Isabella Danielle, born at 24 weeks and 1 day, 1lb 11oz, 12.5in

Zachary Michael, born at 36 weeks, 5lb 13oz, 18.5in

Alexander Charles, FULL TERM, 7lb 1oz, 20in

Monday, April 26, 2010

Crazy Week

First, I want to start off with a huge THANK YOU for all of our March of Dimes supporters! Isabella met her fundraising goal this past week and that is AWESOME. Our local walk is this weekend and we are super excited to take part in our first March for Babies as the proud parents of a NICU graduate.

Oddly enough, the last time I mentioned March of Dimes was when Isabella had a stay in the hospital. Well...we made another visit over the weekend. I got a call from parent's day out on Thursday afternoon that Bella starting vomiting after waking up from her nap. Of course I had Chris head straight over to get her. On their trip home she continued to be sick. We decided he should take her directly to the hospital. It was obvious she was dehydrated and we don't take any chances when it comes to a possible bowel problem. They did x-rays and a CT scan to discover her bowel was backed up again. What we didn't understand was that she had 4 dirty diapers between Wednesday morning and Thursday before parent's day out. How is it possible that she goes at least twice a day and still has a bowel full of stool? As gross as it sounds, we constantly watch the size, color and consistency of her stool output; all as a precaution to adjust her diet or give her laxative as needed.

Previously the GI doctor thought the severe constipation was the result of a virus she had that caused the bowel to slow down. Chris and I didn't really buy that considering all of her history. Hence our constant observation of her diapers. What we feel so bad about, is even with our incessant worrying over what kind and how many bowel movements she has in a day, this happened again. It goes to show that her prematurity still affects her on a daily basis and only time will heal her bowel motility.

So after our ER visit Thursday night, at which they discharged us because she was able to hold down pedialyte, we had another round of not being able to hold down liquids into the next morning. The final straw that morning was the green mucous that came up with one small dose of pedialyte. Chris rushed her back over to the ER to get an IV in her and make sure something was done to get her system cleaned out. The ultimate decision was to transport her to Lubbock so that the surgeon could monitor her in case there was an obstruction in the bowel of some kind. Bella and I made the trip in an ambulance to Lubbock early Friday afternoon. We were in the ER for a couple of hours and then moved to the PICU. Dr. Goldthorn, the surgeon, was concerned Bella may have a small obstruction but needed her to pass a portion of what was sitting in her bowel. Luckily she had 2 large dirty diapers within 30 minutes of each other that evening. Further x-rays showed there was no obstruction, but there came a quick warning from Dr. G. With these 2 episodes happening so close together, with each blockage would come a greater risk of obstruction.

We were released yesterday afternoon with adult strength laxative to use as needed and strict orders to give her a daily laxative (where as before we weaned her off of the daily laxative and gave it as needed). We will also adjust her diet to strictly pureed foods until she gets a little bigger. Having a preemie is scary, but the worry doesn't end when you leave the NICU. Once you get home, there is constant therapy and monitoring of physical well being. It takes patience, persistent observation, and accepting the realty that your child is a little different than a typical baby. I would have to say each of these things brings me closer to Isabella on a daily basis. But as unique and special as our little preemie is, I definitely don't want little brother to come too early.

The little man is growing well. Growing so well he has been giving mommy some growing pains. It appears I have had some small contractions and as a result I've started a regimen of precautionary drugs. I'm getting weekly progesterone shots and have a stand-by bottle of terbudaline. Progesterone has shown to delay preterm labor. Terbudaline is used to stop contractions. I stay off of my feet as much as possible and unfortunately cannot lift Isabella. It is really hard not being able to pick her up and love on her. But I try to cuddle with her as much as possible in other ways. My nerves have been a little on edge as each week goes by. I'm anxious about simply making it to 24 weeks but also concerned about him deciding to make an entrance like his sister did at 24 weeks. The shots do help to calm my nerves a little, but praying seems to give me the most piece of mind. I know if I trust in the Lord He will bring each of us through this in the same way He did with Isabella.

I hope this post finds all of you well! Peace & God Bless!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pics from Easter and more

Sorry it has taken so long to post, but we have been busy with Bella, traveling to San Antonio and working. I also have been helping out a lot with Bella and around the house so Machel can rest. Machel will post in a few days and tell you about how she's feeling and give an update on the little man, but enjoy the pics of the princess!!

I love my Easter presents!! Especially the Dora DVD and Wonder Woman shirt!

Family Easter pics. Thanks great-grandma Mama for the beautiful dress!!

Bella playing. Machel loves that hat, it keeps the sun out of her face when we go outside.

The classic picture in the Texas bluebonnets!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt!!!

Bella had a great day today at mommy's day out! She was playing with everyone and everything and when Machel and I showed up for the Easter egg hunt Bella let out a big yell and was smiling big!! She was in her walker and came running toward us!! It was so cute, see for yourself....

Then came the Easter egg hunt!! We walked out together and Bella had a blast!!

At the end of the hunt, all the kids came together for a picture. These are Bella's weekly playmates!!

Here are some pictures of Bella last weekend with her Nana. We went to church for Palm Sunday and Bella was so pretty in her dress!!

Machel is doing very well and has been taking it easy this week. All is progressing well. We are very thankful for all of the well wishes and prayers from all of you. Thank you and God Bless. Have a Happy Easter!!