Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nothing New

Not really any major updates. McKenna is still having a heart drop or two per day which are usually with her feedings. She is still immature and struggles with the suck/breathe/swallow concept apparently and this causes her to choke or not breathe altogether with feedings. She occasionally is drinking two ounces per feeding but for the most part hangs around an ounce and a half.

Mckenna has done well holding her body temperature, so she is still in her crib and bundled up. She has been 4 lbs 2 oz for the past three days and only gaining a couple grams per day. We are hoping today she will hit the 4 lb 3 oz mark. The nurse commented today that the main thing keeping her in the NICU is her size. Of course she can't go home with the heart drops, but she is VERY petite and the preemie clothes still seem to swallow her.

We are continuing to pray for brain development for McKenna and that it would help her learn the suck/swallow/breathe concept. We are praying for weight gain and maturity of the body. Also praying for overall health and wellness. She is such a perfect little angel in our eyes and we want her to be healthy and thriving.

Keaton is doing great. His wellness visit Thursday was wonderful. We really like the pediatrician we chose (Dr Hampton) and she said his overall health was good. He is up to 5 lb 5 oz already. We were able to ask our questions (poor doctor...there were a lot of them) and felt good by the time we left.

He still struggles to burp for us, but one of the NICU nurses told me to just sit him up and rock him a patting or rubbing and that has allowed for at least one burp per feeding it seems. He is just so sweet and seems to really only get mad when we are changing his diaper, when he needs it changed, or if he isn't fed enough.

We are trying to give Keaton plenty of tummy time when he is awake to strengthen his neck muscles. He does pretty good with turning his head the other direction while on his tummy. Well, if we put it the direction he doesn't like then he turns it the other way but we figure that's a good way to get him to do it.

We are praying still for Keaton's overall health. He gets circumcised Wednesday and even though they say he won't remember it I cringe at the thought of him going through all that pain, or thinking about how hard he will cry when going through it. So we are praying also that procedure goes well.

Also please continue praying we learn the proper way to burp the babies. Not burping them is causing spit-up and gas pains.

Your prayers and love and support sure are appreciated! We couldn't have made it through the past seven weeks without all of you, and we certainly rely on you and your prayers for the future. Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Baby Girl in a Crib

Mixed feelings today. McKenna is four pounds today. Woo hoo. We are so happy. She is finally double her birth rate. What a big girl, and she looks bigger too. Her face has really filled in and her body looks longer. And today they put her in a crib. This is a big step up and a step closer to her coming home. We are really excited for her to be home soon, but nervous as can be because her heart.

McKenna has had heart drops daily lately. She had one earlier today and then this evening when I was feeding her she had another. Her face turned pale, eyes lifeless and body just goes limp. It's so scary. Poor girl. We are so worried about her and scared they are going to send her home with these drops. Their rule normally is that the baby has to not have a heart drop for at least 72 hours before they send her home, but talking with the nurse tonight she said that is not always the case. If heart drops occur with feedings they sometimes send them home anyway. SCARY!

Please pray her heart is continually strengthened and her brain reminds her to breathe.

Keaton is doing good today. He has been waking up about 45 minutes before his feedings and is hungry. We are trying to keep him scheduled with his feedings every three hours like they did at NICU since it will be so difficult to do every two hours with two babies home, but not sure how much longer he will allow for that. He is sleeping better at night but still does a lot of the grunting and moaning throughout the night.

Keaton's heart monitor went off last night saying he had a high heart rate (over 250). Not sure if it was a legit alarm or not because it only went off once, but we are hoping not. We are so worried he is sick and every little thing we tend to over read. He goes to the doctor tomorrow for his first "real" appointment and we have a million questions. Anxious to meet his doctor and see how she is. Also anxious to see how much he weighs.

Thanks for all your prayers.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


McKenna is still struggling to control her heart. She either has too high of a heart rate or is having heart drops. Had a heart rate drop yesterday and two again today. She is just really struggling it seems and it is so hard to sit back and watch her go through this knowing we can't do anything to fix the problem for her. We are so grateful she is a fighter and such a strong little lady. Look forward to the day where there aren't any heart drops, sat drops, high heart rates, extreme exhaustion from her feedings, etc. She is up to 3 lb 13 oz now so she is getting closer to Keaton's weight.

Keaton is struggling with his feedings. He has been spitting up lately which isn't something he did while in NICU, so I imagine it is something we are doing. He struggles to burp too. We will often go over fifteen minutes of patting and rubbing his back and still won't get even the tiniest burp out of him. We realize that can cause spitting up, so hoping to learn new way of burping. We have an occupational therapist (OT) coming over this afternoon to help us with this.

The OT will be helping us with many things to speed up Keaton and McKenna's growth and help them to be where they should be for their age. They will help with physical therapy, things to increase movement and sleep and feedings, and also with speech and therapy. And the best part is that they come to the house. We still can't really take Keaton out because he is in the car bed and someone has to be back there with him at all times.

Keaton has picked up more of a voice. He cries about thirty minutes before his feedings, cries when he is having his diaper changed and does a lot of groaning and moaning when sleeping, stretching or if he is not in a deep sleep.

McKenna has increased her feedings to nearly two ounces, which is what Keaton drinks currently. She is really trying to catch up to her brother on the weight thing I think. She is a loud eater and gulps down her food but has done well at pacing herself lately which is great since her feedings is often a time when she has heart rate drops.

