Saturday, July 26, 2008

Photo Shoot...

'Cause we are gosh darned cute! :)

Today, I spent the morning with the girls (I'm taking over the AM food run)...this is what greeted me when I arrived at 7:45 can one help but not adore this!?
Sydney (in a new outfit, that didn't last her too long)!

this is my NEW outfit for the day! :) (Also from Great Aunt Sissy)...too bad she's swaddled so you can't see how cute the outfit is!

Olivia in her new outfit for the day...thanks to her Great Aunt Sissy!

Stop Mommy! We're tired!

While I was there I ran into Dr. Harris on rounds...Olivia is off her high humidity and doing wonderfully and Sydney's bloody poop is gone. He said, "your girls look fabulous, I'm very happy with their progress!" Thanks, we are too, now we just can't wait to get them home. I'm already sleep deprived as it is, they might as well come home and be part of the process! :)

Hope all is well, we're off to visit the girls again before going out to dinner with friends!


Friday, July 25, 2008

TGIF...We're BOTH wearing Clothes now!

It's official, we no longer have naked/diapers only babies! :) Yesterday, Olivia started wearing clothes and today, Sydney was able to wear clothes too. Which is exciting, but because they are so small means that I had to go purchase some MORE preemie clothes, which sadly are too big still. So, off on the preemie clothes hunt I went today. DId you know that NOT very many stores sell preemie clothes, it's darned inconvenient. So, I ultimately ended up at Babies R Us and made another contribution to their company, I think we need to buy stock in them. So, now the girls have some more preemie clothes, plus the ones my mom was buying this evening at Walmart. :)

It's so funny to see them in clothes, you wouldn't think that a 2 ounce difference would mean that much, but Sydney's clothes are SOOOOOO much bigger on her than Olivia's are (even though they are the same size onesies from the same exact pack of Carter's preemie onesies). Of course I think they have different body types, since Olivia has a belly on her now and Sydney doesn't. It's so gosh darned adorable, the belly that is, and of course THEY are adorable. We get compliments ALL the time on how cute the girls are, I think they get paid extra if they comment on how cute our babies are!
Sydney in her first outfit!
Olivia, just before her diaper change!

Today, when I got to the NICU, Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Rick were visiting. Apparently Grandma Sharon was partaking in her new favorite hobby...taking pics of the girls...which I'm sure are MUCH more fun now that they are dressed. :) After Grandma and Grandpa left, I spent some time just 'hanging' with the girls, and then we 'practiced' breastfeeding again. Olivia latched on like a champ and even got to eat a little bit, Sydney latched too, but not for too long (which is better than nothing). This is what we are going to work on pretty much every day that I go visit them!

So, other' news...both girls are now eating more! Olivia is up to 24mils of breastmilk plus the fortifer (so that she'll gain weight)...Sydney is OFF the fortifer (as they think this is what's causing her issue), SO in order to help her gain weight faster they have upped her feeds to 26 mils. Darn...just when I thought I was going to get even more ahead! :) Oh well. I guess I'll be driving down to Children's EVERY morning for quite some time (at least until my supply is much higher) to make sure they have food for each of their feedings). YES, I know they could have formula and be more than okay, TONS of babies are formula fed (heck 3/4's of my friends were formula fed and A LOT of my friend's babies have been formula fed after awhile). BUT because they are so preemie it is so very important that they have mamma's milk with the antibodies, etc in it so that they are healthier and have more immunities. Which leads me to today's drama.

Our drama today is...Matt had a migraine. Sure, no big deal, UNTIL we find out that they suspect that his boss's son is suspected of having viral menegitis (poor kid he's only 5). Okay, so WHAT does this mean for the babies...well, needless to say we BOTH freaked a little bit! Matt decided NOT to come see the girls today (partially b/c his head hurt (the migraine is gone now), and partially because he wanted to stay away in case he was a carrier of this disease, even though he's had MINIMAL contact with his boss this week). So, after hearing this, I talked to our fabulous nurse of the week (Lori), who told me that we probably didn't have much to worry about, especially since the babies get breast milk, but that I should still talk to their Dr. So, Dr. Harris and I talked, he told me that he wasn't terribly concerned because it was VIRAL menegitis, any other form of menegitis and he'd be very concerned. He too, commented that because they are on breastmilk that we're pretty much in the clear. BUT that he wanted to hear what Matt's boss's son is ultimately diagnosed with AND that should Matt still have his migraine tomorrrow he wanted him to go to the ER to get checked out. Thankfully, by the time I made it home tonight his migraine was gone!

