Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter! What? I'm a day late? Story of my life these days :)

It was the babies first Easter and I did my motherly duty of dressing them up in embarrassing little hats and taking photos :) I LOVED every minute of it!

We also went back to church, together, for the first time since we left for the hospital 10 weeks ago. We had sitters - well, Omi and our friend Brooke, not too many people brave (or crazy?)enough to take care of our kiddos yet - ha ha! It was awesome :) The church community has been so incredibly supportive, and faith has played such a huge role in our lives over the last few months, that we both literally had tears in our eyes on the way there. When we got there I even had to duck into the restroom to dry my eyes and compose myself. Crazy how emotional it can be, especially when your church meets in a school cafeteria :) Goes to show you how little the building actually matters! It's what's inside that counts :)

And inside was great! The people, the community, the music, the message... it was exactly as we remembered :) Of course it was a great day to go back with the lilies and the message of Easter - a message of hope, new life, faith, and love, even during tough times. Lots of people could use that message these days, us included :)

There's even Easter in the hospital! Check out my cool duck from one of my cool nurses :) Now give me a hug!

The two stooges await their third :)

One of the best Easter presents :) This card is about two feet tall! I teared up, so you know the babies loved it too! This was a card from the kids at church :) (LOVE the giant envelope - kids are so creative!)

The excitement of Easter was just too much for Miss Olivia :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Danger - blind curve ahead

You know that feeling - you're enjoying the roller coaster ride, your stomach isn't too flip-floppy, and it just feels fun? Then... there's that blind curve that jolts you back and sets your head swimming? Well - that was us yesterday!!!

I'll start by saying that all is well now :) I'm pretty sure that George thought that if he held his breathe he may be able to visit his old friends at the hospital. Little did he know that we would visit our local hospital instead :)

Our George, who has kind of coasted along with only relatively minor blips along the way, refluxed yesterday while being burped, which is a very normal thing... unfortunately he couldn't clear the reflux on his own. It stuck in his throat... we tried pats on the back, rubs on the stomach, and suction in the mouth and nose with the bulb, but nothing was working. He started to turn an awful shade of blue and gray, and his eyes got wider and wider just begging for a breath of air. That's when it got scary and the CPR began... breaths, then chest compressions, the whole nine.

I never thought in a million years that I would have to do CPR on my child. Thank you MUSC for preparing us so well! (Every parent who has a child in the NNICU is required to take it - thank goodness! After this, I think every parent should!) While I was doing CPR under the watchful eye of my mother-in-law, Omi, our friend Nan, who is also a nurse and had been doing a home visit at the time, called 9-1-1. It was like the movies - and honestly I have a hard time even comprehending that it happened. The firemen got there first and rushed upstairs with their gear. George started to breathe only minutes before they arrived - but he was still not a very pretty color. We started giving him oxygen and down the stairs we went into the ambulance. Once at our local hospital George was examined, his chest was xrayed to check for aspiration, and he was admitted for the night to be monitored.

Crazy - I didn't cry until they told me he would have to stay the night at the hospital. You would think that after so many nights of just that, I would be just fine! But no, I guess something like that never sits right when you're a parent :)

DB stayed with him overnight and I came home to relieve Omi and take over with Olivia. George had a good night (although I'm not sure DB got much sleep!), and was released this morning. He is not wireless anymore :) He is now fitted with a monitor exactly like Olivia's... thank goodness, maybe we can stop staring at him now :) Maybe not...

**Side note - if you're someone like me who got trained in CPR many moons ago, and haven't thought twice about it since then, seriously consider getting retrained! Yes, I realize my kids are at a higher risk because of their prematurity, but George is the baby who hasn't had any events in weeks! He was the one we, medical professionals included, thought would never need it! I'm sure either your local hospital or Red Cross could hook you up :)**

Chillin' in the hospital with DB near by all night... once you are discharged from the nursery you can't be re-admitted, so George and DB were in a standard room in the pediatric wing. Little boy in a big room!

Back at home with his monitor and a present from DB... a friend to keep him company while in the hospital. His name is Reflux :)

This picture has nothing to do with George, and isn't even recent :) I just love it! DB and Samuel reading together, before he got out of the isolet.

Again, nothing to do with George :) Olivia was the first to try out the swing! She seems a little unsure... but very adorable :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Best Weekend... so far...

What a weekend! Yes, it's Wednesday, and I'm just now posting... but I'm doing it from MY couch! Two days shy of ten weeks, I am home!

Now, on to the important people - the babies :) ALL had great weekends!

Samuel has had a great last five days! He took a bottle for the first time, he breastfed for the first time, he is rockin' the physical therapy, and the meds for his lungs ended and have worn off and he's still breathing like a champ with just the nasal cannula! We are convinced he wants to come home soon to be with his brother and sister :) Driving away from Charleston without Samuel was every bit as painful and difficult that we thought it would be. But his progress outweighs any sadness! Plus, between his Omi, our friend Sarah, and dad and me, someone has been there every day to cuddle and read to him :) Can't wait to have our little man home!

And Olivia and George are home!! I can't believe there are babies in our house - it's so crazy! We wake up in the morning (every couple of hours actually :) ) and there are two little beautiful babies that we get to care for... too cool. Olivia is on a monitor for her heart and respiratory rates, and George is wireless! It is unbelievable! We keep questioning the sanity of the hospital folks for entrusting us with these amazing little beings :)

It's funny, speaking of babies being home... a few of the things I missed the most about home were the dogs, my bed, and my shower. Those are the three things I've seen the least of since being home! Who knew you could spend so much time sitting on your bootie in a rocking chair... feeding, playing, and just watching them sleep :)

We're outta here! Too funny - the nurses have to carry them out of the hospital, not us... guess they've worked too hard to let us blow it on our way out the door :) Probably a safe way to go!


Well hello there! Long time, no see!

Lovin' life... now where's our brother?!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Byrne Family

That's right! Our very first family photo!!! It was a FANTASTIC day, as you can probably guess :) Our babies were together again for the first time since they were born, 9 weeks ago!

There are four different nurseries in the hospital... the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NNICU), then the Special Care Nursery (SCN), then the Level 2 Nursery, then the regular nursery - not sure what they call it - the one for giant babies who go home two days after they're born :) All of our babies started in the NNICU, and a few weeks ago Olivia and George were transferred to the SCN. Today, Samuel was transferred to the SCN!!! It was such a wonderful surprise! He also came out of his isolet and into a radiant warmer (more of an open bed, but with the ability to warm the baby with a heat lamp from above). With Olivia out of isolation (yea!), and both she and George in open cribs, and Samuel in the radiant warmer - we were able to all climb into Samuel's bed to get our first group photo :)

Samuel is now a little more than 3 pounds, Olivia is a little more than 5 pounds, and George is more than 5 1/2 pounds. Too funny, we thought Olivia and George were tiny... until we laid them all together :) But our little man, Samuel, is growing by the day!

I'm not going to lie... DB and I both had tears in our eyes :)

I'm guessing this is a sign of things to come... one covering the face, one with one eye closed, and one not even looking at the camera! But they sure are cute :)

LOVE the babies! Together at last :)

The Byrne Family... of five!