Friday, September 29, 2006

A Quiet Night...

Mom N' Dad went to see the girls this afternoon. To our surprise, both girls were on Nasal Cannulas. That is a good thing. They look so much better. We can see their faces now. And it still boggles my mind that Allie and Brooke look so much different from one another. Am I the victim of a switcharoo? Where is that dude from Punk'd? Brooke's head could be the moon to Allie's earth size head. Crazy!
Mom N' Dad spent the night watching some good old Texas HS football. Now I said gold old Texas HS football, not good HS football. The teams were lacking in talent. The girls in the drill team had more yardage during half time than the home team. Shame, they were state champions just last year.

For those of you that are fans of the show ER, there is a story line with a baby in the NICU. Mom N' Dad love the show but now that we are experts on something medical we can tell you that ER tries to get it right but fails sometimes. The emotion portrayed is dead on. A ton of hope followed by fear and buckets of anxiety. The equipment around the baby is the right stuff, but you don't need 3 of everything. The flashing lights must be good for TV. Mom N' Dad laughed and cried during this episode at the Hollywood-ness of the events and at the closeness that it hits home for us. Now only if we could fast forward 4 weeks in 1 hour like they can on TV.

Pics of faces to arrive shortly!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

So today we get informed that Allie has yet another set back. She has a staph infection. They have pumped her full of antibiotics in hopes of catching it before it gets to bad. Staph's can be very dangerous for preemies, according to the Preemie bible that Grandma bought. The book is seriously 5 inches thick. Preemies, it seems, are very easy to write about. Brooke, of course is being a suck up and doing great today.
Mom N' Dad are spending the night away and will only call tonight to check up on the girls. The grind of AM traffic, work, PM traffic, NICU is wearing on me. Bad parent you say, sue me! What would my girls think if I killed over from a stress induced heart attack? Plus Mom spent 5 hours this morning over there. Full time job, with part time benefits.
I am still curious as to why Brooke is so much smaller looking that Allie. It looks like a softball (Allie) next to a baseball (Brooke).
Chunky update:
Allie 3 lbs 1 oz. (retaining fluids. A woman's worse nightmare, right?)
Brooke 2 lbs 10 oz. (Increasing her feeds tonight!)
Dad reverting to the Glory Days of HS football! Dad is also jealous that Brooke has more hair than Dad does.

Mom helps Brooke prepare for her SCUBA expedition! The NICU field trips are 1st rate!

Cricky!! The all too elusive Allie baby makes an appearance in the wild!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Open Letter to my girls...

Allie and Brooke,

Your daddy is many things…but one of the few things he is not is a helpless addict to dip tobacco…anymore. I quit 100 days ago today. A painful road to walk down but well worth it. Simply, put I want to be around for the women in my life:

I took one look at the sonogram showing both of you and I knew that I had to be here in the future for you. In the first few years you will be to vulnerable to defend yourself, so you need your dad. In the pre-teen years you will want to learn to ride a bike, so you need your dad. As teenagers you will get you heart broken by a boy, so you will need your dad. In your college years you will need someone to help you move away, so you will need your dad. In your young adult years you will meet a man, if I did everything right, who will be just like dad. Then you will need me just once more. When you walk down the aisle, you will need your dad.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad...

Long weekend for Mom N' Dad.

We watched both our girls go back on CPAP. We watched as Allie's feedings were stopped. She was spitting up and had to much residual food in her belly. So they stopped for a day to give her tummy a break. We are praying that it is just an "upset" stomach and not an infection or NEC. When Mom N' Dad ask the nurses...they say "its a Preemie thing." That is the answer we get for EVERYTHING.

Brooke was just tired and couldn't keep her O2 saturation in the green this weekend, so they put her back on CPAP. She is good on her feedings and could possibly catch up to her sister in weight shortly.

Mom N' Dad spent the weekend holding our girls. Dad got to hold Allie for the first time. It was great. She is definantly the crazy of the two. She wiggles, she squirms, she pulls her feeding tube out. Yes, all the way out! From her tummy, out the throat and flung it around in the air.

Brooke sees her sister acting she does what a smart sibling would do...she stays quiet and still!

that's the "Facts of Life" for this weekend. Good and a little more bad. Hey, "its a Preemie thing."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Movin' On Up...

