Thursday, April 30, 2009

Prayer for Poop!

Dear God, I know i have been asking you for a lot of help lately, but please help our little David poop soon. He needs to poop so he doesn't end up with a perforated intestine. So, as you can see God, this is a major deal, and we need you to bless David with a good poop soon. Also, keep Mary and David safe, and take them in your arms and help them grow strong and healthy. Also look after our Jelly Bean Kuylen for us. thanks - Sincerely, Brent

The doctor came by to this afternoon to talk to us, not the one that Heather had it out with. He was very patient and informative as he always is, but you could tell he was a little extra cautious of his choice of words. I think word got around, and he is a little scared of "Crazy" Heather. He came in to give us our daily updates on his version of their prognosis. He is happy with Mary's condition and continues to wean her off of some of her meds. they continue to give her antibiotics due to "the infection" she contracted a few days ago. All in all she is doing okay. David is our little guy that needs to poop. His little abdomen is swelling a little bit and they are watching this closely.

Heather's "Arch-Rival Doctor" made a surprise visit this evening to our room to talk about David's problem. There is much concern that he may have a perforated intestine or something worse that includes inflammation of the abdomen. Both of these would require surgery, just depending which one would define the severity. Both surgeries in a child this small are risky, but the inflammation problem would cover a larger area and require more work for the surgeon. The perforated intestine would be a little less severe and require them to go in and cut out the perforated area, and paste it back together. So needless to say the roller coaster ride is still a bumpy ride, and I don't expect either of use to get much sleep until this problem corrects itself or surgery is done, and our little man is okay.

Please continue to pray for our children and our sanity, as we attack this next challenge head on. Even though we report that our babies are doing okay, they are still very much critical patients, and need much care before they will be well. Thanks again for all the concerns, thoughtfulness, and prayers, please keep them coming.
Brent LeBlanc "Proud Papa, and Husband of Crazy Nurse Mom"

new ECHO results

The babies both had repeat Echocardiograms done yesterday to check the size of their PDA's (patent ductus arteriosis - they both have heart murmurs). Mary Louise's is smaller than the last time and the doctors have decided to see if it will close on it's own rather than medicating her or considering surgery. I'm told that although it is closing that it could reverse and open again so I'm left once again hoping for the best.

David's is also smaller! A huge deal considering it was ranked as severe during the last echo and now is classified as small to moderate. He will need to be weaned of his blood pressure medications prior to receiving the meds to fix his heart however which is where his pulmonary hypertension comes into play. It is getting better and they started to wean 2 of his medications last night. The third will be weaned once the others are discontinued.

These are huge steps for both babies and we're so pleased that David seems to be improving a tiny bit at a time. There is a possibility that he may need surgery but for now, he is doing well. We noticed last night that he is trying to open his eyes as well - so sweet to watch him seem to concentrate and wrinkle his little forehead with the effort.

Time for the morning visit.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

So what if I'm crazy?!

So it all started with a visit from Dr. Brown yesterday - well that's how the "crazy" topic came up anyhow. He stopped in (oh this is my primary OB who has been out of town since the day before I delivered) to see how I was doing. Of course I was pumping when he walked in and he sat down anyhow - totally un-phased. Not that I really cared anyhow - I'm exhausted. He eventually asked me if I thought I had the"baby blues". I stared at him for a minute contemplating whether or not to go on a tangent about how I'm in my own personal hell and instead started giggling and said, "I don't think I'm expressing any feelings that are unwarranted." He smiled and said he was glad I was on Zoloft for the time being - I thought I'm glad this hospital doesn't have a psych ward because I think I'd have a line of people waiting to sign me over to it.

