Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Rebuttal, Elf Ears and More

I would like to clarify what my wife had led you all to believe about what I said about her long posts. I love her long posts as well. Actually they are not that long. All I said to her was that she should post more often using pictures since everyone wants to see more pictures and that she should not feel like she should have to write a long post every time she posts, just put a few pictures up if nothing else. Like these...

Landon is eyeing Eli's pacifier while Eli is sleeping. Little does he know that his own is out of sight... two inches above his head.

Eli caught on to Landon's plan to steel his pacifier and became very angry and so he turned his back on Landon to ignore him and sucked on his pacifier really loud.

Here are the sissy gowns mom decided to put them in. Between the gowns and Landon trying to snatch his paci, Eli is taking his frustration out on Landon. Its OK buddy, someday you will grow out of that gown.
In other news... I've been worried about the boys' ears. Don't worry, they aren't deaf... I don't think. But I have noticed they have elf ears. Please take note of Eli's ear. (You may have to click on it to blow it up to see his ear)
I thought that Amy was hiding something from me about her family, like her great-grand father use to work in Santa's Shop. But today I notice that Landon's ear is starting to look normal. Hopefully Eli's will do the same.
Not that it matters, I will love them no matter what... elf ears and all.
More exciting news, Eli broke 4 pounds today and we have the evidence to prove it.
There is not a more substantial form of evidence than a dry-erase board. You may have click on this one to read the writing if you don't want to take my word for it. Also the boys are eating very well and so the Doctor beleives it is possible for us to be going home this weekend or early next week.

And one final note. There has been some discussion of who these boys look like. Nana (my mom) dug out a picture of me when I was three days old.
I asked the boys if they thought they looked like me when I was a baby. Their reaction....

Eli was stunned at such a notion.

Landon was just horrified of the picture. So what if I wasn't as cute as you two, at least I didn't have elf ears!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Long Day

The NICU called me at 6:30 this morning to tell me that Eli needed a blood transfusion. I got up there as soon as possible and they explained that since Eli was the "donor twin" in the TTTS situation, he started out with low blood levels, while Landon's blood levels were elevated at birth. The hope was that both of them would even out on their own and while Landon's levels are now normal, Eli is still low and anemic. Poor little Eli just can't catch a break. I don't know how many of you have read the consent form for a blood transfusion, but the risks involve HIV/AIDS and death. So I sat in the NICU early this morning just praying that we were doing the right thing as I signed that paper. I guess it really hit me at that moment that I am totally responsible for what happens to these two precious lives and to even think about the possible consequences of my decision was just overwhelming. If I could have signed myself up for it in his place I would have done it in a heartbeat. So I spent the rest of the day praying for this little guy and around 3:30 this afternoon, they started the blood and everything went really well. God has blessed us once again.

The boys are both doing great with their feedings. Eli has not only caught up to Landon, but surpassed him. He very eagerly sucks every last drop of his bottle down faster than Landon can even get started. The nurse yesterday mentioned that we would probably be going home in a week or two at the very most. I don't want to get my hopes up too high, but it is encouraging to think the end of this hospital stay might be in sight.

The great news is that Dustin got here tonight and will be here for the rest of the week. It's getting harder and harder on all of us to be apart from each other so we are very thankful he is able to be here now.

Okay...Dustin has informed me that no one wants to read my long posts and all you want is pictures, so here you go...

Eli and Landon's new crib!

Eli is such a daddy's boy

Eli will just crane his neck to look at me every time he hears me talking. I think I'll keep him - he's just too sweet!

Elizabeth and Landon. We miss you, Elizabeth!

Dustin burping Eli

They love each other.

Eli's blood transfusion today :(

So, I just realized that most of those pictures were of Eli. We'll feature more of Landon in the next post.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We're starting to eat!

This has been an eventful week. Mom flew in on Wednesday morning and there is just something about having your mom with you that makes everything okay. Elizabeth flew in on Thursday and between the three of us, we spent most of our time laughing and that's just what I needed. They have been such a help and encouragement to me and have really helped me "recharge." Dustin came to see us on Wednesday and we celebrated our three year anniversary with our boys in the NICU. I am blessed beyond measure to be married to such a selfless, thoughtful, and godly man. I thought Dustin was perfect when I married him and now I am only more sure of that fact.