Allie and Brooke had another good day. They got to move into a room together. It might not be as comfortable as the womb, but it will do. They are both in isolettes now. Meaning I have two Babies-in-a-box. They are both eating well. Daddy got one wiff of Allie's poopy diaper and immediately deferred to the second child for a pee- only diaper change. Dad is still O-for when it comes to cleaning the "deuce!"
That is a big freaking chart! Our girls are already so high maintenance.

This is Allie and Brooke's new apartment. Just the two of them in one cozy room. And when I say cozy, I mean Phoenix in August hot! The babies seem to love it though. Brooke still sleeps in her diva pose and Allie is wrapped around her body pillow. And both still have more hair than Dad.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Things in Dads Head...

1) My babies are like the Space Shuttle. Right now we are on the "t-minus" time with the clock counting down to zero and the day was get to take our girls home. Then and only then, will the clock get to count up from zero. For all explanations, our babies are still in the womb. It is now just a mechanical womb instead of the gooey womb inside Mom. So contrary to popular belief, we will not be bringing home two 2-month olds, we will be bringing home newborns.

2) Our girls organs were working inside Mom...except the lungs. That is the one thing that NICU staff worry about the most. Them breathing. I have sat and watched both my girls heart rate monitors and O2 monitors go crazy with warning bells and whistles as the monitors go from comfortable numbers to dangerously low levels. The girls just forget to breathe. Breathing is not the involuntary reaction it is for you and I. Our girls simply get tired and stop breathing now and then. Speaking from a father that has watched that event happen multiple times in one night, I would not wish this feeling on my worst enemy.

3) Both the girls are doing well, minus the "episodes" mentioned above. They are gaining weight and taking in good air. They just need to grow. I saw Allie sucking on her thumb today. Very cute I must say,until she pulled her thumb out and suddenly flashed what I am pretty sure was the Texas Tech "Get your guns up" hand sign. Pretty sure the ability to get under Dad's skin is genetic and not a learned behavior.

4) My two "chunkies" weigh : Allie -- 2 lbs 14 oz & Brooke -- 2 lbs. 8oz.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Baby in a Box...

Allie and her body pillow. Guess who else sleeps with a body pillow? Mom does! Cute huh!?
But between Mom, the body pillow, the needy dog and two comforters...guess who gets about .0000001 of the King size bed? One guess!?

This is Brooke's new home! Controlled environment equals good for baby. The NICU nurses love Alllie and Brooke, they get Rockstar treatment. Next up, co-bedding and the same room!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Where's Rod Sterling....

Strange story of the day. One of my best friends growing up and his wife have identical twin girls. They also spent time in the same NICU that A vs. B are in right now. Their girls are now 3 yrs. old and doing wonderfully. I hope and pray that our babies follow that same path.

There must be something in the neighborhood water where we grew up. What are the odds? Two guys, two separate paths in life. (Prime Ex: I went to Texas A&M, he went to that state school in Austin.) Two totally different adult lives - both having identical twin girls? Seriously there must have been something in the StarCrunch's that we ate all the time as kids. And now we both have identical twin girls. Sweet deal for A vs. B - some man-on-man coverage babysitting down the road!

And I haven't even mentioned the story of a HS friend that now has twin girls and used our same OB/GYN. Nor have I mentioned the 4 sets of twins that were in my HS. Did the Government do some secretive study in the C-FB in the late 80s? But twin theory #1 holds true: everyone knows or is a twin.

It is nice to know that someone has been down this path already. Sometimes sympathy is not enough. You need someone who has been there before to guide your path.

Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Marsupials in the NICU...

Ever heard of a Kangaroo. Quit interesting, let me tell you. Mom N' Dad got to hold our girls today for almost two hours a piece. Dad got Brooke and Mom had Allie (her first time). You get a curtain pulled around and you take your shirt off and climb into a recliner. The NICU nurse then laughs a bit at your belly and hairiness of you chest and then places your child on you. Skin to skin contact. Supposed to be the best thing a Preemie can have done to them in the NICU. The bond between parent and child. The matching heart rate, Parents body heat keeping children warm. Awesome! Brooke squeaked a ton and tugged my hair then fell asleep. I held her for 2 hours. Mom held Allie for an hour then she had to get placed back in her isolette to get some more Bilirubin phototherapy .

What a great weekend...I pray there are more days like this weekend ahead...

A Little Competition is a Good Thing...

Allie is now breathing on her own with the oxygen assisted CPAP. She isn't going to let her sister show her up!

Brooke is breathing 100% on her own. Pooh gives a kiss...

What's Mom doing? Holding Allie for the first time, thats what!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Today was a Good Day...