Please continue to pray for the babies. Doing our best to update this daily, but seems that there aren't always updates unless it is just to say McKenna has gained weight and now weighs x amount. Will do my best to update though as changes occur. Looking forward to our baby girl coming home and having the twins back together. This Friday will mark seven weeks since their birth. Can hardly believe it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Got a call last night from NICU that McKenna had blood in her stools. They did a bunch of tests and more x-rays and so far everything has come back that there isn't anything wrong, which is awesome. Doctor thinks it is probably just a side effect from the transfusion last week. Hope she is right.

McKenna FINALLY gained some weight. She is up to 3 lb 11 oz tonight. Woo hoo. Getting closer to the 4 lb mark. She is still very immature. She isn't able to control her eyes and body much, so there is a lot of shaking that goes on with her. We are praying that with weight gain she will be able to control these movements more and that her heart rate will correct itself or slow down with weight gain.

Keaton is doing pretty well at home. We struggle to determine if he is warm enough or cold enough. We try taking his temperature at least once a day, but he hates that being done so it isn't always the most accurate. He also hates his diaper being changed. Didn't seem to be a problem until the past couple days and now he cries uncontrollably when we change him.

We took Keaton to the doctor this morning because he sounded really congested, isn't burping well and has been a bit fussy past two nights. Turns out we were right about the congestion. It's really bad. All we can do for him is saline spray (thanks Liz for the suggestion to get that stuff before we went home) and humidifier that we are suppose to leave on 24/7. Hoping that we will see improvement for him with these changes. Have been sucking out his nose all afternoon and it looks like it's a bit irritated from the sucking. We did find out though that he is now 5 lbs. We are so proud at how big he is getting.

Keaton is still immature but he is showing some great signs of growth. He is starting to make good eye contact, holds his head up at times, and responds to noise. We are excited for McKenna to get home so they can interact together.

Please continue praying for both babies, and especially for McKenna's growth and mental and physical growth. Thanks everyone. We love you all and are so grateful for the continued prayers and love.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Poor McKenna

Poor McKenna. She is still having problems with her heart. Heart drops and sat drops yesterday and today she is having more sat drops. We are so sad for her and praying that it will correct itself soon!

McKenna is all by herself now at the hospital and that is really hard for daddy and mommy. We are taking turns visiting her while the other one watches Keaton, but you can't help but feel sad for her being there by herself and knowing that Keaton is at home and we can hold him any time. Praying that she has God's love and comfort surrounding her and that she can't feel the loneliness.

She had her feeding tube taken out this afternoon. Hopefully they won't have to put it back in her again. She isn't gaining weight this week which is nerve racking but hopefully tonight we will see a jump. She should have a weight gain from the blood transfusion if nothing else.

As for Keaton, he has his mornings and nights mixed up. He is exhausted all day, sleeps well and quietly and hardly can keep his eyes open for eating. At night he is wide awake, eyes open and looking around, and grunts non stop. We are trying to keep him up after his day feedings to see if then he will be a little more sleepy at night. So far we can't get him to stay awake THROUGH the feeding so to get him to stay awake after? Seems impossible.

We are glad to have our son home though. It's so nice to be able to hold him whenever we want, however long we want, and to finally be his parents.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Our Son Is Home

What a blessing to have our son home today, and a very scary thought too!!!

Last night we roomed in at the hospital. We woke up every three hours, fed him, changed his diaper, burped him and laid him back in his crib. It was a test to see how he does without the nurses, and how we do without them. It was one of the longest nights we have ever experienced. Keaton didn't sleep well and kept grunting and moaning and making noises and we were scared that he was choking or spitting up and not able to turn his head to the side, or something was wrong. In addition to that we couldn't stop looking at the monitor for his heart the entire night. And it went off three times saying his heart rate was over 250 beats per minute and once saying it was under 60 beats. So we were a wreck.

Took Keaton back to NICU this morning for his discharge review. Found out the four alarms were false so that was comforting. And they think he probably was struggling to sleep because it was dark and quiet and he is use to a lot of noise with a lot of lights. So tonight we will try his sound machine and see if the white noise helps, and will use night lights and see if that is enough to make him feel more comfortable and at ease.

Thank you everyone for your prayers for this day. We are so blessed to have Keaton home and doing well and praying that McKenna can come home soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Successful Transfusion

What a difference the blood transfusion has already made for McKenna! She was wide awake this morning, took her whole feeding and has her spunk back. We are thrilled to have our baby girl feeling a bit better. If she keeps up with this energy she will have her feeding tube taken back out before we know it. Doctor's predict she won't be home until 40-42 week gestation which means 4-6 more weeks for her in the hospital. Sad she will be away from Keaton so long and that Kyle and I will take turns seeing her, but glad that she is in good hands and the nurses will take good care of her.

Keaton is having his car seat test right now. To pass it he has to sit in a car seat without any sat or heart drops for at least one hour. If he doesn't pass the test he will be required to ride in a car bed until pediatrician says he is okay to ride in the seat.

Finally got the nursery cleaned up about thirty minutes ago. The bassinet is set up, diapers and wipes stocked (thanks girls for getting all those!!!), crib put together and milk supply overflowing in freezers (thanks grandma and grandpa Dana for the storage space). So, we are as ready as we will ever be and getting excited to bring our son home tomorrow. Until then though, we have a night with him in the hospital and an eye and ear test for Keaton today as well.

Thanks everyone for the prayers. Our tinys are having a good day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Keaton's Coming Home - McKenna's Getting Another Transfusion

What a crazy and wild day this has been! We had been told Keaton would be going home this week most likely but they hadn't told us a day yet. And no matter how many times we try to get an answer we are left guessing, until this afternoon.