Tonight, we're going to hang out! We're currently watching the Cardinals get their butt's kicked by the Mets, and I see a nap or two in my future, since all I do these days is nap, well and pump. One day, maybe in like 2 years I'll get to sleep for more than 2-4 hours at a time! And I need to finish some Thank You cards for gifts we've received for the girls...sure I have tons more things I need to do, but for now, these are all I'm going to work on! Matt, I'm sure will continue to play withe GPS system that he bought 'us' for our 5th anniversary (aka for me since I'm directionally challenged and quote "since I'm driving his babies around he doesn't want me getting lost")!

Hope all is well!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

2 Weeks! We have Progress!

So today the girls are 2 weeks old. To me it seems like it's flown by and they are still so tiny, but just looking at them today I can see that they have changed quite a bit in just 14 days. I went back and looked at the pictures from the day of their birth (is that still called their 'birthday'?) and I can see lots of changes.

We did see more progress today in both girls. Olivia has put on some more weight, which is great. She is up to 2lbs, 11oz. Sydney is up to 2lbs, 9oz. While Sydney has always been slightly smaller than Olivia, the difference in their weight gain is probably due to the fact that they suspended feeding Sydney yesterday when they noticed the blood in her stool. She had it again today, but the doctors seem confident that it isn't anything serious. They've done an ultrasound AND an x-ray on her belly and do not see any issues. The nurses & doctors tell us that they suspect maybe it is simply a reaction to the fortifier that they've been adding to the breast milk that is causing the blood. We are praying this is the case. The doctors are keeping an eye on it.

In more developments, Olivia is officially wearing clothes! :) She has progressed to controlling her own body temperature and thus can be dressed in a onesie and a blanket. VERY CUTE! What's amazing is that even in her preemie size onesie, she's a little too small for it. The sleeves are just a little too big... Oh, well. She'll grow into it. And, we need to make a trip to Babies R Us to see if they have any more preemie sized clothes. It amazes me that they only have one rack of preemie clothes and if you have a girl, you better like pink. If you have a preemie boy, you better like blue... Cuz thats all they have. I know, I know... There's always the internet for more of a selection... I guess I'm going with the theory that they really won't be in preemie sizes very long and we definitely have PLENTY of newborn and 0-3month sized stuff (thanks to shower gifts and hand-me-downs).

So, Jeni had to hang out at the house this morning for the A/C repairman to come and do his job. Then, the Mazda dealership came and picked her up (very cool of them) after my car was finished being repaired. She drove down and hung out with the girls for most of the afternoon. She even got some "practice" time in with Olivia at breastfeeding. It's still early for the girls to be graduating to actual feeding, but its a good time to practice and just to do some nuzzling.

I got down to the hospital around 5 and was happy to see my girls. Jeni hung out for a while and spent some time doing some kangaroo care with Sydney. After that, Jeni packed up her stuff and headed out. I stayed behind and held Olivia while she received her afternoon feeding. Some good father-daughter bonding time was nice. :)

I left the hospital around 7:30 and made it home where Jeni was cooking up some dinner! Ah, how I've missed home-cooked meals the last 2 months! At least home-cooked by someone other than me....

So overall it was a good day for the girls! I'm hoping by Monday at the latest we have two 3 pound girls in clothes! Just think, in no time they'll be coming home. :)

And now.... More pictures!


She's keeping one eye on you...

All snuggled up.

Being shy...

All dressed up and no place to go...

Can you tell I'm proud?

Making faces at her dad...

And Sydney!

Sleeping. Her favorite hobby.

"Whatchoo lookin' at?"

Is that a sneaky smirk, or what?

Mom is proud too...