Before I get started, I have been informed that I have not given "Full" names of the girls. Well, here they are: Allie Grace and Brooke Faith.

Today was a good day for all around. Family got to come down for a visit from out of state (Hint: Their university lost to Oregon today.). Parents took us to dinner. Texas Tech lost and the Aggies Won...barely!

Oh..and the girls...what about the girls you say...they both had great days! They both had their Arterial line removed from their bellies. Allie's PDA is closed and she has begun feeding on milk. She should be off the respirator and on CPAP soon. Brooke is already on CPAP and just slept all day. She is on medicine to close her PDA and should be able to restart her feedings on Monday morning. She also loved having Mom hold her for 30 minutes today. Dad promised to hold her next. I can't wait! I might just tuck her into my shirt pocket and try and take her home. Yes, she is that small. The nurses and Dr's have told us that there is no manual for Preemies. There are days of large steps forward and days with large steps back. The only thing certain is the uncertainty.

I don't know if the vocal cords are not fully developed yet, but I swear the girls squeak like mice more than cry like babies. It is so funny...and heart wrenching at the same time to hear the girls squeak when they are upset or hiccuping.

One final note, Dad changed a diaper today. First diaper ever. I mean in my 31 years of life. It was just pee, so I will not call myself the "greatest of all time" just yet. I will wait till Allie or Brooke drops a nice sized "deuce" to call myself the champ!

A Mothers Touch...

A normal visit turned into an awesome visit on Friday night. We arrived just in time for Brooke's bath. I know, poor Allie...If she would just get of the ventilator. Well, the nurse asked if Mom would like to bath and hold Brooke. Faster than a Brad Pitt rumor, Mom was up and ready. One week after they were born, Mom was able to hold her child. That makes Dad very happy!

Friday, September 15, 2006

One Week Ago Today...

Our babies are one week old today. Well, actually at 7:05 tonight. What a wild ride this first week has been for Mom n' Dad...not to mention Allie & Brooke.

If I have learned one thing it would be that when you feel that you have nothing left, and you find HOPE, you have everything! You need nothing else but HOPE. Personally for Mom n' Dad that HOPE lies in our relationship with the Lord. The "Great Physician" will see that my babies are always cared for and knowing that gives us HOPE.

Ok, back to the fun stuff...It takes both Mom n' Dad to change a diaper. One to do the "dirty work" and one to move all the cords, wires and tubes. It is keystone cop funny! Guess who does the dirty ain't me!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Food makes Dad sleepy too! Mmmmm!
(Dad feeds Brooke some of Mom's milk)

Random Thoughts for Today...

1) It is official...everyone in the world knows or is a twin. Etch it in stone, make it law...doesn't matter. Everyone has a twin story.
2) I am scared to death of the "identical twin talk" What I mean is that when they are 4 and the mumble something that could only be described a mix between Braille and Binary and they run off together giggling. Freaky to think about isn't it!?
3) My number one goal in life is to keep my daughters from wearing this uniform.
4) If one girl decides to go to Tech or t.u., will I love the Aggie more!?
5) College costs how much in 2006!!!? What about 2024?
6) The NICU still gives me the HeeBee-GeeBee's. So sterile and dark. But my girls love it so much they asked to stay for a few months!
7) Birds and the Bees? "Honey, the girls want to talk to you!?"
8) A future apology to Allie. Honey, Mom n' Dad are sorry that Brooke is such a camera hog. She is unbundled because she doesn't squirm as much as you do - alas making for better pictures. They put the "swaddle straight jacket" on you to keep you calm. To much energy exerted moving and you won't have enough to breathe or poop! Besides your identical!
9) Speaking of identical. Do Mom n' Dad laugh, cry or punish "A vs. B" when we get a call from school about the girls switching identities in homeroom?

Dad is in trouble....

Look at this Diva shot...
"I am so over this NICU. I said I wanted my breast milk shaken...not stirred!"

Gotta go the Distance...

Another day, another early morning phone call. This time is was Allie. Her heart rate dropped dangerously low. They had to put her back on the ventilator. Steps back to take steps forward? I pray! I think I am going to have to revert back to my hockey playing days.

I played with two rules: 1) Practice like its the real thing & 2) There is 60 minutes of game time. It is not the first or last minute of the game that makes a is what you do in the 58 minutes in between that count.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. But two days at home with two early am phone calls about my girls...this is going to be rough!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

With This Ring...

This is not Brooke's new bling, that is Dad's wedding ring!!

