Thursday, July 31, 2008

We sold the house!!!

Hallelujah!!! We are so thrilled to have this one big item checked off of our list of a million things to do these days! We received a very good offer a few weeks back so we accepted it with glee! We met with the realtor and new owners today for the closing. Although we're glad to no longer have to worry about the house, turning over the keys and signing it away was bittersweet. The house holds so many wonderful memories for us, not to mention a lot of blood, sweat and tears that went into remodeling it over the past 4 years! As we walked through it the other night after we finished clearing out the last few items, I reminisced about how excited John and I were when we saw it for the first time, how thrilled we were the day we closed on it, remembering moving into our first home together after our wedding, the excitement of bringing Luke home from the hospital, sitting on the back porch and marveling every day at the beautiful view we were blessed to have, etc. I know we're moving on to bigger and better things as our circumstances are definitely changing these days, but we'll definitely miss the old place and all the wonderful memories she holds!




The view from our back deck...we're really going to miss this!



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A few pics to share of our little miracles and an update...

Hi everyone...

Just wanted to post a quick update on Kate. To make a very long story short, the doctors were fairly confident that as of last Thursday, Kate had an infection of some sort so they immediately started antibiotics and took cultures to see if their hunch was correct. The cultures were negative after 24 hrs but due to a fever, high white blood cell count and some other factors, they were still convinced that she was "brewing" something inside of her tiny little body. The doctors decided to draw some spinal fluid to rule out meningitis. Just after the doctors did the fluid draw, they noticed that Kate's body was twitching rhythmically for about 20 seconds. The nurse practioner who did the draw said that although he wasn't exactly sure that he would call it a seizure, it definitely did not appear to be normal baby twitching that typically would only last a few seconds. As a precaution, they called neurology for a consult who suggested that they immediately put Kate on Phenobaritol, which is a medication used to control seizures and relieve anxiety. They gave her a relatively small dose and requested that she have an EEG (electroencephelogram) which measures and records the electrical activity of the brain. They also ordered a brain ultrasound to verify that she had no bleeding of the brain. The ultrasound came back normal and the EEG showed no signficant activity other than a few "spikes" in activity over the whole report period. The neurologist feels fairly comfortable stating that Kate didn't have a seizure, but they are going to continue giving her Phenobarbitol in weaning doses over the next 3 weeks. If she doesn't have any other episodes resembling the one she had on Saturday, they will do a repeat EEG and hopefully discontinue the medication. They're continuing to give her a 7 day course of antibiotics to fight the infection they initially suspected. The good news is, the Phenobarbital will not delay the possibility of Kate's surgery so the neonatologist told me today that she'll be continuing to push for the surgery as soon as the antibiotics are done. Kate looked much better today when I went for my daily visit. She was nice and pink and although a little groggy (one of the side effects of the Phenobarbital), she was doing well. Kate is continuing to grow on her IV nutrition and as of her last weigh in is approximately 2 lbs, 9 oz. Although delaying the surgery has been difficult because we're so anxious to see her begin feeding on breastmilk, it has given her an opportunity to grow and strengthen and she'll be in a much better condition when the time for her surgery does come. This little girl is going to be one tough cookie! We praise God for sustaining her ( and us!) through the tough weekend.

Good news about our little John...he continues to do FANTASTIC on his CPAP machine! He is really thriving on this machine....so much so that as of this afternoon, he moved over to the NICU step down room with his sisters! I can't tell you how excited I was to hear this! John weighs about 2 lbs, 6 oz. and now that he has recovered from his infection from 2 weeks ago, he has resumed his feeding schedule is back on track.

Elizabeth and Claire are both doing awesome. Both girls continue to do great on their nasal cannulas of oxygen and are eating up a storm these days. Miss Elizabeth is teetering on the 3 lb. mark (she was 2 lbs, 15 oz. as of yesterday) and Claire isn't too far behind. I got to hold both of them together the other day and I just have to share this story....I was "kangaroo holding" both girls (they were tucked inside of my shirt right against my skin so they could hear my heartbeat and use the warmth of my body to stay warm). They been out of their beds for awhile and were ready to go back into their isolettes. The nurse went to take Claire back to her bed and when she started to lift her up, Elizabeth put her arm around Claire's waist as if to say "you're not taking my sister!" It honestly was one of the most adorable things I have ever seen. So of course, I let them stay and snuggle with each other a while longer. I can't wait until Kate comes back to AGH so all four of them can snuggle together hopefully someday soon!

