Friday, May 30, 2008

Huh???








May 30, 2008

Pictured above: 1. Nurses holding the babes 2. Doctors holding the babies 3. Are you sure we're ready to go? No wires? No machines? No beeping? 4. Brooklyn and Calahan kissing good-bye 5. Cal happy to finally have the place to himself 6. Brooklyn and Aidan trying out their swings for the first time


We're going where?? That's right! Aidan and Brooklyn have moved...HOME! Can you believe it? It is definitely surreal for Paul and I to be home with two of our three babies. We just can't wait to bring Calahan home too.

Today was a busy day for everyone...Paul and I took the car seat class first thing this morning, then we had the emergency procedures class. We moved Aidan and Brooklyn out of the crib and Cal into an isolette. We had a chance to spend time with our favorite doctors; Dr. Vartanian, Dr. Wiseman, Dr. Fozia and Dr. Desch. We also had lots of our favorite nurses around today; Michelle, Anne, Crystal, Jessie and Stephanie.

It was a very special day, but also a heartbreaking day for me to leave behind my sweet little boy, Cal. The nurses assured me that he was going to get lots of extra attention now that the other two are gone. On Wednesday Cal was supposed to be the one coming home today, but he bought himself a couple of extra days for desatting. He is off of the caffeine which might be why he is not doing as well. They have decided to put him back on the caffeine and possibly send him home with it. He is off of the nasal cannula and the feeding tube. So he will continue to be monitored at the hospital for awhile. We hope to have him home some time next week; but only if he is ready.
We have a visiting nurse coming tomorrow and an appointment with a pediatrician on Monday. Paul and I are doing a pretty good job; if I do say so myself. The nurses really prepared us for this day.
We want to thank everyone for your continued prayers. Please keep them coming. Prayer is a powerful thing. We know first hand the power of the Lord and we thank and praise him for this amazing miracle. Now we are just looking forward to bringing home Calahan. Then everything will be right with the world in our eyes.
Love to all...




















Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Angels




Pictured above: 1. Three peanuts together!! 2. Aidan taking a snooze 3. Brooklyn's first tub bath 4. Cute as can be, Cal

May 28, 2008 7 weeks and 1 day

So sorry...it has been awhile since I last posted. I have not privatized the blog yet because it is going to take some time to enter all of the e-mail addresses I received and I haven't had that time yet. We are spending every available moment at the hospital feeding, changing and admiring the babies. When we are not at the hospital we are at home putting baby "stuff" together, washing clothes, blankets, etc. and just getting the house ready for the homecoming of the babies.

That's right! You heard me...the HOMECOMING of our little sweet hearts. We don't have an exact date right now, but there is definitely talk of them coming home in the next couple of weeks. Paul and I are very excited and completely nervous.




The babies have made a lot of progress in the last week. They went from bottle feeding once a shift (P.O. - by mouth) to taking almost 100% of their feedings by bottle. This is quite time consuming!! Who does the best with the bottle? Our man, Cal! He is a champ in the eating department. We are so proud of all of them because taking those bottles is hard work and really tires them out.




We have also been giving the nighttime baths every other night. Brooklyn and Aidan had their first tub baths last week and they seemed to really like it once they got used to it. This process also takes a lot of doing, but Paul and I have a great system down.




Last night I did baths without Paul. I NEED my hubby! It was very difficult without Paul's help. However all three of the babies were angels (hence the title)! Their baths right now begin by taking their temperature to make sure they are maintaining their body heat, taking off all of their clothes, removing the three sticky leads on their chest and abdomen and their pulse ox, putting them on the scale to weigh them and changing their diaper. Then they get a sponge bath or a tub bath depending on time, nurse, etc. Afterwards, a new diaper, new leads, pulse ox, temperature again, clothes and swaddled. Doing this three times is exhausting! Last night we were also feeding the babies in between baths and changing the linens on their bed.


