John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Saturday, January 31, 2009

AHHHHHHH!

James talking to Linda Templin..actually I was talking to her on the speaker phone and he was listening..it was really cute.





John David after his diaper change.




Many are asking...."How is it going?" Well, it is going like 5 kids under the age of 7 goes...loud, chaotic, stressful.... but more JOY, LOVE, and ADMIRATION I have ever felt in my life. The girls have adjusted well. Rob has done a remarkable job around the house (a true Mr. Mom) and I am becoming more whole each and every day. I guess when I look at where we have come from with this experience...I have to breathe a big sigh and say THANK YOU. SO here is the gist of the day:

Day Three: still eating every four hours AROUND THE CLOCK! So thankful each time I have to get up out of my warm cozy bed to feed TWO babies, however, it is hard to WAKE THEM UP each time to feed them. I have always been old school thought on "Never wake a sleeping baby", but this time it is different. These babies have to eat every four hours to maintain nutrition. So, I pretty much have to set my alarm clock each night for 1:00am and 5:00am so they can eat at their scheduled times. Tonight John David had some major POOP issues. He had not had a bowl movement since Wed. so Daddy went to Walgreens and got him some supositories. Worked like magic! Green magic that is..hahah!

We had a wonderful dinner delivered to us last night, (thanks Claire Caldwell, the soup was awesome!) and also tonight my super great roommom, Kelly Hazelwood, from school brought two meals and a very generous class gift from my kiddos. I sure miss my students. Teachers grow really close to their students when they have major life experiences like I have had this year. I will never forget them and what some of them did for me and my family during this time. I have truly been blessed with amazing kids and parents at Oak Mountian... Thanks Lucy Rice and Samantha Taylor and mom for preparing two delicious meals for our family. I tell you, if it weren't for these incredibly nice people bringing supper, we'd be back to corn dogs or oatmeal every night. Hopefully in a week or so I will have a better handle on "life" and be able to cook my family supper again. For now, we are all in survival mode. I pretty much spend 12-14 hours a day with BABIES, feeding, burping, changing and feeding, burping, changing, and all the same again and again a couple more times. Of course there are three other sweet angels that need my time as well. So between taking care of two newborn babies I am trying my best to be a great mom to Claire, Ellie and Jenna. I do have one friend (whom I admire so much) who has been exactly where I am standing right now. Her name is Kristy Wilder. God made sure for us to find each other. We met (through a substitue and church group) during my pregnancy. She had three boys and then twin girls. Seriously how many people do you know have three children of one sex and then twins of the opposite sex..??? She has been the best comfort and support through everything. I value her as a friend and look up to her as well. She is the director of the nursery at Brook Hills.

These little guys are changing so much each day it seems. I am still in awe of them. Ashley Richardson took Ellie for the weekend to have a spend the night party (bless you Ashley) and when they arrived today, Ashley was able to take a peek at the boys, she had tears and I did too~ it isn't hard to get emotional looking at them and remembering their journey into this world.

I am going to go to bed now for about an hour and a half, so I can be ready to go for the 1:00 feeding. By the way, nothing is more precious, sweeter, than nursing both of the these teeny tiny miracles. Tonight was the first time both boys nursed wihtout "help" from me or a breast sheild. Major accomplishment for preemie babies to nurse unassisted. Hopefully soon I'll have two footballs to hold and can cut our feeding time in half...nursing both at the same time.

FYI- Feeding schedule is 1pm, 5pm, 9pm, 1am, 5am, 9am...thank you NICU nurses.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

First Day Home!

