Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday, October 31st

Ainsley and Benson say "Happy Birthday, Aunt Liasa!"

Ainsley has continued to have very small amounts of blood in her stool. They did an x-ray last night and another one this afternoon which were normal. The doctor thinks she is having irritation from something and he feels it is most likely milk protein. He is putting her on Similac Alimentum formula which has polypeptides instead of proteins so it is easier to digest. He wants her to take that for "a few" days and then we can gradually transition back to breast milk and see how that goes. If she would start to have blood in her stool again it is possible she has a milk allergy. She could still breastfeed but I would have to cut dairy out of my diet. Hopefully we won't have to worry about any of this and we'll restart her on breast milk in a few days without problems. The doctor does still plan on discharging her tomorrow. We are of course excited but it is bittersweet leaving her brother here.

Benson is doing alright. He really hasn't seemed to make progress but also isn't getting any worse. Some feedings go well and others don't. We are still hoping that "the light bulb" will come on soon. We still feel he is refluxing, actually we know he is. You can sometimes see it come up into his mouth during his gavage feedings. However, the nurse told us they won't give them anything for it unless it is documented on a swallow study and Ben happened to NOT reflux during his 5-10 minute swallow study, though he does about every other time. Amy, the speech therapist did not stop by today so hopefully we will get to talk to her tomorrow.

I cannot believe tomorrow is November!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday, October 30th

Happy Halloween from Benson and Ainsley!

Ainsley has had a great day eating! She is now on the last "step" which is ad lib on demand. She has been doing very well and tonight was up to 5lbs 7.7oz! She may not go home tomorrow however because she has had a very small amount of blood in her stool. She has no other signs of any problem but they want to watch and make sure everything is alright. We are just watching her diapers very closely and hoping it resolves on its own. If not we may have to try some formula to see if that is changes anything. She also got her feeding tube out!

Benson has had a good day as well. He did well with his two attempts at bottling today and they are increasing him to 2-3 attempts per day now. Sometimes it goes better than others and we just keep praying it continues to improve. Tonight Ben weighed in at 5lbs 12.8oz!

They got these sweet onesies from Aunt Liasa - they say "Auntie gives the best candy" - so cute!

Great-Grandma Betty got to hold Ainsley for the first time!

And Grandma Barb held Ben for a little while.

Saturday, October 29th

The twins hope everyone had a good Saturday!

They have both had a good day! Ainsley has continued to eat well and the doctor changed her feedings to ad lib every three hours. This means she can eat what she wants on her three hour schedule with a minimum of 40ml. If she does well with this tomorrow he will change her to ad lib on demand meaning she can eat what she wants when she wants and if that goes well tomorrow she could go home Monday. Which seems CRAZY! Even if it isn't Monday she will likely be going home the early to middle part of this next week!

We still don't have any sort of schedule for Benson and are just trying to be patient while he figures this whole eating thing out. I think I mentioned yesterday he is bottling just twice a day this weekend and Amy, the speech therapist, will check with us on Monday to see how it has been going. I think he is making some small gains and will hopefully get there soon.

They both got mobiles for their cribs! They are pretty fun!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday, October 28th

Happy Friday!

I'm sure it seems weird how much I look forward to the weekends considering I'm not working right now. The twins and I are just so excited to have Daddy here for two whole days!

The speech therapist, Amy came down today and gave Ben his noon feeding. She tried a silicone nipple to give him a little more pressure on his palate and he seemed to do pretty well. We are going to bottle him 1-2 times per day this weekend and she'll check back with us Monday to see how it's going.

Ben gained weight last night and is now up to 5lbs 7.6oz!

Ainsley has had a good day and the doctor said she will likely be going home by the middle of next week! That is the first time anyone has really estimated when she would be going home so we are really excited for that. Just the fact that she is doing well enough they would even venture a guess is great! In case you are curious, when she does go home it will likely be before Ben goes home. She will be allowed to come back down with us everyday and hang out with her brother. They don't allow children in the NICU but they do make an exception for twins.

