Sunday, January 31, 2010

Girls Together Again!

Yesterday was an absolute blast! Madeline took a little field trip to Sofia and Josephine's room and we got to hold all three of them at once! After that we put them all in Sofia's crib and just stared at them for an hour or so! Non-stop entertainment!
(Update-wise, they are all doing well...Josephine is happy on HIGH-FLOW and they have even weaned her down since she's been on that. She just needs to get a tad bigger so she can be in a crib too. Sofia is still without breathing support and doing great. Madeline is on low-flow and is handling it so far! All are gaining weight at the appropriate rate and, more importantly, pooping!)

Here are some pics from yesterday. It was a bummer because our digital camera ran out of charge so we had to take most of the pics using the camcorder (and those were grainy). The first pic is the real camera. I also had to include not only two videos from yesterday, but a video from Friday because I caught such a cute sneeze on camera by Madeline!

OK, I want to see how good you all are. Who is who, from left to right in the pic below?! Post your guess in the comments!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Update on Josephine

She had a procedure done yesterday to look at the function of her vocal cords, and to look at her airway structure/function. She did a good job...they warned me that she could come back from the OR vented if it was necessary, but she came back only needing CPAP- a good thing! They found out that one of her vocal cords is definitely paralyzed, but the other one seems to compensate. This means that she should be able to eat by mouth! She will probably have a hoarse or raspy voice but I don't see this as a big problem. We also found out that her airway structure is a little weak and a bit abnormal. As of right now she doesn't need a trach tube put in. The doctors believe she just needs to get bigger and stronger. I can live with that! I really hope they are right and she won't need a trach, but if she does go home with one, that isn't the end of the world. Only time will tell!

Madeline and Sofia are doing just fine! Currently, Sofia is without any breathing assistance! Madeline had her OT "workout" today and she loved it! Life is pretty good; lets keep it that way!

Monday, January 25, 2010

34 Weeks Tomorrow!

Hello! It's been a pretty decent last couple of days! Two of our girls are in CRIBS!!! Who knew being big enough to be in a crib would be such an important milestone! Sofia and Madeline both moved into cribs on Saturday. The nurses tried with Josephine but she couldn't keep her body temperature up (she is the smallest, so it's not a big surprise). Since Sofia and Madeline are in cribs, we are at free will to pick them up whenever! We haven't really abused this too much yet because we don't want to overstimulate them.

Sofia was on and off of any breathing assistance (low flow canula) for a couple of days, but for now we're sticking with the low-flow. It won't be surprising if she stays on for a bit because they are weaning her caffeine this week. Caffeine helps prevent spells (when breathing and heart rate go down) but at their age, they should be outgrowing these spells anyway. Sofia, along with her sisters, had her second eye exam on Saturday. The results showed her eyes are still immature but show no sign of retinopathy of prematurity! Yay for now!! Nothing much else to report about our little Sofia.

Madeline has been loving her high-flow! She hasn't become any worse since they stopped the steroids: such a great thing! Madeline likes being in a crib as well. On Saturday, she was almost too warm so they had to get rid of a layer. Her eye exam showed the same results as Sofia. The video below is so adorable! I had put in her pacifier but left her to go check on Josephine. I was sure that the pacifier would be out by the time I got back, but she figured out how to keep her hand in that spot so she could continue sucking! Luck or smarts?

Josephine's been having it the roughest lately. In the pic below, she is on high-flow, but they weren't able to keep her on it for very long. She is back on CPAP, but I am just thankful she's not on the vent! I would love it if she stayed off that for good. She is just having a lot of de-sats but other than that she's not acting sick. I'm sure she just needs to catch up, and her de-sats are only prematurity-related (at least that's what we're hoping for!) An ENT doctor will probably check her out sometime this week to see if there's anything going on with her airway. She will have to go to the OR room for that but I'm not really sure how invasive it is. I hope we find out some answers! I'll update later this week when/if we find anything out. The good thing is that she's still tolerating her feedings, and she's growing! Also, her eye results were the same as her sisters. Not too shabby...

