Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Week Birthday!

Happy one week birthday, babies! We’ve made it seven full days without any major setbacks (please go knock on wood), so this is truly something to celebrate!

Brooke and I started our first post-hospital day with breakfast at IHoP and a trip to the NICU. Then we went to a cookout at my aunt’s house for a few hours, followed by another trip to the NICU. As you can tell, it’s not easy to stay away.

On to the updates:

All three babies are now on respirators. Annaleigh was put on late last night because she was just having too much trouble. Charlie was put on this evening because the doctors were concerned about the number and frequency of his “episodes” in which he stopped breathing. Lily has been on a respirator since she was born. Also, all three babies have stopped eating. The hope is that putting them on the respirators will enable them to get a bit stronger, at which point they can start getting some of mommy’s breastmilk.

Charlie’s central line is in, hopefully more firmly than last time. This will lessen the number of times they have to poke him with a new IV, which he will appreciate, I’m sure. He is on medication to help reduce the ductus valve on his heart. If the medication works like it should, the ductus won’t be a problem. I should also note that we can now see a lot more of Charlie’s face because he doesn’t need to be under the phototherapy lights and the respirator isn’t as concealing as the oxygen tubes he was on. We’ve gotten a really good look at him and Brooke can’t stop talking about his eyelashes and eyebrows. I find it rather strange, but she brings it up in conversation about every ten minutes. Want to get her to smile? Ask her about Charlie’s eyelashes.

Lily Bug’s respirator settings are actually the lowest of the three babies, meaning she’s getting the least amount of help from the machines. She’s also on medication for the extra ductus valve, and she’s gotten platelets and a blood transfusion today. They are watching her for any sorts of infection but so far there’s nothing. She’s back under the phototherapy lights and needs to be completely naked all the time so the lights can do their thing. She doesn’t seem too happy about being so exposed and she keeps her little hands down low between her legs—it’s very endearing!

Annaleigh is, as usual, the biggest concern. She had lots of blood work today and the results won’t be finalized for 72 hours, but they’re worried that she has some sort of infection in her GI tract. Her white blood cell count is elevated and they’ve given her platelets and blood today to help. They’ve already started her on antibiotics, just in case the tests show an infection. They put a thick tube down her throat and into her stomach to help vent it some more because apparently she has too much air in there and it’s causing swelling and “loopiness.” The doctors got tired of waiting for her so they gave her a glycerin suppository to help her poop today, and she happily complied. The pooping and the tube and the antibiotics and the extra blood and platelets all should (hopefully) help her have an easier time of it. They can’t give her the medication for the ductus valve though, despite the fact that her valve is bigger and more of a worry than Charlie’s or Lily’s because of the concern for her potential infection. With any luck, her valve will reduce on its own anyway. The one good piece of Annaleigh news is-- she's got my giant nose!!!!

Brooke and I can’t begin to describe the roller coaster ride this past week has been. We’re thrilled that our babies are here, we’re sad that they’re having such a hard time, we’re grateful to the NICU doctors and nurses, we’re overwhelmed by all the support we’ve gotten, we’re terrified of something serious going wrong… we’re basically full of every possible human emotion right now. But we’re getting by and we’re with each other all day and night and we’re not giving up hope that all three of our children will become the “big fat babies” we’ve always wanted.

23 comments:

Little Wonders said...

Gosh, you guys, I cannot describe how your posts bring back the memories of our own NICU experience. Our babies were 30 weeks when they were born, but very small and sick due to their TTTS. Now, just 9 short weeks later, I'm sitting here at home with one of them in my arms as I type this. Your road will most likely be longer than ours was - but I firmly believe, it will end, and it will with all 3 of your precious babies at home with you - sooner than you think. There are many of us who understand the ups and downs of having babies in the NICU, and we're all praying and cheering for you. BTW, your babies are absolutely beautiful. Congratulations.

Claire said...

I can't imagine how hard it is to go on with "normal" life (like your barbeque, etc) while your babies are in the NICU...but I think it's important to do some of that "normal" stuff, too. Anyway, I hope and pray that things continue to go as well as they seem to be. I will be working in our NICU in September and it just amazes me what can be done for these tiny precious babies! BTW, boys usually DO have the most amazing eyelashes! :-)

Michele from FTHS said...

Again, you all are in my thoughts. They get cuter every day. God bless.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUNTIE'S ANGELS...

Stay strong and together... You can and will do this... And those little loves will be little porkchops soon... :)

I Love You Guys.... :)
Auntie oxoxoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

OMG I forgot to congratulate Annaleigh on the nose... YES...

Love ya, Auntie :)
xoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Hey ya'll!! Even though this is a huge emoitional journey, you two are so strong and are being amazing parents already!! The babies are precious and are going to be great!! You two seem to be a very good team and will be taking these little sweeties home before you know it!!

Crystal and Brian Boudreaux

Michelle said...

I am first time commenter but realized that I need to come out and show you my support! I will continue to keep you and your babies in my thoughts and prayers. I just know that they will pull through the tough times and be home, strong and happy babies before you know it. Thank you for all of the updates. It is amazing to read your story. God Bless!

Kristi said...

I so vividly remember those days where we were just waiting for the bottom to drop out. We of course were praying that it wouldn't, but were always on edge that it would.

The very first time they let me do kangaroo care with Elijah, the nurse literally had just placed him on my chest- I was in heaven! The NICU doc walks into the nicu and informs me that Rowan has NEC. The extreme ups and downs in the nicu with 3 little ones is so hard to handle at times.

