Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brotherly Love

January 31, 2011

This post will serve as my regular Sunday post and I will be going back to Sunday updates as the boys aren't changing much from day to day! They continue to gain ounces at a time and with the weight gain, they up their feeding by about 4 ml a day. They continue getting a daily dose of vitamin D with one of their feedings and amoxicillin. The amoxicillin is precautionary to a kidney infection. When I was still pregnant, two of my last ultrasounds showed both babies had enlarged kidneys. We were going to wait and see if they corrected themselves... but then once the boys were born, they were put on the antibiotic for "just in case" they could get a kidney infection. Next week they will be old enough and should be big enough to do a couple more tests and see if we can discontinue the antibiotic and measure the flow of liquids in their kidneys with a dye. After doing some research online, this is quite common, and also more common in boys.

We continue to do Kangaroo time with the boys and the best days are when we have "time" to hold both of the boys together.

My first day or two with the boys, I was thinking how many books I would be able to read and how long the days will be at the hospital. That turns out to be the complete opposite! There are days I don't sit down (except to pump) we are so busy. We are very involved in their CARES before their feedings and I am holding and trying to breastfeed while they receive their feeding so they can start to make the Connection between me and their meals. The boys eat every three hours so basically once I do Aiden for an hour, then I do Ashton for an hour, I pump and use the restroom and we start all over... ALL DAY. I need to sometimes remove myself so I can remember to eat and stay strong for the boys.

Right now Adam and I are planning our weeks one week at a time. Adam is trying to work more so he can be available a bit more when they boys come home. He tries to make it for either a morning or an evening, but is also keeping things rolling at home with the nursery, new carpet, housework and Nizzer. I am getting home 1 to 2 nights a week to do laundry, spend some time with Izzie, and sleep in my own bed. The other nights I am staying in Afton, MN (about 20 minutes away) with some family friends to be closer to the boys and cut down on the driving after long days at the hospital. I am there in the morning for the doctor's update and to listen to rounds and we TRY to leave by 10pm. When I say try... it is usually later by the time we actually walk out of the hospital and it is SO hard leaving them each night! I have to remind myself each time we leave that they are in the best hands and they need us to be strong and healthy for them. We won't be able to walk away for lunch, supper and sleep once they come home... but the boys coming home cannot come soon enough for Adam and I. I think Izzie wants them home too, so we will be home more! ;)

Check back next Sunday for another post!

Adam, Amy, Ashton, and Aiden. Izzie too!

It's a SPECIAL Day...

January 30, 2011

It's a special day! Today was the first day they boys could be held by others, besides getting all the lovin' from Mom and Dad!!! Gramma and Grandpa Wamboldt and Nana all got to hold their first grandsons... this makes their visits a little more special, as it is more fun to hold than to just look.

Gramma with Ashton

Nana with Aiden

Grandpa with Aiden

Gramma with Aiden

Nana with Ashton

Last but not least... Auntie Missy with Aiden.
It looks like Ashton got less cuddle time, but that is not true. He must have been getting a feeding at the time that the camera was out and we try to not move them around too much right after a feeding and their REM sleep is very important right now for their development!

As the boys were getting their snuggle time, Mommy and Daddy opened some presents that were brought by the visitors. Fitting that Adam had just closed down the computer after working on our 2011 budget... and the boys get their very first piggy banks from Auntie Missy, Uncle Dave, and Elle!

Izzie has not been forgotten about either. We keep telling her she has two brothers and we talk about her to the boys every day! She is sad she has not met them yet, so she passed on a present for Gramma and Grandpa to deliver... Two of their own little "Izzies" to keep them company until she can see them and cuddle them at home.
The nurses have all commented on how spoiled the babies are and we could not agree more. We thank everyone who helps us, thinks about us, and brings the boys gifts DAILY! The most important thing is that they are spoiled with love and cuddles!

Getting Stronger

January 28, 2011

This day was All About Aiden as I look back through the pictures and only had two of Aiden! I already feel torn about holding one and not the other, and I am trying to take equal amounts of pictures of both boys... but it doesn't always happen, nor will it continue!

