Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Grandma and Grandpa: WE'RE READY TO CRUISE........

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,
We know that we are small enough to fit in a suitcase....
Mommy and Daddy bought us these new outfits so that
we would look cute in the Caribbean. Since we are so pale,
we think that getting some color on the beach would be great!
You both know that we are small and do not weigh much and we don't eat much. But, we are sure that we could add weight on the ship! Since we both a musically inclined, we would enjoy going to karaoke nights too.... Please take this into consideration. Our birthday is less than a year away!!!!!!!!!!

Addie and Alex pose for the picture. Do you like our outfits?
Yes, they are way too BIG, but they do not make caribbean outfits for preemies.
They will fit us nice this summer!!!!!


Addie says, "Pick Me, Pick Me, I wanna go"

Alex is ready to go. He has the swim trunks and matching shirt!

No, these are not shorts on me... These are actually capri pants!

I cannot live without the pacifier in my mouth. But, if you take me on the ship,
we can throw it overboard:)

Alex and Addie have had another great day at home. Alex has really enjoyed his swing and bouncey seat. Addie has been content with the boppy on the floor. Both of them continue to eat like little piggies. There have been a few occasions in the past day where Alex has eaten more than 3 ounces!!!!! Can you believe that? Really, that is all to report for now. We will have more updates and pictures on Wednesday!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Update

Happy Monday! Today has been a great day.....
Daddy went back to work today, but was still a big help just being home!
Here are some pictures from today. Enjoy! I would say more, but really everything is the same..... No news is good news, right?


Addie is getting to be a big girl. Today, she spent some time
with the boppy pillow. Believe me, she is not really as big as she looks in
this photo.

Alex tried out the rainforest bouncer today. He loved it!
Again, he gets upset when the music turns off. This seat plays music,
has a waterfall and vibrates. I think that we found something that puts him to sleep....

Addie had a good day today with no episodes!!!!!!! Yea Addie.....
Daddy was able to spend some time with Addie this evening.

Here's TWIN TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Addie and Alex love laying next to eachother in the crib.
At one point, they were making noise back and forth and reaching for eachother. It is so cute to just imagine what they are thinking....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

FIRST FOR ADDIE: FIRST FOR ALEX

What a weekend here at home..... Today, we had two first for the little ones....
Alex had his first swing ride and Addie had her first time in the bouncey seat. Enjoy the pictures and videos.....
As far as their feedings, everything is still the same. We are never going to have enough diapers to keep up with Ms. Addie. She always wants her diaper changed...
Alex is getting smarter everyday. He has a rainforest musical scene on his crib. We turn it on for him when he starts to get fussy. Then, the music calms him down. However, it is fun to listen to him on the monitor. The second that the music stops, he starts fussing again.
Talk to everyone on Monday!


Here is Alex's first time in the swing. He loved it!
When he woke up today thinking that it was time to eat, we tried him in the swing. While he was swinging, he would just look around and listen to the music. At time, he would move his hands almost as he was conducting a symphony! Yes, I guess you had to be there.......

Addie enjoyed her first time in the bouncey seat. As you can see in the photo, she is too small even for the seat. She has to have extra head support and blankets rolled all around her, but she enjoyed every minute of it. It was her too that woke up early for a feeding, so we thought this would be a good time killer.... We have decided that Alex will be the symphony conductor and Addie will be the guitar player as you see in this photo.....


video

Alex enjoys his first time in the swing........

video

Please don't mind my feet in the photo! I have to sit very close to Addie due to her still having heart rate drops... Addie has fun the first time in the bouncy seat......

Doing Great!


Mommy has been in a lot of trouble for not taking many pictures
of Daddy with the twins. I will start trying harder...... Here is daddy with Alex and Addie after their Sunday morning bottle. I am sure that you can tell which one is Alex and which one is Addie, even though they are both dressed in yellow....

