Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quick Update




April 30th, 2008


Nothing new to report at this time. The babies are all doing well and we look forward to the day that their monitors will stop blinking and beeping. It is really quite bothersome.


Yesterday Nurse Becky put a bow in Brooklyn's hair. Her very first bow! Paul was the first to see it and he fell more in love (if that is even possible). Paul also had the pleasure of getting sprayed by Cal during his bath last night. Aidan weighed in at four pounds and one ounce yesterday. What a big boy!
Aidan is still rotating between the CPAP and the nasal cannula. Brooklyn has been doing a wonderful job on the nasal cannula and Cal is still on the CPAP (I took the above picture when the nurse was changing his CPAP mask).


Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

HaPPy 3 wEEkS!

Calahan saying "No more pictures, Mom"





Brooklyn and Mommy
Aidan and Daddy



































April 29th, 2008


Today Aidan, Brooke and Calahan turn 3 weeks old! I just called for a morning update and they are doing well, just those pesky bradies and desats.


Yesterday was an amazing day for me. I got to kangaroo with Brooklyn. I am not sure if I have explained kangaroo care or not, so here it is...kangaroo care is holding your naked baby (with a diaper on) against your own naked chest with a blanket over the baby to help keep them warm. Brooklyn and I kangarooed for 2 hours and 40 minutes. It was amazing to feel our little girl's heart beating against my chest, to listen to her breathing, to watch her move and to smell her fabulous baby scent. The first hour Brook did a lot of desatting and sometimes she was so low, I thought my heart was going to break, it was really tough for me and very stressful to watch the monitor numbers and hear the beeping. But after that first hour, she did a wonderful job and only had two minor desats. It was the most precious hour and forty minutes. I could do it for days. Brooklyn's Daddy and Nurse Melissa (love her) came in periodically to check on us. We were having an amazing time! I have to admit, I took home her blanket and hat so that I can smell her at home which only made me miss those little ones even more. I woke up several times in the night to smell her. I miss them so much when we are at home.


The problem with kangarooing is that after spending three hours with Brook, I only had a short amount of time with the boys (and so it begins). I read them each a story (Barnyard Dance) and said a prayer and then it was time for Paul and I to go home. I felt guilty for not having spent more time with the boys, but Daddy was there with them.


Paul also had a very special day in the NICU. For one, he was a diaper changing fool. He also was able to feed Aidan his dinner. Most importantly, Aidan was fussing and crying. Paul put his hands in the isolette and placed one hand on Aidan's head and the other one around his feet to give him some loving boundaries. That calmed Aidan at once and touched his heart. He is the best Daddy!


Calahan seemed to be more content last night as well. His poor little nose is tired of the prongs from the CPAP. He prefers the CPAP mask, but the respiratory therapist says it is necessary to change it occasionally. So he only had the prongs on for three hours while we were there. Cal has the sweetest little face and we are so anxious for him to start trying the nasal cannula so we can see it better. Dr. Karen (our new pediatrician-YAY!) said that Cal's lung x-rays have improved some. THANK YOU GOD! So he is able to lay on his right or left side for now. She said Cal will let us know if that isn't working for him.


Thank you for keeping up with us. Every day is exhausting and we truly appreciate your support and prayers. I tell all of the babies about the support, love and prayers that so many people are sending their way.

P.S. I give up! Today I got the spacing and paragraphs to work...but I couldn't get that big white space to go away. Ugh!

Monday, April 28, 2008

No News is Good News!



April 28, 2008
Here are a couple of pictures to show how tiny these babies really are. Lots of people have been commenting on the babies looking "big" in the pictures. I am happy to announce that all three of our munchkins have graduated to the three pound club. Aidan is even creeping up towards four pounds.
Brooklyn had her first photo shoot this past week and here you see her foot in Mom's hand and her fingers around Daddy's ring in Dad's hand. That little girl already has her Dad wrapped around her finger.
All three kiddos are doing good with the exception of their bradies and desats. Brooklyn likes to hi-sat at 97. I think that will have to be her soccer number one day; she likes it so much.
Aidan is switching back and forth between the CPAP and nasal cannula every six hours or so. I love when he is on the nasal cannula so we can see his sweet little face. Aidan is being bolas fed his Mommy's milk once every three hours. He is getting 8 cc. Yesterday I got to feed him by holding the syringe and pushing little bits in at a time over a fifteen minute period. All the while I was holding his pacifier in his mouth and he was sucking away. It was great! Not ideal, but I will take it for now.
Brooklyn is on the nasal cannula and doing well. Brooklyn just finished her loading dose of breast milk and will go up today. She likes to drop her body temperature here and there during the day. We are hoping "this too shall pass".
Cal is still on the CPAP and his nose is so irritated. Yesterday the nurses had to suction out some crusty boogers and blood. I was so sad for him. Cal is eating 7 cc of milk an hour now...which is his maximum feed until he gains some more weight.
All of the babies cry sometimes when the nurses are messing with them, but yesterday Aidan and Cal would cry when no one was bothering them. This made me so sad because I just wanted to reach in there and pick them up to comfort them. It is extremely difficult to know that there is nothing Paul or I can do to help other than set our hand on their backs and talk to them. I am hoping that their cries are to tell us that they have a wet diaper or are hungry.
The babies will be three weeks tomorrow and I will try to update more. I have lots of information but Paul and I are heading to the hospital now. We have been getting home very late and are always exhausted. It is strange to think that we are sitting down for most of our time with the babies, yet neither one of us has ever been so tired in our lives.
As always, thank you for the prayers and please keep them coming! No doubt, God has wrapped his loving arms around all three of these children.
Much love,
Kristin
(Sorry about the spacing and paragraph problem. I have tried several times to fix it, but can't. I will play with it when I have a minute. It drives me crazy!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Heaven on Earth











April 24th, 2008

Last night was amazing!! Paul and I got to hold Brooklyn for the first time! Then I got to hold Calahan; which I didn't think would happen for quite some time. It was the GREATEST FEELING EVER! Our hearts were bursting with joy and overflowing with love...we were holding OUR very own babies. Babies that are a part of Paul and a part of me. INCREDIBLE!!

As of last night here are the updates:

Calahan now weighs 2 lbs. 11 oz. He was getting a blood transfusion when we arrived last night. They had to put an IV in his left foot because the blood can't get through the PICC line. Cal is now on 3 cc of breastmilk and will probably go up to 4 today if he tolerated his feeds well in the night.