Dan and I got to go to the Timberwolves game this past Friday night courtesy of the Twolves, who donated a bunch of great seats to the Children's Hospital. It was a close game (they lost in the last second!) During the game, Dan and I came to the realization of how when our girls have to go to the potty, it will be MOMMY who has to take them!! (I guess some places have family restrooms, so that's good.) Dan thinks that's just so funny! Ok, well have a great work week everyone!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

33 Weeks Gestation, 6 Weeks Old!

It was actually a pretty good day for all of the babes today! A good birthday present for me (tomorrow!) That's all I want for my birthday: healthy babies.

Sofia is still on high flow and tolerating her feedings. She is up to 3 pounds and 4 1/2 ounces and she wore her first outfit! Those preemie clothes fit nicely! Here are a couple of pics from today and yesterday.
Josephine (3 lbs and 4 ounces) was extubated today! She wasn't even extubated because they thought she was doing too good for the vent, she was extubated because she wasn't doing well. This morning she kept having really bad de-sats where she went to the 20's and it was hard to get her back up to the safe levels (85-100). They thought maybe there was something wrong mechanically so they tried her on SiPAP but had a new vent tube ready in case she failed. Well, we all think she just hated the vent, because she is doing very well on SiPAP! We hope she continues that way because we are so happy that none of our girls are on the vent! Josie also wore her first outfit on Sunday; unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me that day. Here are a couple of pics (vented and then with SiPAP). I only have two good ones of Josephine this entry, but oh well!

Madeline is still on high-flow like Sofia and she weighs 3 lbs 6 ounces. She's doing so well, it's hard to believe that a week ago she was still intubated! She is almost up to full feedings and will probably go back to my milk tomorrow. She can't go home on that formula, it's expensive! (Plus my milk is healthier, right?) Not much else to report; we just hope she continues on this path!

I hope everyone's week is going alright! Can you believe it's almost February? Time has been going by fast (and slow at the same time...don't know how that works!) Until later!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

To Tide You Over...


Just have to say, Madeline is on high-flow and loving it!! She was on CPAP yesterday and doing so well that they decided to put her on high-flow today. Before she was extubated they gave her some steroids to jump start the lungs, so they said her success could be temporary, but also she just could be ready now! No matter what, we aren't seeing bronchospasms and she is in room air for her oxygen needs! YAY!

Josephine is on the vent but doing pretty well. They want to extubate her early in the week...hopefully that is still the case tomorrow! She is on full feedings and still feisty!

Sofia is on low-flow, the next step after high-flow. She is doing well but still has some spells. She is also on full feedings.

Keep it up, girls! I'll try to post pics tomorrow or the next day...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What a Ride...

I just wanted to give a quick update. This week alone has been a roller coaster (not to mention the whole NICU experience so far).

Sofia is doing well still! She is back on high-flow instead of the low-flow, but she has been coasting since then. She is getting fed every 3 hours and given a larger volume. I have been enjoying our Kangaroo time together immensely, just as before. It seems like she is letting us know even more so now when her diaper needs changing or if she's upset for another reason. I see this as a good thing!

Josephine was on high flow like Sofia and was doing so well for so many days. This morning at 3 am the nurse practitioner thought it was necessary to put her back on CPAP because she was having too many spells. The spells continued through the day even with the extra help, so they put her back on the ventilator. X-rays showed "hazy" lungs, which either meant water that needs to be peed out, or pneumonia. Since her breathing was so difficult for her, they are assuming it's pneumonia. They are treating her with antibiotics that should help her, but they also did a complete culture work-up (blood, urine, spinal fluid) just in case there's another infection lurking. The good thing is that she wasn't acting sick; she was still her feisty self! I hope the antibiotics give us a quick recovery so she can get off that vent again!

Madeline is on the vent right now but she is on track to extubate within the next couple days. They have been gradually weaning her vent settings this past week and she started steroids in preparation for extubation. She has had trouble digesting her food, though. She has given large residuals in her stomach, so they switched her temporarily to a very broken down formula. I hope she starts digesting more consistently! I'm just glad that it appears the worst of her sickness is over.

