Friday, December 31, 2010


The babies are just over 8 weeks old (35 weeks gestation).

Carter hit 5 POUNDS last night!! (5lb 1oz to be exact) I think he's carrying his weight in his cheeks.
Luke is weighing right under Carter at 4lb 13oz (the nurse said Luke will probably enter the new year as a 5lb-er too)

They will be recieving all of there vaccines in the next couple days.
Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine,
Haemophilus influenzae Type b vaccine,
Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis vaccines,
Polio vaccine,
and Hepatitis B vaccine

We are so thankful for these little blessings! God is good. Thank you for the continued prayers and uplifting cards.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

NICU Veterans: NICU day 59

The doctor said that he is thinking 4-5 more weeks and the babies can come home!

(So, we're told..) we are the NICU Veterans: going on 60 days plus, self sufficient at touch times, handles babies diapers, tempertures, feedings and holdings. Dissalarms machines at unimportant beeps, grabs own pillows for holdings, untangles chords, puts baby back in bed after adjusting all wires and tubes to go through crib bars, not over crib and adjusts baby to lay a different direction for the sake of their soft little "still-forming" heads. I say all this, because our nurse had a delivery during our touch time so we took control of everything and it went great. The nurses were pretty impressed! Needless to say, we are anxious to bring these little guys home.

Carter gained a little more weight last night, he's up to 4lbs 14.4oz. The nurse today said he will probably reach 5lbs after tonight's feedings. Woohoo! Luke gained a little as well, he's at 4lbs 10.4oz. The preemie onesies are getting small...WHAT???? something is small for our babies??? Yes! But I must say, we have gotten a lot of use out of those PREEMIE clothes. Sean just left for the hospital to meet his brother and sister-in-law there and he took all the recieving blankets but left these...

Yep, we've grown out of these!

Here's the little toots from last night. 
And after I tucked them in
Here, they look identical to me. Can you guess who is who?

We have so much to be thankful for.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Little Bundles:NICU day 58

The babies are very comfortable these days.  Can ya tell? There's little Luke when I unwrapped his blanket.

They're both still on the same oxygen flow (6) but only receiving about 25% oxygen which is great. We breathe at 21%.
Luke now weighs 4lbs and 10oz
Carter now weighs 4lbs and 14oz

Although the babies are doing good, our next big step is to get that oxygen flow lowered so we can start the bottle feeding process. The babies have been making the sucking movement for weeks now with their little mouths and tongues but we need them to be able to breathe, suck and swallow very comfortably when we start the bottles and all this without so much flow of oxygen. 

Thanks for your continued prayers. Before we know it, they'll be home and I'll be calling for babysitters, haha!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A NICU Survival Kit: NICU day 55

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!! 

We had a W O N D E R F U L Christmas with both of our families. We were surrounded with lots of good food, fun games and of course great company! What's better than all that? We hope you all had a great Christmas too!

Lets see, we visited the babies on Christmas Eve before we had the Coffey Christmas and before church. We changed them into their little Christmas outfits (made by Aunt Angie) and we filled their stockings with a few extremely cute Red Raider things. Here are some pics we took that night. 
Carter on left, Luke on right
Luke says "Look at me, Look at me!"
Carter says "But, what about me, Mommy?"
Uncle John got their attention and Luke seems to be clapping.

 The boys are doing really, really good. Each day we see them they are more and more awake and alert. They follow our voices if we're standing around them and they have started to really stare at us when we hold them. There have been no changes in anything. They tried to lower Carter's oxygen flow to 5 but he seemed to have been breathing pretty heavy so they put it back up to 6. When both boys can handle a lower oxygen flow, (specifically down to a 2) we can start the bottle feeding process. Sean and I both expressed to each other that we wanted to just handle them without a big blanket swaddling them. Just holding their little bodies and feeling how real they actually are is such a better feeling than always holding them wrapped up like little burritos.

On Christmas, we didn't go to the hospital until 8pm. We had a fun filled day at my parents to say the least. Well, it was a big pajama party and there was lots of laughter!!! 
Here's how the babies looked at 8 when we got to there.
Absolutely PRICELESS.
When we got to there, I was surprised with a little Survival Kit from a sweet family who has been through this whole process about two years ago. If it gives you any idea, here are the special items for survival! 
A sweet note reminding us of all the prayers being said. And a reminder of "We've been there, done that and survived it all with healthy little twin girls." The envelope also held a suh-weet little gift card to IHOP, which just happens to be right across the street from the ol' Hospital. =) We LOVEEE IHOP!
 The cu-ute book, On the Night You Were Born book. "Life will never be the same." It fits just perfect! We read to the babies a lot already so new books are really great. And I do believe the moon smiled on the night you were born.. =)
 Receiving blankets to swaddle the babies. A mother with twins can probably never get enough of these!? 
A journal to record all the little milestones..OF course!
Thank you cards for the all the wonderful gifts we've received and for any extra special nurses.
Delicious smelling Hand Sanitizer. What's more important than C L E A N hands when dealing with babies? and ESPECIALLY preemies!
And last but not least, LOTION!!!!!!! You have NOOOO idea how dry our hands are right now, 
1. from washing for three minutes at each visit and 2. it being Winter. 
Lotion (a purse size) is golden these days!