What makes the NICU experience worth it, two babies on a 4 hour schedule like alarm clocks. These boys eat, poop, and sleep at the same time every four hours. It they are due to eat at 1:00, they are in a deep sleep at 12:55 but at 12:59, eyes open and mouths start rooting around. I was actually able to pick up my house, vacuum the kitchen floor, make chicken salad, take a nap and fold some laundry; only because I scheduled it between feeding times. Rob had a meeting tonight until about 9:00 so his mom and dad and big brother (uncle David) came over at supper time to help out with the chaos. I would have to say on the Pate scale of chaos, I would rank this afternoon fairly low, maybe a 3! I definitely see the need to have extra hands between the hours of 4-6. Supper was easy tonight...pre-heat oven, unwrap foil on casserole dish, place casserole dish in oven, listen for the timer, dish out, eat, toss in the sink! Thanks Susie for bringing supper. I know it was a sacrifice of your time and energy, but the Pates loved your chicken spaghetti and I seriously appreciated it. So, I have to say for the first day, so far so good with the boys home. They are super precious, Claire is completely obsessed and I can't say I blame her... I am too!

We begin the plether of doctor's appointments next week. So I am going to ask you guys to remember our boys in your prayers. Both boys have hernias and will see a pediatric surgeon next week to discuss prognosis and treatment, probably surgery. Dr. Darby will get to meet these little guys next week as well for check ups, blood work, developmental check. We also have eye exams (not by Daddy though) Dr. Mets will re-evaluate their retinas for the condition that causes blindness and vision problems in premature babies. The first exam in the hospital looked good so we are praying for a "status quo" exam from him. Thank you for your prayers. We love you all and appreciate you so much.

Dana

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We're HOME!!!

Last picture in the NICU sleeping! Snuggled together sucking their pacifiers.

Getting ready to leave.

In the car seats, snugged and ready to go home!

Here are some really happy sisters. When we rounded the corner of the kitchen, Mamaw had them all sitting on the couch waiting for their brothers to arrive. When they saw them, all three girls jumped up and came running towards them. Very sweet moment for our family.

Claire holding BOTH boys. What a special moment for her.

WOW~ We are really out numbered now. The Pate Family of 7!

Brothers ready for bed. Both snuggled in their swaddle blankets (thanks Leslie, they are perfect!) and ready to go to sleep.



We finally arrived at home tonight about 8:00pm. What a journey...

Yes, I cried..my heart quivered as I walked out of the NICU carrying two precious 4 lb baby boys. I was in complete awe! All I could think of was how in love I am with these boys; And also the love God has for HIS people. To think He gave his SON up for death only so we could be saved by HIS grace, and live eternally with HIM one day.... wow! As much as I love these baby boys, God loves them more, loves me more, loves you more! Amazing!

So, I have to thank God for every single detail of this entire experience at Brookwood Hospital. We received amazing care, the boys as well as myself. We witnessed prayers being answered on a daily basis. The NICU doctors and nurses were superb. Dr. Strange, Dr. DiCarlo and Dr. Mena saved two precious miracles through the Power of GOD. I know in my soul, these babies are true miracles and I thank all three doctos for their role in the specialized care of our boys. We had some amazing nurses as well. Our boys will grow up looking at pictures and hearing stories of their first 49 days of life in the Brookwood NICU! Joy, Annette, Susie, Heather, Amanda, Janette, Scott, Tara, Emily, Crystal; all completely loving, nurturing, patient and kind to our boys on a daily or nightly basis. They were there to love and nurture them when I couldn't. As much as my heart ached each night to say goodbye to them, it truly meant so much to me that they were there to love on our babies through the days and nights; that a special nurse (one blessed by God) was there to care for them. Sure it is their job, but you can tell through their compassion that it means a tad bit more than just a pay check. Living the NICU experience, where you see very sick babies come and go, some make it and some don't, all are there because they are in need of specialized care, really makes you stop and evaluate the fragility of life. I have a new perspective on life for sure after this whole experience. Living daily through a pregnancy that had the possibility of ending in tragedy at any minute of the day, to the uncertainty of the health and well being of our babies, whether they would make it or not, has brought new meaning to the "little things in life"!

I will never be able to thank all the family and friends and even strangers we don't personally know for the prayers that were said for our miracle babies. It is such a humbling feeling to know others care about your babies and talk to the Almighty God on their behalf. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I truly do thank you all.

I will do my best to update how the boys are doing each day, if not every other day. I am sure I will have my hands full for a while...maybe 18 years or so! Ha Ha!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coming Home...AGAIN!

