Wednesday, September 24, 2008

They Have No Idea What They Are In For...

And when I say they, I mean our loveable, spoiled, pampered boxers.

Jeni and I have discussed many times what will happen when the girls come home and our 2 oldest "kids", Cassius & Sugar, are no longer getting all of the attention. We've been trying to ease them into the girls coming home by bringing blankets and clothes home so that they can sniff and smell them to get used to it. However, I have a feeling it is going to be shock to their world when two loud, needy, and sometimes stinky girls come into this house that they used to rule. I am actually really looking forward to how both dogs will react. I'm not worried at all at how they will react, just mainly curious. I know they will be great with the girls as I have seen them around other kids (who they love). And honestly, the nature of the boxer breed around small children is one of the reasons I was attracted to getting one long ago.

Your Peaceful Days of Laziness are numbered...

And from the news today out of the NICU, the boxers could be meeting the girls as early as Saturday! :)

So, because of my trip to Florida for work, I wasn't able to see the girls on Tuesday. I did stop by the hospital in the morning on Monday to see them on my way into the office before my trip later that day. So, this afternoon after work was my first time seeing them and getting to feed them since Sunday morning.

Since the girls are on an ad lib schedule, its harder to predict when they will eat and thus when I get to feed them. However, I made it down to see them about an hour earlier than usual. I hung out and visited with Jeni while she fed Olivia.

Olivia taking her bottle from Mom

Then when Sydney woke up and announced she was hungry, I changed her diaper and fed her. About 1/2 way through her feed, Sydney proceeded to dirty her diaper. She took her entire bottle (yay!) and then I changed her again. Jeni returned from pumping and came in just as I finished changing the 2nd diaper. Since I hadn't had a chance to burp Sydney at the end of her bottle, Jeni volunteered. During this, Sydney then dirtied a THIRD diaper... The girl was full of it!

Sydney is our Paci girl.

Sydney was quite entertained by her new Tiger that Dad brought home from his trip to Mizzou.

We tucked the girls in and headed home a little earlier than we had in a long time. Since our days of free evenings are about to end, we decided to go out for some Mexican food tonight. It was nice not to have to cook...

We relaxed most of the rest of the evening in between loads of laundry and pumping sessions.

Well, looks like 2 more nights of good sleep left!

Take care.


The Rollercoaster Ride.....

AKA the NICU is back!

Going shopping or not this weekend? It's an ever changing story.

So yesterday, was a super busy day for me with Matt out of town. I stayed at the NICU until 7:15pm, so I didn't get home until pretty late (b/c I picked up our Chinese) and was tired. So, I ate, pumped, talked with Matt, pumped, napped on the couch, pumped, went to bed, pumped...I'm sure you get the picture.

One of the things we talked about was WHEN the girls were officially coming home. You see, Olivia still hadn't pooped and wasn't eating the best in the world yesterday. So, I was basically told, Sydney and Olivia MAY not be coming home together this weekend. :( Which made me pretty unhappy. Dr. Saunders and NP Michelle told me that if Olivia didn't pick up her feeds, that she'd have to get her NG tube back in because they were worried about her getting dehydrated. SO, we were put on urine watch. So, Olivia and I had a couple 'conversations' about how she had to go shopping with her sister this weekend and pickup her feeds so that she could do that AND that she needs to poop so that she is hungry.

First off, we have 3.5 hour babies. That's how often they are hungry. So, when Olivia started barking (she lets out little shouts when she's hungry) versuses Sydney's screams of hunger, at 5:45, I got her ready (changed her, no poop) and warmed her milk. She ate ALL of the 50 mils I offered her (Okay already more than she'd eaten at one time all day), and she continued to act hungry, SO we warmed another 15 mils and she ate all that. YAY. You go girl. Sydney of course screamed at 6:05 and demanded that our awesome nurse Michelle (not to be confused with NP Michelle) feed her, and like a champ she ate all of her 60 mils.

Overnight, Olivia (threatened with the NG tube), ate really well, she continued to wake up every 3.5 hours and took 75, 75, 65. AND even more importantly after 6 LONG days she finally pooped. THANK God. I was super worried about that. Sydney of course pooped and ate like normal..which means all of her bottles all night long!

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO it still sounds like they may be shopping this weekend, but who knows, on the rollercoaster ride of the NICU things could change in an instant. However, I guess I'd better finish up around here and make sure I'm organized for this weekend! YAY. WE.CAN'T.FREAKIN'.WAIT. Give me my babies people and we are outta here...I cannot wait to say that! :)

Daddy's home, I slept MUCH better last night for probably one of the last nights in a LONG time (not that 4 hours of sleep in a row is great, but it's good).

Here are photo shoot pics from today....

Mommy holding the girls.....

Mommy with Sydney (holding BOTH girls)...

Mommy with Olivia (holding BOTH girls)....



Hope all is well,

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rumor Has it...

That my letter to Hazelwood's sick leave bank committee was APPROVED.

I'm seriously so excited. I cried. Of course I don't have the official word, but I have heard from a VERY reliable friend Rhonda. You see Rhonda, her darling daughter Josey, and I went to lunch today (which was awesome, it was great to see her!) and she said to me, "I hear great news for you, your leave request was approved!" I was shocked, she thought I knew, so she was shocked as well! Apparently her husband John works with one of the 4 people on the committee who was telling John that they had a meeting and approved my leave. I'm so excited, I cannot believe it. So, I am out of work until December 8. This is HUGE for the girls in terms of health!

