April 1, 2009
I took Kate for her appointment with the ENT today, and she will have to have surgery on her preauricular tag (it is a small skin tag beside her ear). Unfortunately, it cannot just be clipped or tied off due to the amount of cartilage and nerve endings. They also found another one underneath the skin on the other side. It seems that these form during the “embryonic period”, so this is not related to their prematurity, but it is a fairly simple procedure. They need to perform this because there is a high risk of infection as she grows, and since they are connected to her sinuses, there could be hearing loss with any infections. No big deal, just another minor procedure. She will, just like Max have to wait until she is at least 6 months adjusted before she can be put to sleep – so we’re looking at later this summer. Max is scheduled for his procedure on October 6th. I will not go into any more detail on his, since I received some very ugly responses from people that do not even know our family or our reasons behind having it done in the first place. Guess that goes along with blogging, though! Thank goodness for the delete button! 🙂
March 8, 2009
Max and Kate made their first appearance at our church, Brentwood Baptist, today! Dr. Carr gave us the ok to get ’em out a little bit, and I have been itching to get back into our church routine. I always feel lost when I miss service, even though thankfully I can watch it with live streaming (yeah – we go to a big church with lots of technology!) The ladies from church have been so helpful to make everything comfortable for us – they even set up a room just for Max and Kate today and they each had their own caregiver – they are getting a little too used to being spoiled! We also got to visit and get pics with Pastor Mike today – he is an awesome man and pastor, and we are so lucky to be involved with such a great church.
I have to admit, the sermon was very fitting today as well. I’ll keep it short, as Chad says I veer too much from talking about the babies, and it is THEIR blog (by the way – I’m working on a new one since this one was really just meant to chronicle a simple pregnancy, but we all know what happened there). Anyway – it came down to trusting God and not being afraid – it was geared toward everyone who has been struggling so much with the economy and job loss, and other uncertainty. Before the sermon, Chad pointed out in the bulletin where they were offering finacial counseling. For those of you who don’t know, Chad is the Director of Counselor Training at Dave Ramsey’s. It made me realize just how blessed we are that Chad is helping people all over the country with what he does. I wondered how many other church bulletins offered the same thing to their congregation, with a counselor that Chad has worked with. It is mind-blowing to think of the impact he is having in the lives of others – over 50 people went through Counselor Training last week alone, and I can only imagine the number of people each one of them will help. I am so glad that Max and Kate and Isabella have such an amazing man in their life!
February 12, 2009
Chad brought Max home Tuesday night, and I took him back for a follow up today. He seems to be doing much better, other than a little stuffy nose and cough. He is starting to be more awake again, and back to smiling again! He was actually doing some big time flirting with Mrs. Pamela next door today.
Izzy is still a little sick, so we are waiting until tomorrow to bring baby Kate back, and I am going crazy not being able to see her sweet precious smile. I think Max misses his little sister, too, as he doesn’t seem as content in the crib right now!
I am hoping that all the next posts will be with good updates, and no more Vandy visits, but we have been warned that with the babies being so premature and born in October (right before cold and flu season) this may be ongoing until their little bodies are big enough and strong enough to fight off these viruses. We do our best to keep everything clean, hands washed, keep the babies in the house, and they have still managed to get sick. But we are just grateful that they haven’t been more sick, and that the outcomes have been so good when they were.
Here are a few of the more recent pics – Max has since lost just a bit of weight because of his sickness, but obviously he wasn’t (and still isn’t) hurting 🙂
February 10, 2009
Max got moved out of the critical care unit last night and is now in a regular room. He was taken off of his oxygen at 12:30 today and seems to be doing great! We were excited to see his regular pediatrician Dr. Carr here this morning – and he is happy with Max’s improvements. Now it is just a waiting game to see how he does on room air. He is not needing as much suctioning, either!
I actually got a good nights sleep for the first time in months last night – a whole 6 hours!!! The sleep rooms here are actually pretty nice. And Sue from our church brought me lunch from one of my fave’s – Puffy Muffin – today. It was so nice to have some adult conversation that was not about respiration or suctioning. But enough about me.
