Wednesday, August 31, 2011

July 15th, 2011...the story of three.

So, I've been meaning to write about the day that our precious peas were born... but, as I am sure that you can imagine... I haven't exactly had much time. :) But, today... I figured that I would give it a shot!
Everything really started on the Monday before they were born. Well, Sunday night. The whole night, I felt as if Eli was going to kick...well, OUT. Seriously felt like the kid was going to poke a hand or leg through the exit at any given time. I had an appointment with Dr.G that morning (Monday). When I explained my discomfort, saying that there was a lot of pressure - and that I felt like a baby was going to come out, the doctor decided to do an exam...just to make sure nothing was happening. We were told that my cervix had softened.
On Tuesday night, I was still experiencing a lot of pressure "down there"... accompanied by spotting, and braxton hicks contractions. Clif called the ER, and talked to Dr.F about it (who at first was convinced I was in labor). He said to rest, drink plenty of fluids...and call Dr.G in the morning to fill him in on things. I called first thing that next morning (Wednesday), and he wanted to see me. When he did his exam, I was told that my cervix had shortened...but I was not dilated. Dr.G sent me to triage to be monitored for contractions. I was having contractions, but they were few and far between and only lasting for 10-20 seconds each. Nothing to write home about. SO, I received my first part of the steroid shot - and Dr.G told me that he thought the babies would be here within 7 days.
By the time I was discharged, and we arrived home... I thought that I would have to go back to the hospital. I was having more and more contractions. But they subsided...and I made it through the night. Thursday started out uneventful...we slept late, and then headed to the doctor (again) to get the second part of my shot. After getting the shot, we went and got dinner... and then headed home.
Thursday night was not a good night. I struggled for several hours with whether or not I should call the emergency room. I knew who was on call - and I didn't want that doctor to be the doctor to deliver... so I waited it out. I had contractions all night long, sometimes 15 minutes apart...sometimes an hour. So nothing that was really timeable. My back ached...and I was feeling horrible. I was awake the majority of Thursday night, well into Friday morning.
Funny thing, Thursday night - I had told Clif that I thought we should pack my hospital bag... but he said that we would do it the following afternoon. Friday morning, I decided for myself that we should go ahead and pack the bag before leaving for the doctors office...Mother's intuition I guess.
Again, upon waking (or rather just getting out of bed)... I called Dr.G's office and told his nurse what was up. I actually had an appointment with the specialist, Dr.D that they told me to let them know there and have them check me. We thought we were  going to be seeing the male, Dr.D (older doctor) - but ended up seeing the female, and very blunt Dr.D. Which we are so thankful for. We first had an ultrasound and were told that the babies looked really good...and all three were super active. I told the ultrasound tech about the contractions - and she said that the doctor would be in to do an exam.
Nope...Dr.D came in and announced that she wouldn't do a pelvic exam. She explained that since Dr.G had been doing the exams, she didn't want to miss something and think that there was no progression... or a lot, when there really wasn't. SO, she sent me back to triage to be examined by Dr.G, who just so happened to be the doctor on call that day. Yay!
When we arrived at labor and delivery, we were told that triage was full so they put me into a room. Which I was excited and nervous about all at the same time! I honestly think they had forgotten about me at one point, but FINALLY...the ball started rolling. They hooked me up to monitors and I was told that I was having 9 contractions every ten minutes. I was in full blown labor and had absolutely no clue. I mean... I was experiencing some discomfort... BUT... I would have never guessed that I was in labor.
Dr.G came in the room for my exam, and announced that I was 1cm dilated. Which was pretty big considering my *very* stubborn cervix. :) He told us that there were medications he could try to give me to stop labor, but with my contractions...and my progression over the last few days - that if he sent me home, I probably would be back in by that night. Reality kicked in at this point, and Dr.G told us that he advised going ahead with the csection...that day. He left to put me on the OR list...which took some time, because there were a few people ahead of me...AND not to mention that I would need two OR's.
Needless to say - much of the rest of that afternoon is a blur to me. Nurses were in and out of my room, preparing me for surgery. They started an IV and started pumping fluids through me like I had to make a couple of trips to the bathroom :) They came in and gave me some anti nausea medicine (the same as I got before...yummy sour stuff!)...and told me that I was next on the list.
