yes, they're identical

These days, if the boys make it out of their room, they can share the bouncer seat because they are still so small. We made our first trip to the doctor and Eli (right) weighs 5lbs, and Evan (left) is 4lbs.7oz. (about the same as his discharge weight). The hospital sent us home with monitors for the boys; so their heart rate and respirations are constantly at our attention in the form of blinking green lights. If their heart rate goes above 220 or below 80, it will alarm to notify us. It seems each day the monitor goes off less and less and this is more and more of an encouragement to us.
I spend a lot of time in this chair, they eat every three hours, so imagine the normal routine you do for a newborn, only right when I lay the first one down, I turn around and do the whole routine again, then go to sleep for hopefully two hours and wake up to do it again. It has not been as stressful as I anticipated and I am very thankful. We continue to be in awe of the miracles God has performed in the lives of these babies!



The day my c-section was scheduled was October 22. So technically, our babies came home a few days early! We brought them home last night (10.22.10) and are thrilled to have them with us finally. I am nursing both the boys and it is going well so far, just not getting much sleep, which is to be expected!


two weeks old

Yesterday our little ones turned two weeks old. They are still growing, but still have some progress to make. Any baby in the NICU has to consistently do three things before they can leave:
1. Maintain healthy breathing
2. Maintain their own body temperature
3. Feed from a bottle at each feeding without tubing any of the milk (right now, both our boys take bottles, they just don't have enough energy to finish the feeding and so the remainder of the bottle is put in a syringe and pumped through a feeding tube)

Evan now weighs 4lbs.2oz. (which is only one ounce more than his birthweight, but he lost quite a bit in his travels from Children's and back), he is off oxygen, he is now in a crib instead of the incubator, and he is now showing significant signs of interest in feeding and takes almost half of his bottles.

Eli now weighs 4lbs.11oz., he came off his oxygen but they have put him back on because he's had some sleep apnea, he is also now in a crib, and he is taking some bottles. On Tuesday the nurse told me he contracted an infection, MRSA, there's no way of telling how he got it or who he got it from, but now anyone who enters his room must "gown and glove." It also means the boys are in separate rooms. This is a common infection in the NICU, so much so that every baby is checked for it weekly.

Please continue to pray, we have seen and felt the coverage of prayer from across the globe and cannot begin to express how grateful we are.



Eli took a bottle for the first time and burped.
I got to hold Evan for the first time (10.9.10)
Eli was awake and responsive to touch for Davis (and all of us).
Daddy got to hold Eli (pictured here) and Evan for the first time. (10.9.10)

Today was the first time for both the boys to be in clothes...they look super cute!



Both the boys have a little bit of jaundice, that's why the pictures look blue, these were taken today after Evan and Eli were together again. This is Eli (with my hand on him):
This is Evan (with Davis's hand on him):
Some people have asked if they are identical, yes they are.


10.2.10 (part 2)

The perfect way to end the day would have been right then, at 5:15 a.m. We had no idea what was in store for the rest of the day.

By 8:30, Kevin's parents had made it back in town and to the hospital to see our precious boys, by 9, my dad was there too. By 2:30, we had the OU/TX game on, Kevin had taken a nap, and I was recovering in my room, while the twins were in the NICU.

Kevin brought our older boys up to the hospital so they could see their new brothers. My mom prepared them for some disappointment by telling them they wouldn't be able to hold the babies. Davis was sad, but he asked, "Mommy gets to hold them though, right?" My mom answered his question by telling him that even I couldn't hold the babies yet. He was really surprised, but felt better that he wasn't the only one.

Both Davis and Ronin laid with me in my bed for a few minutes, and checked out everything that was in my room while Kevin went back to look at the babies with his parents. The phone to the hospital room rang, it was the pediatrician, and he told me he was coming to my room to talk to me. I asked my mom to take the boys out, and tell Kevin to come in.

The doctor turned the volume on the TV completely off. Kevin and I both sat and stared at him, waiting for what had to be serious news.

Dr. Verma explained to us that Evan was experiencing pulmonary hypertension and he anticipated that our little baby would likely need to be placed on an ECMO machine. The only hospital that has one is Children's. He had already called for the helicopter to take Evan there. At the end of the conversation Kevin asked what the survivability rate was, and he said it was 50/50.

The news was incredibly sobering. Kevin had to leave immediately with the doctor and nurse to sign consent forms, so I was alone for what felt like forever. My mom walked in the room, with no words of her own, but held me as we wept together. She sat by my side and told me it would be okay.