Before I share a few pics with you, I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who worked so hard at the car wash/bake sale that was held on our behalf this past weekend. A huge thank you to Kathleen Conn and Shelly James who put in so much time and effort to make the day such a success. The team of helpers who were washing and vaccuming cars, holding signs, grilling hot dogs, selling bake goods, etc. were truly wonderful. I cannot tell you how humbling and heartwarming it is to see people working so hard and giving up their free time in order to help friends in their time of need. We feel so blessed. Our friends and family from Zion have been a godsend and we give thanks to our Heavenly Father every day for their love and support.

OK...just a few pics to share for now. I actually have a few more, but I need still need to have them scanned. I'll have one of Kate, I promise! More to come over the next few days...

This is me "kangarooing" with Elizabeth (on the left) and Claire (on the right)...



A close up of Elizabeth (on the left) and Claire (on the right)... are they stinkin' adorable or what?!?!?!?

Our little man John....I absolutely love this picture! This is while he was still on the ventilator - before he graduated to the CPAP machine.

Please continue to pray for the health and progress of all four babies.
Keep checking over the next few days for some additional pictures!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

John starts off on the wrong foot and ends up with his first day out!

We’re always talking about the ups and downs of the NICU (with our babies and with seeing others in there) but today was a big surprise that started scary and turned fantastic. I left work a little early today to go and see John, Claire, and Elizabeth. I first visited John and the nurse filled me in on the day’s happenings. She was indicating that we was having a rough day desaturating and that it may be due to his infection with his vent tube and there may even be a possibility of pneumonia. I then spoke to the doctor and she ruled out the pneumonia thing saying that his lungs aren’t showing this to be true but that his secretions are still there and they are affecting his breathing with the tube. So as I’m standing there he has one of his desats except he keeps going down and down and before I knew it Dr. Clouser was telling the nurses to replace his tube and asking me to leave! So I go over to the step down area where Claire and Elizabeth are and I’m trying not to watch around the corner at what they’re doing with little John. After about 15 minutes a nurse comes over and tells me I can come see John again and she seems happy… ??? I go over to John and there he is with the CPAP connected! This is the thing that just provides positive air pressure at his nose so that when he spontaneously breathes it helps the lungs expand. This I know now from my NICU savvy-ness :) is a big step in the right direction. His nurse indicated that he is doing really well on it. After sitting with him for a while I went back to hold Claire for a while as she was feeding. I was talking at length with a couple very nice nurses the whole time I was in there holding Claire. Elizabeth was sleeping very peacefully so I decided not to bug her too much.

When I went back over to John before I left they re-iterated that he was doing quite well on his CPAP without the ventilator! They needed to have another nurse come to hold him up while they were to change his bedding. But instead they thought it was a perfect time for me to hold him for the first time while they changed his bedding. This was an extremely gratifying moment and I couldn’t wait to tell Carrie who I knew would be so happy, yet so jealous :) I can’t explain what this was like – the joy and thankfulness. John has been a little behind the eight ball since his sac was the one that ruptured several days before their delivery. Hopefully he can last for longer this time before getting “tired” and maybe the 3rd try on the CPAP will be the charm. They took a couple great pictures that I, once again, can’t post because they just gave me a picture and I’ll have to scan it (I’ve been meaning to buy a new printer/scanner). We’ll try to get picture of him and Kate as soon as we can.

Anyway it all worked out to be a good evening for John and we thank God for every small victory.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An update on the babies...

Just wanted to post an update on how all of our little lemons are doing these days. We're thrilled to say that all four are stable and are continuing to gain weight - yahoo! Here's what's new with each little peanut...

John - John has recently had a few "bummer" days as he has had an infection in his endotracheal tube. He's had quite a lot of secretions that they've had to suction out of him lately. The doctors started him early on antibiotics to treat the infection when they first recognized some of the first signals he was sending out that something might not be right. When I went to visit one day last week, he seemed very pale - almost like the color of oatmeal. However, after receiving his antibiotics, he pinked up quite a bit and seemed to be feeling much better. John continues to be on a ventilator but his settings are quite low these days and the nurses informed me today that they're hoping to check his blood gas readings over the next few days and if all is well, they're hoping that he can step down to a CPAP machine. This is such great news! Especially in light of the recent infection in his endotracheal tube. John is eating 18 ml of breastmilk (30 mls = 1 oz.) and he weighs 2 lbs. 6 oz. My little bird isn't so little anymore! He's definitely growing and chubbing up a little! I PROMISE that we'll get a picture of John posted soon!!!