Hopefully tomorrow, Wednesday, January 28th,we will be able to bring our boys home. They were delayed today because James' hemoglobin was low. He needed a blood transfusion and the doctors want to monitor him for 24 hours before discharging him. They wanted to send John David home today without his brother, so I started whining. Apparently the whining worked because I received a phone call shortly after and the case manager for Blue Cross said that John David could stay one more night. Funny thing is, "they" were really trying to get James out of there this past Sunday and I asked if James could stay two more days with John David so they could come home together. Of course "they" didn't want to do that but did allow him to stay. SO this morning when James needed blood, I asked the nurse what would have happened if we had taken him home last Sunday and she said we would have been readmitted to the hospital because he would have needed a transfusion and you have to admit for that. SO, what a blessing in disguise that he did stay with his brother a couple extra days to find out his blood count was low. That saved us from having to come back to the hospital. I am all for making sure we are READY, completely READY to come home. Also, blessing in disguise is that Jenna was really last week and over the weekend, so postponing their homecoming was a good thing!

All that to say that I AM SO READY TO HAVE THEM HOME AND IN MY ARMS!

I have been washing a preparing for them all day. So excited and so thankful that the day has finally arrived. I hope for a blessed homecoming tomorrow...

I will definitely post tomorrow night to let you guys know what is going on.

Dana

Coming Home!!

James


John David was sound asleep, so I didn't get a picture of him last night. Have I already mentioned that John David is awake all day and James is usually awake mostly at night!!! AHHHHH!

Boys are scheduled to come home today at 2:00. Last night they were doing really great. They both passed their car seat test, they are eating up to 60cc now, they have not required any oxygen in 7 days, and temperatures have been great while in their crib. SO~~~~~ we finally get to bring these miracle babies HOME! Of course, until they are snuggled in their seats in our van riding down Hwy 280, I am not jumping up and down quite yet!

Please keep the boys in your prayers today as we plan to leave with them this afternoon. Thank you all for your love and support and prayers. My heart is so full right now. Please pray for me too, I am extremely nervous about being a mommy to these boys around the clock and also to my three precious girls. I am going to Wal-Mart today to stock up on protein energy bars and vanilla coffee. I am soon to be making a volunteer list of helpers! Lea Smith, you are first...Love to all~

Dana

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What a Day!

Here are my amazing friends who hosted the TEA for TWO Saturday morning. It was so awesome. We had ham and cheese pastries, pigs in a blanket, cinnamon rolls, sausage balls, fruit, muffins, cheese grits, cake, coffee and punch. These ladies worked so hard and I truly appreciate each of them so very much.




Here are the cakes. LOVED them...too cute!

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My Oak Mountain teaching buddies. They are so awesome to work with. I have definitely been blessed by them in many ways. During my hospital stay, they kept me and my family fed, me entertained in the hospital (which is hard to do!!), and have just been a huge support for us during this journey. There are also many more not pictured here that have helped in so many ways. I am so blessed to be a part of the Oak Mountain Family!


Here is a picture of Claire and Ellie posing with a very dear friend of mine I work with. Carla has been instrumental in our miracle babies' lives (just like so many others) because she has been praying for them since AUGUST! Jenna is not in the picture because at this particular moment she was lying in the floor pitching a fit for more cake!




Here are some more of my amazing friends. They have done some serious praying for our little guys. It will be wonderful to share with James and John David one day, all the people who prayed for them; talked to God each day... for THEM! Huge supporters for me and have blessed my life in so many ways.



Jenna loved the icing on the cake!



The boys' stroller. Thanks Dad and Rosie for buying the stroller for the boys. We will bring it out in June when we come to run the marathon! You guys can push the boys while Rob and I run the race...



The boys' pack and play. Thank you Tami and Linda, yall are so amazing and incredibly kind and generous for buying the boys their pack and play.



Here are the boys' car seats. Thanks Mamaw and Nana for getting the car seats for the boys. We are very appreciative for your gift.


More pictures of different gifts we received.




