Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy 1 month Birthday...

It's so hard to believe that today marks 1 month.. It has been one long month but then again it has also been one quick month if that makes any sense. I sat in Mackenzie's room this morning and realized that within 30 days, Scott and I became parents to twin girls, then we became angel parents to our sweet Alexis, it's been 30 days and 30 nights with our NICU family and pretty much my home away from home, I've overcome birth,death,joy, heartache, i think every emotion that is possible to have, i've had all in 30 days at some point or another.  I've realized that also in just 30 days, our diva's have impacted and touched so many lives in just such a short time without meeting more than 90% of the people who have supported us and who have prayed for us throughout our journey thus far.. I never realized how much our tiny little divas could impact so early on and while so small...They have given so much strength to so many with just their small fragile bodies..
Scott and I made it to the hospital today early enough to make it for Mackenzie's birth time. Oh what a birthday treat I got. I actually got to hold her on birthtime which is something that i have yet to be able to do. I got to kangaroo again (skin to skin hold) so that just made it even more special to me. It's only been the 3rd time holding her but  as every time has been special, it was extra special to know that at the same exact  moment i was holding her today,  just 30 days ago, i was giving her life. Scott and I sat there and I just rocked her as he got to read two Dr. Seuss books to her today..We all really loved that we got to read to her today..Before we know it we will get to be reading at home with her and showing her the pictures to the books.  She did so well on her saturation levels as we got to sit there and read and rock her. I got to hold her for 40 mins which is the longest time thus far.
They upped her feedings to .2 today so every hour she gets 1.2 cc's  of food. She has gained 2 ozs so now she weighs 1 lbs 15 oz.. The doctor said she is the 3% of where she needs to be which i guess isn't too bad but then again not sure what is a good percentile and what's not.. She is still having the PDA mumur but it's still stable.. Our little "pumpkin" is still a little tinted orange but i'll take her as is. Still no poop since friday so we are now waiting for that again..
Happy Birthday!!!

We also got to see Alexis today and took her some new flowers. We told her how we got to hold Mackenzie but I know that i was holding her also. We told her how we finally found a place to do her headstone and we hope that she really likes it. We told her that we read to Mackenzie and soon we will get to doing the same with her. We told her just bear with us as we are still squring things away but we know that she is with us at all times. We love and miss her every second of everyday and nothing will ever change that..

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Mackenzie and Alexis
Happy Birthday to you..

Love Mommy and Daddy.. 

Monday, August 29, 2011


I never thought i would look forward to Sunday's but I find myself counting down the days for when it is sunday. Sunday's we get to go and see our Angel Alexis as Scott and I have gotten back into church as well.. We haven't been able to stay to terribly long as I would like to yet since it's been so hot and Scott being sick, he can't be in the sun very long even when she is giving us a breeze.. We can't wait to finally get her headstone picked out and in the works so that way we can put some flowers out for her without them flying all over the place...
Sunday's also mark the days when Mackenzie gets all her measurements done and we get to see how much she has grown. She gets her weight checked every night but not her height or her head size.. It's also bath time which she loves when her head gets washed and after when you comb it.. Our little diva gained 10 more grams which means she is now 810 grams which equal 1 lbs 13 oz.. Which is really exciting considering they didnt start feeding her breastmilk again till yesterday so she has gained with just being on the iv fluid.. wahoo.. She also gained in length.. She is now 13 1/4 cm long. She is going to be tall like her daddy.. Also very excited because she got to come off 2 antibotics last night.. Although currently she is my little orange tinted diva. One of the meds she was on was orange like and so it made her tinkles orange, but now they noticed last night that it's also given her a orange tint so now we just wait for it to fade.. I told her i would take her in any color regardless, i didnt care, i just wanted to bring her home.
She had Dr. Yajick last night and i really think Alexis nudged me thru Dr. Yajick last night. Normally Mackenzie always drops in her levels when Dr. Yajick comes in (i dont know what it is but Mackenzie just drops all the time, i think she startles her but it's too cute) so I always give Dr. Yajick a hard time, but anyways, we got to talking and I was telling her how i was hoping they dont stop her feeds and I think she noticed that I'm not that optimistic anymore.. Right now it's really hard for me to continue to stay positive with just everything that has happened so I keep thinking bad news is just going to keep coming.. And i just had a really hard time before i got to the hospital again last night as the stress of being at 3 places at one time is really getting to me.. but she told me a story of how she had this one mother 20 years ago who thought everyday her child was going to pass, the child had lots of complications .. Everyday the mother thought that was the last day.. Finally Dr. Yajick told her, "you have to stay postive, that is what each child needs and when you stay and think postive, postive things are possible and will happen."... Needless to say, that child is 20 years old today..
I think Alexis nudged me and reminded me that although I have twin girls, they are still their own people. Alexis soul was very strong but her body was just not, but that doesn't mean it has to be the same or that I can keep thinking the same for Mackenzie... Mackenzie bear will be home soon and until then, we will just hang out in our home away from home...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Poop makes me ok..

Tonight i think i actually jumped up and down.. While Mackenzie was getting all her nightly routine done, she decided that she would and could finally take a poop. Never would i thought i would be so excited to see her have a bowel movement but for the fact that she hasn't had breastmilk in 2 days, we didnt think she had anything in her to do so.. But the nurse noticed that she made a face like she did and checked her diaper and yep, sure enough.. and then to make it even better, when she went in to change the diaper, Mackenzie decided she wasn't done.. I will spare everyone the great details of her poop, but it was exactly what we wanted and needed.. Hopefully if she continues to have a good night, they will put her back on feeds tomorrow which will do nothing but help her gain some weight which is very much needed.. She has been good on her oxgyen levels all day and that's always a good thing.. She has has a good day, nothing to overdo her today or anything and she just looks so peaceful.. I didnt get to spend as much time today with her as it seemed like i was constantly running around and then Scott is still under the weather but her favorite day RT Mrs. Becky was there today so I knew she was having such a great day and was getting so much love..
Mackenzie playing peek a boo with Mrs. Becky.. Such diva..and she does this quite often on her own cause she does not like the light quite yet..

Everybody keeps asking me "how are you" and "are you ok".. and i know everyone means well and is just concerned but to be honest, it was really irriating to me until today because I just didnt know how to answer that because really what is the meaning of "ok".. I just buried my daughter not even a week ago, my other daughter is still fighting for her life in the NICU and on top of everything i'm having to handle the rest of everything thrown at me. Does ok mean i'm getting out of bed on daily basis, does it' mean that i'm eating regularly, does it mean if i'm getting any sleep, does it mean am i'm crying everyday because of the hurt and pain or am i'm coping ok.. I just dont know what answer to give or what people look for.. I wake up everyday and get out of bed... I spend the first few hours of the morning taking care of the things that we still have to do from Alexis's funeral arrangements, I dont have time to sit and cry because 1) i dont think she allows me to and 2) Mackenzie sure doesn't allow me too.. The rest of my time is spent sitting at the hosptial just being at peace with Mackenzie as that is how I need to be. Yes i get restless when I can't be there and yes I am tired but this is how I'm coping. I'm working on getting better at making time to eat more during the day than just the few inbetween snacks and meals here and there. When you are pumping every 3 hours, sometimes you start to lose track of what you are doing besides pumping and washing.. Not only am I constantly running back and forth especailly the past few days with scott being sick as well, but the hours int he day are just running out..
We have been overwhelmed with soooo much support and I just didnt know how to handle all of it. And to be quite honest, my closest friends know that I really haven't handle it very well.. I'm just not that person that handles support/help very well. Heck even when I had my hosptial stays, i didnt even like bothering my nurses and still tried to do things on my own when i wasn't suppose to..  But today marks a new day for me. When i got to the NICU this afternoon, there was a card there for us from our Blue Iron family here in Columbia.. and it was such a slap in the face but in such a good way. It wasn't a sappy card, it wasn't a sympthay card. It was a straight to the point, in your face card that made me realize how true it was..  On the front it said "We care about you" and the inside reads "Two little thoughts to remember and think about all day through, Everyone cares how youre feeling becaue everyone cares about you"..
 So to everyone who is reading this and has giving so much love and support, Thank you truly from the bottom of my heart. I am able to be ok and i'm going to be ok with everyone's support and love. Without it, poop wouldn't make me as happy as it did today and to feel happy without guilt.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another hurdle down...