Sydney deep in thought.

"Dad, you're friggin hilarious!"

More updates on the cutest babies on Earth coming tomorrow...

Until then...


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Or Center of Attention, I'm not sure what to call it. However, the girls are suffering from it. Thanks Matt, they get this from you, you know that, right?

So, last week the big issue was Miss Olivia and her green booger/cold. Then they thought they both may have a cold...turns out neither did. THIS week, our big issue is going to be Miss Sydney and her bloody poop. After extensive testing and stopping her 2 morning feeds, the Dr's and head radiologist at Children's ruled out the WORST possible thing it could be... some weird stomach/bowel disease called NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis). I'm not really going to spend a lot of time describing it, but one of the signs of this is bloody poop and little Miss Sydney had that this am. After ruling out NEC, they are not sure what caused her bloody poop issues, and are keeping a VERY close eye on her to make sure she doesn't develop NEC.

I think they just don't want to leave Children's! They, like mommy and daddy, REALLY like their little room.

Olivia is back on 1 liter of humidity (down from her 2 liters), but keeps fighting staying on 1liter, so we'll see what happens with her. She definitely does NOT like it when her sister gets more attention than she does (not that they really know, but it's funny that right after Sydney OR Olivia gets attention the other sister gets fussy).

Today PaPa Gale (Matt's Dad) drove me to the NICU. It was so cute to watch him with 'his' little girls. You can tell he is fascinated with them!

Matt's car is STILL in the shop and best be coming home tomorrow so that I can get my hair cut on Friday morning. I look a fright! :P Tomorrow our air conditioning is supposed to be fixed, which means less time for me with the girls. :( Stinks to be me, I tell you. :(

Matt got to the NICU around 4:30 as usual. Today, however I shocked him by saying, "Hey, let's go home soon b/c I am exhausted." So, we left around 5:45 and I shocked him even more by making dinner and using some of the yummy vegetables that Matt's Dad brought us from his garden (including the LARGEST zucchini I have ever seen in my life).

We spent the rest of the night with me napping on the couch and pumping and Matt playing his baseball game.

Here are some more pictures of our adorables......

Olivia sleepin it up...

And Sydney being wide awake...

Later, I'm off to nap until I pump at 11:45pm.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Girl, are you pooping?...I think her diaper's leaking....

"...OR, I'm sweating, I so hope it's sweat! It is thank god!"
-Matt to his daughter, Olivia, during kangaroo care on 7/22/08

Seriously, the look on his face was PRICELESS. However, after he determined that it was sweat, I did remind him that I am sure in the next couple years that this will probably happen a couple times to him. He took it well... as well as a man who told me a long time ago that he could deal with ANYTHING BUT poop when it came to babies... which was a great trade off for me, since vomit (true vomit, not baby spit up), tends to make me vomit as well.

So, we have LOTS of news from today!

1- I had a Dr's appointment and I am CLEARED to drive. Everyone should be mildly concerned... it's been 10 weeks since I last drove! Matt had me 'audition' to drive again. My test 'drive' was to the car dealership (I guess I passed). His car has some things that needed to be done, so it's at the Mazda dealership... leaking transmission fluid? I was oh so thrilled to find that tell tale red goop on the floor of our garage 2 days ago... Anyone know how to get that stain out and get rid of the fluid? If so, please share! Normally we'd have our FABULOUS neighbor take it to his work and have this stuff done, BUT we have a Mazda warranty and if this thing is leaking and it's going to be expensive to fix, I'd rather use our warranty to fix it...know what I mean?

2- The girls are officialy NOT identical, which we had originally suspected. What happened to cause them to feel they were identical? Well, it appeared on the ultrasounds that there was only 1 placenta... Apparently it is VERY common (due to lack of space), that the 2 sacks fuse and look like they share placentas (we were already prepared to hear this as we'd already asked our Perinatologist about the possiblity of this occurring). Then there's the fact that they look fairly different...thankfully! :) Matt feels that Olivia looks like me (my chin and eye shape) and that Sydney looks like him (his chin and eye shape). Sydney has my lips and Olivia has his, so they are a nice mix... as for noses, it's too soon to tell... God, I HOPE they have Matt's nose! :) I hope they get some random relative's skinny genes too!