We were trained with CPR, watched the required videos and then had the home apnea monitor training (his heart monitor). So it was a full and busy day. And of course right before the apnea training the nurses drop on us that we are suppose to do "Room In" tonight and take Keaton home tomorrow. Just like notice or warning or 24 hour plan ahead. Luckily we convinced them to let us do it tomorrow and if all goes well, Keaton will be coming home Thursday. Room In is when you stay at the hospital for the night with the baby and it allows parents to see how they do with the baby and the baby to see how he/she does outside the NICU. A bit scary since Keaton has been taken care of by nurses and professionals for the past six weeks and now we are finally allowed to take him home.

Poor Ms McKenna has had a rough couple days and they just keep getting harder on her. Lately she has hardly opened her eyes at all. She is very lethargic and exhausted after only a few minutes into her feedings. She is usually feisty and lately she hardly makes a peep. So, tonight they decided after four heart drops, dozens of sat (oxygen) drops and several feedings where she couldn't even take in the minimum amount that it is time for her to get her feeding tube back in. McKenna has done great and kept it out for several days but with the lack of eating she will lose weight quickly if they don't put it back in. And in addition to the tube, they are putting in an IV (which her body doesn't seem to hold those well) and giving her another transfusion tonight. Hopefully this transfusion will help her gain strength and energy to eat and digest her food, will decrease number of heart/sat drops, and give her overall wellness. We are worried about our baby girl and just praying that God would bless us with a miracle and allow this to be the thing that pushes her to improve.

Please pray for Keaton that he doesn't have any more heart drops, continues to eat well and digest his food, keeps gaining weight (is up to 4 lb 9 oz) and does well at home. We are excited he will finally be here, but again, a little overwhelmed and nervous as we are first time parents.

Please pray for McKenna that the doctor's get the IV in on the first attempt, that the transfusion goes well, that the food tube doesn't irritate her and she handles it okay, that she gains weight quickly, has a decrease or eliminates the heart/sat drops altogether, and for overall health and wellness.

We appreciate the prayers! Keep them flowing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pretty Much the Same

There really haven't been any updates in the past two days. McKenna's tests all came back negative. They are keeping her off the meds for now, although she had a heart drop today and has been having more oxygen drops, so we won't be surprised if they put her back on it in a few days. Her heart rate remains high when awake or active.

McKenna's blood count is back down to the number it was during her last blood transfusion so we expect she will get another one soon. They are waiting to see if it goes back up on its own due to the iron vitamins they are giving her.

She weighed in tonight at 3 lb 7 oz and 16" long. Such a big girl. She is finally starting to fill out and looks adorable. She has piercing blue eyes that will steal anyone's heart. And she has been doing well with her feedings taking anywhere from 25 to 35 ml every three hours.

Keaton weighed 4 lb 8 oz tonight. He has been gaining weight each night, even if it is just grams, it is still a weight gain so we are happy about that. He is taking 35 to 50 ml every three hours and usually wakes up before his next feeding and is fishing around for a bottle. He chews on his hands and his blanket trying to get milk but it doesn't seem to provide it for him.

Tomorrow we are being trained on the home apnea monitor that Keaton will be sent home on. We are also doing the Infant CPR class tomorrow. Will be a busy day. We still anticipate him coming home this week though they haven't told us which day yet. We remain very anxious and nervous for this to happen. Seems like there is still so much we need to do before he gets here. We ordered the bassinets finally and they should be here tomorrow. The nursery still needs a few more things done to it before it's ready, but for the most part it is set up. Keaton's clothes are washed, we have diapers and wipes and all the bath supplies. I know we are forgetting something but I suppose we won't know what it is until we need it. Hahaha.

Thanks everyone for the prayers and continuing to check the updates. What a blessing to have prayer warriors. Love you all!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Pics

A few new pics of the babies

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Blue Babies

We are ready for the day to be over. It has had quite the fill of events.

Started with McKenna's heart being so high that they did all the tests. So far all the tests have come back negative. Still waiting for the EKG results, but assuming that comes back negative then we are at a loss as to why it is so high. Is possible that is just McKenna being McKenna.

Then this morning while feeding McKenna she choked and it was actually so bad that she turned blue - literally. Luckily the nurse was right there and ran over, patted her back, turned her to the side and got her breathing again.

Tonight McKenna was doing a little better. She ate her full bottle, is wearing her first sleeper and seems to enjoy being held. Yes, we FINALLY got to her again. Her heart rate was still high, but once she was held and eating it slowed back down to normal. I think it was the Tina Turner song I was singing her that kept her calm. Hahaha.

Keaton was doing well this morning. Doctor told us that as long as he didn't act up or cause problems we would be taking him home next week. I think he heard her and so tonight he decided to stir up problems.

While feeding Keaton he choked tonight, and just like McKenna, he turned blue. Only he was REALLLLLY blue. And we were all alone in his little isolation room so we were yelling out to the nurse to come help but by the time she finally got there she was blue and her heart rate was down to 62. Because of this, we didn't feed him his full feeding. He was 3 ml short of eating his minimum.

Because of the heart rate drop we are back to at least three more days with him in NICU. We are completely fine with that and at this point a bit nervous to take him home since he seems to be choking a lot on his feedings lately. We want to make sure that he is safe and secure and it is just so convenient to have the nurses and monitors there. Plus they say McKenna will be in NICU at least 4 - 6 more weeks, so the thought of her being there by herself for that long, alone without Keaton or her parents able to visit her whenever we want.