So today was a good day - until I went for my regular afternoon NICU visit and ran into the babies' neonatologist. Now, this man is known for his uhem sparkling personality if you will - but is also known for being the best neonatologist around which is why we (or I) chose him. Anyhow, he was sitting next to Mary Louise. I was happily going from bed to bed. He suddenly said - we've started Mary Louise on antibiotics - you know she has an infection - I told you they would get infections. I said no that I was not aware an infection was even considered at this point (the blood cultures had been drawn yesterday and I was uninformed). Then I asked why the nurses and students - and lab techs for that matter didn't wear gloves. He stated that the latest research showed that gloving did not reduce risk for infection - that simple handwashing was the only universal precaution. I said that he assumed the handwashing was effective and that it didn't make sense that wearing gloves would not thereby reduce exposure to bacteria. So what ultimately happened was that I walked away, he followed, confronted me again and we got in a sort of yelling match about bacteria and handwashing in the middle of the nicu. Then I said that I didn't want students working on my babies and that everyone working with them should use gloves unless he planned on guaranteeing proper handwashing. He said fine - and now I'm crazy nurse mom.

What was really bothering me? Mary Louise had a student assigned to her this week. The student had long nails, wore rings and smelled of smoke - and didn't wear gloves. Who ended up with an infection? MARY LOUISE! I did make that point during our little tiff but was told that I just needed to expect infection and that IF the babies survive, they will have infections. What a schmuck.

So Brent and I went back later this evening and tried to get some photos of Mary Louise's eyes and David's face. Some got a little blurred but I'll post them anyhow. Oh - and the NICU started to make all visitors wear gowns and masks because of swine flu - in case you're wondering about the get up.

mary's eyes and david's face

we've moved

Just so you know, we've moved to room 223 - take a right off the elevators. A few people have stopped by - just wanted you to know where we are. I'll stay here through the week as long as there's room. The hospital is very busy right now though so we'll see - I'll keep everyone posted. Oh and the door doesn't close properly on the new room - I've asked engineering to take a look but they haven't been super responders in the past (ha - I've been here way too long) - I've also put a note on the door to knock- with pumping I'd like to avoid an awkward moment or 2 (I pull the curtain as well so no worries if the knock is forgotten.) Thanks so much.

Love, Heather

big morning!

So after a rather restless night of sleep and a frustrating dip in milk production, I decided to try to pump one more time at 7:30 and get up to see how the babies were doing. A good decision in retrospect. I somehow suddenly pumped 4 ounces - a large amount for me - and I hadn't even eaten yet! Then I went to the NICU and both of the babies' nurses were excited to let me "work" for them.

I GOT TO CHANGE DAVID'S DIAPER -AND- RUB HIM WITH AQUAPHOR!!! I almost cried but held it together. I wanted the moment to last forever - massaging his tiny little feet. Then the nurse flipped him and I got to rub his back! AND his diaper was wet. Ha - seems so simple but it made me so proud. I saw his face and just stared in awe as he gripped my hand a wrinkled his little forehead. I really don't have the words to say how much it meant to me to be allowed to do so much with him - honestly - at the precise moment I so desperately needed to have some type of contact with him. His urine output increased significantly last night. He is now 1 pound 7 ounces though with the fluctuation in urine production, it will take a day or 2 to see how much is actual weight gain compared to fluid weight gain. His color is better, he is not as swollen and although he continues to desat when stimulated, overall they have been able to decrease his oxygen settings.

Mary Louise OPENED HER EYES!!! AND she had a POOP DIAPER!!! YAY!! I went to change it and it was soaked and had a tiny extra surprise. Her eyes stayed open the whole time until I rubbed her aquaphor on her and gave her a tiny massage - she drifted off to sleep again and relaxed. The nurse put endomycin ointment in her eyes. I know it's state mandated but I think it's kind of funny all the same - it prevents chlamydia - she was born via section with her eyes sealed. The only exposure she would've had was from the nurse who was holding her eyes open to put the ointment in them. No matter - she's protected. I'm proud. she definitely has long swimmer legs - kicking all the time just like she did in my belly.

I will of course go and see them later - multiple times today but wanted to share the AM news all the same. Enjoying this moment...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

news today

The good news - and tiny milestones: Mary Louise weighed in at 2.4 pounds this morning. She could be retaining some fluid due to the oscilator she is on but that puts her past the 2 pound mark. She is also starting to open her eyes - the night nurses noticed and reported to Brent when he visited them before work.

