Monday, October 30, 2006

Bark at the Moon...

I guess I didn't knock on wood hard enough after yesterday's post. Brooke was struggling too much to breathe without her nasal cannula. So back on it goes!! They don't take 2%er's in the NICU. It is all or nothing to get these girls up and running so they can get ready to come home. They both are feeding like crazy and growing well. Brooke is still tracking around 1/2 a pound lighter than Allie.

Over the past couple of weeks the staff have been decorating little costumes for "their" babies. There was a contest to see whose was best. I am not sure of the winning costume, but there were some creative ones. Because our girls are so small, we decided to take two little preemie shirts that somewhat matched. There were two Sponge Bob shirts in the contest, but they were taken by the time Mom N' Dad got to the NICU.

Trick or Treat...Smell my nasty diaper...

Just a sampling of the NICU Staff's Halloween creations. Gotta love the Flapper dress!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I'm Rollin' in My '64...

This thing is huge. This was engineered at the same shop as BigFoot! To give y'all some scale, that is a 36 lbs. dog in front of that thing. Double stroller, infant carrier with car seat base. I am in way over my head...

Every Breath You Take...

So Sunday was a big day for Brooke. She got taken off of her nasal cannula. That means she is breathing with no O2 assistance. She has tried this once before and got put back on the Mom N' Dad are hoping that she can breathe just on room air. Brooke didn't do well in her breast feeding today...probably because she has had a big day already. One thing at a time peeps.
Both girls got their feedings increased today as well. Allie is getting 5 of 8 feedings by bottle now and Brooke is getting 4 of 8. I wish I could eat 8 times a day...but seeing that I have 221 lbs. on the girls...
Dad spent Saturday painting the nursery. Got it done. I need to put some decor up and then I will post some pictures. Also, a good friend of Mom N' Dads brought us a present today. We no longer have to stress about buying a double stroller. What a blessing friends are!
We are now official members of the "Tub Club." I have no idea what it means either.

Allie sleeping after a big meal. Just like dad does on Sunday afternoons.

My three favorite girls!

Chunky Update

Allie: 4 lbs. 12 oz.

Brooke: 4 lbs. 5 oz.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bon Voyage Nicholas...

Allie and Brooke are losing their first boyfriend tomorrow. Nicholas is getting to go home. Mom and N's mom have become good NICU friends. He is a strong little boy. White, male babies statistically fare the worst when born premature. Nicholas' due date was 2 days before Allie and Brooke's. Gestationally our girls were born two weeks ahead. So you can tell how much 2 weeks in the womb can do for a preemie.
BTW: Allie LOVES her pacifier! She goes to town on that thing. She should be able to get this bottle feeding thing down in no time! Brooke is an awesome feeder as well. She took her whole bottle in 15 minutes tonight. Now given, she is doing just 1 of 8 feedings this way so she looks forward to the challenge of bottle feeding.
Brooke - Do you think my head makes this hat look big?

Allie - Rise and shine...A full day of becoming a Newborn awaits!

Hit Me With Your Best Shot...

Its been so quiet as of late. So I am giving you guys a chance to give some feed back, lift my girls up, and have a good laugh at the same time. Start posting captions for this picture: I'll start! *Dad does have veto make it clean.
1) and now with the wave of my hands and an abracadabra...I will attempt to make Allie disappear!
2) move a little to the left Allie...a little more...perfect...thats the shot!
3) Allie cover your face. The Mom-arazzi is back!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Somethings Going to Give...

I saw a T-shirt today...It said, "I laugh at your one baby!" How true. Nothing against raising a child or children born singleton but there is nothing that compares to having multiples. But with the good comes the bad. Twice the love, twice the diapers. Twice the fun, twice the bills. You get the picture. Only parents with multiples get it. It isn't a bad thing, you just didn't get the invitation to the Twins Restaurant. Not everyone can go! Someone has to stay behind and scrub the floors!

Mom N' Dad watch the singleton mom and dads in the NICU and they all look at us with the same face. The "I am so glad we are not in your shoes" face! Tonight is a strange night. Both Mom N' Dad feel the same way. We both want to be with our babies at the NICU...but neither one of us have the energy. We are not bad parents...we just physically can't do it day in and day out. Watching your kids O2 stats and heart rate drop, albeit for a few seconds, is gut wrenching and it hurts the same the 100th time as it did the 1st.

Interesting Twin Facts

Chunky Update
Allie 4 lbs. 8 oz.
Brooke 4 lbs. (official, well until she takes a nice sized poo!)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Mother of all Dumps...