Please keep the babies in your prayers. We are going to watch the nurses feed tomorrow and have them watch us to see what we are doing wrong and why they are choking so much lately. And we are a bit overwhelmed with McKenna's heart rate and that the doctors don't have an answer or a way to fix it.

McKenna and Her Heart

Please pray for McKenna today. Her heart rate is so high they are doing more tests today. They have taken her off the meds that tell her brain to remember to breathe. They took her off those last week to see if that would decrease her heart rate. It didn't and she was having so many apnea spells, or heart rate drops that they put her back on it. So they will take her off it again for a few days to see how that effects her.

They are also doing an EKG, ultra sound, blood count tests, chest and gut x-ray. This will be to see if she has an infection and to make sure her heart murmur is okay, and that she isn't having problems, and to see if they can find anything. They did a few of these tests last week and didn't find answers, so they are retesting again today to see if they can figure it out. It is possible that it is just how she is. We are praying they can fix it either way, because a heart rate that gets up to 240 is not normal or healthy.

They are also taking McKenna's isolate temperature down and putting her in clothes to see if that helps. They are thinking maybe she is just warm blooded and her body temp a little cooler will help.

Please pray for answers, direction and wisdom for the doctors and that they can help our baby girl. We are a nervous wreck today and anxiously awaiting results. Hopefully we will get some answers tonight, but most likely will take a couple days.

Thanks everyone!!! Will let you know what we find out.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Next Week

Keaton is up to 4 lb 8 oz tonight. He is more awake this week and tolerating all his feedings. The nurse said that next week we will be trained on the apnea heart monitor, do the first aid training and car seat test, then we will take Keaton home. This is exciting but nerve racking. Hope we do well taking care of him and that we are able to come up with a system for visiting McKenna. We are not allowed to take him with us into the NICU, but can take him to the NICU waiting room. Problem with that is that we are risking him getting sick or an infection from being at hospital, so will most likely figure out a system where Keaton and Kyle hang out at home while I go to hospital, and Keaton and I hang while Kyle visits McKenna.

Kyle got really nervous today when Keaton choked again during his feeding. It was scary, but I know that he will be capable and do a good job if that happens when he is home with him.

McKenna is up to 3 lb 6 oz. Her heart rate was up to 240 (usually is around 160 average) and any time she is awake or moving it spikes up in the low 200s. We are praying and believing with maturity this will fix itself. She is still really pale so they will do another blood count in a couple days.

Please keep the family in your prayers. We are hoping to finish getting stuff ready for the nursery tomorrow or next day. I ordered the bassinets yesterday and they should be here within a few days. So hopefully all will be ready for Keaton's homecoming, and McKenna's will be right behind him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Almost Home

Found out this afternoon that Keaton had taken bottles for 24 hours so they were removing his feeding tube. We were surprised to go to NICU tonight to see McKenna had hers removed too.

Keaton's feeding tonight without the tube was a little tiring for daddy. Keaton didn't want to eat, was bored with it and then fell asleep. He made it through the whole feeding though. He has to be able to take his entire bottles for 24-48 hours without help or the feeding tube goes back in. Please pray for this. That would be painful for him I am sure.

We had three nurses today tell us that Keaton will be going home soon, and two of them seem to think that it will be next week. We are excited to have our son home, but also a bit worried. He will have to have the heart monitor which is a scary thought. Plus his sister will still be in NICU for several more weeks while she gains weight and she can't have heart drops. So that will be a struggle to try to plan it all out with visiting her and Kyle working and taking care of Keaton.

Keaton weighed 4 lb 7 oz tonight. Woo hoo...getting closer to the five pound mark.

McKenna struggled drinking her bottle tonight. She usually eats it so fast she struggles to breathe in between. Tonight she got exhausted really quickly and fell asleep while eating most of it...She also choked on it three times. Was a little scary. Same rule applies to McKenna...if she doesn't eat all her bottles, tube goes back in.

McKenna weighed 3 lb 4 oz tonight. She is really getting up there in weight and you can tell she is finally filling out a little. We still are not able to hold her, mainly because the feedings. She is too small for her body to handle being fed plus being held. It would burn too many calories. I pray that this doesn't effect her long term - not being held.

Keep them in your prayers. Today was another good day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Roller Coaster

Yesterday was awful, today is great. This truly has been the roller coaster ride the doctor's promised.

Keaton is still at 4 lb 5 oz but gained grams, so that's great. He also drank several full bottles today which is great since he has been slacking with that. His newborn rash still comes and goes. Was back tonight but has been gone most of this week. He didn't have any heart drops today and seems to be more alert the past day or two.

McKenna is doing bottle feeds every other feeding and doing great. She almost always finishes her entire bottle. She is still having problems with a high heart rate but didn't have any heart drops today. She is the exact same weight tonight as yesterday. No change in ounces or grams.

Kyle got home after his first business trip since babies were born. It's fun to see how well they respond to him. McKenna was fussing when we got there, and as soon as daddy stuck his finger for her to hold she clinched to it tight and just starred into his eyes. Her heart rate slowed down to normal range and the fussing stopped. For sure he has the magic touch. And Keaton drank an entire bottle for him, and even burped for Kyle.

Grandpa Dana came to visit the babies tonight too and held Keaton for the first time. Keaton slept in his arms most of the time but it was fun to see how comforted he was with Gramps.

And, the best news today was that I don't have MRSA. We are SO excited and feel very blessed. Thank you for your prayers! The babies are back on drinking breast milk tonight which means they are going to get the antibodies that formula can't provide. Hoping this will help them continue to grow and gain weight.