The boys are doing really well. Landon decided on Thursday that he was ready for the bottle and just sucked three down in one day. He also did very well Friday. And while this is a good thing, I became very afraid that Landon would be released before Eli and then I would have an infant to care for 24 hours a day and another in the NICU where I can't take Landon back to once he's released. Eli is just a lot smaller still and a little behind and the thought of him staying in that hospital without his brother just breaks my heart. I have really struggled with this the past few days and prayed and prayed for Eli to catch up and all of a sudden today, Eli drank a whole bottle. I think the neonatologist will do whatever she can to not separate the boys, but those insurance companies don't really love to pay to keep babies there unecessarily, so we continue to pray for Eli's progress. The boys are more alert these days and are growing each and every day. Eli weighs 3 pounds, 11 ounces and Landon weighs 4 pounds, 10 ounces.

This weekend has been great. Elizabeth is here and there are few people I have as much fun with than her. Dustin is also here and the boys just seem to do so much better when he's around - especially Eli. He is definitely going to be a daddy's boy.

Here are a few recent pictures of the boys

We have taken tons of pictures this week with Grammy, Sliz, and Daddy and I'll get those up soon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Three Years, Two Boys, One Wonderful Woman

It’s funny how things turn out isn’t it? I never dreamed in a million years I would be where I am today. As I write this on the eve of my wife’s and my three year anniversary (wedding anniversary because she celebrates all kinds of anniversaries), my wife sits in the NICU with our two tiny boys while I am at home miles away. Twin boys born a few weeks early; my own flesh and blood. It is surely a remarkable thing. Remarkable because I am responsible for these two people and remarkable because they are actually here and doing so well. It pains me to be away from them and from her, but I find comfort in that they are in good hands tonight and in that the Lord above hears my prayers for them all.

Becoming a father has surely taught me the power of prayer not yet seen by me before. Not only my own prayers but hundreds of others who say they have been praying for them. If not for this extraordinary power, I truly believe our precious boys would not be here. Thank you all for remembering them in your prayers.

These last few months have been, to say the least, a bit bumpy. Near the end of her pregnancy, Amy was driving an hour and half one way twice a week and it seemed every time she went, there was something new to worry about. The delivery was somewhat of a whirlwind, an emotional whirlwind, and our boys have been in the NICU ever since. Not your idea of picture a perfect pregnancy, delivery, and… homecoming, which we are ever so ready for. Despite it all she has been courageous. I have seen here cry for our boys, and I have seen her glow with joy as she holds Eli and Landon close to her.

Three years is really a short time. It’s amazing to me how much love can grow in three years. I am blessed to married to a woman with such a beautiful heart and wonderful spirit. These three years have been my best and I can’t remember a time when I have been more happy. Thank you… thank you my sweet Amy. Happy anniversary.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Living the NICU Life

I'm sorry it's been so long since our last update. We leave the house so early and get home so late and the hospital life is starting to wear on me just a little, so I'm just exhausted when I get in at night. Things are going well though. The boys made a whole lot of progress right at first, so we were hopeful that learning to eat would come as quickly, but we seem to kind of be at a standstill. As soon as they start taking all of their feedings by mouth, we'll be able to go home, but in the meantime, we wait patiently for them to get the strength, skills, and stamina to do so. The nurses say that one day we'll come in and they'll suck the whole bottle down - that it's something that just clicks in their brain allowing them to suck, swallow, and breath at the same time. I just can't wait for that day! In the meantime, here is a glimpse into life in the NICU.

A Day in the Life of Eli & Landon:

This is our very own area. We have our stuffed animals back on the shelf and a big tub of clothes and blankets that mom brought up here for us. We each have our own monitor that shows our heart rate, respiration, and oxygen saturation and several times a day, we give mom a little scare when our heartrate drops pretty low. We're just keeping her on her toes. Eli is on the left and Landon is on the right. This is where we spend most of our time - just snuggled up together. When we are not being held, this is our favorite place!