Brooklyn joined the THREE POUND CLUB weighing in at 3 lbs. 1 oz. She is on her tenth day of antibiotics today. Her white blood cell count came down from 43,000 to 29, 000. Average range is 7,000-12,000, so we still need it to come down but she is heading in the right direction. She started feeds two days ago and is now tolerating them well. Nurse Brenda pushed for the doctors to try her on the nasal cannula yesterday and she was doing well while we were there.

Aidan weighed 3 lbs. 6 oz. yesterday. What a big boy! He is on his 5th day of trophic feeds (loading dose .5 cc) and doing well. Hopefully tomorrow he will go up to 1 cc. Aidan continues to desat and hi-sat, but always recovers on his own. Nurse Stephanie decided to try Aidan on the nasal cannula as well for fun.
I spoke with the NICU this morning and the babies had a good night. Aidan and Brooke are still on the nasal cannula. Aidan and Cal had bradies and desats. Aidan did have one episode of apnea where they had to step in and bag him. Brooke had one of the nurses concerned with her midnight poop, so they sent it to the lab and it came back negative for blood, so hopefully that was nothing. There was also a lot of air in her residual so they will keep an eye on that as well. Overall, a great night!
Many people have been asking how I am doing physically after 77 days of bedrest, c-section, etc. I am doing pretty good, but that is only because I have the most amazing husband ever. When I walk or stand my ankles have a lot of pressure on them and it is difficult to walk or stand in one spot for very long. Likewise when I sit, my butt hurts despite all of the extra padding. Go figure! Paul is always very conscious of these things and reminds me to take it easy. I can't bend down because it hurts my knees and I still have a shooting pain down my right leg when I try to bend down. I love sitting indian style and I am slowly able to do that again, but my joints are still stiff. My incision is healing nicely. I still can't see it unless I look in the mirror because it is hidden by my big belly. Yet every day Paul tells me how beautiful he thinks that I am and what a great job I am doing. He is the best!
Mentally, I cried quite a bit the first week or so in the NICU due to the hormones and all of the beeping and flashing that goes on. But now I am used to those things and only cry tears of joy when we are spending time with our babies because they are completely amazing! Thanks for asking. I guess you just don't take the time to think about yourself when you have kids. Your whole world revolves around them. The time flies when you are spending time with them and stands still when you are away from them.
Paul is also doing well. He gets up early to go to work, comes home and we head to the hospital until 9 or 10. I am sure it will start to wear him down soon, but he is so strong. I am constantly amazed at how well he handles everything. I thank God every day for him. He always knows what to say and do.
I hope you are having a wonderful day. I will end this post with a video of Brooklyn. Love to all!

video

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Two Weeks!

Daddy holding Aidan (I will flip later, we are leaving for the hospital right now...) Brooklyn trying to take her CPAP off
Cal stretching out his legs

April 23, 2008


The babies are two weeks and one day old today! They are doing well. In the last three days we have had mostly good news with a minor set back here or there. The main one being Cal's lungs. He has PIE on his left lung and atelectasis in his right lung. They are currently treating this in a non-evasive way. They are keeping him on his left side or on his tummy. This little guy loves his tummy. Too bad when he gets home it is sleeping on your back with some supervised tummy time. I explained PIE in a previous post. Atelectasis is defined as "a state in which the lung, in whole or in part, is collapsed or without air". Poor little guy! Worst case scenario is a chest tube. Please pray for his little lungs to heal on their own and quickly! For a brief moment the nurses thought that Cal was going to need to be reintubated. But our little guy proved them wrong. He is working a little bit harder than they would like to see, but he is still holding his own.


On the up side for Cal, he is getting 2 cc of milk every hour and tolerating it. As a matter of fact all three of the kids are finally drinking breast milk. This is exciting news for me! All of the pumping I have been doing will start to pay off. All of the kids have some residual when they pull it back up, but they are getting better at digesting the milk every day.


The other minor set back that we encountered over the weekend was Brooke having a low temperature despite her isolettes attempts to regulate it. Her white blood cell count is also still high which means she is still fighting whatever infection she may have. She is on her 9th day of antibiotics today, so hopefully we are almost finished with that.


Of course we still have all of the bradies and desats, but that is to be expected. Paul and I will both be so happy when those are over...no alarms, no red lights. One day...

Other big news...everyone has pooped. Isn't that terrific! Some have needed the help of suppositories, but the end result is the same. POOP!
Paul held Aidan on Monday and he did great (both of them did great), no desats or anything. I changed Aidan's diaper yesterday. It was so much fun to touch him. He loves to look at you when you talk to him. His eyes are beautiful.

The doctors have not retested Aidan or Brooke for their PDA's, but they are showing no signs of them still being open. Hooray Babies!

Again, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep 'em coming! Little do these babies know how very much they are loved by so many. We really appreciate all of you!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ups!

Aidan's beautiful blond hair Brooke with her eyes open

Cal with his eyes open Brooklyn saying a prayer for her and her brothers

April 20th, 2008

The last two days have been quite uneventful! We LOVE uneventful days! As I have mentioned before they all have some A's and B's (apnea and bradycardia). Apnea is a pause in breathing that lasts 20 seconds or more. Bradycardia (brady) is the slowing of a baby's heart rate from its usual range of 120-160 beats per minute to a rate of less than 100 beats per minute. These are two very common problems in premature babies. Most of the time all three of our babies are able to self recover from these episodes. Every once in awhile a nurse needs to intervene to help remind them to breathe by stimulating them or blowing air in their face (bagging). The babies also do what is called periodic breathing. This is when they take some deep breaths and then pause for five or ten seconds before taking the next one. Here's a little bit of info on each babe:

Biggest Boy Aidan (CPAP)- Aidan weighed in last night at 3 pounds 3 ounces. He is down from 3 pounds 5 ounces from the day before. However, they are getting a lot of different fluids, so that explains the fluctuation. He has finished his last round of ibuprophen and will start back on my breast milk today. Aidan has the most beautiful blond hair! We still can't believe that all three of our babies have hair.

Beautiful Brookie (Intubated, but not for much longer)- Brooke is slowly coming back around to her normal SASSY self. She is moving around much more and trying to pull her tube out and her wires off. That's our girl! She weighed 2 pounds 13 ounces yesterday. Her white blood cells are still high, so they think she is still fighting whatever infection she may have (they found nothing in her blood work up or lumbar puncture). Today is day 6 of antibotics for her and they will most likely treat her for ten days. This morning they did a sprint and a blood gas on her and both looked great. She will be extubated some time today. Brooke has dark brown hair and lots of it. Paul thinks she needs a haircut.

