The boys had a great 1st Christmas! On Christmas Eve we spent some time with my grandparents and also at Ben's house to visit with family. The boys got lots of fun toys and clothes even though they did not really realize it yet. Christmas morning they woke up at 530am and decided not to go back to sleep which is very unusual for them. Ben works from 630am until about 12:30pm. We all went to my family's house in Annapolis to visit and finally got the boys to take a nap. They got more fun toys to play with also. I will post some pictures in the next few days.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Yesterday the urology office called and we got a date for the boys' surgeries. They will have them on Monday April 28. So a while away, but there is a date now. They need to be 6 months adjusted and 15lbs which is why they went for the end of the month to make sure they have hit the 15lb mark by then.
Posted by April at 9:52 PM
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Today Ryder rolled over from his tummy to his back about 4 times in a row. So I got the video camera, but could only get him to do it one more time. Here is a link to see that video:
You can hear Zak in the background not very happy. He has not shown any interest in rolling over yet.
Posted by April at 9:51 PM
Monday, December 17, 2007
Today Ryder has his urology appointment. There is no longer a hernia or hydrocele which is good. There are a few issues that will be corrected during his operation, but it will be an in and out surgery which should go fine. They said it would probably take about 1.5 hours or so. The office will call later to schedule the surgery for sometime in April. Zak will also be scheduled for his circumcision the same day.
Posted by April at 9:51 PM
Monday, December 10, 2007
This morning we had the boys 4 month check-up. They are doing good. Zak weighed 11lb 6.5oz and was 22.75 inches long. Ryder weighed 9lb 14.5oz and was 22.5 inches long. They are both growing well and pretty much developmentally close to a 4 month-old. They have a few things that they are not doing yet, but developmentally they are looked at as being 10 weeks behind so they are ahead of what is expected for them.
Ryder goes to see the urologist next week and then we will schedule his surgery and Zak's circumcision probably for sometime in March. They go back to the pediatrician in February (meanwhile they will go back monthly for their RSV shots).
Here is a cute website that my mom made of the boys and Piper:
In the next few days I will go through the pictures and update them with newer ones.
Posted by April at 9:50 PM
Thursday, December 6, 2007
The boys had their first snow on the day they turned 4 months old, yesterday! It snowed steadily all day. We got about 2.5 inches or so by the end of the day. I will post a few pictures of them in a little bit.
Posted by April at 9:50 PM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Today the boys got their second RSV shot. Zak has a bad cold. He is not really congested, but has a really bad dry cough and is wheezing. But has not had a fever so they were able to give him the shot today. Ryder has not started to show any signs of another cold, but they sure do pass germs back and forth so we will see. The boys got weighed today at the pediatrician's office. Zak now weighs 10lb 9oz and Ryder is 9lb 4oz. They are growing. We are now using Size 1 diapers for Zak and he is wearing some 3 month clothes.
Posted by April at 9:49 PM
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The boys are getting so big! Well, maybe not that big, but to us they seem big. Not sure how much they each weigh right now, but will find out the end of this month when they get their next RSV shot. Ryder has now joined Zak in wearing newborn clothes. They have both outgrown their preemie clothes
So in the next few days I will go through the preemie stuff and pick out a few special outfits to keep and the rest we are taking back to the NICU as donations. It is good to know that other preemies will be able to use the boys' clothes now that they have outgrown them.
An update on their colds: They are getting much better! Both still have some congestion mainly when eating, but the coughs are pretty much gone now.
Posted by April at 9:48 PM
Monday, November 5, 2007
Can't believe it is already November. The boys are doing good. They had both gotten bad colds about a week ago or so. Zak was first and then Ryder quickly joined with a bad cough and congestion. They had a few days that they would not really eat at all. That was worrisome, but they have gotten past that now. They both are starting to get better, but still very congested and have the bad cough after eating. We are doing our best to keep them as healthy as possible and avoid RSV at all costs. It may mean being stuck in the apartment for the winter, but we are willing to do that if that is what it takes. They go back to the pediatrician the end of this month for the next RSV shot and then December 10 for their 4-month check-up and vaccines. Ryder goes back to the pediatric urologist December 17. They are both growing even though we are not sure of their exact weight until the next pediatrician appointment. Zak is in all newborn clothes now (some are too big, but oh well) and Ryder is now starting to outgrow the preemie one-piece outfits. He still wears them, but when he stretches out he is getting too long. So he will be wearing onsies and pants for a while because the newborns still swim on him. They are both in newborn diapers now also.