Adam and I joke about being totally prepared and doing everything right. We have it all figured out... until we get the boys home and are into the first hour. Then all plans go straight out window! We are completely flexible but for those who know me, I am a planner!

Aiden is wearing a true Big Boy outfit. This is one Adam bought and was so proud to put on him... but like I said earlier, he didn't buy two so I had to go back and buy another one so Ashton could have one too! ;) It's a bit big, but size newborn!

Look at those big eyes! We still do Kangaroo care and Aiden really works his neck muscles and his eyes get bright knowing he will eat soon. We are working on feeding and it is amazing to see how they instinctively know what to do and where to find their food! Right now Ashton is a bit more lazy knowing his meal will come no matter what, but Aiden is right in there and being aggressive. I keep telling them that they want to go home, and this is something they need to do!

Happy 1-WEEK Birthday!

January 27, 2011

It's hard to believe that the boys are already a week old! Where does the time go? The boys are changing each and every day as they are more and more alert and interacting with their surroundings .

Aiden James
He is back to his birth weight! The doctors say this is the goal by their second week... he is doing GREAT!
3 pounds 11 ounces

Ashton Alan
Gaining again, but not quite back to his birth weight (4 lbs. 3 oz.)...
4 pounds exactly!

Big Boy Clothes!

January 26, 2011

We try to make it home a night or two during the week to "regroup" and head back up (over). It is always hard leaving the boys, but we know they are in the best of hands and we need to get things ready at home too! We thought we had just a little more time to get the nursery ready! When we are not home our home-away-from-home has been at a family friend's house in Afton, Minnesota. It is about a 15-20 minute drive to and from the hospital. After being at the hospital all day, it is nice to have a comfortable bed to sleep in. Thanks Maureen and Coach!!! Adam is also trying to work right now so he can be a little more available when it is time for the boys to come home. He packed me up and dropped me off with the boys this morning to spend some time with them while he went to work.

He then came back later in the evening with a surprise for the boys...

Their very own Craftsman Tool Boxes!!! Is this saying they can't touch Daddy's tools? Now Adam is working on buying them Hot Wheel's, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles that they can use their tools on!

Aiden having some quiet time with Daddy. They have many long talks about building sand castles in Door County and doing "Boy Stuff".

What's up Ashton? Are you shy about your clothes??? Maybe he's telling us he didn't want his picture taken. Adam thinks that it is the strips and he wanted to be in camouflage.

Today was a big day for the boys to try on their first BIG BOY clothes. No more chilling in their diaper and having a machine keep you warm! To help regulate their body temperature, they need to put on clothes and slowly turn down the temperature in their isolettes. Once they can hold it on their own, the graduate to BIG BOY BEDS! We didn't have any clothes here with us, so Adam went out shopping and then headed home to do some laundry to bring some of their clothes back up. Several nurses commented how cute it was that Daddy was soo excited to go shopping for they boys and do their laundry! He is a keeper although I don't think he has this "shopping for twins" thing down. He only bought one of everything. Nothing matching or even coordinating! So, we had to go back and "finish" his shopping. That is the big question... will the boys dress identical or not? I prefer coordinating outfits, same style but different color but matching is cute too!

There's his cute little face! They are swimming in their clothes (size newborn) but they are almost too long to buy a lot of preemie clothes. We have a couple preemie things washed up and they just look sooo tiny. They will be growing into the newborn size before we know it!

And the best part of the day... The boys had not felt each other since they were in the womb until today. This is what I have been looking forward to... holding both of my little boys at the same time. They actually found each other's hands and held onto hands for awhile. I didn't even have to force it and tell them to get along. It melted my heart.

Moving Day

January 25, 2011

Today was a BIG DAY! The boys were moved to a brand new unit in the NICU. It's grand opening is today and the boys were the first babies to be moved in. This is the Level 2 NICU and they are moving 6-10 babies who are less medically fragile and basically just working on getting bigger. They call them the "Feeder and Growers."

The unit is quiet and has recliners! I know this may sound pretty standard, but in their last little home you had to check out a chair for when you were going to hold them and it was busy with up to 50 babies getting care.