Ok...I am a bit too traumatized to write a lot right now...Allie has scarred me for life. I was a physical witness to her first "blow out!" She let the biggest poop go while I was holding her...and I will never be the same again. But being as crafty as I am, I left the dirty diaper for the nurse. Hey...I'm paying for it! Actually, we offered to change the toxic dump but she was feeding so they didn't want to jostle her around too much. All she was missing was the business section of the Dallas Morning News. I am going to chalk this one up to something I wish I had never felt, seen or heard.
The babies' new digs. You like? Slipped the NICU a C-Note to get the window view.
Who's the smaller of the two but still as much of a trouble maker? Yes, Brooke it is you!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Joy & Pain...Its Like Sunshine & Rain...

Allie and Brooke have been moved. Mom walked into our girl's NICU apartment to find it completely empty. They had been moved into the Baby Steps side of the nursery during the middle of the night. Kind of like when the owner of the Baltimore Colts moved the team to Indianapolis. Out of the blue, no clue, no warning. Baby Steps is where they send "feeders and growers." Both girls are feeding from 1 bottle a day. Over the next several weeks they will learn to take all 8 feedings a day by bottle. And they want at least one parent there for each bottle feeding...every 3 hours!!! And remeber folks times that by two. Matter of fact, times everything else for the rest of our lives by two. Two cribs, two tuitions, two cars, two get the idea. This is a big step for our girls. Cautious, but big! They are now in a less stable environment...much more like home will be...and a lot less sterile. We have seen many kids "graduate" to Baby Steps and now we are all neighbors again. Our girls are the cutest, but don' tell the others!
Mom N' Dad and Grandma took the infant CPR and discharge class. Did you know that your mouth can cover an infants entire face? It can. I wonder if I could fit Brooke's full head into my mouth?...HA! If you have kids and have never taken a first aid/ CPR class I would recommend it. You learn a ton of useful stuff. I hope and pray that I never have to use these skills but I want to be prepared if that time comes.

Mom overheard one of our NICU friends tell the nurse today that she was taking her girl home soon. She has twins, a boy and a girl. Her girl is ready to go home the boy will stay a while. So much emotion flowing both ways if that were to happen to us. Joy and sorrow all in one. But we are both use to that now. I could not imagine taking one of our daughters home without the other. We already had to leave the hospital once without them. Maybe one girl can fly under the insurance radar so they can be sure to go home together.

We have a while yet to go. So that is enough homebound talk for now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More For Your Viewing Pleasure...

Still Clueless...and with my hands full...

2 pigs in a blanket...OK, 1.5 pigs in a blanket!

It looks like some kind of Cartoon Network brawl in my girls crib!!!?

And in the Pink Corner...

Today was a big day! Allie got her Broviac line out. Both girls began to feed from a bottle...ok, they took a few sucks off the nipple and fell asleep...and they got placed into the same crib. Back together again, fighting of the same space and attention...but looking cute as ever doing it! As for the feeding, the therapist came by this morning and tested both girls to see how well they feed orally. They both took the bottle well and would suckle for a minute and then tire out. They are checking to see if the girls have the muscle strength and memory to suck the bottle and then swallow down the correct passage as a not to aspirate. They will get one bottle feeding a day for a while...they will eventually work their way up to 8 bottle feeds a day! And when I say bottle feed I actually mean breast feed. But I need to manage "random internet guys" visualization!
On the next UFC Pay-Per-View, "Miscue is the NICU!"

Don't they just look like the love one another?????

Monday, October 16, 2006

Maids a Milkin...and Rub a Dub-Dub...

Mom N' Dad went to the bi-weekly TLC meeting tonight. It is a time where NICU parents can get together and talk about our challenges and praises. And there is free food! Free is good. We are about to be REAL poor! Tonight's topic was feeding. A lot of information. What did Dad get out of it? That breastfeeding 2 babies will suck! Literally and figuratively! Both Mom N' Dad, mostly Mom...thank goodness...are on board with with the free food supply that God so graciously gave her. Free vs. $$ for formula. Give me free. From the looks of the bottles after a pump session, Mom was built to feed twins.
Anyways, on to bathtime:
After the Bath: What a Sweetheart, just like the shirt says!

Brooke's Tub! What a cush life. Can I get a piece of the free bath action?

Allie is very jealous! She doesn't get a tub bath until her Broviac comes out...tomorrow!

Friday, October 13, 2006

See You Later...

You have all heard about Dad and Allie's bonding time. Vomit and all! Well with all the excitement of spit up and keeping her Broviac tube in her body I forgot to tell y'all about about her funnies. She is a little comedian. We laid chest to chest last night and she would let out these little sounds. She sounds like a little puppy finding their growl for the first time. Sounds like Scrappy Doo, Scooby's little buddy! She would growl and claw at my chest. She was grabbing my hair and scooping it up and trying to put it in her mouth. Quit funny! So we have given the first official nickname to our children. Wait for it...very the Pulitzer people...racking your it comes...Allie-Gator! Get it, Allie and gator combined!! Greatness! How can one family be so smart and creative!? Seriously, all fear the Allie-Gator!