Ainsley also gained weight and is now up to 5lbs 4.6oz!

I didn't have my camera handy when Ben was making his cute faces tonight but I did snap a picture of each of them sleeping before we left for the night.



I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday, October 27th

We started this morning with a great report from the overnight nurse! Ainsley had taken two more full bottles! Benson bottled twice and took around 22-23ml each time (out of his 45ml).

AND they both gained weight! Benson is up to 5lbs 6oz and Ainsley is 5lbs 4oz.

Ben had his swallow study this morning. He did very well and didn't cry at all! The speech therapist could see (and showed me) how he isn't using his tongue properly to eat though he does with his pacifier. The underlying question is why this is the case but we might not be able to tell for sure. This afternoon the speech therapist came back with our plan. She is going to bring some different nipples to try tomorrow and watch him as he tries them. She may also show us some "exercises" to do to help improve his feedings.

I took this video today of Ainsley after she ate. She always makes the cutest faces after eating!

Ben makes some pretty darn cute faces too. I'll try to catch him tomorrow.

Yay for tomorrow being Friday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday, October 26th

Thank you all for the kind words yesterday. They really mean so much and help us get through!

Today Benson had his car seat test and passed!

Ben will have his swallow study tomorrow at 11:30am. Basically we will go down to radiology and they will give Ben a bottle with barium in it so they can use an x-ray to see how he swallows and hopefully identify any problems. He had a pretty rough feeding this morning at 9:00am. He spit up once during his gavage and seemed to be so uncomfortable while it was going in his tummy. He always seems uncomfortable but this time it was really bad which may have been due to the vitamins they gave him with his feeding. His car seat test was right after his feeding and he spit up as he was being put in his car seat. Since he had the vitamin drops (with iron) it was a lovely shade of green and it got ALL OVER his cute pumpkin outfit! I scrubbed it in the sink with dish soap but then thought that he'll never wear it again - Halloween is this weekend and it certainly won't fit next year - duh, Mom!

Ainsley has done a good job eating today and took full bottles at 6:00am, 9:00am and 6:00pm. I think three full bottles is a new record! She also did good on her partial bottles today, generally leaving only about 8ml.

That's about it for today. I hope everyone had a Happy Humpday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday, October 25th

The twins are two weeks old today! That also means they have been in the NICU two weeks. It has been an emotional day hitting that two week milestone here.

The neonatologist backed off Ainsley's feedings to 5 or 6 attempts at bottling per day to allow her to get some more rest and build up more strength. This was definitely a step backward on the trail to getting home which was very hard for us. We understand that there will be setbacks but it doesn't make it any easier when all we want is for our babies to be healthy and come home with us. Hopefully this will allow her to conserve more energy and gain more weight. As of last night she weighed 5lbs 1.4oz so she is back up to her birth weight.

The speech therapist came today to watch Benson eat. He really did a good job of showing her how he usually eats. He will be hungry so he'll take the bottle but then will only take about 5ml to 7ml, of which he seems to spit out about half. Then he'll stop swallowing and start to gag or cough. She also observed him sucking his pacifier which he does VERY well. She said his technique with that is great and if he took his bottle that some way he would be eating well. The question is why is he not wanting to take the bottle. At this point there is the possibility of reflux. Preemies have an increased likelihood of having reflux and the feeding tube holds open the sphincter at the top of his stomach which makes it easier to reflux. So he could be protecting himself from the pain of the reflux. Another possibility is that he is guarding his airway and for some reason is having trouble "getting it down the right tube." So he is going to have a swallow study either tomorrow or Thursday to try to learn more about what exactly he has going on. In the mean time we are doing mostly gavage feedings to avoid making him so uncomfortable. This will also allow him to get more rest and burn fewer calories. As of last night he was up to 5lbs 3.4oz (birth weight was 4lbs 15oz)!