Diapers! I figured out that we will probably go through about 20 diapers per day (both boys combined) which is 140 a week, 560 a month, 6,720 a year.... so maybe 13,440 diapers by potty training time!



Rob and I visiting the boys. This was the first time Rob held both boys at the same time. Precious...Daddy with his boys!



John David playing after his feed. He was looking at the mobile Nurse Susie made for the boys yesterday.


James Daniel after his diaper change, getting ready to eat! This was at our 10:00 feed. He is such a night owl...wide awake at night!


Praying for my boys before I had to leave them to go home. I miss them so much each night I have to leave. I love to snuggle them together and feel them breathe. I love the smell of their hospital blankets (I know...crazy!), and I also love seeing them sleep with their mouths open..just like their mommy does!


We are hopeful that Tuesday will be "homecoming" for both boys. We will keep you posted tomorrow as far as their status coming home. If John David doesn't have any breathing spells, then I think we are good to go on both boys coming home together.

I thank you all so much for your prayers of health, and for the amazing baby shower. All of the gifts you guys bought us are appreciated so much. We didn't have anything for "boys" and now we have it all! My heart is overflowing with gratitude and joy. I thank God for sending me such caring, supportive, generous friends to be a part of my life.

Love to all~
Dana

Friday, January 23, 2009

Change of Plans!

Well, the boys were due to come home Sunday but it seems that those plans have changed now. On my last post I mentioned that the doctors wanted to send them home TODAY, FRIDAY! I questioned whether it was okay to do that since they had not been off their oxygen a full 7 days. SO they changed the original day from Friday to Sunday. The night after we discussed this, John David was struggling a little bit with his oxygen saturation and they finally decided around midnight to give him some oxygen in his nasal cannula. He only needed it for about an hour. Since then, he has done well and not needed it anymore. We discussed it with Dr. Mena last night and he told us one of four things could have caused his "distress". 1. A big booger that was blocking his ability to breath freely (since babies this tiny are nose breathers), 2. He misses his caffeine (the caffeine they have been off for 10 days), 3. REFLUX (causing him to hold his breath when he has spells after he eats), or 4. Infection (which I pray it is not!) They will monitor him closely today and tomorrow and if he does well without any spells through the weekend, they will both come home Monday or Tuesday. If John David requires any more oxygen, they will begin testing him for reflux, possibly infection, or may stimulate him with some caffeine. Any of that would keep him in the hospital longer though. James will be coming home without his little brother because there is not a reason to keep him there any longer (unless him gives them reason to)!

I want them to come home, when they are strong enough and ready to come home. I don't want to rush a home coming, only to turn around and end up back at the hospital. I am so thankful they are doing well, and I want them to be home for the sake of the millions of germs they are exposed to each day in the hospital. However, if there is any reason they are not ready to come home (especially due to BREATHING!!!) I am okay with them staying there a few more days than originally planned. Back when they were born, I was told not to expect them home until end of Feb. and that is 5 weeks away. I am amazed at how well they have done and know that God has allowed it all. I of course give Him all the credit in their progress.

I miss them so much and it is so hard to leave them each time I visit now that they are in a crib without wires and tubes everywhere. I long to hold and snuggle with them. I feel that I have not had the opportunity to truly "bond" with them. I know the time will come, I am trying to patient and content with all that is going on, but it is hard.

Please be in prayer for John David to do well over the next several days and for James to continue to grow and thrive well also so both boys can come home together Monday or Tuesday.

James weighs 4 lb 2 oz now and John David is 4 lb 8 oz. It is incredible to think of how far they have come in 6 weeks.

Thank you for your prayers each day. They mean so much. I spoke with Sally Youngblood yesterday at school and she praised God for all of our answered prayers. I told her I truly believed our miracles were prayed into this world. God revealed Himself to so many people through our journey with these babies. I thank her and the rest of my friends for your witness and faith you share daily.

BABY SHOWER!!! I am so excited about the boys' shower tomorrow. Many of my dear friends have asked about bringing kids. You are asking a mom of 5 KIDS if she cares about having KIDS at her baby shower...Ha Ha! Are you kidding...of course I don't care. I am looking forward to seeing all of my family and friends tomorrow as we celebrate the lives of these miracle babies!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

CRIB time!