I was particularly exhausted last night from a very busy day and baths could have been stressful, but Aidan, Brooklyn and Calahan knew that their mommy was tired and they didn't make a peep. The room was unusually quiet and the babies were wide awake and just looking around. There was no crying despite all of the above mentioned activity. Everyone was calm and peaceful. I sat for a few minutes just trying to capture exactly how I felt and I took a mental picture of all of the babies. It was a special evening for me; these babies are truly a long awaited miracle.




I can't wait to get back up the the hospital this morning to spend some more time with them.




Here are a few quick updates from the past week:


-The biggest news? Cal has joined his brother and sister in the "big kid" crib! It is AWESOME to FINALLY see all three of the sweethearts together at last. The nurses were betting on me crying that day, but heck no! I came in and did a dance; jumping around and rejoicing in how far we have come.


-All three babies had some red flags at their eye exam. They all have retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The boys have stage 2 in zone three and Brooklyn has stage zero with incomplete vessels in zone three. What does this mean? Nothing for now. The doctors have told me not to worry about this yet (Right! Me, not worry?). The babes will have another eye exam at the beginning of June, we are hoping and praying that these problems will correct themselves.




-All of the babies have outtie belly buttons. Aidan's is really out there. He has decided he wants to be like Grandpa. Therefore, he has a herniated belly button. Another wait and see. If his belly button doesn't correct itself, he will have a surgery (just like Grandpa) when he is four years of age.



-Cal needed a blood transfusion on Sunday. His hematicrit was low and the doctors thought this would really help him along. I cried only because the poor boy needed to get another IV. We have had such good days and I just felt so bad for him.


-Cal is only using the nasal cannula for feedings and sometimes not even then. He is working hard to catch up with his siblings and is an amazing eater! Some nurses even predict that he will be the first one to come home. Wouldn't that be the best underdog story!


The nurses and doctors are always commenting on how well the "dude" babies are doing. They are surprised at their excellent progress. Not me! These babies are hard workers with a lot of heart; they take after their Daddy.


So...things are going MORE than well. God and the angels are definitely looking out for our angels. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts! Enjoy the show...







video

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

LOVE our babies!





May 20, 2008

Pictured above: 1. All three peanuts posing for a picture. 2. Cal trying to give me his upper left hook 3. Aidan getting a bath from Mom and Dad 4. Beautiful Miss Brooklyn




Dear Friends and Family,



Things are going well in the NICU for the babies! Paul and I are overjoyed with the progress of Aidan, Brooklyn and Calahan; they amaze us! Cal is trying his top open again today, so I will let you know how that goes. If he does well, he will be moved to the "big kid" crib with the other two.

Oh, have I mentioned that? Aidan and Brooke have moved to a "big kid" crib. They have more room and are really in the open air now. When sweet Cal gets moved in with the other two the whole Dood clan will be moved to "the floor". I am excited and nervous for that day. The floor means a private room and less supervision. Many of the nurses have become close friends and it will be difficult to leave them, but at the same time we are looking forward to moving because that means that the babies are really doing well.



On Sunday Aidan and Brooklyn had hearing tests. They both passed. Yippee! Cal will have his in another week or so. Yesterday the babies had eye exams. We have yet to hear the results, but will keep you posted. Their last eye exam was two weeks ago and ruled inconclusive because their eyes were still too immature.



Today I am taking an infant massage class. I am looking forward to learning how to soothe and relax the babies. Paul was inquiring about the husband massage class, but the nurses assured him there was no such program. No doubt, he too is going to need soothing and relaxing!


It is AMAZING how full my heart is with these three babies! I eat, sleep and breathe these little ones. Paul and I are so incredibly blessed and we thank God constantly for letting us be parents to these miracles. We are looking so forward to the day we are all home together as a family.


The blog will go private on Sunday. Thank you for emailing me your requests to continue reading the blog. Many of you included well wishes and we really appreciate that, unfortunately I do not have time to respond to all of them. When I do have time at home, I am trying to organize in order to prepare for the babies' home coming. Then I am anxious to get to the hospital and all of my efforts and energies are directed to the babies. Most evenings on the way home, it is either too late or I am too exhausted to respond. My apologies, it really does get to me that I am missing in action. Please know that we are extremely thankful for ALL of our supportive friends and family.