We appreciate all thoughts and prayers as it is becoming harder to deal with having the babies in the NICU. We absolutely cannot wait to have them home. People comment that it will be harder when they're home as we won't have help to care for them. I have to disagree. To me it will be such a relief emotionally to have them at home. It is so draining to worry about them when we leave at night. It will be so much easier to rest during the day when they are resting and we are comfortable at home and not sitting on hard chairs or a bench and there aren't people coming in and out of the room every hour or more. I don't mean to complain but we are wearing out and I guess one of life's lessons is to ask for help when you need it. There isn't much you all can physically do but if you are inclined to pray for us or keep us in your thoughts we would very much appreciate it! Specifically we are praying that Ainsley will continue to grow and gain weight and that will help her to be able to eat better so she can come home. We pray the Benson will do the same and that the staff here will be able to learn from his swallow study so that we can help him to eat more comfortably. And lastly we pray for strength for Mom and Dad that we can be strong for the babies and take care of them the best we can!

After bath time tonight we had a little photo shoot. We HAD to get a couple pictures with the babies in their pumpkin outfits!

We love our little pumpkin butts!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, October 24th

This weekend went by WAY too fast! The twins and I were so glad to have Daddy here all day with us for a couple days. We miss him when he's at work!

Not too much exciting is happening today...yet, anyway! Both Ainsley and Benson are making small but steady improvements. This morning for their 9am feedings Ainsley took her whole bottle and Ben did a great job of remembering to swallow so he doesn't choke and gag.

Ainsley has also been "practicing" nursing and is doing pretty well. Benson is going to see the speech therapist which sounds funny but she is going to evaluate his swallowing/sucking/bottling technique. We think he may have some reflux going on or some issue that is delaying his bottle feeding. We will hopefully know more about that soon.

I haven't taken ANY pictures today so I apologize there is nothing fun to look at today but I promise I'll get something cute for tomorrow!

I cropped this one and made it black and white. I tried fitting it into a Halloween card to send out but couldn't get it to fit right. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

I hope everyone has a great night!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday, October 23rd

We've had a few small successes today! Ainsley had her car seat test. For those of you not familiar with this they put the baby in their car seat and put a monitor on them to watch their oxygen level. They have to sit in their car seat for an hour and maintain an acceptable oxygen level. The GREAT news is she PASSED!

Then she was pretty fussy before her 3:00pm feeding so I decided to try to nurse her for a few minutes just to work on latching and she really took to it! The nurse checked her tummy (using her feeding tube) and she took 12ml. We were pretty darn impressed. Then we thought she would be all tuckered out but she took most of her bottle too (minus the 12 we took out of it that she had already got from nursing).

{Ainsley during her car seat test}

I have been pretty anxious about how difficult it might be to switch them to nursing after they are getting bottles here. Unfortunately it isn't an option to do too much nursing because they are receiving fortified breast milk so they get a few extra calories added to their milk. If anyone has experience with this sort of situation please feel free to email me or send me a message on Facebook.

Benson has had a pretty relaxing day. He is still working on bottle feeding better and we can see that he is making progress. He is better at sucking but still forgets to swallow sometimes and he wears out pretty fast. We are being patient and hoping his sister will tell him what to do soon!

His success actually came last night though when he got weighed and was up to 5lbs! He is now officially over his birth weight of 4lbs 15oz!

{Ben relaxing}

Both babies are periodically spending more time awake either before or after feedings which is a good thing developmentally.

Thank you all for your sweet comments and thoughts and prayers! And how is tomorrow Monday already?! I hope everyone has a good week!

P.S. - We came home last night to these signs in our yard! Thanks, Mom!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday, October 22nd

It has been a good Saturday! Jeremy and I decided to try to get a little extra sleep this morning so we slept until 7:00am...well as much as one can sleep when pumping every three hours! It was much needed! We got down to the hospital about 8:30am and heard a great report about how the babies did overnight. They were both very content and Ainsley bottled well, though not quite the entire amount. Since we have been here she has finished TWO whole bottles! Benson has been doing well too. He still hasn't taken an entire bottle but we can see improvements and he seems to be working on his technique. He isn't leaking as much milk and seems to do better sucking. He likes to get ahead of himself though and forgets to swallow but he will figure it out with time.

