Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 4th- 36 weeks gestation

Wow! I can't believe the girls would have been full term as of today but are actually 6 weeks and 3 days old!! They continue to just amaze the pants off me everyday! They are so beautiful and I am so proud of all they have done and continue to do each day! They started taking bottles a week ago and just love it! Anabell totally overdid it the first day and took all of her feeding 3 times in a row but then slept straight through the next couple. They had to cut her off and limit her to once a shift so she wouldn't wipe herself out! On Friday they took that restriction off and she can now do a couple bottles a shift if she is awake and interested. Isabell took right to it also and had to be cut off too! I think they realized now it wasn't a special treat and they will get offered it more often so they don't have to guzzle it everytime they try because now they take about half the feeding by bottle and end up getting the other half by tube. Both of them have been going back and forth between 20-60% of their feedings by mouth each day. Either way, totally wonderful! That is pretty much the last thing they need to do before going home is take all their feedings by mouth! Our goal is to be home by Thanksgiving and most the doctors seem to agree, now we just have to be sure the girls are on board! I had one doctor tell us likely between 36 and 37 weeks but I don't see them coming home this week unless they just start pounding the bottles. They have a little work but we don't want to rush them, we want them to be ready when they do come home! 
Both of them are in cribs this week also! Anabell has been in one for a couple weeks but Isabell finally got out of her incubator! Both of them have to have their cribs tilted at about a 45 degree angle to help with their reflux. Due to the angle they each have what is called a johnny sling that holds them at that angle. Otherwise they would slide right down to the bottom of their crib! They both kind of like the sling because it keeps them all bundled up like a cocoon.
Jim and I have both been sick for the last week which has been devastating for me!! I had to miss going to the hospital for the first time one day and it crushed me! Not to mention I spent most the week when I did go to the hospital not even touching the girls because I was so scared to touch them which was just as miserable for all of us! The girls cried quite a few times because they didn't understand why they could hear my voice and see me but I wouldn't hold them! They are such snugglers and they were so disappointed! The only extremely minor plus side was it gave us all a break from breastfeeding which ended up being good for all of us. We finally tried breastfeeding again on Friday and it went better than expected! Isabell, who had pretty much quit even attempting to suck went to town!! I swear she took half her feeding but when we weighed her it only showed up as 4 ml. and even the nurse thought that was pretty low for what it looked like she was getting! Anabell tried but after getting the bottle she was disappointed by not getting immediate results. She didn't end up getting any but she did try a little. Being I'm on the upswing and getting better I hope to work on breastfeeding a little more again this week. Although, I'm not really disappointed if they don't take to it and I just have to pump and give them bottles. I like that if we do it that way I can see how much food they are actually getting. Plus then Jim can help feed them, they will have to do it that way when I go back to work, and I will have to pump after each feeding anyways. I know putting them to breast is huge for bonding but the girls and I are just as happy doing kangaroo care and there is no reason we can't continue that for a couple months. Either way, we will just see how it goes, if they decide they like going to breast I am still completely open to it, I just don't want to stress us all out pushing it too hard.
I have been keeping it a secret for a couple weeks but I was so ecstatic about their Halloween costumes!! I read online and thought it was the most clever thing ever, but we got their costumes from the Build A Bear Workshop!! They were adorable, affordable, and fit perfect!! I knew I wanted them to be Disney Princesses, I mean they are little girls, and I'm a Disney freak so what else would I do?! So I ended up getting Snow White and Cinderella!! The hard part was deciding who would be who! Finally we decided since Anabell loves eating so much she would have obviously eaten the apple, so she must be Snow White!! Everything they have to do Isabell just seems to have to work twice as hard, so Cinderella made sense for her too! Maybe not the best logic, but it worked! They were so cute and all the nurses just gushed over them!! I felt a little like I was torturing them when we got them dressed up though! Plus they both just seemed to hate it!! They kept covering their faces when I was taking pictures and all I could think was they were so embarrassed they didn't want proof!
We had our first baby shower yesterday with Jim's family that was so wonderful! I couldn't believe all the wonderful things we got! Especially his 2 aunts put so much effort into finding them the best car seats you can find! I was so impressed and grateful! We really felt a lot of pressure to put together a registry and didn't have much time to do a lot of research so it meant so much that somebody else was willing to put our girls safety so high on their priority list when they are the most important things in our lives! Everyone was just so wonderful and we feel so blessed to have so many people that care so much about our girls! Jim's family from Iowa that came up and 1 of his other aunts came to the hospital after the shower and got to meet and snuggle with the girls! The girls loved it!! Like I said they are such snugglers, they don't care who it is they are just happy as can be when anyone holds them so they just loved it! I know especially for Jim's family them being twins is pretty sentimental since his grandma was a twin and they are named after her and her sister. I just love that pretty much everyone that meets them starts to tear up and is so in awe of them! Then I ask if they want to hold them and everyone always says no way they are too small I don't want to hurt them! Then I make them hold them anyways!! (Not just Jim's family, EVERYONE does this!) Just so everyone doesn't think I'm crazy, keep in mind they are on so many monitors, if anything happens we will know immediately and we aren't worried about it. When they come home, that will probably change and we won't want anyone to touch them since we won't have the reassurance of the monitors! Along with everyone has to wash their hands and everything, and I absolutely don't want them to get sick, but if they are going to they are in the right place. I also don't want them to come home and immediately be exposed to reality and immediately get sick and us have to try and figure it all out at home. Plus we know everyone wants to see the girls and who doesn't want to hold a baby the second you see one?! Maybe it is just us thinking they are so special we just want to force their specialness on everyone else too?!
Well that's the news! Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween, Deer Opener and weekend in general! As always, God bless!

Love- Heather, Jim, Anabell and Isabell

Jim's first time holding both! 

First family photo!

Anabell: "Hmm, I dunno bout this mom!" Isabell: "OMG Mom! Stop!"

"Really Mom?!"

They obviously can't have candy, but a nurse came around and gave them each little trick or treat bags with a stuffed animal!

Anabell as Snow White!

Isabell was SO mad!

But she was pretty happy, loving being a princess before she got mad!

"Mom! Save me!"

