Friday, May 20, 2011
Praise God the boys have graduated from the NICU! They have encouraged us all and fought so hard and been so strong. The doctors felt comfortable moving them to the step down unit, called the Special Care Nursery!
This is their first picture together!! William is in the blanket, and Luke is on the right.
Honestly, it was a little sad leaving the NICU. We grew so close to our nurses and doctors there, and we felt so comfortable with them. It was bittersweet though because moving to Special Care means that the boys are closer to coming home!!!
Lyndsay was one of their (and our) favorite nurses. Here she is packing them up for Special Care!
Special Care is set up to simulate the home setting...kind of:) The boys are in the same room, a private room. The nurse is outside the room, and we have couches, chairs, and a flatscreen TV. This allows us much more privacy, but also the comfort of knowing that the medical staff is right outside if we need them. They are still on monitors so we are still tied to keeping them close to those. But, we can hold them whenever we like, and that is a huge blessing!
all snuggled together on the way to Special Care!!
Right now we are in a waiting mode...they will not attempt bottle feeding or breast feeding for another 2-3 weeks because they haven't developed that reflex yet. So right now, we're just getting to hold them, love them, read to them, sing to them and be their mommy and daddy! Once they hit the developmental stage of sucking, we will try to advance their feedings, as well as do all of those other things:)
Thank you so much for all of your prayers.
Specifically right now, we can pray that they will continue to gain weight. Also, they are continuing to have less (but still some) episodes of bradycardia, where their heart rate slows down. Please pray that these subside. We are also praying that they will be able to maintain their body temperatures. Luke is very close to this, he is still in the isolette warmer, but there is no additional heat. William has some heat in his isolette, and we hope to be able to turn this down. Once they are able to maintain their temperatures, they will be in the regular clear 'tubs' that newborns are in when they are in the hospital!!
We are so encouraged and can't wait for you to meet these precious angels!!
Monday, May 16, 2011
cole, william, luke and i had a wonderful weekend. we are definitely finding our routine, and we continue to feel encouraged by the boys progress. it was so fun to have cole over the weekend. we were able to visit together as many times as we wanted, and not feel rushed because of work or shift changes with the nurses.
the boys are precious, and continue to capture our hearts.
the latest updates:
luke- luke is so steady. the doctors have felt very comfortable with his breathing status and have taken him off of the pulse oximeter. this means that they are no longer monitoring his oxygen saturation because they feel that he is maintaining a good level. this is so awesome, but also a little scary. we get so accustomed to the monitors and it is nice to be able to see his status on a screen, besides just his physical appearance. they allow us to know that he's breathing, know that his breaths are adequate, etc. however, now that this is taken away from us, i guess its one step closer to the real world. yay luke! people are starting to speculate that he looks like his mommy? thoughts?
william- we're still waiting for william to catch up on his feedings. he is receiving the nutrition through his veins, and for whatever reason his most recent doctor has been very conservative in decreasing this. he still has the picc line for this reason, but i feel like it will be taken out very soon. we have also heard it said that he looks like his daddy...who knows?
thanks so much for your prayers. i haven't been updating very much because there aren't many changes. mostly they're doing beautifully and we are so proud of their strength. praise god!! i will continue to post though because i'm pretty obsessed with them and i want you to see their cute pics.
we let our moms hold them this week. nanna and lita are going to spoil these little boys rotten...i think i'm ok with that:)
thanks for everything. we feel so blessed.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
William and Luke are such incredible fighters. Every day they are jumping some really high hurdles, and we are so proud of them.
William- William was taken off of CPAP and went straight to room air. He is breathing beautifully, and looks so adorable without the mask on. He's a little puffy and swollen right now because his mask was on for so long. But already this morning it looks like it is improving. We are still advancing his feeds slowly, but he is a growing little boy. This morning he weighed 3 lbs 6 oz.
Luke- Luke was also taken off of CPAP. It's so fun to be able to see their heads and faces! I still am not sure if they look alike since they're so swollen. But it is so fun to be able to kiss their little noses:) They also removed his PICC line. He was tolerating his feeds so well that he didn't need the venous nutrition anymore. Luke weighed 3lbs 8oz today. He is already sporting Carolina blue:)
We feel so incredibly blessed by their progress! Even the NICU doctor has been surprised and thrilled at their strength and progress. These boys are amazing. They truly are. They were formed perfectly. They grew perfectly in my tummy. They are our sons, and not only do we feel so blessed by the addition to our family, but they are constant reminders of God's bigger plan and his love for us.
Thanks for loving them and us so well!!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
william and luke have had two encouraging days. both of them seem so much more comfortable in this world, and most comfortable when they're in their mommy's and daddy's arms. holding them is our most special time together and we're so thankful that we can hold them in our arms.
today's updates seem boring. but, no news is the best news at this point. praise god!!
william- william's murmur is silent which is further confirmation that the PDA is staying closed! because he is no longer on the indocin medication, they were able to start him back on feeds. they are increasing them very slowly because he has been without food for three days, and the medicine was hard on his tummy. furthermore, he is still on cpap to assist with his breathing, but it is on the lowest rate (setting), and he is doing great with this change. hopefully, we can transition him off of the mask soon.