We found out today for our morning call that Mackenzie needed to get the  Broviac catherer surgery. So of course I started to panick when i heard the word surgery. And of course we pretty much rushed right up here once we heard that.  I have heard of the surgery before as Alexis had to get it done prior to her surgery so i knew it was something that she would have benifited from but it still scared me so bad. But pretty much what it is,  its a central iv line. They keep having to poke her to find a good vein for her different iv's and her little arms just got to the point to where there were no good veins in her arm. So by doing the surgery, they would either put it in her leg or her shoulder/neck area depending on where the surgeron thought it should go.. With the Broviac catherer they dont have to stick her as much and since they stopped her food once again, the sugar/protein etc iv that is she is on to give her nutrients will be able to get to alot better and hopefully start putting some weight on her.. She will have it for a while until they are able to get her back up on feeds again but it will benifit from it a lot better. Her surgery went well and didnt last as long as they told us it would. There was no complications with the surgery. The line is in her leg and doesn't look as bad as i thought it was going to be. She is peacefully sleeping on her stomach right now which she loves. They said she did really well with it and her oxgyen levels stayed really high throughout the whole thing.. Our prayers were answered with just another hurdle behind us..
I hate she had to get a "surgery" and it just made me uneasy all day.. I just felt in a daze and just couldn't get it together. But i got to come back by myself as scott is still a little under. I had to hold my Mackenzie bug. I just needed to be close to her so i asked the nurse if it was ok that i kangaroo her. (where they put her directly on my chest- skin to skin contact) and she told me that i would be able too... It took about 30 mins for them to get her all set up as it takes a bit to get all the wires/tubes together but after all of it, i got to just rock with just me and her and her little sound machine that we got her. The nurse put her on my chest and I have never felt so at ease.. I sat and just told her about my day and how daddy was home sick. I told her how much we loved her and i explained to her about her surgery today. Told her how daddy sold his car that he loved so much but the fact that he loved her and alexis so much more.. She got a kick out of that as she just wiggled her little butt around.. She did so well as we just sat and talked. Her levels stayed high. I didnt get to hold her but fur 10-15 mins top as i didnt want to overdo it as she had to get ready for surgery..
Holding her is exactly what I needed today and i can't wait to have another priceless  mommy and daughter moment  again..

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm not strong,i'm scared, I'm not angry, I'm sad...

We have had such a outpour of cards, letters and fb messages that i dont even know where to begin. Everysingle card etc has touched us and has brought comfort more than we could ever tell anyone. Everyone has addressed how strong and inspirational we have been, but that's hard for me to accept because i've been more scared than anything. I dont take for granted the "good reports" we get daily on mackenzie as we have been in that position before. Every phone call that has the hospitals phone number or a number we dont know, or when we call for our morning/night check ups  my heart always skips a beat.  The doctors have addressed with me the birth control pills and i dont know what to think or feel but extremely scared. From everything I've been thru just to get pregnant, give birth then lose our little Alexis, I dont know if i could do it all over again. I've always wanted 2 kids at least and I had that and just like that, it got taken away from me. How could i not be scared..
Before we got pregnant and all our friends around us were getting pregnant, they all were hesistant to tell us their good news because they knew we have been trying for a while, but we kept telling everyone that we can not be mad/angry about their good fortune, how could we ever be. Every child is such a blessing regarldess of the suitation.. Some people have told me of how they have lost a child as well and was angry for a while after their loss when they saw others with a newborn etc. And again, how could I ever feel angry at the blessings they get to enjoy out and about.. if anything, it now makes me a little sad because I dont know when or how far off i will get those moments with Mackenzie. I know it will happen in time, but right now I have to go to the store knowing i have a child, but I dont get to share it with her quite yet, and then it hits me that I will never get those moments with Alexis.. Two babies got to "graduate" from the NICU today and even though i yearn for that day, it's going to sadden my heart just as much knowing that I dont physically have both of my girls "graduating" from the NICU. Every moment you cherish and share with a child, we wont get with a Alexis except from the heavens above but we know Mackenzie will give us a run for our money not just on her own but i'm sure with the help with her angel sister above.

Mackenzie had to go back on the ventilator today but that's ok. She lasted a little over 24 hours with the cpap machine and that was more than we could ask for this early on. She has apena (i probably spelled wrong but pretty much where she forgets to breath) so it was wearing her down, and it wasnt helping that she wanted to sleep with her mouth open most of the time so by her doing that, it put more air in her tummy.. So she had to stop feeds again jsut for today to help relieve some of the extra air from her tummy and she is looking so not worn out today.. We are happy she at least tried for as long as she did and all we can do is keep trying. She gained only 10 grams but we will still take that. (they do grams in the NICU- but she still is at 1 lbs 11 oz) Still no bowel movements so maybe hopefully soon.. never thought i would hope for bowel movements..

Scott has to keep reminding me that we gotta stay "strong" for Mackenzie, but for some reason it hit me today ( i guess cause his exhaustion has finally caught up with him and he is home sick) as I sit in the room with Mackenzie by myself, it's not about being strong just for her, but it's about having to continue on not just for her, but for Scott as well as. It's about us 3 doing it together and hanging in there together, all while Alexis leads the way for us.

Daddy's Note..

