Weekend update

February 28, 2009

Max and Wes have some updates for everyone.  

Max had a little problem with spitting up after feedings so they stopped using formula and fortifiers in his milk (a combination of Kerry’s milk and donor breast milk).  Since then he has not spit up, but they will continue to monitor him and add back in the formula later.  He also had a little issue this morning with blood in his stool.  The doctor thinks it may have been something to do with the cow proteins in the milk, and he may want Kerry to remove dairy from her diet.  It only happened this morning so it may have been a fluke but they are going to keep an eye out just in case.  

Wes had a little issue with apnea which they say is pretty normal but they upped his oxygen a bit to help out.  And as of today they both are off the caffeine, they may start it up again, but as of right now they no longer need it.

Today when we went in it was my turn to hold Max, and Kerry got to hold Wes.  We didn’t do skin-to-skin, which was fine by me since they seem to stay awake a bit more when we are just holding them.  Max gave me a few smiles and even looked like he was laughing a few times.  Kerry got to see Wes smile for the first time, and unfortunately I didn’t see it since he was facing away from me.  

I can’t forget that both of the boys are now past their birth weights!  Last night, Max weighed in at 3lbs, 1.3oz and Wes (the fatty) was up to 3lbs, 4.1oz.  We couldn’t be happier that our little guys are finally exceeding what they weighed when they were born.

And now for the obligatory pictures of our boys –

Max winking at his papa

Max winking at his papa

Wes sleeping in his mommy's arms

Wes sleeping in his mommy's arms

Jeff

More NICU news

February 27, 2009

Daddy and Max (10 days old) during kangaroo care

Daddy and Max (10 days old) during kangaroo care

Mommy and Wes (10 days old) during kangaroo care

Mommy and Wes (10 days old) during kangaroo care

Jeff, Max, Wes, and I have some exciting news from the NICU!  Both Max and Wes got their nutrition IV’s (the sugar water, vitamins, minerals, etc) taken out today, which means they are strictly on breast milk (plus a fortifier, and sometimes formula) for nourishment.  YAY!  They also get a nightly shot of caffeine (really makes sense, doesn’t it?) to help with their apnea and brain development.  I did have a talk with one of the NICU doctors today about using donor breast milk because I’m not able to keep up with what Max and Wes need right now, and the formula isn’t really working (they are both spitting up a lot).  Although that made me a little sad (like I’m failing my own children), I quickly agreed to the donor breast milk because of the importance of them getting the protein, enzymes, and anti-infective, anti-inflammatory agents found in breast milk to help protect them from bacterial infections.  The donor milk is banked from other women who have premature babies, but just have an overabundance of breast milk that they don’t need for their own child(ren), so it’s perfect for others’ preemies who aren’t getting the amount they need from their own mothers.  Does that make sense?  I feel like I’m not making sense at all this morning.

The NICU doctor I spoke with yesterday, Dr. Q,  did tell me that we should still expect to bring the boys home sometime in April, hopefully before their original due date, but that just doesn’t seem soon enough.  We know they need to stay in the hospital to get big and strong, and we’re okay with that, it’s just that it’s getting increasingly hard to leave them when I’m/we’re there.  It’s hard for me to be in the NICU all day, but when I’m not there, I feel guilty for not being there.  And Jeff and I go to the hospital every night at 6 for their Cares and to do the skin-on-skin bonding, and it’s just sooo hard to leave every night.  So hard. 

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This made it a little easier to come home last night.  Homemade chicken pot pie from Rachel.  You were right, Rach – it was delicious (although we didn’t think it looked bad at all)!

 

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My friends Katey and Heather came to visit yesterday (and I got to meet a fellow NICU alum, Heather’s 7 month old son, Ethan, who is SO CUTE).  Heather brought me some extra pumping supplies and CUPCAKES (YUM, thank you SO MUCH), and Katey brought the boys some adorable little outfits and toys to hook onto the boys’ car seats.  Thanks, Katey!  It was so great having visitors yesterday!

 

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My good friend, Kiane, and her family sent these cute preemie outfits for Max and Wes.  They say “Mommy’s Little Star” and “Daddy’s Little Dude”.  Thank you so much Kiane, Chris, and Dylan!

 

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Chrissy, Matt, and Addison sent us the sweetest card and a gift card to Starbucks for thosed early morning NICU runs.  Thanks you guys – you really know the way to our hearts!