"But okay could mean losing him," I said, "I feel like this entire journey with the twins has been about seeing the goodness of God and how powerful He is, what if He wants to use this to show people that we believe He is good and powerful and gracious even if He takes Evan away?"

We all felt the same: God is good and loving even if He takes our son, but we will cry out to Him for His healing power. And we did; we called, texted, and asked the Facebook world to cry out with us, on our behalf, and for our son.

Evan arrived at Children's hospital, and within an hour he was stable; the doctor there questioned the records from Mercy, but we all knew that there was only One Person who had done anything to stabilize our boy. Saturday night and part of Sunday Evan still seemed to be in a dangerous place, he was stable but not showing signs that he was "out of the woods" as Kevin would say.

On Monday night, my mom and I wheeled down to the NICU to see Eli (Kevin had spent most of his time at Children's with Evan) and I asked the nurse when I would finally be able to hold him. After looking at his charts, she said there was no reason I couldn't hold him now.

I cried. I had only put my hand through a hole in his incubator to touch him, and I was only able to do that late Sunday.

I waited while she got him ready, and once she handed him to me it was as if tears were not even possible because of the joy in my heart. My mom and I headed back to my room after twenty minutes and I had missed four calls from Kevin, I called him back and the doctor had said Evan officially made a turn for recovery, and it seemed almost in spite of the things they had done, and thought by the end of the week he should be able to go back to Mercy.

Evan continues to get better and better, and so does Eli. Today (Oct. 7, 2010), they are together again. The doctors say we probably have two to three weeks before they will be able to come home. Our older boys love their little brothers, today they sang to them and talked to them and put their hands on them.

I'm still waiting to hold Evan.

10.2.10 (part 1)

Apparently, October 2 was the perfect day to have twins.

We had scheduled the c-section for October 22, but God seems to be in the business of changing our plans quite frequently.

At 2:20 am on Saturday morning I woke up (like I always do when I have to roll over) and felt the urge to go the bathroom, I stood up and started the four steps it takes to get there and was already wet before I reached the toilet. Strange that all of the sudden I had no control over my bladder is what I was thinking. I went and laid back down, but this same thing happened again, and this time I knew something wasn't right.

I walked slowly into the living room to get to the computer, and Kevin was laying on the couch wide awake because he hadn't been able to sleep. I looked at him and asked what he was doing, he looked at me and asked the same question. I said, "Umm...I think maybe my water broke, or I'm leaking a lot of fluid."
"We need to go to hospital."
"Well, let me just call the hospital, maybe my water didn't break."
"Okay, go ahead and call."
I looked up the number, called the hospital, and after a short conversation with them I said, "They said I just need to come in." My husband is so patient with my stubbornness.

I called my mom to come be with the boys, and we arrived at the hospital by 3:45. The nurses took me to a room, put heart monitors on the babies, one for contractions, and checked my cervix. They assured me my water did break, and I was dilated to a one. They left to call my doctor; I called my mom to give her an update, and the nurse came back into room and said, "We're going to section you in thirty minutes, your doctor said 15, but I told him we don't even have an IV in yet."

Kevin began the first round of text messages and phone calls to let people know what was happening, while my mom tried to find someone else to come be with the boys so she could quickly come to the hospital.

It's amazing what a nursing staff can do in thirty minutes, because by 4:30 I was on the operating table being swabbed with iodine on my back and belly. Once I laid down the famous blue curtain was drawn up. On my right side about eight nurses stood ready to receive the boys, on the left were four more nurses for the surgery, behind me was my amazing anesthesiologist, holding my hand right beside me was Kevin on my side of the curtain, next to him, my doctor.

Dr. Mirabile told me I would feel tugging, pulling, and jumping. Jumping? Yes, jumping. And I did. Amidst everything I was feeling, I was waiting to hear something. I stared into the blue curtain, and scanned Kevin's eyes as he watched intently what was going on on the other side of the curtain. Finally, I heard it.

A baby's cry.

It was Eli. At 5:05 am, the doctor pulled him out to be a part of this world and just a minute later Evan was letting us know he was there too. For months now, Eli has been called "the little one," no longer, he weighed 4lbs.4oz. and was 17 inches long and Evan was 4lbs.2oz. 16 1/2 inches long. In a few moments they were bundled in blankets and nestled together in an incubator and wheeled out from the OR to the NICU.

Meanwhile, my mom had her own adventure in getting to the hospital. Kevin's parents were out of town, my dad was out of town, my brother's phone was dead, and eventually it was one of my best friends who came to relieve my mom so she could rush to the hospital. She made it to the fifth floor and was looking around at the exact moment the twins were being rolled down the hall to the NICU. We couldn't have planned it better.