Claire - Claire has been doing well lately also although she is not thrilled AT ALL with the Polyvisol vitamins she is given. The nurse told me that these commonly make the babies spit up and Claire is no exception here. She spit up pretty well the other day while John and I were there to visit. John got to hold her while she fed through her feeding tube. She is so stinkin' cute! Her blonde hair is so sweet and her fingers are SO ridiculously long! She currently eats about 22 mls of breastmilk and she also weighs 2 lbs 6 oz. Claire occasionally has A's and B's (which stands for apneas and bradycardias). This means that Claire has basically forgotten to breathe (yep, this is pretty common in preemies although it sounds really bad!) and that her heart rate is less than 100 beats per minute. They usually tap the bottom of her foot or sit up her and give her a little pat on the back to reminder her to breathe. Claire only needs a nasal cannula with oxygen for breathing assistance.

Elizabeth - Elizabeth is also doing really well. Our little chunk is up to 23 mls of breastmilk at each feeding and weighs 2 lbs, 11 oz. She has recovered very well from her surgery and although she has some occasional A's and B's like Claire, she is breathing quite well on her nasal cannula of oxygen. I've held Elizabeth a few times over the past week and today I got to do "kangaroo" holding with her. They placed her right on my chest so that she could feel my body warmth and then they covered her with a blanket to keep her temperature up. She was so warm and snuggly! I just loved it and I think she did too! I'm betting that our little Elizabeth will be the first one to come home - we'll have to wait and see!

Kate - Kate is doing well. She continues to desaturate as so many preemies of her size do, but it seems as though she is desating less lately. She still has some signs of fluid in her lungs and she continues to receive diuretics to assist with this. The doctors have said that they would like to revisit the possibility of doing her surgery again this week, but so far, no date has been scheduled. Although she doesn't get any breastmilk yet, she continue to grow little by little and as of today, she weighs 2 lbs, 2 oz. The nurses believe some of this represents fluid but they are still happy with the small weights gains she's had while being solely on artificial nutrition. She is just so adorable and such a fighter. I can't wait to hold both her and John! Then my heart will really smile once I've gotten to hold all four of them!

Well, that's it for now. Thanks to everyone who has kept our family in their prayers. Keep 'em coming!

Good night all...

Carrie, John, Luke, Elizabeth, Claire, Kate and John

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kate's surgery was cancelled....

Well...it turned out to be the big day that never happened. We got to the hospital only to find out that Kate had her blood gas taken this morning and her numbers were not very good. They took them again and they were a little better, but not by much. We met with the surgeon who showed us chest x-rays that they took of our little princess this morning. The x-rays were somewhat hazy and cloudy which is an indication that fluid is present in the lungs. This also explains some of the weight gain that Kate has had. We were excited thinking that she is growing at a great rate on the artificial nutrition, but as it turns out, some of the weight gain is probably due to fluid retention. The surgeon said that although they probably could go ahead and do the surgery, he didn't feel nearly as comfortable proceeding as he did the day before. He often describes our little Kate as a "delicate flower" (which I love :) and said that the surgery at this point is still considered to be elective as the remnant issue is not serious or life threatening so he felt better waiting until next week to possibly attempt the surgery again. They are going to give her Lasix, which is a diuretic that will help her pee out some of the fluid that she is retaining and they also are going to give her Albuterol, which will help increase the air flow in her lungs.

John and I were somewhat disappointed in the news that surgery wouldn't take place. We had emotionally prepared ourselves that today would be the day and hopefully after the surgery, Kate would turn the corner and be on the road to better breathing and breastmilk! Unfortunately, it was not to be today. On the other hand, we felt relief that the surgeon (who is about my age and also has four young children)wasn't willing to proceed when there was any possibility of additional problem other than the usual risks for a preemie child this small.

We did have the chance to see Claire, Elizabeth and John today. The girls are doing beautifully (John and I got to hold them today while they were fed their breastmilk through their feeding tubes - yahoo!) Elizabeth is 2 lbs, 5 1/2 oz. and Claire is 2 lbs., 3 oz. They both had their eyes open the whole time we were holding them and I words don't do justice to how beautiful they are! John had a tough day yesterday experiencing a few desaturation episodes (his monitors "alarm" because he has too little oxygen in the bloodstream) and the doctors were concerned by some of the symptoms he was showing that he may have an infection in his bloodstream or endotracheal tube. They sent some of his secretion samples and bloodwork to the lab to be tested. So far, the tests have been negative but they are treating him with antibiotics just to be safe. Our John is so absolutely adorable. He is weighing 2 lbs, 1 oz these days. I call him "Bird" because he is so long and skinny and just reminds me of a tiny little baby bird every time I see him. I can't wait to hold him and snuggle with him!!!

