Monday, August 25, 2008

SOME BIG NEWS..... I went to both hospitals today to see the babies (yep, Kate is still at Childrens...I'll tell you more about this later....) At AGH, I'm so happy to say that all three babies - John, Claire and Elizabeth - are all breathing completely on their own! Can you believe it?!?! On top of that, Claire and Elizabeth had had their feeding tubes removed and are doing all of their feeds from bottles! John is also eating from a bottle but still has at least a few feeds from the feeding line that goes to his stomach. Each of them is eating just over an ounce at each feeding and they have done very well teaching themselves to suck, swallow and breathe while they eat. It's absolutely amazing how well these babies are doing. They're not just surviving - they're thriving! Dr. Balest came in while I was feeding John and I said, "So when you do think that the first one will get to come?" Dr. Balest pulled out their charts and said, "well based on what I see, they're all an acceptable weight, they're all eating successfully from bottles, they're off all medications with the exception of vitamins. The last test will be to cold-stress them and remove them from the isolettes to regular newborn cribs. If we're successful with this and they're able to maintain their body temperature, I'd say that they'll probably start coming home NEXT WEEK".

Excuse me....WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!

Yep - that's right. She said that they are going to potentially start sending the babies home next week. I have to say that my heart jumped up into my throat! I couldn't believe it! Our babies will finally start to come home. How incredibly exciting! I have to admit though, I'm pretty nervous too. Beginning to care for four premature children is a rather intimidating task and the anticipation has been building for so long now that I can't believe it's finally here. Dr. Balest said that Claire will probably be first, then probably Elizabeth just a few days after Claire and John won't be far behind! Of cousre, my mind is working overtime tonight with all of the things I need to do before the babies get here and my list is growing with every waking moment. I'll keep you all updated on how things go the rest of this week and when we think that Princess Claire, Queen Elizabeth and John - aka "Q Dog" to his Dad and I :) - will bust out of the NICU into this big crazy world!

As for Kate, last week started great with us getting to hold her for the first time, but she hit a few bumps in the road starting the following day. A few small issues snowballed and caused Kate to take a few steps back in her progress. Kate's belly became round and distented and after further investigation, the dr's found that she wasn't digesting the breastmilk she was receiving as well as they had thought. They found 13 ml of partially digested milk in her belly along with pockets of bowel gas. In short, her bowels didn't have good motiilty and her intestines weren't able to process her food as well as they had thought. On top of this, the swollen belly didn't allow Kate to expand her lungs as much as needed in order to take good, deep breaths so her ventilator settings had to be increased to assist her breathing. Additionally, Kate has a lot of thick secretions in her endotracheal tube so they've had to do physiotherapy on her chest every two hours and suction her tube to remove these secretions. John and I were so disappointed. We were so encouraged by Kate's progress and then - like the flip of a light switch - we went from moving forward to stepping back. It seems like just when you think you've turned the corner, you hit a wall. However, our Kate is showing again how tough she is. After 5 days of taking a break from feeds and allowing the gas in her belly to reduce, the dr's decided today to reintroduce the breastmilk in smaller amounts and to increase it very slowly based on her response. They also gave her Eurythromyacin which will encourage motility in her bowel and intestines so that hopefully, she will resume stooling again. We're hoping that she will again begin to slowly wean down on her ventilator settings so that someday soon she can get closer to extubation. This little girl has chutzpah and if any baby can do it, she can.

So, there you have it. An update on our bambinos. We also hired a terrific nanny last week that I'm thrilled to have on board with us. I'm dead tired tonight, but I'll blog a little about Fran in the next few days. She's a dynamo!

Please continue to keep all four angels in your prayers as well as our little man Luke. The coming weeks and introduction of these four little ones into his life are going to be a challenge but I know that he will grow to love them as much as we do. Luke is such an amazing boy. I simply adore him. Please also keep John and I in your prayers also as we begin the next chapter in this amazing journey. May we be reminded daily of just how blessed we are to have these five precious gifts to call our own.


Andria said...

Congrats on such wonderful progress! Having your entire family at home under the same roof will sure be a blessing. I will pray for your family as your lives continue to change, and for Baby Kate to continue to climb up that ladder.

Renata said...

What great progress - home next week!! I will keep you all in my prayers - & esp little Kate.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful news! To think that a couple short months ago, the fate of these little ones was at best, questionable... and now, the little miracles that they are, are preparing to come home! It has been said throughout, but God certainly is GOOD! And He WILL pull Kate through this too. Clearly, she has fight in her, and her recent setback is just another hurdle that when overcome, will just make her that much stronger of a girl... talk about Girl Power!
Keeping you all in thought and prayer, especially with the soon approaching homecomings! Give Luke a squeeze and tell him if he needs a break from 'little babies' and needs some "Big Boy Time", give Jake a call... :)
Lots of happy thoughts your way,

Erin Hein said...

What AMAZING news!!! I was so thrilled to read this post. I can't even begin to describe how happy and excited I am for you all. I will continue to pray for Baby Kate's health, as well as you, John, and Luke as you begin to bring the babies home. Congratulations Carrie!!!

cat said...

Wow! Great news!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on such wonderful and exciting news. We've all been praying for this day to come. With God's help and Kate's fight, it won't be long before she is home too. We're all so happy that things have so worked out well so far. They truly are miracles, and prove the power of prayer.

We will continue to pray for all of you, especially Kate.

Nancy, Bill & girls

Anonymous said...

I am so excited for you. A long road and now your heading into the driveway. I will continue to keep of of you in our prayers and hope that Kate pulls through this one also. Such wonderful news after all of this time to finally get them home with you.
God bless

Collegegirl said...

WOW! I am VERY impressed! You ALL are in my prayers. Luke will be an awesome big brother and will adapt well!

Tubre Quads said...

Wow, way to geaux little Lemons :) Going home before their due date considering how early they were born (ours were just a few days gestation older than yours at 27 weeks 2 days) is quite an accomplishment. The fact that they are taking all their feeds by bottle and off all oxygen amazes me. You have some tough little cookies. I will be saying extra prayers for little Kate.