Dr.G came in a few times to keep us updated - and they let us know that the neonatologist that was on the floor would be coming to talk to us... preparing us for things ahead of us. Dr.P came in to meet us, and explain things that may or may not happen that afternoon. We talked about respiratory issues...along with about a million others. We asked him a ton of questions...and he said he'd see us later that afternoon.
Next in was the anesthesiologist. He left a lot to be desired. Definitely not like my very first experience with an anesthesiologist. :) But that's okay. I signed the consent forms...and they began rushing me around for surgery.
Poor Clif's nerves had been shot since Wednesday morning when our nurse, J, told us that Dr.G said if I was the least bit dilated, it was baby day! Needless to say, during the time we were in the room before surgery...Clif bladder went through a lot! Seriously, you would have thought that he was the one that was pregnant!
Oddly enough, during that whole time... I remained completely calm. I wasn't nervous about the surgery... I wasn't nervous about the babies being okay... I was calm. I had peace. I had prayed for this peace my whole entire pregnancy...and God granted it to me. I knew that this day, like any other, and our children were in His hands.
Clif and I got one last picture together, and then I was taken to the OR. Whew. One of two OR's reserved for my delivery. They explained that the first baby out would be taken to the second OR.
I walked in the doors of the operating room, and immediately saw Dr.G. Any nerves that I may have been feeling were gone. I knew that he would take care of me.
He was actually HILARIOUS... because he was walking around doing the NURSES jobs. He said that if he didn't help them with their jobs, that he would be pacing outside the door. :) I guess he was nervous too? He helped me up on the table... took my blood pressure, got out the doppler...found the babies heart rates...and then it was time for my spinal block. >.<
When I had my csection with Lilly, the spinal went smoothly. This time... not so much. The anesthesiologist started by sticking the needle in...telling me to arch my back. Really? He kept telling me to lean forward...lean forward...arch my back. I wanted to be like, "dude...have you SEEN the belly on the front of me? I only can "lean forward" so much!". Geez. Dr.G stood by my side the whole time...first just with his arm around my shoulder,rubbing my back...telling me that it would be okay. And by the time that the second needle poke on my spine didn't go correctly (did the needle bend?) and he had to ask the nurse for a new needle... I thought I was going to pass out. It hurt. BAD.  At this point, Dr.G was standing in front of me...arms around me, up on a stool...holding on to me, to be sure I didn't fall off the table from leaning forward so much. It was super sweet...while holding me on the table (did I mention that he was having to BRACE himself on the stool? Embarrassing)... he continued to talk to me...he knew it hurt, it would be okay...ect ect. He even rubbed my belly! :) FINALLY, they finished with the spinal... and laid me down.
Things went pretty fast from that point. The nurses put in my cath... and the anesthesiologist placed an oxygen mask over my mouth (saying it was for the babies). That's when I freaked out. I'm claustrophobic...bad. And I hate having ANYTHING placed over my face. I literally thought I was going to pass out. I couldn't breathe...which is funny if you think about it. I was really about to have a panic attack when a nurse came to my side. She had a mask, and scrub hat on her head. She leaned down and whispered my name and said how happy she was for me...asked how I was... ect. I was thrown off by her talking to me, and then she whispered..."it's me. It's Heather". Omg. She was in the OR with me during my first csection. She checked on me numerous times during my stay in the hospital during November 2009. She is part of the S.H.A.R.E group in our area, and she participated in the Share Walk To Remember that Clif and our family went to last year. She heard that we were there...and WANTED to be there. At least, that's what I gather. How awesome is that?
I started to calm down, but still had an overall sense of panic. And then I saw him...Clif. Go ahead, you can gag now. But as soon as he was by my side...holding my hand... I was okay. At least one of us was! Poor Clif was hysterical. When he saw me, he started tearing up. Seriously thought we were going to lose HIM! He actually thought he was going to have to send my mom into the OR to be with me.
When he sat down next to me - we immediately started talking about how we were feeling...and then I heard Dr.Garcia say something about my bladder being out. I'll never forget looking up at Clif and saying, "umm...have I already been cut open?" Before I could finish my sentence...I heard them say that Baby A was out, and gave the time of birth...and then I heard Eli scream for the first time. Clif and I both burst into tears...well, I burst into tears...Clif CONTINUED to cry...and then sobbed. :) It was a precious time for our little family. Things went FAST then. We were able to peak over the sheet and see each baby coming out (once, Clif looked too soon and saw Dr.G's arm shoved in my abdomen up to his ELBOW!). What a precious experience that we will NEVER forget.
Dr.G should seriously get a reward for record time triplet csection. From the time he cut me open (without me even knowing it) until the time he sewed me up...twenty one minutes. Wow!
Our triplets entered the world...