Chunky Update
Allie: 4 lbs. 2 oz.
Brooke: 3 lbs. 6 oz.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mom Comes From the Land Down Under...

So Mom n' Dad both got to Kangaroo hold our girls tonight. Mom went "mono y. mono" with Brooke and Dad got single coverage with Allie. Allie found something new tonight. Chest hair! She had fun pulling and scratching. Forget a waxing, just get a preemie and Kangaroo! Everything was going well until Allie began to tug on her Broviac line. Not good when you are pulling on a medical tube that resides INSIDE your chest! Needless to say, Dad tried to save the day by repositioning Allie. How does Allie pay Dad back? By spewing white foamy Mom's milk all over my bare chest! always was a complete Angel. They are really establishing personalities. Guess who is going to be my high maintenance daughter?
Look at those Biceps! All "juice" here!

kangaroos look bigger on TV!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Elwood, We're Putting the Band Back Together...

First Family Portrait!

Ah, my old wombmate! Allie in white, Brooke in pink.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Because I Can...

Mom got to give Brooke her first tub bath today. She also got her feeding tube placed down her nose so she can't pull it out as easily. Now all you are accomplices if I have the "Po-Po" knocking on my door for posting this pic!

More Random Thoughts...

More thoughts bouncing around like a ricocheted bullet in my head...

1) Why do parents tell others that their kid is 18 months old? Can't you just say 1.5 years?
2) Who grows up wanting to be a proctologist?
3) Our dog could care less that there are two girls coming home. She smelled their swaddling blankets for about a tenth of a second.
4) Second hand smoke is the #1 preventable cause of SIDS. Dad's immediate family is in serious need of the "Patch."
5) Will the Dr. use the Easy Button when he/she sticks a paper clip (sorry Toni) in my babies eyes?
6) If I have pictures of my girls taking a bath in the NICU on my computer, is the Government going to come and arrest me for "kiddie Pron!?"
7) Why is it that Brooke only goes #2 when the diaper is being changed? She costs us 4 diapers each time.
8) Mom has the authority to "Blacklist" certain nurses from caring for the girls. Don't cross her!
9) Cookies DO work as bribery!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy One Month Birthday...

...or is that "Happy Eight Month Gestation?"

Mom N' Dad spent the morning with the girls. Mom nuzzled and Dad kangaroo'd. For the unversed, that is a whole lotta skin in the girl's apartment today! Both Allie and Brooke both got their oxygen lowered today. That means that they are taking in more and more room air and less and less bottled oxygen. That is a good thing.

The babies are 4 weeks old and that means it is time for an eye exam. An eye exam to see if the oxygen that gives them support and life, is damaging their delicate blood vessels in their eyes. It is called R.O.P., and is the next"very serious" hurdle that Allie and Brooke will have to successfully jump in order to come home. This disease can cause blindness, retinal detachment and can cause the girls to have a full round of surgeries to fix. We are pretty sure that both girls can see, we have seen Allie go cross-eyed trying to grab the feeding tube that was dangling above her. We have seen brooch's eyes move to follow the shadow of Dad's head when he stares down on her. This week they will have a their eyelids pryed open and a "paper clip" inserted into their eyes to rotate the eyeball to the right position for the Dr. to check how they are developing. Sound fun? Didn't think so. We have been told that babies hate it: so much that they will most likely one day demand a pony because of it!

As for everything else in the NICU, Mom N' Dad hate the poking and prodding of our little girls, but we know that it is necessary for their well being. I hate to see them in pain. However, they will be so much stronger in life because they have had to fight from day One. No cozy nursery for these girls, they got a NICU isolette. No being held by Mom when they came out of her, these girls got no visit from Mom for the first 24 hours. No viewing window in the nursery for my girls, they got heart rate monitors and ventilation machines. I don't type this in pity, but as a record for my girls when they tell me one day that they aren't good enough, strong enough, fast enough, smart enough to do something. They were all that and more when what they needed most was to survive.

Chunky Update:
Allie is 3 lbs. 11 oz.
Brooke is 3 lbs. even (Way to grow Brooke!)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Gig Em Allie....

So the infectious disease Dr. comes in today and tells us that Allie can get off one of her 3 antibiotics she is currently on. The can no longer grow a positive blood culture that contain "gram negative rods!" Good for Allie. She must have gotten Mom's immune system, because with Dad's throat history, I get sick monthly with something. Long story about my throat, just add these key words together: tonsils, hole, food, rot, infection. That is me!

Infectious disease Drs must make a ton of money. This guy was decked out in tailored pants, shirt and designer shoes. The other Dr's have been in Dickies scrubs.

Grandma made cookies for the NICU staff. A little bribery when it comes to my girls isn't bad, is it? The cookies were great. Hope Allie and Brooke get extra mom's milk when the cookies funnel through her system and into theirs!!!? (Wait a second...think about got it...Mmmm exactly as you just pictured!)