The boys are in separate rooms here (until they are out of their isolettes) which makes it hard. I feel guilty about sitting with one and not the other!!! Very soon they will be regulating their own body temperature and they will be moved to bassinets and then they can be in the same room. There just isn't room for two isolettes!

The boys being moved to their new "Home!"

With a little decorating and bringing our stuff in, the room fills up and feels cozy in no time! You'll see some of their decorations later in the blog... They are VERY SPOILED little boys already!
The boys are:
~Off all IV's and getting Vitamin D orally with their afternoon feedings.
~Waking before their feeding times on their own and showing cues to wanting to eat!
~Stinky many times a day... which is healthy ;)
~Aiden is 3 pounds 9 ounces (1610 gm) and Ashton is 3 pounds 12 ounces (1700 gm)

Our Little Men

January 24, 2011

No News is Great News. Everyday is a new day and it is a great day when we hear that the boys are doing well. I think that they are so small and fragile and it is crazy to hear the nurses call our boys "the big boys of the unit!" We are going to save a diaper and some of their preemie clothes to show the boys just how small they once were. I feel that they are growing and changing in looks every day. Their eyes get brighter and they get more and more control of their movements.

Ashton and Daddy doing some cuddle time.

I love these pictures because it looks like he has a good start to little chubby cheekers!

The boys are still getting photo therapy. They expect their blood work to come back fine and get them off the lights.

Aiden still has the oxygen flow, but it is all room air and we expect him to come off that soon. It will give him one less thing to grab at!

The nurses continue to tell us that both of the boys are "SPIRITED." Aiden a little more so than Ashton. This makes me think we will have our hands full at home, but also their "spirit" is making them strong and grow faster?!?!

We cannot wait to get them out of their isolettes so they can become more aware of each other. It bothers me that they were so used to being together and now they lay alone in their little beds.

But.... Ashton is enjoying the extra space. He sleeps all sprawled out often times! He also likes stretching his long legs to where he looks like a stiff little board, but completely comfortable. Aiden likes to be cuddled a bit more and lay on his stomach.

Today a nurse commented on the two little blondie's, and after seeing me she knows where they got it from. I don't think of Aiden as a little blondie, but sometimes it looks as though his hair could lighten up... I cannot tell who their features look like or if they look alike, as I need to see them closer together. It seems as though Aiden may be a little more petite, but other than that all I see they have in common is that everything is just plain TINY and both are handsome. :)

First pair of Oakleys

January 23, 2011
To our surprise, we found the boys getting ready for their first vacation on day three. Ok, they weren't tanning but it sure looked like it! Because their little systems were immature, they needed some help breaking down the red blood cells and needed some photo therapy. The lights help their liver break down the bilirubin in their systems. This is not uncommon for term babies, especially in pre-term babies.

This is Ashton showing of his first pair of Oakleys. He learned really fast how to get them off, especially hitting them with the "board" on his arm that is to hold in his IV. He would get the goggles off and then squeak because the lights hurt his eyes... we had a long talk about cause and effect!

Aiden wasn't too crazy about his first pair of Oakleys either. Again, notice the mitt on his hand and he still found a way to get his goggles off!

Adam and I are beginning to be more involved in their care. Before each feeding, the nurses do CARES. They take their temperature, change their diaper, and do a full check up. Adam and I are now doing their temperatures (they do NOT like the cold thermometer in their arm pit) and changing their diapers. This is challenging with them in their isolettes and all the wires, but we just think of it as extra challenging practice and will only be easier as they get bigger and we don't have to work around the obstacle course!

With their feedings moving through their little systems and getting them to go to the bathroom more, this will help with the bilirubin breaking down as well. We were fist a bit concerned because it took Ashton a little longer than expected to pee and poop... but have no fear, both boys have healthy little systems and fill their diapers often! They are stinky boys ;)

While we are doing Kangaroo time with the boys, we play some light music that I played on my tummy while they were in the womb. One of my favorites is Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Lullaby's. I make the joke that with their little Oakley's, Tans, and Jimmy Buffett... they will feel right at home next time we go on a Caribbean Vacation.