Thanks to our nurse, Leanne, we had Hawkeye colors going on today!

Both babies got baths tonight and are smelling wonderful. Ben really hates baths, as well as diaper changes and having his clothes changed or removed. He really just likes to stay wrapped up and snuggly warm! Ainsley seems more laid back and really doesn't mind having her diaper or clothes changed.

Here's Ben and Mommy after his bath.

Here at the hospital they come around with a cart of movies you can check out and watch in your room so we picked one of those and are going to see if we can find some popcorn in the vending machine so we can have a "date night!"

Thank you all for your continued support! We hope you are having a fantastic weekend!

P.S. - I couldn't resist taking a picture of these adorable little toes this morning!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday, October 21st

Today was Dad's half day (half furlough day). We were so excited to see him at noon!

The babies have had a pretty relaxing day. Ainsley lost weight last night so we have decided to make sure we aren't pushing them too hard. We are only attempting to feed them by bottle if they are awake when it is time and giving us cues that they want to eat such as rooting or crying. This way they can conserve energy and use the calories they are getting to grow and develop more.

Ben had his feeding tube changed today so we snapped a couple quick pictures of him without that. I don't think he was feeling like a photo shoot though...

He gets those worry lines from his Mom!

We thought Ainsley's hands folded on her chest were picture worthy.

The other exciting thing that happened today was that I went outside, during daylight hours, for the first time in a week! We have been getting up at 4:30am to be here before their 6:00am feeding and I don't go outside again until we leave after their 9:00pm feeding which ends up being after 10:00pm. I was very glad to get a little sunshine and Vitamin D!

While we are doing really well and we are so happy with the progress the babies are making it is still hard to have babies in the NICU. There are many emotional times during the day. We just have to remind ourselves that "this too shall pass." I'm sure we'll look back on this time and think how short it seems but right now it can be quite overwhelming. We appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers - they really do help get us through!

We would like to wish a Happy Birthday to my Grandma Betty and Jeremy's cousin Tiffany!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday, October 20th

Ainsley and Benson and doing well. Today is another long conference day for Dad so they are missing him but we have had lots of help today. Grandpa Oran came up then Grandma Kelley and Grandpa Terry then Aunt Liasa between her classes then Grandma Barb! We are very thankful for all the help!

This morning we got here about 6:00am just in time for their feedings. Ainsley was MAD and ready to eat. She must have thought she was starved and she took her entire bottle! That was the first time since she has been at her goal feeds that she took an entire feed by mouth so we were pretty excited!

Ben has pretty consistently been taking about half of his feedings and getting the other half in his feeding tube.

Rounds are pretty boring for them. Everything else is great we are just waiting on them to decide they want to eat. We keep hearing that it is often like a light bulb gets turned on and all of the sudden they decide they want to eat. We are praying that this happens and they continue to do well and gain weight. All your prayers are appreciated too!

(Holding BOTH my babies is THE most amazing thing in the entire world!)

(These pictures are from yesterday. I didn't get many taken today.)

I know I always say this but we are so thankful for all our friends and family and even people we don't really know who read this who are thinking of our babies and praying for them. It really is overwhelming! I also want to say thank you for all the messages I receive and even though I haven't gotten to reply to many of them I read them and appreciate them so much!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday, October 19th

Sorry today's update is late! We forgot the diaper bag today which had the laptop in it. Hopefully the cuteness to follow makes up for it!

We'll start with Ainsley. She got her IV out today! They stopped it this morning and put a saline lock on it then after she had two good blood sugars they took it out. She is now only hooked up to her heart rate and respiration monitor like Benson. After her IV was out she got her first real bath, not just a bed bath.