Thanks everyone for your commitment to praying for our family. We feel every prayer and it is so helpful to know when we are having a hard day and feel like we can't pray anymore, there is a group of people lifting up our tinys!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Difficult day. Babies are struggling to keep heart rates where they are suppose to be. Keaton has not had a heart rate drop for two weeks and this morning before we went in he had one. I assume it is because he is warn out from having to bottle feed every three hours and not just relying on the tube in his nose. Then after the bath today I fed him and he had two heart rate drops. Nurses say it is just from exhaustion but they don't think they are pushing him too hard by requiring him to do so much back-to back.

McKenna has been taken off the oxygen monitors. They have been saying that she is having sat drops throughout the day, so we were surprised by this decision, but the nurse explained her sat drops are due to heart rate drops. Supposedly as she matures the heart rate drops will decrease and eventually go away all together. We are a nervous wreck while we wait to see if they are going to go away.

McKenna is now receiving bottle feedings every other feeding. She chugs her bottles down really quickly and struggles to breathe after it because of how fast she drinks. Nurse tonight said to pull the bottle away throughout the feeding to remind her to breathe and catch up on it. Of course doing that causes her to fling her arms and start crying. Poor girl must think we are going to starve her.

McKenna is up to 3 lb 2 oz today. She still looks pale to me, but nurses think she is pink. She still has the eye gunk too.

It's bath day on Tuesdays, so I was really excited to give them their baths today. Grandma Dana came over and watched so she could see them awake for more than fifteen seconds. They did well. McKenna cried a few times, but the pacifier really seems to calm her. Keaton did really well with the bath and loves to have his head washed. He turns his head side-to-side while water is poured on him.

Keaton took a full bottle from me tonight - finally. He hasn't been eating his full bottles since the incubator heat was turned off. This morning when feeding him Grandma Dana was talking to him and said, "Your Grandma's here" and right then he got the biggest smile on his face. Of course it was probably gas smiles, but perfect timing.

So, looking back over this entry it doesn't sound like digressing or like things were that bad today. I think it is just frustrating and scary that Keaton had heart drops throughout the day, and that McKenna keeps having them. We worry about taking them home and that happening. Of course they would be on heart monitors but it would still be worrisome.

Prayer requests: Heart rates (no more drops for either of them, and for McKenna's to not be so high), healing of MRSA infection in Keaton, protection from infection in McKenna, healing of eye bacteria in McKenna, growth and weight gain, help with feedings and taking all that they are suppose to, overall organ protection, brain development, hearing, blood count increases to prevent transfusions and anything else you think is important for them. We are so grateful for your prayers! Can't thank you enough!

Monday, May 11, 2009


How in the world do women do it? Have babies and take them home right away and then find energy to care for them and still get other things done? They are amazing! So are the men that do that.

Spent almost the entire day with the babies. Was able to do three of Keaton's feedings. He is slacking a bit with it. He still only got half of the bottle drank each time and then they had to put the rest through the tube in his nose.

Nurse today and the doctor both said they didn't feel the hernia and they weren't sure what the nurse was talking about. So that's a blessing and we pray if he had one that it is gone for good.

Keaton gained an ounce and is now 4 lb 3 oz and 17 1/2" long. Such a big boy. He has the sweetest eyes and looks adorable in the crib he moved into this afternoon.

McKenna is 3 lb 1 oz now and 15 1/4" long. She has grown quite a bit. Due to her increased number of heart drops (three earlier today) and sat drops they put her back on the meds that tell her brain to breathe. They thought that may be increasing her high heart rate, but they have to do something to help prevent or decrease the drops, so this is their answer.

Her eye culture came back that she has a little bacteria in the eye, but not an infection. Their suggestion is to massage the tear duct and see if that clears things up a bit.

McKenna's skin was looking even more pale tonight so they are going to do another blood count tomorrow morning. We usually get results back pretty quickly. They also did another MRSA test on her today to make sure she still doesn't have the infection. It's a bit frustrating they have done three on her since Keaton was diagnosed with the colonization of MRSA but have not done another one on Keaton. We are also still waiting for results on my tests for MRSA and should get those tomorrow.

Hoping to finish things up in the nursery this week, just in case Keaton IS able to come home. Think that will help us to feel a little more calm about him coming home...having things organized and ready for them.

Please pray for Keaton to start taking all his bottles, for him to continue to do so when they remove the feeding tube, for him to hold his body temperature, for MRSA colonization to go away, and for overall health and weight gain.

Please pray for McKenna to gain weight, continue drinking her bottles (can now have two a day), breathe without stimulation, heart to beat like it's suppose to, eye bacteria to go away, blood count to go up on its own, and for overall health and well being.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Almost Home

Was so excited tonight when I walked in to Keaton's "Suite" and saw that his incubator heat was off, he was in a full sleeper and had a hat on. One of the big steps before he can go home is holding his own body temperature, and so far he is doing it. If he continues to hold it until tomorrow afternoon than they will put him in a bassinet. He looked so adorable!!! The other main steps are drinking full feedings every time (still at 35 ml every three hours, but occasionally falls asleep before finishing full bottle) and not having any apnea spells. The nurse predicts he will go home in about a week. WOO HOO! This Tuesday they will be 35 weeks if I was still pregnant.