Posted by April at 9:48 PM
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Today was the boys first holiday. We got them costumes from Build-A-Bear and they looked so cute. I will post a few pictures of them in the picture section. We went into downtown Annapolis to walk around and go trick or treating with my cousins (3yr, 8yr) because they just love having the boys come over. It was fun even though the boys slept through most of it.
Posted by April at 9:47 PM
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Zak is experiencing his first illness, a cold. We took him to the pediatrician today just to be cautious to make sure it wasn't in his lungs and wasn't RSV. They said his lungs are clear, but to watch him closely because it could easily turn into RSV and take over his lungs. So we are watching him and taking lots of hot showers for him to get the steam. Ryder is starting to sound a little congested, but nothing like Zak. Zak has a bad cough and sounds so congested.
Posted by April at 9:47 PM
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
We got a call from the pediatrician today that the RSV shots have come in. The boys go to get their shots on Thursday. They will get them monthly from now until March or April.
Posted by April at 9:46 PM
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Well, today the boys had the last 3 of their 2-month vaccines. They did good for them just as they did last time. We did give them Tylenol this time instead of waiting to see if they got a fever in the hopes of preventing a fever. They go back December 10 for their 4-month check-up and vaccines.
Also while at the pediatrician today we talked about Ryder's constant spitting up. They decided to start him on Zantac twice a day to see if that helps since it seems like he does have slight reflux. Zak still spits up after feedings as well, but his is the "normal" baby spit up so he is not going to need the medication. Ryder will more than likely outgrow the reflux and not need to be on the medication forever, but we will wait and see.
Zak weighed 8lb 5oz and Ryder was 7lb 1oz.
Posted by April at 9:45 PM
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The boys are both growing and getting bigger everyday. They are BOTH now wearing Newborn diapers!! Zak is wearing Newborn clothes as well. Ryder is still wearing the preemie clothes, but will soon join his brother in the bigger clothes. They both have lots of outfits to pick from at the moment since they are wearing different sizes. They are getting so big to us. Both have over doubled their birth weights!
Posted by April at 9:44 PM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Today was Ryder's last visit from the home nurse. He was 6lb 7.5oz on her scale today. The scale she has and the scale at the pediatrician must be a little different because I doubt he gained 7.5oz in 2 days. But it shows that he gained at least. From his last weight with the home nurse which was 1 week ago he has gained 11.5oz!
Update on both boys after their vaccines....they did good. We did have to start giving them Tylenol because of a slight fever and also being fussy. Their legs are so tense where the shots were given so I am sure it hurts. They go back for 3 more next week.
Posted by April at 9:44 PM
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
The boys were at the pediatrician today for their 2-month check-up. They have both gained weight well and are on track developmentally for being preemies. Zak weighed 7lb 10oz and was 20.5inches long. He is in the 50th percentile for height and weight of preemies on the growth curve. Ryder was 6lb exactly and 18.5inches long which is the 5th percentile for preemies. He is smaller, but still gaining well and doing great. They needed a total of 6 vaccines today, but the pediatrician didn't want to do that many at 1 time. So today they received 3 and will go back next Thursday for the last 3. They will go back to see the pediatrician at 4 months next.
We talked about the RSV vaccine today. The pediatrician said they 100% need it and if the insurance company doesn't want to cover it they will fight until it gets covered since they really need it. If you are not sure what RSV is there are a few good websites explaining it. Real quick explanation is that it is a really bad cold that preemies can get which can be fatal for them. They can get RSV from any person who has recently had even a mild cold. Because of their high risk of getting RSV they will receive the monthly vaccine along with our job of keeping them away from anybody who is sick or has been within 7 days of coming around the boys.
