Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Home Sweet Home

This was a HUGE week for the boys! The title says it all, and the week was well documented with pictures. This weeks blog was difficult to start because of all the events and at the end of the week I had 154 pictures to sort through. The events of this weeks will be told through pictures...
First of all, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!! The Boys' cupboards were decorated with Valentine's from some pretty special people!

The doctors and nurses were preparing Adam and I for a very difficult week with the possibility of Aiden going home while Ashton had a little more work to do on his feeding. Our biggest challenge was making the transition home with one and not being at the hospitol for the other. Once Aiden left the hospital he could not come back into the intensive care unit due to a possible "community exposure" to any germs (do I have to mention we are right in the flu season). It was determined Aiden would be released on Wednesday. Adam and I both stayed at the hospital with Aiden on Wednesday night with him under our full care. We wanted on last night to cheer Ashton on and work very hard with his feedings.

Before Aiden could get discharged, he had a couple tests to pass. The first on was a 12 hour scan called a MMU. Up until this point he was on a monitor for breathing patterns, heart rate, and oxygen levels. This 12 hour scan is needed for the doctor to see if he was having any "episodes" that would affect any of the three areas. He passed his first test ever given to him! What a smart and strong little guy ;) The next test was the hearing test, which all babies receive. The first was just a probe placed in his ear, the second was actually measuring brain waves. I think he looks pretty cute with his little headphones on (yes, he scratched himself already under his eye...)

The next test to be passed was his car seat test. He had to sit in the car seat for a hour and have no "alarms", again looking at heart rate, breathing patterns, and oxygen levels. He looks like a tiny peanut, but he passed!

With no monitors, wires, and tubes Aiden got to wear some "real" clothes... Dad was dressing him...

He was being SiLLy with his pants on his head and I don't think Aiden really cared! Thanks for such a cute outfit Maureen! It fits perfectly.

He is all ready to go!

The hardest part of most days was leaving the boys at the hospital to get a good nights rest. The day that Aiden went home and we had to leave Ashton all alone was by far the most difficult night. We were ecstatic to be taking Aiden home, but I was a mess having to leave Ashton. At least before he had his brother with him! :(

I rode in the back with him on the way home. A couple times he would hold his breath, grunt or stretch and turn red/purple. After about the third time, I quite freaking out.

He slept all the way home, and his little cheeks vibrated along the road.

There was one little special friend that couldn't wait to meet the boys! Izzie was very excited to see Adam and I, but at the same time very curious to what we were bringing in the house. She is very cautious around the boys, pays attention to their squeaks and squawks, and follows me into their room for changing time. The first and second night, she would follow me up for feedings, but after that decided to stay in bed! I don't blame her...

Another very special person waiting to meet Aiden (and Ashton) was Mikayla. She visited while they were in the cities, but children are not allowed in the NICU.

Next, it was Ashton's turn to pass all his tests! His tests were ordered for Thursday knowing we were also still working on his oral feedings. At this point he was still receiving the majority of his feedings through the tube, but once he passed the tests he could be off monitors! He could then be WIRELESS like his brother. They are so much easier to hold!

He passed his hearing test!

And, he passed his car seat test (this is not his car seat... but the same brand so they used it). Any baby who spends more than 5 days in the NICU or was below 5 pounds needs to pass this test and they cannot ride for more than an hour without stopping and being taken out of their car seat. He passed! His last test was his 12 hour MMU scan. I was nervous that he wouldn't do so well because he would have "spells" with feedings. BUT... he passed! He may still have a few dips in his oxygen, but with feedings they are not as concerned as they can self correct and it is common for babies to hold their breath and have inconsistent breathing during feedings. We were so excited for NO MONITORS, but didn't know what else to do when we couldn't just stare at the monitors to make sure they were alright! The nurses were great in talking us through what to expect and to just watch our babies color and actions to know they are ok.

With all tests passed, all we needed was for Ashton to be taking all feedings orally for 12-24 hours while not getting too stressed or tired. We were beyond excited when Saturday was Ashton's day to come home and join his brother! Like his brother, he was all dressed and ready to go home! His brother was wearing his outfit at home again so they could be "matching" when they got home. Thanks again Maureen for the adorable outfits! These boys are VERY SPOILED!

Ashton ready for his BIG DAY!

Such a little peanut, but safe in his car seat!

On our way out! This time it was pure excitement because we weren't leaving anyone behind... except the wonderful nurses and other families that we met during our four week stay. We are already talking about this summer's NICU reunion, to reconnect with some pretty special nurses and families we met.

Just like his brother, he was a champ. Not a peep out of him the entire ride and his cheeks too were vibrating all the way home (I watched the whole time, and was a little more comfortable with him grunting and groaning and turning red/purple)!

OUR FIRST FAMILY PICTURE... Yes, we had one with Izzie but it was even more blurry than this one.

Grandma and Gramma were waiting for their arrival home, as well as Nana. Once things settled down a bit, we were excited to have them try all their "things" at home. It was so nice putting them down in their swings and not a hard, plastic bassinet in a sterile hospital room!

Aiden James

Ashton Alan

Aiden (left) and Ashton (right) trying our their bouncies... Thanks cousin Elle for letting us borrow your bouncie, swing, and many other items you have grown out of! That way the boys have their own and can be settled and comfortable! And it helps Adam and I get things done...

Cousin Elle came over for supper on Saturday night to finally meet her cousins. I don't think she quite knew what to think. At one point Aiden started crying and it really upset Elle! Then for pictures, she didn't know who to pay attention to... so first she checked out Aiden...

and then she looked at Ashton. She looked back and forth, back and forth for a good amount of time... We cannot wait for these three to be best friends, partners in crime, and worst enemies (at times)...

Whew, It has been quite the week, but one we will never forget! We are adjusting well... Surviving the nights and making it through the days and loving every minute of it!

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