Saturday, May 12, 2012

3 week update!

The babies are all doing great! No big changes lately, Abby came off of her PICC line the day the boys did, which surprised us since we thought it would be a few days later. The plan is to try and get all babies off of their CPAPs this coming week. The doc says its not unusual for them to need to go back on them, but they want to see if they can go without it. I think Allie and Corbin may do okay without it, but I'm not sure about Abby and Carson, they are a little behind the other 2 in the breathing department. I can't wait to fully see their beautiful little faces! The babies all have heart murmurs, but the murmurs are not effecting anything else, so they are leaving them be. The doc says they are sounding better and will probably resolve on their own.

The babies are getting bigger and packing on the pounds (well, ounces) slowly but surely! Here are their 3 week weights:

Abby-3 pounds 2 ounces (up 12 ounces from birth weight)
Allie- 3 pounds 7 ounces (up 10 ounces from birth weight)
Corbin- 3 pounds 14 ounces (up 1 pound 1 ounce from birth weight)
Carson- 3 pounds 10 ounces (up 15 ounces from birth weight)

To me they look so different and they look chubbier to me, but I know to everyone else they still look like tiny, skinny little things! I will get some new pictures up with the next post.

We asked the doctor a few days ago what to expect as far as when we might know if the babies will have any long term disabilities. He told us that with the way our babies are doing and how they are acting, that we should have a very low concern for any long term major issues. I instantly cried upon hearing that, those are definitely some of the best words I have ever heard in my entire life! We of course know that there is still a chance of long term problems just because they were so premature, but just to hear him give us that hope was amazing!!

Larry has started putting together the babies cribs and other furniture. He just had to start doing it, because if it were up to me, I probably would have waited until the day before one was coming home. It's been a hard thing for me to transition from being so scared that I would not come home with 4 babies, to probably coming home with 4 babies! I'm still a little nervous about it all, but I need to get over it and just get everything ready for my sweet little ones, because they will be home before we know it! Ella has been a big girl giving up her bedroom to the baby girls (I wanted both nurseries to be side by side for convenience), and she is moving down the hall to the bedroom by the playroom. She is excited to get a new big girl room, now to figure out how we are going to decorate it for her!

So it's looking like we may just have feeders/growers on our hands, thank you LORD for that! Some days I just can not believe how incredibly blessed and lucky we are. Our story could be SO vastly different, and why God chose us to have all 5 of our beautiful children I will probably never know, but I am so thankful that He did. I never thought I wanted more than 2 or 3 children, but now, I can't imagine our life any other way. It will get crazy around here, but I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cue the mommy guilt

I think it's seriously going to eat me alive. I was okay the first week or so, even though it was so hard to see my tiny babies fighting for their lives, I was also just so relieved and thankful that they were doing better than I had expected. Once everything calmed down a bit, it just started hitting me. If I could have just carried them a couple weeks longer. Or a week. Or just anything more. Or maybe if I would have done something different, maybe I could have stayed pregnant longer. If I would have asked for more help with Ella in the beginning, maybe my cervix wouldn't have shortened so quickly. There are just a million and one scenarios that go through my head on a regular basis. Throughout my pregnancy I prepared myself for the worse case scenarios but hoped and prayed for the best. I am glad that I did that, because now that things are better than what I expected, I really do believe that it is easier for me to deal with. But that still doesn't make it easy to see my babies the way that they are. I am angry at my body. I am angry that I couldn't get pregnant, and then even worse, I couldn't carry them longer. LOGICALLY, I know I did what I could, but emotionally it just doesn't matter. These are our babies, and I just want them to be okay. I don't think I will ever be able to forgive myself if they are not. They are doing so good but I am just so scared something is going to sneak up on us out of no where. Okay, I am done venting now... it feels good to just let that out, hopefully I will find a way to manage all of it soon before I end up in a mental institution. ;) Onto some better and more positive news....

Like I mentioned above, the babies are doing so well! They have all gained back to their birth weight and past it. They are all having the typical preemie A's & B's (apnea which is when they stop breathing, and bradycardia which is where their heart rates drop really low), but they are starting to recover from them themselves instead of having to be stimulated, which is a good thing!

Abby is going backwards a bit here lately, but as I have been told, this whole NICU thing is a one step forward two steps back deal. Her CPAP settings had to be bumped from a 6 to an 8 (the smaller the number the better, 5 is as low as they set it), and she had to go up a bit on her oxygen and is at about 25% (21% is room air). She was having a little more trouble with her feeds, her residuals (milk left in her belly after a feed) were almost the whole feeds, so they changed her feeds from every 3 hours to 6. She did better with that, so now they are trying her on every 4 hours. Fingers crossed that she does well with that so she can go back to every 3. Our big thing right now is getting them to full feeds for their weights so that their PICC lines can come out. We want the PICC lines out to lower their risk of infection, and also for the obvious reason of there being one less tube/wire/line to mess with and worry about! Her head ultrasound came back clean for brain bleeds which is awesome! Even though she is lagging behind her brothers and sister, she is a feisty little thing and she is going to be the BOSS out of the bunch!

Allie is doing great! She is doing the best out of all of our babies. She is the only one who didn't need intubated for a dose of surfactant in the beginning. Her CPAP is on a 6 and she is on room air. She is up to full feeds which I believe are 23cc every 3 hours, they base them off of their weight. Her lipids, TPN, and PICC line (IV) got to be discontinued yesterday, and that makes us really happy! Her head ultrasound also came back clean for any brain bleeds, woohoo! She is also super feisty like her sister (both of them!), it is amazing the cries they can put out being so tiny!!

Corbin is doing great as well, he is our little chunker (well, in his own little preemie way!) and yesterday was up to 3 pounds 3 ounces! His CPAP is also on a 6 and he is on room air mostly but occasionally requires a bump up to 22-23% oxygen. He also got to have his lipids, TPN, and PICC line discontinued today, which means he is up to full feeds as well! His head ultrasound did show a grade 1 brain bleed, but this is the least severe bleed, and as long as it doesn't get worse we should be in good shape. They will do a follow up ultrasound in a few weeks. He is more laid back than the other babies, and he cries the least. I think he is going to be a lot like Larry, just chill and won't let much bother him. He loves to lay all stretched out, he is happy to have some room finally!

Carson is also doing well. CPAP setting of 6 and he is on about 23% oxygen. He also is up to full feeds and got to get his lipids and TPN discontinued as well as his PICC line today. He also has a grade 1 brain bleed, but just like Corbin's, if it doesn't get worse it should be okay. I can already tell that he is going to be a big Momma's boy. I can't explain it, I just feel it! And heaven forbid if the boy has a wet or dirty diaper, he totally freaks out!

I am so proud of them, they are doing so great right now. So is Ella, she is just taking it all so well and she loves being a big sister! The nurse told her she was a princess yesterday (which she usually calls herself a princess all the time), and she told her "No, I not a princess, I'm a big sister!'. Lol. But we will see how she does when they come home, I'm afraid it will be a whole new ballgame then! She does get a tad jealous. She did really well while I held Corbin yesterday, and she sat by me and talked to him. But as soon as we put him back in the bed, she wanted to be rocked like a tiny baby. Haha But that's okay, more snuggles for me!

We really appreciate continued prayers for our little fighters. Unfortunately things could change at anytime, but we are hoping and praying that they continue on the road they are on. A million times a day we thank our lucky stars that they are doing so well. It's so amazing how a mommy's heart (and daddy's!) can hold SO much love! We are so extremely blessed!