Dear Alexis,
I don't even know where to begin...  I love you more than life itself and miss you everyday.  Your mommy and I tried so hard to get you here and when we found out we were having you and Mackenzie, I wasn't even scared.  I was actually excited that I had been blessed with two girls.  Even as just embryos, I knew I would love you both until the day I died.
When you both were born, I was so scared because of how early you were, however I saw how strong you already were.  Its amazing to me how brave and strong you and your sister were and how weak and helpless I felt..  You continued to grow and get strong and everyone said how well you were doing.
Then my world came crashing down on 08/16/2011 when they told me you needed surgery.  Again I felt helpless and weak, but knew how strong you were.  Unfortunately your body wasn't as strong as your soul and we had to let you go...  I have never felt pain like that and cotinue to everyday since we said goodbye.
There are so many things I wanted to teach you and now I will never get to.  I looked forward to seeing you crawl, say your first words, take your first step.  I looked forward to potty training you, taking you to your first day of school, teaching you how to ride a bicycle, easing your pain from your first heart break, seeing you in your prom dress, graduate from high school, graduate from college, walk you down the isle, give birth to your children, and so many other things that I'm probably not thinking of.  Now these things will never come to pass.
Our time was cut entirely too short and now my heart breaks.  I no longer feel complete without you here, but I know you would want me to stay strong for your sister.  She now fights to grow and get strong and I want you to help her.  She's the older sister, but you were the bigger/ stronger one.  You were so brave throughout everything and now she needs your stregth to survive...  Baby girl, please help her because I can't bear to loose both of you.
Thank you for allowing me the honor of being your daddy, even as short as it was...  I will never forget you and think of your often.  I know you have important work there in Heaven since God called you so soon, but check in on us from time to time.  Love always,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Today just a week ago Scott and I were holding sweet Alexis in her final breaths..It makes it so bittersweet as we still feel the pain of having to say goodbye, to get the report this morning before we came in (Scott always calls before we come as we normally dont make it till around lunch time so we have a morning check up from home and a night check up before bed) that our little Mackenzie has come off the ventilator. She is now on the cpap machine. (pretty much, she is breathing on her own but still with the help of the machine, but not as much as the ventilator)  We also got to hear her for the first time make her little cries out when the nurses and rt's started bothering her.. She sounded like a unhappy little duck but it brought such tears of joys to my eyes. As most mothers get to hear the miracle of life as soon as their babies are born, you hear that first cry, but for us, we never got to have that moment but today gave me just a smidget of what that moment would have felt like at delivery. Her RT today was Mrs. Becky which she so loves and adores. She knows when Mrs. Becky is in the room and Becky always does the cutest bows for her hair and rubs her head just the way she likes. I'm still learning but i still get so nervous. Becky said though that she is a loud little one.. hmm. wonder where she gets that one from. :0)
She has been doing so well on the cpap machines with the exception of when she decides she wants to pull it off.. She loves pulling out her iv's and all. We know though as she continues to have the PDA there is a chance she will go back on the ventilator which we totally understand but as long as she stays on the cpap we know she is just getting stronger and stronger to breathe on her own. Her feedings are still going well so hopefully that will put a little bit more weight on her. she is still at a low dose but we are just happy though that she is able to get the breastmilk. I've apparently taken over the top freezer here with all the stored up breastmilk Still no bowel movements but they said it could be a few more days as she just started back on feedings yesterday but she has been doing super great at peeing all over her bed.. They had to give her bigger diapers to help but it didn't so needless to say i'm excited to have my first set of dirty baby laundry. Never thought i wold be happy to do dirty baby laundry but now i get excited when i come in and see her "laundry bag" bag full because  they have had to keep chaning out her "bedding" cause she has made a mess. Still no word on her blood culture to make sure the yeast infection she has, has gotten into her blood, but that's ok because they said the longer we dont hear anything that is a good thing because then that means nothing is growing. She is still on her course of 3-4 antibototics but she should be coming off some of those by the end of the week.  My days have been running together so much, it's hard to know that it's only tuesday.
There are moments though where i feel so guilty to feel a little happy when Mackenzie has hit such a milestone as it was not but 3 days ago we were laying our other baby girl to rest. But i know that Alexis is hitting these milestones with her and how can we not be happy about that..

Monday, August 22, 2011

Our little divas are letting us know they are ok.. ..

With everything going on, I have done poorly about updating about our little Mackenzie bug. So as she continues to keep me going, hopefully i can get back on track with EVERYTHING soon.. But our little diva bug has been doing pretty well since Sat. (We know her sister has given her everything she needs) but her oxygen levels have been doing well. Although she has an infection, they have been treating that with antibotics and she has been responding well but it will just take a few days to clear up. She was having a little gas issue in her tummy but that seems to have finally started to pass. Her daily x-rays have gotten a lot better so now she doesn't have to get one tomorrow. They did stop her feedings to clear up on the fluid on her lungs and to work with the antibotics/infection but she still manage to gain 20 grams with just her sugar/protein etc iv. But good news to report today though, she got to go back on feedings.. She is starting off very slow, but at least she got to go back on breastmilk.  She had a ekg today and that showed she is still stable even though she still has the PDA issue.. But until that actually starts negatively affecting her, we just wait for now. We just take it day by day to see how she keeps progressing. She is going to actually try to come off the ventilator tomorrow and on to the cpap (pretty much where she can breathe on her own but with just a little bit of help from the machine but more so on her own) She also gained a 1/4 in more in length.. Overall the doctors say she is clinically really good but we still hold our breaths with each checkup and phone call just due to the fact that we have been in this spot before and it's just hard for us as things can just so quickly change. But we know her sister is with her and we are counting our blessings.

I've always believed in signs and boy is our little angel Alexis letting us know she is with us and that she made it to heaven ok. First sign, Scott and i went to church yesterday and went to visit her gravesite, it was 1215pm and as everyone knows how hot it was with no breeze, as we sat there talking to her, a gush of wind just blew straight towads us and stayed for a few seconds and then went away, Then as soon as we got in the car and headed out, the dedication song we played at her funeral came on.  Second sign, my little nephew Blake told his mommy, "mommy, I want to draw aunt juju babies" just totally out of the blue. When he finished the drawing, Holli looked at it, and he drew two little girls, and one little girl had wings and he even put a "A" on the little girl with the angel wings. Holli and Rich haven't explained to him what has happend as he is only 3. Third sign today, i was on my way to exchange some duplicate baby items to get mackenzie some stuff while in the nicu (she can have her own recieving blankets and burp cloths as bedding- which i had none yet for her and wanted her to have her own personal stuff and a new thermontor as the Mackenzie does not like the hospital one as it takes way to long) so while driving to babies r us, i looked up and asked Alexis if it was ok i took some of her stuff and exchanged to get Mackenzie some stuff, and i looked up as soon as i asked, and one single small bird just flew across the sky. I drove home and when Scott and I got back in the car to come to hosptial, there was a small white/grayish feather on the hood of my car. Just one single feather..

Its amazing how my girls are getting me thru everything in their own special way...I love you baby girls.. forever and always..

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Words of gratitude..

Scott, myself and Mackenzie can not even begin or even know where to begin to express our gratitude of all the support we have been giving over the past 3 weeks and especially in the past few days of such time of sorrow. Sooo many people have reached out to us, from the ones we know to ones we have never even met and we are so forever grateful. Alexis touched so many people lives in such a short time and it really has shown over the past few days. Thank you so much from the bottoms of our heart to everyone far and near for showing us so much love and support. We know that we are not  alone and that brings comfort to our pain.  Everyone showed us that it doesn't take being blood related to be family. Thank you for being our family..
A special thank you as well to our NICU family. Thank you for making us feel so loved and supported by all the words and cards of sympathy, and by attending her services.  We know so many babies come in and out of the NICU but you guys made us feel like she just wasn't another baby on the job that yall had to tend to. Ya'lls love and support went outside the walls of the NICU floor and it was something we never imagined. Yall treated and loved her like your own and we will always be grateful for the care yall gave Alexis in her 2 weeks and 3 days she was in your presence. Thank you very much also for taking extra care of our little Mackenzie as we have had to grieve and handle everything in the past few days.
Such support from everyone,  i believe gave Scott the strength to keep me going when i felt like i couldn't go anymore. He is such my rock and that truly is what he is has been. He constantly reminds me when i'm at my weakest, that we still have Mackenzie and we still need to keep going strong for her. Althought so worn and exhausted, he still came and checked on Mackenzie in the late hours when i was unable to. He's allowed me to grieve but now he has gotten me to the point where my grieve is passing and now I can cope.I love you more than you will ever know. Together we will get thru this and together we will stay strong.

Goodbye is not forever...

Today we laid our sweet baby girl Alexis to rest. On her 3 week birthday, although with heavy hearts, we still wanted to celebrate the life she lived and the life she gave us. Her service was done with such beauty and grace. I not only cried tears of sadness but tears of peace as I know she is dancing in the heavens above. Chaplin Lee said the right words that helped me through some of sadness, he said that at 25 weeks they already had such personailty. I never thought i would be able to smile but when he said  but I knew that's what Alexis wanted me to do. She  was so full of personality even though so small and fragile. She truly was such diva as to always compete with her sister for attention. She showed us that she knew we were always there by always opening her eyes for us daily and looking right at us (although we know she wasn't able to see us clearly, we still knew and could feel that she knew it was us)  She always let us know that she was a little gymnaist with her flexing and kicking of her feet and arms.She let us know when she did or did not like something. She showed us what a fighter she was by overcoming her daily obstacles. She still continues to show us her strength by instilling it in us and we know that it is what is keeping our little Mackenzie still going strong.
 Although taken from us physically, she will be forever in our hearts. So we know that our goodbye is not forever as we will see her in time, but we will always find peace in knowing that she  is watching over us and continues to keep us going.