Isabell as Cinderella!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 24th- Rollercoaster continues

So after going to a wedding for my cousin this last weekend and having relatives I barely know tell me how much they love this blog... I apologize for taking so long to update!!! It blows my mind how many people really actually read this! I love it because its like a journal to vent all my feelings but I really didn't think people would read it after the first couple days, but I am always getting compliments on it! So thank you to all of you! If so many of you weren't reading we wouldn't have half the prayers we have and who knows where we would be! Above all that is what we are most grateful for and all we can truly ask for!

Now, for what you have all been waiting for... the girls! Anabell has had a good week and not a whole lot to update. My little 3 pounder is getting really close to 5 pounds and has the cutest little chubby cheeks and thighs! She is also not much for a girly girl, she is not shy about filling her diaper to capacity and farting whenever the mood strikes! It would be disgusting if we weren't so grateful to know she is pooping and all we asked for the first 2 weeks of their lives! She is getting too smart for her own good! We were trying to leave the other night and she was sucking on her pacifier, then as soon as we would start to walk away she would spit it out and whimper so we had to come back and put it back in her mouth and reassure her we would be back the next day. Go to walk away and repeat. After I fell for it a good 5 times Jim went to say goodbye and totally got suckered into it too! She is just too cute!!

Of course, Isabell is a cute little munchkin too!! She hit 3 pounds today which was huge and pretty exciting for us!! I'm not sure if I wrote about this yet or not, but last week the doctors came through and were telling me how they weren't taking her off the nasal cannula until she hit certain criteria. Well that evening I was going to do kangaroo care and we went to take her onesie off and had to disconnect the cannula and her nurse dropped it on the floor. So while she was cleaning it up and getting a new one Isabell sat at 100% oxygen saturation and her nurse decided to leave it off!! She did wonderful breathing without any help all week! On Sunday they would have been 34 weeks gestation and their oxygen saturation requirements changed from 85-100% to 90-100% and she struggled once in awhile but was able to maintain. Meanwhile she has been having some tummy troubles and they are suspecting reflux but haven't treated it yet and are just watching it, but between that and upping her requirements she hasn't been able to meet them and went back on the nasal cannula today. It has been a really rough couple days watching your little girl be uncomfortable all the time and then get that put back on and be mad about that. She just looks at me with the saddest eyes all the time and it breaks your heart! Hopefully it was just a temporary thing and she will be back off very soon! I don't know how long I can handle watching those sad eyes!

Both girls have been working on breastfeeding but not very successful. For the most part I feel like it is my fault because I have such a slow let down they are asleep before they are able to get anything, but they definitely sit there sucking away. Saturday was their 1 month birthday and they both went to town and actually got some milk and we all got all excited! A little early though because we haven't gotten anything since but have a bunch of extra work now. We have to weigh them before and after each feeding which is just pointless since they aren't getting anything anyways. So frustrating! I'm starting to feel like a failure again, but at the same time I just hate that we can't even try a bottle til 35 weeks. I have plenty of breastmilk laying around and I'm willing to bet they would take the bottle just fine and we could think about going home in the near future! Instead we are going through this agonizing process of breastfeeding that just upsets all 3 of us and Isabell won't even try sucking anymore. They both just get mad and push away from me and I just get frustrated that I can't do it and get them home! Someone better give me a really good pep talk real soon or I'm completely calling it quits and they can bite me! The nurse today tried but she didn't have any advice on how to fix it so it wasn't quite good enough!

Some good and bad nurse stories for the week... Bad first... we had a nurse the last couple days that is a complete moron but pushed me too far yesterday. As soon as we get a nurse I actually know and can talk to about the situation she will not be near our girls again! Or if she works again and tries to be near them I'm putting an end to it there despite who is working. She is annoying and in our face all the time about stupid crap we are obviously doing... If we are giving a bath and ask for a warm blanket, obviously we know the importance of keeping our babies warm and don't need a 20 minute lecture after on it! That stuff is just annoying, but my final straw was when Anabell pulled her feeding tube out of her nose. When she replaced it she went from a baby that I don't know why but is in isolation and they have to gown up to touch anything in her corner to Anabell without washing her hands or even using hand sanitizer. Then proceeded to put a glove on one hand but never touched the new tube with that hand, touched the whole thing including the part that goes down my babies nose and throat with her bare hand! Plus the tape they use to hold in place she had to use 2 pieces of because she couldn't do it right and covered half of Anabell's face with tape, she stuck the tape on Anabell's very unsanitized crib bars before putting it on her face and never measured the tube to be sure it was going in the right length. When she took the old tape off she used a regular wipe and then wiped a bunch of eye boogers out of Anabell's eye with it! They have special dry wipes you dip in special water for stuff like that you moron! No wonder her eye keeps boogering over! Grr!! It was a disaster and it took all I had not to backhand her. (Sarah, if you read this, it was the same stupid lady you were so upset about on Monday!)

On the funny side... So we had 2 primary nurses that we like both of them. Penny is a complete doll and we adore her and Benish is wonderful with the girls just more professional than personable, which we can totally appreciate also. Benish was the girls first primary nurse and has taken that title very seriously. A couple times her and Penny have both worked and Penny was with the girls and Benish gets upset and then apologizes to us like we are getting screwed being stuck with Penny. Then Saturday night their nurse was this girl named Rachel who is also a complete doll and I hear Benish come in and asked Rachel if she was going to another nursery so she could work with her primaries. Rachel said no because her primary was in our nursery and Benish got kind of huffy about if they work the same schedule they are always going to be butting heads and she will never get to work with her primaries. Rachel took it very well and was trying to be nice but it was pretty awkward. Well I didn't notice it Sunday but on Monday I realized Rachel added herself to our list of primaries!! It was hilarious! I can totally understand where Benish is coming from but she has had similar conversations with Penny and can get really snotty about it, so it was the best sideways F U I've ever seen! "If I can't work with the girls because I'm not their primary, then fine, I will be their primary!" Now if it would have been the nurse I never want near the girls again that did it I would be freaking out right now, but being we really like Rachel too, its ok!

Anyways, I think that is the gist of what's been going on? Hope everyone is having a good week and the Vikings win tomorrow! I have plans to spend the morning with the girls instead of the afternoon/evening so I can A.) get a break from breastfeeding before I burn out and B.) watch the game of course!! oh and C.) miss crappy traffic! Hopefully I can get another update sooner than this last time, but in the meantime, keep up the prayers and God bless!!

Love- Heather, Jim, Anabell and Isabell

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15th- Great weekend!!

