Monday, December 21, 2009

Thank you

Thank you to everyone's very nice messages to Dan and I, whether over the comments, email, phone calls, etc. These past couple of days Dan and I are going through something no one should go through, I know that. James will ALWAYS hold a very special place in our hearts. The nurses sent home some very nice mementos including his hand and foot prints, a lock of his hair, and some of the blankets he used. They even sent a beautiful little box to keep it all in. The NICU nurses and doctors really have treated James and our family with so much respect.

As for the girls....our star, Sofia, had a couple steps backwards but we are confident she will be fine. Her breathing had become worse and she was put on the jet ventilator (same kind James was on). Her blood gases are a lot better since the switch. I think she just needed a break from working so hard. They are testing her for fungal or bacterial infections and have already started giving her antibiotics and anti-fungal meds just in case. There hasn't been anything growing on the cultures yet so we're crossing our fingers. Infections in preemies can be very treatable for some babies but for others it can be serious. We think Sofia is a strong enough fighter that she will be fine even if she does have an infection. Her blood glucose levels were high also, which can be a sign of infection, or it can be that she reached her threshold of how much sugar she can receive from the IV. She is on insulin for the time being, but the doctor told us that it won't turn into diabetes.

Madeline is stable but still on the ventilator. She can't get any milk yet because she has a small leak in her esophagus from the surgery. The surgeons expect that to heal up nicely on its own; she just needs time. We did start holding Madeline and she tolerated it very nicely! It is so special to feel that little body on my chest.

Josephine is stable as well but has high blood glucose like Sofia. She isn't acting ill but they are testing her for infections only to be safe. They aren't giving her antibiotics or anything unless she shows signs she's sick. She is on insulin, though.

Despite Sofia's little set-back, yesterday was a better day than Saturday. Everything with James is still feeling like a really bad dream and I wake up questioning whether it is real or not. I don't think we'll ever "get over it" but I know we will grow to accept it.

I cannot wait until they start growing quickly and get stronger lungs. It is hard to hold them when they are on the vents! We go to the NICU everyday wondering if it will be a good day or a bad day. Please keep the little ones in your thoughts! Have a GREAT Christmas and a Happy Holiday season.


  1. Martha - I am so happy you have been able to hold Madeline, YAY!!!

    Mine were on and off anitbiotics for possible infections a few times, those Doctors and Nurses are really good. Praying the cultures continue to grow nothing.

    We continue to pray for the girls, we are praying they get stronger and stronger every day. And they will be home with Mommy and Daddy before thier due date.

    We also think about your handsome son James and know he is watching over his sisters and helping them to grow strong.



  2. Dan and Martha,

    Emily and I are so very sorry to hear about your loss. We continue to pray for your family and are hoping for miraculous strength, growth, and health for your daughters.

    God bless,

    Colin and Emily Betzler

  3. Martha, I'm so sorry for the loss of your little lad James. I can only imagine how hard that must be. I am keeping you, Dan and the girls in my thoughts and will be reading your updates regularly.

    If you have not found it already, you might want to visit the March of Dimes community for parents of preemies called Share Your Story. You can create your own blog there, connect with other parents, ask questions, get support. Lots of parents have found it helpful and you might, too.
    Sincere best wishes.

  4. Nate and I are thinking about you and your family. We pray for health, recovery, and strength for all of you! Stay strong and know that you are very loved!

  5. Hi I just want to write you a note of encouragement from another parent of quads who have experienced joy and grief. my wife pointed out your blog and I just wanted to say that if you need anyone to talk to just write us. I know support from others helped us through the first weeks of our adventure within the Nicu world. We use Jen's blog for

  6. Hi, I was just forwarded your blog by a fellow mom of multiples. I had triplet girls at 25 weeks three years ago. We spent several months in the NICU with them and had lots of ups and downs, infections, surgeries, etc. Please know you are not alone in this. There are moms like me (and others who have commented) who have been where you are and can offer encouragement, a listening ear, or just understanding.

    I am also writing because I lost one of my little girls. We lost Zoe almost 2 years ago so I am writing this comment to tell you how sorry I am for your loss of James. I am also writing to tell you that, like others who have written, there are no words and no parent should have to suffer losing a child.

    Since we lost Zoe we have started a non-profit called the Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation which is available to aid parents like you through the NICU, bereavement, and transitioning home periods. If you would like more information or if I can be of any help at all please do not hesitate to email me at

    My blog is

    There is a world of support out there for micro-preemie and high order multiple parents which was what saved me, and continues to offer support.

    We will hold you all in our prayers continuously.


  7. Hi Dan & Martha,
    Mary R passed on your blog. I wanted to let you know we're thinking of you and your family, we had quads at 23 weeks in September and lost one daughter after 3 precious days. Our sons have Grade 3 & 4 IVH and we're getting through. I am so sorry to hear about James. It's hard to grieve when you've got such a busy time taking care of 3 other babies, but take care of yourselves. It's a long rollercoaster of a stay at the NICU, if you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask! It's been great to hear from others who have gone through similar experiences, it really helped get us through. My email is jenniepollak at if you need anything. Your family is in our prayers!

  8. Dear Dan, Martha and family -

    I have been thinking about you guys a lot and am so impressed with the strength you and your babies have. I am so sorry about your loss; I will be praying for the girls' continued progress.

    Anna (Pratt) Sandquist

  9. I am so sorry for the loss of sweet little James - please know that there are so many people praying for you and your little ones; and they are so lucky to have such a beautiful angel watching over them. Many prayers from our family to yours.