We are hoping to get little guy home late tonight or tomorrow as long as all goes well. Little sister will stay at Nana and PaPaw’s for a few days until we are sure little brother is better, and Big sister will stay at Gramma and Grandfathers until she drives them nutty. Thanks for all your prayers, yet again. These little ones are ready for cold and flu season to be over!
February 9, 2009
Instead of telling the whole story – let me just say it is like deja vu. Same critical care room in the ER, same trauma room in the ER. Only this time it was Max. Chad and I took him Sunday afternoon, after he developed a little stuffy nose on Saturday that progressed to a cough and shallow breathing by Sunday morning. The doc sent us to Vandy where the same thing happened that did with Kate in December. After we got there his breathing got worse, he started having apneic spells, his breathing became labored and shallow. Luckily, after monitoring him in the trauma unit, his doctors decided he would not have to be intubated. He was placed on CPAP (forced oxygen through his nose – attached to what is basically a cloth helmet to hold it in place) to assist with his breathing. He seems to be doing better, so they have just switched him to the nasal canulas to help with his breathing still until he can fight it on his own again. They are still suctioning gobs of mucus from his lungs. It looks like RSV again, but the tests are negative. From what we have been told, his lungs are just not completely developed, his airway is so small form the prematurity, and he is pre-asthmatic. Unfortunately, it looks like this may be a way of life for us for the next couple of years with our little ones – with their prematurity, they just need extra help fighting off these infections. Poor little guy is just so hungry and cannot take his bottle right now. He is slowly taking pedialyte now, along with his IV fluids, since he had some episodes with vomiting yesterday.
Big sister has a stomach bug, so we are sending her to my moms. Kate is the only one not showing signs of being sick – let’s just hope it stays that way – so she is going to H’ville with Chad’s parents. For now, I am going to stay with my Max since he seems to need me the most. Will keep everyone updated.
January 21, 2009
My parents are babysitting all 3 of the munchkins right now, and I should be sleeping. I just can’t stop thinking about how fast the last few months have flown by, and all of the ups and downs that we have had – all leading to the absolute best outcome – happy, healthy babies and this wonderful family I have. I am so blessed and so grateful to God for everything he has given us!
I just remember the day at Vanderbilt that the doctor sat down with Chad and me and told us that Kate was “critical”. Her infection was life threatening and they were doing “what they could”. It was the hardest day of my life – hearing those words, seeing the IV in her head, seeing her swollen with the ventilator breathing for her. I remember being told months earlier that I could lose both of them because of my cervix, feeling as if it was my fault – my body was not strong enough. I remember worrying when I got sick that the babies were too little, they would be too sick – they couldn’t be born yet. And I remember the weeks – MONTHS – spent lying in that hospital bed wondering what the outcome would be. I also remember that horrible day last year when my doctor said the words you never want to hear during an ultrasound “I’m sorry, but there is no heartbeat.” There was a point that I just decided I had to “Let go, and let God”. And God, as always, came through. There at Baptist, there at Vanderbilt, and there with me when I cried out at Him in anger after my miscarriage. Everytime we needed Him, He was there.
Chad and I learned on Monday that a friend of ours was killed in a tragic accident, and it has been on our minds constantly since. It gives us the realization that life is so short, and that we need to cherish every moment we have with each other, our family, and our friends. Our prayers are with Jon’s wife, Susan and their children, as well as his parents and brother. My hope is that God will bless and comfort their family as they deal with this loss. I know He is there with them – even in their sorrow, as He was there with us – in sorrow and in joy. They will have joy again, too.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. – 2 Corinthians 1:3
January 6, 2009
Many of you have been asking how they are doing, so here’s a quick update. Both of them are great! They are both wonderful babies, but they are so different – night and day…… literally. Max is a night owl, and Kate likes to play all day and sleep all night. She is so alert all the time. Max on the other hand likes to eat and sleep. Kate is smiling now, and has even laughed out loud a couple of times. Max is “Mr. Serious” all the time. If he is not eating, he is thinking or dreaming about eating. And if you have seen the latest pics, you can see that he is eating well! On the rare occasion that he is awake, he has found his hands, and they like to be all over Kate’s face, much to her dislike. Kate just takes everything in, and has already taken a liking to daddy. I love to watch her look at him! Max has taken a liking to nothing but milk. I’m working on him.