There ya have it! A survival kit for families experiencing many, many days in the NICU. 
Thank you so much Owen Family.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Holidays: NICU day 52

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Although we're all going through many different things in our lives: transition of jobs or homes, illnesses, divorce or deaths we must remember to be thankful. Be thankful for the roofs over our head and the people that surround us. Life is way too short to forget to say "I love you" and a simple "I'm thankful for you". The holidays can be so hard for some and it's important to encourage them with the positive things in life. I pray daily for our little babies in the hospital, and I pray for those in need or those who are struggling. God is amazing and during these trying times when we’re in need, we can always find comfort in him. 

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8 

Enjoy your Christmas in your very own special way..

Love and Hugs,
Amy and Sean and the little fighters Luke and Carter

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Blood Transfusions: NICU day 51

Both boys are recieving an IV today for blood transfusions that they need this evening for low red blood count. The doctor called me and said that the babies are both anemic and they would really benefit from more blood given. He also said that they will feel much better afterwards and would be weened off the oxygen and nasal cannula a lot sooner.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Puttin' on some LBS:NICU day 49

Carter now weighs 4lbs and 7oz
Luke weighs 4lbs exactly

They are doing so good. Our prayers are being answered. God is good.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Open Crib: NICU day 48

Last night we got an amazing surprise when we arrived to see Carter and Luke. They were out of the isoletes and into an open crib together. They looked so adorable laying swaddled together. Their temperatures are doing good, and they are both getting over a full feed now.
Luke - is getting 31 ML of milk and there is no change on his oxygen flow.
Carter - is recieving 33 ML of milk, no change on flow, and has not had any BradyCardias as of yet today.

Pictures to come.

We bought the boys Baby's First Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree. It's so hard to believe that they cannot spend their first Christmas at home with us. I don't even feel like a Mom yet and this is not the way that any family is suppose to start their lives after having children. As selfish as it may sound, we never thought it would ever be us.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Not a fan of the brady's: NICU day 47

Carter had a brady this morning. His heart rate slowed  down too much; the machines beep really loud and the closest nurse usually rushes over to wake him up. Bradycardias can happen from many different things: infection, over-stimulation, body temperature changes or acid reflux. Both boys are still in isolettes and receiving oxygen through a nasal cannula and both still requiring the highest flow on the cannula. Carter has been on 28% oxygen and Luke has been on 40% oxygen today. Carter is over 1800 grams in weight now but since he is still needing a high flow and oxygen, they don't want to move him to the open crib yet. They also want to wait for Luke to gain some more weight so they can move them to one bed together. They are still progressing a lot and doing very, very good.

We had an amateur photo shoot the other night.
Merry Christmas!
Carter on left, Luke on right

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Scoop:NICU day 45

The scoop for today.

Feedings: They are both still being fed through the small orange tube. Luke's feedings have increased to 29cc (almost a full feeding). Carter is now getting 31cc (so he's getting just over a full feeding) now. Full feeding is 30cc or 1 oz.

Weight: Luke weighs the same as the last post, 3lbs 7oz. Carter is up to 3lbs 10oz (1640 grams). A good weight gain is an ounce a day or roughly around 5-7oz a week.

Open Crib: When they weigh 1800 grams they will be moved to an open crib and co-bed them. I can't wait for that! The nurse said Carter could be in an open crib within the next few days. Luke is more likely to be moved within a week or so.

Bottle feedings: They will try the bottle on them both when their weight increases a little more and see how they do.

Will Kangaroo with both again tonight. =)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NICU day 44

Just called to check on the new little joys of our life and the nurse said, "They're both doing excellent today, both swaddled, happy and sleeping. No changes."

Carter weighs 3 lbs and 9 oz
Luke weighs 3 lbs and 7 oz

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baths:NICU day 43

The babies are 6 weeks today!

We didn't hold Luke yesterday because he was a little fussy. His sats were pretty low (and red) throughout the day so the nurse scheduled to do some tests to make sure he was doing alright. Luckily, after Sean changed his huge diaper, his sats raised and the happy/unhappy # turned blue and we love when that number is blue. The nurse decided to cancel the tests she had scheduled. Who would've thought, a poopy diaper can make a baby so unhappy?? haha! After we left, Luke had a few episodes and the best way to explain it.. he would hold his breath for a few seconds and then pant for air. It was nothing major and it was never for longer than 20 seconds so it was not quite an Apenia. Other than that, he slept well and is doing great today. Dr. Foster said he looks more alert and perky today!