I went in this afternoon for a visit and to speak with the doctor. They switched both babies back to the newer type of ventilator as they weren't benefiting much from the oscilators and their urine out put had decreased once more. Mary Louise's picked up a bit last night but David's has decreased and they are hoping it picks up again this evening. He is still de-sating on his oxygen when the nurses do anything to him - normal for a baby of his size but a concern all the same. He also gets overstimulated very easily so we are still not allowed to touch him. I've held his little hand once since he was born - it's becoming more and more difficult for me to stare at him through plastic - although I understand the reasons.

The doctor was more pleased with them than he was last week - he is very concerned about David's PDA and says he may need surgery. He continues to be more positive about Mary Louise and puts David as "slightly more on the negative side". We'll see what tomorrow brings - hopefully lots of urine!

Monday, April 27, 2009

breast pump clarification

I do have a medela pump that a family friend graciously gave to me. The lactation consultant however, recommended that I rent one from the hospital (which has a larger motor) for the time the babies are in the NICU as I don't have them as stimulation and preemie mom's tend to have trouble keeping their milk up. The program was simply supposed to pay for the rental but as we were turned down for a medicaid supplement program, I am ineligible for WIC (which I am told is also based on income). No matter - our babies had a good day today.

A Little Sigh of Relief

Week 2 is here, and for Heather and I's sanity we needed some positive news. Today was a big day for the Mary Louise and David. Everything started around 7:45 am with their head scans to check for brain bleeds and a heart echo at 8:30 am. Brain bleeds can cause slow development, mental disabilities, and cerebral palsy. The heart echo was to see if the PDA (an in utero bypass for blood around the lungs) has begun to close to help make the lungs function properly. Well the head scans came back negative, so our precise babies are good to this point, and another head scan will be performed in two weeks. The heart echo results show a slight reduction in Mary Louise's PDA, but it is still significantly open. For now the Doctors are just going to allow her PDA to close on its own. David's PDA has not shown any closure. He needs to be weened of his blood pressure medication in order to give him the medication to close the PDA.
Enough of the science stuff. Our babies are doing okay. they have a long way to go, but show some progress each day. we expect to occasionally have some set backs, and maybe a step or two back, but all in all things are okay. Heather and I are doing okay, but we really miss our Jelly Bean, Kuylen. We try to stay positive for each other and for Mary and David who are fighting to survive also. Aug 5th was their official due date, and they expect them to stay in the NICU close to that date. Heather is "hoteling" at the hospital so she can keep a motherly eye on her babies. Since she can not drive our really lift and do much this is the best place for her. She isn't tempted to do laundry, cleaning or furniture arranging here.
I know many are wondering if we are going to have any services for Kuylen. The answer is not at this time. We want to wait until everything has settled down and Mary and David are more stable, before we think about services for Kuylen.
Now onto Medicaid. What a F$#^*#*^ joke this is. I have been told by a number of people that since Heather had to quit work, was pregnant with multiples, the babies would be premature and required a lengthy stay in the NICU, that we would be eligible for some Medicaid benefits to assist with what my group insurance does not pick up. Well I make to much money, and was rejected on within 5 hours of putting my application in. Heather called about WICK and she was shot down on that assistance program also. Medicaid did tell me that they would pass my application on to another program that may help, but I make too much money. That's pretty damn funny. I even told them that my babies would be in the NICU until August, but that went in one ear and out the other. Lets hope that my group policy comes through. Heather was told that she would be eligible for a free breast pump, but we can't seem to track that down at this point. Seems Medicaid doesn't know anything about it, and Wick shot her down. We have a call into the Lactation consultant to see what the next step is to get our free breast pump. On that note, Heather is producing mega milk for the babies, so when they begin feeding Mary and David breast milk, they will have plenty in storage.
Please keep up the prayers, we have a long way to go!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

one week photos

The babies are 7 days old today. We only got a few photos of David as he was resting in a darkened corner and I didn't want the flash to bother him - I'll have to learn how to turn it off. I got to change Mary Louise's diaper and rub her down with ointment again - absolutely the highlights of my day. I think you should be able to click on the photo below to get the whole slideshow.

one week old today!!

massahhhge time

Brent and I went to the NICU this morning for a visit before Brent went to church. We showed at the right time as Mary Louise's nurse saved her diaper change and morning aquaphor rub down for us to do. Her tiny size made Brent a bit nervous so he watched while I did both tasks. She's was so sweet- looked a little grumpy with her diaper change then relaxed right away as I rubbed her tiny arms and legs with the ointment. Her skin - although still dry looks much better and so does David's.