I hope that committee knows how fabulous they are, this is so great. When I go back to work the girls will have had 3 of the 5 RSV shots that they will get, and that is HUGE for them. Every day they are kept home during the winter, out of day care, and away from germs is better for them. I must admit that the NICU has me SUPER Freaked out about RSV season. The pure fact that a simple cold could kill my girls is horrifying, much less the fact that they could catch it from ANYONE, even adults who feel okay breaks my heart.

I know that being premature will continue to be a challenge that we will need to combat for the girls, but everything I read tells me that by age 4 (at the latest, usually it is 2) they will have caught up developmentally with their peers. The really sad thing is that RSV will continue to be a concern for us next year. I wonder how other people deal with RSV if they cannot take off work, etc. Craziness.

So, another rumor is still that the girls are GOING SHOPPING THIS WEEKEND. We still don't have an official day, just sometime this weekend. It really all depends on when Olivia poops. Poor baby. She hasn't pooped in 5 whole days as of tonight. She can toot like no adult, but she cannot poop. AND because she isn't pooping so much she's not as hungry (there isn't room, who blames her)!? I mean seriously, we don't eat and think about pooping or poop and think about eating at the same time, so it's no wonder that she's having issues eating ALL of her bottle. BUT she's doing most of it.

Both of the girls have passed their hearing tests as well, which is one of the last things they do before they leave the NICU too. YAY!

Let's see...other great news...they are still as adorable as ever! As of today they are eating ad lib. Which means they are no longer on their set eating schedule. Instead, they HAVE to eat by every 4 hours but THEY determine when in that 4 hour time period they want to eat. WELL, my formerly quiet babies are NOW noisy babies. You should hear the racket they toss up when they want to eat. Sydney screams and Olivia kind of talks. She hasn't screamed yet, but it was cute to see her talk.

Oh, a friend of mine, a very nice girl that I "know" from a website that I am on, who lives in STL and is a photographer has offered to take some pictures of the girls for us. She too has a baby who was born prematurely (Eli, he's so cute) and she completely understands the complications caused by the restrictions placed on premature babies (like no public places, including photographic studios) until after RSV season (so late April/early May). I'm so excited. She takes awesome pictures (her website is, and I know that the girls will be great subjects for her. Thanks Stephanie, that was a super generous offer of you to make and Matt and I really appreciate it. She also offered to take maternity pictures for our friend Amy and baby pictures for our friend Stacey. Who knew that one could make such good friends online, but these women have been there for me countless times, they mean a lot to me and I hope they know it!

WEll, here are some pictures from today. Photo shoot time was cut a little short due to the fact that out of the 7 hours I was at the NICU today the girls only ate 1 time, whereas before they would have eaten at least 2 times. You've gotta love the 4 hour schedule!



Well, that's all for tonight. Matt's in Florida and I'm on my own. I promised him that I'd clean up around here, so I'd best be going to do some of that! We should be posting pics of the nursery in the next day or so!

Hope all is well!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

The H Word

Welcome to our blog for the weekend of Sept 19 - 21.

These are photos from a 'photo shoot' Jeni did with the girls on Friday afternoon...

Olivia is on the left and Sydney is on the right!

So in the world of the neonatal intensive care unit, there are a few rules that are strictly enforced by the nurses:
1. Everyone must wash their hands!
2. Only 2 visitors per baby!
3. Don't use the H word around the babies.

If you haven't guessed, the H word is "Home." As patients progress towards being released from the NICU, the nurses don't say anything about 'going home.' They refer to their release as 'going shopping' or 'going to a football game'.

So, why am I pointing this out? Well, we were told that if the girls continue to progress as they have the past few days, then they could be 'going shopping' by the weekend!

That's right, they have made some big moves towards leaving the NICU. On Friday night, the nurses and doctor decided to remove the girls' feeding tubes. They did this for a couple of reasons. One, they wanted to challenge the girls to eat on their own instead of depending on getting their feeds through the tubes. Two, upon removal of the tube (on accident when one of the girls yanked it out) they saw that the thrush had colonized around the outside of the tube. This is part of the reason why the thrush has been so hard to kick. The medicine for it had been going down the tube, thus not killing it where it was growing... So as of Saturday morning, the girls were officially all on their own when it comes to eating. They have minimums they need to eat at each feeding but so far we've been encouraged that several times they've taken all of their bottles...



After their tubes were removed on Saturday, our nurse on decided to attempt to cross another milestone/test for the girls: They both had their carseat tests. This test required the girls to sit in their carseat for an hour without having any heartrate or breathing issues. Both Sydney & Olivia did great and passed!



Jeni and I spent alot of Saturday with the girls making sure they had plenty of time eating from the bottle and getting pictures without tubes on their faces! I went home a little before Jeni and did some yard work. I grilled some bratwurst for dinner and we had a nice evening at home. After dinner I hung a couple more decorations in the nursery to get it completely ready for its new residents.



On Sunday, I got up early and visited the girls for their 8 & 9 AM feedings. I stayed until Jeni arrived around noon and then headed home. Jeni stayed most of the afternoon and then came home before we quickly left again. We went to the wake for Jeni's great uncle Kenny and then swung by her mom's to pick up dinner that she made for us.

Tonight has been a quiet evening at home, but many of our conversations have been about what's to come in this next week. I think the reality of the girls being here hasn't hit us yet, but we are MORE than ready. We've been ready for a couple of month. Now we'll see how crazy our lives are about to get...

Well, that's all for me. I'm off to bed. I'll be flying off to Florida for work tomorrow afternoon and will return Tuesday night. Jeni will be in charge of keeping all of you up to date.

Take care!