After her bath we put a clean outfit on and had to accessorize. I realize this bow is RIDICULOUS but I still love it!

Here is a video of Ainsley sneezing - yes, I said sneezing. You all are going to get so sick of these videos of my kids doing totally boring things which I find amazingly entertaining!

Ben is getting his first real bath tomorrow. He tends to scream bloody murder when he just gets undressed so that should be interesting.

Here is a video of Ben going to town on his pacifier.

Both Benson and Ainsley are still working on eating. That is our biggest obstacle right now. They are often tired and don't want to eat at all or don't want to finish. They are both at their goals for feedings - Ben at 42ml every 3 hours and Ainsley at 40ml every 3 hours but they just can't get it all down by bottle - it's too much work. The nurse tonight said it takes about the same amount of energy for them to take a whole bottle as it does for us to run 5 miles and I don't remember the last time I did that so we really can't expect too much from them. It is just going to take time for them to develop more and gain those skills. We are praying for patience as we wait because we want them home so much.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday, October 18th

Small but good steps today! Ainlsey's bilirubin went down even further to 5 this morning so she is done with the bili light. Because she is done with that and has been maintaining her temperature she is now in a "big girl" crib!

She got to put on clothes for the first time and be swaddled. She seems to like being swaddled just like her brother.

She has been eating well and is tolerating her increased feeds very well. She is quite good at burping and I have to remember to do it right away when she finishes her bottle otherwise she has been known to burp on her own and spit up! Luckily neither one has been spitting up too much though so hopefully we won't have any issues with reflux.

Benson is doing good today too. He is still pretty sleepy and we are bottling every other feed and alternating with gavage (putting it in his feeding tube). His bilirubin went up a little today but not enough to put him under the bili light. They will continue to check it daily to watch it peak and then until it starts to decrease.

This evening we were moved to a new room. The NICU was overflowing so they moved us up to another floor in kind of a back-up space. They were very proficient at gathering everything up and moving it for us and making sure we had everything we need. Our new room is even bigger than the old one and we have a bigger window and a private bathroom. We joked that now we're in the penthouse suite!

All in all it has been a good day and Dad will be here soon - we missed him tonight since he had parent-teacher conferences until 8pm. We can't wait to see him!

As always, thank you all so much for all the continued prayers and support. We really can't thank you enough!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday, October 17th

Dad went back to work today. The babies miss him and so does Mom! We'll be glad when he can come down after work. This week he has conferences on Tuesday and Thursday so those will be pretty hard days since he'll be at work from 7am until 8pm. Anyone who thinks teachers don't work hard is crazy!

We are trying to figure out what our weekday routine will be. We will be getting up early and coming down to the hospital around 6am so Dad can spend a little time with the babies then get to work by 7am. I will stay here all day since I can't drive yet. Then when Jeremy gets off work he'll come back down and we'll stay, we're thinking, until 8pm or so.

Ainsley's bilirubin went down from 15 yesterday to 9 today. The Dr. said they'll keep her under the light all day today then probably turn it off tonight and recheck her level in the morning. She looks much better! She is up to 23ml per feeding and tolerating it well. She took her 6am, 9am, 12pm, and 3pm feedings all by mouth but as soon as Dad got here and tried to give her the 6pm feeding she decided she was too tired. She ate about half and got the other half through her feeding tube. We are still super proud of her effort today!

Benson is doing well also. Today they changed him to bottle feeding only four times per day and using his feeding tube the other times so that he can get a little more rest. He is still at 38ml per feeding and tolerating fairly well. He does better with breastmilk and seems to digest it more easily and has less residual before his next feeding. Hopefully my milk will continue to increase in volume so they both can get all breastmilk. I tried cluster pumping last night and pumped every hour x 3 then back to every 2 hours. That seemed to help some and I am currently at 30-40ml per pumping. I just can't keep up with these kids! Though it's a good thing that they are eating so well.

Dad and Ainsley getting some snuggle time this afternoon

I was trying out the video recorder on our camera and ended up with this video of Ben. It is totally boring and all he does in blink but I thought I'd post it anyway!