3-Sydney had her PIC (permanent IV line) removed today...YAHOO! Olivia is working on getting her humidity level down from a 2 to a 1 (which is where she had been before she started breathing VERY deeply and swiftly (when they suspected that she had a cold). All of their cultures came back negative for infections, BUT THAT DOESN'T mean that we can start opening the isolettes all the time again. We need to err on the side of caution with them!

4-BOTH babies are weighing in at 2lbs, 8oz! YAY for being back to their birth weights.

5-Olivia is getting a pot belly and it's sooooooooooooooooooooooo freakin' adorable. BIG fan of little baby bellies, we are (a little Star Wars reference for Matt).

6- Our stupid air conditioner didn't get fixed today, they had to reschedule for Thursday morning, and that stinks, but at least I got some more sleep today! :)

7-Tomorrow our house get's cleaned, YAY and Gale (Matt's Dad) is taking me to see the babies since Matt's car is at the shop.

Well, I think that's it. My editor (Matt) will be coming on soon to add MORE adorable pictures of the girls and to edit my writing, I am sure! :)

First up, Sydney Ann.

Last, and certainly not least, Olivia Kay.

Hope all is well!


A Promise is a Promise..even if it's Painful.....

I guess I'd better finish that statement BEFORE I write more....I'd promised Matt that we could have an 'early' night at the NICU, so we planned on leaving around 5 or 5:30 last night, which STUNK. We didn't leave until 6pm, but I could have EASILY stayed another 2-3 hours with the babies. No time is ever enough for me, even if I just sit in their NICU room and knit or read, at least I'm there with them and when they cry or their monitors go off, I can respond.

Also, I must apologize for the tardiness of this blog, I was tired last night, and Matt was tired! So, I figured since I'd be home waiting for the air conditioner people to show that I'd just blog today. Big mistake, I'm sorry I've disappointed some of you. :(

Baby News...It sounds as if they are continuing forward with the idea of transferring the girls back to the Special Care nursery at MoBap sometime next week. I'm not so happy about this and neither is Matt, SOOOOOOOOOOOOO I'm going to sic Matt on the neonatologist about leaving the girls here for another couple weeks or so. I do know that as long as Olivia remains on 2 liters of Oxygen, that they absolutely cannot transfer her back, AND they had previously promised me that there is NO way they will separate them. Which is good news. What I love the most about Children's is the fact that the girls have their OWN room and we have our OWN nurse, at MoBap it will NOT be like that since they'll be in ONE big room with other babies and I don't feel as if they will have as personalized care as they get here. :(

It appears (and I only say this b/c the results from their cultures are not back yet), that Olivia's cold is gone and that Sydney doesn't really have one either. BUT I'm still paranoid and we are not opening their isolettes as much as we had been previously. It's painful, but it's the best for them. :( We, as adults need to remember that what is NOTHING to use is a major concern for the babies, and I do NOT want them to get sick (again).

We did take both girls out of their isolettes yesterday so that we could do some more kangaroo care time. That's my FAVORITE part of my visits, I love holding the girls! I know that many of you who are already moms and dads know what I mean when I say holding your own baby cannot be compared to ANYTHING in the world. The emotions you feel are amazing and completely overwhelming. WE decided not to take any pics tonight of kangaroo care...sadly, Miss Olivia has outgrown her adorable multicolored hat, sooooooo we're going to have to get a new hat as the preemie ones that Matt bought at STILL too big. Poor little girl! :) Sydney's hat STILL fits, so we're good with that one. Both girls are weighing in at 2lbs, 8oz, which is good. I'd like 3 lb babies by next Tues/Wed if we can, and I've even talked to the girls about this as well. :)

The girls are continuing to have occasional A's and B's, which is a minor concern, the good part is that they rarely have to be stimulated to bring their heart rates up OR to remember to breathe. Which is a VERY good thing. Sometimes their A's and B's are related to the locations of their monitors OR to how deeply they are sleeping and the fact that the monitors just aren't picking up their breathing patterns b/c they are breathing so deeply while they are alseep, which is MOST of their day! :)

Also, we no longer have umbilical cords! Sydney actually lost hers on Sunday evening and Olivia's came off yesterday when I was changing her diaper. :) So, now we get to see little belly buttons and they are soooooooooooo very cute!

