Saturday, August 2, 2008

Breath Babies Breath!

Tonight was a tough goodnight. It seems as though saying goodnight to The Quads will continue to get harder. It breaks your heart when a hand that small reacts so strongly to your finger as it's placed gently in their palms...

But, let me tell you, this chick Summer, yeah, she is cute, she is content, and she does not need any help breathing...if only her brothers would catch up soon...Honestly, amazing doesn't do her justice. Seriously, she breaths on her own, no help whatsoever! Both Tonya and I got to change a Summer diaper today - it was great! I'm sure that attitude will eventually fade...Yeah, these diapers, they call them wimpee's. For lack of comparison to anything else, they look about the size of a small maxipad. Basically you look at them and can't believe what you are looking at.

Cameron and Dane, these two are something else. We walked into the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) tonight to see a pile of Cameron Dung! Awesome! The Great Dane breaths really fast, maybe that means he'll run fast on the ball field? Also, Dane packed on 2 ounces, got himself up to an even 3 pounds! Cameron and Dane remain on the Cpap (pardon the lack of technical jargon). The Cpap provides a certain percentage of forced oxygen into their lungs via a mask that covers only their noses. Cam and Dane have been near 21 percent oxygen - that is what we breath, that's good. I think Dane may have creept up a bit this evening, but they are both doing well. When I say crept up, what I mean is they increase the percentage of oxygen in the provided air to increase the oxygen content in their blood. Cam and Dane have one step before they get to where Summer is. Their next step is forced regular air, then no help at all. These two both had a shot of surfactant. Dane had his yesterday and Cam had his today (Ithink that's how it went). Anyway, surfactant helps the lungs do their thing. I don't think Summer had a dose. Based on their day, it doesn't appear as though they will need any more surfactant.

That brings us to Mr. Brock. You all know about him, our little trouble maker. Well Mr. Brock decided to relax too much today and not work his lungs hard enough. So what did Brock get? He got a vibrating ventilator! Sounds better than a regular ventilator, right? Yes, this puppy has been dubbed the "Soothtilator" by me. It generates a soothing sort of burring noise/motion. It was tough being with Brock tonight. Tears were shed. He's tough, gotta be if your name is Brock. Brock is having a difficult time keeping his oxygen levels up. He needs a bit more help than Cam and Dane. He will pull through, he just needs a little more time. Brock gets a cardio echogram tomorrow to verify the closing of a particular valve in his heart. Basically an ultra sound of the heart. Some valve is supposed to close after about a day or so after birth. If it doesn't close, it kind of jacks up blood flow and results in depleted oxygen levels in the blood stream. Broch had required about 40% oxygen this morning - that got him his FIRST does of surfactant. Yes, he didn't need one yesterday, but things got a bit more difficult for Brock through the night. Anyhow, our cardio doctor that we had at Devos for Meadow will be watching the echogram real time down in Grand Rapids. We have a lot of respect for the cardio doctor at Devos. Dr. Schneider said some things to us down there that will never be forgotten. Hopefully he'll have good news for us tomorrow. If not, stuff can be done to close the valve and get Mr. Brocks ticker running properly. Dr. St. Charles came in tonight to check out Brock. He got a second surfactant dose and the nurses worked hard to stabilize his breathing and oxygen. When we said goodnight, he was calm, content, and on his way off the Soothtilator.

The time we spent in the NICU tonight brought back a lot of memories from our time with Meadow. Tonight was very difficult. Especially since earlier today I had told Tonya how different the NICU was this time around since the conditions were so different. It's just a tough place to be in. It's just tough. I couldn't keep the tears off my face, especially when standing over Brock. We know The Quads will pull through, it's just tough when you relate back to what we went through with Meadow. Brock was getting a lot of TLC when we were there tonight. I got to assist with some stuff, and having that little bugger grab my hand did me in.

We are really thankful for all the little things the nurses do for our babies and we are reassured by the presence of Dr. St. Charles. We know The Quad Boys will pull through.

We just can't wait to be able to hold these little buggers. I tucked Aiden and Cale in at the Manor tonight. Aiden had a special prayer for Brock tonight - he asked God to make sure that Brock starts breathing better. Hopefully Aidens little angel can get that message in the right hands...that was some prayer.