Baby Boy Cal (CPAP)- Cal continues to amaze us! Cal weighs 2 pounds 9 ounces which is what he weighed at birth. Cal has tolerated his feeds (my breast milk) for 5 days so today they will start to give him a little bit more and hopefully he will start gaining some weight. They took him off of the aminophylline (a relative of caffeine) yesterday which helped him with his breathing transition from the tube to the CPAP. Hopefully he will be able to continue breathing on the CPAP without too many A's and B's. We also got to watch Cal get a bath last night. The babies get baths every other day. He wasn't a big fan, but we are quite certain he slept well after such a big event. Cal also has brown hair, a shade lighter than Brooke's.

So...the prayers are working and we are so thankful! Before long we will be holding the babies (kangaroo care), bathing the babies, changing the babies and all of that good stuff. We can't wait! Please continue to pray for these little ones.

This morning the NICU called and they have a 5 hour surgery in the room (which means the baby is not stable enough to be moved). We cannot go to visit them until the surgery is over. What a bummer! But we wish for the best for that little baby and we are thankful that it is not one of ours.

Paul and I are SO in love with these three cuties! Enjoy this video of Cal getting a bath.

video

Friday, April 18, 2008

Better Days

Friday, April 18th, 2008

The last two days have been much better. Of course the babies have had some setbacks, but for the most part they are doing well. They have had some great nurses and we are very thankful for that. Some of our favorites are: Melissa, Tonya, Stephanie, Anne, Kemmie, Kelly, Brenda and Anna. It takes a very special person to be able to their job. Our doctors have been incredible as well: Dr. Schumaker, Rebecca, Karen, Megan and Lauren. It is amazing to think about all of the friends that we have made in the last month and a half at U of M. When we walk onto the fourth floor of that hospital we pretty much know everybody. Many of my East nurses come to visit the babies. Today Kelly, Mindy and Noelle came by to check in on them. They are loved by so many.

Here are the updates:

Mr. Aidan - Aidan tried the nasal cannula again yesterday morning and he was desating so they put him back on the CPAP. Nurse Stephanie said he had a tiny bit of poop in his diaper today. She said that might be the reason that his tummy is showing some signs of bloating. I hope that is the case because a puffy tummy is one of the reasons they suspected that Brookie had an infection. Aidan had his 5th dose (2nd round/2nd dose) of ibuprophen today. They did an ultrasound on his ductus (PDA) and it has gone from "wide open" to "small". That is great news, now it just needs to be closed. The doctors also did a scan on his head and he still has the brain bleed but remains at a grade one (we'll take it). If Aidan's platelets are better than 50 and he has good urine output after his next dose of ibuprophen then they will start him back on feeds (breast milk). Last night Aidan curled his little fingers around Daddy's finger. It completely melted my heart. He is such a sweet boy!

Baby Brooklyn - Brooklyn is still intubated (oxygen at 21%-room air) and being treated for an infections. They still haven't found evidence of one in her cultures, blood work or spinal fluid but she is acting like she is sick. Her platelets are low and her white blood count is high:both signs of infection. The doctors are continuing to treat her with a 7 day course of antibiotics. The antibiotics cover the following possible infections: groupie strep, ecoli, skin staff infection, and strep. Today they took an x-ray of Brooke's belly and it showed a small amount of air in the wall of her bowel, but they did another x-ray later and they couldn't find it. This would be called pneumatusus. So they will keep an eye on it. If she does have pockets of air in her little tummy they will treat it with a tube to section out the contents and another 7-10 days of antibiotics. Brooke had her arterial line taken out of her belly button today, but they put a PICC line in her poor little foot. When we returned after dinner it looked bloody and like it really hurt. I just wish it was me getting all of these pokes and things. It is so hard to see their little bodies with lines and wires and pokes and blood. One of the other things that breaks my heart is to see Brooke try to cry with the intubator in. I try my best to stay with them when they are uncomfortable or upset, but sometimes it is too much to bare. It is much easier to watch them when they are sleeping and peaceful.

Peanut Cal - Cal is still on on the CPAP and doing very well. His oxygen level is 27% (room air is 21%). Baby boy is still getting my milk and I hope he can continue. The nurse said he does have a rounded tummy but he is doing well with the feedings. He is still on the biliblanket for his jaundice because his level is 12.9. He also had his head scan today and it showed that he still had two IVH's that are both at a grade two now. So one has grown a bit, but we won't worry about that just yet. I had some concerns about him because he seemed to be shuttering and shaking some. I let the nurses know and they put the frog (a funny looking bean bag) over him. I wasn't sure if he was cold or what was going on. The nurse said that he could just be startled and that they do that in the womb. Who knows? It just didn't look right to me and I have learned to tell them whenever I have a concern. Pretty soon, they are going to ban me from the room. I really do try to not be a pain in the butt...but these are our three children we are talking about. Cal still hasn't opened his eyes yet, but it is tricky to do with the CPAP on. I asked the doctor about it today and she said that it is normal for him to not open his eyes. All of the kids will have eye exams when they are 36 weeks old.

Before we left last night I read each of the babies a bedtime story, Guess How Much I Love You (Thanks Fortner!). I started with Aidan and cried quite a bit while reading it. As I read it to Brooke and then to Calahan I was stronger. They need their Mom and Dad to be strong for them. All three babies were calm while I was reading. I'd like to think that they were comforted by my voice. For tonight's bedtime story I am going to read The Three Little Bears.

This morning I called the NICU for an update and everyone had a "pretty good" night according to the nurses. Aidan had a couple of brief brady episodes but he mostly recovered on his own. His nurse said that when she is doing his labs, blood gas etc. she is giving him a break from the CPAP and he is doing well with that. What a good boy he is! Brooke's nurse said she was a "little peanut last night". Her blood gas (taken from an artery, capillary or vein to check the ph level of the blood, amount of oxygen in the blood, potassium, sodium, etc.) looked "great" and her vent levels are good (room air). Her antibiotic (venko? levels) were high which means that they weren't moving through her blood so well. I am not sure what the plan is for that, but will find out later today.

Many people have been asking us what we need. At this time we would love your prayers and good thoughts and your understanding if we are not getting back with you via phone calls, e-mails, comments, texts, etc. We are overwhelmed every day with information and emotions. By the time we get home we both crash only to wake up the next morning and do it all over again. Although I sometimes feel there is no end in sight, I am so thankful for every moment that Paul and I spend with our precious babies and for all of the prayers that our surrounding our family at this time. God is definitely listening!