The next few pictures are of the only activity we really ever Don't let these pictures fool you though, most of the time we get our food through a tube. You see...we are lazy and don't want to work for our food. We know that if we just sit there, eventually they'll just dump it in our tummies. We are a little spoiled!

After we eat, we are supposed to go back to bed, but mommy and daddy don't give us up too easily. Mom just avoids eye contact with the nurse so she can hold us longer and sometimes she acts like shes asleep because no one wants to pry a baby from a sleeping momma. We are happiest when we are in daddy's arms and he is singing to us.

Every three days, we get a bath. Now there are pros and cons to this situation. We really don't like being wet and cold all that much, but after we're clean, they wrap us up and massage our heads and we love that! It feels so good! We get our diapers put back on, new sticky things on our stomachs with all kinds of cords, a lotion massage all over, and then mom always picks out really cool clothes to put us in. We look the cutest right after a bath because our hair sticks up and mom goes on and on about how precious we are. Sometimes she goes a little overboard.

We get held until mom is absolutely about to pass out from exhaustion and then we just curl up next to each other. We sleep best when we are touching each other.
Life in the NICU isn't that bad. We have really nice nurses that take care of us and we are always pretty happy. Mom keeps talking about going home and it sounds like a nice place. Maybe one day we'll start to eat on our own and we can check out this place called "home."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy (Late) Birthday Elizabeth!


I'm sorry this is a little late...we had a hectic day yesterday. The boys have something to say to you though...

We love you and can't wait to see you on Thursday!!
Amy, Eli, & Landon

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bye Nana!

This is Nana

Nana came to help take care of the three of us this week and I don't know what I would have done without her. She nursed me back to health, cooked for me, did my laundry, and was up at the hospital with me at all times. She changed diapers, cleaned cords, took temperatures, sang, rocked, cleaned spit up, fed, burped, and loved Eli and Landon with me all week. She listened to all of my ailments, carted me all over Lubbock, took me out to eat, listened to me gush about my babies nonstop, stayed on top of the nurses to make sure that the boys got the best possible care, and cried with me when we left them alone at the hospital at night. I think mother-in-laws in general get a pretty bad reputation sometimes, but I love mine. Most weeks, I talk to her a lot more than Dustin does. I respect her and value her opinion and consider her one of my best friends. I know that might not be normal, but I love our relationship.

Nana goes home tomorrow and I just want her to know just how much I appreciate her dropping everything else to come be with us. Thank you!

We love you, Nana!

And here are a few more pictures from today. Have you ever seen anything so cute?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Daddy comes to visit!

Today was such a good day. Dustin had to go back to work on Monday and we have really been missing him ever since. Every day I would call Dustin and put him on speakerphone so he could talk to the boys. The first day, Landon opened his eyes really wide and smiled as soon as he heard daddy's sweet. We were not expecting Dustin until this afternoon, so we were all surprised when he showed up around 11:00 this morning.

The big news for the day is that the boys came off the warmer!! This means that even though they are still very small, they are able to maintain thier own body temperature, which is a prerequisite to going home. So far, they have come off the oxygen, come off thier IV's, and now they are off the warmer. The only thing left for them to do is learn to eat really well. They have to take all of their feedings by mouth and still gain weight and we will be able to go home! Right now they take bottles for 2 out of 6 feedings and they only make it through about half of the bottle before their time is up and we have to give it to them through their feeding tubes. We make progress every day though, so I have no doubts we'll be sucking down the whole bottle in no time at all.

The other great thing about coming off the warmer is that Eli and Landon can now wear clothes. Mom finally gets to dress them in matching outfits!! Just the thought makes me excited. Nevermind the fact that I've already been told we'll be on baby house arrest until the end of RSV season (late April) and no one will actually see all of their adorable clothes. I can at least take pictures though.

So...we had a mini photo shoot tonight in the NICU and here are a few shots of my precious boys:

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