Good morning! What a great weekend in the NICU!! We had a couple delays with breastfeeding but it worked out. We were supposed to work with Christina, the Lactation Consultant on Thursday but she ended up calling in sick. Then Friday we were going to but she got busy playing catch up from being gone on Thursday. She came in yesterday but we didn't know what time she was supposed to be there and our schedules didn't really cross. So hopefully we will see her today, but we have been doing ok without her in the meantime. After missing her on Friday the nurse told me to just talk to the girls nurses and we can give it a try at anytime. So Saturday was our day! Isabell ended up having an upset tummy and was puking everything up and then slept through all her feeding times. Part of the deal is they should be awake and cuing before we give it a try, at least without lactation for sure. But Anabell was WIDE awake and going crazy rooting so we decided to give it a try. She latched right on and I swear she knew better than me what was going on! She kept looking at me like "oh my God mom, bout dang time!" I have been so excited but I thought it was more about it being another step they have to accomplish before we can take them home, but it ended up being such a special bonding time for us. Then I felt extra guilty for not spending that special time with Isabell yet.

Yesterday when we came in Isabell was off her nasal cannula and breathing all by herself with no help!! Little rockstar didn't want to be shown up by her sister! "Yeah, she may be breastfeeding, but look at me!" Yesterday was also her bath day and Jim and I tackled that like a champ!! Haha, not! Poor Isabell! We didn't drown her at least, but we really didn't know what we were doing! I'm pretty sure she is cleaner than she was, but no guarantees! Unfortunately we also turned her into a popsicle and then she had some breathing problems. I think she got so worked up from the bath and then after being so cold she passed out and was in a deep deep sleep and forgot you still need to breathe! She got the nasal cannula back for a little while but when we left last night she was back off. I breastfed Anabell again last night and she did even better! She latched right on and had to of had one full belly between breastfeeding and they upped her feedings yesterday because she is gaining weight. She is almost 4 pounds now! My little chunky monkey! Isabell is right around 2 and a half pounds so she is gaining weight, but she has quite a bit of chunking up to do still!

I'm annoyed again because they got moved to another new nursery. It's definitely a quieter nursery, and ironic one of our nurses last week said everyone gets excited about moving to nursery 7 but it doesn't necessarily mean anything special, and sure enough a couple days later that's where we go! But Anabell is long overdue for getting moved to a bassinet but their new spot is right by a window and has a horrible freezing draft! She isn't coming out anytime soon if they stay next to that window! Not to mention, with a new nursery is new nurses. So far they are ok, but I'm so sick of just getting to know some and then switching again! I'm not having as bad of separation issues as I did last time after leaving Sue, but still sucks! Plus they switched resident doctors and I'm not a huge fan of the current one. The last about week and a half we had a guy named James who was wonderful at calling me every afternoon to tell me what they discussed in rounds and giving me the update. If I didn't answer he left a message so I always knew. Well Thursday a different guy called and filled me in and then I didn't hear from the doctors again. Usually the nurses are great about telling me whats going on so its not the end of the world, but its just nice to hear from the actual doctors that the girls are doing so wonderful.

I'm starting to get to the point that I just want to take my girls home and be a full time mom. I have always hated being away from them and having to leave, but now it just makes me mad. They are my girls and they should be with their mom and their family. I want to change every diaper, hold during every feeding, give every bath, change every outfit, and just be part of their schedule all day. Unfortunately that just isn't realistic while they are in the NICU, there is still real life outside the NICU. Laundry, cleaning, eating and updating this blog don't happen when I'm not at home. Then as much as I think I'm ready and want them home, I feel like the worst mom in the world and think I'm going to fail. I keep having nights that I don't wake up and pump all night which is not only the most painful thing for me, but I also keep thinking what happens if I don't get up with the girls all night when they come home?! That would be horrible, and am I relying on Jim to hear them and wake up/wake me up if I don't get up?! He doesn't get me up now, so what if we both sleep right through our girls?! I was supposed to get up and ride with Jim this morning since its such a waste of money for us to be driving separate and having to pay separate parking etc, and I totally overslept and missed that. Then when I did wake up and realized what I did I couldn't stop crying! I truly wanted to be at the hospital as much as possible today so I can be part of their schedule like I said I wanted and here I am 2 hours later sitting on the computer not getting my butt out the door. Argh, I just feel like a failure. I guess there is always tomorrow and the next day and the next day. I thought since the beginning I would spend all day everyday there and still have yet to really do that. Don't get me wrong I am there at least 5 hours a day, but normal moms are with their kids all day, not 5 stupid hours!! Especially when you have twins to divide your time, 5 hours is nothing and goes fast! Anyways, that's the news! Enjoy your Monday! God bless!!

Love- Heather, Jim, Anabell and Isabell

Thursday, October 11, 2012

10-11-12- BIg day!!!

I am so excited about today!! I couldn't sleep last night and so I'm keeping today short and sweet! I know I am so far behind, but I just want to update the quickest I can so I can get to the hospital! A couple days ago we were talking with one of the nurses about what we have left to accomplish before the girls can come home and breastfeeding was pretty much our hot topic of the night... Apparently they don't usually start breastfeeding until 34 weeks because that is when they get the suck/swallow reflex. I was told about a week ago by my absolute favorite nurse we have had that if I happen to be doing kangaroo care and one of the girls nuzzles her way down to just go with it though because they can smell the milk and they are getting ready. Plus we Sue had talked about cues to watch for including waking up before feedings, licking their lips, that sort of thing. So I've noticed Anabell waking up and doing the lip licking thing and had been meaning to kangaroo with her for the last week and things kept coming up. Well Tuesday I did kangaroo care with both girls right before their feedings and noticed Isabell was starting to do the wake up and lip thing but had no real interest in me. But when I was doing it with Anabell she scooted her way down my chest and looked so uncomfortable but when I tried to move her she SCREAMED bloody murder!! Finally I gave up and just left her there and next thing I know she was sucking on my chest! Definitely nowhere near food access but like the nurses said, she found the right anatomy!! Well I was super excited but a little hesitant that maybe I was crazy and that isn't what was happening, or maybe it meant nothing and I was just trying to get my hopes up so I didn't really say anything to anyone. Well after talking to the nurse the other night about going home and everything she brought up that when they do start breastfeeding the NICU likes the moms to be here as much as possible to try and do as many as possible of their feedings. So I did some math and realized I am supposed to return to work 6 weeks post partum, and the girls will be 34 weeks when I will be 5 weeks so I would have a week to work on breastfeeding and then have to go back to work and in reality miss most of their feedings. I was super upset about that and called work to verify yesterday and sure enough my return date is November 1st. So I talked to quite a few people the last couple days which dwindled down to our social worker in the NICU and she followed up with the lactation consultant for me yesterday. Grace, the lactation consultant then came and found me in the nursery yesterday to let me know that actually occupational therapy had been working with the girls yesterday and they are displaying all the cues and they were planning on starting breastfeeding as soon as we were ready anyways so maybe the work thing wouldn't end up such a big obstacle for us. I would have started yesterday if she would have let me but it was getting late so we are going to start this afternoon!!! I am so so excited! This is one of the biggest NICU hurdles is getting them to latch and eat enough and be consistent in their feedings so they can go home and I'm just so ready!