So, keep those prayers coming for the health of all four babies and and we'll see what the next week brings for Kate and the possibility of rescheduling her surgery.

Take care everyone and God bless!
Carrie, John, Luke, Elizabeth, Claire, John and Kate

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A car wash/bake sale to benefit the quads...

Have we mentioned how wonderful our church family has been and continues to be? Not only have they showered us with love and prayers, they've brought us meals, given us wonderful gifts, helped to care for Luke during my hospitalization and beyond and now, they're having a car wash/bake sale benefitting the quads. How amazingly blessed we are to be surrounded by such wonderfully caring people!

The organizers of the event have asked me to pass along the info about the car wash so that anyone with a dirty car and/or sweet tooth can join in on the fun!!! Here are the details:

WHERE:
ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH
3197 WASHINGTON PIKE
BRIDGEVILLE, PA 15017

WHEN:
SATURDAY, JULY 26TH FROM 9AM - 2PM

QUESTIONS?
PLEASE CONTACT KATHLEEN CONN AT waconn@comcast.net OR SHELLY JAMES AT shelly.a.james@verizon.net

A million thanks to Kathleen, Shelly and our friends at Zion for organizing this event on our behalf!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kate's surgery is schedule for Friday...

Well, we finally got the news we've been waiting for this morning. We met with the pediatric surgeon and the neonatologist who confirmed that they have scheduled Kate's surgery to repair her omphalomesenteric duct remnant that was detected when she was born. The surgeons will also do some exploration during the surgery to verify that there are no perferations in the bowels, blockages, etc. Kate will receive general anesthesia for the surgery and the incision will be just below her belly button. It is so hard to believe that a child this small (her last weigh in tipped the scales at 1 lb, 11 oz.) can endure surgery at such a young age. Her size is of course a concern to the doctors and surgeons, but they have indicated that they feel confident that surgery will be successful despite this. We have been anxious for the surgery to take place because Brad has indicated from the beginning that, in his professional opinion, giving Kate enteral feedings (breastmilk provided to her by means of a feeding tube) would be very risky for many reasons without knowing for certain that her only issue is the duct remnant. Our hope is that the surgeon will be able to clamp the remnant, the exploration into the rest of her gut will show no other issues and that hopefully, they will begin giving her breastmilk sometime shortly after in extremely small doses initially. Now that the surgery is finally scheduled however, John and I have mixed emotions because although we're thrilled at the possibility of her being able to be fed breastmilk as opposed to the total artifical nutrition she's receiving now, the risks of surgery on such a small child are very real and very scary. We know that God holds our little angel in the palm of his hand and we pray that he would guide the hand of the surgeons, the neonatologists, nurses and all who care for her. We will post an update following the surgery just as soon as we have a chance.

Our other 3 little peanuts are continuing to do well. Claire and Elizabeth are currently only receiving oxygen through small nasal cannulas and are doing quite well. John seems to go back and forth from ventilator to the CPAP machine. This is quite common in preemies, especially as John was the 3rd smallest baby of the 4. As his lungs continue to the develop, he sometimes needs additional breathing support so this is the reason for the switch back and forth. All 3 are receiving breastmilk and are continuing to gain weight.

We decided to take Luke to see John, Claire and Elizabeth on Saturday for a few minutes. He was fascinated by all of the machinery, the buttons, the beeping sounds - everything but his brother and sisters! He did take a few peeks inside of their isolettes to "check them out". We got to hold Elizabeth for the first time on Saturday and Luke seems very curious about why Mommy was holding someone other than him! As I said, our visit didn't last too long...the NICU is definitely not a place for an 18 month old!

We thank each of you for keeping our family in your prayers and ask that you continue to pray for us as we approach Kate's surgery on Friday.

God bless,
Carrie, John, Kate, Elizabeth, Claire and John

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

An update on Elizabeth's surgery and more...

Elizabeth had the surgery this morning to close the PDA in her heart around 11:00am. The surgery only took about 10 minutes and she did wonderfully! The doctors made a small incision just under her left arm and inserted the clip. They used a surgical "glue" to seal the incision so there will be little, if any scar. When I visited with my little peanut today, she was still quite out of it from the anesthesia but her vital signs were good and the doctors were very pleased with the results. They had to reintubate her in order to do the surgery, but as of tonight, they are slowly weaning her back off of the ventilator so that she can return to just using her nasal cannula for oxygen again tomorrow. We're so thankful that Elizabeth came through the surgery with flying colors and we praise God for watching over our little girl while the doctor's swiftly and successfully were able to close her PDA. We're hopefully that she'll now be able to increase the amount of breastmilk she is eating at each feeding to catch up with Claire and John!