They boys are changing each and every day. They are still loosing a little weight each day and especially being under these lights they are loosing a little more liquids, so hopefully they will start to chart in the positive gains!

Thank You everyone for the kind words, thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. We appreciate everything and look forward to bringing the boys home!

Go Packers!!!

January 22, 2011

I organized the first week into days. Each day made such a difference in what to expect and how they boys were doing. They continue to do well and the main goal is to just get them to gain some weight and eventually learn to eat on their own, however both have lost a little weight since birth. This is normal with all babies, but we don't want them to lose more than 10% of their weight! They are getting all their nutrients through a feeding tube as they are too young and weak to suck, swallow, and breath and get it all down in a pattern. They tell us that it probably won't be for a couple weeks. Both are still on IV's providing them with a little more liquids, Vitamin D, and some caffeine to stimulate their little systems and remind them they need to breath on their own! The IV sites are very fragile with their little veins, so they are moved often. Both have had an IV in their head at one time for a site, and I'm not going to lie... it's hard to see our little boys like this!

This picture melts my heart. Ashton fell asleep while looking up at Daddy. Yes, that is blonde hair on his shoulders. I call him my little Monkey and I had the same thing when I was born.

This is Aiden, still has the mitts on. Little stinker WILL NOT leave his oxygen flow alone!

Aiden often has a worried look on his face and is a little more of a spit fire. When he gets mad, he gets MAD!!! He loves his pacifier and needs to be touched or cuddled to calm down.

They may be twins and brothers, but their little personalities are becoming more and more different. Here is Ashton sleeping so soundly that his little mouth is hanging open. He loves to sprawl out and is pretty relaxed most of the time. He will suck on his pacifier, but doesn't want it as much as Aiden. Ashton was also the one sprawled out in the womb and hogging the space... no wonder Aiden is a little spit fire now, he was sick of being pushed under my rib by his brother!!!!

I love their little hands. Their pinkie finger nails are SO TINY!

Volunteers make the hats the babies wear in the NICU. The teal one is Ashton's and the blue on is Aiden's. Adam had a good idea of comparing the size to a quarter... they are tiny too!

Gramma and Grandpa visited and of course had to gear the boys up for the BIG game on Sunday! They were all the talk of the NICU with their Packer gear. The question has been asked if they will be Vikings Fans since they were born in Minnesota and the answer is NO! They can be Gopher fans (I went to school there) and Twins fans (fitting enough), but no Vikings (until they are old enough to choose). Since Adam is from the Green Bay area, they will be true Green and Gold Fans. The two newest Packer Fans get to cheer for their team in the Super Bowl this year as well!!!!
Go PACK Go!!!

All is good!

January 21, 2011

It's amazing how with just a blink of the eye, what you do is no longer about yourself. These little boys have me wrapped around their finger more than I could ever have imagined, and they are only a day old in these pictures. I could not get up early enough to get to their room to see them. It was a tough night for me, trying to sleep in my recovery room while the boys were in a different unit (NICU). It was my first time away from them and not being able to be with them or feel them kicking inside of me left me not being able to sleep.

Most all the nurses comment on Ashton's hands and feet. They are BIG (and adorable)! He might be tall like Daddy.

Adam and I cannot get enough time with them. The Kangaroo time is the best part of our days.

We usually see the boys' eyes during the Kangaroo time as they are more alert. This is Ashton right after some Kangaroo time. He definitely has the lighter features of the two boys! One nurse thinks they may both be blonde, but for now Ashton is the Blondie!

Aiden has booties on his hands. He was still receiving a little "Room Air Flow" just to help him out a bit. He is a stinker and keeps pulling at everything. Many of the nurses describe him as "Spirited". We might have our hands full with him! Ashton is a bit more laid back and chill right now, but they both have their moments!

The boys continue to do well, and just need to get stronger and gain weight!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A day we'll NEVER forget.