Posted by April at 9:43 PM
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Today the home nurse was here to weigh the boys and check on their progress. She first checked over Zak and weighed. He now weighs 7lb 4.5oz which is a gain of 11.5oz in 7 days! She decided he is doing great and no longer needs home visits.
She then looked over Ryder and weighed him as well. He is now weighing 5lb 12oz which is a gain of 9oz in 7 days which is also great. At the moment he has a pretty bad diaper ash which is not going away along with his hernia/hydrocele so she will come back next week to just check on him again. But he is gaining weight good which is the primary concern. Ryder had some bad diaper rashes in the NICU as well so we think he just has extra sensitive skin.
They both go back to the pediatrician October 9 for their first round of vaccines...hope they take it well and it isn't too hard to watch.
Posted by April at 9:42 PM
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The boys are doing great. They are both piggies now and are eating between 3-4.5oz every 3-4 hours. Today the home nurse was here to weigh them and they both gained well. Zak went from 5lb 11.5oz to 6lb 8oz in 7 days!! Ryder went from 4lb 9.5oz to 5lb 2oz in a week. They both gained more than the average 1oz per day.
Yesterday we took Ryder to see the pediatric urologist to check on his possible hernia/hydrocele and the chordae. He thinks that there is no hernia and just a hydrocele, but we go back in December for him to see if things have changed at all. Ryder will have surgery to fix the chordae, be circumcised and to also correct the hydrocele in March. Zak will also go in March to be circumcised.
Posted by April at 12:35 AM
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
So we were mean horrible parents yesterday. While at the mall we saw some cute kids Halloween costumes in Pottery Barn Kids so we went in to look. Of course they would not fit the boys, but then we saw stuffed animals with the same Halloween costumes on. The stuffed animals were smaller than the boys so we knew it would fit them. After discovering that stuffed animal clothes would fit them we went down to Build A Bear and found lots of choices to pick from. Of course we both had our favorites, but we ended up with 2 very cute costumes. We got a Redskins football outfit and an Oriole's baseball outfit.
*I want to go back and get some more cute clothes we found like a really cute pair of jean overalls*
Posted by April at 12:34 AM
Friday, September 21, 2007
Ryder definitely gave us a long stressful night last night. I will start at the beginning....the NICU discharged him saying he had 1 testicle larger than the other, but all was fine int hat area. At the first pediatrician appointment they thought he had a hernia and/or a hydrocele (collection of fluid) so we scheduled an appointment with the pediatric urologist who saw him in the NICU. That appointment is this upcoming Wednesday. Yesterday when the home nurse was here to weight the boys we noticed his right testicle was twice the size it had been and was very hard now so we went to the pediatrician last night. She then sent us to the University of Maryland Pediatric ER to see a surgeon there because she thought it was a hernia that might need immediate surgery. After being there for about 7 hours and seeing several different doctors and surgeons they decided he does have a hernia and a hydrocele that will need to be fixed soon, but they did not feel the need to do it last night as an emergency. So we are waiting to see the urologist next week to see what he says and then find out if he will be having surgery or not. Will keep everybody updated.....
Posted by April at 12:34 AM
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
The boys are doing good. Zak had a few days where he didn't gain weight, but he is now gaining weight just as Ryder is. They are doing much better with eating. Every 3 hours they are eating 55ml which is just under 2oz. They are eating it much quicker and not having problems like they had been. We have hit the spit up phase so that is always fun. They are also starting to stay awake for a little bit after 1 or 2 feedings. We had our first family outing yesterday to Babies R Us. The boys just slept the whole time. They seem to enjoy the car and sleep very well while going for a ride.
Posted by April at 12:33 AM
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Today was a busy day for the boys. We went for a follow-up visit to the eye doctor that saw them in the NICU. He did another eye exam and both boys look great, they are no longer at risk for ROP which can cause blindness for preemies. They will go back in March for a follow-up to check and see how their actual eyesight is.
The pediatrician also went well. He checked them over and said they look good. We go back to see Dr.McGrath next week for another check-up to make sure they are gaining weight and then their first vaccines will be at 2 months.