"Baby A" - Eli Zayne - @5:28pm - 4lbs.06oz - 16 3/4 inches
"Baby B" - Easton Layne - @5:29pm - 3lbs13oz - 15 3/4 inches
"Baby C" - Elliana Rayne - @5:30pm - 2lbs15oz - 15 inches

Clif left me in the OR and went with the babies to the neonatal intensive care. We had arranged for my mom to come into recovery with me. I think that the average time in recovery is 1-2 hours. I was there for 45 minutes ;) I came out of surgery just fine, though I was told later that I did lose a good amount of blood. Though, it wasn't to the point of needing a transfusion. Praise the Lord!
After what seemed like forever... I was wheeled to the 14th floor. NICU. I was taken in, and was introduced to my precious babies for the very first time in person. They were absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I couldn't help but cry. Ahh...thinking back on it now just gives me chill bumps!
After twelve hours, both boys were off of CPAP... and on room air. Elliana followed the day after. Doctors and nurses were shocked out the size of our 31 weekers...and at how well they did.
The only one that really had immediate problems was Eli. Apparently he came out screaming, and then stopped. They gave him a dose of surfactin for his lungs, and the following day - a dose of caffeine because of his heart rate dropping. But other than that, the babies did wonderfully.
Clif and I were/are so incredibly blessed with a wonderful staff that cared for both me (during and after my pregnancy), and for our children. Dr.G will never fully understand how thankful we are that God placed him in our lives. In our children's lives. All four of them (at one point, don't remember when...Dr.G did acknowledge that we have four children).
As for the NICU staff...we couldn't have been more pleased. They were ALL absolutely AMAZING. Of course...we did have our favorites... :) And they know who they are!
Another way we have been blessed is with a wonderful group of prayer warriors. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all the family, friends, and complete strangers that have prayed ( and continue to do so) for our children.
God is good...all the time...and we are living proof. He held our hearts through the biggest storm of our lives...and on January 4th, 2011 (actually if you want to be literal, December 23rd,2010)...he blessed us with not one, not two, but THREE rainbows.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Got Milk?

**warning** Breast feeding talk ahead - probably TMI... but I need to get on my soap box for a sec. :)
Okay, first I have to say that I feel so incredibly blessed that God allowed me to exclusively feed my three little one's for the last *almost* six weeks. Today was the first day that I had to supplement...and it killed me.
I know that six weeks is awesome, considering there are THREE babies to feed. BUT... I hate that I can't continue to provide it for them.
Don't get me wrong... I plan to continue nursing/pumping until there is nothing left to pump.
I have been searching for different things that I can do to help increase my breast milk supply. I think that a lot of the cause of decrease was/is, lack of rest/sleep...not eating like I should (as busy as we are - I forget to eat half of the time), and not pumping as much as I should. Which, pumping every two hours...? Please. Who has time for that? Especially when you not only have three babies, but when you're living out of a hotel for five weeks... and then having to stay at home and run back and forth to the hospital for a week. Hm. Not easy. So yeah, I've been having a bit of a pity party over the milk issue. :(
Good news is... I'm still trying! People have suggested fenugreek...which the lactation specialist said not to use because it can mess with the babies' blood sugar, and make them gassy. Also, been told about "Mother's Milk"... but haven't had a chance to track that down.
My friends friend suggested that I ask Dr.G for a script called, reglan. Well... I went for my follow up yesterday and mentioned that my supply had decreased significantly. He suggested reglan right away! Yay. And though it's nowhere close to what it was, I can already tell a difference in my supply.
Speaking of Dr.G and my follow up/post partum appointment. :) I had that yesterday, before I headed to pick Elliana up from the NICU. It was my first visit in his new office, and it actually left a little to be desired. Ha! The office is just really outdated, and I am not entirely sure if the office has been in use. It's sad and depressing compared to his old office. And though his nurse is super nice...SO not 'J'. I'm gonna miss everyone at the other office.
Everything with the appointment went well. Dr.G did my exam, and said that everything is healing wonderfully -  and he has lifted all restrictions. WHICH... I have to say, I definitely did not listen like I did following my first c-section. :) But still thankful that everything looks a-ok.
As I mentioned, he gave me a prescription for reglan. It's an anti nausea medicine that {for some reason} increases milk supply. Who woulda thought? Also on the menu at the pharmacy? BC. The first birth control that I've taken in...well, almost four years. I had started BC right before we got married, and was only on it for a few months before I decided to go off of it.
Dr.G did kind of freak me out a little bit - saying that I could get pregnant, even if I didn't have a period. Actually, he said that I'm more likely to ovulate if I don't pump {at least} every four hours. >.< I am a firm believer that God never gives you more than you can handle...I just think that I would absolutely lose my mind if the doctor told me, oh... by the way - you're pregnant. Whew...what a nightmare.
Oh, as I'm sure you all have gathered...Elliana is home, safe and sound :) Last night was her first night home with us, and though Clif and I didn't get to sleep together...we were able to sleep in shifts and get some rest. Thank God! :)
Well, it's 10 and the kids don't start their next round of feedings until 11:15, SO... I think Mommy is going to lay down and get a little nap. Yay!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