Baby it's cold outside!!!!!!!!!! On Saturday afternoon,
Addie and Alex stayed warm in front of the fireplace.
Just kidding........ Of course, mommy and daddy did not have the vent on.
We just used the flames for the photo! Again, I should not have to tell you which one is which.....

Mommy spends time with Alex and Addie......
Addie and Alex are enjoying being at home. There is not much new to report, but I wanted to be sure and post some new pictures. Today, Alex enjoyed swinging in his swing and Addie enjoyed having some tummy time. Saturday night was another good night for both of them. They seem to have their best stretch of sleep after the midnight and 4am feeding.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Twins Together

Well, the first 48 hours of having both twins at home has been a lot of fun! Yes, mommy and daddy are both tired, but hanging in there. For the most part, Addie and Alex have been very nice to mom and dad. They are on a pretty good schedule, thanks to the NICU. The twins eat every 4 hours and then normally go right back to sleep after 15-20 minutes. Therefore, at night, we are getting around 3 hours sleep in between feedings.
As of late, Alex is eating between 70-90 mL each feeding and Addie is eating between 60-80 mL per feeding. It will not be long before Addie catches up. Just today, I noticed than her outfit had hospital tape on it from just last week when she wore it in the hospital. At that time, we used tape to make the outfit fit her better. She does not need the tape anymore as the outfit is actually a big snug...
On Friday night, Daddy's mom came to visit the twins. Addie and Alex will call her "OMA". This is the german word for grandma. During her visit, she was able to hold both twins. Unfortunately, Addie is not able to be held as much right now due to still having some heart rate drop issues.
Below, you will see some video clips from Friday night when we put Alex and Addie in the same crib. We allow them to have some together time everyday. At night though, they are both sleeping in mommy and daddy's room. Enjoy


Oma holds Addie and Alex for the first time. In this picture, they both look very big!
Alex is definitely longer and heavier than Addie, but it does not appear that way in this photo.



video
Here is a video clip of Alex and Addie spending time together.
Daddy and I had actually walked out of the room and when we came back in, this
is what we saw... It was amazing!!!!!!! Their hands and arms were together. How cute!

video

Here is another video of Addie and Alex from Friday night..... Are they cute, or what??????

Thursday, January 24, 2008

ADDIE COMES HOME

Today has been a big day for both kids....
Addie was able to come home from the NICU. She is still having occasional heart rate drops during her feedings. But, there is nothing really that can be done. She will start to regain strength as her red blood cell count increases. Mommy and Daddy will be keeping a very close eye on her at home. Before leaving the hospital, we weighed her at 4 pounds 13 ounces.
Alex went to his first pediatrician appointment this morning. He is doing great!
The doctor had nothing but positive things to say about Alex's growth and condition. He now weighs 6 pounds 11 ounces. Both of them will go back in February for their two month visit/shots.



Here is Addie in her carseat at the hospital. We were getting her all ready to come home.
She did great on the car ride home. It is so hard to get her to fit well in the seat as she is so tiny...

When we got home, Addie and Alex rested for a few minutes in their seats.
The blankets are ones that mommy made while in the AntePartum before the babies.


Alex was dressed warm to go out this morning. Do you like the Cardinal blankets?
Thanks to Uncle Mike, these were Christmas presents.

Since coming home, Addie has been very restful.
She did take 58 mL at her first feeding at home. Way to go Addie!

Mommy and Daddy are truly not sure what to expect this evening.

But, we plan on adding more pictures to the blog later tonight!

