Sunday, June 8, 2008

We are so blessed!

Homecoming #2

Yes, that's right.....

Maurah is home!!

We picked her up yesterday around 12 p.m. I was walking on clouds, I think. Here's how it all happened.....

As I wrote before, she started eating much better on Friday. The feeding I gave her was her fourth feeding she took in a row, guzzling it in 12 minutes. I called Friday at midnight to see how she was doing and the nurse informed me that she fed great all day. The doctor came through and said based on our situation, he would consider letting her go home in 24 hours rather than the standard 48. And here we are!!

It is so great knowing I don't have to drive the dreaded trail to the hospital anymore. I'm still busy with doctor appointments and such, but those are only 15 minutes away, so they're very doable. It is hard to think that this part of my life that became my normal is over. We are now entering a new chapter where I will find a new normal....although I'm thinking after our first night with the girls that it will take some time for all of this to become normal!

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of her first car ride home because, in my haste, I forgot my camera. We purchased a disposable one, which Cole got his hands on and threw into the kiddie pool when we got home. Well, I guess I'm not going to worry about keeping things even from this point on! :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Or Maybe Not!

So I wrote yesterday that Maurah might come home next week with her feeding tube. But - I may have misspoke! She might come home even earlier without the feeding tube!!!

When I visited this morning, she had already eaten three full feedings in a row from her bottle and she ate another full feeding for me while I was there. She only has to go 48 hours of doing this and then she can come home!! Let's keep praying her stamina keeps up!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

This and That

What a hot day!

After our torrential storms last night, we are experiencing a great heat wave here in Indy. Both of my kids are asleep in their diapers as I write this, Cole on the couch and Hayden in her bouncy. It's so cute and I'm sad that my camera is dead and I have no batteries. Oh well - I'm sure this type of moment will present itself again as our summer progresses.

Things are going well in the Manne home. It seems that Hayden has adjusted to being home and being with the same people day in and day out. She especially enjoys Cole, who loves her too much, if anything. It is really sweet to watch him be protective of her, hug her and tickle her. The other night, Hayden was crying and I couldn't get to her quickly enough apparently. So Cole took it upon himself to get out of the bathtub by himself and run his naked, bubbly little tooshie to her side to make sure she was okay. (Scared the life out of me, by the way!) He's such a great big brother and already Hayden's eyes light up when he talks to her and plays with her. It will be so fun to see him with Maurah once she's home.

I spoke with the doctor today, and we came to the consensus that Maurah will stay in the NICU another week. However, I will practice passing her feeding tube every day for the next week so that I am comfortable doing it on my own. In a week, she should be home with us, feeding tube or not!! I am thrilled about this as she has just gotten too old to be there anymore. The nurses have recognized that she gets very upset during the day when I am not able to make it until evening - she's been so agitated, they've resorted to putting her into the swing they have to try and calm her down. Apparently, she is not content unless Jake or I are there to snuggle her. She is missing out on this all important time of bonding, both with her parents and her siblings, especially Hayden. Something else strange is that she has taken all of her feedings from me when I've given them to her and she doesn't do this for the nurses. I wish so badly that I could stay the whole day and give her feedings to her, but I've got two other children to take care of, of course. It is so apparent that she recognizes me as her mommy and that she loves our time together, which I am so thankful for.

We have been busy with doctor appointments and opthamologist appointments for Hayden lately. She is growing well - slow and steady wins the race with her! She was 6 lb. 9 oz. two weeks ago tomorrow when we brought her home and she now weighs in at an even 7 lbs. Maurah weighed 8 lb. 5 oz. today! She looks totally different from Hayden, with rolls on her thighs and wrists already. She's got the cutest, chubby butt that is so funny to see when I change her diaper. I'm used to Cole, who's just a big boy and Hayden who is still pretty scrawny - so it's so fun to have the sweet baby rolls on Maurah! =)

Jake leaves for his senior high missions trip on Father's Day and will be gone for a week. His mom is able to come down and stay with me for a majority of the week, which I am so thankful for. I will have Thursday and Friday on my own, but I'll be able to handle it okay. We'll be spending a lot of time at the park!! Jake and I have decided that we have entered a season of life where I will no longer be involved full-time in the youth ministry. This is very bittersweet for me and I know I will struggle with this decision, but it is in the best interest of our family at this time. I just have to remember that once the school year starts up next fall and I'm wanting to be a small group leader! I will be taking two classes in the fall as well, so both Jake and I will have plates quite full. I am so looking forward to that day where we are busy, but it's because it's our normal life. No more hospitals, no more doctors, no more medications and procedures! What a day to dream of!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Things are new....yet getting old......

Sorry for the delay in updating. I forgot what life is like with a newborn, I guess. I thought things couldn't get crazier than having both the girls in the NICU - I was wrong!!

Hayden is doing well. I think she's finally adjusted to seeing only the three of us every day rather than a different face every eight hours. She is also realizing that having some peace and quiet is nice when you want to sleep and that she doesn't need lights, a ton of people talking and alarms going off in order to get a good night's rest. It has been interesting having a baby at home who has had a completely different schedule than the one our household follows, but we're adjusting and learning what she needs and how she likes to be comforted. It's strange to me to have to learn this. Having Cole with me the second he was born and getting to bring him home right away, it all came so naturally. It's not nearly as natural with Hayden, but that's to be expected I suppose. She has already decided that she LOVES to be held. I swear, I'll think she's passed out sleeping and then the second her body touches something other than my body, she screams. Both of our girls have been snugglers, but I wonder if she loves it so much since she didn't get cuddles this much for the first two months of her life. It will be interesting to see how Maurah responds once she's home because she snuggles better than even Hayden does!