coming home :)

Going to my post partum appointment at Dr.G's office...then going to pick up my baby girl!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

this week...

Talk about a busy week ahead of us!! I figured that I had better post about it now...just in case I don't have time to post later on in the week! :)
First off, if everything goes well...Elliana should be coming home this week. Possibly even Tuesday! Right now, the only things that she has to do is keep taking bottles & keep from having any spells! Her spell countdown will be over on Tuesday...she passed her carseat study last night - AND her feeding tube is out (she decided she didn't need it anymore and yanked it out for herself!). She has been doing wonderfully on her bottles... which is a huge improvement from just a few days ago! :) We are so excited for our little girl to come home to us!
So...tomorrow is pretty normal, just going to the hospital to visit Elliana...and taking care of the boys at home.
Tuesday morning, I have my 6 week post partum appointment with Dr.G (at his new office). That's at 9:15am, so if Elliana comes home - I will be going to my appointment and then going to pick her up from the hosptial. :)
Wednesday morning, Clif is staying home with Eli while I venture out to take Easton for his carseat study. Fun stuff! If everything goes as expected, and Elliana comes home on Tuesday... looks like I will be taking them BOTH to the doctor. Whew.
:) We are overwhelmed at how blessed we are. Cannot believe that my pregnancy is over, THREE babies are here safe and healthy... and that by the end of this week... I should have all three of them home with me!
God has blessed us SO much...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Elliana's Heart...again.

I feel as if my sweet baby girl has all odds working against her. But she's a fighter!! We received a call from the cardiologist yesterday, explaining to us that Elliana still has a PDA (heart murmur). From what we can gather (it's hard understanding all the medical terms), her PDA was so large that the clip just couldn't hold it together and close.
Yep, that's right... we were told that Elliana is included in the 1% of PDA Ligation surgeries that do not work. The cardiologist that Clif spoke with yesterday said that he had never seen it in the ten years he has been performing the surgery, and the surgeon that performed Elliana's surgery said it's 1 in 100. Wow.
Praise the Lord though, because though the PDA is still there... and the hole is still very much open, it is now considered "small to moderate" where as before it was "moderate to large". From what we gathered before her surgery, it was a very large murmur.
Easton's murmur was also considered "small to moderate" before his round of medication, then it went to "tiny". Before he was discharged on Saturday, we were told that his echo came back "normal". So... there IS hope.
As of now, the plan of attack is nothing. Really, just waiting and keeping an eye one her. Monitoring her breathing (watching for the labored breathing like before her surgery), and her amount of spells. The cardiologist told us that they were not considering surgery, or any more medication because Elliana is not symptomatic. ALSO, the nurse practitioner told Clif today that she would call Elliana's PDA "restrictive"...meaning that the hole is trying to close. :)
The only plan as of now, other than just watching her to see how she handles it all - is performing another echo before she is discharged, and setting up a follow up appointment with the cardiologist three weeks from now.
We were also told today that Elliana is on her "spell countdown". She has not had a spell since the 15th, and if it stays that way - and she increases her bottle feedings... we are looking at bringing her home on the 23rd. If she continues to have spells, the nurse practitioner told us that it is a possibility that she may come home on a heart monitor. Whatever it takes to bring my baby girl home where she belongs. :)
We continue to praise God for the things that He has done, and is continuing to do in our children's lives. He hasn't given us more than we can handle, and we don't look for Him to start now!!
Thank you in advance for your continued prayers for our baby girl. Please pray that this PDA might very well be trying to close itself, and that when she has her follow up PDA before discharge - that it may already be closed. <3

