Monday, November 19, 2012

Updates from Life with H & C (End of Month 1)

Bringing the boys home was exciting and overwhelming. I felt so unprepared but for once, I let it go and just loved on my babies. We spent the first couple days just the 4 of us so we could bond with our babies minus all the people and noises of the NICU. The first night was quite the adventure. Since they were circumcised right before we brought them home, we had to play nurse and do the post-op stuff that they usually do in the hospital. It was quite traumatic, but Lou assured me they wouldn't remember it and if we didn't get them circumcised they would be resentful of the fact later in life. I listened to him since after all he's the one with the same anatomy, not me. But, they were in so much pain. At one point I almost passed out from watching Lou remove the gauze from Hayden. It got stuck and Hayden squirmed causing Lou to rip the gauze. It started bleeding. I can handle grotesque things, but seeing my baby go through that just did me in. If I have another boy, I will NOT leave the dang hospital until that part has been taken care of. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep. Also, every diaper we changed that night, the boys peed on us. Connor has a super powered aim and got the wall and curtains at one point. It didn't matter how quick we were, the minute their little wieners hit the air, it was pee pee all over the place time! Lou's solution was to scream and jump away. We changed our bedding and clothes several times that night.

They have stayed very consistent with the schedule they had while in the NICU. When it's time to eat, they want it right that minute. We don't say we're going to bed - it's "taking a nap" since they eat every 2-3 hours. They are on preemie formula and breast milk. Thankfully, the NICU nurses and our neighbor who had a preemie a while back stocked us up so we shouldn't have to buy any for a while. The Lord keeps blessing us in little and big ways!

The boys got their first real baths at home. Connor was pretty content the whole time. Hayden, well, see for yourselves what he thought about his first bath...

That was a real nice bath mom and dad!

That was the most terrible thing you've done to me since kicking me out of your womb.
My mom has been helping out a lot! I don't know what I would without her. She cooks, cleans, makes sure I'm getting rest, and of course loves on my boys. She went with me to have the boys newborn pics made with Aimee Fuller Photography. She is so wonderful. Here is her blog post on us:

We took the boys to their first pedi appointment the day after they came home. She was great and walked us through the charts and how she goes by their "adjusted age" and not their actual age since they are preemies and will probably be behind a little bit with their growth. She heard a murmur in Hayden's heart so he's going to a pedi cardiologist this week. Both boys looked ok with their heights and weights for their adjusted age. Connor is long and skinny. He is in the 75th percentile for length and 20th for his weight (adjusted age chart - for their actual age they're both between the 1-6 percentile). Hayden is average for both but shorter and heavier than Connor.

My sister took the day off to accompany me to the pedi cardiologist. She LOVES these babies and is so happy to get to hold them now that they are out of the NICU. I'm not surprised, ok maybe a little. Do you know my sister? :) Anyways, Hayden did so great at the doctor. He had to lay still for 45 minutes so they could do his echo. I laid on the bed with him and he held my hand and slept the entire time. I was impressed!! He is usually my dramatic, noisy little man. He sure showed off today! Connor man was just loved on by Aunt Fish so he was content. The doctor was young but really great. I felt like we were old friends or something. Weird. She explained that Hayden has a little hole in his heart that they will watch and hopefully it will close up in the next 6-12 months. I'm worried, of course, but I trust everything will be ok.

Ready for the doc!
Other than weekly doctor appointments for the next month, we don't plan on getting the boys out. I am a little paranoid about RSV after talking with the neonatologist. They were approved for the shots through insurance since they are preemies, but I still don't want to risk it. My mom took off a couple days this week to help us out. We've had a few other family members visit as well. Our friends got together and did another "meals on wheels" for us. I'm telling you, we would STARVE if it weren't for the food prepared/bought for us by family and friends. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!

Connor LOVES the swing
Tiny Texans fans!
Puffy momma.
Cuddling with daddy.
Hi brother, you look familiar.
These are the outfits we brought them home in.
This is how Hayden was always position in the womb.
Happy 1 month sweet boys! 
What's up ladies? I'm the big O-N-E month.
Life is good at home with my mommy and daddy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week 3 and Homecoming!

Over the weekend we got the house ready for the boys to come home. Since their early arrival was fairly unexpected and I had been on bed rest, we hadn't finished their room, put together their swing, bouncer, co-sleeper, etc. so we tackled all that. My mom came over to help get the house clean and Auntie A came by to drop off the bay window curtain rod for the boys room. She has been a huge help with the boys' nursery. We went up to see the boys and take our required CPR class.

For the past several days, Dr. H had been telling us that Connor would get to come home soon and Hayden would definitely be behind him. Well, today we got a call that Connor had fallen behind and Hayden had moved up a day on their feedings so he was writing up discharge orders for Hayden to come home. This man is trying to kill me over.