Both of them are doing great healthwise as well. Kate is still a little raspy, but we are not sure if that is natural, as big sister is naturally raspy. Both of them have doubled their weights, too! Max is over 8 lbs! Most of which is in his cheeks. Max has a little umbilical hernia, but the doc thinks it will resolve on its own. It really just looks like a big “outie”. Unfortunately, Max will have to be re-circumsized when he is 6 months, he was just such a little guy when it was done, and it did not heal properly. But if that is the biggest problem we have, we can deal with that 🙂 At least he will never remember having it done……. twice.
Chad and I are cherishing every moment with these two little ones, and enjoying watching how they grow and change every day. I am ready for cold and flu season to be over myself so that I can get them out a little more and show them off! Until then, we will try to be better about pics. I should have some more up tomorrow!
January 4, 2009
Every year I have my resolutions, most of which are gone by about January 2nd. This year I am vowing to keep mine. This year I want to make 2009 a much less dramatic year – a simple year. I have so many people tell me that we have had such a tough few months. Tough few months??? Honestly – we’ve had a tough YEAR. Now don’t get me wrong – the outcome was more than I ever could have hoped for. But do I want to do it all again? Not really.
Our journey started about this time last year after the miscarriage. I have been very open about how devastating that was for me, and the depression that followed. Being so open about it was in itself very hard for me. I have had many struggles over the past few years – struggles with my weight and depression and the health problems that were found to have caused both, and the self-esteem issues that go along with that whole scenario. Struggles with the eating disorder and addictions that I had because of that. Not many people know about what all I went through, or the extent, but this past year has given me the courage to open up about all of that as well – as much of that (my struggle with PCOS and the damage I did to my body) is what caused our problems with infertility and pregnancy complications.
Most of the first few months of 2008 are still a blur to me, but I did start trying my best to take care of myself after the miscarriage and after we finally figured out that it was the PCOS causing many of my problems. I lost 25 lbs. pretty easily once I got on the right medications and started treating my body for the insulin resistance that goes along with PCOS. I was able to better deal with my bouts of depression because I knew it was the hormonal imbalance that caused them.
In April, though, my weight loss had to come to a stop. I started feeling pretty badly – very tired and very sick at my stomach. I finally broke down and took that dreaded pregnancy test, so many of which had come back negative in years past. When two lines showed up, I was not overwhelmed with joy. I did not get excited and want to shout it out to the entire world as I did when I got pregnant with Izzy. I was utterly scared to death. I knew that I had a 50% chance of miscarriage again because of PCOS. I knew my body still wasn’t fully recovered from the loss. I drove straight up to Chad’s office and cried like a baby.
The next 2 months were spent agonizing over every little ache. Sleepless nights worrying if it would happen again. Trying to hide my growing belly (fast growing belly) in case the worst did happen. We did not want to share that with everyone again – we had just sent out over 50 Christmas cards announcing our pregnancy last year, and three days later we weren’t pregnant anymore. That made it very hard because so many people would ask about how it was going, and we would have to explain time after time.
Our entire family who had gone through everything with us, anxiously awaited that first ultrasound. Was everything ok? Was the baby ok? We spent weeks (but it felt like months) waiting for that first visit. I will never forget being able to call everyone and say, “yes. the baby is ok, and the OTHER baby is, too!”. We were still nervous, as most parents are until that first trimester is over. We were nervous even after that because we had lost our baby during the second trimester. And then, we had the known complications of twin pregnancy to worry about.