They are both doing ok this morning but have both had a reduction in urine production. Tomorrow will be a big day for both of them as they are examined for bleeds and for size of their PDA's. They are so incredibly tiny that their kidneys really need to function well for the doctors to proceed with the medications they need. They both appeared a little puffy this morning but looked really good otherwise. The nurses were able to turn off David's billirubin light as his levels were down and both have had negative blood cultures - showing that they do not have an infection. The fact that the billi lights are off for now on both babies allows us to see their little faces more often. Their eyes are not yet open but they have the sweetest little faces, wrinkle their little foreheads and grimace if they don't like something. They will grip fingers and kick hands away. I am just mesmerized by them to be honest - they are simply amazing to me. I am sincerely hoping that their kidney function picks up again so that we may fix their little hearts and allow them to grow and thrive some more.

David has a little sign on his incubator that says "I am one pound one ounce today!" We are so proud of our little guy.

I am continuing to heal well but am retaining fluid and continue to have fluctuating blood pressures and have an immense amount of bruising so I'm trying to rest as much as possible. I feel so lucky to be able to stay here close to the babies and to have so much help from family and of course the ever patient and proud Brent.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

cherish the diaper...

I went to the NICU this morning after the first entry on the blog. They nurse let me change Mary Louise's diaper!!!! I was so proud - then laughed at myself, outloud, for being so proud. She didn't cry - no fussing, she just went back to sleep. Her little face didn't wince at all. And her tiny diaper stayed in place - ha!

They are both stable for now. The neonatologist just came in to visit me and actually had a smile on his face (thank goodness - I needed that - even if the news wasn't so good). He said he was much happier with their progress since Thursday. Fungal infection is starting to be a concern and prophylaxis has been started to prevent it. Their white blood cell counts have stabilized and the vent settings have been brought down. They will remain where they are for now however as the next huge hurdle are their PDA's (patent ductus arteriosis). This is an opening in the heart - normal in utero, supposed to close when a baby takes it's first breath of air. This of course didn't happen as they are so immature at this point but the problem must be fixed so that their blood can circulate properly. This is usually fixed with medication or surgery. The medication can shut their kidneys down and isn't compatible with many blood pressure medications. But, if their pressures can remain stable, the med can be tried - and hopefully surgery can be avoided. They are way too small for that at this point anyhow. (by the way = David has passed the pound mark at 1 pound 1 ounce and Mary Louise is heading for the 2 pound mark - but has a bit left to go - she is 1 pound 10 ounces.)

Mary Louise: has been started on Lasix today. This will be given for a day or 2 and another Echocardiogram will be done. Depending on the results, the med to fix her PDA may or may not be given - that will be decided on Monday I believe.

David: is a bit more complicated as he's been on hydrocortisone for his blood pressure and must be weaned off of it prior to going any further with his care. Hopefully, he will remain stable and will eventually catch up to Mary Louise.

Their vent settings will be left alone until further plan of care is established. The worry is that they will be chronically dependent on the vent but as they are so tiny, they simply do not have enough muscle to aid in breathing and must be given a bit more time to build up their strength (according to the neonatologist).

Next Big day remains to be Monday: ECHO's and Head Ultrasounds all round. Next big task is to fix their PDA's.

Little Kuylen is and will always be very much on our minds. Brent said he made him get out of bed to run with his running club this morning. Thanks so much to the jelly bean for giving his Dad that extra nudge he needed. I'm so proud of both of them for being so incredibly strong.