First Diaper Change

I fear dirty diapers...I mean Cougar in my front seat fear! So it was a blessing to see Mom change the first diaper. I found the secret formula that allows preemies to grow...oil,Black Gold, Texas T! I am pretty sure that is what came out of my girls bum. I'm investigating.
Does this same service exist for adults? Sign me up!

Fresh and clean! SCUBA anyone!?


Two sounds as new NICU parents that have freaked me out so far:
1) The Beeping alarm of the oxygen saturation machine. It goes off all the time as an alert. The nurses set the alarm to go off if the blood saturation is too low or too high. I freak out every time. Beeping and my children should never mix. To me the panic that I felt that first time was comparable to if you were flying and saw the pilot strap on a parachute, open the door and leap out of the plane. But the experts told me not to worry unless you see them worry. When the nurses and Dr.'s panic, then I have the right to wet my pants. Nice and comforting, I know.

2) The early morning (3am) phone call that is started with, "Brandy? This is Dr. ???? from Medical Center...." She could have said that Jesus himself just prayed over our children and then the twins began to dance like that little naked internet baby from a few years ago and we would have not heard it at all. My heart stopped and my ears shut down. No parent should EVER get a phone call at 3am about their children. There is NOTHING good going on at 3am. The Nobel Prize committee will NEVER call me to tell me that Allie won at 3am. I will NEVER hear that Brooke scored the game winning goal to give the US Soccer team the 3AM! Texas A&M University will NEVER send an acceptance letter at 3am!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Baby factory found in Plano! Film at 11!

Did you ever see the Star Wars movie where Luke Skywalker is in the big tube of water getting medical treatment? Seriously, if you could make an artificial womb for preemies I would wash your car for life. But until then, these machines keep Allie and Brooke snug as a bug in a rug! It amazes me that a baby (ies) could be born 11 weeks early and get poked, prodded and gased from all these different machines and have them grow as they had never left the womb. Our babies struggle to breath, they struggle to move, but the machines don't struggle at all when it comes to keeping our girls alive!
Machine number clue what it does. But glad it works!
This machine keeps A&B's temperature regulated. 37 degrees Celsius is the goal
This monitors vital signs, blood/oxygen, heart rate, mixtures.
They talk about "Gas" a lot when they refer to the babies. Way to take after you old man!

"Did you say Poo or Pooh?"

I might get to change my first diaper today. The noon "touchtime" is coming up and since we have two babies...two diapers...two parents...two sets of hands!!! Why do I feel that I am getting hoodwinked all of a sudden? Aren't I paying a pretty penny for these services? HA! I have to learn sometime soon right? It is just pee anyways. They aren't pooping yet! To much Billy Cundiff in their body or something like that. Maybe I should get Coach Parcells to come and help get rid of it. (It is actually Bilirubin) but I play funny!

The Beginning of Many

Mom gets to go home today. Good and bad news all wound into one. Good in that it means that she is doing well in her recovery, bad in that it will take her a half hour from our girls. It would have been so nice to have been at Plano Presby. Mom could have put on her walking shoes and exercised her way up to see the kiddos. Now we have to strategically plan out the times we can come up and see the kids. Tough, but doable!

Brooke has her PICC Line and they have tried a few times to get one in Allie but she has her father's veins-way too small. I would be a horrible heroin addict. Allie was all rapped up like a baby burrito at this mornings touch-time so we let her sleep. Brooke was wiggling all around and upset that she is 1/2 naked and people stare at her all day.

Touch time is the time that parents, nurses, Dr.'s, respiratory therapist try to get all their work on. That will be 8am, 12pm, and 4pm each day. All the other times in the day, they let them sleep and grow. So over the next 8 weeks Mom will get to hold her daughters a ton! I will not as much. Man, I need to win the lottery So I can be with my kids!

"Doggie!" in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound

She has no clue of what just happened! Be afraid, be very afraid!

Dr. B & Dr. K

It seem that everything in this story comes in two's doesn't it? I wanted to tell you about our Dr's. Yup...When you have twins you get two. Not because you get one per kid, but because you are high risk. Dr. B is great! He is a great man. He was open and honest with us from day one. He never blew sunshine...Which I hate. He sat us down the first time and told us that we would become good friends throughout since we would be seeing so much of one another. But no matter what he was Allie and Brooke first on his list when it came to Mom n' Dad.

