Monday, November 21, 2011

4 and 3/4

My first born is getting to be SUCH a big boy... He's just so smart and witty. I find myself laughing all day long. And he's growing so fast. I can't believe how short his pants are from last season!!! Best of all, Noah is LOVING being a big brother. Just this afternoon, he spontaneously brought me pacifiers for both babies when I was upstairs feeding them. He told me that Baby Sister's pacie had fallen on the floor so he rinsed it off for me..... That was all him. So loving and so dedicated. Such a sweet boy. My oldest child. My heart. My 4 and 3/4 year old. :)


Someone who can't believe that she will have a kindergartener next fall....


Monday, November 7, 2011

Welcome Home...

It's official! Our family is finally together under one roof. The way it should be. :)

I'm running on about 2 hours of sleep from last night... But isn't that glorious???? So I thought I would just post a few pictures that kind of speak for themselves. More on the way, I promise!

Oh, the cuteness abounds. First doctor's appointment today.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Miracle on SW 34th Street...

Yes... We now live on SW 34th Street. Hence, the title of this post. The miracle that I refer to is that, after just 4 weeks in the NICU, at 4 weeks old and at 35 weeks gestation...

My babies are finally coming home. TODAY.

It's so unbelievable!!!!! The little ones have accomplished SO very much in the last week. It's all happened so fast and it seemed like every day that I came into the NICU the nurses had a new surprise for us. Sunday evening, as Mom and I were holding the babes, I asked their nurse when she thought they would move the twins into the same room and into the same crib for the rest of their stay at the hospital. She said she would find out. Within an hour the babes were resting peacefully in one massive crib and all of their things were consolidated into the same room. My heart felt so happy. Up until that moment, I've had to choose who to sit by and who's room to spend time in for that next little while. I could only really hold one of them and be with one of them at a time. I felt so torn and divided. But the moment my babies moved into one room and one crib, I felt so peaceful and could start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Both of my darlings' heart rates and respiration rates on the same monitor. :)

THEN... Just a few days later, both Liam and Sia had started taking every feeding by bottle. It was like the little light bulb turned on in their heads and they realized that they could do it.

One afternoon, after I'd left the hospital to spend time with Noah, they took their sixth bottle in a row. The doctor said that they could have their gavage tubes removed. When I returned later that evening, the nurse had the biggest smile on her face. She said she had a surprise for me. Their beautiful little faces were tube-free and angelic when I greeted them. Amazing!!!!

Gram and the Little Ones:

Since then, they have been champions at feeding and have gained weight continually. Just on Thursday the doctor met me at their NICU room when I came in that morning and gave me the biggest shock of my life. I had still expected the babes to stay for at least another week or so. But the doctor looked at me and said that my darlings would be going home in a day or so. For real??????? THAT was a fun phone call to make to Kevin and my parents!

So here I am, at 2 in the morning (really 3 am, thanks to daylight savings time!), and I'm too excited to sleep because today is the day that I can bring my babies home. :) When I kissed them goodnight a few short hours ago, I promised them that Daddy and I would be back in the morning. And that this time we would not leave without them.

We will post pictures of their homecoming soon. But not until we get settled... And introduce them to their puppy. :)

One exhausted but VERY happy Mommy

Thursday, November 3, 2011

3 Weeks

The Babes are over 3 weeks old now! They mature so much and so fast that when I look at pictures that I've taken a few days ago, I can see a difference. Liam has now officially reached the 5 pound club as of yesterday morning!!!! And Sia is just a few ounces behind her brother. Actually, she may be in the club already this morning, but I haven't called yet so I'm not sure. I would put money on it. :) They are still short little peanuts, but now that they've put on a over a full pound since their birth, they are starting to plump up and get little rolls around their thighs. Both have these amazing little double chins. I just can't stand the cuteness. When one of the NICU nurses has been off for a few days and then they come visit them, they walk over to them and say, "Holy Cheeks!!!!" So true....

The big accomplishment for week 3 was when they were both moved from their cozy isolettes to what the nurses called a "crib." It was essentially the little bed that they WOULD have been in had they been full term and stayed with me in my hospital room. Last Saturday, when they were exactly 3 weeks old, it had been a rough night of pumping milk every 2 hours or so and I wasn't getting any sleep in between. I pumped at midnight, then 2, then 4. Finally at 4:30am, I got up and showered and went to be with my babies at the hospital. I figured that if I wasn't sleeping anyway, I may as well go pump by their side. :) By the time I got there, Sia had already been moved to her crib and was ready for a bath. Yay!!!! Perfect timing for Mommy. I went to change Liam's diaper first before I helped with little girl, and wouldn't you know it? Liam peed and pooped all over himself, his blanket, and his bed. And just a little on his Mommy. SOOOOO... Little boy got a bath, too! And by the time I pulled him out of his nice warm bath water, the nurses had decided that he seemed to be doing okay temperature wise that they had a crib waiting for him as well. What an awesome morning. I got to bathe and hold both of my little ones and help them settle into their new beds. I feel like I can't be there for so much of what they accomplish (it's just impossible for me to stay there with them round the clock) so this meant so much to me to have been there for that moment. :)

Both babes are starting to take more and more feedings by bottle, and they have actually nursed from me a little bit, too. Awesome. The doctors and nurses are all amazed because the babies will be just 35 weeks gestation this Friday, and they have been nipple feeding for almost 2 weeks now. Technically they wouldn't have expected them to start doing that until sometime this week. It's like my little ones just want to come home. I'm so proud of them. I love them beyond anything I could have imagined. EVER. :)

We're still thinking good thoughts about them coming home for Thanksgiving. Basically, they have to be able to take every feeding by mouth and not have too many little breathing episodes while they feed. They also have to still consistently put on weight while they do this to prove that drinking their milk (instead of using the gavage tube) doesn't make them burn too many calories at this point. Once they can do that, they have to prove it for 48 hours straight. Then they can come home. I can't wait for that phone call....

Here are some updated pix of their 3rd week! Enjoy.

Sia - 3 Weeks Old!!!!

Sia's crib after moving from her isolette:

BIG smile...

Liam - 3 weeks Old!!!!

Liam's own crib after graduating from his isolette:

Family time...

Bathing Liam:

Bathing Sia:

This picture shows a LOT about Sia's personality. She is our little "talker," grunter, noise-maker, squeaker... however you want to call it! I've told Kevin over and over that once the babes come home, if he doesn't get ANY sleep while they are in our bedroom during the night that I am happy to sleep in the nursery with them. At least until we feel comfortable letting them be in another room. I'm not sure when that will be. We'll see! I just have to remind myself that the doctors will not send them home until they are ready. And while that IS comforting, I can't promise that I won't check to make sure they are breathing a million times throughout the night... Can't wait to have them home. :)

Along with her sweet little noises, Sia LOVES to stretch to the very ends of possibility. She always wants her hands by her face and tries to lengthen her legs to their limits. Liam, on the other hand, is so content to be swaddled and just settles in and chills out. We've started calling him "Laid Back Liam." We joke around by saying that we think that the morning they were born, Sia must have stretched long and hard and just kicked Liam out! I'm not sure that that isn't true...

Quiet time with Daddy....

The Smith Boys:

A big smile for Noah!

Have a fantastic week... We'll keep you posted. Also, stay warm! More pix and some videos coming very soon... Just as soon as I actually make it to the main computer in the basement where the magical software is. I don't think I've been down there in about 2 weeks. Hopefully today. :)


One Busy NICU Mommy