Vent settings

We went last night late to see the babies once more - and to bring in some milk (because oh by the way - I have produced a bit!! (YAY)). They are slowly but surely weaning Mary Louise off of the ventilator and she is tolerating it well! They are also very slowly weaning David off of the dopamine and dobutamine drips he's been on - he seems to be tolerating that well.

They finally started aquaphor skin treatments on them (I'd nagged all day about their fragile, dry skin and what they were using) and although the treatments make them look as if they are basking under the sun caked in butter, I'm hoping it will aid in avoidance of breakdown. Oh - they were also able to turn off Mary Louise's billi light - so we could see her tiny little face last night for the first time. Her little noggin has been through an awful lot but with careful positioning, my little girl looks beautiful and peaceful when she sleeps (ha even if I do say so myself!)

I will be discharged as a patient today but will remain in the hopspital for a few more days to pump until they can get me set up with a hospital grade pump and to keep a close eye on the little ones. They are doing head ultrasounds on Monday so that's a very big day. Luckily, we've brought in all grandparents for the occasion so we will be with family for the day until we hear exactly what's happening with the babies.

The doctor gives each baby a 50/50 chance at survival - I'm not sure at this point how much that really means - but he feels the need to throw it out there rather regularly so I thought I share our odds with you.

In the meantime, my blood pressure has been coming down which is good. I still have a very long way to go but am making progress myself. We laughed yesterday that 6 months ago I was running 5 miles and doing yoga and lifting weights most days. Yesterday, I went for a walk around the hospital for the first time and my legs were so weak that I could only make it half way before stopping for a long rest! I suppose I must start somewhere.

I haven't gone to see the babies yet today - and am really hoping they had a good night. I'll post later on today's progress - or maybe Brent will take a turn!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Kuylen - our sweet jelly bean

After an afternoon with his adoring parents and grandparents, Kuylen Stafford lost his brave struggle. We are heart broken but remain thankful for the short time we had together. Father Jack came to baptize him and we were finally able to hold him in his last moments - see that he looked exactly like Brent, hold his tiny hand and touch his tiny swollen feet, kiss his little forehead and tell him how much we love him and how proud we are to be his parents. We got to focus on just him and we are so incredibly thankful for that peace.

All of his uncles and his one very special Auntie Zoo got to meet him and see how incredible he was. I can't believe how tiny, beautiful and powerful his stay with us has been. We will always think of him, miss him and know that he is so happy to be at peace now.

Brent always smiles when I call him my little jelly bean - so sweet and so loved. Of course our gratitude continues for all of the prayers and support - still much needed for Mary Louise and David Oliver - with one more angelic protector on their side.

Love to all, Heather

Thought I'd chime in

What a fantastic job Brent has been doing with all the blogging and keeping everyone up to date - including me as I've been out of sorts to say the least during the last week. I'll have to write about that experience later though...

Baby update: Kuylen - such a tough little jelly bean - has hung on yet another night. He is pretty much maxed out on all of his life saving drugs and we definitely treasure each tiny moment we have with him right now. I can't explain how proud I am of him, all of his effort - and I absolutely stand by him 100% - he is making his own decisions. He has taught me so much in such a short period of time. Such a miracle and gift - every moment.

Mary Louise - so sassy. She does not like to be moved about and messed with much and has taken to blowing lots of bubbles with her tiny mouth - she's got quite the sense of humor it seems. She is stable for now - producing lots of exciting urine and the doctors are hoping she continues to do so as the medication needed to fix her heart puts pressure on kidneys - David is actually in the same boat there.

David is also remaining stable. We got a moment as proud parents as he found his thumb this morning while on his front. They have also been able to reduce the amount of oxygen in use and ventilator settings - both good signs. We saw his back for the first time - I know it sounds small - but it was exciting. He's sucking away on his little tiny fist and thumb - absolutely mesmerizing to watch.