Dr. K was our high risk OB. She is awesome as well. She went out of her way to take over care of Mom at Medical Center so we would have a familiar face since there were no NICU beds at Plano Presby seeing as we were just a tab bit "unscheduled!". She performed the C-section and took good care of Mom and the twins. She did such a great job, but I don't think she thought my joke about the crooked C-section scar was funny! She takes pride in her work. We don't plan on having any more children..but if we do we will be giving Dr. B and Dr. K a call.

Thank you both for taking care of the the three most important women in my life!

If any of you reading this are in the market for some wonderful OB Dr's let me know.

Finally Caught Up

Ok, so I started this blog today and have finally caught up to real time. Today was September 11th, 2006.

This day meant something all too different for me before the events on this weekend. Now it means something even more deeper to me. I watched my twins struggling with life today as the TV in the NICU showed the Twin Towers fall. I flipped through the victim list of that fateful day to remind myself of the passengers of United 93 that never stopped fighting. That spirit means something totally different to me today as well. Our girls have a rough road ahead, but I see the resolve in them, I see the spirit in them. We feel everyone's prayers and we know that God does not give you anything that you can't handle.

God knew that I needed this experience to fully come to love my girls. I was scared to death that if our girls had made it to November and we took them home that I was going to be a standoff Dad since there is absolutely not one ounce of "girl" in me. But try and tell me that today. My twins are fighters...they get that from their father!

Pics from the NICU

Alllie is a GlowWorm!

Brooke takes a nap as Pooh takes in the scene!
Allie's new digs for the next few months...Tigger stands watch!
Allie being taken off of her breathing tube. She is breathing on her own now, just like her little sister.
Allie saying hello and giving a wink.

Happy Birthday

Allie taking her first breath of life..with some help.
19:15 Thats 7:15 for us Civilians!
Brooke making a "sheet" Angel!
Three "medical professionals" per child...this is going to cost me a fortune!
Mom upset that there was no "Flight" in CareFlight...

Monday, September 11, 2006


The Day...

So Friday September 8th, 2006 will always be Allie & Brooke's birthday, it will also be the day that a couple became a family is a very big way.

Mom had been checked into the hospital on Wed. September 6, 2006 for a routine 48 hour observation. Mom had been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. No harm, no foul. So we thought!!! Dr. B told her she was good to go home on Friday so she could enjoy the weekend and the shower that was being thrown in her honor on Saturday.

Around 2:30 pm on Friday, Dr. B came in and said some sentence with the word "deadly" in it. I don't remember anything else after that word was spoken. She was getting HELLP Syndrome, Google it! So we were informed that we would be having our twins today...not on November 2nd as Dr. B wanted so he could get our girls out and into the world before his big fishing trip!

To make the day more comical, we were told that Plano Presby had no NICU beds and that we had two options: 1) Have the C-Section at Plano Presby and the twins would be careflighted to Medical Center but Mom would have to post-partum at Plano Presby so Mom and children would not see one another for 5 days or 2) Mom could get careflighted to Medical Center and Mom and babies could be together from minute one.

BTW - Did you know that you can use Careflight and not get a ride in a helicopter? When Mom took option 2 above, I thought she was going to take a helicopter ride. How cool is that. Nope, just a run down ambulance. I digress.

Events Timeline before the birth:
1:30pm Mom was going home from her 48-hour observation.
2:30pm Mom and Dad are being told that Mom and Babies are about the get REAL sick.
3:00pm Mom is getting prepped for C-section by not eating or drinking.
4:30pm Dr. B tells us that the are no NICU beds at Plano Presby.
5:30pm Dupped out of a helicopter ride to Medical Center.

Events during and after the birth:
6:50pm Mom gased and given a general and ready for C-section.
6:50:33pm Dad FREAKS for about 13.4 seconds!
6:55pm Mom's innards exposed to me. No vomit produced. Making babies is alot more fun than having them.
6:57pm Dr. K and fellow "scrubs" talk about their next marathon while placenta hits my shoe.
7:01pm Though Mom is out cold, she shakes violently from Dr.'s ripping away at her belly.
7:05pm Allie is born.
7:07pm Brooke is born.
7:10pm Dad and Twins taken to NICU.

First Post

I will spare you the boring details about what was a normal pregnancy up until last Friday. I will begin by saying that Mom and Dad will be editing this blog for family and friends as a way to keep up with our gifts from above. A set of identical girl twins born at 29 weeks. They are now in the NICU and struggling with life outside the gooey yet comforting confines of the Mom's womb.
Stay tuned...I can't promise the results but I can promise one helluva ride!