Love to you all and much thanks for everything!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Dood Babies are going PRIVATE!





May 17, 2008 - The Babies are 40 Days Old Today!!

Pictured above: 1. Aidan and Brooklyn with Mom (holding two babies at once is harder than it looks) 2. Cal enjoying his nasal cannula 3. Brooklyn (pretty in pink) 4. Cal thinking about his girlfriend, Itty Bitty Lydie (she sent him a love note in the mail this week)

Hi All!

The babies are doing great! Aidan and Brooklyn have been in room air with their top popped for about two weeks now. They tried popping Cal's top yesterday and he did well for awhile, but in the night his body temperature went down so they had to put his top back down. They will try again in a day or two. Once he is able to regulate his body temperature he will be moved into a crib with his brother and sister. We can't wait for that day!!


Bottle feeding is a challenge. Cal seems to be doing the best; taking all of his bottle almost every time. Brooke and Aidan are hit or miss and finish their bottles only some of the time.


Many people have asked about target dates for the babies to come home. Unfortunately, there is no talk about that at this time. They say generally it is around the time of the original due date which is June 24th. We are hoping to bring at least one baby home before then but only time will tell. The babies need to do the following things before being able to leave the NICU: 1. breathe on their own 2. regulate their body temperature 3. be able to eat (while remembering to breathe).


Their current weights are: Aidan-4 pounds 4 ounces, Brooklyn-4 pounds 2 ounces and Calahan-3 pounds 11 ounces.


Paul and I have decided to privatize the blog now that the babies are getting older. So, if you enjoy the blog and would like to continue reading it please e-mail me with your name and e-mail address so I can add you to the list. My e-mail address is KristinSPE1@aol.com. This change will take place one week from today, so please try to let me know by then.


Also, many of you have offered to help with the babies once they arrive home and we really appreciate that. I would like to start drafting a calendar of helpers, so if you are interested please indicate that in your e-mail and let me know what time/day would work for you.


Thanks for the well wishes and prayers. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

PICS!




After posting...I felt guilty that I didn't include a picture of Brooklyn. I can assure you that she certainly gets PLENTY of camera time. I decided to add a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure. I try my best to keep things even; which is going to be very tricky. I was just so excited to finally see our sweet Cal's face and I thought you would be too.

So here you see Brooke, then Cal (smiling), Brooklyn and Aidan sleeping and Aidan playing peek-a-boo!


Sweet Face





May 15, 2008 - 34 weeks 2 days

Pictured above: 1. Our big eyed boy with no CPAP!! 2. Isn't Cal just adorable!! 3. Cal snuggled in and exhausted from his bath. 4. Aidan contemplating life (and looking so cute)

Things have really started to pick up in the NICU. Paul and I are mad diaper changers. Every time we take a breath, there is a poopy diaper. We are able to feed the babies and hold them, a much welcome change from just watching them from outside the glass.


The big news is Calahan made it all day on the nasal cannula. We are so proud of him. He is absolutely beautiful! He is really coming into his own (whatever that means; I know it applies here). We couldn't stop staring at him yesterday.


Paul and I gave Cal his bath last night. We did a much better job than the first time. We had him bathed, hair combed, outfit on, sheets and blankets changed in just under 3o minutes. Cal isn't particularly fond of his bath, but he did pretty well for us. He seemed to like it when Daddy sat him up so I could wash his head and back. Tonight we will give Brooklyn and Aidan their baths.


Cal is also taking a bottle and doing pretty well with it. He has taken two full bottles. Aidan and Brooklyn are also doing well. Brooklyn took all but 5 cc for me yesterday and Aidan left only a few cc as well. Things are looking good!


The boys had a cranial ultrasound yesterday, but we still haven't heard the results. Aidan had a spot on his scan last week, so they wanted to check it again this week. I am keeping my fingers crossed.