Check back soon:)

5 Weeks Old

On Wednesday, Addie and Alex turned 5 weeks old. It is hard to believe that it has been that long. Today, mommy went to go and see Addie. She was doing great! Her color is still a little pale due to the low red blood cell count. But, she was still smiling and acting like her normal self. I was able to notice how the anemia has afftected her eating. Addie gets worn out very easily. This is why she is having heart rate drops during her feeding. She is forgetting how to suck, swallow and breathe during her bottle. But, this will get better over time.
Today was our primary nurses, Joanne's last day for the week. It was very hard for mommy to leave today. Joanne has been such a blessing to all of us! Not only has she been a wonderful nurse, but also an outstanding teacher. Thanks Joanne for your dedication to all of us during our stay at the NICU. We will miss you!
As of right now, Addie is slated to come home on Thursday. However, when Dale and I called in the middle of the night to check on her, she had another heart rate drop. Normally, that can push them back a few days for observation. So, we will wait and see what the doctor says..... We are also waiting on her lab work to come back in the morning. Please keep your fingers crossed that Addie will get to come home on Thursday!

Here is mommy and Alex resting in the chair after Alex took his morning bottle.
Until Wednesday night, Alex had been great during the night. Considering that I am writing this blog at 3am, Alex has been up almost every 10 minutes tonight crying...

Here is little Addie.... She was wide awake after her bottle this afternoon.
Hopefully she will come home to join her brother on Thursday.

Addie loves to stretch!

Here is a picture of Jeanne and Addie. Jeanne is one of the nurse practioners
that was part of the NICU crash team on the delivery of the twins. Jeanne has such a
sweet personality and we will miss her! Today, she came to visit Addie, so I had to get a picture...

Well, good night, or should I say, good morning??? We will update everyone late on Thursday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Almost Time for Addie , Alex Adjusts to life at home

Sorry for the delay in the postings. We have been super busy trying to adjust to a new baby at home. Please note that when Addie comes home, there may not be an update everyday. But, we will try our best to keep the blog updated as much as possible with updates and lots of pictures. Alex is adjusting well to being at home. All he pretty much does is sleep and eat. He is eating 70 mL every 4 hours and then sleeping the rest of the time. Due to his schedule, it has been hard to have visitors, but we have tried our best. Below, you will see some pictures of some of Alex's visitors this past weekend.
Addie is still spending time in the NICU. They have found that she has a low red blood cell count. This seems to be the reason why she has been having heart rate drops during her feedings. As of right now, they are just monitoring her count and vitals. At this time, there are no plans for a blood transfusion. Thank goodness! As long as Addie continues to do well, they are planning on sending her home on Thursday. Alex has a pediatrician appointment on Thursday morning, so we would pick up Addie right after that... Right now, Addie is eating between 60-70 mL at each feeding. We have been told that when Addie comes home, our schedule will be even more strict than it is at this time. Addie will need lots of rest once she comes home to try and help increase her energy level and fight to make more red blood cells.


Here is Uncle Mike with Alex. We know that it has been tough
on lots of friends and family to not see the kids while they are/were in the NICU.
We will do our best to schedule visitors....

Great Grandpa came to visit this weekend.
Alex looks really long in this picture.

Great grandma enjoyed holding Alex.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Home Sweet Home for Alex and Almost There for Addie


Bradyn came home today from the kennel. We would like to thank Mrs. Lashley for brining him home and helping us introduce him to Alex. Bradyn has done a great job getting to know Alex. We will continue to work on getting him used to things as time goes on. In this picture, you can see that Bradyn has had a rough day. Alex wore him out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alex loves his bouncey seat. We try to give him time in this seat after every feeding.




Can't believe that today is Saturday. We have been so busy that it is hard to keep track of the days. Since we brought Alex home on Thursday, things have been even more busy. Thursday night was great! Alex is being woke up every four hours to eat. Then, he is up for about 30 minutes before going back to sleep. On Friday, mom was able to go and visit Addie for a few hours. During her visit, Addie was wide awake and wanting lots of attention. While, mom was visiting, Addie had another heart rate drop. Really, we have been told that this is all due to her being so premature. The doctors say that she will grow out of it.... But, it does push her coming home date back a few days.... We should know more on Monday.