I feel like the last week or so has been at a standstill because they are doing so well and breastfeeding really is  the next step but they weren't ready so there was just no news everyday. Isabell is still on a nasal cannula ranging between room air and about 25% but not anything they are in a rush to get her off of, she is doing fine on her own with it right now. There was talk in the beginning of the week that if she was still on it by the end of the week they might try giving her something to clear out any fluid that might be built up in her lungs and see if that would help get her off but like I said there was no big rush on it. Anabell has had her incubator at room temperature for almost a week now and usually after 24 hours they will put them in a bassinet but they really want her to work on growing not burning calories to keep her body temperature normal so they have left her in it for now. Isabell is really close to that point too but they will definitely keep her growing for awhile.

As for me for the last week, I've had a rough time I guess. I found a nurse I absolutely adored who actually let me hold both girls at the same time and didn't just hand us the girls and walk away, she stayed and chatted and got to know us, and then we moved to a different nursery and no more Sue. I've been completely devastated and Jim has been completely sick of hearing about how completely devastated I am haha! I'm just finally getting over it for the most part but I still hate our new nursery and would maybe feel better if they had any real reasoning for moving us. But they just randomly move the babies around and there isn't a given reason for being in any given nursery and its frustrating. Plus we are supposed to have a primary nurse for the girls that every shift they work they should be with the girls but so far we only have seen one of their primary nurses. They have another one but either she never works or she just never works with our girls. Again, super frustrating!

Also, I finally went back to the antepartum unit and talked to Peggy about doing something for my nurses. It was so sweet, as soon as I walked up to the nurses desk she jumped up and gave me the biggest hug!! Then we ended up talking for over an hour! I told her about how Wednesday used to be the best day of the week because we got to get out of our rooms and go to group and to have these other women to talk to was just so wonderful! Then I was excited to see the NICU had a group but when we showed up there was only like 3 people there and I was kinda bummed. First off Peggy set me up with Courtney our social worker in the NICU to get matched up with a parent that went through a similar experience in the NICU that we could use as a support person. Then she invited me back to Wednesday groups in antepartum! I wasn't for it at first thinking that would be pretty awkward, but then realized I had the experience none of the nurses or anyone knows about in antepartum and could maybe be helpful to some of the moms. So I showed up yesterday and only 1 mom was there!! But she was her own amazing story in that she is actually a surrogate and carrying twins and actually from Zimmerman! We had an amazing conversation and I was SO glad I went! Peggy did her usual chat with us for a bit then disappear but she made sure to tell me Carol was working and was sad I missed her the day before so I had to say hi before I left. So while we were chatting another of my favorite nurses, Kay, walked by and seen me and came in to give me a giant hug! Then Carol of course and while I was chatting with them after my other favorite, Cherie walked in! It was wonderful! I got to see my 3 favorite nurses from Antepartum and they all gave me giant hugs and were so so sweet! Man, I miss them ladies!!

So while I've been typing away I just got a phone call from the Academy and got the most wonderful news!!! They are going to extend my leave to 2 weeks after the girls are discharged!! For as difficult as everything has been and some of the hoops I went through, overall they have really treated me wonderful and I'm really grateful to all the time off they have given me. This has not been an easy journey and I probably should have been fired months ago, and thought I was, but they just keep hanging on to me a little longer. So, now I really have to get in the shower and go see my babies!! I can't wait!! Hope everyone else is having a good week and God bless!!

Love- Heather, Jim, Anabell and Isabell

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2nd- Mommy's skills!

Been another busy week so far! Isabell is trying so hard to catch up to her sister and doing such a good job! She is down to high flow air and on her way to no breathing support in the next day or two!! Both of the girls had their picc lines removed yesterday! They are both getting their milk fortified to help them gain weight! Anabell is eating about an ounce every 3 hours and Isabell is up to 6ml every hour! Anabell is still working on maintaining her body temp and is wearing little clothes at least the last 2 days. They are still getting tested daily to see if they need to go back under the blue lights but the last 2 days they haven't needed them. If they have to have the blue lights then Anabell can't wear clothes because her skin needs to see the lights in order for them to work. One of the nurses has been great about trying to scrounge for matching outfits for the girls for when Isabell can wear clothes too! The NICU has quite a few preemie clothes the girls can wear if we don't want to bring any in. The trick isn't that we don't want to bring them in, we just haven't had time to wash them since we are always there! We do only have 2 outfits for each girl and I ordered a couple online yesterday so now I'm just waiting to get them all, get them washed and take them in! They are going to be so cute!! Either way, like I said the NICU has a bunch of clothes we can use so we won't have naked girls if we don't have to! Sorry, went off on a tangent, clothes are really the least of our concerns about our girls right now!! There are 2 teams in the NICU as far as doctors and care teams are concerned and our girls were team maroon but they were upgraded to team gold today! (I was really slow to realize we were at a U of M hospital and gold and maroon are their colors, so if you didn't catch that either now you know!) Gold is considered stable and doing well, so that was great to see/hear today! So far both girls have gotten pretty good at being super poopers! Anabell actually had to have a suppository yesterday but I don't think Isabell has had one in a couple days. Isabell wasn't feeling too good today and was kind of crying off and on and then I did kangaroo care with her and she was calm as can be and no more problems... went to put her back and realized she had a VERY large bowel movement! I have no idea where a baby that small made such a big mess!! At least her nurse today believed me that she had a tummy ache and didn't make me feel like a jerk. The other day I was holding Anabell and she was doing the same little crying thing and ended up spitting up everywhere and still not feeling any better. Eventually I asked the nurse if I could put her back because I didn't think she felt good and I was making it worse. The nurse asked why I thought that and I said she spit up on me and the nurse said well babies spit up you don't have to put her back. Yeah well if she was feeling better laying down in her incubator I feel better with her being there! Then when she did report she told the next nurse that "mom said she spit up but I didn't see it so you can maybe keep an eye on it but I really wouldn't worry about it, I didn't see it!" Argh! Sometimes I feel like I do a lot of complaining about the bad nurses or people I come across in the hospital, but if you had any idea how many nurses/people we see and work with in a day that are amazing you would realize the bad ones are really a minority. I don't mean to complain so much they just stick out so much more after seeing all the great people!