R.I.P. Alexis Rose Barber- we love you so much- mommy, daddy, and mackenzie

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Funeral Arrangements

We will have visitation from 6-8 pm on Friday, August 19, 2011.
Location: Thompson Funeral Home
4720 Augusta Road
Lexington, SC 29073

Funeral will be on Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 11 a.m.
Location: 3050 Leaphart Road
West Columbia, SC  29169

Burial immediatily following after cermony in church cemetary.

In leiu of flowers, memorials may be made to Palmetto Health Baptist NICU, c/o Palmetto Health Foundation, PO Box 062575, Charlotte, NC 28260-2575, honor of Alexis Rose Barber

Thank you for all the support and prayers

Love the Barber Family

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 16,2011- 8:22 p.m.

August 16, 2011, 8:22 pm, our little diva Alexis Rose Barber got her angel wings. She was able to get her angel wings while in our arms with no tubes, no iv's, nothing but her in our arms as she went with just us. I type with such a heavy heart but I sit with our other baby girl as she gives us strength to stay strong as we sit with her.  Alexis was able to say goodbye to her sister and passed on all her fighting strength that she has shown us over 2 weeks and 3 days.
This day has been by far one of my hardest days. I know I will never understand but I can't help to keep asking, "why did you make me go thru so much just to only take her away from me?"  I am thankful for the 2 weeks and 3 days you gave us, but it's just not fair to put us thru everything we went thru, then give us joy, then just totally rip our hearts out and give us such pain by taking away our little girl.
The call came at 9 am, that Alexis has infection called NEC. They didnt know how bad it was until they were able to go in and do surgery. We had a hour to get to the hospital before she went in for surgery. We talked to her and told her we were here and held her hand before she went back. They came back and gave us the worse news possible. they said that when they went into operate there was nothing that was able to be operated on. Her complete bowel was dead and there was just nothing they could do. Without a bowel, everything over time would just deteroiate. We could hae left her on all the tubes and when she got big enough we could have tried for a transplant but that could have been months to years as her feedings would stop and she would only be on iv fluid.  We didnt want that life for her, for her to suffer on all the tubes and iv's for so long. We didnt want her to get worse and we not be able to be there for her. we didnt want her to be alone. If and when she took her final breaths, we wanted it to be with us and for her to know that it was ok. Although deep down we would not be ok, we wanted her to feel us and for us to feel her.  Scott and I had to make the hardest decision thus far and that is where we told the doctor to go ahead and just let us be with our baby girl knowing that once off the ventilator those would be the last breaths.
We told her how much we loved her and it was ok. She can stop fighting now and just rest. We told her how blessed we were to be her parents and thanked her  for allowing us to be her parents. We told her we were sorry that we were unable to protect her. We told her how many lives she touched and how many lives she will continue to touch. We just sat with her and held her close. Scott and I finally laid her down in her bed without all her stuff, just peacefully wrapped in a quilt and said our final goodbyes. Although we told her it wasn't ofifcially goodbye as we would see her again, we told her it was goodbye for now and how much we truly love her and will always remember her.
 Although so small and so fragile she knew she made a impact on everyone.  We were able to get her baptized before everything came off. We have 2 weeks and 3 days of memories to share with Mackenzie when it's time and 2 weeks and 3 days of life with our beautiful twin divas.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If i die before i wake
I pray the Lord to my soul to take

We love you very much Alexis, thank you for choosing us to be your parents.
Mommy and Daddy

Monday, August 15, 2011

Good over the bad...

Well little Miss Mackenzie has a infection. They say that could be what caused her to have the drop the other day so drastically or it could be a bleed on the brain has formed but until they get the brain scan again tomorrow and we get the results, then right now we will take the infection. She is being treated with antibotics which could last anywhere between 7-10 days depending on what the infection does. They are both stable. Alexis is doing well. Nothing bad to report on her which is good thing.
Overall though, even though the bad news of the infection came today,  the doctor also reported very good news . They told us that the girls are really really close to going to full feeds which means currently right now, they are getting breastmilk, but with their iv's they are also getting sugar and protien, etc.. But going full feeds will take them completely off the extra stuff and it be just straight breastmilk. Doc said for them to be so little and as young as they are, that they are really suprise to how well they have been doing with their feeds. It normally takes preemies a little bit longer to get to full feed so for the girls to only be 2 weeks old and be about 2 days away from full feed is exceptionally a good thing. They are still swinging with their oxgyen but they are staying lowing pretty low on the ventilator oxgyen which is also a good thing. They also got their pic line also taken out today as they said that might help close the PDA and also might help heal infection so  that's one less things in the girls but just back to the waiting game with everything.. But as i keep saying, i will take all the bad news as good news because that means there are other options to get them better than surgery and surgery is what we dont want at all..

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Its the Waiting Game..

I've never been a patient person so it's been hard playing the waiting game on whats to come next for our little Divas or what test results needs to come in.  But when I'm with the girls I have a calm that comes over me but when I'm not with them, i feel like i begin to lose my mind.. Time stands still when i'm away from them but with them, it feels like i just got there only to turn around and leave. Today felt lke one of those days that I jsut didnt get enough time with them. Scott and I have been on the constant go all day.. I'm fighting really hard not to get in the car and go back to the hospital but I promised Scott that we have got to do better at getting sleep.. 4 hours a day of sleep with constant running is not going to benifit our girls in the long run. It's really hard though to stay away and not feel guilty. It's a work in progress.. just gotta keep telling myself, they are ok while i'm gone.
We had our first baby shower today thanks to Robin Walters. Got all such cute little things for the girls.. It was a little strange having a shower though knowing my girls were already here and that i couldn't share the shower with them but I know they are going to love all the things everyone gave us once they came home. We only had prep time for a crib so we are very thankful to have more to share with them.
Both girls have gained a little extra weight. Mackenzie is now at 1lbs 9 oz and Alexis is at 1 lbs 13 oz. We also got to meaure them which they both grew  1/4 inch. Both of them had to get a blood tranfusion which brought Mackenzie skin color a little back to normal. She is up and down still but she is a lot more stable today. I got to change her and brush her hair today which she totally loves.  She decided though that I didnt change her diaper faster enough and tinkled all in her bed.. Alexis decided to make daddy feel even more like the poopy king as when he went in to change her, he realized she had a poopy diaper, in the process of him changing her, he fast learned she was not done.. When he thought she was done, as soon as he went in to put the new diaper on yea, she wasn't.. it was all so funny watching daddy handle such a  blow out..
The doctors have now ordered Mackenzie to have another brain scan which will not be done till Tuesday so that means we wont know the results until friday probably. They suspect that a bleed could have possibly formed on her brain  and that is why her levels dropped so low or there is a possible infection brewing so they are just going to montior her for now and run more blood work on her periodically to see what happens. They said she has been doing so well on her oxgyen to why the drop so drasitcally didnt make sense so it's the waiting game to see what possibly caused it.. They have started her on a antibotic just incase of infection but only time will tell.. They say it could be a minor bleed just like Alexis has and only time will tell on when her bleed closes up.  It's the waiting game on as they develop, how long will it take everything else to fix itself but I hope to grow the patiences that is needed though cause i would rather things fix themselves than have the doctors have to go in and surgically do it.. I'm counting each day as another blessing....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

2 weeks and in just a blink of a eye..