He has been having greenish-yellow gunk in belly button past couple days and nurse today realized he had a suture still in there from when he had the IV put in his belly button. Hopefully now that they removed the suture he will not have any more puss. She noted also that Keaton has a small hernia there so they will keep an eye on it. We are going to request the doctor look at it on his next rounds.

Keaton was looking really pale again tonight too, so they will do blood work in the next couple days to make sure his numbers are okay and that he doesn't need a transfusion. Not sure how it works if he needs a transfusion or how long he has to be in hospital. I would imagine that would delay his coming home, but I would prefer the delay as opposed to him having to be checked back in for the transfusion.

Also, his rash is still on his face. Please begin praying the rash and hernia go away or God heals him of these things. And pray his blood count goes up on its own so no transfusion is needed. We are also praying he continues to hold his own temperature, gains weight and begins eating all his bottle feedings.

McKenna has a lot of gunk in her eyes and this morning she could hardly open her left eye due to the large amount of sleepers. Apparently they continued to build back up throughout the day and the nurse plans to do a swab on them tonight and will see if it is an infection. If so, they will have to giver her antibiotic eye drops and hopefully that will heal her.

She drank her entire bottle for me tonight (25 ml) and then was wiped out. She is a good eater though and seems really hungry by the time it's feeding time.

McKenna is exact weight tonight as yesterday. She had a heart drop today and several oxygen drops throughout the day too.

Please pray for McKenna's eye infection to go away, that she continues to drink her one a day bottle, that she gains weight, that she is protected from the gut infection and/or MRSA, and that her blood count goes back up on its own so another transfusion won't be necessary.

Thanks everyone for all the mother's day wishes! That is so sweet. It was a wonderful one and I am so blessed to have two beautiful babies.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Pound

Thrilled...McKenna is now a pound over her birth weight. She hit the big 2 lb mark today. Not only that, but they decided she can start being fed a bottle once a day in her isolate. That is so exciting. So they let us do that tonight and it was a lot of fun. She did great and drank 11 ml (out of 25) from her bottle and it completely wiped her out. She was a zombie after that.

Keaton also gained weight over night, and is now 4 lb 2 oz. We wanted to jump up and down screaming when we heard the number tonight, but some how managed to control our joy. He is now 1 lb 2 oz over birth weight. What a blessing to see this gain. And, daddy fed Keaton a bottle tonight and did SO well. Keaton ate the entire bottle and daddy didn't get nervous or impatient the entire time, and he even burped Keaton.

Keaton's rash seems a bit more severe tonight, but nurse talked to doctor and they assure us it is not from MRSA and he will be fine. It is supposedly just "newborn rash".

I was able to get into the doctor Friday morning for testing MRSA. The results should come back Monday or Tuesday and we will determine at that point what to do concerning breast feeding or bottle feeding with my milk. Hoping they can at least get back on the milk for the antibodies if nothing else.

Thanks everyone for your prayers.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Good Day

Both babies gained weight tonight. McKenna is up to 2 lb 14 oz and Keaton is up to 3 lb 15 oz. We were so excited about this, and both babies seem to be doing okay on the breast milk so far. Not having a lot of spit up or residual, so that's great.

Keaton drank full bottle two times today and is up to 35 ml per feeding now. That's so impressive. McKenna is still at 25 ml per feeding and only gets feedings through the tube in her nose. She is still too small to do a bottle. However the nurse commented that she has been waking up before feedings and sucking really hard on her pacifier, so she is going to let doctor know and see if they want to increase her feedings.

Keaton has a new rash on his face. There are red spots with little white dots in the middle. We are worried this could be from MRSA, but nurse thinks it is just new born rash or from scratching his face. She will keep an eye on it and if it doesn't improve by the next feeding she will have doctor look at it.

Kyle noticed tonight that Keaton's left naustril looks like it is closing on the inside. We asked the nurse about it and she said she didn't think it looked like anything to be concerned about but we could talk to doctor if need be. So, we will hopefully get some time with doc tomorrow to ask about it.

Keaton's blood count, along with McKenna's, is low and they will both need blood transfusions soon most likely. He is rather pale but is still very reactive to interaction and not having apnea spells or anything, so hopefully we can avoid it for a few more weeks.

McKenna had another brain scan yesterday and it appears the "bruise" has gone away. Thank you, Lord! Her heart rate is still high when she is awake or moving around. Doc still thinks this will improve once the meds have completely left her system. Also, they let me hold her again today. Was so excited. I haven't been able to hold her for a few days, so was all smiles when nurse said she thought McKenna would be okay with it.

Kyle read "The Little Mermaid" to McKenna tonight and she seemed to enjoy the interaction. It was cute.

Please pray for the babies' blood counts to improve, for McKenna's heart rate to stabilize and be normal, for both babies to gain weight, for Keaton's MRSA infection, rash and naustril opening, and for overall health and protection from viruses. We really appreciate the prayers. Keep them flowing!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This Breaks My Heart!

Tonight they put a halt on breast feeding and breast milk for both babies. We are so frustrated because each doctor and nurse tells us different answers and opinions about Keaton's infection. Three or four nurses have been made aware, and have seen, that I have open cuts (sorry if that's too much information) from feeding and I have asked several if it is still okay to feed them since Keaton has MRSA...they all say yes. I even had one nurse ask one of the doctors who said to continue to feed.

Today one of the nurses pulled me aside and said I should be tested for MRSA and should have my own pump set aside in Keaton's room to make sure that other mom's don't get it from me. I called my family physician to get tested but they didn't call back until after 5 pm and told me to get tested by OB.