So I'm starting to figure out my role as mommy to these precious little girls! Mommy makes them spit up! Isabell spit up on me yesterday too! Mommy makes them go to sleep! Jim walks in the room and they are both instantly wide awake and all smiles, but Mommy gets within 10 feet and they are out like a light! Yesterday I was holding Anabell and was telling her daddy was going to be there in a little while and she instantly woke up and started smiling and looking around like "where's daddy?! You said daddy! I want daddy!" It was so cute! But when she realized he wasn't around she went right to sleep. Then when Jim got there he woke up both girls and I thought "perfect, I'm going to hold Isabell while she is wide awake!" Not! She was barely out of the incubator and she was back to sleep but Anabell stayed awake for quite awhile while daddy held her! But I won today! I know this isn't a contest, but sometimes you still need to be reminded your babies love you too! After I did kangaroo care with Isabell the nurse told me I should go pump because they don't have any more room for my milk but fresh milk is always best so they mix it with the frozen and it would be good to get some fresh stuff before we left. So while I was getting my stuff ready Isabell started crying. I started talking to her and she instantly stopped! Then I started to walk away and she cried again! Finally after a couple times I just walked away so I could get the pumping over with. When I came back Jim said she had cried and cried the whole time I was gone and actually just stopped because he had the nurse flip her on her tummy like we do with Anabell. Well she heard my voice and started crying again! So I held her little hand and talked to her and of course she stopped, but then it was 100 times harder to leave tonight! Everytime we tried to walk away she started crying and it completely broke my heart! It was such a good day with them and you think it will be ok to leave tonight because you know they are doing well, but then something like that happens and you just want to hold them forever and never leave!

I also had a doctors appointment today... I guess it was fine, nothing eventful, but I am going to continue on the blood pressure medication because my blood pressure was a good number when they checked it, but we are going to check it weekly. That is frustrating just because my blood pressure was never a problem and I really thought it would go back to normal after delivering and after all that was the reason we delivered right?! Apparently not my situation at this point. She thought the infection on my tummy looked like it was better but again I'm not so sure how I feel about that. There is still one little spot that I don't have feeling on and I can still kinda push around like I could the whole lower half of my tummy before, but it isn't hot anymore so another thing we will just watch for now. I totally spaced out I was supposed to have labs done to check my potassium so I can hopefully quit taking those monster horse pills, but I will just call and try to set something up this week or next week sometime, not a huge concern right now. On the bright side!... She was looking back to see what my blood pressure was at my first couple appointments, and I am down to the exact weight I was at my first prenatal appointment! Yay! I was lower before that appointment though, just because we were doing the Biggest Loser competition at work and me and my team were kicking some major butt, but I'm still pretty happy about that! Overall I did only gain about 20 pounds with the pregnancy but I would say 10-15 of that was water weight from all the swelling. Especially since I was discharged last Thursday I have lost about 10 pounds, but the swelling is pretty much completely gone so I'm guessing that's what that weight was. I was even able to get my wedding ring on today which was SO exciting! Jim worked so hard on getting that ring for me and it is absolutely the most beautiful ring I have ever seen so I was devastated when it didn't fit anymore! Then I realized I can't wear it in the NICU and I really don't want to risk it falling out of my pocket or something while we are there and I have to take it off so I'm still not wearing it. :( In case just taking the girls home wasn't exciting enough, now I have one more thing to look forward to when its time!

I think I will leave you with some pictures and a little story thing I found and call it a night! I hope you are all having a wonderful week and God bless!

Love- Heather, Jim, Anabell and Isabell

Having a Baby is Like Planning a Vacation!
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!" you say. "What do you mean, Holland?" I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy. But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.

But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

Written by Emily Perl Kingsley
Mom getting to hold Isabell for the first time!

Anabell wide awake for daddy of course!

Isabell with the little hat the nurse found for her!

Anabell in clothes!! Loving her paci still!

Anabell in clothes wide awake for daddy again!

Anabell with her matching hat in a food coma!

Isabell missing mommy today! :(

Peek-A-Boo daddy! I know you're there!

Isabell on her cpap that made her foam at the mouth!

Daddy holding Isabell for the first time!

Mommy holding sleeping Anabell!

Friday, September 28, 2012

September 28th- My first day home without my girls!

I was finally discharged yesterday! Half my problems aren't fixed, but on the mend hopefully. The cellulitis has gone down tremendously! 2 antibiotics later! Unfortunately I have quite a few antibiotic allergies so the first one they were giving me wasn't strong enough and they added a second. All the nurses and doctors kept asking if it felt better, it looks better, so your tummy must just feel so much better! Haha nope! Part of the cellulitis included not feeling anything since the area was so swollen it was just kind of numb. Now that the swelling has gone down I have feeling and the feeling hurts! We never really figured out what was causing the shaking. It was definitely not seizures so that was reassuring. The best guess my doctor gave me was there is a sleeping disorder that when you wake up you are kind of paralyzed for awhile and with the lack of sleep and all the stress it might be a version of that. The swelling all over has started going down finally, but still worse on my left side. My blood pressure is still out of control which is getting scary. I'm maxed out now on my blood pressure medication and it is still running on the high end. So far my bottom number is still in a healthy range so they don't want to mess with it too much more. I will be seeing my regular doctor quite a bit again for awhile, but at least this time I get to see her instead of some whack job! The doctor at the hospital is convinced once the swelling really goes down and everything my blood pressure will drop back down and I will be lowering the dose on the medication drastically in the next week or two. Man I hope so! I have such a pile of medication I take all day, its ridiculous and I've never taken medication on a daily basis in my life! Well birth control, but no lie I was bad about it and lucky we didn't have these twins a long time ago!

