Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rayleigh- 1 month

Rayleigh is our baby E. If there was an award for Star NICU Patient, Rayleigh would win it for the first month. I haven't worried about Rayleigh as much as I have the other babies, she's been a rock star since she arrived. She never had to be put on the vent, she stayed not the CPAP until last week. She has issues with acid reflux (all of them do).  She is so hairy. She has the darkest hair out of all of the babies. She now weighs 4lbs 2oz. She hasn't taken a bottle yet.

I hope Rayleigh continues to be a rock star patient and gets to come home very soon!

Gracie- 1 month

Gracie is our baby D. She was the smallest baby when they were born but is coming on strong now. She weighs 4lbs 2oz now. Gracie is so sweet. She has dark hair and has a olive complexion. I'm not sure what color her eyes are yet. Gracie hasn't been too interested in taking a bottle, hopefully that will change soon.

I hope and pray Gracie continues to get bigger and stronger each day. And I hope she starts showing some interest in a bottle soon.

Brant- 1 month

Brant is our baby C. Brant is a chick magnet/ little charmer. The nurses love him. Nurses from other rooms will come and hold him. He is good at getting your attention. He'll scream when he's hungry, he likes to stay on his eating schedule and will let you know if you're running behind on his feeding. He is very alert. He is our biggest baby, weighing in at 4lbs 11oz. He's doing a good job of taking a bottle. He doesn't have any help breathing. Brant looks like his daddy.

I hope Brant continues to take a bottle and keeps getting bigger and bigger. I'm thinking he might be the first baby to come home in a few weeks.

Tessa- 1 month

Tessa is our baby B. She is feisty. She is my biggest girl. She now weighs 4lbs 9oz. She is starting to fill out and get some fat on her. Her skin tone is lighter than all the others (her skin tone is more like Brady's), her hair is lighter than the other babies as well, but not as blond as Brady. She needs just a little oxygen to keep her stats up. The nurses are working with her to take a bottle but she's not too interested right now.

Tessa is doing so good, I hope she continues to do well. Her next big step is to take a bottle.

Mia- 1 month

Mia is our baby A. She is such a sweet baby. She's been through a lot in the past 5 weeks; she's had the toughest time breathing on her own. She's still on the vent but is doing so well. The CPAP machine (which helps them breathe) rubbed her nose and made a really bad sore. The doctors decided to keep her on the vent to let her nose recover. Out of all the babies, Mia is the only one anyone has said looks like me, which makes me so happy. She has brown hair and big eyes. I can't tell what color her eyes are going to be, but they are big. Right now, she's my smallest baby. I am happy to announce that she's finally 4lbs as of today!

My hope and prayer is that Mia will continue to grow and will be able to get off the vent very soon. She's going to be one very tough little girl.

Quints- 1 month

It doesn't seem possible that our precious babies are one month old (as of April 18th)! They have changed so much this month. I am so thankful how well they've done to be born at 29 weeks. There have been some tough days. There have been some scary moments. Someone once told me that life in the NICU is like a roller coaster and they were exactly right. I have to continue to tell myself to just take it one day at a time. I have to give this whole situation completely to God. I know God is watching over my little angels and I have faith that they will continue to do well and we'll all be home soon.

Steven stayed in Dallas with me for the first 3 weeks to help me recover. He did a wonderful job of taking care of me. I had no idea how difficult it was going to be to recover from a c-section. It took 2 good weeks to finally start feeling normal again. I'm now able to move around well and drive, it's nice to finally have my freedom back.

*We've been able to hold the babies since they were about 5-7 days old. We do kangaroo care (aka: skin-to-skin) with each baby. It's a special moment to get to love on each baby. We have to hold each baby for at least a hour at a time when we do kangaroo care.
*The babies can finally wear clothes. They are maintaining their body temperature.
*They have graduated up from a covered, temperature controlled bed to an open regular newborn bed. Each baby is in his/her own bed.
*They continue to gain weight which means they continue to go up on their feedings. They get my breast milk plus vitamins. They also take caffeine.
*They look so much bigger now.
*The older they get the more awake and alert they are.
*The occupational therapist checks them out each week and she says they are doing so well. I watched her work with one of them today and she checks their reflexes and muscle tone.
*At times, they suffer from reflux so their feedings are stretched out over longer periods of time.
*They all have feeding tubes and will keep those until it's almost time to go home. They are starting to learn how to take a bottle (but it's a slow process).