Posted by April at 12:33 AM
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The boys were discharged from the NICU yesterday afternoon!! We knew Ryder might be coming home soon, but when we went to visit them on Sunday the nurse told us both boys were coming home Monday. Everything has been going well. It was somewhat of a long night because we have to wake them up every 3 hours to feed and not wait for them to wake up on their own. Also, they both decided night time was a good time to be awake and alert and not sleep.
We had the 1st of 4 home visits from a nurse today. She just checks their weight gain, eating and makes sure they look good overall. Zak is the same weight as he was 2 days ago so no gain, but also no loss. He is weighing 5lb 1.5oz. Ryder gained a little bit from discharge and is now weighing 3lb 15.5 oz. We go to the eye doctor tomorrow morning for a follow-up to their exam they had in the NICU. Also, we go see the pediatrician tomorrow. So a busy day.
Posted by April at 12:32 AM
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Ryder is doing much better eating from the bottle. He will generally finish all of his bottle, sometimes leaving 10ml or less (he gets 30ml per feeding). The nurses said that he does better if they offer the bottle at every other feeding so he is not tired and will then take the whole bottle. So he is getting there. His weight from last night was 3lb 10.6oz. He also got his first bath the other afternoon which he seemed to enjoy.
Zak is doing better and recovering from his intestinal infection. He will be on antibiotics for 7 days so should be done them the end of the week. He is still receiving nutrients, fat, and antibiotics through IV. They did start to allow him to have a little milk. They started at 5ml every 3 hours and he did well so moved him to 10ml every 3 hours. Today they changed him to 15ml every 3 hours and he sucks the bottles down and wants more. So as long as his tummy and intestines tolerate the milk they will continue to slowly increase his feedings. His weight from last night was 5lb 1.8oz.
Posted by April at 12:31 AM
Friday, August 31, 2007
Last night when we went to see the boys we walked into their room to find Zak hooked up to some new tubes. So the doctor came in and explained it all to us. At his noon feeding yesterday he seemed reluctant to eat his whole feeding and then he vomited some of it back up. They looked at his belly and there was some skin discoloration and his tummy was distended. Since preemie babies can have intestinal problems they like to be more cautious than normal. So they took an x-ray and saw that his intestines were swollen, but that there was no air or anything else bad seen. They decided to stop all of his feedings for 48 hours and keep him on an IV for nutrients just to give his intestines a break. They also have him on antibiotics just in case there is an infection, but have not found any through blood work yet. He also has a tube in his mouth which goes into his stomach and is suctioning out anything in there just to keep his intestines completely empty. He did not gain any weight overnight, but also didn't lose any so that is good. Hopefully he will get to start eating again because he was doing really good with eating from the bottle.
Ryder is doing good as well. He gained more weight again last night and now weighs 3lb 6.4oz. The nurses have been trying to get him to eat from a bottle and some feedings he will eat about half the meal and others he chooses not to eat any from the bottle. He is working on it though.
Posted by April at 12:23 AM
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Well, we are now on the roller coaster of trying to get the boys to eat from a bottle. Zak has taken to it much better than Ryder. Ryder took his first bottle great a few days ago, but since then has decided he doesn't like to work for his food. So he is getting his feeds through the feeding tube still. Zak on the other hand has been doing pretty good eating from a bottle. He will generally eat about 25-35ml of his 35ml feeds by bottle. The nurses and Ben have had good luck with getting him to eat, but he seems to just sleep through his feeds when I try to bottle feed him. It is extremely frustrating, but they are slowly getting there. The nurses and doctors say it is something that will just click with them one day and then there will be no turning back. So I am just waiting for that day to come so i can bring my boys home. We took the car seats in to the hospital last night so they could do the car seat test sometime. The nurse today told me that they tried last night, but both had problems so when they are closer to being ready to go home they will try again. The car seat test is just putting them in their car seat and making sure they can stay in them for 1 hour without dropping their breathing or heart rate. When they are young their neck muscles are not strong enough to hold their heads up which can cause breathing and heart rate problems. Also, Ryder had his hearing test today and passed.
The whole situation of the boys coming early has been very tiring physically and emotionally for both Ben and I. We know the boys are doing good and will be coming home at some point, but it just gets hard some days.