 

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I spent part of the day at Conceptions, dropping off some things for my friend, Larissa, who is 7 weeks pregnant with another Dr. Swanson IVF success story.  She and her husband left these two sleepers and Curious George book for the boys.  Thanks you two!

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One of my old co-workers, Joe, and his wife, Lorraine, sent us these super cute overall outfits for the boys (with matching socks and hats, awwww!).  Thank you for thinking of us, Joe and Lorraine!

 

I was so glad to have time during the day to stop by Conceptions and let the girls and Dr. Swanson know that the boys were born early (and to show off pictures).  They were all so excited for Jeff and I, and I even got a big old bear hug from Dr. S…it was awesome.  They all made me promise that Jeff and I would bring the boys in as soon as they were discharged from the NICU, and I just cannot wait for that day to come.  =)

Kerry

More updates with pictures

February 26, 2009

Because I’m having a really hard time with trying to juggle everything in my life right now, I have to do another generic update with pictures.  I figured it was better than nothing, so here it goes!

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This is the lasagna that Michaela brought us on Sunday.  We ate it Monday night, and it was THE BOMB.  Mic also made us a chocolate cake, but I forgot to take a picture of it before us and our other house guests completely devoured it!  Thanks Mic!!

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Because my sister had to leave us on Tuesday, I broke the rules (with the help of a really nice nurse) and let Kristy hold one of her nephews for a few minutes.  It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen – Max with his proud aunt Kristy.  Kristy was really emotional, and it totally melted my heart.  We miss you, Kristy!!!

 

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Here is our little Weston.  He could NOT stop staring at me on Tuesday, it was the cutest thing!

 

 

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Even though he was just pooping, I think it looks like Max is smiling at me in this picture.  Kristy, Mom, and I caught about 5 or 6 smiles within a few minutes – it was so sweet.

 

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Thanks to Katie, Scott, and Violet for thinking of the boys and I.  They sent me a birthday card and 4 preemie onesies for the boys’ birthdays.  The one on the bottom left reads “Mommy’s Lucky Charm” – I can’t wait for them to wear their cute new outfits on March 17th!  Thank you so much for being so generous you guys!!

 

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Thanks to Nolan for sending these two onesies to us for Max and Wes.  “Early Bird” and “Couldn’t Wait” are oh-so-fitting, aren’t they?  I should probably thank Nollie’s mommy, too – thanks Angelika!

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Kresha, her twin girls Mary and Maleia, and Debbie brought over these Arbonne baby care products for the boys and this moisturizer for mommy.  Thanks so much you guys!!!

 

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Jeff’s parents gave us this “Time Out” bear for the boys…or is it for Jeff and I?  I guess it could go both ways, LOL!!!  Thank you to my other mom and dad!

 

 

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My cycle buddy, Lanie, brought this DELICIOUS white chocolate raspberry bundt cake from “Nothing Bundt Cakes” in Lonetree for my birthday.  Thank you sooooo much, buddy!

 

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And finally, thank you to my old college roomie, Cara, for sending me the best gift EVER – my favorite Bumble & Bumble products that I’m now too cheap to buy for myself.  Please join me to wish her a happy 33rd birthday today!  Thanks so much, Cara!!!

 

 

I’ll try to update the blog a little later tonight (or maybe I could ask my husband to do that for me, hint hint).  I hope that we will have some good news about Max and Wes – I’m pretty sure they are getting their nutrition IV’s removed today, and that would be a HUGE step in the right direction.  I will be in the NICU pretty much all day today, so hopefully I’ll get some good pictures of our little cuties for you all.

Oh, and one more thing really quick.  Please, please, please do not ask to come see the boys (or us) if you or anyone in your family (or that you’ve been in contact with) has been sick in the last few weeks.  It’s just a risk that we do NOT want to take.  It could be VERY serious if us or the boys caught even the slightest cold – they are far too small, and their immune systems aren’t developed enough to be able to fight an infection or virus.  Also, please let us know if you would like to stop by to see the boys.  If you just show up at the hospital, they will not let you in – we have insisted that the boys can only have visitors if Jeff or I (or both of us) are there, and I would hate for you to waste a trip.