Well, the boys finally made it to the CRIB! This is a celebration when you are in the NICU! First, they relocate you to the back wall...that is a good move. Next, you graduate to the crib....that is great. Finally, you get to go home! That's right, going home is what comes next. If the boys behave for three days, they get to come home. Dr. Strange wanted to send them home Friday, but I told her my baby shower was planned for Saturday and as of right now, we don't even have their car seats! I pleaded for her to wait and send them home Sunday, if everything checks out alright. So far, the boys have done wonderfully. In order to go home, they have to breathe and eat without struggle and hold their temperatures well. So far, they have done just that. What a huge praise to God for us to shout! These little stinkers were not even due until the end of February. They are ahead at this point of where doctors anticipated them being when they were born. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. Thank you so much Linda, for house sitting for us tonight while we visited the boys. I know it was cold and really late when you got back home. Christy, I can't thank you enough for watching the girls for me while I went to the hospital to feed the boys (for three hours), and also for cooking supper. The girls are still talking about "cooking with Ms. Christy" I am really looking forward to our baby shower this Saturday. I appreciate all you guys have done for me. I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude.

The Pate boys sleeping soundly together in their crib!
video

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just Pictures!!

Claire posing with John David. She was joyous to finally be able to visit them.


Ellie placed her hand on James' issolette and prayed for him. It was so sweet to listen to her pray for her brothers to grow strong and stay healthy.


Ellie was so excited to come see her brothers today. She couldn't stop smiling the whole time she was in the NICU.


James and John David's three sisters! Claire, Ellie and Jenna!


James Daniel


James Daniel


John David


John David


Another great day. We are praying for the doctors to put the boys in a crib tomorrow (if they are ready) so we can begin the "countdown" to coming home. Please continue to pray for them.

Dana

Good News!

So both boys are off their oxygen, off the OG tubes (feeding tubes down their throat), and taking 35-45 cc of breast milk from bottle or breast every three hours! I breastfed them both today twice and they did AWESOME. James was actually a bit feisty tonight. Rooting around, fussing, making fists and tyring to suck his fingers while in transition from his bed to my lap. Really cute stuff by the way, to watch him "wake up" and show some personality. John David on the other hand looked like a lazy, fat hound dog. Chunky cheeks hanging over his jaw line,yawning and squirming just a little bit in transition from his bed to my lap. I think the nurses switched them...hahaha! James is gaining about an ounce a day and is up to 3 pounds 14 ounces. John is gaining around them same per day and is up to 4 pounds 4 ounces. YEA!!! They are chunking up and doing it quickly. Lactation nurse told me to keep up whatever I was doing, my milk was good stuff! No worries there. SO thankful for that blessing as well.

I am so proud of them. Dr. Strange told me today that the boys were ahead in every aspect for their gestational age; feeding, weight and breathing. She said they were doing amazingly well and she was really happy about their progress. This is were we thank God and praise HIM for all the blessings HE has poured out for them. I told her I contributed their success to answered prayers. SHE AGREED WITH ME! Seriously, how many doctors give credit to "GOD" for amazing works in medicine. We sit in awe this morning. Tears fill my eyes when I think of how far these little miracles have come in just 5 weeks. From respirators, picc lines, IV's, caffeine, dopamine, opened PDA valves in their hearts, hyperale (sp?), lipids, CPAP machines and oxygen requirements to brestmilk only! Purely AMAZING!

Discussion of COMING HOME came up last night. Nurse Heather told me the doctors would be talking with us Monday, but she said generally when babies are at this point, they go to a crib and if they can maintain for 3 days (no feeding or breathing problems) and they can pass their car seat test (no breathing struggles for 1 hour in their car seat), they can GO HOME!

AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I can't imagine bringing them home. I have heard not to get too excited because sometime you get really close and then they have a set back...two steps forward four back. But I can't help but get excited about how well they are doing. I am super thankful my loving and supportive family and friends are giving me a baby shower this weekend, because we may have babies at our house in a week or two.