All three babies are still having bradies, desats, hi-sats, tekipnic spells (not sure on the spelling of that funny word), etc. A couple of times a day they need stimulation and/or blow by. I long for the days when these occurrences are no longer.


It is getting more and more difficult for us to leave the babies at night. We just want to bring them home with us. It just isn't right that we are away from them; necessary, yes...but that still doesn't make it any easier.


Speaking of leaving the hospital...in the car on the way home last night, Paul and I were talking about how lucky we are and how well things are going for the babies. All of the sudden we saw our lives flash before our eyes. As we were in the middle of an intersection another car ran the red light and almost smashed into us going about 50 mph. Thankfully, Paul is a fabulous driver and GOD was watching over us. Paul saw the car, swerved to the right and laid on his horn (for those of you that know Paul, horn honking comes naturally to him). The other car swerved to the left which brought him onto a one way street going the wrong way. Thank God there was no one coming from that direction at the time. I am not kidding...that car missed us by a hair (a really thin one too). Paul and I just sat in the middle of the intersection for a minute completely stunned. It was a REALLY close call. The rest of the way home we were pretty quiet. Both of us thanking God for watching over us. Our babies really need us. That ride home could have been ugly, instead it was a good reminder of how precious life is and how thankful we are for everything God has given us. So...thanks to the Big Guy...for ALL of his miracles.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!





May 12, 2008

(Pictured above: 1. Daddy feeding Aidan for the very first time 2. Aidan is just exhausted from eating, breathing and keeping his body temperature all at one time 3. Aidan and Brooklyn taking a little nap 4. Cal just chillin'

Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms! I am so excited to FINALLY be a part of this club. Thank you so much to all of you that thought of me yesterday. I received about 20 text messages before noon to wish me a happy day. I also got several mother's day cards in the mail. THANK YOU (it meant so much to me)! The babies also knew how excited I was to be a mom...they asked their dad to get me a beautiful ring with three diamonds in it (their birthstones, of course). I know I have said it before, but my husband is AMAZING! Grandma and Grandpa Dood also got me a beautiful bracelet with the kids' names (I have always wanted one) and the Weller family gave me some really neat scrapbooks made out of the kids' names. I just LOVE seeing their names on anything.


We spent mother's day at the hospital. When we got their the babies' incubators were decorated with paper flowers (from nurse Brenda), a picture of Aidan and Brooklyn in Cal's isolette that read "Keep up the good work. We love you" (from nurse Michelle), a card and chocolate from the NICU for mother's day and a security blanket and stuffed animal for each babe.


Aidan and Brooklyn had their top popped on Saturday because Brooklyn was a little bit warm. The top of their isolette has been up ever since and they are doing a pretty good job of keeping their body temperature. I was excited about this progress, but also a bit leery. With the top open I fear that they won't get as much sleep (needed to grow) because of the noise. I am also worried about more germs and it is easier for people to reach in and touch them (which I want to avoid). I know I probably sound like a nutcase, (and I probably am) but I am just so protective of these little ones. Paul and I have been the only ones to touch/hold them other than the nurses and I am not quite ready to have other people so close to them. However, we did have Grandma and Nana hold Brooklyn this weekend as part of their Mother's Day present. They were both so excited about it!


Calahan gave me a wonderful mother's day present; the settings on his CPAP were lowered and he was doing pretty well with them. He is now on a pressure of 4 (sometimes 5) with his oxygen set somewhere between 23 and 28. This is a big step in the right direction to trying the nasal cannula. I am dreaming of that day because Cal's poor nose and eyes have had enough of that CPAP. He is getting a lot of bloody noses and he pulls at it all of the time. I also just want to be able to see his beautiful face. Please pray for him to be on the nasal cannula soon.


Yesterday Paul fed Aidan his bottle for the first time. He did so well and it was neat to watch the two of them together. Paul held Aidan for more than four hours. They bonded and Aidan was so comfortable with Daddy. I held Brooklyn and Calahan. They are all so amazing! We are incredibly lucky to be the parents of these beautiful babies!!


Have a great week!