That's me, now the latest on my little girls! I finally got to hold Isabell yesterday! I thought holding Anabell was scary because she is so small, Isabell is a whole new world with how tiny she is! But she was so sweet! It was also the first time we got to see her open her eyes! It totally made my day! I did have a traumatic moment because the cpap has water in it so it doesn't dry her out and it backed up just a tiny bit and I watched her get a nose full of water, she sneezed like 5 times and then turned purple! Thank God for all the machines she is hooked up to so I was able to see just how bad it was getting, but I never want to see that again! It took all I had not to burst into tears! Horrible! But she calmed down and was just fine within a minute or two and I got to hold her for awhile afterwards and know she was just fine. It's crazy she is just so quiet and sweet and totally opposite of her sister! When you look at them in the incubators Isabell looks like the needy one because she is always all snuggled up and Anabell is always all sprawled out relaxed as can be, not a care in the world... but then you hold them and Anabell screams and cries uncontrollably for 20 minutes when you put her down and Isabell was just like "eh, no biggy, later mom!" Even yesterday while I was holding Isabell Jim held Anabell and Anabell was keeping her temp so we got to hold her a long time! Jim held her for a good 2 hours then I held her for almost an hour and she still was mad as can be about having to go back! It was great to be able to hold both my girls though, very precious! Anabell gets to wear clothes now! They are working on her maintaining her body temp, but its so cute seeing her in these tiny tiny clothes! We really don't have anything preemie bought yet so I can't wait to go shopping! The NICU has clothes they can wear but we can bring some in if we want to. They put the girls names on them but they can't guarantee they won't get lost so we have to be prepared for that part. Which I'm totally fine with! In reality once the girls have outgrown any preemie clothes we buy odds are I will just donate them to the NICU anyways. That hospital has done so much for us I would do anything for them! I'm such a believer in paying it forward, it just gets tricky figuring out the best ways to do that and donating some clothes is nothing! Isabell is obviously doing well since we get to hold her, but she is still on the cpap and is having problems digesting her food. We are still waiting on her first real bowel movement. She had a little spot earlier in the week but they gave her a suppository and they don't want to continue doing that and make her rely on them. As for the cpap I want to be concerned but I really can't get to worked up about it. I know she can do it, they take her off for a minute or whatever to clean things and when I held her they had to disconnect it to get her in and out of the incubator and she did JUST fine! I think she is just being stubborn. She will get there when she gets there and not a minute before she decides she is there!

As for going home... When I was told I was getting discharged it took all I had not to burst into tears! After living in that hospital for 2 months it really becomes home! It helped and made it worse at the same time that I had one of my favorite nurses yesterday! I did take a shower before leaving and cried the whole time! My nurse gave me a huge hug when I left! I'm going to miss her and a couple of the others so much! I'm trying to figure out a way to say a special thanks to my favorite nurses, but I had a couple regulars that weren't my favorite but I don't want to be rude to them and want to thank them as well. Its tricky! If any of my nurse friends have any ideas let me know! Otherwise I'm going to try and catch the social worker for the antepartum unit when I'm visiting the girls one of these times and see if she has any recommendations. Tricky part there is she falls under those people I want to give a special thanks to also! Oh well we will figure something out! I already see Christmas and the girls birthday cards for the next 18 years!! After leaving we went out to lunch at this Perkins like a block away and I was thinking how cute and quaint it was because it was kind of hidden and really small til we were leaving and Jim seen a cockroach!!! Icky icky ick! NEVER again! Then went to see the girls and their Grandpa Tony got to see them for the first time! He has had the flu since we delivered and didn't get to see them until yesterday! Pretty exciting! I was exhausted by time we finally left for home! As soon as we got to the car we realized we forgot the bottles the NICU gives us for breastpumping but we were too tired to go back up and get them and decided Target would be quicker. Well at Target we decided it was cheaper and probably better to get the bags since I've been pumping so much and those bottles can take up a lot of room. Great idea til we got home and realized how big a pain in the butt that was going to be! I told Jim I don't know how I will switch the bags if I fill them up when he isn't there and sure enough this morning I spilled at least a good 3 ounces all over myself! Between that and missing the hospital and being so close to the girls I had a good 2 hour cry this morning! It wouldn't be as bad but apparently you can't drive for awhile after having a c section so I have to rely on everyone else to bring me to my girls or anywhere and I just can't ask people to do that! Today worked out because my sister was on vacation and then got sick herself so she hasn't met the girls yet and I was able to twist her arm really hard to take me today! Haha, there wasn't much twisting going on, she is ecstatic! Not sure what I'm going to do next week though, so if anyone wants to meet the girls and I happen to be on your way let me know!! They are so precious and we are so proud of them we can't wait for everyone to meet them in general! We would totally do some Lion King/Simba/lift into the sunset action if we could bring them home and there were any good "Pride Rocks" around! Man, I can't wait to have an excuse for seeing every Disney movie ever made and loving them! We already decided the girls first Disney movie is going to be Cinderella because it comes out on DVD next week and it was one of my favorites! The trick is do I buy 1, 2 or 3 of them? Do they each need their own copy since there is 2 of them? Do I just need 1 copy because they will likely watch it together? Or do I need 3 so we each have one because when they grow up if they take it I will probably be just as sad to see it leave as they would be to leave it? So many questions you don't ask yourself until you have twins!

Anyways, I really don't want to dump more milk on  myself so the more often I pump today the less likely I will have to switch bags in the middle and dump it! Plus my pile of morning meds mixed with lack of sleep is kind of making me sick and I could use a little nap or something so I'm not puking everywhere. So hope everyone has a good weekend! God bless!