Today we were supposed to get our new airconditioner installed, but they had to call this AM and ask if they could come this afternoon (apparently the installer's power went out and he overslept)! However, since I have my 10 day checkup with my Dr's office today, I had to reschedule for Thursday, which means I'm stuck here at home all by my lonesome until my 3:30 appointment and the babies are all alone at Children's. :( Well, Daddy did get to see them this morning when he dropped off some of their food for them, which made me jealous. He reported that Miss Sydney was WIDE awake when he got there!

God I cannot WAIT to drive, can you believe it's been over 10 weeks since I've last driven? The only other time, since I got my license that its been this long since I drove, was when I was in Europe. Craziness I tell you. I think I'm going to have to enter one of those radio contests for free gas for the month so that I can drive back and forth a couple times a day so that the Boxers aren't left alone for too long. Ever since Cassius came back from the clinic at MU, we've had some issues being in the cage for more than 6 hours at a time and it's getting annoying to have to wash his bed every night, and it's not good for him OR Sugar to be in their cages that long.

Well, here are some pics of our sleeping beauties....
Miss Sydney....

Miss Olivia....

Until Later!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday, a day of rest...

Restful day? Right. Dream on.

Anyway, I was able to get a little extra sleep this morning before starting the day. I do feel really bad for Jeni as I know this pumping schedule that she's on is not allowing her any restful sleep time. Oh well, I guess this sort of prepares us for when the girls get home.

So we headed down to the hospital around 11:00 to start our day. We hung out in the girls' room for a while and the nurses caught us up on the precautions they were taking for what they think is Olivia's upper respiratory infection. Her bed was restricted to 'gown & glove' until they got her tests back, which means anyone getting close to or touching her bed must be wearing gloves and a gown to prevent further germs from spreading. They are most concerned with Olivia's germs spreading to Sydney since most of the contact happens between us and the nurses from one girl to the other right after. So we have to be SUPER strict on the hand washing...

Here's Olivia's bed in isolation to prevent infection...

Jeni modeling the latest in NICU gown fashions...

Jeni left around noon to meet her friend Stacy for lunch near the hospital and I left about an hour later to meet 'Uncle' Ben for lunch as well. Jeni and Stacy went to the Bread Company and Ben and I went to Duff's. I had the special brunch pancake flavor of blackberry-banana (TASTY!) and Ben had the black & blue burger, which was also VERY good. I highly recommend!

After returning from lunch, one of the attending doctors was there to tell us that they had received the first round of tests back from Olivia and it showed no sign of infection. That means that they can suspend the 'glove & gown' restriction, which was nice.

I took Ben on a quick tour of the facilities at Children's (The Ronald McDonald Room and the Olson Family Rooftop Garden) before he headed home. Jeni returned from lunch with some presents from her friend Stacy. She had made us ADORABLE blankets that match our nursery colors perfectly. Thanks Stacy!

The rest of our afternoon consisted of relaxing in the girls' room and doing some diaper changes and feedings. Nothing too exciting.

An Update on the girls' health: They are monitoring their breathing and heartrates as they have occasional A's & B's (A - Apneas = their respirations stop briefly; B - Bradycaridals = their heartrates drop). These are common for preemies and are exactly why they are in the NICU. The doctors want to make sure these are over before they are sent home. While they sound scary, and they are scary to witness, they are common for babies this age. More tests are expected for Olivia's suspected infection and they are also doing tests to make sure Sydney hasn't caught anything.


Olivia sleeping soundly...

Sydney doing the same...

As we continue to monitor the girls' progress, we recognize how fortunate we have been so far, and pray that it continues. We appreciate all of your thoughts, wishes, gifts and prayers for our girls and can't wait for them to come home so you all can meet them!

Until tomorrow...