Friday, May 9, 2008

Baby Doods





May 9, 2008

Pictured above: 1. Mom holding Aidan and Brooklyn 2. Cal decked out in sports blankets and a cute outfit 3. Brooklyn after her bottle 4. Brooklyn and Cal hanging out together (her arm is around his).

The babies are now officially one month and one day old. They are doing well. Brooklyn and Aidan are still in the same isolette. I could just watch them forever. Yesterday Brooke made an appearance in Cal's isolette for a couple of hours to visit him. He slept through most of it, but it was a very special moment for me because I have been feeling so bad that he does not get to be with his brother and sister.


Aidan drank a whole bottle yesterday (35 cc) without any problems. Brooklyn drank a good portion of her bottle too, but then she decided to stop breathing for what felt like an eternity (probably a minute). The nurses had to come and take her from me. They turned her over and gave her blow by. I would really appreciate it if she didn't do that EVER again.


I am headed up there right now to spend the day with my babies. We wish you a wonderful day! Brooklyn would like to share a smile with you. Take a look...

video

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Together at Last






May 6th, 2008




33 weeks gestation - 4 weeks old (28 days)




Today I got to hold all three babies...at the same time. It was so amazing to see all three of them together for the first time since they were inside of me. I was so happy that Cal was finally reunited with his brother and sister (even if it was only for a few minutes). I can't believe that Paul and I have been blessed with such an incredible miracle.




More good news...Aidan and Brooklyn were taken off of the nasal cannulas today and both of them did very well. I left the hospital at 9 pm and both of them were still breathing room air. They still have their feeding tubes, but the nurse said they may try Brooklyn on bottle feeding tomorrow. That would be fabulous! Aidan is still having trouble digesting his food, so he needs some more time to get this whole eating thing.




Calahan and I kangarooed today for a couple of hours. He is staying awake for longer periods of time and his sweet little eyes melt my heart. Today when the nurses took Aidan and Brooklyn back to their isolette and it was just Cal and I, a single tear formed in his eye and trickled down his cheek. I burst into tears because I felt like he was letting me know that he misses his brother and sister. I dream about the day that all three of them can be together again with their mom and dad.




It was a long day for us, so I will end this post with a happy heart and heavy eyelids. Thanks for checking in on us!


Happy Four Weeks Baby Doods!

video

Sunday, May 4, 2008

YaHoo!





May 4th, 2008


So...today I walked into Room 3 and baby Adelyn's isolette was gone. I thought she had gone home, but when I went to check on Brooklyn I saw Addie in her place. Where was my daughter? The nurses told me that I had to find her and everyone was staring at me. I started to walk around the corner and they told me she wasn't on that side. For a second I was worried, but then I walked over to Aidan's incubator and there inside was BROOKLYN ...with AIDAN! TOGETHER! BOTH OF THEM! THE TWO OF THEM WERE TOGETHER IN THE SAME ISOLETTE! I was so excited for them, but I also felt sad for Calahan. He is not stable enough to try cobedding yet. I spent some extra time with him tonight. I let him know that the other two were hanging out together and I told him about the things that he needs to be able to do in order to join them. Cal is working so hard to catch up, he is such a strong little one.
Today I kanagarooed with Calahan and Brooklyn. They both did well aside from some bradies and desats. Other than that...Aidan's eye seemed worse to me than yesterday. It is super goopy. He has been on eye drops for two or three days now. Tomorrow Brooklyn is getting another echo because her PDA seems to be getting bigger. She is having more breathing episodes (bradies, desats, periodic breathing, etc.). This whole breathing thing is really difficult for all three of them. Sometimes I fear that they will never get the hang of it, but the nurses assure me that they will eventually. Aidan and Brooklyn both got their PICC lines out today. Yay! One less wire is always exciting! Cal is on full feeds (27 cc), Brooke is on 35 cc and Aidan is on 30 cc.

