Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Almost Home

We closed on our new house in MN yesterday! We are finally very close to being settled after 4 months of being in temporary housing without our belongings. We are so thankful that this final piece of the puzzle is close to being complete. Our movers come this Friday along with several close friends and Hannah's dad to help with the transition. We obviously have several additional things to coordinate in this move now that the babies are here. Here are a couple of new pictures of the twins. The twin shirts say "If you think I am cute, you should see my twin!"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Home Sweet Home!

After 7 days for Luke and 12 days for Liam, we are all home from the NICU and doing well. John's sister, Ann, is here to assist us and has been great with shopping, diapers, baths, laundry, etc... Though the duplex did not feel like home a few months ago, we were so thankful to be here after living in the hospital for so many days. While the word "home" still brings back so many memories of our house in New Jersey, we are so excited to open a new chapter with our future home in Minnesota that is scheduled to close on Monday. We feel that we are at an odd place in our lives because the thing that we longed for the most over the past 12 days (home) is the final piece of our journey that is yet to be finalized. We have learned that being "home" is not as much about being in a "house" or with your personal belongings as much as it is being with those people (and animals!) that you love an cherish the most. Thank you all for your well wishes, gifts, phone calls, and prayers.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Journey Home

Dad and Liam
Luke holding his Bottle
Luke in his Milk Coma
We are gradually moving closer to being at home with both boys. Liam has not had any additional apnea spells in over 48 hours. He had some additional testing done today to ensure that there are no other reasons why he is having these apnea spells other than some immaturity and he did very well. The neonatologist did an ultrasound on his head and no abnormalities were found. John and I took apnea monitor training today as well as infant CPR. The plan is that Liam will hopefully be released to go home on Wednesday! He will be on an apnea monitor for a few weeks to see if he is still having spells, but John and I feel very comfortable with this and look forward to finally being together with both boys. Luke had his first pediatrician's visit today and also did very well. He is now up to 6lbs. 2 ounces, surpassing his birthweight of 5 lbs. 12 ounces. The pediatrician thought he looked wonderful and was really growing well. He said we must be doing something right with the breastfeeding. He is definitely well above the normal for a preemie and already on the lower end of the growth charts for a full term baby. His appetite has substantially increased and he is getting some chubby cheeks. We can already see significant changes in both boys in a little over a week. Both are more alert at times and still love to be held. Liam has become the "favorite" in the NICU as the night nurses fight over who gets to hold him and feed him if John and I are not there. He is not lacking in the area of attention. This should be interesting once we get home!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thank you Merck CIAAU!!

Thank you all Very Much!

To the CIAAU-

Thank you all very much for the generous gift of fruit that you sent John and I. We greatly appreciate the kindness and thoughtfulness and we have enjoyed all of the emails from everyone. The fresh fruit was a very welcome sight and could not have come at a better time!! We have been surviving on hospital food for a week while taking care of the boys in the NICU. The fruit is delicious and very close to being gone.

We will keep everyone updated on the progress with the boys. Luke was discharged on Friday, January 18th (a week after his birth) and Liam is being observed for a few additional days. He had another apnea spell shortly before he was to be discharged. John and I will be taking apnea training before leaving the hospital with a monitor and we are more than happy to stay until the spells are resolved. At this point, the neonatologist does not suspect anything other than some immaturity in the oxygen sensors in Liam's brain and this should resolve with age.

Thank you all for the wonderful gift and for all of your thoughts and well wishes.


John, Hannah, Liam, and Luke

Update on Luke and Liam and our House in New Jersey

Luke on Left and Liam on Right

Luke with no Wires Attached!

John holding Luke (left) and Liam (right)

We are doing well with great news to report on Luke and a small setback for Liam. Luke was released to go home on January 18th, one week after his birth. Liam had a small apnea spell that he self-corrected for a few hours before he was to be released so he will be observed for a few additional days and sent home on an apnea monitor. At this point, there is no reason to suspect that anything other than immaturity is causing these spells that are common in preemie infants.

Both boys are still doing great and have surpassed their birth weights. They are feeding above the curve for premature infants. I have not left the hospital in a week and John is also sleeping here at nights with me to assist with the feedings. Luke is staying with us in the room as well. This set up is actually much easier than going back and forth to feed every three hours. The three hours turns into about 1 1/2 hours by the time you feed both babies and then drive home and back.

On another note, our house in NJ closed on Friday so we are finished with that. Our house in MN will close on the 28th so we don't have much longer before things will hopefully calm down a bit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Twins Update

Luke and his Dad's Hand.
Luke is on the left (with Hannah) and Liam on the right (in John's arms)
Liam is on the Left and Luke is on the Right

Luke and Liam are doing very well and on their way out of the NICU in the next day or two. We have been gradually weaning them off any IV's and monitors and building up their breast adn bottle feedings so that they can go home. They are no longer receiving any extra tube feedings. Both boys have responded well so we are hoping it will not be very much longer. Both John and I are still boarding at the hospital. Hannah has not left since the babies were born and is definitely ready for some food other than hospital food. Overall, however, we are very thankful to be at the hospital as opposed to going back and forth. Hannah has had an easier time keeping up on all the breast feedings for the babies since she is staying at the hospital. Here are a couple of pictures taken recently of the boys.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Welcome Luke and Liam!

We are very very proud and excited to announce the arrival of our twin boys!!

Twin A:

Luke Allen Carrithers

5 lbs. 12 ounces 17.5 inches

Born January 11, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Twin B:

William "Liam" Carey Carrithers

5 lbs. 11 ounces 19.5 inches

Born January 11, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

BIG BIG Belly and No Babies Yet

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to check the status of the babies and my cervix. So far, though, I have had a few sporadic contractions but none that have become consistent. They are more painful and longer lasting, however. I am not doing much anymore and have taken a break from swimming for a few days, but I am feeling pretty good. I am posting a picture of the enormous belly in my 35th week as well as a previous picture from 12 weeks for comparison. We won't be suprised if the babies come in the next week!
Update to the post above: I had my doctor's apt. yesterday (Jan. 2) and there has been no change in my cervix since I left the hospital on Saturday. Great news for the babies because this is almost an extra week in the belly! I will begin 36 weeks on Saturday so that is wonderful news, though I think I am nearing my mental and physical limit and ready to get the babies out!