Have a wonderful weekend!
With Much Love,
The Doods

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ups and Downs




Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

O.K. So I guess it was unrealistic of me to think that I could update daily. I am going to shoot for every other day or so.

The last two days have not been so good. On Monday evening Brookie was having blood pressure problems and her tummy seemed to be bigger. They did x-rays and found that her belly was filled with air. Dr. Vartanian said that Brooklyn and Aidan were on her radar for having an infection. She said the symptoms are similar to prematurity issues so it is difficult to tell. If they did suspect an infection they would need to test the blood, urine and do a lumbar puncture (LP). They would also treat her with antibiotics before the test results come back because the lumbar puncture takes 72 hours to get the results.

On Monday Brooke was still on the CPAP and Cal was still intubated. Tonight or tomorrow they planned to take Cal's intubator tube out and try him on the CPAP. In order to do this, they do a "sprint" or trial run for an hour to see how he does. This way they do not need to take the tube in and out. Cal tried the sprint today, but it didn't go so well. Maybe tomorrow... We were surprised when we got there to see that Aidan was put back on the CPAP. Dr. Vartanian said they give the kids a medication that lasts up to four days which was helping Aidan on the nasal cannula, but it must have worn off and Aidan couldn't keep up.

Dr. Vartanian also said that Aidan and Brooke have loud murmurs on the echo which most likely means their PDA's are still wide open. Aidan is on his first round/third dose of ibuprophen to close his PDA. Brooke finished her first round and is starting her second. However anytime that they have a set back the treatment needs to be stopped. The WONDERFUL news is that Cal has closed his PDA! Thank God; we needed some good news. There is a possibility that it could reopen, so please pray for him that this is not the case. Cal also had his first bath this evening. He looks so content and squeaky clean. I just wish we could hold him in our arms and tell him how much we love him and how proud we are of him.

This day we also experienced a "not-so-pleasant" nurse. She was abrasive and called two of our kids "bad". She said other inappropriate and inconsiderate things. I won't go into all of the details, but at a time like this I can tell you that that is the last thing that I needed to hear about my little angels fighting for their lives. I was so upset and furious (most likely due to my hormones) with this lady. All in all, when we returned home that evening and I was a mess. Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am and what an inspiration I am. Thank you so much for these positive compliments, but I am anything but strong and inspirational. Paul, on the other hand, is amazing. He is always looking on the bright side and is calm and collected. I lean on him so much and thank God every day that I have such a compassionate husband.

On Monday night at 10:45 pm the NICU called and said that Brooklyn was very lethargic and they were going to do the lumbar puncture on her to test for infection and start the antibiotics. Dr. Vartanian had warned us about this but it still doesn't prepare you for the bad news. Paul and I contemplated going up to the hospital again, so we called back and it turned out the LP was going to take place the following day because her platelets were too low to do the procedure. What a night that was! Everyone tells me to enjoy this time to sleep and get rested up before the babies come home. I can assure that the "sleep" that Paul and I are getting now is FAR worse than the sleep we will get when these precious babies are finally home in their own cribs.

On Tuesday the babies turned one week old! All of the kids had blood transfusions this day. They are taking blood out of them faster than their sweet little bodies can make it. Aidan and Brooklyn are still on dopamine for their low blood pressure. Cal is off of the dopamine; his blood pressure was stable so they also took his arterial line out. YAY Cal! He sure is making progress.
They put Aidan back on the nasal cannula today. He did well in the morning. But when I went back in the evening to visit his heart rate kept dropping and he would brady/desat (which means he forgets to breathe and has to be reminded or he needs someone to pump air into his lungs). Sometimes he self recovers, but other times he needs help. This was very difficult to see as the red light and beeping on his "Giraffe Omnibed" goes off and the nurses and respiratory therapists have to come running in to make sure that he does start to breathe again. This happened many times between Aidan and Brooke this evening. I tried to be strong, but it is just too much for me to take to see them struggling so. I just wish that I could have kept them in longer so that they would not have to endure all of these hardships.

Brooke ended up having the lumbar puncture today. The first time they did it, they did not get any spinal fluid so they had to do it again. It is a good thing that I wasn't there to witness this. Then they gave her morphine and adavan to relieve the pain and she had a reaction to it. Her stats went down really low and she stopped breathing. They gave her three doses of reversal medication to get the morphine and adavan out of her system. They also suctioned out her nose and throat. Our poor sweet little girl! What a rough day she has had.

We also found out today that Cal has pulmonary interstitial emphysema (PIE) mostly in his left lung. This means that there is some damage to his lungs from the ventilator. His airways and sacs develop tiny tears and air leaks out of them into small spaces in the tissues of the lungs. Sometimes the lungs heal over time on their own and other times they may need to insert a chest tube or Cal may develop chronic lung disease. We are praying that his little lungs will heal on their own. He is a tough little guy!

Both Aidan and Cal had their PICC line "dressing" changed today. It is quite a process, but one of our new favorite nurses, Tonya, was taking care of them. She is very loving and I know that boys will never forget her. She takes such great care of them. Nurse Tonya sensed that I needed some TLC as well, so after she changed Aidan's PICC line dressing she let me talk to him, hold his head and give him a soothie (which he actually did very good with). Below there is a video of our time together which I cherish so much. He is an incredible little hero!

Paul called the NICU this morning and there hadn't been any change to the babies except for Aidan going back onto the CPAP. We are anxious to get there today to spend some time with these itty bitties. Tomorrow will be the kids' tenth day of life and they will be doing ultraounds on their heads to check on their IVH's. PLEASE say a prayer that they boys' brain bleeds have resolved themselves.

Paul and I are strongly relying on prayers right now to get us through this. As you can see, in a very short time we have had so many ups and downs. The doctors have told us with three babies there is bound to be something wrong with one of them every day. This is a very trying time for us. Thank you for your support!

video

Monday, April 14, 2008

The NICU




Monday, April 14, 2008

Holden Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Hello Everyone! I am sorry it took me so long to let you know what is going on in the NICU. I am going to backtrack to let you know about the babies' first few days in the NICU up until now:

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008 BABIES' BIRTHDAY

When babies are first born they get apgar scores after one minute and five minutes. There are two possible points for each of these categories: heart rate, respiration, reflexes, muscle tone and color. Here are the scores for our little peanuts:

Aidan: 8/10 at 1 minute and 9/10 at 5 minutes
Brooklyn: 4/10 at 1 minute and 6/10 at 5 minutes
Calahan: 4/10 at 1 minute and 8/10 at 5 minutes

(We are not sure of the categories that the kids were marked down in).