Yesterday when I was changing Brooke's diaper she pooped right on me. Today when Nurse Brenda was changing Brooke, she continued pooping. Paul was so grossed out. It was rather amusing! Speaking of poop...Paul also changed his very first EVER poopy diaper (and what he claims to be the last).
I'd love to tell you more, but I am exhausted and need to be up in three hours to pump. So that is it for now...I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Escapees!





May 3rd, 2008


I am happy to say that since Itty Bitty Lydie is gone, Brooklyn and Aidan have decided to follow in her footsteps and are taking it upon themselves to find a way out. Yesterday both of these babies tried to escape via the arm holes in their isolettes. Neither one was successful, but it was so funny to see and it was also a testament to how strong they are getting. Aidan has moved into Lydia's old stomping grounds and he is enjoying being closer to his brother and sister despite the staph infection he has in his eyes. They are treating him with ointment and drops and hopefully that will be enough to clear up his poor goopy eyes soon.


Paul and I gave Calahan a bath last night for the first time. It took us way too long and Cal was trying his best to be patient with us. Thanks Buddy! By the end of bath time, Cal's heart rate had shot up and his temperature was also up. Finally he was squeaky clean and ready for a nap in the worst way. We were able to catch a quick glimpse of him without the CPAP attached to his face. His adorable little face is a marvel and we can't wait to see it more often.


The doctors and nurses continue to keep an eye on Brooklyn's distending tummy and periodic breathing. She is also forever pulling that nasal cannula right out of her nose. Strong willed little girl!


Enjoy the pictures of the two escapees and the squeaky clean ladies' man. Thanks again for all of the prayers, thoughts, food, cards, gifts, gift cards, etc. I will try my very best to send thank you's to everyone but things are so overwhelming and I am afraid that I won't get to it all and I just really need everyone to know how appreciative we are for all of you. We could not do this without the support and love of our family and friends. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Itty Bitty Lydie






May 2, 2008

Pictured above: 1. Aidan sitting up 2. Brooklyn in her first outfit for all of 10 minutes 3. Cal lifting his head up (his hands are never far from his face) 4. Brooklyn loving her paci and her blankie

Today Cal had his first heartbreak. He had to say goodbye to his girlfriend, Itty Bitty Lydie. She left him today to go home to live with her Mom and Dad. Cal was really sad and so were we as we have become good friends with Itty Bitty Lydie's parents. Cal's girlfriend is 3 weeks old and was born at 33 weeks and 2 days. She is ADORABLE and doing very well. Nurse Becky set the two of them up because they have a common interest...crying.

Aside from that, everyone is doing well. Cal had a rough day yesterday. He was having a great deal of apnec episodes along with reflux and a distended tummy. They did an ultrasound on his lungs and they were a bit more hazy than before. The doctor prepared me by saying that they watching Cal for an infection. I was devastated because this poor little guy needs a break. They had to poke his foot twice for blood gas and suction out his raw little nose a bunch of times. This is difficult for me to see. He gets so upset and is quite intentional about swinging his hands/arms to hit the nurses that are messing with him. When I called for an update this morning the nurse said that they had spaced out his feeds to an hour and a half and this really seemed to help. I think it also had a lot to do with the prayers that Aidan, Brooklyn, Mommy and Daddy were throwing his way.
On Wednesday Paul kangarooed with Aidan for the first time and I kangarooed with Calahan for the first time. There is truly nothing like it. I cherish every second, every heartbeat, every movement...it is amazing!

On Thursday I dressed Brooklyn in a "Baby B" shirt that was made for her by our cousin, Jolene. It was so fun to see her in clothes, but after about 10 minutes she threw up on it and that was the end of that. I am going to try them all in an outfit today (nurse permitting, of course). I will let you know how that goes.
Paul and I are also getting to know the new doctors. We truly miss Dr. Rebecca, Dr. Karen, Dr. Megan and Dr. Lauren. It has only been two days, but they just had a way of explaining things that made sense to us. I did meet Dr, Desh (taking over for Dr. Schumaker) and he said we are going to have an "exciting month". He said that the babies are going to get so much better. I told him that I was holding him to that.

Please keep those prayers coming. Simply said...Thank you!