We hope things improve for Josie and Madeline over the next couple days, and that Sofia continues her good streak. Wow, I can't say enough how true it is that the NICU is an up and down battle. It is starting to wear on us, but we have to stay positive! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, January 11, 2010

32 Weeks Tomorrow!

Can you believe that I'd be getting my C-section this week, FINALLY? If everything went smoothly and according to plan I'd be meeting my babies for the first time and they'd probably be a little plumper than they are today. Hmm.... Well, I'll write a quick update.

Sofia is doing very well still! She has been weaned down from the high-flow to the low-flow. It isn't as noisy and there isn't a component that heats the air anymore: less tubing! She is also getting basically FULL feedings of milk (mixed in with a Human Milk Fortifier for more calories) every 2 hours. She is making more baby sounds which I am just in love with. She no longer needs the IV for extra nutrition since she's getting so much milk. Sofia does still need an IV in for fluids or electrolytes. Overall, we couldn't be more pleased with her! :) In the pic below, Sofia is on the right and Josephine is on the left.

Josephine is doing almost as well! She was weaned off SiPAP (skipped CPAP altogether!) to high-flow. Yesterday they weaned her to low-flow like Sofia, but they put her back to high-flow this morning at 5 am. We are still very satisfied with her progress! She is at full feedings as well so some of her IVs are gone. She is becoming more vocal too, but we are even more happy about this for her because we weren't sure if she'd have a voice (because of injuring the nerve for the vocal cord during surgery). Both Dan and I have held the two together Kangaroo Style and they love it! (I guess they don't care that they have to share mom or dad!)

Madeline needs your extra prayers...nothing too serious we don't think, but she is on the ventilator and is having bronchospams (sp?). Yesterday, it seemed like she had more of them than a week ago, so this was concerning. They finally diagnosed yesterday that she has pneumonia. This is probably why her spells were increasing. She was already on antibiotics that would work for pneumonia, but one of the antibiotics was increased yesterday. This increase should boot the sickness (and we should start seeing her get better starting today). I guess pneumonia is relatively common with preemies and not all that serious if caught quickly enough. They (and we) really want her to get off the ventilator, so an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor will see her today or tomorrow to scope out her breathing airways to see what is going on. The doc might find that the cartilage is "floppy" and that is why she is having so many spasms. The cure for that is time and her getting stronger. She isn't "acting sick", which is so important to me. She is still feisty and her blood pressure is normal (and she's even still pooping!) We think she will get better, but I'm impatient and I want her better now! When Dan called this morning, he found out that Madeline had a better night, so that's what we like to hear!

Dan and I are falling more in love with these babies each day. Holding them is the best feeling in the world; can't even describe it! Today, one of my best friends Leah gets to meet them! I get so excited each time someone new meets them. Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Already 4 Weeks Old!


Sofia has gained some weight! She's at 2 pounds, 10 ounces. She is doing so well these last couple of days. She is still on high flow but they are reducing her settings. The nurses are weaning her pain meds from her surgery (she needed more pain meds than Josie for their recent surgeries because the chest drainage tubes are painful). She is getting more and more of mother's milk! Every 12 hours they increase the amount by 1 mL, so she's up to 7 mL every 2 hours! (Sometimes she has barely any residual milk in her tummy and sometimes she has more) She had a head ultrasound because it's been 4 weeks since birth and there is no new bleeding. Her ventricles are developing normally, showing it would be unlikely she would develop cerebral palsy. I had to include another video this entry...Sofia is so wide awake! I put a pic of each girl with their animal blankies they received for Christmas from the hospital. It will be useful if we take pics of the girls every week or so with them to keep track of their growth! (Their animals stay in the isolette with them!)

Josephine is doing so well also! She is up to 2 pounds, 7 ounces, and her feedings are increasing more every day as well. She's currently up to 6 mL. She is on the SiPAP (similar to CPAP) but her settings are being weaned gradually too. Her head ultrasounds are looking normal as well; no signs leading to cerebral palsy. We've been able to hold her as often as Sofia. Look how cute my hubby looks holding sweet Josie!