Please keep the prayers coming. Thank HIM first for all HE has done and ask HIM to continue the great works in our sons.

Dana

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pictures!!!!

John David resting on Mommy after his 11:00 feed. He did such a great job. Wore himself out!!


James Daniel, sleeping soundly, completely sprawled out.


This is the best feeling, being able to hold and cuddle with James. When he squirms around and his feet prod into my stomach, it reminds me so much of the feeling when he was inside of me and would kick around.


John David snuggling back into his bed getting ready to go to sleep tonight. Look at that precious face....no tubes..yea!!



Daddy and James bonding!!


John David trying to burp.




I had to post some pictures from tonight because if you look closely... In last few pictues, THEY DO NOT HAVE THEIR OXYGEN CANNULAS!!!! Today at 1:00, Dr. Strange decided to try the boys off of their oxygen. So far so good. They have had three feedings each and have not required any extra oxygen. What a wonderful praise we can shout tonight..YEA!!! Thank you GOD for your blessing tonight.

James is now 3 pounds 13 ounces. John David is now 4 pounds 2 ounces. I can remember when they were 6 ounces and 11 ounces....then they were 1 pound 14 ounces and 2 pounds 2 ounces....then born at 2.9 and 2.14....and have consistently been 5 ounces difference. James is still receieving OG feeds (through his tube that goes down his trhoat into his belly) about three times in a 24 hour period. He is able to nurse twice a day now. John David is on all PO feeds (bottle or breast) and will continue if he doesn't regress any. James will join little brother with all PO feeds after a few days of alternating to make sure he tolerates the feeds and doesn't exhaust himself too much.

Today was the first day I breastfeed them both twice in the same day and they both did awesome. SO thankful and so happy they are doing well. Thank you Thank you Thank you for praying for our boys. Please keep it up. Hopefully by the end of the weekend they can be moved into a crib together, side by side.

They have also been off their caffeiene for 4 days now. Praying that they make it to day 7 and that is one huge milestone they have to pass to be able to come home. Next comes feeding and breathing without any problems for 7 days straight.

Rob and I had such a wonderful visit tonight with James and John David. Thank you Donna and Eryn Gove and Mamaw for tag teaming and keeping the girls all afternoon and all night so Rob and I could have a night together. I know the girls enjoyed the play time, and pizza and movie...yall spoil them for sure! We truly enjoyed our time together and savored the moment to be together visiting the boys. And Marijane, the pound cake was awesome and the outfits are adorable. I am sure you and Donna will teach me a lot about "boys" in the days to come.

Good Night!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Heavy Heart

I am so thankful to be feeling better today after my 24 hour fever virus, however, as I entered the NICU today to feed our growing boys, I noticed the NICU was missing one tiny baby girl. Precious baby Libby did not recover from her brain bleed and she passed away. I don't have details, doesn't really matter. What matters is that there is a grieving mommy and daddy at home alone tonight mourning the death of their baby girl Libby and worrying about the future health of their other twin, Maggie. I ask that you please pause from reading this blog for just a moment and pray for a peace that only God can give to Katie and Taylor as they endure this storm they are in right now.


If you have any words you would like to share with Katie and Taylor, please do me a huge favor and e-mail them to me at dana.pate@yahoo.com
I have shared with them that I asked my blogger buddies and prayer warriors to remember them in prayer each day. They seemed appreciative and I know they need it. Thank you for being servants of the Lord and sharing your faith and testimonies with them. I really feel led to share with them. They need to hear from God's people!

Next, the doctors and nurses. I don't even have the words to describe how amazing these doctors and nurses are that take care of James and John David each day. I truly feel God's presence there in that NICU. Annette was our nurse again today. She is so great with the boys and treats them like they are hers. She is concerned with their well being. She gets excited when they do well, she gets nervous when they don't. She even teared up today as I was breastfeeding John David. Heather is our weekend night nurse and she is so compassionate and caring. Always takes time to share with us memories and moments we miss all night not being there. Susan is our day time weekend nurse. She also has a heart of gold and does a fabulous job taking care of them. There are so many others that we adore as well. Amanda usually has them if Annette doesn't. She is incredible as well. Dr. DiCarlo, Dr. Mena, and Dr. Strange are being used by God to carry out HIS miracles each day. We are deeply thankful to them for their knowledge, expertise, and loving patience with our babies.