I can't believe that today marks our little diva's two week birthday.. It just seems like yesterday they just came into this world, but it still makes me very excited to know that we got two weeks put behind us.. We just have to keep going..
I dont know if i could ever write enough of how much i love our weekend nurse, Tonya Gleaton.. I swear she wears a hidden halo. She gives us such priceless moments than we could ever imagine and has touched our lives more than she will ever know. On their first 1 week birthday, she allowed us to briefly hold them as they got weight and she gave us our first little "family pic" with mackenzie, well today for their 2 week birthday she gave us even a better gift. We got to hold our little divas both for a period of time today. Although still on the ventailators and wrapped up in their beds, they worked it out to where we could sit in the rocking chair and rock our sweet divas all while everything stayed intacted. I wanted to cry but I didnt want to get tears all over our girls as we both took turns to hold them. I can't even begin to describe the feelings I had when they first started with Alexis and they put her in my arms. Alexis didnt open her eyes, but she kept gripping my fingers and bunching up her little face whenever the camera took a pic.. (maybe the sound did it for her) but she knew we were there. 
Alexis holding our fingers.

Close up of Alexis holding our hands
Daddy getting some Alexis time..

After we got dont with Alexis time, little Miss Mackenzie was letting us know that she was not happy about not getting any attention. I'm telling you, they compete now, Lord only knows how bad it's going to get when they come home. :0)
Mackenzie opened her eyes as soon as they put her in my arms.. Its like she knew exactly where she was and what was going on.. She looked up at me and I just had to hold tears back cause i was afraid to move and again, ididnt want to get tears all over her.. although i know she doesn't really see me, that feeling though that she knows just comforts me and touches my heart even more..
It was daddys' turn to hold Mackenzie and Scott just talked and talked.. She is sooo daddy's girl because she was just responding so well to Scott holding her. All so well that when it was time for her to go back in her bed, the nurse actually was able to smell a poopy diaper.. Mackenzie had the best bowel movement by far which is exciting. I'm sure I wont be saying that when they get home but while in the NICU they can have as many as they want as that is such a good thing.

Mackenzie looking up at me..

Daddy with Mackenzie..

After all the happiness settled, a hour later in just in a blink of a eye Mackenzie went downhill. Not sure still what happened, but Tonya went in for a feeding and just to check things and Mackenzie oxgyen saturation just started dropping.. They tried to start giving her breaths but for some reason she just wasn't responding well and kept dropping. The goal is to keep them at least at a min. of 85% rate, Mackenzie dropped all the way to 12%. My heart just stopped because then she started turning really white and there was nothing I could do.. I just had to stand back and let the nurses do what they do. Tonya called the doctor in and he came and checked her out, the next step was to decrease her feeding for that hour and get some test results done. There was a possibilty of infections or it could just have been with in layman terms, her iron. But we had to wait at least another hour for results. So they got her stable before we had to leave and off to home we went for Scott to get ready for work.
So home we went and I tried to put it out of my mind and just kept thinking things were going to be ok. I really felt a meltdown was about to happen because again, it was such a scary moment that there was nothing i could do anything about.  I put my trust in Tonya and I knew that she would call us asap with anything. My sister took me to target to get my mind off things while Scott tried to get a 30 min nap, and as soon as I got back, the hour was up so we called to find out the results. All we really know or what can be explained is that needed a blood transfusion. (there is just a lot medical term that goes along with it) but in short pretty much, i understood it to be that, she has low iron so when the blood and the oxgyen near their brains don't work right together, then it can send them into a spiral in just a blink of a eye.
As of now, she got a blood tranfusion and she is stable.. her color  has come back and on her recent feeding she was back to 8 cc which is good.. so for now.. hopefully she stays that way...

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm just being a Mom..

I've gotten so many touching emails/texts/facebook comments/messages stating how they have been touched by my blog and how strong I am being etc... and for me. I dont know. I am touched by peoples words and apprecaite them but for me I just feel like i'm doing what any mom/parent would do(wow that's still a little hard to believe that i'm actually a mom to two twin girls) ...Most people know i dont accept compliments well.. so it's a little hard.. I gotta stay strong, I can't let this break me because if it does, that's not going to get my anywhere..Yeah dont get me wrong, there are days when it is very hard to just sit here and look at my divas in their bubble and I can't even handle when they have to move them with their tubes in their mouths,and to know i just have to sit back and watch.. But there is not a day that will go by  that I will ever miss a day with my girls while they are in here fighting the fight. My little divas are going through the hardest part so I need to keep them going by staying strong.  I cant really cry about it cause I know my girls are feeling my every sense and I want them to feel that mommy is going strong and not being sad.. It's just another obstacles  that we have to overcome in life. And it is a obstacles we will overcome with flying colors.
alot has also mentioned "thank you" for sharing my story and writing about it.. I've gone through life trying to stay semi private about certain things although most know i'm very vocal. But going through infertilty/ivf, it tought me more than I could ever imagined. At first it was something i didnt want to talk about because I just felt it wasn't anyone elses business, but as some began to share their story with me, I began to share my story with them. When i started opening up about infertility and our journey i was truly amazed of how so not alone I was..  Even being in the hospital, I realized that pretty much majority of the nurses I met have gone down the same road as we had. For a while i think people at first start blaming themseleves because it's just not happening to them ya know, but then when you finally start letting go, it's like you are truly not as alone as you thought you were. So for everyone reading, never be afraid to tell your story regardless of what story it is because most likely you will touch at least one other person life just by doing so...

27 Weeks Gestational Age

It's hard to believe in less than 2 hours, our little divas are going to be 2 weeks old. Today they turned 27 weeks gestational age.  Today they have been pretty stable. Which to me is always good news cause it means just another day down without any bad news. Little miss Mackenzie decided today though that she wanted to pull one of her tubes out of her mouth today so she had to skip one of her feeding due to the reflux of what she spit out. But they are now getting feeding increases every 8 hours instead of 12 so that is pretty awesome.. (and just to clarify, they get fed every 3 hours, but on the 8th hour of feedings, they will get increased 1/2 cc increase to see how they tolerate). Alexis opened up her eyes a good bit today.. which was super cute when scott and i left for our afternoon trip home.. She just looked up at use and focused on us for a little bit.. Mackenzie is still working on that one eye she can't get open but slowly but surely she is working it.. When we got home from our morning trip, i never thought i would get excited over the smallest thing but the girls social security cards came in the mail today and i jsut got so giddy.. I can't believe they alraedy have little social security cards.. too adorable.. wish i could frame them but i know we will need them down the road. :0)
Scott got to change another poopy diaper today. He just amazes me because I thought from the get go he would be so scared and hesistant.. And he is just a tiny bit but he is getting to be such a pro at it without any hestation.
Doctor gave me a night report and he is hoping to try to get them off the ventilator here really soon. He said they have had low oxygen levels here lately that it's worth a try. I asked about the PDA valve though and he said that yeah that could play a factor but it's still worth a try to do since they are staying pretty low on levels. I told him fine with me becuase i'm ready to "kangaroo" with my girls (where i hold them skin to skin) but that i dont want to rush things. I still can't get over that they aren't even quite 2 weeks old yet and they are doing so well on the feeding increases. Not to much for me to report on tonight with their conditions but that works for me as it's just one day closer to them coming home..
And a word of advice to all the new mommies to come up, make you sure you understand your short term disability and fmla inside and out oh and insurance payments when out.. I got so mind boggled today on everything it was unreal. But needless to say, I will be out for the next 6 weeks regardless cause if i dont take, then i'm just gonna lose so since i'm approved, I'm gonna be in the NICU way more once I can drive. Ill spend as much time with them here as once they come home, I can stay home for 6 weeks, but i wont get paid and after seeing the "this is not a bill" already from the hospital,(just for my wonderful stay) there is no way I can take 6 weeks unpaid.. Lets just saying i'm counting my blessing that we have insurance and hopefully the "pending amount" is a huge dent. wowizers.

Alexis laying on her tummy..

Daddy going in for a diaper change today.