Carter did great last night when I held him. He was very content the whole time..needless to say, his mother was very content, too!

We are giving them baths tonight for our first time so I'm excited about that.

Unfortunately, we did not have time to give Luke a bath because his feeding schedule would be really far off so the nurse was going to bathe Luke tonight at 11pm. We went camera crazy tonight. Here's Luke looking precious as ever!! I'm hoping those dark eyes stay dark, like their Momma's. =)

looks like his Daddy

Bathtime for Carter

Check out all my hair!

How adorable is this??

Sunday, December 12, 2010

NICU day 41

It's 9:05pm Sunday night and I'm just now sitting down for the first time this weekend. Sean and I had a really busy weekend a with holiday party, a cookie walk, a wedding, the Coffey's Christmas and we were able to see the babies four times. The boys have been doing GREAT! Both are tolerating their feeds, maintaining their own temperatures, gaining weight and no brady's (where their heartrate drops).

Luke weighs 3lbs and 3oz.
Carter weighs 3lbs and 2oz.

Funny story: I called to check on the boys Saturday night after leaving the wedding and the nurses were all chuckling in the background because Carter was putting on a show. He took his nasal cannula out of his nose, pushed it up to this forehead so it looked like a halo, then he pushed his blanket over his head and he shuffled his way down to the bottom of his bed. Personality already, I think so!
Luke in his Santa wouldn't stay on very well. = (
Carter in his Santa Hat (hats made by Grandma Coffey)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas hats: NICU day 39

The boys had a pretty good day yesterday. Carter's lungs seemed to be "wet" so that can cause a little trouble with breathing. He was given some medicine to get rid of a lot of the extra fluid he was retaining. Luke did well overall. The nurses surprised us with 3 things: adorable Christmas hats, they were swaddled in their beds (this means they are on air mode and they are working on maintaining their own temperature) and they were both wearing CLOTHES! Both babies had on preemie onesies and they looked so precious. This was a huge milestone for the boys and I am one happy Mommy today!!!!!


Carter aka Mommy's little HOT DOG...could he be ANY longer? But so precious.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

NICU day 38

Luke had a few episodes yesterday where he wasn't getting enough oxygen and it made him have trouble breathing. They up'd his flow on the nasal cannula to 6 which is the highest setting. He was down to 5. If he has a lot of trouble again they will have to put him back on the cpap, which is the blue and clear nose tube that smooshes their face and bruises their nose pretty bad. Carter is doing fine and his flow is down to 4 on the nasal cannula. When they get their flow down to 2 (I think!) they will begin to try bottle feeds so that's our next goal. The nurse said they both had a really good night and they are tolerating feeds like normal. Both are gaining weight aswell.

We visited yesterday at the 5 o'clock Touch Time so that we could get home at a normal hour. The 8 o'clock Touch Times always turn into two and three hour visits, which is nice but getting home after 11:30pm every night is hard to do when trying to stay on the 3 hour pump schedule.

The babies both got eye evaulations yesterday. The exam sounds like torture but apparently the boys tolerated it well. I'll get results later this afternoon.

The night nurses made these for all the babies.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hard to leave: NICU Day 37

32 weeks gestation today.

Last night was absolute heaven! I held both boys and it was the best feeling in the world. I was pretty emotional when I had to put them back in their isolates to leave.

1 baby (my hands were freezing!!)

2 babies!

These are their monitors and the nurse has it set to view both babies stats on the same screen at all times. Carter's numbers are on the left and Luke's on the right. The green number is their heart rate, the yellow is their respiratory rate and the blue number..ahhh the blue number, this determines their mood. When it's blue and close to 100 they are very happy! Occasionally, that number drops below 70 and turns red and that's our signal that there's something not quite right.

Family photo. The boys are just hiding.
Absolute Miracles

Right before I left, I placed my hand inside both boys isolates to touch their fingers and Carter gave me a simple smile and I guess that was my sign that I was okay to leave. Tears. Luke was already sound asleep. This is the hardest thing I have ever dealt with.

I had a little girl at school ask me, "Mrs. Coffey are you going to have a good Christmas?" I said, "Well, I sure hope so!" She then said, "You'll probably have a better Christmas if you spend it at the hospital." 
More tears.

Monday, December 6, 2010

No news: NICU day 35

is good news. The boys were having another great day and they are now taking 25 ml on their feedings. They are both 16" long and Carter is weighing exactly 3lbs and Luke is 3lbs and 1oz.