luke- luke is just coasting with his nasal cannula. he doesnt really like these prongs up his nose, and, many times they fall out and he still breathes perfectly on his own. i'm so proud of our baby! he is still taking feeds beautifully through his tube. we will not attempt mouth feedings for another couple of weeks because that coordination and energy do not develop until about 34-35 wks.
so what is in a name?
naming our boys was way harder than i imagined. you want to love both names equally. you want them to stand alone and be strong, yet you also want them to compliment each other, but yet not "eric and derrick" like. you want your husband or wife to love the names just as much as you do. so it was tough...
as for our babies: we split Cole's name (Colesen Craig Evans)
William Craig Evans- William is a family name on both sides, but also a name we both love for its strength and tradition. Willam was Cole's maternal uncle's name, as well as both of my
paternal great grandfathers' names. also, we should mention they were born on the same day as the royal wedding, but this was pure coincidence. And, Craig is Cole's middle name, as well as Cole's dad's name.
Colesen Luke Evans- Colesen is such a unique name, and we both love it. I love that our boys will always share their names with their daddy:) And, Luke is a favorite name of ours from the Bible, and it sticks so well with Colesen. He will be called Luke, and it already fits his sweet little face and personality.
Thanks for your prayers, and for loving William and Luke so well already. Our family is so blessed.
Monday, May 9, 2011
As I have mentioned. Being a mommy is the best. I can't even believe what a powerful love this is. We are so incredibly thankful how the Lord has carried us through the past week. We feel the power of the Lord, who has created and known these babies since before the beginning of time. He has chosen to give them to us. Thank you Father. What a Mother's Day. What a gift!
Yesterday, the nurses made little Mother's Day cards for me. They put the babies hand prints on them with a sweet little poem. I loved it, and will never forget this Mother's Day.
Cole and I also have felt so blessed because we have gotten to spend so much time with our families through this. We were able to celebrate both of our moms on Mother's Day. I feel even more thankful for them this year.
Luke- Luke is doing well. However, he has had more bradycardic episodes in the last day. We're not really sure why, but the doctors are not concerned and have expressed that this is very normal, and will likely continue through full gestation. He has gone up on his feeds; he is receiving full volumes, and now they are fortifying it with a powder that adds protein, nutrients and vitamins! He gave us the cutest little picture yesterday, I think he was waving:)
William- Praise God, the second round of indocin has closed William's PDA. What a blessing! He had no murmur this morning, and the ECHO showed that his PDA is closed. That is such a relief, because I feel like now he can get back on track to catch up with Luke (although it's not a competition, I've already told them). Because he was NPO (no feeds) for three days, they are slowly giving him food through his tube. We hope that he tolerates these, so we can increase the volume and he can start putting on weight.
He is still on the CPAP breathing mask. The doctor wants to leave him on this for a couple of days to make sure that he is ready and rested to come off of it. I can't wait for that, then we can see his face.
It may seem like with are with Luke more. And I'm sure it seems that way from the pictures, but it really is because he's a little more photogenic at this point. He doesn't have all the gear on his face, so we can see him yawn, sneeze, open his eyes, etc. I promise that we ooohh and ahhh over them equally:)
Thanks for everything!! We love yall
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Thanks again for all of your prayers and support. It is amazing how our lives are forever changed already by William and Luke. We can't get enough of them (I'm sure the nurses are a little sick of us already):)
While I've cried on and off throughout the suprising delivery and leaving them in the NICU at our discharge, the tears were never ever tears of fear or anxiety over having these babies out. the tears were representative of overwhelming joy. these babies were miraculously brought into this world and how i simply don't know. i know god is a miracle worker. but....to call these twins "miracles" just isn't enough. they are gifts from above
cole and i are so excited each morning when we wake up and realize that for the 6th day in a row, we're parents. i always heard about the love you have once you have a child. i just never could have imagined, though, what that meant.
so the update... they have had a good couple of days!
William- William is having less episodes of apnea & bradycardia. He remains on the breathing mask, but has been so much more comfortable and looks like he is not working as hard. His fetal heart valve still has not shut, and they are repeating an ECHO today to see if it is improving, staying the same, or getting worse. we pray that it will close on its own, and that he doesn't have endure any medicine or other interventions to close it. he is tolerating small amounts of breast milk through through a tube from his mouth, into his stomach. they continue to increase these amounts as he is tolerating it more and more. the team attempted to put in a PICC line for him today, but they were unsuccessful. They are going to try again tomorrow, and we pray that it is successful, so that he will have the established access, and so that he endures less trauma to his tiny veins. He received the light therapy for his elevated bilirubin levels (jaundice) yesterday, and I had to take this picture of him 'tanning"
Luke- Luke is also much more comfortable with his breathing. He continues to have episodes of decreased heart rate, but has been able to recover on his own for the most part. We are also increasing his feeds. The doctors are pleased with his respiratory status and have gone down on the support that he is getting. He seems to be tolerating this well and adjusting to this new rate. praise god! Doesn't he look so relaxed in this picture:)
Both boys will have a head ultrasound on the 7th. We are praying that they will have no brain bleeding. These bleeds are common in premies, but we pray that they are clear of these. We also continue to pray for their development, and that they are hitting appropriate milestones for their gestational age. We truly love them so much and are so thankful for your love and support.
I think they are going to let me hold William tomorrow and hopefully they will let their daddy hold them this weekend.
Much much love!!!