We had some visitors today - Mike and Debbie Schafer, Carol from Hawk's Eye, and George Moeke's Mom, Kay. Thank you. Also, My mom, sister Jessica, and neice Avery were in attendance along with Tonya's brother Glenn, sister in-law Tracy, and of course her mom and dad. Good stuff to have family with us. Couldn't do this without their help.

We are remaining optimistic that The Quad Boys will get their act together like their big sis. I decided that since Summer is the older, she decided to lead by example and kick that oxygen to the curb. She is pulling for her brothers, as are we.

We got to spend a lot of time with The Quads today. Assisting the nurses with little diaper changes and shifting the babies. It is a big deal when they ask us to help, I don't think they realize how much it means, especially to Tonya.

Tonya is doing great. As everyone probably has imagined, she is up and around less than 24 hours after her C-section. Can't hold her back. She sat by Brock and pumped tonight and was able to touch him while pumping. That resulted in her biggest output to date. She was able to bank maybe 5 cc of breast milk - that's huge. Getting flow this early from a premature birth is very difficult. Tonya will pull through, and I have decided to term her "Moomer". Since she love Moomers Ice Cream so much, I thought it was appropriate. We are praying she is able to product like a cow...

We got pictures of each baby getting their first dose of breast milk today. It is fed to them through a tube that is inserted either through their nose or mouth into their stomach. Yeah, not exactly like eating pizza, but that's how it has to be. They each got 1 cc pushed through the tube by a syringe. Which reminds me, these poor little babies have quite a few sensors and wires and tubes stuck to them and stuffed in them. All part of the deal, but it is tough to look at. Cam crapped his out like 4 hours of so after getting it!

All in all it was a very emotional day Lots of smiles and quite a few tears. We are remaining optimistic that The Quad Boys will pull through. Regardless, they will get every damn bit of love we can muster. And my man Aiden sent words for Brock to his angel tonight. For those of you that don't know, Aiden is connected. Brock will be fine. In fact, he ripped his traich tube out a bit tonight. We took that as a good thing, the one nurse yelled "We got a wild man here"!

Thanks again for all of your support. Also, many thanks to the staff at Munson. The birthing process was an incredible display of teamwork and the staff has been so kind to our family and The Quads. They have made this a wonderful experience and we are so fortunate to have our Quads in their care.

Sweet dreams,

sorry if the post is patchy, too tired to go back through it...


Dana said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to update us all--we are so glad to hear that the babies are stable and that they are getting terrific care. No doubt Brock will get what he needs and catch up with his womb-mates! I wonder where Summer's fiesty nature comes from....not sure....
Many prayers and love,
Dana M.

Tubre Quads said...

Hey guys! Congratulations on your little miracle babies!

Wow! I can't believe Summer is on room air already...what a little fighter. I'm sure the boys will catch her in no time.

I know the oscillating vent is hard to look at, but he will be off it in no time. None of our little ones had to go on it, but some of their NICU roommates did and I even saw one come off it and be on regular nasal cannula 2 days later. We will be praying hard for all 4 and especially little Brock.

Tonya - make sure you rest up. The long lasting epidural and adrenaline will eventually wear off so don't overdue it. Your body has been through a lot, just rest and enjoy those little babies! Great job on the breast milk...took me days to get 5cc's. Next thing you know you will be requesting the "big" 8 oz bottles to pump into because the little ones will fill up so quickly..

Love from Louisiana,

P.S. I work at Dow with Dana M...small world.

Jutta, Germany said...

Thanks SO much for taking the time to keep us up to date!
Rest and love on those babies. God will do the rest. Take care!
Many prayers up your way from Germany


Carol said...

Thank-you for taking the time to update us out here in blog-land.

Your kids sound like they are incredible. I've heard that the smallest is often the strongest - go Summer. And boys, well, they are a little slower getting started sometimes, but when they're ready they take off. They want to get the full NICU experience.

It's really cool that you two are able to spend so much time with them in the NICU.

You're all doing great. I'm sending good breathing prayers your way.

Morgan said...

The babies are doing good. My prayers are with you and the babies.