My school threw me a baby shower today and it was really nice! The cake was so cute (Team Coffey) and it was delicious: with all the extra there was, I'm sure the nurses will love it when we take it to them tonight. The gifts were all really great and everything will be so useful when the little bundles come home, so Thank you!

I've been asked several times lately when the babies will get to come home and here are their goals for being discharged:

1. No Apneas or Bradycardias for 5-7 days
2. Maintaining body temperature in an open crib
3. Gaining weight consistently
4. Feeding consistently from a bottle 
5. No other complications
So, there it is. We're looking at early February (40 weeks gestation) but it really all depends on the them. The biggest challenge for them is #4. They not only have to learn the sucking, swallowing and breathing technique (which starts around 34 weeks) but they have to be able to take eight bottles a day. Here's the hard part, if they build up to taking five bottles one day and then the next day they only take one (due to getting sleepy or just not wanting the bottle etc etc), they have to start all over at one bottle again. This process can take awhile, I hear.  I have a good feeling the boys are going to be big eaters so I'm going to continue to believe they can do it!

Headed to Touch Time now...will update more later.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

back and forth: NICU day 34

back and forth, back and forth.....the driving is getting very tiring. Of course, Sean is a good sport about it but it gets especially tiring when we get there and the nurses tell us "We only have one bottle of milk left." This could not get more frustrating. I don't think they realize families who visit their babies only once a day do not live five minutes from the hospital! Therefore, we will be driving back again tonight. I feel like we aren't getting much sleep..or it's just broken up sleep. I keep getting asked if I'm getting enough sleep but how can I when I have to pump every two to three hours?? Even doing that, I'm not making enough for both babies. One baby....we have plenty, but We'll empty our freezer tonight and with that, it will only last for the next four days. We're eating at crazy hours of the day and then dinner is small or non existent some nights. I can't remember the last time we sat down at our kitchen table to eat a normal meal. Our schedules are so wonky-jacked right now and if I could just sleep at the stinky hospital I think we would be much better, or would we? Juggling the visits, work and our normal lives is cuh-razy!! Well, I better only speak for myself--I am tired. Sean is always pretty smiley! I can hardly think about tomorrow because I'm just trying to get through Today. Just call me Debbie Downer today......tomorrow will be better!

On a more positive note:
The babies always make me SMILE!!! I love them so much, more and more each day in fact!! They were doing very good today. Carter has had several bradycardias in the last two days. I hate to hear it but it happens with preemies. We held the boys today and they were both very content. Grandma Coffey held Carter and Sean and I traded off with Luke. I'm getting more and more impatient on bringing them home. They have started making the sucking motion with their mouth and tongues when they're about to get fed and the nurse said "That's not only a good sign but that means they are Growing!!"

well, it's 7:38pm ... gotta run!

8pm visit was good also. The night nurse had them all tucked in and they looked precious! We cannot say enough about the night nurses! They are UH-mazing! The day nurses are a complete different story. If you can't tell, the nurses play a big impact in this whole experience. Luke will need to apologize to this sweet nurse when he is able to talk because he did a number (to say the least) while she was changing his diaper tonight. I won't get into details but whatever Luke did.......I didn't know was even possible; it was rather inhumane!

Sweet Luke

Cute Carter

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Go Big Red: NICU day 33

Saturday morning....After being back at school for a week, I'm feeling like a normal person again. I have other things on my mind to stay busy and since the boys have done so good I haven't been as emotional. I'm enjoying the Children's Medical Parade on TV right now. I cannot wait to take the babies to it next year. Sean and I are going to make it a tradition to go every year with our friends, The Dominy's and The Coates and their little babies. Mom and Dad volunteer for the parade every year so I cannot wait to get that perfect spot on the curb for the boys to see all the cool floats. I feel like I can kindof relate to those patients they have been showing on TV sitting in the hospital; it's so sad and I feel for those precious little kids.

The boys were doing great last night. Aunt Angie and Uncle John came along with us and we all held them and rocked them to sleep. They are both taking 24ml on their feedings right now. When they reach 30ml (or 1oz) that is considered a full feeding. After doing the math, the boys are taking 12.8oz a day and I am hardly keeping up with that! Both boys have been getting more frequent baths and they are both getting new larger beds. The beds are still enclosed (just a larger isolette) but it will not be long before they are both in open beds. When they can maintain their body temperature they will be moved to open cribs. At that same time, they will get to wear some CLOTHES!! The nurses said I need to bring some little preemie outfits up there soon, yeah!!

That's all for now.. going to see them at 5pm and then home for some BIG XII football, GO BIG RED!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Keeping Busy: NICU day 32

Nothing new on the boys yet. They were doing great at 2am when I called.

I made these frames for them recently.