Finally, by week 20, we were starting to realize that everything was going to be ok – it was going better than my prengnacy with Izzy. We were so excited to find out we had been blessed with a boy and a girl. But we were once again thrown for a loop when my cervix dropped, putting me on bed rest. The rest of the story is contained in the pages and posts that follow, but as everyone knows, the outcome was wonderful! More than we ever could have asked for. We gained so much out of the experience over the past year – patience, hope, trust in God, new friendships, and the rekindling of old friendships because of the experience just to name a few. And of course we got Max and Kate, too – our miracles.
I am looking forward to going back to stressing about the simple things – like Izzy painting all over my kitchen table. I am looking forward to watching Max and Kate grow – just not too fast I hope. I am looking forward to getting back into a routine – church, Izzy’s school, dinner around the table with my family, exercise. I thank God for everything that I went through. It made me a stronger person. It made me appreciate my life and the lives that Chad and I created (with God’s help of course). It made me realize the things in life that really do matter, and be able to put to rest many of the things that I worried about so much that don’t matter.
So, here’s to year 2009! Hopefully the best one yet.
December 30, 2008
It was a tough year, but in the end we had these two precious gifts to be thankful for. And then there’s this girl too! A miracle in her own right. – Chad (more pics of the whole gang HERE)
Danielle gave birth to Crosby Fox Malone yesterday morning! http://blakeanddaniellemalone.blogspot.com
December 24, 2008
Of course, everyone knows that Max and Kate are our Christmas blessings – they truly are miracles. We are also very thankful for many of our friends blessings recently, especially considering the time of year that it is.
Many of you already know Blake and Danielle Malone. These two have struggled through so much over the past couple of years with the loss of their daughters. Danielle is now just a few weeks away from her due date – and baby boy is looking great! He is truly a miracle and blessing to their lives, and I can’t wait until all three of our babies are old enough to have some play dates together. Danielle was such an inspiration to me during our pregnancies. She actually got put into the Predators Suite at Baptist (where I called home for 8 weeks) the day I left. I knew then that God had brought us together during this time for a reason. The Malone’s blog is http://blakeanddaniellemalone.blogspot.com check it out.
One of my dearest friends from college, and a coworker of both me and Chad from our days at Nissan, Jay, and his wife Amber just received an amazing blessing recently – they got to bring their adopted daughter home from the Philippines. Camille is 5 and is absolutely beautiful. I am sure she will be a great blessing to Jay, Amber, and Carter. They are in the process of raising funds to bring another child, Leah May, home to America as well. Please pray that they will be able to take on this challenge that the Lord has placed on their hearts and that they will be able to obtain the funds to adopt Leah May, as she is being taken off of the adoption lists due to her age. Unless someone specifically requests her, she will be spending the remainder of her childhood in the orphanage. You can donate to Leah May’s fund by contacting Jay at firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaking of adoption – most everyone that reads this know of Chad’s and my love for the continent of Africa, and the work we do with Triathletes for Africa/ Triathletes for Hope, so it is fitting that we have taken interest in the adoptions of two of our sets of friends. Both couples are adopting from Ethiopia. Mike and Amy just had their court date and PASSED!!!! this week – they will be bringing their beautiful baby girl home soon. Their blog is http://severson.wordpress.com. Our friends Becky and Andrew are also awaiting their court date as they just got their referral last week for their baby boy. Their website is http://thegreatestmarathon.blogspot.com Please pray that both of these wonderful couples continue to receive God’s blessings upon their families as they both await the arrival of their children.
Chad and I hope that everyone reading this receives all of the wonderful blessings God has in store for you this year! Thanks for keeping up with our journey over the past year, and we PROMISE next year won’t be quite as dramatic! Peace and love – K
December 12, 2008
Chad and I arrived at Vanderbilt yesterday morning just in time to meet with the doctors during their rounds, and they informed us the babies were both going home! We thought Kate might be home by Friday, but we thought Max would surely be another week. But the doctors felt they were both well enough to go home – they came a long way in just a matter of days. Both are still just a little bit stuffy, but are both happy, alert, and HUNGRY. Chad and I were both up with them all night last night, and loved every minute of it. The babies have been on such a good schedule despite everything that has happened, but all of a sudden they both decide they need to eat every two hours instead of every three.