This first month in the NICU has been quiet the learning experience for us, like hiccups are a sign of stress in premies. I've had to learn to trust the nurses with my precious babies. There aren't words to describe how hard it is to leave them every day and go home without them. It's hard to not pick them up when I want to and love on them. Its so hard to not be able to pick them up when they're laying in the bed crying. It's hard to have to watch some of the things they have to go through. With all that being said, I am amazed how well they have done. They are so strong. They should still be cozy in my belly (I'd be 34 weeks now) & I should still be breathing for them and eating for them. Instead, they're having to breath and eat on their own. And they're doing SO well! God is so good! Prayers really work. If you ever doubt the power of prayer or how great our God is, just take a look at my five little blessings, all the odds were against them...but God is bigger than science or medicine. He is the Great Physician.

**As of today (they are 5 weeks now) all the babies are at least 4 pounds!!!

Thank you to everyone who are praying for us. Prayers are greatly appreciated and needed! Please keep the prayers coming!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Quints Birth Day

Our fabulous five blessings have arrived! They were delivered at 29 weeks 1 day. Here's how their depute unfolded.

March 17th- My friend Anita came to the hospital to visit me and bring lunch. She also did me a favor and took my 29 week belly picture. I'm so thankful I asked her to do it, otherwise I never would have gotten to see just how big I ended up. 
28 weeks

29 weeks - The day before the quints were born.

At 28/29 weeks I noticed things were really starting to change. My fingers were swelling and when I'd get out of bed to use the restroom, my veins in my arms would swell. I was extremely uncomfortable at this point and really didn't think I was going to make it much longer, but I thought I would at least make it to 30 weeks which had been my goal since the beginning of the pregnancy. On the night of March 17th, a couple of my nurses were in my room and we were chatting like we'd been friends forever. One of the nurses gave me a fork and told me when I had gotten to the point in the pregnancy where I didn't think I could take anymore, all I'd have to do was hold my fork up and say 'stick a fork in me, I'm done'....then she taped the fork to my bed. We all laughed....

March 18th- Around 4am I woke up from a contraction, and then another came....it was dark so I wasn't watching the clock, but I knew something wasn't normal because I never had had contractions that early in the morning. Around 4:30am I decided I needed to let my nurse know so I called down and she came right to my room, I think she knew what was about to happen. I told her about the contractions and she hooked me up to the monitor. It showed I was having constant contractions so she gave me 2 medicines to stop the contractions. I was scheduled to have a sonogram that morning, so I went to that and I had dilated to 3cm. That's when they told me to call Steven and tell him to get to the hospital. Then they took me down to labor and delivery. My friends Anita & Paula were with me in L&D until my family arrived. All my family made it in time for the birth. My nurses gave me magnesium to help with contractions but it's also good for protecting the babies brains. That magnesium was bad stuff. I made me feel hot from the inside. It felt like I was laying on an electric blanket. Thankfully, the side effects didn't bother me too long. My contractions got pretty strong and that's when I got the epidural. However, just like with Brady, the epidural only worked on one side of my body so the guy had to take it out and do it again. It worked well the second time.

Around 2-2:30pm it was game time...they wheeled me to the OR and got me prepped for my c-section. Steven came back and sat by my side the whole time (except for when he was standing over me watching as everything unfolded). I was so calm during the whole procedure, I had a few tears, but all in all it was a wonderful experience. My babies were finally coming..I was so excited to finally meet them. Of course I worried about their health and well-being, but I was excited to finally meet them. And then it happened.
First came Miss Mia Danielle weighing 2 lbs 10 oz
Second came Miss Tessa Suzanne weighing 2 lb 13 oz
Third came Mr. Brant Lee weighing 3 lb 6 oz
Fourth came Miss Gracie Lou weighing 2 lb 7 oz
Fifth came Miss Rayleigh Ann weighing 2 lb 14 oz
My mom, dad, & sisters before the delivery
Almost time to meet our Fab Five!

Steven's bracelets for each baby.

To be 11 weeks early the babies did remarkably well. They started off breathing with a Bubble CPAP. But after a few days, all babies, except Rayleigh, needed more help and were put on ventilators. They were only on the vent for a few days (except Mia). Mia had to stay on the vent a few days longer. They all lost weight after birth. I'm able to pump and make enough food for them to eat. They are fed through a feeding tube.

Steven and I want to thank everyone who has supported us along this journey. I can't even begin to name all the people who have shown us so much love through both small and big acts of kindness. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives. God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams. We seriously prayed for one more little blessing and God gave us five! God has also shown us how powerful prayer truly is and if we will let God be in charge of our lives, He will take care of our every need. I ask that all you wonderful people out there that have been praying for us to continue to pray for us. Please pray that each baby will grow and develop like they're suppose to. Pray that they will grow stronger every day. Pray for Brady because his whole world has changed so much these past 4-5 months, he's had to live life without his mama around, and he's about to get 5 new siblings, all at the same time, in a few months. Pray, pray, pray!!!