Madeline is the biggest right now at 2 pounds 14 ounces (but some of it is extra fluid). She has been re-intubated since I wrote last, but the docs just think she got tired out from breathing on her own. She just needs to get bigger and stronger and they aren't too worried about her. A couple days ago she had a spell of bad blood gases but she seems to be over that, thankfully. She is getting fed as well but not quite as much as her sisters (3 mL every 2 hours). Her head ultrasound was normal, too. All three girls had their first eye exam yesterday. Their eyes are developing as they should and there are no current signs of ROP (retinopathy of prematurity). ROP is very common in preemies as young as ours but most cases are very mild and resolve themselves. Only 5% would need laser treatment to fix the problem, but the surgery is usually very successful. Their next exam will be in 2 weeks. Our brother-in-law, Charlie, is an opthamology resident and when he heard who did the exam for our girls, he said that she was the best pediatric opthamologist in the country! Lucky us! I wanted to put up another pic of Madeline but it turned out too blurry...

I was able to hold Josie and Sofia at the same time! I have done it twice so far (the first time Josephine started going low on her oxygen saturation so it only last 15 minutes. This pic is from the second time (held for a whole hour). It was so neat to look at both of their faces at the same time. The only drawback was I would have an itch and wouldn't be able to scratch it!! Don't they look so tiny in this pic?

Since the babies' birthday, we have received so many gifts/emails/messages/cards from family, friends and even people we have met only once (or never met!) I cannot believe how generous you readers are! We even got a gift card to Babies R Us from another mom of multiples who is touched by our story. The emails alone are so appreciated! Thank you so much, everyone (you know who you are!) I hope everyone is having a fantastic new year so far. I'm so excited for 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010 already?! I'm really excited to see what this year will bring... All I know is that it will be a crazy but wonderful year! I hope everyone had fun this past New Year's Eve. Dan and I went out to dinner with some friends, which is great because we haven't had much time to just relax and hang out with friends. We had to go back to the hospital after dinner so we could wish our girls a happy new year. Next year I doubt we'll make it to midnight!

Time for the updates... Sofia is doing very well on CPAP but is not quite ready to go to hi-flow. The nurse practitioner said it could happen tomorrow, though, so we are keeping our fingers crossed. Based on the picture below, you wouldn't think that CPAP is a step up from the vent. It looks like an awfully complicated contraption and is not so pretty! At least I got some cute pics of the other two girls. Sofia is getting started on feedings again. She is getting 1 mL every couple of hours so it is considered trophic feedings (the point is to get their GI system going rather than nourishing them). She will be so happy when she can start getting full feedings. One of the nurse practicioners said that a full tummy is really the only way to get a truly happy baby.

Madeline is doing pretty well but is the farthest behind in the breathing department. She has an off-and-on heart murmur, so if she continues to also have unstable oxygen needs she might have another echo to check out the PDA. Besides that she is fine! She is eating the most out of everyone at 2 mL every 2 hours and the feedings will increase soon. It's fun, because the girls have been more alert lately, proven by the video below. I also had to include a pic of me holding her cradle style.

Josephine is doing well also! Can you believe all three are doing relatively well STILL? Josephine was extubated today and is on CPAP. I just called in to see how her first blood gas since the extubation was and it was even better than before! She will get started on feedings again tonight or tomorrow. Josephine missed having the vent tube in her mouth, trying to suck on her feeding tube instead, so Dan put a pacifier in her mouth. She loved it! (Wish I had a picture of that!) The video below is from yesterday when she was alert (and you can see how much she loves to suck that vent tube). Whenever I see any of the girls' eyes open I RUN to get the camera! I think I'm going to buy some disposable cameras to leave there for the nurses to use if they wish. Never can have too many pictures of your babies, right?

I just found and ordered some baby books online! I wanted to find three that were the same style/brand but different covers, and these were perfect! I cannot wait to start filling out the books. Well, happy new year everyone and have a great weekend!!