Monday, August 15, 2011

there's no place like HOME

And that's where we (Clif and I) have been since Friday night! :) It's weird being back in house, but a nice weird, definitely.
Easton has been home with us since Saturday afternoon, so two...going on three nights with Mommy and Daddy. The first night (Saturday) went a lot smoother than I thought that it would. Clif and I slept in sleeping through the first half of the night and Clif taking care of him, and then Clif sleeping the latter part of the night and into the morning. Thank God for a wonderful husband who allowed me to catch about four hours of sleep Sunday morning, into the afternoon! I wouldn't have been able to function if he hadn't have.
Last night (Sunday) was a little more challenging. Clif hadn't slept but a few hours over a twenty four hour he was extremely tired. As was I. We decided trying to sleep, both of us at the same time - with Easton in a crib by our bed. It worked out pretty well, except I seemed to be the only one getting up with him. Apparently Clif was sleeping really well. >.< I got up for the 2:15 feeding, took his temperature (he wasn't quite warm enough so I had to undress him and add another layer, then dress him again), change his diaper, and feed him his bottle. I then put him in the cradle, and pumped for twenty minutes. By the time all was said and done, my 2:15 feeding didn't end until 3:45. I was able to get Easton back into the crib in our room, and myself back in bed by 4. The alarm (Easton AND the actual alarm) went off around 5:30...and I had thought that Clif was going to get up with him. Well...we both ended up getting up. And I've been up ever since. *sigh* I feel decent, but I'm wearing
Currently I am the only person in the house that isn't snoozing. Mom & Clif are taking naps, and so are the boys! I feel very left out... and very sleep deprived!
Clif, my mom, and his mom headed to the hospital at 7:30 this morning to pick up Eli - and were back sometime after ten. :) It's so nice to have both of my boys home, and I am anxiously awaiting my little girl being able to come home too! Eli actually passed his second car seat study, so he was able to come home in a big boy car seat! :) Everything went well, and he is beginning to adjust.
Yesterday was a rough one, emotionally. It was hard knowing that I had to stay at home and take care of Easton - but also knowing that I had two more little ones at the hospital. I wanted to visit them so badly, and had planned on getting to the hospital around 2:30... I didn't end up getting there until 4:15, and was only able to stay an hour or so before having to come back to be with Clif and Easton.
Yesterday seemed to be a good day for Elliana. Apparently, a light bulb went off in that precious little head of hers - and she started taking her bottles MUCH better than she has in the past. She finished two whole ones, and then the most of several others. When I left, she hadn't had any "spells" all day, reflux related - or other. But they said as soon as I left, she had a pretty bad one. Talking with the nurse this morning, seems like it was more than likely related to reflux. *sigh* AND she has had two today. SO...we're looking at a minimum of eight more days before she can come home. I'm praying big, but I'm thinking that she might even be there longer than that! I just want her well, and home with me, her daddy, and brothers. It's so hard being away from her.
With today being our first day with the two boys home, I won't get the chance to go and see Elliana. And to be honest, it's eating at me pretty good. :( I miss her so much... and hate that I am not able to spend quality time with her, like I want.
I'm not going to lie... though I've only been doing the whole "two babies at home" thing for a few hours - I know that it's NOT going to be easy. :( Clif went to take a nap, and I had to wake him up within an hour because the boys woke up an hour early fussing because they were hungry. And yes, hungry is the only thing that I can figure because they both ate - and are now sound asleep.
Tomorrow is their doctor's appointments...I'm excited. And nervous - only because I'm not super excited about taking them out in the car. Whew... though, I know that God will give us strength...not to mention hold our hands all of the way!
I'm happy to announce that though I don't know exactly how much - I have lost a LOT of my pregnancy weight! My tummy (though flabby) is just about flat again! So nice, considering I was asked several times during my first week of postpartum, "Awww when is your baby due?" Yeah. Not so pleasant.