Then tonight we go in and a different nurse told us we aren't allowed to breast feed, and not only that but they aren't going to use my breast milk until I am able to get a test done and get results that I don't have the infection. So they had their first formula feedings tonight.

Don't get me wrong - I do not have a problem with formula feeding, or anyone that feeds their children formula. However, from the beginning the doctors have told us that breast milk is VERY important for the tinys because of the antibodies and one doctor even told me that they are about 90% less likely to get an infection if they feed with breast milk instead of formula.

The only things we have control over are how often we see them, how long we stay, reading to them and providing breast milk. I feel like this is jipping the kids and we are very frustrated.

So, tomorrow I will call my OB and try to get in for a test, although we won't get the results until Monday at the earliest. I am going to call Urgent Care too, to see if I have test done there if we will get results over the weekend. We want them back on breast milk as soon as possible - especially with McKenna being sick again lately. Please pray I get in tomorrow and that we get results ASAP.

As for the babies, McKenna's heart rate was still high tonight. They say it will be a few days before she gets the meds out of her system and hopefully that will lower it. She still have not gained weight but is digesting all her foods. Her blood count is low and she will need another transfusion most likely sometime soon, but it's not low enough to give her another one yet. She had another ultra sound on the brain today and we are waiting for the results. She had another MRSA test on May 4 and it came back negative.

Keaton gained a couple grams, but not enough to bump him up in ounces. He is digesting food well still. He looks adorable in his over sized Preemie onsies. He has been doing well with the bottle feedings for the nurses and we were able to get him to eat 20 ml from a bottle tonight. We found out for infected babies they do the MRSA retesting every other week, and he now only needs two negative tests. So, that means minimum of a month in isolation. One week down, three more to go.

Thanks for standing in prayer with us.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sigh, Ready For Something Positive

Walked in to NICU this evening to find McKenna screaming and two nurses over her drawing her blood. Her heart rate was in the 200s this afternoon and they were testing to see if she has infections, low blood count and needing a transfusion, or if the aminophlin (medicine that helps her brain remind her to breathe) levels were too high. We still haven't gotten the results back from the tests earlier this week to determine if she has the gut infection again.

Tests came back tonight that her blood count is okay, for now. They don't think the heart rate is from an infection based on the blood work, but we won't know for sure if there is an infection until Saturday. They are taking her off the aminophlin for now to see if that lowers her heart rate, but with being off that means an increased risk for heart drops.

Kyle held her tonight for the first time. Well, he has held her up in the air while they change her sheets, but he held her in his arms, wrapped in a blanket while she was fed through the tube in her nose. He looked so proud, and very concerned. And of course she decided to freak him out by having continued oxygen drops and a heart rate drop to 67 (her heart rate is usually 160 or higher).

Please continue praying for our baby girl. She needs to start gaining weight (has been 2 lb 12 oz for several days) and to be healthy and well.

On a positive note, both babies had eyes checked today and they look like they won't have eye problems. We will have them retested in two weeks, and then not again for six months. It was awful seeing their eyes done though. Heard McKenna screaming when doctor was doing it to her eyes (I was in isolation room with Keaton) and then saw it with Keaton and had to look away it was just so awful! Won't even go into details, but I could never handle that as an adult, so I am not sure how the tinys did it!

Keaton finally gained weight - 2 oz. We are hoping he will break into the 4 lb mark this weekend, but we understand that is asking a lot. He had green residual (undigested milk) today after one of his feedings, but the doctor thinks it was just reflux. Please pray he does not get sick or any kind of infection. We still have to wait another week before his next MRSA test.

And, as always, thank you everyone for your love, prayers and support. We feel so blessed by all of you and are so grateful and we pray God bless you for your time and energy in checking this blog and in your continued prayers!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bath Time

Learned how to give babies sponge baths this weekend and today got to give both of them one one my own. What a scary but fun and memorable experience. Both babies were alert for their baths and looking around. They didn't seem to really mind it, until the end when I left them soaking and didn't have a towel/blanket to warm them up in. I blame the nurses for that one. hahaha.

McKenna seems to be doing a little better today. Doctor thought her stomach was looking okay, although we still haven't gotten results to see if she has the gut infection again. We also determined she should only be "breast feeding" once a day because the two times a day seems to overstimulate her and cause sat drops and she has been losing weight.

Keaton is still doing awesome today. He is so alert and calm. They stopped giving him his medicine that helps his brain remember to breathe because he hasn't had a heart rate drop in a week. If he ends up having one, they will put him back on it, but for now he is off.

Looking forward to heading back to hospital tonight to see the babies and seeing how much they weigh. McKenna will begin receiving 25 ml now of breast milk, and Keaton is still at 32 ml.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Well, still no news on McKenna's gut infection. They did blood work but we haven't gotten the results yet. Last night was extremely difficult as we were there for over two hours and for over an hour of the time she kept having oxygen drop after oxygen drop. They think she just did too much that day - had one "feeding" and had a bath. At her weight and size that is a LOT of activity. So today we opted to only do one feeding and her oxygen seemed quite a bit better. Will try doing only one feeding a day with her instead of the original suggested two to see if that decreases the oxygen drops and helps increase her weight (she has lost grams past couple days). Also hoping that decreases number of heart drops too as she had a few yesterday and again today.

Keaton is doing awesome still. The nurse said they aren't retesting his infection until next Wednesday which will be two weeks after his original diagnosis. That's a bit frustrating, but I am sure there is a reason for it.