As for the missing lengths from yesterday's update: Aidan was 14' 7" and Brooke was 14' 6". They still don't have a measurement for Cal because he is fragile.

The first day or two are hard to remember because we were given so much information. From my shotty notes here is what we were told...

All of the kids were put on ventilators (mechanical breathing machines for babies that are not completely ready to breathe on their own). This requires a small tube inserted through their mouths into their windpipe so that air can be sent directly to their lungs and secured by tape to their face. At 6 o'clock that evening Aidan was removed from the ventilator and put on a CPAP. This is great news! A CPAP is short for continuous positive airway pressure. This means that Aidan takes each breath by himself, but a steady flow of air comes into his airway to keep from collapsing after each breath. We also found out that Aidan is anemic and needed a blood transfusion.

Aidan was in a different room than his brother and sister strictly due to space. We requested that he be moved into Brooke and Cal's room as soon as there was an opening.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Once again we are blessed with amazing doctors and nurses. One of them being Dr. Vartanian. She grew up with our good friend, Sara, and has been fabulous in explaining things to us (pictures and all). She also would bring me pictures of the kids when I was still in the hospital. There was probably new information on this day, but I have no record of it and I was still pretty loopy from the percocet, motrin, morphin from epidural etc. I was super itchy and couldn't stop clawing at my face.

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

On this day Paul went to work and my Mom stayed with me. She shaved my legs for me and helped me take a much needed shower. Then we went to visit the babies. They were all doing well. Aidan was just chilling with his eyes open which was amazing to see. He also had a feeding tube in and was taking 1/10th of a teaspoon of my breast milk an hour. Brooke was sleeping, but the nurses told me that she is a wild one. No surprise to me as she had been kicking me and her brothers every day for at least the past two months. The nurses call her princess. I think Paul and I are in for some excitement with this little girl. Cal is hooked up to (what seems like) a million machines. He is so beautiful! Words can describe the love we feel for these three little ones. Later that day, Aidan had a setback of a heart arithmia He also took a step forward and they moved him from the CPAP to the nasal cannula which means he is breathing entirely on his own and just needs some extra oxygen. This is done with a small set of prongs under his nose. Brooklyn is also on the CPAP by this day. They tried the nasal cannula on her today, but she wasn't ready for it. She did have a healthy poop (our first pooper) and Daddy happened to be there with a camera. It was a proud moment for Daddy! Cal tried the CPAP today, but had to go back on the ventilator because he was working too hard to breathe. He is such a little fighter.

The babies also had echocardiograms today. It turns out that Brooklyn and Calahan both have heart murmurs. These are caused by PDA. PDA stands for patent (which means open) ductus arteriosus (which means arterial canal). This is a blood vessel near the heart and lungs that is supposed to close on its own a few days after birth. Cal's symptoms of this show through in his numbers so he started on ibuprophen today. Brooklyn's numbers are not showing the PDA causing a problem today, so they will continue to observe her for now. For Cal, they will do a round (1 loading dose and 2 more doses 24 hours in between each) and then reassess. If after two rounds this vessel doesn't close itself they will need to have a surgery to "clip" the vessel closed. We are praying that they will close on their own with the medication.

When Paul and I went to visit in the evening Aidan was lying on his belly and he has the cutest little backside ever. Nurse Bonnie gave him a bath today and he looked so clean, tired and peaceful sleeping there. Nurse Bonnie said Aidan was tolerating his feedings so well that she needed more milk. YAY AIDAN! It just so happens that Paul and I had brought down 6 little bottles of milk. YAY BOOBIES! Brookie was also sleeping at this time. She was on her right side with her right hand under her little head. SO CUTE! Cal was getting his second blood transfusion when we were there and the big tube of blood on his isolate made me so sad. It just seems so scary to know that he is getting blood from someone I don't even know. Nurse Tonya said he "liked" the transfusion and he seemed very calm and content. My little guy is so amazing!

All three of the babies are jaundiced so in the past couple of days they have been passing around the bililights. They have to wear these little shades that protect their sweet little eyes. It looks like they are sun tanning. According to the stats, up to 60% of full-term babies and 80% of preemies develop jaundice within the first few days of life. This is reassuring to Paul and I and is not something that we need to be worried about at this time. Thank God!

Today Paul and I got to hold Aidan. He cried some of the time, but it was the most wonderful feeling in the whole world. He is so tiny with soft blond hair and we treasured every second that we were able to hold him in our arms. We are so anxious to hold all of the babies. What a God has given us!

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Today Brooke got her first bath. We still can't believe that she has dark hair. My sister had dark hair when she was born. It all fell out and she had white hair like my brother and I. So time will tell.

This morning the babies' had ultrasounds of their heads. It turns out that Aidan and Cal have "brain bleeds". The technical term for this is IVH (intraventricular hemorrhage). The reason for this in premature babies is because their brains are not quite ready to withstand all of the stress of living outside of the womb. Some tiny blood vessels rupture and bleeding occurs in or near the ventricles. There are different grades of this problem: one through four, four being the worst. Aidan has a grade 1 IVH on the right side of his brain. Brooklyn showed none at this time and Calahan has a grade 1 on the left side of his brain and a grade 2 on the right side of his brain. The doctors will keep an eye on this and they will have another ultrasound on their tenth day of life to see if they are resolving themselves or getting worse. Please say prayers that these hemorrhages will fix themselves and have no lasting effects on our sweet peas.

Aidan has developed apnea which is a pause in breathing for 20 seconds or more. He is still on the nasal cannula.

All of the babies are on Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) which is sugar water and other nutrients through IV. This is the way they eat and get what they need until they are feeding fully on breast milk (which won't be anytime soon).

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Last night they discovered that Aidan has a heart murmur, specifically palmar pulses (can be felt in the palm of his tiny little hands). This means that he too has a PDA. He is going to start on ibuprophen just like his brother and sister. This also means no more of Mommy's milk for Aidan at this time. The reason they discontinue the milk for PDA's is because they want to restrict all fluid.

I may have forgot to mention that all of the babies are also on low doses of dopamine. I am not sure if I mentioned the blood transfusions, but to date, Aidan has had one, Brooke has had one and Calahan has had three.