Daddy holding Alexis finger after getting her adjusted

Didnt get to get any of Mackenzie today as that is when she pulled out her tube and they had to get her all cleaned up and it was time for us to head hom for the morning/afternoon. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not enough hours in the day....

Since I'm still off this week and can't drive, my day pretty much goes, get a few hours of sleep in between pumping and as soon as Scott wakes up we get ready, and head straight to the hospital. We pretty much spend all afternoon into dinner time here. Run home real quick to meet whoever is brining us dinner, eat and pack up to head to hospital and stay till 11-12. Now if scott is working i get to spend the night, but if not then we go home for a quick nights sleep.
When I am in the hospital, the time goes by so quick, I feel like I dont get enough time with my girls. But when i go home, the time doesn't move fast enough for me to get back to the hosptial. I start back work next week and hopefully I will be able to get pass the 8 hour work day. I know i need sleep but I want to see my girls more than anything in the world. Each time i come and talk to them, I get more and more of the sense that they know i'm here. Scott really had to push me tonight to make a trip to Target as I haven't had but like 2 outings outside of home and the hosptial. Its been a challenge as I feel that if i go anywhere else besides home, it makes me feel guilty. And then i feel guilty leaving home as our dogs are not getting as much attention and time that they are use to.. It's such a struggle but i keep telling myself, I've only been home for a week, it will all start to come together.
Tonight was really awesome though. I got to talking to Mackenzie for a bit, and she has been having a little bit of trouble opening her left eye.. She gets it a little bit open right now but still not as fully as Alexis does. So i was talking to her and she opened her left eye as soon as i started and then i put my hand on her "bubble"  and she reach out her hand and it appeared as we were touching hands together. She was reaching out for me and it just touched me and  reconfirmed to me that they know i'm here. Even though most of the time still due to me healing i just have to sit on the couch and watch them, they know mommy is here with them every step of  the way.
We finally got news back from their brain scans.  It wasn't totally bad news but it wasn't totally good news as well. Mackenzie has no bleeds so she will not get tested again until around the 36 week mark. But Alexis has a small bleed on her right side. (There was a lot of doctor talk that sounded like a foreign language to me) but they said she is a grade 1 which is at the lowest she can be. As of right now, there is not a concern. She will be tested weekly and they will just have to see what happens over time. So needless today, I'm trying not to freak and just keep pushing that again, something closes up on it's on.
They are doing super awesome on their feedings. They will be up to 6 ccs at midnight tonight. This is beyond my expectation. I thought it would be weeks before feedings got increased but as long as they respond well they will get increased every 12 hours. They are also now getting a fortified calorie also added to the milk to help add on weight and it is TOTALLY WORKING.. WAHOO.. Little Miss Mackenzie is now currently at 1 lbs 8 oz, gained a oz from last night, and Alexis is now at 1 lbs 11 oz, a oz from last night as well.. Goal is to get them to 4 1/2 lbs and hopefully as long as things go well, we get to jailbreak them from the NICU..  But all this is in due time.. until then.. we just sit in our "home away from home".

This is Mackenzie with Daddy's wedding band around her arm just to show how little they are.. (from a few days ago when they had the iv in her head. :-( 

Visiting the Miracles..

I swear i feel like a broken record but then I forget who all I talk to and who all i dont so I figured i would just write about it for all my bloggers and I know vistors to come. And as I've spoken to some about visiting, I totallyunderstand for those who have not visited yet that kind of shocked us, but have explained that they know they will not be able to handle seeing the girls the way they are. That is totally understandable as it is still hard for me at moments, but the support just helps just as much.
But as most of everyone knows, Baptist is such a confusing hospital... So here is a tip on the easiest way to find us if you would like to visit:

Park in the Sumter Street parking garage. When you come across the crosswalk, you are going to go to the left and you will see Elevator D. Take that elevator to 4th floor, when you get off, you go to the left, pass the nusery and vear towards the left and you will see the NICU doors. You will have to get buzz in, which you will see the intercom on the right side. Please be aware though, Children under 13 are NOT allowed in the NICU, and we are only allowed 2 visitors at a time.  Vistors are only allowed if Scott and I are there so everyone has our cellphone number so please just coordinate with us from there.

The girls and us appreciate all the visits as most will see when they get there.. Its like they begin to show off.. But that is why they are the little Divas that they are...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Millions of Thanks..

I really dont even know where to begin with thank yous for all the overwhelming support of so many people. Our lives are even being touched from people we dont even know by all the prayer requests that have continued to go out.  We even got a gift card from a lady all the way in New York, Margaret Gillespe, as she is a friend of our neighbor, Katie, who has been keeping all her friends uptodate on what is going on with the girls. And then a lady that our friend Christie Tull knows, Ms. Erna Ruff, she knitted the girls bright, beautiful hats and blankets.
Between the meals, cards, phone calls, visits, prayers request, updated status, we truly do not know where we would be without all the support and prayers. i truly wish there is a way I could repay everyone who has helped in so many ways and hopefully in due time I will be able to once the girls are able to come home and we get settled.. All the support has meant more to us than everyone would ever really know. So please accept this blog for now as a Million Thanks filled with lots of love and hugs for all those who have helped with everything from meals to support. We have been so overwhelmed with all the love that we just dont even know where to begin. Our girls thank you as well as everyone has helped keep mommy and daddy semi sane through this hard time as we continue to just go day by day.
And please to those who have helped, please do not take offense for me just singling out just one for now, but I wanted to mention and a huge Thanks to not only our neighbor but our girls godmother Katie Harrison.  She has been on this road with us from day one of conception and continues to journey with us without any hestation on help. While i was in the hospital she kept up with the dogs, ran all the errands that needed to be done, she even did and folded all our luandry and put them away, cleaned the house before i came home. She has just always been there with no questions asked. Even as i travel back and forth to the hosptial she is always letting the dogs out in the middle of the night and she continues to spoil the girls even though thye are not home. She is doing all of this while maintaing her household and getting her kids ready for back to school.. She is truly our rock and we love you so much Katie as i know you are reading this.

Snuggling In..

The past two nights I've gotten to stay with the girls all nights. Scott had to go back to work and I really didnt want to say home by myself. So our friend Clay picks me up on his way to work and drops me off and then on his way home which has been a huge help since I'm still unable to drive. So the key is to staying awake because I know if i go to sleep then I would keep Scott up for when he comes home and that's not fair to him.. Both nights the nurses and respitory therpaist didnt think I had it in me to stay up all night so needless to say they were shocked to see me stay up till 5 am.
Thanks to my awesome NICU nursesKatie Beth and Rachel and the RT- Randy and another nurse, Trinia- they helped make the time go by pretty quick for me and  kept me company. They are so super nice and makes me feel very welcomed and comfortable.   Katie Beth is so super awesome. She was in also over the weekend so when i had to go home, the next day i came back and she drew the colorful name tags that are on the girls "bubbles". Katie Beth and Rachel both let me changed both girls all night long so I'm getting better at that. Alexis makes it a little more difficult as she does not like it and kicks here little legs out like there is no tomorrow.  Rachel had me assist giving a little bath tonight but I made her do majority as I am still so nervous to touch them very much. But it is truly awesome that they let me particpate with things when the chance comes up. When you first see the room, I would have never thought i would get to interact with my girls until they come out of the "bubble" so for them to let me touch and hold my girls is truly amazing. They are giving me such priceless moments that i dont think i could ever show them how much i truly appreciate what they do for me and for our girls.
The girls are doing really good with feedings. We will be at 5 cc's  of breastmilk here by 12 a.m. They increase half a cc every 12 hours as long as they are tolerating it well. I love that it hasn't even been two weeks and we are having good signs that they are doing well with feedings. I didnt think they would get increased for weeks out.
Brain scan results still haven't come back yet. Doc said it could be 24 hour and i guess since they didnt do till 1 am yesterday we wont hear back till tomorrow. Doc gave good words though and said that they are doing very well considering that they were only 25 weeks and 1 day and considering how small they are. But he said that things could changed but for now they are doing better than expected. Just gotta keep praying that the PDA closes up and that will increase the chances of them coming off the ventilators.
I wish i had way more pics at night  as they snuggle them in to sleep but due to the darkness and no flash policy i'm not really able to take any. They keep their bubbles dark and covered up and lights down to help mimic them in the womb.  Every 3 hours they try to "flip them" (change their position) but they just make them such sleeping beautys at night. They are just so peaceful and you can see it in their faces. And trust me they will show it in their faces when they are not happy.
Through all the dings and beeps that go on, although those are just beginning to sound like the t.v. to me, I can never get enough of just sitting back on the couch adn looking at the one little slot in each bubble I get to leave open as they sleep and seeing them kick their legs for no reason. Especially little Miss Alexis, i swear that child is going to be a gymnaist. They will just kick their little feets out like they were kung fu fighting in there. Its to funny.. As each day go pass, it's just another day closer to them coming home to where we can all get snuggled in together at home... Can't wait for that day to get here.. till then, Ill just take what I can get at each passing hour in our little "home away from home. "..