Mom is back at it again with the whole nuzzling thing. She is up there right now and missed the come from behind road win for the Aggies! Allie does do the Aggies...Coincidence? Probably!

Today is a good day. Allie is well, Brooke is growing, Aggies leave (escape) Kansas with a there a way that Texas and OU can tie or better yet...both lose?

Thursday, October 05, 2006


"You wanted the best, you got the best! The Greatest girls in the land...Twins!!"
So we found out what was ailing Allie. She has an Enterobacter Cloacae. It is an infection that is nosocomial. Nosocomial infections are those that originate or occur in a hospital or hospital-like setting. So the place she is using to get well was also getting her sick. Crazy!! She is feeling 100% better today. She received another dose of someone else's blood which still makes Dad a little queasy. She will get 3 different antibiotics for the next 8 days.
The picture above is Mom holding Allie and Brooke for the first time together since the left the soggy confines of the womb. Brooke is on Mom's right and Allie is on her left. Both girls loved it and squeak talked to one another. They also have a competition to see who can destat (dropping oxygen saturation to low which sounds an alarm) on their monitors the most when being held.
Brooke began her nuzzling exercises today, which is the P.C. way of saying "finding the teat!" Cattle ranchers out there feel me!? Allie was put back on feedings today to see if her stomach can handle real food. If so, she will be waned off the fluids and given more and more milk each day.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

Brooke says, "Hehe! Dad, that thing growing on your chin is funny!"
Chunky Update:
Allie is 3 lbs. 5 oz.(still lots of fluids from surgery)
Brooke is 2 lbs. 14 oz. (C'mon 3 pounder!)

All About Allie...

So Allie had a big two days. She had a Spinal Tap...She actually had a lumbar puncture. Spinal Tap is just an informal name for the medical procedure of a lumbar puncture. She has some spinal fluid drained from her tiny little spinal cord to check her white blood cell count. The higher the worse off her infection is. We were told it was not too high. She still has a serious infection and they haven't been able to figure out what it is. Maybe in the next 48 hours.
Today we were told that they would have to do a "procedure" aka surgery. on Allie to get a Broviac Central Line into her. This line allows for medicine and fluid to be administered at any time, much like the PICC line she had before but that same PICC line could be what got her sick. The Dr.'s were more worried about having to put a 33 week old baby under a general than the actual surgery. She came out of the procedure fine. She was still asleep when Mom N' Dad were allowed in. She looked so sweet and she was quiet for once! She has had a hard few days. Mom N' Dad appreciate all the prayers and well wishes you are sending her way. I know Allie has been the high maintenance one so far but please keep Brooke in your thoughts and prayers. She has been so good and I hope that it stays that way.
Allie before her surgery...

Allie after her surgery...a concerned Brooke looks on.
As the Dr's say, infections are part of the NICU. As a matter of fact if you see Mom N' Dad shying away from you co-workers with kids, it is not because we hate you. We are avoiding RSV. It runs rampant in schools, day cares and churches. Most kids over 3 are able to avoid it or simply get a cold from it. But RSV is deadly to preemies. They have actually locked down the NICU from anyone under the age of 17. Siblings, interns, HS nurse wanna-be's...everyone. So give us a break, as the flu/RSV season approaches wash your hands, cover up when you cough or sneeze, and don't be up in our grill!

Monday, October 02, 2006

So Much For Good News...

Excuse me if I am not witty or have a fun quip...I guess we have hit the downside of the good news slope. Mom N' Dad have been concerned about Allie for some time now. She was not feeling good and had some infection. So the Dr. started treating it generally and took a blood culture to find the little pesky infection. The first two blood cultures came back positive. Bad sign. The third came back negative. Good sign. The fourth came back as a totally different infection. Allie has "gram-negative rods" swimming around in her body right now. The biggest concern right now is that it could be E.Coli (no, she didn't eat the spinach), Menengitis or NEC. All very serious. Mom N' Dad were just bragging that she was a fighter and was getting better. I deal with irate people all day at work, then got this news tonight, and to top it Aggies lose once again to Texas Tech. Somtimes life sucks! I am a "fixer." I want to fix my little girl. Did I mention that stressing out at work, stressing out at the hospital is going to give me a stroke? Hopefully my hospital bed will fit in Allie N' Brooke's NICU apartment. Move over girls. Daddy is moving in! And you ask what about Mom? She is Superman with all this. She has become a mother of the year candidate. She is on top of things, she is the "Boss" when it comes to NICU related items. She visits daily. She holds the girls daily. Dad could not do what Mom does. Even though she is not working right now, her days are just as stressed filled as Dads are. Mom is a Hero in all this.

As expected Brooke is doing fine.