I hope this good news lasts for us for a little while at least. But if not, we are thoroughly enjoying the time now. Love to all. Heather

Thursday, April 23, 2009

RollerCoaster Ride

Today has been another rough day for all of us. Mary Louise is doing a bit better and is making lots of urine, but still has some major hurdles ahead. David is doing okay, and is making "lots" of urine his nurse says. For only being 14oz he soaked many sheets today. Now, our poor "'Sweet Pea" Kuylen is having a really rough time. He did make urine today, but has some many hurdles ahead that the outlook is really blurry. He hasn't given up and we haven't given up on him. He continues to fight hard and we cherish every moment he is with us. He is definitely our little man, and we love him dearly. We are very sad that Kuylen is not doing well, and very happy that Mary Louise is doing better, and relieved that David is still stable. I have taken to Kuylen very much, and hate to see him go through all this, I just feel that If he can survive all this he is going to be one special person, nothing will hold him back. The same can be said for David and Mary Louise. I hurts my heart to see Kuylen struggle so much, and know that he is fighting so hard, and their is nothing I can do for him except pray.
I hope no ones takes this the wrong way, with the way things are going I have questioned my faith lately. I know I am going to get a hundred comments and emails about how it is Gods will, what ever happens, but I still question his will. A week ago the doctors had given up on Kuylen from the ultrasound results in utero, but Heather and I never gave up. One week later we are hearing the same thing from the doctors, the difference is that he has defied all of them by being born alive and surviving this long. This has definitely been a bad roller coaster ride. I hope nobody I know ever has to take this emotional trip. We haven't even been a week yet, and still have till august to ride this ride.
On a good note, Heather is doing really well, and moving around pretty good. She went outside twice today , and walked the whole way both times. She has also walked to the NICU twice today, and will take another trip later on. She sounds better, looks better, and lost a whopping 22 lbs in one day. Take that "Biggest Loser"!
So today has been a ride full of highs and very steep lowes, but we have a long ride ahead, lets hope it smooths out some. Please continue to pray for the babies, as they really need some extra help.
P.S. - I got to hold Mary Louse's hand this afternoon, and it was a great feeling of joy for me.

thank you for all your prayers!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Two Steps Forward, One Step back

Today started out being a good day. Heather got up and took a shower, blow dried her own hair, and we went to see the babies this morning. Everything was good this morning, except for Kuylen and Mary had not made any urine yet today. Overall, everything was stable and going well. David was doing good and was the better of the three today. After our visit to the NICU, Heather and I went outside for a while and walked barefoot in the grass, and sat under a tree for a little while. It was really nice being outside for Heather, because she had been on bed rest for 5 weeks.
I ran out today to run some errands, and came back right before the babies doctors came in for our daily posting. The doctors said everything with Mary and Kuylen was okay, even though they had no urine output, but they were giving fluids to try to make that happen. They are having issues with their kidneys. David's prognosis was good. He has balanced out his blood sugar, and is doing well.
This evening Heather and I went back to the NICU to see the babies before bed, and things for Kuylen had continued to go down. He is really swollen, due to the amount of fluids they are pumping, and his kidneys are not making urine still. they did an echo and he is very dry. He is still fighting to hold on, so please say a few extra prayers for our little potato. Mary also still hasn't made any urine, and her echo showed she was getting dry also. Our little girl could also use a few extra prayers.
The Nurse Practitioner said tonight that things are not real good with Kuylen and Mary could take a bad turn over night. Needless to say we are worried sick, and probably will not sleep much tonight. Heather won't take a full dose of her sleeping medication in case they come get us in the middle of the night. She doesn't want to be out of it, if things go bad.

Our little ones are having a tough time tonight and need some godly help to pull them through this.
I just made another visit to the NICU to sit with Kuylen and Mary, and visit some with David. I didn't want him thinking he was being left out. The whole reason for going was to spend some more time with the two that are the sickest. I sat in a chair between their two isolates for an hour, just asking God to let us have our children to love, cherish and raise up to be loving and caring individuals. I also told God that he didn't need these three babies in heaven that they are needed by their mom and dad more. They have a family that loves them very much, and we all want to spoil them and love on them. While I was sitting there I also asked all of my family members and friends that are in Heaven to help God out a bit, because I know he is busy and to sit with our babies and help them to grow strong. All these people I asked for help from were taken from us before they needed to be and that I needed their help now to prevent our babies from being taken from us to soon. I know I may sound a little crazy to some people about right now, but I am reaching out to anyone that can help Mary, Kuylen and David pull through this traumatic ordeal, and grow strong in order to come home with there mom and dad in a few months to a loving home and family.