Thanks to everyone for their understanding.  =)

Kerry

Quick show-and-tell

February 24, 2009

And I mean QUICK, because I’m so far beyond exhausted that I can’t even see straight.  More on that tomorrow…

I just wanted to brag that our boys got to “graduate” into actually wearing clothes tonight, and although the preemie clothes are still pretty baggy on them, I think they look absolutely adorable (biased much?).

Max in his new preemie onesie!

Max in his new preemie onesie!

Wes in his new duds

Wes in his new duds!

And hopefully my sister will email me the picture she took this afternoon of Max smiling – it is SO CUTE!!!!!!  And Jeff is dying to see it, so hurry it up, sis!!!  Good night…

Kerry

First week pictures

February 24, 2009

To commemerate each weekly birthday that goes by, we will be posting a few pictures to show you all how the boys have grown.  Here are their first week pictures (gestational age – 31 weeks)! 
Here's little Max with his bear

Here's little Max with his bear

Jeff's wedding band on Max's foot

Jeff's wedding band on Max's foot

Little Wes with his puppy

Little Wes with his puppy

Jeff's wedding band on Wes's foot

Jeff's wedding band on Wes's foot

J&K

Well, it’s been a week since the boys totally blindsided us with their very early appearance, and it’s been a total whirlwind of emotion and time for BIG changes in our lives.  So much for “free time” and being excited to finally have my freedom for the first time in 7 weeks – I’m busier than I’ve been in a long time!  Between pumping every 2-3 hours and making (sometimes twice or three times a day) trips to the hospital, along with trying to recover from major abdominal surgery, I am absolutely exhausted.  I honestly don’t know how I’m doing this, other than running 100% on pure adrenaline.  Jeff has been great, helping me clean pump parts, reminding me to take my meds, and asking me what he can do to make my life easier (umm, be able to produce milk).  He’s the best.  =)

We got to help Max and Wes celebrate their first week of life with their first baths this morning.  Here are some pictures of our little cuties…

Max didn't really like getting sponged off

Max didn't really like getting sponged off

Mommy couldn't stop staring at a clean little Max

Mommy couldn't stop staring at a clean little Max

Look at Max's fuzzy hair - all clean!

Look at Max's fuzzy hair - all clean!

Wes was oblivious while daddy was cleaning him up

Wes was oblivious while daddy was cleaning him up

Daddy combing Wes's hair

Daddy combing Wes's hair

Tired mommy and daddy with a clean Weston

Tired mommy and daddy with a clean Weston

Kerry

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This is Meena.  She came to visit with her mommy, Miriam, on Thursday.  Her mommy brought me this…

 

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…a strawberry cupcake with milk chocolate frosting from Azucar Bakery.  Holy yum!

 

 

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…and this.  A penguin bowling set (CUTE!) and an elephant puzzle.  Thank you so much, Miriam and Meena!!!

 

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CH2M Hill (Jeff’s company) sent us (me) these flowers – I thought that was really sweet.

 

 

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My friend, Steph, gave these to Kristy to give to me – I guess it’s good that we finally picked names!

 

 

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One of my nurses in post partum care brought me chocolate frosting for my graham crackers on Friday morning after I joked about wanting some frosting with my grahams as they were wheeling me into recovery.  How sweet is that?

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Our good friend, Tiffany, brought these cute little outfits and some spa socks (for mommy) over when she came to meet the boys this week.  Thanks, Tiff!

 

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Jeff’s mom brought me some cookies and cupcakes when she came to visit on Thursday.  Paradise Bakery’s lemon cookies are to die for!  Thanks, Sue!

 

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Even though they told me not to write thank you notes or post pics on our blog, I want to thank Ondrea for the two Sandra Boynton books for Max and Wes.  I can’t wait to read them to our boys!

 

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And I want to thank Sarah for the ADORABLE babylegs and yummy shampoo for our little guys.  Consider these your thank you notes, Ondrea and Sarah.  =)

 

 

I think that’s it for tonight…I am so exhausted and we have to be at the hospital early tomorrow morning for Max and Wes’s first bath – I can’t wait!

Kerry

February 22, 1976, a beautiful baby girl named Kerry Ann Skinner was born.  Little did she know that she would live in Colorado, be married, and 6 days shy of her 33rd birthday, give birth to two amazing little boys.  I, along with countless others, are very happy that all 3 of those things happened.