I'm not sure when I will head back to the doctor... Dr.G is moving offices, and is not taking appointments yet. But health wise, I'm doing just fine. :)
Clif and I have been incredibly blessed... and if you hear me complain too much (or read about it), please remind me of just how blessed I am!
One more thing, and I will close for now...not because I want to, BUT...I need to pump (story of my life). My milk supply has decreased significantly. Does any one have any suggestions on how to get it back up? The babies are catching up with me and my supply...and it makes me sad! I want for nothing more than to be able to continue to supply milk for my little blessings... but it's getting harder! If I did have to switch to formula...I could honestly say that I gave it my best "go"...and did as much as I could. Right now our deep freezer is full of bottles of milk...and so is the freezer at the hospital. :) So yes, suggestions please!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a stressful kind of day.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but...whew! What a day! :) Little Sir Easton is supposed to come home today. We've been here (at the hospital) since 7:45am...and we are still waiting.
This morning was a stressful one, that's for sure! We arrived just in time to do Elliana's care time (temp,diaper & feeding). So, I got on it right away. Today was picture day for all three of them too, so I went ahead and dressed her in her new outfit and pretty pink bow (LOVE it). After feeding her, I moved on to Easton. We knew that there was much to accomplish this morning, and as I was getting ready to move to Eli, in walks to the picture lady. She announced that she had a very busy schedule...and that we would have to take them to a different room, since there are three of them. Fun stuff. SO...our nurse said that she could feed Eli so that we could take the other two to start their pictures.
As we were getting ready to put Easton's picture outfit on, in walks the lady to do his echo (they wanted to do a follow up to make sure that everything looked "ok" before sending him home. If his PDA/murmur is still open he will have to have a follow up appointment with the cardiologist. We didn't want to hold the echo up, because we have to wait for the results before he can be they started with him, and I started feeding Eli.
We finished up and wheeled Elliana & Eli down the hall to start their pictures. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed with the photographer. I didn't like her handling my babies... and I just, well... actually, I just all around didn't care for her.
After Easton's echo was finished our nurse brought him into the room...and we got a move on with the pictures. We got a lot of cute ones... but it stressed the babies out (well, all but Easton...he stayed asleep the whole time).Ha! Eli & Elliana had both just finished eating, and decided to spit up a few times... which scared Daddy, I think. He was ready to get them back to the nursery so that they could be plugged back up to their monitors. :)
We finished up with the actual picture taking in no time, and Clif wheeled the kids back to the nursery. Right after they hooked Elliana up to her monitor, she had another "spell"...and then threw up. Reflux. :( I'm really praying that she will grow out of this quickly.
The experience with the photographer after all of that was horrible. BUT...we got it done, that's what's important. Well, that... and my order being correct when it's delivered next week >.<
So that's our day so far. Currently, Easton is in the middle of his car bed study...which, we don't have high hopes for. Not only does he have to keep his heart rate up - he also has to keep his oxygen levels up...which he is struggling with. We are praying that he will pass and be able to come home with us this evening, BUT, if he fails...he will have to stay here until Monday at the least. *sigh* All in God's timing...and His will be done :)
Thank you all for your continued prayers for our babies! :) We so appreciate them. If you don't mind, please remember to lift Elliana up in your prayers concerning her reflux related spells. Please pray that she would be able to tolerate the food...and that she will be home with us soon, too! <3

Friday, August 12, 2011

together again...and homeward bound.

