Monday, August 30, 2010

Official 'Newborns'

Our boys made it to 40 weeks and my actual due date. Seems unreal that they have already been in this big world for over 3 months! Just wanted to add some new pictures of them! :)

Sleeping Angels

These guys are going to be best friends, plus baby Albrecht. (We aren't giving them much of an option! haha) Luke is on the left, John in the middle and Max on the right. Kind of crazy that John was born on April 18th and the boys on May 21st. All three are exceptions to the rule when it comes to their size versus their age!!! :)

Daddy was having fun doing some naked time with the boys. (he wasn't naked for a clarification, sounded weird). Then they decided to pee everywhere so he dragged them on the hardwood floor and threw a blanket over them!

Luke showing you all how they still need to develop more cartilage in their ears! haha

Grandma Cookie and Luke

(Not sure if I ever explained, but Caleb's mom is Candace (Candy) and my mom (Sophie) decided that in order to sound just as appealing she needed a name change... enters Grandma Cookie! Man... my boys are lucky. Grandma Candy and Grandma Cookie!)

Grandma Candy and Luke... so cute, Luke was looking at her like she was the most beautiful thing he ever saw! :)

Max was having so much fun hearing about his cousins from Auntie Angie. She is a natural with twins. Just waiting for her to move in!

Wow? You look like someone I've seen before. Do I know you??

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My new favorite thing... naked tummy time. So funny! They can both lift their bottoms off the floor! :)

Luke kissing daddy (really looking for nummies)

Usually my blog posts are a manifestation of my thoughts throughout the day, at a point in time, while laying in bed, etc. Lately, as pathetic as it sounds, my mind has not had the liberty to wander in my own thoughts. It only thinks about... change diapers, nurse, burp, bottle, burp, rock, pat, swaddle, pump, repeat! :) My wonderful husband did allow me to go to bed tonight for awhile so that I could actually sleep in our bed for a little bit. So refreshing.... and much overdue. I have been sleeping on the couch downstairs in the living room with the boys in a pack-n-play next to me for the last 2 1/2 weeks. It just works out better that way so that I am right next to the kitchen for making up bottles, etc. Blah, blah... what I am saying is that I was able to lay in bed for a minute, let my mind wander and THINK.

The other reason why I haven't posted much lately is because I am having a very difficult time processing this whole experience. We spent almost 3 months in the NICU, which was an extreme emotional roller coaster. At that time I thought things couldn't get harder... or worse. Then our prayers were answered and the boys came home! Unfortunately things didn't get any easier. I would be lying if I said it did. Our schedule is pretty demanding and so are the boys at this stage. I also have a hard time knowing that this regime is not going to be short lived. Because of our boys being so premature and coming home about a month before term, we will be living as if we have newborns for months. That is so hard on me sometimes... just knowing that this rigorous schedule could still be for a couple months! But hey... a couple months is better than a couple years! After bringing them home, I immediately had to go in to mommy-mode and have not been able to take a second since to process what we have went through. Until tonight....

We had some family and close friends over and were able share our boys for a minute and just relax and chat. I was talking to Nate (who hadn't seen the boys yet) and is very aware of the struggle we went through. I was looking through pictures of the boys from when they were first born and a flood of emotions and memories hit me. That was only about 3 months ago, but it feels like years. Almost a different time. It is hard for me to put together that the little babies that were in the hospital... barely surviving... are the same ones crying as I type this while I pump!!! haha! What I am getting at ... in a short order... is that I told myself I never wanted to take for granted a poopy diaper, a cuddle, being spit up on, and so on once I got home. I realized that reminiscing, as hard as it can be, will be so encouraging for my faith in this journey. God has already seen us through a lot and I KNOW that He is still with us. The infamous saying... 'God will never give you more than you can handle'... well, honestly, just about all of this has been more than I can handle and still is... but I see that God daily gives me the grace to deal with the situation and make it through day by day.

Max... almost two weeks old.

