m. and we just got home from the emergency room. Brooklyn started coughing on Monday, but we thought it was a symptom of her reflux. This evening while feeding her I noticed that she was really struggling to breathe.  She was wheezing and her cough was getting worse.  As soon as Tim got home and shared my concerns we called the doctor who advised us to head to Cooks.  My sweet mom came over to watch Tayden so he could stay home.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!  When we arrived I could not believe how many sick children were crammed in the waiting room.  I made the decision to sit outside with Brooklyn while Tim waited inside for her name to be called.  Once he explained to the registration person that she was a preemie, he quickly got us back.  The room full of sick people did give us some crazy looks, but at that point I really didn't care.  They did a chest x-ray and it was clear, so they tried a breathing treatment and it seemed to help a little so they did three more.  The doctor thinks that she has a viral infection called bronchiolitis.  We are not sure how she got this since we never leave the house.  There is not antibiotics to treat the infection, it just has to run its course.  Bronchiolitis is related to RSV and they are sending off a specimen to see if she in fact has RSV.  They sent us home with a breathing machine so that we can give her treatments at home.  Her little cough is just pitiful!!!!  Seeing her sick is just as bad as seeing her in the incubator 3 months ago.  She is so helpless and I wish there was something I could do to make her feel better.  We are now being super careful to keep the twins separated.  Tayden has already been exposed, but we are praying he doesn't get sick as well.  This could be even worse for him since he still struggles with his breathing at times.   Please pray for both babies - for Brooklyn to get well quickly and for Tayden to stay well. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pictures from Ann Marie

We got the disks of pictures from Ann Marie.  She did an amazing job!!!  Here are some of our favorites!

1st Mother's Day/GI Specialist

Wow, it has been a long time since my last update!!  The twins are definitely keeping me busy and when the opportunity arises to sleep or update the blog - I usually choose sleep!  Last week Nurse Stephanie from the NICU came over for a visit.  It was great catching up with her.  She loved on the babies and I know they loved seeing their favorite nurse.  My sister and new nephew Payton also came over for a visit on Saturday.  It was the first time we were actually able to sit down and catch up on all that has been going on since we became moms.  We have been through so many of life's milestones together, and it is very fitting that we became moms at the same time. 
My 1st Mother's Day was wonderful!!!  I got a sweet card, roses, an engraved picture frame, and a charm with a little boy and girl.  Tim watched the twins for awhile so that I could sleep and then we took the babies out for the very first time to somewhere other than the doctor's office.  We went to the Mexican Inn for a yummy dinner!!!  I was very nervous at first to be exposing them to the germs of the outside world, but it wasn't crowded and they slept the entire time.  It was so refreshing to get out of the house.  These days Sonic and Walgreens are about as far as I get from home.
Today we took Brooklyn to the GI Specialist about her reflux.  The doctor examined her and thinks that because of her eczema, spitting up, and painful pooping, she probably has a milk protein allergy.  He put her on a different formula to try for a week.  He suggested no longer adding the rice cereal to thicken the formula or switching to a non-soy cereal.  He also increased her Prevacid dosage.  He told us that if it is in fact an allergy she will probably outgrow it by the time she turns one.  If it is not an allergy - it is just bad reflux and she will outgrow it by the time she is one.  If this new formula doesn't work we definitely have a long 9 months to look forward to!!!  We have given her two bottles of the new formula and she seems to like it pretty well.  We are hooking her back up to the monitor when she sleeps in case she has any major episodes.  The new formula smells even worse than the old one.  I can definitely tell who I fed last by the spit-up smell that lingers most strongly on my shirt.  So now the babies are on different formulas and different nipples.  Late night feedings will definitely require me to be alert so that I keep it all straight.  After seeing the Nap Nanny featured in People Magazine (Sandra Bullock's new baby was sleeping on one) we purchased one for Broolyn in the hopes that she would sleep better and not reflux as bad.  So far, she LOVES it!!!  She sleeps very peacefully in it and does much better than when we were lying her down flat on her back.
We did purchase a scale for the house and it shows that both babies are getting very close to 9 lbs.!!! Brooklyn was 8 lbs. 12 oz. at the doctor today and Tayden was 8 lbs. 9 oz. when we weighed him on Sunday. The babies have their three month check-up with the pediatrician next Tuesday. We are eager to see how they are progressing. I will do my very best to post more frequently!!! I hope everyone has a great week!

Hanging out in the pack-n-play
Titan and Sambo watching over the twins
The twins on their boppies
Tayden and his cousin Payton who is only 9 days older than the twins
Brooklyn in her Nap Nanny
Sweet Tayden
My Mother's Day gifts

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cardiologist Follow-up

Today was a very busy day for us.  Tim went back to work which was really hard on all of us.  I had gotten used to him being here every day and all of the things he did to make my days easier.  I missed him so much and was so happy to see him walk through the door this afternoon.  My mom came over and helped me take the twins to their follow-up appointment with the cardiologist in Grapevine.  I physically could not have made it to this appointment or through the appointment without her help - THANK YOU SUESUE!!!!  Both babies had EKGs and echocardiograms.  The doctor confirmed that both babies still have PFOs, which is normal for all babies- term and premature, and that this tiny pin-sized hole should close in both of their hearts by the time they turn 1.  Both babies had previously been diagnosed with PDAs, which is a hole that closes in term babies shortly after birth.  Both of the babies PDAs have closed which is excellent news.  Had they not closed on their own, surgery would have been required when they got bigger and stronger.  Brooklyn's heart looks great with no signs of prematurity.  The doctor was pleased with her progression and does not need to see her again.  Her only concern about Tayden is one small vein that she says appears frequently in preemies that should disapper by the time he turns one.  She assured us that it will not cause him any problems and does not require any further medical attention at this time.  We will go back in November for her to see if it is still there.  The babies weights were both right under 8 lbs. which is excellent.  I know they are eating well and was glad to see that they are continuing to gain weight.  Brooklyn has still been struggling with her reflux and she had an episode today that scared us a little.  She spit-up really bad and then started to hold her breath.  We called their pediatrician and she increased the Prevacid dosage on both babies and suggested that we give them half of the dose in the morning and half in the afternoon.  If this does not help the situation she will refer us to a gastro. specialist who can do further testing to get her reflux under control.  We hope that it does not get to that point.  Our visit to the doctor today was another answered prayer!!!  Eyes and hearts are good!!!!  Please continue to pray that the babies will continue to thrive and that their reflux will get better with their medicine.  I will be posting more pictures soon - I promise!!!