Alex has been eating like a big boy since coming home. He is now taking between 65 mL and 70 mL at every feeding. We are feeding him every 4 hours. Mommy and daddy are trying to get as much sleep as possible when he is asleep.


Sweet little Addie is still in the NICU. We hope that she will be coming home early next week.
However, we realize that they are keeping a close eye on her while she is there. We have been told that she is doing very well with her feedings. As you can see in the picture, Addie still does not have a feeding tube. Yea Addie! She is now eating 45 mL at each feeding. Tomorrow, they will be switching her to a "demand schedule". This schedule will allow Addie to eat every four hours. It will also help her to adjust to what her schedule will be like once she comes home. Our primary night nurse, Holly was back last night. She said that Addie has really gotten big and lots cuter. She spent extra time cuddling with Addie as mommy and daddy have not been able to spend as much time there with Alex being home.
Addie: Continue to be a good girl! We can't wait to have you home!!!!!!!

In conclusion, both kids had the 2D heart ultrasound. The neonatologist has said that our pediatrician will keep an eye on things as far as a possible heart murmur. But, as of right now things that are showing up seem to be typical for preemies.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy

Today is daddy's birthday and we presented daddy with a birthday card and a couple of pictures when he came to see us today. Thank you for your assistance, Joanne, in helping us make the card and taking our pictures. Well, we also wanted to give daddy another birthday gift and so we agreed one of us should go home. So Alex got to go home today. I still have a few days left here at the hospital but that is OK, Joanne takes such good care of us, so a few more days won't hurt. Here is a photo of Joanne, our primary nurse, and us.

Since Alex was going home, mommy dressed us both up in our going home outfits so we could have our pictures taken together. We are such a cute duo.



I will miss my brother for the next few days but I will catch up with him soon. I know he will miss me too. Look he is going to kiss me!


He is, he is, kissing me!

Remember this Alex when you want to pick on me in a few years. Remember you were sweet to me.
Before Alex could leave today, though, he had to have a 2D echo gram just like me. They heard a possible murmur today so they just wanted to check him out for sure, like me. Once that was done it was time for him to hit the road. Here he is already to head home.
Alex, enjoy it at home and get my crib ready. I will be home with you soon. Addie

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

20 Fingers and 20 Toes Closer to the Door.........

Sorry for the delay in the update. We have been very busy!
Daddy has been working and mommy has been trying to get ready for the little ones to come home. Lots to report today. Enjoy...

On Tuesday, Daddy spent time with Addie. As of 3am Tuesday, she had gone 24 hours
without having to use the feeding tube. Therefore, she had taken 8 bottles in a row. We found out on Wednesday morning, that Addie had made it 48 hours with all bottle feedings. Therefore, her feeding tube was removed in the middle of the night. Yea Addie! We can't wait to see you this afternoon without that tube.
During the visit on Tuesday, Addie did have a heart rate drop, which is not uncommon, especially for preemies. Our primary nurse thinks that it is positional, which means that it was due to how she was positioning herself. So, Addie earned a few more days in the NICU. But, we are ok with that as we would rather make sure that everything is ok before bringing her home.
Addie is now taking 36mL per feeding. They adjust her feedings based on her weight. As of last night, Addie has added the pounds. Addelynn now weighs 4 pounds 1.1 ounces. She is catching up to Alex very quickly.

Here is mommy feeding Alex. As you can see, Alex is now using a blue nipple on his bottles.
This is a regular flow nipple. The green nipple that Addie is using and that Alex used previously has a single hole and the preemies have to work harder to get the milk. We have been taught that the green nipple is a great teaching tool for both the parent and the preemie. The blue nipple is used once the preemie is pretty good at feedings. It can be a very fast flow and if they are not prepared to use it, they could get too much milk at once causing heart rate drops. It is very possible that Alex could come home on blue and Addie on green. It is all specified to the babies needs.