Luke... almost two weeks old...

Max and Luke... home now for two weeks!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Don't Give Up on Me!

So... I am very sorry that I have not posted lately, but we are just trying to adjust to home and the craziness of life with twins! It is great, but free time is no longer ample. I will post soon....

Here are some pics to tide you over! :)

Max... getting some tummy time!

Daddy and Luke hangin' out on the couch!

Mommy and Max having a serious conversation...

One of my new favorites... Luke was so kind to share his finger since Max didn't have a pacifier!

Friday, August 13, 2010


We are getting... SO BIG!

I must say thank you, because somebody, somewhere is praying for me... us, the boys. I can just feel it! It is about 12:45 am and I just got done feeding the boys. I have to pump now until about 1:00 am and then get back up at 2:30 (if they stay sleeping) to start over. For some crazy reason I am encouraged by it all... I know there is an end in sight. I nursed Max tonight and I am so happy to say that he no longer needs the nipple shield. This is a small victory. One less thing that we have to clean, sanitize and carry around with us. He nursed so well and I was able to put him right to bed without even supplementing with a bottle after! Then I moved on to Luke and he didn't nurse that well, but he took his whole bottle well and very quickly. At this point Luke is still a little behind Max, but my goal is that if I keep things up and keep working with him I will be able to tandem nurse them, without using nipple shields and without having to offer a bottle after ... well as soon as possible! At this point nursing, then bottling, then pumping is getting a little old, but after less than a week I am seeing progress, so that is very encouraging!
Luke giving Mommy kisses... early in the morning!

My little man, Luke... getting bigger everyday!

I love his little legs!

Just want to say THANK YOU... for all the support and prayers! Love, Luke & Max

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


A message from Luke and Max...

Hey Everybody! Thanks for the prayers... we finally made it home! Mom and Dad are so funny. They jump every time we whimper. It's pretty fun that we already have them trained. Right now we have mastered peeing on Mom and leaving super messy diapers for Dad. Oh.. and we are both good eaters Mom says. We are excited to meet you all sometime soon! :)

So we are home. Can you believe it?!?! Sometimes I feel like I am playing house! The boys are doing good but are taking a little time to adjust to their surroundings. You can tell that it is all new to them right now. Luke had a pretty rough night last night and, well... to be honest, screamed until 6:30 this morning and then decided to sleep! We are going to try to work on getting those nights and days switched around. As for Caleb and I ... sleep deprived is an understatement! Both Grandmas have been life savers so far. Its just a matter of getting into a routine and I'm sure they will settle in just fine! So, so, so nice to be home... as a FAMILY of four! :)

Oh, and Luke had his eye exam yesterday. Still the same which is good. Just keep praying that his left eye forms correctly. That one is still at Stage 1.

Pictures from our stay in the NICU boarding rooms. Had to stay two nights with the boys before we could get discharged for home!

Brotherly Love

Daddy with his little munchkin Max :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I ended up witnessing the eye exams. Not fun! I went back in to nurse Max at 5:00 and it happened to be just the wrong time. The doctor was doing the exam to Max at that moment. You want to talk about some screams! Way worse than shots even. Horrible. The verdict was that Max's eyes are still stage 0, which is all clear. Luke's right eye is all clear and his left is still at stage 1. Which is good and exciting! Still just praying that the left eye regresses on its own.

They both have bottled well today and we had bath time tonight. Sorry I don't have many pictures, but when I am here by myself it is difficult to get pictures since I am so busy handling them. We have started the crazy feeding cycle. Can't wait to get these boys home though! I just am so looking forward to having our own space, our own schedule (or lack there of) and our own smells, sounds, and NORMAL! It will be so nice to just relax and be with them in our own environment!