Yesterday, Elliana got her first bath... and her brothers were able to come and visit her afterwards! :) What a precious time to have all three of my babies together again! They really enjoyed it!
On the news front (which I'm going to make quick because I am going back to sleep for a while... just up for pumping!)...we were told yesterday that Easton is on his "spell countdown", and so is Eli. Just so happens that Easton's spell countdown is over on Saturday. Yes, as in tomorrow. And Eli's is over on Monday. :) SO... as long as Easton & Eli behave themselves...they will be coming home in the next few days. >.< We are looking to have Easton discharged Saturday morning, and then back to the doctor on Monday morning! I can't believe the day of taking a baby home are finally arriving.
Sweet little Elliana is still behind her brothers. She is catching them in weight, but she's a lazy NICU baby...and doesn't want to take her bottles. SO, as soon as she can catch up with the bottle feeding...and get rid of this reflux which is causing spells...she will be home too! I really am hoping that it will only be a week or two past her brothers coming home.
It's going to be so stressful trying to take shifts going to the hospital when the two boys are home. But it has to be done. My heart already aches as I think about leaving her behind on Monday morning. *sigh*
Saturday morning, the babies will get their official hospital pictures! YAY! :) We are so looking forward to their first real photo shoot...not looking forward to the money spent ;)
This has been a dream of mine for a long time...bringing a baby home, I mean. And it's been a long time coming. I know that Lilly is up there smiling down on us :)
And what better day for her little brother to come home, but the thirteenth. <3

Thursday, August 11, 2011

:) 3 E's

Our babies are doing wonderfully. Actually, I can't believe how well they are doing. :) It makes me smile, and continually reminds me of how I should constantly be down on my knees thanking God for the three precious blessings he blessed us with *almost* four weeks ago. Whew... I can't believe they are twenty seven days old!
Okay, let me give you a quick update on everyone...

~Eli Zayne~
Eli is doing great, and is one step ahead of his brother and sister. Though his brother is bigger than he is - Eli has been consistent in weight gain, eating, and staying warm in his open crib. :) Such a big boy. He weighs four pounds, nine ounces now! He passed his hearing screening last week, and yesterday he was circumcised. Eek! He actually handled it rather well. Minimal crying, and a lot of grunting. The bad part was changing his diaper a little later in the day :( They tried doing a car seat study on him last week - but he decided to let them know (real quick, mind you) that he was too little. He had a spell within five minutes. So that's really all that he has left to do...he's in an open crib, he is maintaining his temperature...he has no feeding tube, he's taking all of his feeds... so that's about it, other than growing out of the "spells" that preemies are famous for.

~Easton Layne~
Easton is doing wonderful! Though he had his minor set back last week with his PDA, and had to go back into an open crib...and stop eating..., he has bounced back just fine. He is taking most of his bottles, but still has his feeding tube for lazy days when he doesn't want to finish his minimum of 35ml. The medicine for the PDA worked, apparently. His PDA went from "small to moderate" to "tiny" after the first round of medication. The other day we were told by the nurse practitioner that she could still hear the murmur, but it was not large. They are still hoping that it will close on it's own. Easton also got the little "snip snip" yesterday - but unfortunately didn't take it as well as his brother. Clif and I both were almost in tears due to him screaming at the top of his lungs. I was heart broken. BUT...all went well, and other than diaper changes he is fine. Easton was finally able to go back into an open crib the night before last - and has been maintaining his temperature perfectly! OH! And Easton is our big boy, weighing in at four pounds, thirteen ounces!

~Elliana Rayne~
Considering everything she has been through these past few weeks, Elliana is doing tremendously well. She's one tough cookie, that's for sure. After her surgery, she has bounced right back - full swing. She is now over four pounds, four pounds one ounce that is. :) She is up to full feeds too... now if she would just take her full feed, or even half, from her bottle. She is an all around NICU baby...SOoooooo lazy. :) She'll get there. Our only "concern" with Elliana as of now is that she is experiencing reflux. :( It wouldn't be so bad - but it's causing her to drop her heart rate. She continues to do well, and pull herself out of most of the spells... but it's still scary! The nurses tell me that she should grow out of this, and I am SO praying that she does! Elliana didn't have to get the big "snip" (of course...she was telling her brothers, "I am glad I don't have one of THOSE")... but she had a big day yesterday, too! She started her day with an eye exam. The doctor had to numb her eyes, and clamp them open. Can you guess why we didn't go to the hospital until after that was over? She has a follow up in three weeks...but the doctor did not see or anticipate anything being wrong :) She also passed her hearing screening yesterday afternoon! We are so proud.