Posted by April at 12:22 AM
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Well, this morning when we went to see the boys their nurse let us know that Ryder was going back into the heated isolette. The doctors feel he was using too much of his energy and calories to maintain his body temp which resulted in him not gaining weight. So when we left the NICU today they were getting him a new isolette heated up. Hopefully he will continue to gain weight once he is back in it and will be ready to come out for another try soon.
Posted by April at 12:22 AM
Everybody told us that the NICU would be a roller-coaster ride and we are starting to really see that now. Earlier today we were told that Ryder was going to go back into the isolette because he was not gaining weight. When we got there tonight he was still in his crib and the new nurse said they decided to wait and see how his weight was tonight. So she weighed him and he had gained about 35grams from last night so he is now 3lb 3.2oz and Zak weighed 4lb 6.4oz. So he got to stay in the crib for now, but will be watched very closely. The nurse then offered to let us bottle feed them their feeding so Ben took Ryder and I took Zak. Zak ended up taking in half of his feeding by bottle before falling asleep and Ryder took his entire feeding by bottle. So that was a big step for both of them. I will keep everybody updated on Ryder's weight gain and how they both do eating.
Posted by April at 12:21 AM
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Ryder made it out of his heated isolette Friday night around 10pm. He has been holding his temperature good while in his crib. So they are both out and in regular cribs next to each other. Today Zak weighed 4lb 4.3oz and Ryder was 3lb 2.1oz so they are both above their birth weights. Still no luck with bottle feeding, but the nurses say that they are both showing good sucking reflexes with the pacifiers so that is good.
Posted by April at 12:20 AM
Friday, August 24, 2007
Zak & Ryder both had their eye exams done 2 days ago and the results came back good for both. They will have a follow-up eye exam in 3 weeks to make sure they are still developing on track for their age. Zak has his hearing test done and passes. Ryder will have his done once he is out of the isolette which will hopefully be soon, he is getting very close. Today I had the lactation consultant come to meet with me and the boys to get some pointers about how to help them latch on and nurse. They are not 100% ready yet, but are getting there and slowly showing signs of interest. Hopefully they will both take to the bottle or nursing soon because once they get that down and take all feedings by mouth they will be ready to come home. Last night Zak weighed 4lb 3.2oz and Ryder was 3lb 2.8oz so they are both above their birth weights now which is good.
Posted by April at 12:20 AM
Sunday, August 19, 2007
They are doing very good. Zak is out of the heated isolette and Ryder is getting very close to being able to come out and go into a regular crib. They took off one of the monitors today so now they just have their feeding tube and heart rate monitors on. Today they allowed each of them to try and bottle feed. The nurses said that they did not take to the bottle, but did suck on it a little bit. This afternoon they allowed me to give each boy a chance to experiment with breastfeeding as well. Zak showed interest, but quickly fell asleep. Ryder was more awake and interested, but also got tired pretty quickly. But it was a good start for both of them. I will post new pictures of the boys as well. Today they weighed 4lb and 3lb 15oz.
Posted by April at 12:19 AM
Monday, August 13, 2007
The boys are doing good and making improvements daily. I have been trying to make 2 visits a day to see them and Ben makes it there each night to also see them. We try to hold them when we can during the visits. They are both breathing on their own. They are taking their feedings through the feeding tubes, but they have increased how much they are eating. They are weaning both of them off of the heated isolettes so once they can maintain their body temp at room temperature then they will come out of the isolette and just be in an open bassinet. I have added a few pictures of the boys, but will add more once I get them downloaded off of the camera.
Posted by April at 12:19 AM
Thursday, August 9, 2007
I was discharged from the hospital yesterday. It feels good to be home, but hard to not be closer to the boys in the NICU. Ben and I have plans to make 2 visits daily to see them. At the moment we are unable to be hands on with the boys so our visits are usually not long.
Both boys are now breathing completely on their own and 100% room air. They are both getting phototherapy for being jaundice, but that is very normal for early babies. They have increased their feedings through the feeding tube. Zak has been having slight problems with constipation, but they are working on it. Ryder has been stubborn and continues to get his IV out so they tend to leave it out unless he needs extra fluids.