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Their Fight Thus Far

Over the past week or so of our little diva's life, we take everything day by day, hour by hour, min by min.  We come and visit every day, morning and night and take each breath and each min as a blessing. Although overall I know they are stable and doing ok, it's hard seeing all the different lines attached to them. They have feeding tubes, ventilator lines, blood pressure cuffs, a picu line (i always forget what that is), and about 4-5 other lines i'm not sure what is what. It makes me feel so helpless but the nurses keep reminding me that I did all I could and that as i continue to keep pumping for them to have breast milk then that is the best thing i can keep doing for them right now.
 They have been on ventilators since being in the NICU and they only got to come off of it for one day. Mostly likely what is causing them to stay on the ventilators is what is called the pda valve. It's a valve near their heart that is very common in preemies to stay open and with the help of medication, it is suppose to close up over time. So far the first round of mediciaton did not help close up the valve, so now we are hoping with the reduction of their fluids and a different type of medince that might do the trick. If not then when they reach 3-4 pounds, they will have to get a surgery to go in and close off the valve. We are really praying round two of medication works so that they are not put under for the surgery.
They both also have/had jaudiance. Alexis more so than Mackenzie so they were both under the uv light for quite some time. Alexis had to go over board and require 2 lamps compared to Mackenzie's one little small lamp. Currently they are off the lamps but only more testing will tell how long they can stay off of them.
They just got their brain scan at 1am so now it's the waiting game for the doctors to read it and give us the results on it. . It was not as bad as i was imaging it to be. It was pretty much like a ultrasound on their heads. Mackenzie did great with it but Alexis seems like she didnt etnjoy it as much. 
Each day their oxygen levels change but each day they come with a stable report. They seem to compete with each other already which cracks me up.. One would read high on oxgyen level as one would read low and they love going back and forth with each other.
Just recently their feedings are being decreased every 12 hours.. as long as they are handling the increase, they will continue to increase their feedings every 12 hours.. They are maintaining at their birth weight  which is a good sign cause it shows they are handling the breastmilk well.
Spending as much time with them in their room, their monitors are constantly dinging some beeping noise, so it makes it hard for when i go home to have silence. I welcome the dinging noise because i know my girls are reacting and fighting. The silence is effecting me more than i imagined.
I handle each day as a good day becuase a good day for me is one day pass without them having to get a surgery of any sort. Only time will tell as things continue to form and they grow and more testing gets done but as long as they keep telling me no surgery for now, I'm counting each blessing.




On Saturday, August 6, our little miracles turned 1 week old.. Scott and I woke up rushing to try to make it to the hospital in  time for their first little birthday time but when we got here they wre getting their iv's all changed out so we had to wait. We missed their birth times  by a few mins but as soon as we got in here, I sang Happy Birthday to both of them one at a time. It was kind of crazy to know that a week has already passed and I'm sure it will continue to keep going just as fast.
But what really done it for me is that not only was it their 1 week birthday but it was the FIRST time I got to hold one of our girls, it was the FIRST time i got to change one of the girls, it was my FIRST time i got a actual picture with  my girls and it was our FIRST actually "family pic" with one of our girls. All of this couldn't have been possible with the best weekend nurse that we love so dearly cause she gave me all these precious moments with my girls. Tonya Gleaton was the NICU nurse and I can't wait and hope that we get her each weekend as she gave me moments I will NEVER ever forget.  It made their first 3 days (which makes me really sad cause i will never be able to get those days back) that I missed out on being on so many meds just fade away..

Daddy holding Alexis

Mommy holding Mackenzie

Monday, August 8, 2011

Our Rock, Our Heart, Our Guy

Scott and I have been together for 11 years now and in 11 years you go through your ups and downs as all couples do.. There's always good times and there's always bad times but as long as you do it together you get stronger and stronger together.
As most of everyone knows, i am the control freak in our relationship and the orgainzer. I was always the one pulling stuff together and handling everything at mutilple rates.. Although Scott is not the only child, he kind of grew up that way and I always say that he has the "only child syndrome"..
The past week and half, Scott has manage to surpass my expectations and he was the glue that kept me going and the glue that continues to keep me going as well as our little miracles. I never imagine loving him anymore than I what I already do, never thought it would be possible, but now i see anything is possible.
Scott, although overwhelmed with everything, held it together while i was in the hospital and dealt with all the phone calls, texts, facebook, and vistors, all while trying to make sure i was ok, got me anything i needed when i needed and then once the girls came into this world, he managed to go in between all 3 of us. He managed to do all of this on hardly no sleep either as it was very hard for him to sleep inbetween all the nurses in and out and me freezing him out due to having to keep room super cold cause i was so hot with all the meds.
From day one of their birth he ran the halls between me and them. He knows more about all the lines and all the details to whats going on with the girls more than I do. He knows almost all the nurses in the NICU area where i am slowly beginning to know only a handful.  He is trying to maintain the house, and makes sure that i get all the rest and recovery I need. He does all of this without a single moan, gripe or groan.
Daddy holding Alexis, perfect pic because his bracelet if you look close enough says "strong"

His face lights ups everytime we come and see the girls but you can also see the worry on his face but he pushes through and stays strong for all of us..  WE love you  more than you will ever know honey and we are so happy to have you as my husband and their father. Thank you for everything.

What makes them a little extra special..

Our little divas didnt come easily into this world not only at birth but also at conception.  As some might be unaware, we had to create our little miracles via IVF.  After not being on the pill for almost 8 years and nothing happening, the doctors kept putting it off as I was taking on to much and putting to much stress on my body. Between work full time, school full time, work part time, i could see it, but not understand it. So finally after graduation, We had a HSG done (pretty much where they pump dye into my tubes to see if they are closed), it showed that the left tube was wide open and the right was a little slow but without surgery they coudln't tell exactly so it was pretty much take it easy and see what happens. I promise Scott I would take it easy, but then it was a year of planning for my high school reunion and so there was no rest for that year. Finally a year of doing nothing but relaxing and trying not to take on to much.
After that, and no baby on our own, our doc, Dr. John Moore fianlly said, i'm gonna referral you out to Dr.Whitman-Elia at Advance Fertilty.  We had our first doc appt in Feb. 2010.  From then on it was a serious of test after test to try to figure out what was going on with us. Scott checked out to be just fine, so it was blood work after blood work for me.  The only thing that really stood out was that my thyroid  antibodies were really high thus affecting my TSH levels..  So from there, i started synthroid to help treat the anitbodies and hopefully bring down my TSH levls down to where it was at a good rate to concieve which was between a 1-2. Mine was at about a 2-3.. My levels went up and down for months and still no baby. They gave us till sept and then till dec and still nothing so finally in december, we were told that our only option was IVF.
So I started on birth control pills to help stop my period. I know right, how weird that to try to get pregnant, you actually had to go on birth control pills first. So now fast foward to Feb, 2011, and it was time to start the actual IVF treaments (pretty much shots after shots)
I started getting shots everyday to stimulate my ovaries and start creating eggs.. Thank God for friends like Clay, who was able to give me shots when Scott wasn't home and showed Scott when our dosages changed how to properly do things cause you have to do all the shots on your own at home.  I was probably getting i believe about 3 shots a day in my belly.. And on certain days, i had to go in and get a ultrasound to make sure i wasn't overstimulating my ovaries and that everything was on track with the dosage of medcines they had me on. My dosages would change depending on how my ovaries were reacting.