We are still waiting to see what's going on with Maurah. So far this week we've talked about transferring her to Riley Children's Hospital to have specialists look at her, we've discussed having a cat scan done on her nose to see if her bones were fused together because of how she was laying in the womb, whether she's allergic to her formula....the list goes on and on. In the last few days, she has had occupational therapy and speech therapy to see if there was something in either of those areas that might be hindering her eating from a bottle. Physical therapy concluded that her muscle tone is weak, but nothing too out of the ordinary considering she's a preemie and she's spent the first couple months of her life laying in a crib. Speech therapy said that she had a strong suck when she did suck, and that it didn't seem to be an issue of her not knowing what to do. So now we're thinking that it's because she hasn't been able to breathe for so long that she can't take the bottle well. She gets really irritated and arches her back, screaming as if she's in pain. The doctor put her on Flonase Tuesday which will hopefully take care of any inflammation in her nose. He doesn't believe she has anything wrong skeletally that might cause all of this to happen and told me to give it a week to see if it works. The nurses told me that if nothing has changed, to press him hard to get something done and fast. I remember a friend of mine saying that no one knows your body better than you. The nurses supported this the other day when they told me that I know Maurah better than anyone and that I am her voice - her advocate. I need to be bold and make these doctors be a little more proactive. This is a new role for me, but one I'm ready to take on because it's just been too long. The waiting game has been particularly hard. Our family has been separated in one way or another for four months as of tomorrow. A week may seem like a blink of an eye to most, but after my babies have been in the hospital for ten weeks, it's forever to me.

I took today off of seeing Maurah, much to the dismay of my "mother's guilt" that I carry around. One of her nurses told me they were gathering together and discussing me and they apparently concluded that I needed to take a rest, otherwise I would be worthless once Maurah is home and I've got all three kids. I know she's right, but it's hard. Still, I took her advice today and it was actually nice - that is, aside from the guilt I felt for not getting my cuddle time with Maurah. It made me realize how nice it will be when I'm not spending two hours a day driving and three hours in a hospital. I can't wait! Life will be crazy, but it will be
our crazy and it will be contained to our house, at least! (Remind me of this three months from now when I'm pulling my hair out, okay?)

Well, Jake is at a Junior High overnighter tonight (not sure who has it worse - me or him?) so I'm going to take advantage of the one time both kids are asleep and go to bed! Have a great day!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

One Down.......

Hayden is home!!

We brought her home on Friday afternoon, a dreary day until we got into the van to drive away from the hospital - much like the day we brought Cole home from the hospital a little over two years ago. We are learning the new schedule that comes with the territory of having a newborn in the house. She came home on two medicines, Zantac and Actigall, and her multivitamins. She is doing well and adjusting to her new home. It's got to be so confusing to her because she's now seeing the same people every day, all day and there aren't any alarms going off throughout the day. She probably wonders where her sister is and who that boy is that keeps rubbing her head! We've been pleasantly surprised with Cole, who said, "Hi, Haynen! I love you!" the very second he saw her in the van. He likes to hold his little sister (with mom's help, of course!). It's the cutest thing to watch him watch TV, hold Hayden and play with her hair. He lets us know when she's crying and always makes sure he knows exactly what's happening with her. He's a great big helper! He keeps asking where Maurah is too......

........which is the sad part of our reality at the moment. Maurah isn't picking up on eating from a bottle at all. They decided to go four hours in between her feedings rather than three, but that doesn't seem to be helping either. We are looking at having speech therapy for her to see if they can suggest anything to help her get her muscles moving the way she needs them to in order to eat. She gets extremely agitated when the nipple is put into her mouth, arching her back and crying. This leads to many new questions for us - is it just that the reflex isn't clicking? Is something wrong with her mouth or jaw? Is it painful for her? Please continue to keep Maurah in your prayers. We desperately miss our little girl. Odd as it sounds, this is the hardest point we've had to deal with because it is awful leaving her up there by herself. We are truly missing out on some precious time with her.

Meanwhile, we are making sure to enjoy our time with Hayden. Here are some pictures for you to check out!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Homecoming #1

We are bringing Hayden home tomorrow!!

Well, that's what I was told today at least. She needs to have gained weight overnight and then she's ours for the taking!

We did hospital pictures with the girls today too. They are so different than I remember them with Cole. The photographer kept posing the girls and making sure she got some cute ones for us to choose from. Hayden slept through the whole thing, but she loved it when Maurah was in the bed with her. At one point, Hayden was holding onto Maurah with both her hands and her feet. Maurah was bright-eyed, but wasn't too thrilled about Hayden crowding her space so much!

It's a little bittersweet bringing one baby home and not the other. I'm concerned Maurah will be a bit lonely - everyone is telling me that twins definitely sense one another's presence, so I hope she doesn't notice too badly that Hayden's gone. Although, if it makes her eat better, that'd be great!

I am cleaning like a madman, scrubbing floors and washing bottles. I went out tonight and bought the special formula Hayden needs and the special nipples she uses. I can't believe we're really bringing a baby home. In some ways, it feels so uneventful since it's not directly following the delivery. In other ways, it feels like one of the most special homecomings ever - one of two that we've waited for for a very long time. You can guarantee, I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.