Clif and I couldn't be happier with how well our babies are doing!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

three weeks :)

I feel like I don't have time to think, let alone write a blog post (or even pee for that matter). Having one baby in NICU is hectic, I am sure... but having THREE? Absolutely insane.
I've been nursing Eli for a little over a week now (I think), so we try to be at the hospital as much as possible so that he can get used to nursing! :) I've nursed Easton before, but since he had to go on the medication for his PDA, I haven't been able to nurse him - because he had to start over with his feeds. BUT he is back up to full feeds so I can start nursing him again tomorrow. YAY! Little sister is almost to full feeds...and I will be able to start nursing her soon too!
Babies are doing wonderful. Eli has been in an open crib for several days now, and has been maintaining his temp! He also got his very first bath this past Friday :) He loved it.
Elliana moved to an open crib last night, and had her picc line removed this afternoon. Easton had his IV taken out either last night or this morning, and is trying his best to keep his temp up so that he can move back to HIS open crib. All three babies are considered to be doing "perfect" by the doctors and nurse practitioners. :) It makes me feel SOOOOO good.
Their weights as of last night are:

Eli - 4lb8oz
Easton - 4lb10oz
Elliana - 4lb0.2oz

LOVE them <3

Thursday, August 4, 2011

We're still here...

:) Just wanted to say that we are still alive! Things have been hectic, but continue to go well.
Thanks for all the prayers for our precious little Easton. The first round of medication seemed to do the trick, and his PDA (murmur) shrunk. They first ruled it "small to moderate"... and when he was looked at again yesterday, they said that it's considered "tiny". We are praying that it might not cause any issues in the coming days - and that God may just close it completely! Elliana says that she's praying too... because she doesn't want anyone to take attention away from her! I tell Clif that she is going to use the whole, "I had heart surgery when I was 3 pounds and NOT EVEN two weeks old" card a LOT in her future. Ha!
Thank you for your continued prayers for me,Clif, and most importantly our babies! <3 Check out facebook (Desiree Joy Smith) for pictures!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Short & Sweet...

Busy busy busy... I feel as if all we have been doing is running around here lately!

Saturday, Easton was able to move to an open crib - and was followed by Eli yesterday! :) Such big boys! Elliana continues to do well since her surgery, her respiratory rate has been up and down - but they are saying that it's due to left over fluids AND the fact that she had to work so hard for so long to breathe. They started feeding Elliana again on Saturday (PTL!), and yesterday while we were at church...she took her first bottle! And drank it ALL (tho...she still only gets a VERY small amount). She managed to take another bottle during the night, and the nurse told us that she really wanted more after she had finished! :( That breaks Mommy's heart. She probably will not go up on her feeds for a few days yet.

Please say a prayer for little Easton. We were told a week an a half (?) ago that both Easton AND Elliana had heart murmurs. Easton's was small - and they said that more than likely it would close over time. We were also told that unless he started showing symptoms from the PDA (murmur), that they would not do another echo. Well, this morning we went in - and they heard the PDA again during his morning assessment. SO, they have an echo ordered for today. They don't seem to overly concerned. The nurse said that it's not loud enough to cause worry, but they just want to take a look at it. The "good" thing is that Easton has not been treated with the medication - so, if it gets to that point we are praying that the medicine might close it and that he will not have to go through the same surgery as Miss Elliana. :) We are trusting God with this situation, along with all others.

Another thing on the news front... the boys have begun nursing! Easton get's very frustrated...and normally ends up screaming, and being given his bottle (which by the time he gets to the bottle... he is so tired from screaming, it gets poured down his feeding tube!). Eli on the other hand is a Mommy's Milk Man. He nursed on and off for almost thirty minutes yesterday evening. They didn't even give him anything else down his tube because he nursed for so long, AND I'm producing a TON of milk. Not even kidding... I pump on average, nine ounces in less than 15 minutes. Yes, I'm a cow. I can't wait to see how Elliana will do once she gets to that point! <3

Well, that's all for now... we are headed back in to do the care times with the kids! God bless you all, and thank you for your continued prayer!

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