Nurse Annette givng James big loves and hugs after she had to squirt sailine in his nose and pull out a really big booger!



Nurse Heather holding John David after his bottle feeding.



Boys! They are doing great. No major changes. Still on 21% oxygen, still eating 30cc, still cute as can be. I think they look like old grandpas or little miniature hound dogs. They both nursed really well today. It always makes me feel so much better when they nurse well. I guess I feel like it is my one "success" as their mom to help take care of them. It is hard to watch your babies being cared for day in and day out by nurses, and know that you are still somewhat helpless in taking care of them. I do cherish my two hours a day with them though.

James cuddled up in his bed after he and mommy had some one on one time. He nursed well today, took 30 cc!



John David passed out after he nursed for 20 min. He took 38 cc...he is the breastfeeding champ!





SO the day was good and bad all wrapped together. I am sure many of you can relate.
For those of you who have been through troublesome times or suffering to any degree, just as I have been, we are called to keep in mind that God has a plan for it all, God uses our sufferings to expand our perspective and turn our thoughts heavenward, to strengthen our FAITH in HIM. To strengthen our Trust in HIM as we hope for HIS promises of the future. Often it is when we have passed through our storm and cleared to the other side, that we can appreciate the perspective and growth that have come as a result of our suffering. I can most definitely look back on my suffering throughout my pregnancy with the boys and recognize that I needed that suffering to grow my Faith in a huge way!

IN HIS KINDNESS GOD CALLED YOU TO SHARE IN HIS ETERNAL GLORY BY THE MEANS OF CHRIST JESUS. SO AFTER YOU HAVE SUFFERED A LITTLE WHILE, HE WILL RESTORE, SUPPORT, AND STRENGTHEN YOU, AND HE WILL PLACE YOU ON FIRM FOUNDATION. 1 Peter 5:10

I thank you all for remembering to pray for our miracle babies each day. I have an old college friend that I have mentioned previously, Brooke, and her husband Chris. They gave birth to identical twin boys Dec. 26th at 29 weeks. Their names are Adam and John. Adam weighed 1 lb 14oz and John weighed 3 lb. Brooke and Chris are praying Adam will successfully come off CPAP tomorrow. They would appreciate extra prayers for baby Adam as he is fighting so hard right now. Their story is on www.coyletwins.blogspot.com, if you'd like to see their story. It is really neat how similar our stories are.




Good Night!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Update: Warning...it's a long one!

Many of you have been asking about Katie, my dear friend I met last weekend, delivered twin girls at 28 weeks. I did talk with her yesterday and she told me the doctors categorized Libby's brain bleed as a class 4 (which is really bad). Dr. Strange told her things just didn't look good. I am not sure of the status as of this afternoon. I will say that when I was washing up at the sink, I did not see Libby in her issolette. I don't know if she was out for more scans or if she is no longer with us. I am hoping to see Katie tomorrow. I don't know much about her, other than she tried really hard to have her babies, she prematurely went into to labor totally unexpected, she was so scared and worried the first time I met her walking in the NICU to see her 2 pound twin girls, she is like the rest of us in that she wants to protect and care for her babies. Please keep her and her girls, Libby and Maggie, in your daily prayers. I know she needs them right now. I will hopefully talk to her tomorrow and update you all then.

Pate boys are doing very well. Brain scans for both boys came back CLEAR and NORMAL! Praise be to God... Thank you God for the blessing of clear brain scans. I will be honest, it is hard to hold the hand of a friend whose daughter has been diagnosed with a class 4 brain bleed while both of your boys are having their brains scanned as well. I did say my prayers for their scans yesterday and then today, just had a peace that they would be okay. I am so grateful that our miracle boys haven't really had anything aside from the "normal" preemie concerns. Thank you to all of you who remembered our boys yesterday in your prayers.