We are hoping that all of us are home for good now. The past year, especially the last 4 months, has been a whirlwind tour of emotions. But for (what we hope is) the end of this madness, we could not have asked for a better outcome. We praise God for all of the blessings He has given us over the past year.
December 10, 2008
Just got home from spending the day with the babies. I’ll keep it very short since it is after midnight, and this may be the last full night of sleep I get for a while. Kate and Max were both very alert for me this afternoon and tonight – I just couldn’t leave them! Every time I would pick one up, the other would start fussing. I think they are fighting for mommy’s attention, which is just fine for me! They both seem to be getting back to their old selves, they just need to get rid of a little more congestion. They have each only had a few apneic spells today, and Kate may be home in as little as 2 days. Hopefully, they will keep them both until they can home without an apnea monitor. Thank you all for your prayers – these little ones continue to be true miracles.
December 8, 2008
So, I was wrong. That’s what happens when I can’t be there in person. The babies are still being cared for by a one-on-one nurse, and they are still listed in “critical care”. The biggest reason they were moved to the new room is for our comfort (well, Chad’s, since I am not there right now). I guess there was some miscommunication between the nurse yesterday and Chad and then me – kinda like the fun game we used to play as kids – see how much the story can change when you whisper it from ear to ear. HOWEVER, they are doing ok. Kate still seems to be doing well even with the steroids wearing off. Max is still at what we hope is the peak of this virus – he is still having some apnea spells requiring more frequent suctioning so that he does not get so clogged up that he stops breathing, but Chad says he is still more alert and eating well – two things he was not doing a few days ago. Kate is alert again, too – she is the most alert little baby we have ever seen anyway, and she seems to be getting back to her old self a little more every day. The swelling in her face and around her eyes is gone, so she looks like Kate again. And she is still doing well taking her bottles.
Many of you have asked how long they will be here, and we just don’t have any idea yet. It is our hope that they will keep them until there is absolutely no sign of this virus or the side effects of it – we do not want to chance bringning them home and having any relapse at all. Our biggest goal right now is to get them well, and hopefully a few more days to a week will do that. Poor things have had this now for over two weeks!
More updates as Chad gets them.
The babies got moved into a step down room, which means they are doing better and are out of critical care. One of us has to be there with them around the clock now, because they do not require one-on-one nurses. However, I tested positive for strep today, and have a double ear infection. The doc got me on an antibiotic and albuterol, and gave me a good breathing treatment before I left the office, but it looks like Chad will be tending to the little ones until I can get better, or for at least 48 hours until the antibiotic kicks in. It is so hard not being able to be there with them, but at the same time I know I cannot chance getting them more sick or getting the nurses sick – they take care of so many little ones there, and I would never risk any of them getting anything. All of these babies are so precious.
Max, according to Chad, seemed much more alert today and HUNGRY – so he is getting back to his old self. We are afraid he is going to eat us out of house and home in a few years. Kate is continuing to show signs of improvement as well. Sweet little thing is getting very attached to her daddy. She just wants to be held. Her voice is much better and her secretions, although alittle worse now that the steroid is worn off, do not seem to be as bad as they were before. Hopefully, they are both on the mend, and a few more days of treatment and monitoring should be it.
Of course, this little episode has setback their little immune systems, and their lung development (a normal preemie can take up to 18 months to catch up, and they will be even longer than that now), so it looks like our house will be on isolation for a while. It also means mommy has to become a good cleaner (I can hear alot of you laughing right now). So………. anyone know of a really good housekeeper? Thanks again for all of your prayers – we still need them. They are working. These little guys are miracles – in more ways than one.
December 7, 2008
Kate seems to be doing ok off of the ventilator. She was acting so hungry, though, that the nurse decided to attempt bottle feeding, and she did great. She is starting back at about one-fourth of what she was taking, but she is doing good so far. The doctor is a little concerned that when the steroid wears off, she may start having some issues again, but we will not worry about that until it happens. Her little cry is raspy and light, but it was there! It was the best sound in the world this morning!