I'll be praying extra hard tonight that Annaleigh just has a small infection that the meds are already taking care of, and pray that NEC stays away from her (and the rest of the babies).

Don't ever give up hope. Praying for you as always,

Kristi from TC
Mommy to triplets born at 26w2d

Hopeful34 said...

I am so happy to hear that the babies are doing great. Happy Birthday little ones. You are all in my thoughts & prayers.

Anonymous said...

You all are so amazing. Somehow you're getting though all of this with such strength. In the end, when you have your "big fat babies" it'll all be well worth it. The pictures are adorable. The one with Lily being bashful and the one the other day of Charlie opening his eyes-- wow. What moments to capture. I'm sure they'll appreciate all of these naked pictures one day as they are whipped out at their high school graduation or some such occasion like that! And Annaleigh is beautiful-- why is it that that nose looks so cute on her.... :) LOL. Anyway, continued thoughts and prayers for the five of you. Keep in mind that we don't live too far from New Brunswick and the door is always open for you!

Cheryl

Patte said...

Happy 1 week birthday to the three little darlings - just think, the whole country celebrated with all of you! Fireworks galore. I can only imagine how hectic your daily schedule has become; know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am on my way to mass at 10 and I will remember each of you. God Bless! Patte

gmugrad said...

Brooke and Joe your little ones your little ones are in or thoughts and prayers. Belle asked if she could light a candle for her new best friends Lilly, charlie, and Anna. She came in this morning when I was reading your post and said on mommy those babies are so cute, I love them.

Joe I can tell you Belle thinks Charlie is really really cute :O)

Stay strong and let us know if you need anything.

Love
Jen

Marcie said...

Lily Bug? You are breaking a very hormonal pregnant woman down to the core. I find myself thinking about your family all the time. I've cried over, awed over and shared your blog often with my husband this past week. I dread the day I have to leave my precious babies in the NICU but just knowing we have these blessings to begin with should keep all of us going. You seem like such a strong family. And those babies are being strong for you too. I will continue all my prayers. Take care and know that when you are there with them that they definately know it-they know you, your voice, your touch and it will help them to grow.

Anonymous said...

happy one-week birthday, beautiful babies! praying for many many more days, weeks, months, and years and years of good health. D, i hate to tell you this, but i never thought you had a big nose. at any rate, i'm glad to hear that little Annaleigh looks like daddy! i think Charlie resembles you too in today's picture. i agree, Brooke, his eyebrows are absolutely precious! though i can't see his eyelashes too well from the pic. and LittleLilyLove is too cute--- she's just a little bit self-conscious!
love and prayers and more love,
nikki

Pamela said...

Thank you for the update. My little one also had stomach issues and was taken off of breastmilk and put on antibiotics - it was a long 3 days waiting for the results to come back. Thankfully hers was a simple fix - she still had a mucus plug and needed to poop. Hopefully you will get good news!

Happy 1 week birthdays babies!

madebymel said...

Awww Happy 1 Week Birthday Babies!

Stacie said...

Happy 1 week birthday, little ones! They are just adorable!

We remember all too well the emotional toll that the NICU can bring while our 28 weekers spent over 100 days each there. Sending strength your way and praying that your highs far outnumber the valleys in your NICU days ahead.

And sending extra special healing vibes to Annaleigh, too!

KCB said...

i just blew Charlie's photo up to full size on the monitor and showed it to Kat. She squealed with joy like he was a cookie. Tell him he's already got a line of girls, and to get out of the hospital already (and take his sisters with him). she also pointed and said BABA (baby, i think)! much love and smooches to all of you.

Katrina said...

Happy Birthday Babies!
It's amazing to me that I only know Brooke as a blogger because she makes/made good food and yummy treats, yet when I come here to catch up on things, I feel such emotions for ya'll!
Keep on and many thoughts and prayers!

J said...

Just wanted to say that I continue to pray for your precious family. If you get a chance and can find it, the May 18th issue of People magazine has a story about teenagers who were micro preemies at birth. They are all grown up now and are perfectly healthy and BIG, even those born as early as 23 weeks. Your babies will pull through this--there are so many people are praying for them! Hang in there.

J said...

Found the link to People. Here it is: http://www.childrensmn.org/web/whatsnew/184762.pdf

May it give you hope! :)

Cernanec Family said...

I am SO happy to read that you are making a point to go out to breakfast and visit with family. The NICU is so emotionally draining and it's just so important to have a sense of "normalcy" during this time. Enjoy it! As for your babies, remember that this rollercoaster ride is NORMAL. The infections are to be expected and often times you will never even find out what kind of infection your baby has. They just run their course and the antibiotics take care of everything. We have 29-weekers and now, at 8 months old, people can hardly believe they were even preemies. You'll get there, too! Oh, and all three of our girls were on vents for at least the first week. They were also put on and taken off of their feeds multiple times throughout their hospital stay. One of our girls didn't even start back up on feeds until the week before she came home...so like 35 weeks gestation! All three of ours received platelets, blood...the whole bit. So, again, all of this is very normal for preemies. Your babies are doing so well. I am looking forward to the day you announce their homecoming. It will be here before you know it!

Mom2Be said...

I'm sure your docs and nurses are aware of this, but WBC's go up in babies who are stressed out and your babies are obviously under stress with all the tests and difficulty breathing, etc. I hope your little one is okay anyway. Tell Brooke that I would love to hear all about Charlie's eyelashes and eyebrows. ; )