Saturday, September 10, 2011

We Figured This Was Coming

(Just a note, I started this as a draft on Friday and am now finishing on Saturday)

So, today our babies are 32 weeks old.  It's still a little difficult to think of them as two and a half weeks old since, to me, it still makes sense to track them by their gestational age.  Well, it's easier for me at least. 

Sophia and Madelyn are making excellent progress.  Sophia is completely off of her nasal cannula and only has her NG tube left to go!  She looks like such a different baby now because you can completely see her face.  She's so beautiful.

One of my other beautiful girls, Madelyn, finally reached the 3 lb mark!  Even though she weighs an ounce more than Sophia, to my eyes, she still looks a good bit smaller.  It could just be that daddy isn't an expert at this yet (or that I'm more tired lately).  She, too, just had her nasal cannula removed and is breathing on room air.  For some reason, they don't have her in clothes yet like Sophia, but I have to believe it's not too far off in the future.

My last beautiful girl, Isabelle, was breathing through the nasal cannula the last few days, but unfortunately, had to have her breathing tube re-inserted last night.  Her belly really started expanding again and they needed to intubate her before they could put her back on the fentanyl drip.  At this point, it's become painfully obvious that the bowel perforation isn't going to heal itself.  The most difficult issue for the doctors right now is not being able to actually see what's going on.  They can see if there are air pockets both in and outside the bowel, but they can't see what's causing it or how to fix it until they go in for a closer look.  I asked about a scope, but because her intestines could be so fragile and they would still have to open her up to fix anything, it looks as if she's heading to surgery tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 7:30am. 

We've been told that the issue isn't typically life-threatening, but we were also made aware today that there is a slight possibility that they could get in there and find that it may be more than just one perforation--it could be multiple--or she could actually have NEC.  Although it's very rare, they could get in there and find that there is just too much dead tissue for her to sustain life, meaning there would have to be almost no living bowel left.  The doctor didn't tell us this to make us worry, we're just the type of parents who like to talk through everything and understand all of the possible outcomes.  To take it a step further, I'm not sharing this with you to make you all worry, but I figure we may receive questions about the possible outcomes and complications so I thought I'd prep you up front.  We're on our way to the NICU for some family time and I don't expect any major updates this evening.  We have an early and long day ahead of us tomorrow and I'll do my best to share what's going on as soon as we know.  If I could bother you to say an additional prayer for her again, it would be much appreciated.

Meg and I also wanted to say a big "THANK YOU!" to everyone for all of the e-mails, texts, phone calls, cards, and gifts.  We've been so busy over the last few weeks and I was worried that if we weren't able to respond to all of your kindness that you might think it went unnoticed or unappreciated.  Well, that's not the case.  The notes I receive daily lets us know just how much you all care about us and our girls.  We will never be able to thank you all enough, but I want to make sure you know that the support, prayers, and kind words that you provide help us get through each and every day.

While all of the gifts we've received have been amazing, I have to give an award for the most creatively presented gift (Thanks Gina!).  We received this package in the mail yesterday and we just thought it was adorable how each of the dolls came with their own onsies and how each were wrapped in their own receiving blanket.  Excellent presentation!  If you notice, two of the dolls are identical and one is fraternal, just like our girls :)

Madelyn with her doll

Isabelle with her doll

Sophia with her doll

We also wanted to share more photos of our experience in the NICU, since we spend so much of our time there. Also, one of our Marvelous Multiples nurse instructors asked if I could take more photos and allow her to share them with expecting multiples couples who will most likely be visiting the NICU sometime during their hospital stay. I'm a photographer, so of course I said "yes!"

This is one of the isolettes, Madelyn's.

This is Izzy's ventilator machine.

Here's Nurse Jennifer taking care of Isabelle.

This monitor has the ability to make your heart race and your mind panic!

These IV stands keep the fluids flowing. That's a Total Preemie Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) bag.

Here's Isabelle getting a blood transfusion.


  1. Just one note, it's "Total Parenteral Nutrition", not "total preemie nutrition".

    I'm sorry that you're going through all this with Izzie - I know this is so scary. She, and all of you, continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so glad that you're seeing progress with the others.

    Your girls are so beautiful and your pictures of the NICU experience are truly wonderful.

  2. I remember the very scary but rewarding rollercoaster 'two steps forward, one step back' of the NICU. Your family is incredible and I'm sure you have noticed just how strong your little preemies are! Best of luck with little Izzy for tomorrow and sending lots of love and prayers all the way from Brisbane, Australia.

  3. Thank you for updating, I was getting very worried. Our prayers will be with you and your family tomorrow from New Mexico! We had twins who spent many days in the NICU and had many, many ups and downs after a long battle with TTTS. I feel everyone who experiences it is somehow connected.

  4. I'll be praying for little Isabella! I will be thinking of you all tomorrow...stay strong Isabella!!