Aidan's sodium was too high today, but his oxygen is at 21% which is good. He is also on the bililights again today. The nurse said that Cal and Aidan are playing a game of switching the bililights back and forth.

Brooke's PDA is mild to moderate and her blood pressure dropped last night due to the PDA so she had her second dose of ibuprophen and dopamine is being continued.

Calahan's potassium was low today and he got his third blood transfusion. His dopamine was lowered from a 3 to a 2...good news. Cal's sodium is also high. He had his third round of ibuprophen today. We are praying that his PDA will close without a second round. Cal was on two bililights at once today and a blanket. Poor baby!

With the ibuprophen doses, the nurses continue to check their urine output, platelet levels and potassium levels. Paul and I are so thankful for these caring, devoted, knowledgeable nurses. For the last few days Nurse Melissa has taken care of Brooklyn and Nurse Stephanie has watched over the boys. They are fabulous people and so informative. The babies are lucky to have them!

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

Today we checked on the current weights of the babies to compare them with their birth weights (it is normal to lose weight during the first week of life).

Aidan: Current weight 2 lbs. 12 oz. Birth weight: 2 lbs. 14 oz.
Brook: Current weight 2 lbs. 8 oz. Birth weight: 2 lbs. 10 oz.
Calahan: Current weight 2 lbs. 6 oz. Birth weight: 2 lbs. 9 oz.

Today Aidan sucked on a pacifier for a minute or so. This is to promote non-nutritive sucking which is to show him that eating involves sucking. Aidan is still on the nasal cannula. Once his PDA is resolved they will try him without any breathing apparatus. We are looking forward to that day.

Brooklyn tried the nasal cannula again today but her numbers started to go down so they had to put her back on her CPAP. Her little body has to work too hard. One of the nurses said that she just doesn't feel like doing it. I hope that is the case and she changes her mind some time very soon.

Cal tried the CPAP today and he kept his numbers up. They call this a sprint to see if they can keep their settings on hold. He was able to do it on his own, but was working too hard so he continues to be on the ventilator at this time. Cal gets chest x-rays every day to check the lungs to see if the ventilator is doing any damage. Dr. Lauren told us that there is some evidence of lung damage from the tube going to far into his lungs. This is very upsetting to me and I am really hoping that he is able to switch to the CPAP soon without working too hard. He is a fighter and God is watching over him, so I have no doubt that he will.

As for the dopamine, Cal is off of it. Brooke is getting 4 micrograms and Aidan is getting 5 micrograms an hour to help with their blood pressure.

All of the kids have IV's. Here are the types:
Arterial line (Cal) - this line goes into the artery instead of the vein. This line is used to measure blood pressure and draw blood for blood tests, it can also be used to deliver fluids and nutrition. This line goes into Cal's belly button (umbilical arterial catheter-UAC). It can only be used for a week or two; after that it has to be taken out to prevent blood clots or infection.

Arterial line (Brooke) - Brooke also has an arterial line, but hers is an umbilical venous catheter- UVD. This line goes into a vein in the umbilical cord.

Central line (Aidan) - Aidan has a PICC line which stands for Peripheral Central Venus something. This is a central line that is close to the heart.

O.K. That is about all that we know at this time. Please excuse any spelling mistakes or incorrect information. This is how I understand what the doctors have told us and the research I have read. As Dr. Salmeen says I have placenta brain times three.

I will try to update daily on the babies' conditions. Our master plan until I can drive is to visit the babies every day when Paul gets home from work around 2:00 and stay until 8:00ish.

Thanks again for your prayers and support! We are so appreciative for any and all prayers for our peanuts! Love to all!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

THE BABIES ARE HERE!





Sunday, April 13th, 2008


In case you haven't heard...THE BABIES ARE HERE!


They arrived on Tuesday, April 8th, 2008 early in the morning:

Aidan Christopher was born at 1:29 am at 2 lbs. 14 oz.

Brooklyn Kennedy was born at 1:31 am at 2 lbs. 10 oz.

Calahan Ryan was born at 1:33 am at 2 lbs. 9 oz.

(lengths not available at this time).


The day before (Monday, April 7th) I had my PAC appointment and the doctor decided to check my cervix. That may not have been the best idea as I was cramping for the rest of the day. Monday evening I had a lot of back pain and felt terrible. I told everyone about my extreme pain and discomfort. The doctors decided to put me on the toco (contraction monitor) and I took an ambien at 10:45 pm. I fell asleep, but the contractions kept waking me up. I was holding onto the rail of my bed and trying my best to breathe through them. At 11:25 pm Dr. Berger came in and asked me if I was feeling those (he was monitoring them in the "doctor room"). The contractions were every one to two minutes. I told him I was and he decided to check my cervix again. He checked my cervix and said that I was dilated to 5 and it was "time to make a trip to the O.R". Paul called both sets of parents and our parents called our sisters. At my request they paged Mindy (one of our favorite nurses) working in triage because we really needed her to be there with us. Our other nurse's name was also Mindy so we had M & M in for our delivery. Paul and the Mindys put their scrubs on and the anethesiologist came in and gave me two IV's (of course there was a missed extra poke in there). I went into the O.R. and it was filled with people: some I recognized: Dr. Berger, Dr. Beck (whom delivered P.D.), the Mindys and Nurse Donna and many that I had never seen before. From there I had an epidural and during that time I just prayed to God that these babies would be healthy and strong enough to pull through this. I was also very concerned about Paul because he had to wait in the hallway. As they were cutting me open, Paul came in and I was so happy to see him; he is my rock and my best friend. Mindy was videotaping and I really focused on her voice and Paul's voice. I had also taken ambien just 2 hours earlier so I kept coming in and out of conciousness.


They pulled the babies out one at a time. I was not able to see them, but Aidan and Brooklyn let out nice big cries and I was so relieved to hear those sweet sounds. I didn't hear Calahan, but Mindy said that he was making some crazy faces which was a good sign. Paul went to be with the babies and I was "put back together" with staples (and whatever else they use). I can't describe to you after all that Paul and I have been through how incredible the birth of our three babies was. I won't even try to put it into words.