Those who read this blog know how wonderful Kerry is, but few get to spend as much time with her as I do.  Every new day brings a new chapter to our lives, each of which I cherish.  Kerry has blessed me with the family I have always wanted, despite the emotional and physical pain that I can never fully understand let alone repay her for.  None of us are perfect, but hopefully the days that I am better-than-average make up for the days I am not.  One day I hope to be able to show Kerry how much she means to me, and how grateful I am for all that she has done.

I love you Kerry.  Max and Wes asked me to tell you happy birthday for them.

Please help me in wishing Kerry a very happy birthday.

Jeff

Our boys at 5 days old

February 21, 2009

Kerry and I had two great visits with the boys today.  When we got in this morning for our first visit they had just taken Wes off of the CPAP and put him back on to high flow oxygen and were working on Max’s.  This means they are breathing better on their own and are only requiring oxygen and not breathing assistance.  They did have to move their feeding tubes from their mouths to their noses since they kept pulling them out – naughties.  Both Kerry and I had successful temp and diaper changings, no spraying pee for either of us.  Before we left the nurse said that they were going to pull the IV from their umbilical cords and place it in either their hands, feet, or head.  This kind of freaked us out, having an IV in their heads sounded so weird but the nurse assured us that is was normal since their veins are so small.  

Our second visit was fantastic since we got to do kangaroo care (skin-on-skin bonding).  They both fussed a little bit at first but once they figured out it was us they immediately calmed down.   They both had their new IV’s (the ones providing nourishment – basically sugar water, vitamins, and minerals) placed – Max’s was in the top of his head, and Wes’s was in his hand.  Wes had one in his head originally but his forehead swelled up a little so they moved it to his hand.  Another round of successful temp and diaper changes, I think we are getting the hang of this!  Max is still a little small weighing in today (they weigh them every night) at 2lbs, 9 oz, and Wes is turning into a little chub weighing in at 3lbs, .7oz.  They bumped up their feedings to 7cc each which is quite a bit but they still have a ways to go.  I think the nurse told us that they bump up their feedings by 1 cc every other feeding, but I may be wrong on that.  Once they reach 20cc’s per feeding they will remove the IV completely as they will be getting enough breastmilk (or formula) to no longer require the nourishment.  Also, once they hit 20cc’s, they get to wear clothes.  The nurse said we could bring in our own preemie onsies or let them use the hospital ones.  Either way neither of us can wait for that to happen.  At the current rate it may only be a week before that happens so WOO HOO!

And now on to what everyone really wants… pictures!

Wes and I during kangaroo care

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Kerry and Max doing the same

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Jeff

I have to admit that last night wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  Right before I was discharged, Jeff and I spent some time holding Max and Wes (no kangaroo care though, as they are hooked up to the CPAP again), and they were both perfect little angels.  Wes was staring at his daddy almost the entire time we were in their room, and Max just slept away in my arms, although he started waking up a little bit as we were getting ready to leave.  I was then wheeled out of the NICU, out of the post partum recovery area, and out to our car.  It was bittersweet – I hated leaving the boys by themselves, but I was so happy to finally have my freedom back.

We came straight home and I started pumping the minute I walked in the door – we were going to dinner, and I was going to have a drink, dammit (I deserved one after the day I had)!  Jeff and I then went out to a late dinner with my folks, my aunt Jan, and Kristy.  We went to one of my favorite restaurants (BJ’s), and I had a delicious pear cider – well, half of it anyway, since it hit me a little harder than I thought it would.  What a lightweight!  I barely made it through dinner and pumping when I got home because I was absolutely exhausted. 

The first night back home in my own bed wasn’t as comfortable as I thought it would be, although I did miss our 800 thread count sheets!  My incision was really sore, and I just couldn’t find a position to be comfortable in.  Then, when I finally settled down, I think I may have had a little panic attack.  I got really, really cold and began shivering – and I could NOT stop.  I was shivering so bad that I was tensing up, which made the incision really hurt – it was the weirdest thing, but only lasted about 5 minutes, so that was good.  I think I freaked Jeff out a little bit, but he was great as usual.  I only called the NICU once during the night (which REALLY surprised me), and the boys were both doing just fine.  We are going to hang with them in a little bit, so I’m going to try to catch a few zzz’s before we leave.

I’ll try to remember to post some new pics later today, too.  =)

Kerry