I also visited with little Kate this morning. When I walked into the NICU, I was thrilled to see that the oscillating ventilator was no longer beside her bed. As I got closer, I met up with Kate's nurse for the day, Casey who told me that she had good news to share. Kate had "bumped" her ventilator tubes while stretching and moving around and the tube had become dislodged. When Casey noticed this, they let Kate go for a little while just to see how she would do. To the surprise of the doctors and nurses, Kate did fairly well and held her own for a short while! Instead of reattaching her to the ventilator, they decided to extubate her and put her on a CPAP machine instead to see how she would do. Her blood gas numbers weren't that great, but they decided to give her a little free rein and see what would happen. They did another blood gas check again at 2:00pm and her numbers were excellent! Although the chances of Kate staying on the CPAP machine aren't great, the neonatalogist was still thrilled to see that she was able to stay off of the ventiltor, even if for a short time. It gives her lungs a chance to take a break from the ventilation and allows Kate to move about a little more freely. She was on her belly the entire time I was there and just LOVED it! I called the hospital to check on her tonight around 10:00pm and her nurse reported that she was still doing well. She seems to be working a little harder to breathe and the next blood gas check will determine whether or not they decide to reintubate her, but again - 12 hours off of the venilator is something to celebrate! We glory in the small victories these days! The nurse also reported that they were able to weigh Kate today because she wasn't on the oscillator. Kate has gained 90 grams and now weighs 780 grams (or 1 lb, 11 oz)! That's awesome news for a baby that is currently only allowed to have IV nutrition. Kate is also receiving doses of caffeine (just like her sisters and brother) to stimulate the central nervous system and her ability to breathe.

Overall, a very good day for my little princesses. I thank God for every little nibble of good news and pray that there are many more nibbles coming our way in the months to come for all four of our babies! Keep those prayers coming everyone!!!

John and I have been trying to teach Luke to say the babies' names. He can say Claire, John and Kate pretty well but Elizabeth will take some time! Luke still talks to my tummy occasionally and points to it. He doesn't quite understand that the babies are here yet! We probably won't take him to the NICU for a visit until the babies are a little older and out of their isolettes. I'm so curious to see how he'll be once there's 4 more people occupying our house!

Time to get some rest...

In Christ,
Carrie, John, Luke, Elizabeth, Claire, Kate & John

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I got to hold one of the quads today!!!

One of the hardest parts of our journey so far is having these four tiny, beautiful little babies and not getting to hold or snuggle with any of them right away! I've been waiting for the day when one of the nurses would tell me that it would be OK to hold someone and today was finally the day. I went to the hospital for my two week check up and went to the nursery after that. When I got there, Claire's nurse said, "well today is the day!" Yahoo! She wrapped Claire up in a blanket and put an adorable little hat on her head and handed her to me. I couldn't believe I could finally hold her! She seemed even smaller than she does in her isolette! I know I'm partial and all, but she is absolutely adorable! She had her eyes wide open and was looking all around. I talked to her for awhile and sang my best rendition of "Jesus Loves Me" a few times. She had her IV feeding of breastmilk while I held her(she's up to 7ml!) and after awhile, she fell asleep. She could only tolerate the room temperature for about 1/2 before I had to put her back in her bed, but what a glorious 1/2 hr it was! It was so wonderful to finally hold one of the babies and I thanked God for every minute. I'll be even happier when I get a chance to hold all four at once!!!

Elizabeth is going to be having surgery tomorrow to repair her PDA. As you may remember from before, this is the hole in the heart that causes a murmur. Each of the quads was born with this condition and we're told that it is common in preemies. The surgeons will put a clip over the open duct to permanently close it. She will have general anesthesia in order to have the surgery so we're praying that the surgery goes quickly and is successful. Elizabeth should be able to breathe more freely after this surgery has been done and will also be able to increase the amount of breastmilk she receives at each feeding.

Well...enough for tonight. Time to hit the hay! Please continue to keep all four babies in your prayers and ask that God would bless each of them with good health! We also pray daily for the amazing doctors and nurses who care for them. We are so thankful for these incredibly talented medical professionals.

Good night everyone...
Carrie, John, Luke, Elizabeth, Claire, John and Kate

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.