Ben and Ainsley wanted to say "Hi" to Great-Grandma Yenger since we heard she has Aunt Vickie read her this every night!

Thank you again to everyone for reading and keeping the twins in your thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday, October 16th

I couldn't help but start with this picture! Miss Ainsley is having a pretty good day. She has spent the day "suntanning" because she has jaundice.

Her headband is holding her "sunglasses" in place :)

She is up to 14ml every three hours. They are increasing her feeds every shift which basically equates to every eight hours or three times per day. She is tolerating her feeds pretty well and *usually* doesn't have any residuals before her next feed. She does especially well digesting if she is on her tummy. I'm not sure if that is pretty common for all babies or not. Ainsley also tried nursing today and she did really well for her first time! She latched and did a little sucking but was a little grumpy about it being so much harder than her bottle. I think it will get easier though and I'm continuing to pump every two hours to try to keep up with her and her brother!

Benson is just chug-a-lugging along. He is up to 38ml every three hours. He has also been getting all breastmilk and I am not going to be able to keep up much longer with what I am currently getting each time so I think tonight he will have to get part formula again. Otherwise, not much else is new for him. He has been feeding pretty well from the bottle. I would say about every other time or every third time right now he has some left over we put in his feeding tube but it's not usually more than 5ml to 7ml. It just depends on how sleepy he is. He also has been practicing nursing and he isn't quite as good as his sister, yet anyway. His sucking seems to be getting stronger every day though so I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

I think that's it for now. I am thankful for the opportunity to do this blog and to keep all our family and friends updated. We have been overwhelmed by everyone who is interested in how our babies are doing and we are more than happy to share with all of you! Thank you all for your continued support and prayers!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday, October 15th

Today has been a good day! We slept at home last night and came down to the hospital about 7:30am. Ben was too tired to eat during the night so he took his feedings through his feeding tube. The nurse that was here overnight reported that Ainsley was very content all night and had just started to wake up more and get a little fussy.

All day today we have bottle-fed Ben and he is up to 35ml every 3 hours. He gets most of it down and usually leaves between 6ml and 10ml to put into his tube. They also check how much is left in his stomach from the previous feed before we start each new one. It is a little gross but they do this by putting a syringe on the end of the feeding tube and pulling back up the stomach contents. They can also pull any air/gas out of the stomach this way. He usually starts out eating pretty well then gets tired at the end and can't quite finish. This is perfectly fine at this point and we are letting him decide how much of the work he wants to do and we'll do the rest.

Ainsley is still getting 8ml in her feeding tube every three hours. She will go up to 11ml tonight. She was not digesting her formula very well so at this point she is on breastmilk only and she is not having any residual left in her stomach before her next feeding. This also means she is hogging all the "good food" from her brother. Hopefully I will eventually have enough milk for both of them! The other big news for Ainsley is that she got her nasal cannula off today. She is now breating completely on her own with NO help! Her oxygen saturations have stayed where they should be so she is doing great with that!

Now the goal for both is really to continue to eat well and get plenty of rest so they can GROW!

First Bow!

First Family Photo!

Thanks again for all your thoughts and prayers!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday, October 14th

Today started out a little rough. We went to see the babies and feed Ben at 5am. Ben didn't want to take his 2am feeding so they had to put a feeding tube in. We knew this was a possibility but he had been doing really well so it was disappointing and Mom had her first tears in the NICU. However the emotions were short lived and when we came back for his 8am feeding he took it all by mouth. He has kept up the feedings all day and the feeding tube is there for "back up" in case he gets too worn out to eat. We have really been leaving him alone in an effort to not get him too tired. We try just to hold him to feed him and then maybe a few minutes longer. He seems to get more rest in his crib. He got his IV out today so he is now only connected to his heart rate and respiration monitor which will stay on until he goes home. His main goals right now are to continue to eat well and rest so he can grow!