Both boys are on 21% oxygen and could possibly come off the oxygen in a day or so if they continue to do well at 21%. Please continue to pray that God strengthen them more and more each day. Doctors have stopped the caffeine and are considering increasing James' PO feeds (which means bottle or breast feeds). They are both taking 30cc (one ounce). From what the nurse told me today, they are doing really well, just need to get stronger. She says "no news, is good news in a NICU" SO we take status quo as being a great report and continue to pray for growing babies!

My mom came for a visit yesterday and was able to hold the boys for a bit. Great moment for her. She says that she just can't get enough of them because they are so sweet. Aunt Jill also came today to visit and was able to watch both boys feed. She was amazed!

I am feeling stronger every single day. I actually went to the YMCA today and walked a mile (and I didn't even pass out!) My wonderful husband took the girls to school yesterday morning so I could go back to bed and sleep in. It is amazing how much better I feel when I can go back to sleep at 6:30am and wake up at 9:00am. I am hoping to have the milk production regulated a little bit better so I won't have to stay up until 11:00 to pump and then get back up at 3:00 to pump and then back up at 6:00am to pump and get kiddos ready for school. I am thankful for the over production of milk but if I had a switch to turn it off at night, I would switch it to OFF! The lactation nurse told me today some tips on how to "reduce" my milk production. How insane is that...usually women are asking for tips on how to "increase" milk production. I am trying to reduce mine. Go figure...what is the old saying, "grass is greener on the other side" Just for laughs, I pump around 10 ounces each time I pump (6am, 9am, 12pm, 4pm, 9pm, 12am) so 60 ounces a day times 30 days of pumping calcuates to approximately 1800 ounces of milk. I have the milk dispersed into 2.5 ounce bottles downstairs in our deep freezer. That is about 14 gallons worth of frozen milk!!! My dad is calling me "Jersey" for those of you who can figure that one out!

SO I will end this update with a thank you. There are so many of you who send me messages, comments, e-mails, letters, cards, baby clothes, food, etc. and I just want you to know that it means so much to me. I save every single one of the messages you send me and will put them in the boys' storybooks one day. My heart is so grateful for the kindness and generosity so many of you have shown to me. I consider all the wonderful things you do to be God's way of using you to bless me, lessen my burdens during this stressful time, and simply be a light for Christ. I see HIM in all of the little things you guys do for me and my family. You may not think a simple meal, card, phone call, or e-mail means all that much, but it means a great deal to me and my family. We cherish each of you for helping us in so many ways. Please continue to pass the word to all teachers, coaches, office staff, in your schools, that I am in search of sick days. Thank you so much to those of you who have donated days to me, I am truly grateful and thank you so much.

Ellie's teacher, Ms.Lori, told me Monday that a teacher in the hallway asked Ellie if she had seen her brothers yet, and Ellie responded, "Yes, I sawed them and they are still in their cages!" I just love the innocence of a three year old!

James was totally passed out today during his feeding time.


My mom laughing at John David yawning really big after his mid-morning nap.


Happy 62nd birthday Dad! We love you and are so thankful for you.
Happy 32nd birthday Aimee! I hope you get to have some birthday cake today!
Thank you Janet for the adorable outfits you sent home with Rob yesterday.
Donna Gove, you are crazy, and yes, we would love to have Eryn come over Friday night and keep the girls. What a blessing your meal was and the girls loved their toys.
Westwood ladies, I am not sure exactly who specifically you are, but the preemie clothes you sent are so precious. I thank you so much. Your generosity is a blessing to our family.
All of my sweet friends putting together the baby tea next weekend deserve a HUGE hug and thank you for making this time so special for me. I am really looking forward to it.
Rob, I am sorry you were sick last night, I thank you for helping me so much. I am so in love with you and have an entire new level of appreciation for you after what we have been through.
Jamie, the clothes you sent for the boys are going to be perfect for them. Thank you so much for your kindness in helping us out.
Nicole, the clothes are perfect and precious. Thank you for thinking of our boys.