Max still doesn’t seem to have peaked with the virus yet as his secretions are getting worse. We are just hoping that he can continue to cough on his own and that his airway does not become blocked. The size of their airways is the main reason for their breathing and coughing difficulties.
Luckily, it looks like they will not have any long term effects on thier brain, learning, etc. There is a high likelihood of asthma especially with Kate, and some respiratory issues for a while, but we can handle that!
We’ll keep you updated.
December 6, 2008
Kate received a steroid shot this afternoon to aid her vocal cords and throat from the swelling and so that she could have the ventilator removed. At 8pm tonight, they removed it and she struggled, but began to breathe on her own with some stimulation. It was very tense watching her not breathing and knowing that the drs. were ready to replace the ventilator at any moment. She is on a nasal canula to stimulate her to breathe. She is basically starting from scratch and will have to learn to breathe again. We are hoping that they do not have to put the tube back in, but we were told it is a definite possibility because of the amount of secretions coming out of her lungs. We are hoping she will come off of the feeding tube in the next couple of days and go back to the bottle.
The babies were moved into a room together today. Max is doing good – just coughing quite a bit and having some mild apnea spells, but he is resolving on his own. Since he did not have the spells at Baptist, the nurses think it is most likely because of this virus causing some reflux. He will continue to be monitored, but is no longer on the IV.
All of the test results are still negative. Basically, this virus is mimicking RSV and pneumonia, but there is the possibilty that since the babies received the RSV immunization, it is covering it up, since the immunization does not provide 100% protection from getting it. Since these babies were not even supposed to be born yet, this virus and the pneumonia like symptoms are much more serious than they would be to you or me, or even a full term baby.
It was very hard Wednesday to hear the doctor tell us that Kate was “critical”. We are so glad that she has come as far as she has since then, and pray that she will continue to recover quickly and that Max will do the same. Max got very upset at one point today waiting on his feeding, and Kate became very alert, looking around for her brother as she heard him cry – it is amazing to see the improvement in her now that they are back together. Please continue to pray for their improvement.
December 5, 2008
It has been another long day. Max started going downhill with his breathing and coughing yesterday and was refusing to eat. We decided it was time to take him to Vandy so that we were not faced with the possibilty of his stopping breathing like little sister while he was at home. After numerous tests and observations it was decided that he would also be admitted to the NICU. Luckily, he is not on a ventilator, just an IV for fluids and he is getting suctioned as needed. Both of them will go into “isolation” tomorrow more than anything so that the nurses and doctors that are in contact with them do not spread it to any of the other children.
Kate is stable. She is fighting against the ventilator very hard now, but at least she is somewhat awake and showing signs of strength. She will be going down on oxygen tomorrow in hopes that she will begin to breathe even more on her own. She is still producing alot of mucus in her lungs, so she will continue to be suctioned and have her airway kept open with the tubes. The hardest thing is to see her fight so hard and try to cry – her vocal cords are not working, so there is no sound. What I would give to hear my sweet little baby girl cry right now.
Max and Kate are such fighters and have so much strength right now to be so little. I am so proud of them. Please pray that they continue their strength and that both of them recover as quickly as possible with no lasting effects. I am again amazed at the outpouring of love for these two precious angels.
More as we learn.
December 4, 2008
Kate is breathing better this morning, but is still on the ventilator until she can breathe on her own and so that the doctors can suction her lungs, as she is still having large amounts of secretions. She is maintaining her temperature again. Dr. Walsh is thinking that the worst is over, and that she will be in here until at least next Tuesday. She is still scheduled for her spinal tap this afternoon. They are going to attempt to start her back on breastmilk this afternoon through a feeding tube instead of just the fluids she has received since Tuesday night. Please pray that she continues to fight, and that she will not have any other episodes that delay her healing.
I took Max to the pediatrician this morning, as his symptoms are worsening. He is coughing, which the doctor says is a good thing, but he is very lethargic and producing much more mucus. He is keeping his temp up and his oxygen level and blood counts looked good this morning, so we are just having to watch him very closely for his breathing and try to get him to take his feedings so he does not get dehydrated. Please pray that he will start recovering and have the strength to fight this off on his own without intervention.