Ainsley has had a pretty eventful day as well. She was holding steady this morning and did not really have any changes but when we came back to the hospital this afternoon the room was strangely quite...because she got her CPAP off! She is now on oxygen through her nose. Since she got rid of the CPAP she got her umbilical line out and we got to hold her for the first time - so AMAZING! We also got to feed her. She started at 5ml and got 1ml of breastmilk and 4ml of formula. She did quite well for her first ever feeding. We are also trying not to stimulate her too much so we enjoyed holding her for awhile but are now letting her rest most of the time in her bed.

Here she is after the CPAP was removed and before she got her nasal cannula.

Here's Mom getting to hold her for the first time!

Holding hands

Dad giving Ainsley her first bottle

We had to limit visitors a little bit to no more than two at a time and not more than about 30-45 minutes. It's hard because we want everyone to be able to love on them but we understand they need to rest so they can grow and do their best.

I was discharged today. They were completely full and asked if I would want to leave a little early. I was totally up for that since I wanted to get stuff moved around and settled into the babies' room. Since we got out by 11am we got a $30 gift card to Target - CRAZY! But awesome! We took some stuff home and started a load of laundry. Well, Jeremy started the laundry and I took an hour nap. Then we stopped at Target and came back down to the hospital. We are going to sleep at home and be here during the days. The bed in the room is NOT comfortable.

We are feeling pretty good although tired and I'm still pretty sore. We are trying to remember to take care of ourselves too which is probably the hardest part. Who ever thought it would be so hard to remember to eat?

Again we want to thank everyone for all your support and thoughts and prayers. They are working!! Praise God for these two amazing miracles!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday, October 13th

I am going to try to do regular updates through the blog while the kids are in the NICU.

Today has been a good day so far. We went over to the NICU at 5am to feed Ben and check on Ainsley. Ben is doing very well with his feedings so far and they are starting to increase them. They started at 10ml every 3 hours and are going to increase by 5ml every 12 hours assuming he tolerates it. I'm not sure what his goal is right now though it will increase as his weight increases. He is likely getting his IV out today and can get rid of his pulse oximeter so that is two less wires! He is hard to get dressed and undressed anyway because as soon as you unswaddle him he starts flailing like crazy but with all his wires it is even harder. We'll be glad to see those go completely! Ben also got a "big boy crib" last night. He is maintaining his temperature so he didn't need the warmer anymore.

Ben likes to keep a good grip on that paci

Mom and Ben

Ainlsey is doing pretty well also. They had to turn up her oxygen on her CPAP again last night which was a little disappointing. However when we went over this morning she was doing SO well. Her respirations are down from 90-100/minute to 30-50/minute (based on what I see on her monitors when I'm in there). She is working WAY less hard to breath. It was so hard to watch her breath before because it was so fast and labored. It wore me out just to watch! When her doctor came in around 11:30am he was not happy with how long it was taking her to get off the CPAP and he just thought she should be getting better faster. Because of this they decided to give her some surfactant. To do this they had to put her on a ventilator, get the surfactant into the lungs, and then try to get her back on the CPAP. They have to give some sedating medicine to get her on the ventilator so then it can sometimes be a little hard to get babies back off, so they warned us that she could be on a ventilator for awhile. However, this wasn't the case with her - she did awesome! She went right back on the CPAP and they have steadily been decreasing it since the procedure. Right now she is on room air through the CPAP. Hopefully later she'll be able to try breathing without the CPAP though they said she will need some oxygen - I'm assuming just through a nasal cannula. Once we get off the CPAP, it is my understanding that the umbilical line can come out and then we can hold her. She can also start eating at that point. Right now she is getting her nutrition through her IV.

Miss Ainsley

Here are some pictures of Ben with our visitors. We are trying to be patient while we wait for Ainsley to be able to be held so we can get some more pictures with her!

Aunt Liasa and Ben

Grandma Barb and Ben

Grandma Kelley and Grandpa Terry with Ben