Love- Heather, Jim, Anabell and Isabell

Just a special word... It was just a couple weeks ago I was posting about re-teaching myself how to crochet after my great aunt Emma taught me when I was like 7. I'm  devastated to say she actually passed away yesterday afternoon. That really didn't help coming home and being sad. It has definitely been an emotional couple days and my thoughts and prayers are with her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren that I know she treasured with all her heart. She was such a wonderful woman with so many talents and loved by so many people! You know there is truth in that when a little old lady from Kansas can warm the heart of a bratty little girl who just became a mother a couple states away! If anyone is wondering why with the recent birth of my daughters my Facebook picture would be of anything else, that is why. I have a couple pictures from our last trip to Kansas but that is from the trip before on my great aunt and uncles 60th wedding anniversary. In this day and age that says so much that 60 years was even possible. Definitely someone to admire and follow their example! Another friend of mine posted this yesterday and made me think of my cousins missing their mom today...
"Mothers never really die,
They just keep house up in the sky,
They polish the sun by day
And light the stars that shine at night,
Keep the moonbeams silvery bright
And in the heavenly home above
They wait to welcome those they love."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 25th- Mommy isn't doing so good

I will give the good news first! Isabell finally made it off her breathing tube last night! We happened to be right there when they took it out and started her on the cpap! It was the scariest moment in my life! She wasn't going for it at first and we watched her oxygen levels keep going up and down. Finally they found her happy place and she remained stable and her oxygen levels were stable. So 1 more hurdle done for her! They had their head ultrasounds yesterday which came back perfectly normal, no bleeding in their brains. They stayed off the photo therapy yesterday but are back on it today which is to be expected. They will probably go back and forth for a couple weeks on that. Overall the girls are doing great!

Mommy on the other hand... not as great... It started later Sunday night I got a slight fever. It went away right away but I knew it wasn't a good thing. I was able to go into the NICU but had to wear a mask. Then super early yesterday morning I went to drop off my milk and didn't even think about it, but knew I didn't have a fever so I didn't put a mask on but as soon as I got near the girls their nurse yelled at me that I couldn't be in there without a mask. Things got a little twisted and confusing from there. They knew I was on antibiotics and knew I had a fever, but they didn't know what I have is not contagious. So I was only allowed in the NICU yesterday with a mask on and was unable to touch them. It was the worst day ever. I cried everytime I went to see them and cried most the day in general. Finally yesterday evening I sent Jim to talk to the NICU doctor and see when I would be able to touch them again. They said after I had been on the antibiotics for 24 hours, after checking with the nurse I practically ran down there! That was when they put Isabell on the CPAP so I was under the impression she was off limits for awhile. After watching that though I was able to hold Anabell. I had to wear a mask, gloves and this suit thing. It wasn't kangaroo care, I just held her all wrapped up like a normal baby and it made my day! She kept her eyes open most the time I was holding her and I just talked and talked while she watched me! I think it's probably too early, but I swear she smiled a couple times! After that the guilt set in though and I cried some more. I felt horrible that I could hold Anabell but couldn't even touch Isabell. I don't want Isabell to be left out or ever doubt how much she is loved and cared for and I feel like she gets that when we are touching her. Later last night Jim did kangaroo care with Anabell and when he put her back she started crying like usual. Then again I felt horrible and cried and cried because the normal reaction when a baby cries is to run and hold them and make them feel better, but we can't do that. Its horrible hearing a baby cry in general but when its yours and there is nothing you can do to make her feel better, nothing breaks your heart more. So I sat between her with Jim trying to calm her in her incubator and Isabell being all alone and balled and balled and finally walked out and went back to my room. Just writing about this is making me cry again! ah!

I guess I went in a different direction in that last paragraph and never covered what all is wrong with me... I have an infection in the fluid build up/swelling on my tummy. I think they are calling it cellulitis? Usually that comes from the incision site from the c-section but mine looks great! My swelling has gotten so much worse since delivery! My left foot is the worst and gets just massive! They put me on Lasix (sp?) yesterday to try and get me to pee some of this fluid out. It helped at first but there is just so much it barely made an impact. They gave me another one this morning but I think its similar to yesterday and will help but not fix anything. My blood pressure has still been a problem since delivery it has gotten worse actually. They are trying to mess with meds to balance it out but haven't been to successful yet. Then I thought I got a zit on my lip on Saturday or Sunday and found out yesterday that it is a cold sore. So now I'm trying to figure out where in the world I got Herpes because I've never had one before. Then apologizing to Jim because by now I've given it to him. And worst of all, praying I didn't give it to Anabell when I did kangaroo care the other day. I can't quite remember if it was there before or after we did it and I kept giving her kisses. At least that one doesn't make me cry, it just pisses me off! So I started treatment for that yesterday too and that is part of the reason for the mask, so I don't have any contact between my lip and my babies. I think that was all of yesterday's medical problems.

Today has a whole new set of problems. I woke up at like 4am this morning shaking uncontrollably and drooling all over myself. I woke Jim up and had him get the nurse. I thought for sure I was having a seizure because I was completely clenched up and couldn't do anything. Turns out I was having what is called Rigors, which is usually accompanied by a higher fever. I had a mild fever but nothing that should have been that extreme. Everytime I've tried going back to sleep today I wake up shaking again. So I'm exhausted but I give up. They are putting me on another antibiotic to try and get the cellulitis under control. Despite being on antibiotics for a couple days now it keeps spreading and getting worse. They are still trying to work on the swelling and may start me on a diuretic to keep me peeing more since the Lasix has a more immediate effect on the peeing and I need something to keep me going all day. I decided since I have the fever and I just need to start worrying about myself a little more I'm avoiding the NICU today. That probably won't last because as much as I hate all the mom's I've known who leave their babies alone in the NICU for days at a time I just can't be that person for a day even. I need to see them and know they are ok even if I have to suit up and be uncomfortable and not be able to touch them, just to watch them and know they are mine makes me feel a little better. Like I said before about Isabell, I NEVER want them to think they aren't loved and cared about more than anything in the world and that goes for Anabell as well! So we will see on that one, but I need to make some improvements before that happens.