Posted by April at 12:18 AM
Monday, August 6, 2007
Well, to make a long story short...the boys decided they could not wait any longer and made their appearance at 8:41am and 8:43am Sunday morning (8/5/07). Now for the long story...
I woke up at 2am Sunday morning to discover that my water had broken. I then started having contractions so Ben and I made our way to the hospital. At first they were going to try and hold off the delivery as long as possible so they put me on antibiotics since my water had broken. But the contractions just got closer and stronger and the boys just wanted out. So I was admitted at 3am and had the boys at 8:41am and 8:43am through c-section. It was pretty scary since it was so unplanned, but we held it together and pulled through well.
As for the boys:
Zak was born first and he was breech. He came out screaming and kicking. He weighed in at 4 pounds 2 ounces and did not require a ventilator. He was put on some extra oxygen just through his nose to help, but he is doing good. I was able to hold him Sunday evening. Ben and I both got to hold him Monday afternoon. He has taken 2 feedings through a feeding tube today.
Ryder was born second and he was also breech. He was not as active at birth, but was breathing. He weighed in at 3 pounds. They did have to put him on a ventilator and some medication for his blood pressure. The bp medication was stopped Sunday night and he was taken off the ventilator Monday afternoon. They are watching him closely for any signs of trouble with breathing and also looking for a possible infection, but he is also doing good. He has taken 1 feeding through a feeding tube so far which is really good.
I can speak for myself and say that I just so beside myself every time I look at my boys. I can't believe they are here now for me to hold and kiss. I am looking forward to the day they get to come home with me, but until then I know they are in good hands. I will post some pictures of them in the next few days.
Posted by April at 12:17 AM
Friday, August 3, 2007
These are the appointments I dread going to, but have to every week. Today they found protein in my urine which can be from many things so they want to do a 24 hour urine sample which I will take in on Monday and get some blood drawn. So waiting to find out about how that goes. I have been 1cm dilated since my hospital stay with my last check-up 10 days ago. Today they found that I am now 2.5cm dilated. Along with having really bad back pain the past few days. So I am just waiting to see what happens. I go back to them on Wednesday next week. Will keep everybody updated.
Posted by April at 12:16 AM
Thursday, August 2, 2007
These are the appointments I like to go to because they do long ultrasounds and I get pictures also. They said the boys look good and are growing good. Baby A is still breech with his head practically in my hip. He is weighing 3 pounds 6 ounces now. Baby B is still transverse and sitting up much higher, right by my ribs. His head is laying on top of Baby A with his butt and legs above my belly button. He is weighing in at 3 pounds exactly. I will post the ultrasound pictures.
Posted by April at 12:15 AM
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I went in today for my next check-up. The OB said she was just shocked that I was still there and with the boys still inside, but that of course it was great. She said nothing had changed at all with my cervix so that is really good. She did an ultrasound and the boys look good. Baby A is big she said, but they are both moving and look good. Baby A is still breech and Baby B is still transverse/breech so we are pretty much planning it will have to be a c-section since they have not moved positions at all yet. Next week (Thursday) I go to the high risk OB where they will measure the babies so I will let everybody know how that goes and I go to the regular OB next Friday.
Posted by April at 12:15 AM
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Well, I had an appointment with the regular OB today. They said that my cervix feels better than from when I was in the hospital, less pressure on it. It is still between a fingertip and 1cm and 80% effaced, but definitely not worse. They said to continue doing what I am doing, which we all know is nothing. I go back next week on Wednesday morning for another check-up. Baby A is still breech and Baby B is transverse/breech. I did lose some weight from being in the hospital, but am eating tons now at home so will hopefully make up for it. They also said that it is amazing how I already have the uterus of a full term pregnancy with me being so small, but that we will just go week by week. IF I were to make it to 38 weeks that is when they would induce.
Posted by April at 12:14 AM
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Well, the pregnancy was pretty uneventful until recently. I started to have contractions and spent 6 days in the hospital trying to get them to stop. We were finally sucessful and I am now home on full bedrest. I keep telling the boys they need to just be a little more patient.
Posted by April at 1:00 PM