He has moved to "nipple feeding" which can include a bottle every three hours, instead of just two or four times a day. I was really excited about this because it meant Kyle got to feed him with a bottle tonight for the first time. He was frustrated at the difficulty of getting a 33 week gestation baby to feed since he hasn't picked up on the sucking very well yet, but he did really good for the first time ever feeding a baby. After about twenty minutes and Keaton only eating 9 ml we decided to do the normal tube down the nose feeding.

Keaton lost a few grams tonight too, so he is at 3 lb 11 oz now. That's okay. It's expected for him to lose since he is burning calories while feeding now. And, today he got to wear his first onsie. He looked so hilarious. It's a preemie onsie but man did it swallow him whole! Will have to post a picture of it. He looks so cute.

As always, thanks for your prayers, comments, love, support! We are so grateful and wish we could express it somehow...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Scary and Difficult Morning

Wow, so we are heading back up the hill. Two steps forward, one step back. McKenna's stomach started looking distended yesterday and this morning seemed to appear even more so. We found out that yesterday she started having bowel loops again - one of the side effects of the gut infection - which we weren't aware she was having those this time around.

This morning we began feeding and she started having her "sat drops" which really just means she is not getting enough oxygen. This could be due to the learning of suck/swallow/breathe or her head being positioned wrong, or that she is just too warn out and exhausted. So the nurse told me to just hold her instead while the tube did all the feeding into her nose. Not a big deal, right? Well, she decided that the moving around wasn't something she enjoyed and spit up ALL down my chest and tummy. Spitting up or not tolerating feedings is another sign of the infection.

As soon as McKenna was put back in the incubator she began having sat drops again, only this time her oxygen levels weren't going up. After about 90 seconds of watching her and poking her and trying to get her breathing right the nurse decided that wasn't doing the trick and she pulled out the oxygen. Couldn't help but begin crying and freaking out as my baby girl laid there needing assistance.

The nurse had to report the morning events to the doctor and they are going to keep a close eye on her, but we are fearing the worst - that she has the gut infection again. If this returns it will mean no feedings, IVs back in her, back on fluids, back on antibiotics and two x-rays a day (a lot of radiation going into her body).

Please, please, please pray for a miracle and that this was just an off morning and she is okay. Pray that she doesn't have the infection, that she can digest her food well, that the air in her gut can escape and the distention will go away, and that she can continue to progress.

Thanks everyone!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Holding Your Breathe

McKenna, not sure what we will do with her. The poor girl is so little she seems to be starting to learn to nurse WAY too early. She is really struggling with the suck, swallow and breathe all at the same time. Can't say I blame her. I struggle to do that when getting a drink of water. But each time I have tried to nurse her oxygen levels go way down and she gets exhausted within a few minutes. This morning she had so many "sat drops" that we stopped after ten minutes of feeding and when she was placed back in her incubator she had a heart drop. They say with time she will do better and learn how to breathe and all. Hope they are right.

Keaton was having a few problems with his feeding tonight, but he did great earlier today. They have increased it so he is now doing two breast feedings a day along with two bottle feedings a day. And today he drank his full feeding (30 ml) through the bottle. I was so proud I started to cry. What a huge step forward. That is also probably why he had such a hard time feeding tonight - warn out.

Keaton is 3 lb 11 oz tonight. One more ounce and he is back up to an ounce more than McKenna, who is still at 2 lb 12 oz tonight.

Thankful for today and the positive things that happened and praying that we continue to go downhill from here on out. Thanks everyone for the continued prayers!

Still Gaining

*First three pics are McKenna. Last two are Keaton.

Hey everyone. Tinys are doing well. Keaton is up to 3 lb 9 oz, McKenna is up to 2 lb 12 oz. We are so excited!

McKenna is back up to full feedings (20 ml with 4 calories added) but her stomach is looking a bit distended again. Please pray the gut infection doesn't come back. They have her on her tummy today to see if that will help her get rid of some of the air in her tummy.

Keaton is still at 30 ml with 4 calories added per feeding. He looks like he is getting so big. Of course, he is only 3 1/2 lb so he isn't THAT big, but so much larger than McKenna and 1/2 lb over his birth weight.

McKenna was moved over to the first row so she can be closer to the isolation room. We were worried we would lose our nurses, but we were able to keep two of them so we are grateful for that. Wish we could have kept them all.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Best Day Yet

Wow, what an incredible morning. Eyes were filled with tears as I got to hold and feed my tinys. McKenna had no interest in it whatsoever. She looked annoyed that we were even trying to get a 2 1/2 lb baby latched on. It was hilarious. The lactation consultant just kept saying over and over how adorable that she is.

Keaton did well with his bottle last night, for being his first time feeding. Nursing him today seemed to really tire him out but he did well. And, the best part was I didn't have to wear a gown or gloves. Of course have to shower and scrub between feedings, and won't be touching McKenna after feeding Keaton, but I will have an hour with her, then an hour with him.

It was so nice to be able to give Keaton skin-to-skin contact. And, his "suite" was really nice too. It wasn't curtains blocking us from the nurses and other mothers, but an entire room with the door shut. I learned how to nurse, then after that got to hold him for another forty minutes or so with the door shut...just me and my son. i was able to sing to him and talk with him, and just love on him. What a blessing.

Can hardly wait until next feeding this afternoon so I can bond with the babies. Thank you, God, for this blessing! We really needed it.

Still hard to not be looking for something to go wrong since something so wonderful happened today, but doing our best to keep our eyes focused on God and all the blessings He has given, even with the trials.

Love you all. Keep praying. God is listening. And we will continue to pray for all of you!