On Sunday, we went up to see the boys and were preparing ourselves to leave with only one baby. Both boys had done well on their night feedings and were happy little guys. Their nurses (who we really liked) had performed their car seat tests that morning (this is where they have to sit in their car seats for 3 hours with no episodes - like Bradys or desatting). Hayden failed his first test but passed when they tried again. They said it was because he needed some extra support since he's so small in the car seat. Connor passed his first round because they also gave him some extra support.

We spoke with Dr. H's associate, who also happened to be the doctor who did our NICU consult when they thought they were going to have to deliver the boys at 33 weeks. Apparently the nurses had lobbied big time for Connor to go home at the same time as Hayden. They felt Connor had always been the better eater, he just had one bad day. Dr. C said he valued their opinions and was going to write up orders for Connor to go home too!!!!!! We were so excited and relieved that we would not have to leave the hospital with happy and sad tears... just happy ones!

The boys got 2 shots each and watching that was hard. Then, we had to wait all day for the boys to be circumcised. There was an issue getting the doctor there who performs the circumcision, so Dr. C did it. It was really late though and we wouldn't be able to leave till the early morning since they would have to be monitored for bleeding. We weren't leaving there without babies!

The team came and got them to perform the circumcision and I almost had a breakdown. I felt so sad that they would have to feel so much pain. When they brought them back, I heard cries from both of them that I had never heard before. It was so incredibly heartbreaking. We just held them and loved on them even though nothing really helped. So very sad.

Then the time came! We were finally taking our baby boys home. We packed up all their stuff on a cart, said our goodbyes, and off we went. It was such an amazing moment - there were lots of happy tears!

The memories of everything we had endured up through that point all came flooding back - the treatments, the heartache, the little pictures of the 2 embryos, all the ultrasounds, the Hyperemesis, the pain, the excitement, finding out the genders, the bedrest, etc. - in that moment I realized just how truly blessed we are. It was all worth it. Every. Single. Bit. Cue the tears.

I get to go home today!!!!
NICU stays are hard work
About to leave through the NICU doors!
Oh how we will NOT miss you 4th floor!
No babies were harmed in the act of getting them in their carseats...
Cheese face! I was so excited! 

Home sweet home! 
Thanks for the signs Dee Dee! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Week 2

Day 8 - October 27
- Today Connor is 4.9 lbs. and Hayden is 4.14 lbs.
- They are now taking 3 bottles each today and the other 5 are partially put through the tube because they can't finish them.
- The doc is still saying he suggest no one but parents hold the boys until they get home. I see other people holding babies that aren't the parents but apparently it's because they are older babies that have been in the NICU for a while. 
- Hayden made googly eyes at his momma all day. His facial expressions crack me up. (Check out the many faces of Hayden via video below).
- Connor slept most of the day but looked sweet doing it.
- The boys both smile ALOT in their sleep. It is so cute. When Hayden does it he looks just like the last ultrasound pic I have of him when Dr. Reiter captured him smiling. His grumpy man faces are all just an act. He's a happy little guy!
- Thank you all for the texts and calls. We are up at the NICU most of the day and can't have our phones on so I usually only check it around the time we leave or take a food break. Please forgive us if we forget to write/call back or take forever to do it. We wish we could share these little guys with everyone right now!!
- Also, we know how bad so many of you want to see our boys. Unfortunately, it's grandparents only in the NICU. We were lucky enough to sneak in a couple other family members one specific morning but only because they forgot to tell us they had moved our babies to the level II NICU and felt bad. But, they have gotten strict since then and even check the visitor IDs of our parents when they come to visit the boys. We promise you will get to love on our boys as soon as possible!

I'm like an owl. I don't give a hoot. 
Family photo! 
Louie and his creep mustache that he "grew" out for our friend's son's 1st birthday mustache man party.
My little squishy face.
Day 9
- Today is Daddy's birthday! I had signs taped on their beds and he was surprised. Despite having to spend his birthday in the hospital he said it was the best birthday yet because our boys are here.
- We got a good report from the doc today! Both boys took 5 whole bottles each! They have to take 8 and maintain it for them to come home.
- Hayden weighs 4.15 and Connor weighs 4.9
- They didn't eat that great for us but as Nurse A put it, they aren't the type of babies to just take a bottle. It takes a lot of work to teach them what to do. She showed us different techniques that seemed to work a little better.
- I worked with Hayden for the first time on nursing. He did so good!
- We got to do kangaroo care! It was so sweet and I could have held them forever like that.
- I am still fluid-filled so forgive all my puffiness in the pictures!