Addie received a new hat today. It is super cute! Can you believe it? Addie is sleeping in this picture....On Tuesday, Addie passed her hearing test. Mommy and daddy are very proud of her. The audiologist was not sure if the hearing test would work with Addie being awake, but she was not going to sleep! She was awake the whole time. Addie also had a vision test today. With Addie being under 1500 grams at birth, she qualified for this test. Again, we received report from the pediatric opthamologist that Addie passed and looks great! Just when Alex thought that he would escape first, Addie is following right behind...

What do you notice about Mr. Alex??????????
Today, he had his feeding tube removed. He is ready to go.
As of this morning, they will keep him another 24 hours for monitoring and observation.
Pending everything remains consistent, he will be coming home on Thursday. Keep up the good work Alex! On Tuesday evening, Alex hit the BIG SIX POUND MARK!!!!!!!!!!!

We would like to thank all of our friends at Baron Services for the baby shower on Tuesday. Dale and I would have loved to have been there. We hope that you had a great time enjoying cake and punch. We heard that it was delicious. Thanks for your generous gifts! Hopefully, the twins will be able to visit late this spring.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Lots to Report from the Weekend.........


Awwwww......... As you can see in this picture, the twins will be a handful.
Everytime that mommy has held both of them, Alex has always wanted to have
his hands on Addie. It was so cute! Alex would make a noise, then Addie would follow.

On January 11th, 2008, Addie was moved to a big girl bed.
She will no longer be in an incubator. She was able to get up pass the 1700
gram mark and maintain her temperature and therefore was able to be moved.
Yea Addie!!!!!!!! Since being moved to a big girl bed, Addie has become more vocal.
Late last week and over the weekend, she would start to cry before her feedings. But, that
is a good sign....

Here is Mr. Alexander. I have really noticed a difference in his
looks over the past few days. His face is really starting to fill out.
He is a cutie! We tried this hat today as the "Uncle Sam Hat" is almost too small.
Mommy hopes to get more hats for them to wear this week. Did you know why they like
preemies to wear hats all the time?
It is very important for them to maintain their body temperature. Thus, they like to keep a hat on their head most of the time due to the head being the largest part of the body and the first place of the body for temperature to escape........ Ok, enough teaching!!!!!!

Daddy came back from a business trip today. Here is Daddy and Addie.....
Both kids reacted to his voice right away. But, on Sunday, Addie and Alex were both very tired
during our visit.

Told you so! As you can see in this picture, the hat is getting too small for
his little head...... Another thing that I have noticed with Alex here lately is that
he likes to rest/sleep with his hands up by his face.
MORE DETAILS TO REPORT...................
Addelynn: She takes 10 steps forward and we are very proud of her!
It is so nice now that she is in an open crib. Addie is also moving right along with
her bottle feeding. She is trying to bottle feed atleast everyother feeding. For her size, this is great! She is now up to 36mL every feeding. We hope to hit the four pound mark early this week with Addie.
Alexander: We had a bit of a scare on Saturday evening. Alex had 3 cc of blood in his PGA.
PGA is the fluid that they draw from the stomach after a feeding to show how well the babies are digesting. This blood was mixed with formula. However, we have been told that anytime blood is present in PGA or stool, that they will run tests. They did an X-Ray, which came back negative. They were checking for signs and symptoms of the "NEC infection" which can be very serious to preemies. There are no indications to show that Alex has this infection. Now, we are thinking that the blood could have just been irritation from the feeding tube. They will continue to monitor him very closely.... He showed the nurse last night how tired he was of his feeding tube as he pulled it out 2 times.
Alex has been pretty tired this weekend. He is still attempting to bottle feed per cues. But, we are not bottle feeding every feeding in a 24 hour period yet, which is the last thing to do before heading home....

Overall, Addie and Alex continue to make progress! We are looking forward to both of them coming home possibly late this week...... It is such a waiting game and is very unpredictable!
As of right now, it looks like Alex put on the brakes to wait for his sister.....