The one bright side for me is that when I delivered I met with a lactation nurse. She gave me this sheet about how much you should aim to be pumping by so many days just so you can have a goal and keep up with it. Well the 10 day goal is 30+ ounces for twins. Well I hit that yesterday on day 4! I pumped 34.2 ounces! I've been pretty proud about how much I've been able to pump! The NICU keeps some in the fridge, then some in the freezer and after you have quite the stock in the freezer they ask you to start keeping it frozen at home... well I started my freezer supply yesterday too! Its all the nurses and everyone can talk about is how much I've been pumping! It feels good to be doing something so wonderful and important for the girls that nobody else can do for them. I know we made it farther than expected and everything, but I still can't help feeling like I failed them in pregnancy so anything I can do now to make it up to them I want to be able to do. I'm kinda hoping if I can keep up with it like this, by time they come home I will have quite the supply built up and can rely on that. I'm all about stocking up on anything I can think of and before this the best I had going was diapers, but this is way cheaper! I have kind of been slacking today on the pumping though, but that is because I've been getting up during the night to continuously pump every 2-3 hours as recommended and I decided to try and get a little sleep since its been coming in so well. So I probably won't hit 30 ounces again today, but I still will have plenty! On that note, I should pump, and I do need to eat something today, and maybe try napping again and hope for no more shakes! I was supposed to be discharged on Monday but I'm starting to wonder if the girls will go home before me at this rate! They keep doing better and better and I keep getting worse and worse! Argh!

Please keep up the prayers for us! They have done so much for us already, look at our amazing little girls! But they can't hurt anything now. Thank you! God bless!

Love- Heather, Jim, Anabell and Isabell

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 24th - A Word From Dad

Hey Everyone,

So far Heather has been doing a wonderful job at updating everyone on the girls progress, but since she is asleep trying to regain some strength I thought I would take some time to fill in everyone today.

Well it is already day four and our girls continue to amaze me everyday. Anabell is already breathing completely on her own and only needs her feeding tube, although she can take some small amounts of milk orally at this point. Isabell is progressing well as she is being lowered on the ventilator support for her breathing. She seems to love taking things at her own pace, which is just fine for me. The girls also had their first ultrasound today to look at the blood vessels in their heads to see how they are progressing. We are still waiting to hear from the doctor, but are always hoping for the best.

Heather is doing pretty good as well. She has been such a strong person through everything and I know will be a great mother. Currently she is battling a little infection from the c-section and had run a fever last night, but is now doing a little better. She has been so adamant about pumping milk for the girls every three hours; I'm glad to see her get some well deserved and needed sleep to try and regain her strength.

Last night I decided to do the kangaroo care with Anabell, since mom isnt't allowed to hold them right now with her fever. It's amazing how tiny she really is, but still able to make a big impact in my world. Holding her in my arms (pretty much my hand) meant the world to me and she gave me quite a few laughs as she tried to grab my whiskers and chest hair, I was even able to see her big smile doing this with the pictures Heather took (see below). Of course after 5 minutes she was out cold on my chest and I think I was out after 10 minutes. I can hardly wait until I can hold her and her sister next.

This morning the girls are now off of the photo therapy and the nurses have taken their masks off allowing us to really see their faces. They are definitely sisters :) Anabell was trying her very hardest to get a look at us and I'm sure she will open her big eyes next time we come into the NICU. Her sister has yet to fully open her eyes, but I know Isabell will get there in due time.

I also want to say thank you to everyone for their tremendous support through Heather's pregnancy and now our NICU journey. Its been a tough roller coaster ride, but these past few days have been some of the greatest in my life and I'm going to relish in the excitement and joy of these two little girls while I can.


Heather, Jim, Anabell and Isabell

"Jim & Heather,
Good Morning!  I just want to congratulate on your little bundles of joy, they are truly precious! J   I know it’s been a very difficult, but I’m so thankful that everyone seems to be doing good.  Just think what a miraculous story you’ll be able to tell them one day!  Also, I want to tell you how much it also meant that you named the girls after Grandma Jean and her twin Joy, wow I still cry every time I think of that.   Wow, what special guardian angels in heaven looking out for Anabel Joy and Isabel Jean.   Jim I look at them and I think of you when your when in the NICU when you were born……look how big & strong you are today. 
Love Lots"

Daddy and Anabell sleeping

Anabell Exploring

Anabell and her Pacifier

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 22nd- Special day already!

I was up around 4am breastfeeding and decided to go run my milk to the nursery and ended up chatting with the girls nurse for a little bit. She told me we definitely needed to do kangaroo care with Anabell today that we all would love it! By time I got back to my room I was so excited I figured I would never go back to sleep! I heard about Kangaroo Care a couple weeks ago when the lactation nurse came to group and talked to us and was so excited then and just thought it was so amazing. For those that don't know, Kangaroo care is where you hold your baby on your chest and have skin to skin contact. Originally this was done in special circumstances to help mothers of preemie's bond with their babies, but now it has become a regular practice and is highly encouraged by this hospital for sure. It turned more important after a NICU in South America ended up running out of incubators for their NICU babies and had to strap the babies to their mother's to keep them warm. What they found was the babies that were strapped to their mom's actually had more regular breathing and heart rates, improved oxygen blood levels, longer sleep periods, more rapid weight gain, reduction of calorie wasting excess movements, decreased crying, longer periods of alertness, opportunities to breastfeed, earlier bonding, increased likelihood of a shorter hospitalization, improved head growth, and better developmental testing scores later on. So now they recommend parents do Kangaroo Care with their babies in the NICU for at least an hour everyday. Originally I thought as long as they were over 28 weeks we could start right away, but since Isabell is so small they want us to wait a week so she can hopefully gain some weight. But one of the nurses today was thinking Jim could do Kangaroo care with Anabell tomorrow and while they are doing that I could do it with Isabell.

So this afternoon I did Kangaroo care with Anabell, which was so sweet and precious. She was so calm and relaxed. A few times she tried putting her little hand in my mouth and it made my heart flutter at the touch of her soft little hands. I'm so excited to do the same thing with Isabell when she is ready. These little girls mean the world to both of us. The pictures shown below I think describe this moment best of all.

Isabell has already had quite a journey today, she had to have a pic line put in to help her heart's blood flow. This should help relieve some of the work her little body is already doing. In addition to the pic line she is having her dopamine supply removed because her lungs are developing so well. Keep fighting little girl Mommy and Daddy are by your side the whole way.

Finally we were able to change both their diapers, Jim was so nervous changing Anabell and working around the wires and her little body. Pretty good job for his second attempt at changing diapers. Isabell was a little tough as well working around the wires. Its funny because this may be the only time we ever actually look forward to changing their diapers :)

Well we are going to get back to the girls again tonight to see how they are doing...


Heather, Jim, Anabell, and Isabell

Anabell and Mom smiling for the camera

Anabell calm and comfortable with Mommy

Mommy's first kiss to Anabell

Anabell - Don't go Mommy!