Happy birthday Dad!
Sleepy Connor 
I love my hands
Come here Dad, I have to tell you something.... 
My little long-limbed baby
Mommy and Connor 
 Daddy and Hayden
ET phone home

Day 10
- I called to check on the boys this morning and they did great on their 8 am and 11 am feedings! Connor finished his in 15 minutes and 7 minutes. Hayden finished both of his in 15 minutes!! Now if only they can do that for us.
- Today Connor weighs 4.12 and Hayden weighs 5! Go buddies!
- I worked with Hayden on nursing again and he did great. Both of them do so good for being preemies.
- Louie was so proud; he was able to get Connor to eat a whole bottle. And then he peed on his daddy's leg :)
- I was able to get Hayden to eat almost an whole bottle for the first time ever. And then he was too tired for his next feeding.
- Thanks again to everyone who has brought us food. It is so nice to have food to eat in the house!!

Hey guys!
Baby kisses are the best! 
Pure laziness right here 
I heard that Mom.
Lovin' on my sweet H.

Day 11
- I went up early to the NICU today because I wanted to spend extra time with the boys. I absolutely hate being away from them. All I want to do is sit there and love on them every chance I get.
- Connor didn't gain any weight. I think it's because he eats so fast and furious he burns all his calories.
- Hayden weighs 5.1 lbs.
- Hayden pulled out his NG tube twice last night. We had a talk. I told him he wouldn't have to deal with it if he would eat better.
- Connor's umbilical cord fell out!

Holla! Check out my belly button!
I. Hate. Diaper. Changes. Yet. They. Feel. So. Good. 
Someone stinks in here....
Is it you?

Day 12
- Happy 1st Halloween sweet boys! I wish we could dress you up and take you trick-or-treating. Next year for sure!
- Dr. Haney called to give me a daily update this morning. He said Connor has been impressive with his feedings and may get to go home within a week. I can't figure out how l feel about this. While I'm excited and happy for my little guy, I am sad that Hayden would get left behind. It makes me feel extra stressed.
- I went to the NICU parent group today sponsored by March of Dimes and the child life specialists at the hospital. We made onesies for the boys and they turned out cute!
- Hayden and Connor are both back at their birth weights - 4.14 (C) and 5.3 (H)!
- Connor did so good on his feedings. He finished all his bottles while I was there and in record time!
- Hayden did really good at his 2 pm feeding but got lazy at his 5 pm feeding and had to get 17 mL in the tube.
- Both boys were a little fussy today. Anna said Connor was fussy after his feedings like he wanted more. I think he just wanted more time with her.

Check out my mom-made onesie.
No, I will not show you my onesie unless you let me go trick-or-treating.
But I want to go!!!!!!
Anna and her buddy Connor.
Anna and her Hayden with his infamous grumpy man face that she loves so much!

Day 13
- I broke the rules and drove myself to the hospital today. I missed my boys so much!
- The boys didn't finish some of their bottles during the night but did good for Anna this morning. They love her.
- Dr. Haney came to see the boys while I was there. He broke the news that Hayden would "definitely not be going home with Connor." This makes me so sad. It's so hard to be happy knowing I'll have to leave him behind. I hate this :( Maybe God will answer my prayer that he can come home at the same time!
- Hayden did not feel good today. He was fussy because his tummy hurt. He was burping, farting, hiccuping, pushing off me with his legs. He got lots of rocking, back rubs, and love today.
- Connor's little face was looking more full today. He's finally getting some fat on his little bitty body.
It's been a rough day.
I'm so sleepy. All the time.

Day 14
- Happy 2 weeks my sweet boys! You are growing and looking different every day. We love you so much!
- NO MORE NG TUBES!!!!!!!! The boys have been doing so good with their feedings that the doctor decided to give them 24 hours without the tube. If they do well, it's out for good and they can go home after they have a good couple days.
- Connor hit 5 lbs. So proud of my little guy!
- Hayden is 5.5 lbs and since last night has eaten all but 1 bottle. I am so excited! Connor finished all but 3. I guess he didn't want to show up his big brother this time.
- We did the carseats install/inspection today with the child life specialist. Now all we need are 2 little babies to put in there!
- My blood pressure has gone back up thanks to some added stress. My doctor said she was going to put me on bp meds if I didn't stop it.
- Dr. H told us Connor could possibly be watching the Texans game with us Sunday!
- The boys were dirty and smelled like spit up again today so we cleaned them up. I was not happy with the day nurse. The night nurse gave them a bath a day early because of it. Even she thought they were funky! Poor babies :(
- We met one of Louie's customers for dinner during the nurses' shift change. The food was so good and check out the cherry cotton candy below - amazing!
- We stayed till midnight. It was a rough day and being around our boys makes everything better.

Practicing my Tebow.
I'm too sexy for my pants. 
I LOVE my fingers.
No more NG tubes people!!
Celebrating H & C's 2 week birthday with some cotton candy!