Friday, January 11, 2008

Big Steps Forward.............

What a day! Mommy spent another 12 hour day with Alex and Addie today.. It is amazing how fast the time actually goes as there is so much to do! Today, we tried our best to stay on schedule. However, mommy is learning that even though the twins only eat every 3 hours right now, it takes a lot more time in between to prep for their feedings....... Here are some pictures from the visit today... Enjoy!

Addie and Mommy rest after Addie's afternoon bottle. Addie continues
to be a great eater. She is still taking 34 ml per feeding and it takes around 10-15 minutes
for her to take the whole bottle.

I see you peeking Alex! He is getting to be a BIG boy.....

No, it is not the 4th of July today, but Alex does have a new "Uncle Sam Hat".
This hat may fit Addie this coming 4th of July......... Mommy was able to hold both kids
for over an hour today. They can get very heavy even though they are so small.

Here are some updates from the Thursday visit:

Addelynn: She continues to do well. Addie is a happy baby most of the time.
Mommy really likes to bottle feed her as she is a great eater. She knows how to pace herself
through her feeding. Addie will be getting the RSV shot on Friday and will be moving to an open crib on Friday evening, pending things stay the way that they are... This evening, she weighed 3 pounds 11 ounces. Once Addie is moved to an open crib, she will be very close to coming home. Right now, she is attempting to bottle feed at everyother feeding. Hopefully by late this weekend, she can try attempting at every feeding. We have to remember that Addie will be using a lot of energy/calories to maintain her temperature in the open crib. Therefore, it may take her a few days to get back on track with bottle feeding.

Alexander: More and more personality is being shown everyday by Alex. It is so fun to just sit and watch him rest. He likes to smile and peek at you. We are still working on trying to get him to take all of his bottle. He does pretty well. However, he tires out quickly. He is taking 54 ml per feeding. I love listening to the noises he makes! Alex will have the RSV shot on Friday too.
Tonight, Alex weighed 5 pounds 11 ounces.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Moving Right Along.....


Addie gets bigger and bigger everyday.....
I find that her clothes are fitting her much better. She is
still hard to change as she is a wiggle worm.

Here is Addie right after waking up from a nap.

Alex stretches before getting ready to bottle feed....

In this photo, you can really see how long Alex measures.
This is a preemie outfit and he has to have socks on as his pants are
way too short! But, the nurses love that outfit, so I still let him wear it.....

Here is another picture from Tuesday...... Too Cute!!!!!!!!!!!

On Wednesday, I spent another 12 hour day with the kids..... It was
a great learning experience. Boy, I was so tired when I got home last night.
Our primary nurse Joann wanted me to have an experience that I would never forget!
I was in charge yesterday of all of their care..... Obviously, she was right over my shoulder to help, but it is the best way to get used to what it will be like when they come home. So, I did all diaper changes, all feedings, baths, and much more...... I am sure that today will be very similar.

Big News from Wednesday:
Addelynn:
* Her feedings were increased to 34mL every feeding. She is doing great with bottle feeding. We are trying to bottle feed her at every other feeding.
* We have learned that if she is crying that she is most likely needing a diaper change. Other than that, she is normally a very happy baby.
* Still waiting for Addie to add a little more weight before she is moved to an open crib. Believe me, it won't be long as all of the other babies in Room 7 are in open cribs now. She will not want to be left out!
Alexander:
* He is still taking 50 mL at every feeding. However, he did have a change in supplement formula today. When he is not taking breastmilk, he is on Neosure, which is the formula that that he will come home on for supplements.
* As each day goes by, Alex makes more noise. It is so fun to feed him as he is a very noisy eater. However, it is hard for him not to spit up as I am laughing so hard that he is moving too much....... I will try and get video of it soon.....
* We are still hoping for Alex to come home this weekend. However, a lot will depend on how he does today. It is still a challenege for him to take all of his feedings by bottle. Preemies have to use so much energy to do anything!