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Monday, August 13, 2012

My 8-year old vision...


The babies will be 4 weeks old tomorrow!  Wow, amazing how time has flown!  Right now feels like the middle of a long race.  The kids are not at the beginning of their NICU experience with lots of uncertains and new obstacles ahead, but we are not at the point where we can see the end in sight, either.  Each day I go in to the NICU room, the babies seem to be "status quo".  We just keep "running the race"...
Lauren saying "hi"

Hannah snoozing when she was off CPAP.  Pretty face!

Unfortunately, all are back on CPAP.  Boo!  Tyler and Hannah went back on it a few days after my last posting.  They are all mostly breathing room air (21% oxygen) and all are "close" to going off CPAP, but not quite there yet.  They still have too many "alarms" and bradycardia's right now (a slow heart rate, usually after a short time of not breathing).  While this is normal for preemies, it is not safe to take them off CPAP too soon.  All are tolerating good sized feeds & growing well.  They are 32 weeks gestation now, which means that once they are off CPAP we can start introducing bottles and breast.  I have heard this next phase will be somewhat frustrating as kids often go 4 steps forward one day and 5 steps back the next.  Good to know...!  (but can't wait to be there, either!!)
Such tiny little precious babies...
Tanner getting some serious zzzzz's
Tyler throwing up his hands in frustration of having to get the CPAP contraption on his face & in his nostrils again

 We are back from vacation and back to the new normal, which is still a day by day process.  Every day looks different, I try to balance home life and taking care of Jenna with Andy's schedule and work.  Some days it's harder than others!  I really desire (and really feel like it's more of a NEED!) to hold a baby each day.  Even this way, I only am able to hold each baby every 4 days.  But unfortunately, sometimes even this seems difficult to do.  I need to carve out at least 3 or 4 hours to go to the hospital (if I hold a baby, which like I said, is basically a NEED for me right now!).

 This is why it takes so long:  it takes about 45 minutes to go from my home to inside the hospital room.  Each baby is on a 3-hour care schedule, the girls and the boys an hour different (boys 8, 11, 2, & 5 o'clock; girls 9, 12, 3, & 6 o'clock).  Because their little bodies and sensory systems are so underdeveloped, I need to plan a holding time around the care times to make as little fuss for their bodies as possible.  Then, once I have the nurse help me get the baby untangled from all the wires and in a holding position in one of the NICU recliners, I hold skin-to-skin for at least an hour (recommended time by NICU & loved by mom).  Then, I need help from the nurse to put the baby back (really to hold the CPAP tubes so it doesn't jam up their nose!).  We share a room with 2 other babies, and if they are caring for another baby I need to wait patiently until my nurse is available.  I also like to care for the other babies if I can (I love changing their diapers and tending to their needs!).  With 4 babies, it just takes way more time!  Finally, I like to say "good bye" to the babies before I leave.  So this whole process typically takes at least 3 hours.  Jenna can't sustain being there that long (can't blame her!) and the babies are too fragile to allow her to hold them yet, so it is a balance act.  One I don't feel too good at yet!
Daddy checking in on Tanner
Daddy saying "hi" to Lauren.  See her tiny little hand?  All kids are still in covered isolettes until they can regulate their body temperature.
Thank you all so much for your continued support and prayers.  People continue to amaze us with their kindness and help.  I don't think we will ever be able to thank everyone enough!  Especially astonishing to us are all those of you who we may not know well or have never met, but still pray for our family!  Our Multiples Journey is far from over, but thank you so much.  We really appreciate it!

To end this post, I have something that just makes me laugh.  It is a drawing I made when I was 8 years old and my mom saved in my baby book.  It must have been from school, the topic being what you want to be when you grow up.  Apparently when I grow up I will have lovely long yellow hair.  I list many potential future occupations, some very interesting (labeled #1, 2, 3 & 4).  Look at my #1 choice---"First I want to be a mommy." 

Look carefully at the picture I drew:  is that a 5-child bunk bed, with an older child at the top and 4 babies below?  I think so!!!!!! 

God knows the desires of our hearts... LOL!




  1. Oh Becky, I can really relate to the process of visiting and holding in the nicu. I struggle too getting my "fix" of holding everyone and doing cares. I am finding that even though things are going well, nicu life is just plain taxing. Today I had a cry with our nurses and neo. It was embarrassing, but cathartic. I finished they day with retail therapy at target :)

  2. Ps, what a cute picture, and how funny you drew bunks for five! What a prophecy.

  3. Becky yes the days of waiting and just status quo are not always fun, but better than some of the alternatives of which you are list as being grateful for. I am glad they are all doing so well. They are beautiful and so cute. You will never be without someone to cuddle in your house soon.

    I love the picture that is awesome. And yes the desires of our heart are obvious sometimes even when we ourselves do not remember them. It is wonderful that we get the chance to see them come to fruition though and even more so when it is shown to us that we knew what we wanted from the start.

    Still keeping you guys in my prayers. =D

  4. Becky -
    Even though we haven't offically met yet, I wanted to let you know how much inspiration you and Andy have given me. You spoke about being amazed by the support you have been given when in fact you are doing that for so many! My prayers continue for you and your family each day.
    -Lisa Rule

  5. You are super mom!! It's so not easy juggling NICU life with an older child. Okay, it's so not easy juggling NICU life, period! But you are doing amazing! The babies are so cute and growing well! I know it's a little discouraging going back on CPAP, mine were all off a couple days and then all had to go back on as well for another week or so. Once those CPAPs are off though it's so much easier to just pick them up and snuggle them!

    I LOVE that picture!! How neat is that to have, you should frame it! My niece just graduated nursing school and she had drawn a pic when she was little saying she wanted to be a "nerse" when she grew up, so her mom had it framed for her. :) Anyways, the part where you want to be a champion and you are booing out the loosers cracks me up!!

    Keep on going momma, you are doing GREAT!