Our girls at 3 days old. These were the eggs that got transferred back into me.

Getting ultrasounds while your ovaries are stimulating were not very fun either.. Then finally comes egg retrieveal day. They were able to retrieve 8 eggs from but you have to wait about 3 days to see which ones still survives for the transfer. So after our 3 days, we only had 3 that survived but then only 2 made it to the actual transfer day. We only needed one to take so we stayed positive and held out hope. They transferred the two eggs in and after that started more shots but this time intramuscular (in my back right above my butt) with a 22 gauge needle.. Needless to say ouch.. then went on for a series of two weeks i believe and then it was pregnancy test day.. THE BIG DAY..
I took a half day at work cause I really didnt want to get the big call and be at work if it turned out to be bad news. But then it sucked because Scott couldn't get off from work and we wanted to do it together so either way i had to wait longer than I wanted to. I went in first thing that morning to give blood and then you have to wait till mid afternoon for the "phone call".. So Scott and I agreed to not answer the call and wait to listen to the message together..
But really everyone who knows me knew that wasn't possible for me.. good or bad i had to know.. and finally to hear those words.. "you are pregnant'.. it was just indescrible. I always pictured how i would tell Scott that we were pregnant and when we started IVF , that took the suprise out of it, but now since i heard the message before him i went into suprise mode.. I kept calling him and telling him to hurry home, he still had 3 hours on shift, and i kept on and on even though i knew. I went out to party city and got ballons and all kinds of baby decorations and i went to old navy and bought a elmo onesise and a batman onesise. got home and started deocratiing his room..
He finally got home and i told him to go ahead and get settled in so that way we could sit and listen together so we could prepare. He walked into his room and his face was priceless.. He couldn't believe I didnt wait for him but was so happy to find out we were finally pregnant..

"His "i can't believe you didnt wait for me look and the excitement that we were pregnant"

You would think that the shots would have stopped though but doing IVF, you still want to make sure weeks after transfer and confirmation and  you still do everything you can to keep the baby stronger, so i had to stay on progesterone in the oil shots intramuscular which just got worse and worse each day. My whole lower back just felt so bruised.  But we at least had to make it to our 6 week u/s to make sure the baby still took.  I told Scott that if this round of IVF failed at some point, I just dont know if i had it in me to do it again. Our 6 weeks u/s came up and thus the confirmation of our two little divas.
Our little divas..

Not your normal hospital stay or delivery

Hello blogging world and all our friends who are going to read this-

Where do i even begin.. I guess I can start from the beginning as everyone has bits and pieces and not the whole story..

At only 25 weeks.. we were not prepared at all for our little miracles to come yet but I guess they had to do it in such a grand way..
It all started on July 28, we went for a routine check up and during my ultrasound they realized that my cervix was funneling (in other words, the fluid was thinning out) and that I was aleady dilated 2cm.  So that pretty much meant, we we had to go straight from the doctors office, straight to the hospital for 24 hour bed rest. The oncall doctor at hospital said he did not want to do a cerclage (a procedure to go in and close my cervix) because i was too far along so he wanted to leave me on bedrest for 24 hours to help relieve some of the pressure on my cervix so that means i pretty much had to lay with the bed adjusted so that i'm pretty much half way upside down. They gave me some meds to help stop my contractions and that made me feel worse and just sleep.
Come friday, the new oncall doctor feels confident he can do the cerclage even though i was already past the max of when one should be done but I also went down half a cm dilated so Scott and I dicussed and hoped that it would by us some more time for the girls so we said lets do.. So they prepped me for a spinal tap (thank goodnses that wasn't as bad as i thought) and on to the procedure. Few hours later we found out that the doctor was unsucessful in completeing the procedure  and when he went in for the 3rd stich, he broke my water. So he had to stop. They gave me maginesum sulfate to help stop with the contractions and that by far was the worst stuff that i've ever been on.. It pretty much slows down your whole system so on to more drug induced sleep for me. Then comes 2am saturday morning.. Due to getting a spinal tap, i was pumped with 8000 cc of iv fluids but due to the maginuesum, i wasn't pushing but only 1800 cc of fluids out thus creating pulmeria adeim (pretty much too much fluid on my lungs) which meant, i couldn't breath. I started coughing up blood and ended up throwing a blood clot in my eye, so the nurses and a heart doctor came in and pushed another fluid through my iv that was to help pushing the fluids out. I had to get a chest xray and ekg done and they finally got me stable at 9 a.m.
Around 10ish i feel a painful contraction and out of all the contractions i had, this was the first one i actually felt. Come a few mins later, i felt another one and felt the urge to push so my nurse goes for the doctor and he comes in and checks me out and from there it just went all so fast. He tells me that I have to deliever now because Mackenzie was right there and ready to come. He proceeds to tell me from there also that I will have to do it vaginal and without any drugs for the fear that if i have a epidural i could push and not realize it and there was not enough time for me to have a c-section with Mackenzie. Next thing i know, there are 4 nurses unconnecting me from everything and wheeling me off down the hall. I get to the operating room with 16 other people, none which were Scott which scared me more. (they told me he had to get scrubbed in but i didnt know how long that would take him) I was scared and felt so alone. But they told me i had to push which was hard because i was just trying to recovery from breathing. I broke down and cried and after my first push, there was Scott, so I pulled it together and at 1051 a.m. our little Mackenzie arrived. Got scared again becuase we didnt know if she made it and all we were told is that the NICU team was working on her. From then i had to get another spinal tap, but that didnt work intime so they had to put me under. That was the last i remember, but at 11:05 a.m. our little Alexis was born via c-section. She was breached so they had to cut my uterus one way and the outside another way (also known as a traditonal cut) I finally did not wake up until about 11 pm . 
Sunday rolls around and they gave me perciax (sorry for the misspelling but a pain relieving drug) well due to the fact i really haven't eaten in 72 hours, the drug made me puke all day. I could not keep anything down so once again i was back on another drug induced sleep all day. I finally got to see the girls breifly for about 2 mins because i got really light headed and had to get back in bed.
Monday rolled around and it was so hard for me to sit up and move around without getting real bad headaches and getting lighted head.. come to find out,  they were spinal headaches from the two spinal taps i had so once again another drugged induced sleep day. 
Tuesday rolls around and finally a sign for some relief. I finally got the ok do do a blood patch which means they would draw blood from my arm and insert back into my spine (pretty much like another spinal tap but much much more painful) finally after 45 mins i got all the relief i needed and i was up and down the hall finally visiting with our little divas. It was such a awesome day. 
Our precious Mackenzie right after birth

Alexis holding daddys finger for the first time
Wednesday was discharged day almost got deterred because i became more anemic and the doctor wanted to keep me for 24 hours for a iv iron but it can't be done tilll two week after birth so i finally got to be jailed breaked and to home I went, but not with my little divas as we will be spending some time in the NICU....