Saturday, July 5, 2008

Just an update and a couple pictures!

It's been a hectic week for us as we've been busy visiting the kids every day at both hospitals. Traveling downtown every day has been interesting with all of the construction going on. It's a madhouse in Oakland every time we try to go to Children's. We actually almost witnessed a fight the other day as people were fighting to get parking spaces in one of the two parking garages that are constantly filled. Having babies in the NICU is stressful enough and the parking situation sure doesn't make it any easier!

We're learning that the life of a NICU parent is filled with ups and down and adjusting to the emotional roller coaster isn't easy, but overall we are doing pretty well. We'll give an update on how the babies are doing and post some anxiously awaited pictures. It’s been hard to get good pictures inside the isolettes as the lighting is low (intentionally for their eyes) and often there are too many tubes in the way, etc… Just so Luke doesn’t feel left out I’ll put a couple pics of him too! I don't have good pics of Kate or John (actually we do but they're prints the hospital gave us and they're not scanned yet).

John is doing quite well and is feeding on full breastmilk. He never had the surgery for the Broviac as all his sisters did. They’re having trouble getting IVs into him and so the Broviac remains a possibility in the future but not definite. John is different than the others in that he seems to want to keep to himself more. He sort of moves and squirms around and his "numbers" (the "numbers" we always refer to is a crazy thing that you get tired of worrying about) fluctuate – and then when you leave him be, he seems as though he’s cozy again. He’s pretty long and slim (over 14 inches) but is eating 15ml of breastmilk per feeding and soon they will add a "fortifier" to it to add calories!

Elizabeth is doing well and is still getting IV nutrition and getting an increasing amount of breastmilk. Doctors are telling us that they hear her heart murmer and that the echo does show that PDA still open so they may have to give her some more medication to try and get it closed. If this doesn’t work she may end up having the surgery to repair it (this is apparently a minor surgery). I (John, yes that’s right) actually changed her diaper today. I was afriad I would break her but the nurse insisted I try it. Elizabeth has passed her birth weight and is, as they say, part of the kilo-club as she weighs over a 1kg now!!! You can see in the picture below how she looks like a real chunk (the wrinkles on her chest are from tape that holds the sensors in place.

Claire is quietly doing well and on her tummy all the time because that’s what she likes. Claire seems to like being touched and/or having my hand on her back – she sort of just snuggles around as you touch her. They think that one of us can hold her soon. Claire is ramping up on breastmilk and weaning down on the IV nutrition. Here is a picture of her and I don’t know if you can tell from the size of this picture but she is going to be very blonde because she’s already more blonde than Luke was as an infant and look how blonde he is now!

Kate’s situation changes often and has given us the feeling like we’re riding a roller-coaster. Yesterday we were ecstatic, and if we would have had time we were going to post a blog, because she had stooled in her diaper I think on Thursday and Friday – and that nothing was "oozing" from around that umbilical area. This was positive news and gives an indication to the doctors that the GI tract is functioning somewhat so that may rule out the possibility of a tear or complete obstruction. Fast-forward to today and Kate was back on the "oscillating vent" due to having bad blood/gas readings again. Since then she has improved on that front, but this issue with her gut is keeping them from feeding her (other than IV nutrition) which works against her ability to grow faster. Kate is quite the feisty one and likes to wiggle her arms and legs to get comfortable. Our best pictures of Kate were given to us by the nurses who take them once in a while but I haven’t scanned them in so Kate's pic is soon to come.

And last but not least as promised, some pics of Luke. We took him with Poppy and Grandma to see fireworks and at first he really liked them but quickly became more interested in his animal crackers. He was intrigued off and on but eventually got pretty tired and we headed home right as they were ending. He got to go to the Zoo today with Aunt Holly, Uncle Joe, and his two cousins JJ and Tyler and he loved it! Here are a couple pictures of little Luke.

A couple July 4th pics:

Just a random Luke picture!

Please keep all in your prayers, especially Kate and the doctors who care for her.


Jen Custer said...

Carrie and John,
Many congratulations on the birth of your beautiful children. I have been praying for you and them as they continue to grow and develop. May God bless you as you continue on your parenting journey. What precious and bountiful gifts He has bestowed on you! He must have known that you would have been the best for the job!! Carrie, of all the girls in AGD, you are the one that can handle this with your enthusiasm and dedication. Best wishes,
Jen Custer ZK 173

Anonymous said...

They are SOOOO beautiful!! Can't wait to see the others... Big brother Luke is going to have his hands full very soon!!

Shellyc said...

Good luck with your babies. My sister had Quads almost 3 years ago, and it can be scary seeing how little they are, but your children sound like they are fighters, so hang in there. There are many people praying for you and your babies.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures:) We are so happy that the quads seem to be all getting better everyday! I know it will be a long journey so please try to take it easy and try to get some rest! We all want to help, so you don't have to get everything done ASAP!

God Bless you and your family,
The Vogels

Anonymous said...

Dear Carrie and your beautiful family,
I am beyond PROUD of you and all that you have accomplished. Being pregnant with a toddler is a task in itself, but you managed to make it a bit more interesting. We are praying for your family and those who are helping you through this journey. It is truly amazing. Thank you for the updates. Please take care and know that we will continue to pray.
Kim Minahan