It is the hardest thing in the world to have two children that need you so much at the same time and not be able to be with them both at the same time. Chad and I are splitting our time between the two of them so that we can both be there for at least one of them each. Please pray that God will give us the strength to continue to do so.
Max and Kate have been suffering from the same cold that just about everyone has, but last night Kate’s tiny little body just couldn’t fight it anymore. After a big drop in her temperature, and some spells with her breathing and turning blue, we were instructed to get her to Vanderbilt ASAP. She was taken straight back to the urgent care to get her temp up, and while she was in the warmer, she stopped breathing. She was immediately taken to the Trauma unit and a ventilator was started, and IV’s were placed to begin antibiotics in case there was any type of infection. Unfortunately, it looks like it is this virus and she needs help fighting it off, needs help breathing, and all the doctors can do right now is make her comfortable until her body can fight it. Again, Chad and I feel so fortunate that the doctors and nurses at all of the hopsitals, 4 now, have taken such good care of our family and are continuing to do so.
Today around lunch, Kate stopped breathing once again even on the ventilator – she had gotten mucus stuck in her tube, and about 10 doctors and nurses had to get her a larger tube and insert another tube to suction her lungs out. We do not know if she was without oxygen long enough to have any long term effects, but we do know that her vocal cords are very swollen because it had to be done so fast to get her breathing again and get her stats back up, that she probably will have some long term effects on her vocal cords, and possibly suffer with asthma from the entire experience. As of this evening, she is stable, and the doctors are awaiting her test results to pinpoint this virus, even though with a virus there is not much they can do. We are waiting for the sedation to wear off so that we can see if she will begin to breathe on her own. She is scheduled for a spinal tap in the morning to rule out meningitis or any other infection in the brain stem. We are hoping that the worst is over and that all that will follow is recovery, but there is the possibility that she will continue to have the mucus episodes, so her lungs are being suctioned every 4 hours. Plese pray that Katherine Ann will recover soon from this and that any long term effects on her are minimal. Plese pray that Max will continue to fight this virus as we have, and that he will not suffer the complications that Kate has. Thank you for your prayers.
November 27, 2008
I am sitting at my computer, sniffling and stuffy, suffering from the same cold that Izzy, Max and Kate all have. Chad is on his way to Hendersonville with Izzy, mostly just to get her out for a little while so I can rest, yet even though I am not able to celebrate Thanksgiving as we do every year, I have so much more to be thankful for than ever before. This Thanksgiving is truly the best one yet, and it has opened my eyes that it is not about whose house you go to, how much or what you eat, or even who you are able to spend it with – it is about the joy and blessings that God has given you.
I am so thankful for my family – even though I will not see them today. My parents, Chad’s parents, our siblings and all 9 of our nieces and nephews who have gone out of their way to take care of Izzy, decorate the nursery, keep us all fed, plan baby showers (thank you Lisa!), etc.. Our extended family – cousins, second cousins, etc. that have held our hands during this last trying year. Our friends, who have prayed for us, brought us meals, and just visited us during this long process. Our church – Brentwood Baptist – the best one ever. We have had countless calls, cards, meals, flowers, you name it! I am overly thankful for all of the nurses and doctors that cared for us this year. We truly know we are loved and cared for by those around us. I am grateful and thankful that I am alive! I had quite a scare there for a few days, and it made me realize all of the precious things in this life that I take for granted. It also makes me realize that every day could be our last, and that we really should live every day to its fullest.
O course, I am most thankful for these precious angels that God has brought into our lives. Max Edward, Katherine Ann, and Isabella Hope all came to us for a reason, and through many different obstacles along the way during both pregnancies. And all of this happened after I was told numerous times that I would never be able to even have children. Again, I am reminded that God blesses us with many miracles and that He and only He knows what blessings he will bestow upon us.