I was watching 19 Kids & Counting today while I was pumping and it really was so hard for me to watch. If any of you watch that show you know that they had a 25 weeker too and all of the struggles they are facing are so paralleled to ours. It is just really hard to watch when I am still in the midst of all of this. By far the hardest thing I have gone through, probably an obvious statement. This whole THING, whatever it is, just seems so different than other challenges I've faced. This isn't about me, who cares what really happens to me, it's about two little boys, someday to be teenagers, someday to be adults, and I am responsible for their well being! Yikes! I had discharge training today with the physical therapist, whom I love! But it is just another reminder of what we have gone through and what lies ahead. Sometimes because the boys are doing well, or better now, it is easy for me to think... oh, we're out of the woods! But the reality is we won't be for a long time. Our boys were born soooo early, and are considered as premature as possible. Not much can be done for babies born earlier than 25 weeks. So because of that they have had to overcome some severely difficult obstacles to make it where they are and they are not done. Just the fact that they were shorted 3 months worth of mother-given antibodies inutero and now have such a susceptibility to illness and disease. And they will daily struggle to overcome developmental delays and other cognitive hurdles. I think it is just hard because even 10 years ago a preemie was born and parents would just wait it out to see what happens. But now, there has been enough research done and techniques discovered, that a preemie could have a good chance of deveoloping correctly. The only thing is that it takes a lot of effort to ensure that as a possibility. So, I am overwhelmed with information adn I just pray that God can help me apply it all! But, what I keep falling back on... WE HAVE A BIG GOD! All things are possible through Christ! Amen!

Other than that things are still good and the same. Nothing more new. I will post soon! (hopefully with news of coming home!)

Monday, August 2, 2010


I just was in the with boys and Dr. Shuey is on his way to give the boys eye exams. The nurse sweetly turned to me and said... "You might not want to watch the eye exam. I don't even watch when they do it. Actually, maybe you should just leave for a minute." That was enough for me! I am now out in the family waiting room with enough time to update everyone!

On Friday evening we had a family care conference with the boys' doctor. It was so nice that most of our family could make it. Dr. Muskovitz recommended that we have a conference towards the end with him and our family so that he could update us all on what is to come when we bring these little men home. At the time of the conference things were good and it was looking like the boys would be discharged Tuesday, yes tomorrow (not the case). Before we entered the conference both boys were in cribs and Luke even had his feeding tube out! He finally beat Max at something! haha! But, as it goes, by the end of the hour long conference when we went back in to see the boys Luke was back in an isolette and his tube was back in. All I could say was... "Welcome to our world." Things just happen so fast. That is why I have hesitated lately to update the blog because what I say one minute is false the next!

As of this MINUTE... Max is in a crib, eating well... both nursing and by bottle. Still yet to go 24 hours without using his feeding tube. At around 5 lbs 11 oz and just getting more feisty and chubby by the minute. Really, he is on his way home soon I think! (as soon as we master feedings completely). Luke is still in his isolette until he packs on a few more pounds. For him to bottle/nurse and hold his own temperature is asking more than the amount of calories that are going in, so we need to wait for the crib until he gains some more weight. They also said he has stage one retineaopothy. The eye doctor will hopefully update me today after the exam to let us know what he sees today. Stage 0 is ideal, that means all is clear. Then it can progress to stage 1, 2 and 3 being the worse. Please pray it regresses on its own or that if surgery is the only cure, that it works and God will give us grace for that journey. The surgery would take place in Minneapolis, soon. Also, Praise God... Max is stage 0 and Luke is 3 lbs 15 oz!!

So, that is what I know NOW! I do know that God is good and we are getting through this day by day. These little boys give me enough joy to see past all the obstacles that come our way. Also, so cool... God answered a prayer for me this morning that was so direct it gave me chills. I was laying in bed and forcing myself to get up to pump and start the routine. I just prayed a very simple, shallow really, request.... "God, please give us a good nurse today... maybe Sandy or someone like Sandy (one of my many favorites)." I finished pumping, showered and went into the unit. Peeked at the charge sheet and there it said... NURSE: Sandy. Thank you Lord. Not for the answered prayer as much as the reminder that You hear me and You still are right by my side!