The Day we will never forget was right in the middle of a typical week. I thought this week would be easy for me as I had no kiddos at school on Monday and we had a half day on Wednesday. As I had noted in other weeks prior, I continued to feel OK, yet continuing to slow down. Monday's day of meeting drained me and I went straight home from work and to bed. Tuesday was a good day, and then Wednesday I wasn't feeling the greatest, a slight headache, and just plain tired. The above picture is from Wednesday morning. I swear Adam loves taking pictures if he is not the one in them... but interesting enough, I look at this picture now and think "look at how low I was carrying!" The boys had done some shifting...

Around 4:30 am I woke up to thinking I had to go to the bathroom and to my surprise, I just thought that the pressure from the boys were causing me to lose control of my bladder a bit (sorry for this concerned about TMI - too much information). I called the OR and they said to keep an eye on it and didn't tell me to come in at all soooo, I got up and ready for work. I was going to do my sub plans and get everything checked out. BUT I made it to the front office of my school and walked past the secretary and said, "go open the door for my kids, I need a sub!" Not too long later I was on the phone with Adam telling him I was getting a ride to the hospital.

At this time, I felt a bit stupid going to the hospital because I wasn't feeling anything unusual. Then me feeling stupid went all out the window and I felt scared, anxiety, and panic. A test was done and indicated it was indeed my water that had broke. Then the nurses and my doctor started moving quite fast! They didn't want to check me right away as the more times you get checked there is more of a chance for infection. After a call to the cities, they wanted me checked to see if I could make the transfer to the cities. I will NEVER forget the look on the faces in the room when I was checked and what they thought I was measuring 6 cm dilated. At this point I was NOT feeling any contractions, but they were about 2-4 minutes apart. At 6 cm I was not going anywhere and they were going to fly a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to Menomonie to assist with the delivery and care of the boys. Once they were born I would have stayed in Menomonie and they would have taken to boys to the cities.

Then, after a second opinion and check, they determined I was really only 1 cm dilated and could make it to the cities. This made me very nervous but glad I could be with the boys. The trip was the longest, bumpiest, and most anxious trip I had ever had to the cities. I could help but just watch the two nurses and paramedics faces to see if they were nervous and how they were reacting to the situation. I'm sure I was quite annoying by asking "Where are we?" It helped me knowing how much further I needed to make it. When we arrived at the hospital I was having contraction every two to three minutes and just by being able to relax knowing we made it, the contractions were STRONG. I was not even in my room for a half hour and they had me checked. I went from 1 cm to 10 cm in about 20 minutes. This was just long enough to get the epidural and head off to the OR for delivery.

The delivery room was quite a sight. There was a team (10 or so people) for Baby A, a team for Baby B, and a team for me. I pushed for about an hour and a half with Ashton. He came out crying and all I could say was "keep crying little buddy!" By me being able to hear his cry, I knew he was breathing! Ashton got to visit with me for a couple seconds and then they took him to check him out. In a matter of a minutes they did an ultrasound and Baby B was still head down so I asked how long before we start pushing. The doctor looked at me and said, "right now!" I said something to the sort of, "OK... but I'm hungry, tired, and sore from the first one." He said push and in two pushes Aiden James followed his brother by three minutes! He was crying as well, music to our ears.

Ashton Alan

Aiden James

Here is the proud daddy with little Aiden. Believe it or not but in the short amount of time and how quick everything happened Gramma and Grandpa Wamboldt made it, as did Nana and Elly. Grandpa Jerry made it from Green Bay... did you go the speed limit the entire way?

The first couple of hours (maybe the first night) the boys were assisted with oxygen through a CPAP however, breathing all on their own!

Once I recovered enough, I couldn't wait to go to the NICU to see the boys. We got to do some Kangaroo time right away. The best feeling in the world.

Looking back, it was quite the ride of emotions. I went from thinking I had about five more weeks to go...
to thinking my water may have broke...
to thinking maybe labor could be stopped...
to trying to make it 48 hours (for the steroid shots to be effective)...
to "You're having babies before Dinner Time!
We joined the journey a little early.
We are Blessed with two beautiful boys.
Adam has already questioned if I am ready to live in a house with three boys, and I just remind him that I still have my Nizzer and we will do special days together to get out of the house. Just the girls.