As I watch my two precious newborns sleep, I know that I do not need to be surronded by all of my family and friends today – I am surrounded by them every day – whther in prayer, in thought, or in person. I thank you God for bringing so many wonderful people into my life, and I thank you for reminding me this year that every day is Thanksgiving.
November 24, 2008
Sorry it’s been so long, gang; we’ve had our hands full! Max and Kate came home about a couple of weeks ago and are doing great. Max is now over 5lbs and Kate isn’t far behind. Here are some new pics:
November 12, 2008
Max and Kate got to meet and have their pics taken with 3 of the Titans today – Craig Hentrich, Rob Bironas, and William Hayes! We’ll have even more pics of the little ones up tomorrow hopefully. They are both doing great! Max was 4 lbs. 11 oz. today, and Kate was 3lbs. 14oz. They are both starting to take bottles and slowly coming off of their feeding tubes. Kate is no longer on her caffeine for the apnea, and is doing wonderful. Looks like we will have babies home before the holidays are over!
November 2, 2008
After 11 weeks of bed rest, 9 weeks in the hospital, septic shock, a case of listeria, 12 IV’s, 2 PICC lines, and a preterm delivery…. I am finally HOME! I will still have my PICC and 2 strong antibiotics for a little longer, but at least I am home. It was very hard to leave my precious angels, but I know they are in the best hands, and I know that I have to get myself better so that I can be a good mommy for them.
Chad and I are so grateful to everyone who has been keeping up with us and praying for all of us. We have certainly beat the odds with everything, and these precious babies are continuing to do so. Right now they are both off of everything except their heart rate monitors – they just need to grow a bit, and with that they will learn to take from a bottle and maintain their temp. Max will probably be moved to an open air crib sometime this week, and Kate will be a few days after him. They are doing exceptionally well for their gestational age. They are both almost back to their birth weights, too.
Here are some pics. Sorry it has taken so long to get them up – we’ve been a little busy 🙂 (by the way – the pic of the meds – that’s one days worth!)
October 31, 2008
Sorry folks, we’ve been swamped. Here’s a quick update. Blue Cross Blue Shield decided that Karen no longer needed to be at Baptist a few days ago…despite the doctors feeling otherwise. They sent her home to be cared for by a home health care nurse. We assumed that meant that a nurse would come daily and hook up her IV antibiotics. We were shocked to find two moving box sized boxes of antibiotics, parts and pieces, and a pump on our porch when we got her home. We were even more shocked to learn that we would be responsible ourselves for mixing the “dangerous” antibiotics and administering them ourselves. I was more than shocked…I was furious. I made lots of contacts with various health care professionals, all of whom said it was not only dangerous, but also irresponsible of BCBS to expect us to do that on our own. RNs aren’t even allowed to mix drugs in a hospital setting. Insurance thought it was ok for us to mix them on our kitchen table because they are too cheap to pay for a nurse to come and do it. Fact is, a nurse shouldn’t even be doing it in the home. I did my best to keep my cool and eventually met with our infectious disease doctor at Baptist. He thought it was unacceptable as well, so he prescribed an oral dose of the more involved antibiotic and told us to continue the more simple IV drug on our own. I’ve enlisted some folks to bark up BCBS tree. They’ll hear more from the Nikazy’s. Karen was very ill with a life threatening infection and they had us take her life into our own hands here in our home because they were finished paying for her. Believe me, I would have gladly paid out of pocket for Karen’s life had I known what the deal was.
Max and Kate are doing awesome! Max is completely unattached at this point except for basic monitoring devices. He’s gotten very strong and is allowed to come out of his incubator now whenever we want him. Kate still has her vapotherm, but is getting much better. She has fewer apnea “spells” each day. We’ve been able to hold her a few times. A few days ago nurse Bernie wrapped Max and Kate in the same blanket, skin to skin, and let us hold them together. They were so content to be side by side again.
I’ve never Izzy happier than she is now. She’s very content being back at her house with her daddy … AND HER MOMMY.
Tons more pictures very soon. Keep checking back.
October 27, 2008
Kate’s tiny feet
Max under the Bili lights
Kate getting a tan