Shortly after I was wheeled in to see the babies in my recovery bed. Paul and I spent a few minutes seeing each baby and telling them how strong and beautiful they were. All three of them are totally amazing! Paul and I could not be luckier! Then we headed back to the room. There were my parents and sister and Paul's parents and sister. I have never been so thirsty in all of my life. My sister was feeding me ice chips and they were the best ice chips I have ever tasted. My body was completely numb and my mind was exhausted. Our families went to see the babies. Then our parents and Karen went home. Sissy spent the night (or what was left of it). By this time it was after four in the morning, so we slept a little bit. Paul visited the babies many times that night; he is already the most amazing father to these three precious miracles. God has surely blessed me with a husband and three children that were sent straight from heaven to complete my world and make me the happiest girl in the world.
These events took place on Tuesday and so much has happened since then. We are headed to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to see our perfect miracles right now. If I have the energy tonight I will start a new entry about our NICU journey thus far. It is going to be a long one, but these babies are stepping up to the challenge.
Paul and I really appreciate everyone giving us our space as we get to know the routines of the NICU and as we are learning many new things about our babies. We welcome all of your prayers and good thoughts. I will try to be better about updating the triplets' progress more often. Again, thank you for your love, support and prayers. We feel them and so do our children.
Much Love,
Paul, Kristin, Aidan, Brooklyn, Calahan and Daisy

Monday, April 7, 2008

Way to go, Babies!

28 weeks 5 days - April 7, 2008

76 days of bed rest (1 month in the hospital)

We had a BIG ultrasound today! Everything is going well. I will cut right to the chase:

Baby Aidan:
-measuring 28 weeks 6 days
-weighs 2 lbs. 14 oz.
-156 heartbeat
-amniotic fluid 3.8
-46 percentile (keep in mind...these percentiles are for single births...not too shabby!)

Baby Brooke:
-measuring 28 weeks
-weighs 2 lbs. 13 oz.
-146 heartbeat
-amniotic fluid 3.9
-43 percentile

Baby Cal:
-measuring 27 weeks 4 days
-weighs 2 lbs. 10 oz.
-146 heartbeat
-amniotic fluid 6.5
-28 percentile

Reena was unable to get Aidan's head measurements because he is simply too low. Dr. Nugent said it must feel like I am carrying a bowling ball in between my legs (that about sums it up).

Today Dr. Nugent also decided to check my cervix...and GUESS WHAT? I am still dilated 2 centimeters. That is what I was when we got here 1 MONTH AGO today. Dr. Nugent said the membranes seemed to have thinned a bit more, but we are essentially in the same place. He set our new goal at 34-35 weeks. He said he would be pleasantly surprised if we made it that far. I don't think any of us thought we would make it as far as we have. The power of prayer is amazing! Paul and I are going to continue to set short goals for ourselves. Two more days from now we will be 29 weeks and then head into the 30's.

Speaking of which I have a good friend heading into her 30's this week...HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAYME! Jayme has provided with me endless letters, cards in the mail, visits, video tapes of my favorite shows, missed her airplane flight, taken a day off to stay with me and so much more. I SO wish I could be there to celebrate her 30th, but I promise to make it up to her one day. As a matter of fact, I have a lot of favors to repay after these last few months to all of you. I will try my best to get started when these little ones come. It may take me many years, but nothing will be forgotten. Every kindness, prayer, visit, present, etc. is forever with both Paul and I. Thank you!

Dr. Van de Ven said that I could take a gurney ride outside today and enjoy the sun for awhile. I would love to do that, but am feeling a little bit crampy from the ultrasound this morning so I am debating.

Paul is at work for a few hours today. He has been FABULOUS through this whole thing. I am truly the luckiest wife/mom in the whole world. He rarely leaves my side and is such a great support. These last few days have been difficult on me: trouble breathing, heartburn, acid reflux, leg and feet pain, cramping, bowling ball in crotch, pressure, heaviness, side aches, etc. I do my best not to complain, but sometimes I have to let it out. I have had two crying episodes in the last week or so and Paul is nothing short of amazing. That man was sent to me straight from God and I still can't believe how lucky I am to have him. He is going to be the best Daddy to these three peanuts!

That's all for now. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What a Beautiful Day!

28 weeks 3 days - April 5, 2008

WOW! Aidan, Brooke and Calahan are kicking all around this evening. It is an incredible feeling...they are definitely growing.

Nothing much to report today except...I GOT TO GO OUTSIDE!! Noelle asked the doctors if it would be alright for me to be wheeled outside to get some fresh air. The doctors all agreed that it would be good for my mental health to see the outside world. When Noelle wheeled me into the hall, the nurses at the station and the doctors in the office were cheering for me. We were only outside for about 8 minutes, but it was a wonderful 8 minutes. The sun came in and out and there was a nice breeze. I will never take the weather or outdoors for granted again. It was fabulous! Surprisingly, it took a lot out of me and I had a difficult time catching my breath when we returned. Paul and I both took a nap when we got back to our room (I guess pushing me and the three babies around is a bit tiring).

Our ultrasounds have been going well. The babies are getting too big to see their whole bodies on the screen. Everyone is moving around and hearts are beating. Sometimes there is practice breathing or hiccups, but not always. At night I think that my skin may split wide open because there is so much stretching. Doctor Nugent said I need to stop watching alien movies and that the only splitting of my stomach would be when they cut it open. I try not to think too much about that part.

Yesterday my Aunt Clara passed away. She was an incredible lady; so strong and happy. The last few times I went to visit her she was sad and cried a lot. She thought that God had forgotten about her. Now she is with Him...I am so happy for her, but I just wish I could have seen her one more time. The last time I saw her I was able to tell her about the triplets and she was overjoyed. I was halfway down the hall to go home that day, when I heard someone crying. I went back to her door and it was her and she praying for the babies. I always imagined taking them to visit her one day. The babies will never get to know her or Uncle Cliff, but they will definitely learn about them and what wonderful people they were.

We are looking forward to our PAC appointment on Monday. We will find out how much the babies weigh, but more importantly, how many weeks they are measuring. We are praying for big numbers!! We will also get a chance to see our friends, Rena and Lori. When we first scheduled this appointment, Paul and I thought there was no way that we would actually still be pregnant when the appointment rolled around. Thank God we were wrong. These babies are strong and we won't underestimate them again.

I hope this post finds you and your family healthy and happy!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Bedridden Girl






video



April 3, 2008 - 28 weeks 1 day


We made it! Our new goal is 29 weeks. Thank you for the thoughts and prayer...they are so working.


I had a very special visitor yesterday...Daisy! It was amazing to see her. It is crazy how much I love that dog. She stayed for quite awhile and mostly laid on my bed. She was able to find a jelly bean and a pill under my bed, but Paul got them from her. Many of the doctors and nurses came to see her. Daisy just has a way of putting a smile on everyone's face. Things went so smoothly that she will probably come again soon to see me.


We have been feeling the babies move for a 8-10 weeks now, but yesterday you could watch my belly and see all of the activity. Feet, butts, arms, legs: body parts moving around everywhere. We still find it hard to believe that there are thirty fingers and toes in there, six arms, six legs, three bodies and three heads...yikes!


I thought I would give you an idea of how my day goes...(it is quite boring, so please feel free to scroll down to the bottom)

I lay in bed in the t-bird position (legs slightly elevated above the head) all day and night; mostly on my left side except when I get up to use the bathroom every twenty minutes or so.


6am-I take Procardia (medication to keep my uterus calm) and the nurse takes my vital signs (blood pressure-always low, heartbeat-always high, temperature-usually normal and oxygen levels).


8:30am-I call my friend, Janna, to order my breakfast. We haven't met yet, but we have a nice conversation every morning. Then my friend, Eddie brings me my lunch tray and we chat for a minute or two.

9:00am-My friend, Wendy, comes in and talks with me as she cleans my room.

9:30am-I take iron and colace and the nurse takes my vital signs again.

10:00-11:00am-I watch Ellen (the only show I can't miss-she makes me laugh).

Sometime between 8:30 and 2:00ish-The doctors come in with the ultrasound machine and take a look at the babies to make sure they are all moving and have beating hearts.

12:30pm-I call Janna back to order lunch.

1:00pm-I eat lunch (it all tastes the same anymore).

1:15pm-Judith comes to take my blood every third day for a type and screen.

1:30pm-Physical therapy comes once or twice a week. Kendra is awesome!

2:00-6:30pm-I use the computer, stare at the wall, knit, read magazines, stare at the other wall, etc. Most days a couple of doctors come to visit and see how I am doing. We are very fortunate to have Dr. Nugent as one of these doctors.

6:00pm-Another dose of Procardia and another round of vital signs. Then we order dinner from Janae (also another nice unknown face).

Shift change happens at 7:00pm and we get a visit from our night nurse. Anytime between 7:30 and midnight the doctors come to do our second ultrasound of the day. Again, they check for baby heartbeats and activity. Sometimes they also look for practice breathing.

10:00pm-I take iron, colace, prenatal vitamin and 10mg ambien.

10:15pm-Sleeping until my midnight does of Procardia. Then I wake up every half hour to go potty because there is no room for my bladder with all of those babies.

Today was shower day!!! Nurse Kelley (another favorite of ours) shaved my legs for me and then Paul helped me take a shower (I use a shower chair). Afterwards my blood pressure was the lowest it has been 90/56 and my heart was racing so I didn't take my 6 o'clock dose of procardia. I am having a difficult time catching my breath, but the doctors don't seem to be worried.

Here are some of the many people that are taking SUCH good care of us in Room 4147:

Daytime nurses: Noelle, Dannielle, Kelley, Michelle, Shawn, Stacie and Jen

Nighttime nurses: Mindy, Ruth, Jamina, Donna, Debra, Debbie, Nicole and Linda

Doctors: Dr. Nugent, Dr. Brincat, Dr. VandeVen, Dr. Chames, Dr. Treadwell, Dr. Salmeen, Dr. Keeton, Dr. Chrissman, Dr. Berger, Dr. Samar, Dr. Winer, Dr. McCarthy, Dr. MacLean and Dr. Beck

As you can see we have a lot of people taking care of us and the BIG GUY in the sky is definitely looking down on us. We are still in amazement that we have made it this far. These babies are fighters and although we are so anxious to meet them, we cherish every minute that they stay put.

Night nurse Mindy (so wonderful) is bringing us dinner and a movie tomorrow night. She is great fun and we always look forward to the nights when we have her to keep us company.

I guess it is getting old for me to thank all of you every post, but you have all helped us to make it through these difficult days. Simply put, THANK YOU!

On a side note, our Uncle Cliff has gone to be with God in heaven. He was a wonderful man and will be missed dearly. He battled Alzheimer's and dementia for the past few years. We love you, Uncle Cliff!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More Good Than Bad

April 1, 2008 - 27 weeks 6 days

Happy 3rd Birthday to our nephew, Cameron!!

We are almost to 28 weeks....just one more day!

The good thing is we had our ultrasound with Dr. Brincat last night and all was well. Aidan, Brooke and Calahan are staying put and everyone looks good. Our itty bitties are so strong and are being such good listeners. We are so proud of them!

The bad news is that we had our last ultrasound with one of the most amazing doctors ever! De. Brincat has been so wonderful to us and is very reassuring and thoughtful. She stays to talk to us and explains everything. She stops in to check on us and makes us smile. The new doctors are good, but just not the same. Dr. Brincat will still be in the building and hopefully available when we go to delivery (her presence would surely put us at ease).

The good news is I have been eating a lot more this week (I only gained one pound last week) to try to fatten these sweet babies up.

The bad news is I only gained .8 pounds this week. The nutritionist came up and is going to start sending me those horrible carnation shakes again. I will just have to suck it down and chase it with some juice.

The good news is I had my physical therapy session today with Kendra and she is wonderful at her job.

The bad news is I feel like my body is 103 years old and I will probably need hip replacement on my left side when this is all said and done.

The good news is the babies have stayed put and all have good heart tones and are moving around all of the time.

The bad news is I have been on bed rest for exactly 70 days (21 in the hospital) today.

The fabulous news is that Paul got paperwork from the social worker today to allow Daisy to come for visits. That is EXACTLY what I need to get me through the next week or two. I miss her so much! Paul is taking her to the vet tomorrow and hopefully bring her up in the next day or two. I am looking so forward to seeing her; I hope she remembers who I am.

On Monday we will head back to the PAC (Perinatal Assessment Center) to have another EFW (Estimated Fetal Weight). We are looking forward to seeing the babies on the "big" screen and finding out how much they weigh now. From the movements we feel and see, we are thinking that they are all at least 2 pounds each (we are hoping for even more than that).

Paul and I do our best to remember that each day is a blessing. My amazing friend, Ashley, made me a poster of my favorite quote: which now hangs on the hospital wall for all to see:

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,

it's about learning to dance in the rain.

(I think I got this quote from Greta also...so inspirational). We are doing our best to dance (although the extra 57 pounds I have gained makes it a bit tricky).

LOVE TO YOU ALL and as usual, THANK YOU! THANK YOU!