Here are some photos taken over the first few days of Kuylen, David and Mary. Just click on the picture and it will open up a slide show

first days with the babies

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Special Moments

Heather and I just made a trip to the NICU to see our little SweetPeas. It was a great trip as the staff allowed Heather and I to touch each one of our babies. It was a beautiful moment watching Kuylen and David each grip on Heather's finger, and Mary Louise kicked when her mother touched her hand. I felt a great amount of joy and the moment was extremely soothing to be able to touch my children. It really made the "Dad" meaning set in. It made this situation even more personal. I am having a hard time explaining how I felt, but it was just great. Heather really smiled for the first time in a few weeks. It was just awsome!

45 Hours and Counting

I would like to start by thanking everyone for the continous amount of prayers and loving thoughts. Heather is still really tired and sore from the c-section. We went to see the babies tis morning with all the Grandparents and Heather's brother Collin. They are still holding on, and continue to surprise everyone each hour. The doctor just came in to give us an update:

I am adding a picture of each baby so you can get an idea of how small these little miracles are. These pictures may really surprise you.

Mary Louise LeBlanc
Born: 4-19-2009
Weight: 1lb 6oz

Mary is our only little girl and is the bigger of the triplets. She is also the most stable of the 3.

Kuylen Stafford LeBlanc
Born: 4-19-09
Weight: 10oz

Kuylen is our littlest guy and is having the most complications. He is having issues holding a stable blood pressure and body temperature. This is all due to his tiny size. He is fighting hard and holding on, and responding well to all treatments.

David Oliver LeBlanc
Born: 4-19 -2009
Weigh: 14 oz

David is the larger of the 2 boys, but still less then a pound, and also has a long hard fight ahead of him. He is doing better today and is pretty stable. I know in the picture it looks as if he is having problems, but this was 2 hours after the delivery, and he kept pulling is monitors off, so they are just trying to get it all put back on.

These are our precious little family and we love them dearly, and hope and pray everyday that God decides to let us keep them. Please keep up the prayers and thoughful wishes to help these little ones on their long road to going home.

Brent LeBlanc

Monday, April 20, 2009

Winkie, Blinkie, and Lollipop

Fun names given too the babies by Father Jack Myers before they were born since we did not want to find out the sexes of the babies. Please excuse my writing as I am filling in for Heather until she fells better.
3 Beautiful little miracles arrived at 6:15, 6:16, and 6:17 pm Sunday April 19, 2009. the were born at 24 weeks 5 days. All the babies are in the NICU and are holding there own for now. Mary Louise weighed in at 1lb 6oz and is doing well. David Oliver is next weighing in at 14oz and is doing okay, but having a few issues with low blood sugar and blood pressure. Kuylen Stafford is or little guy weighing in at just 10 oz, and is fighting hard. As they all have a long hard fight ahead of them, little Kuylen has the longest hardest fight of all 3.

As for Heather, she is really tired, hurting, and sore. She did get up today and shower, go to the NICU to see the babies, and took a short walk around the Post Partum floor. She is resting comfortably and we will take a short trip down the hall in a little while to see the babies again. Heather starting pumping earlier today and is doing well. She is definetly the strongest woman I know.
As I get more information, I will attempt to keep everyone posted. Please keep Heather, Mary, Kuylen, and David in your prayers.

Thanks everyone,
Brent LeBlanc

Saturday, April 18, 2009

what we know so far

We got the news on Thursday that the 2 smaller babies (A and C) have absence of blood flow during diastole. This is a condition in which the blood flow through the umbilical cord stops at a certain point interrupting both oxygen and nutrition to the baby it affects. There are certain degrees of absence of flow and Baby A's case is extremely severe. A has only grown 1 ounce in 2 weeks (this puts A lower than the 5th percentile for weight), appeared to have fluid trapped around it's brain, and the kidneys were shutting down and there was almost no amniotic fluid surrounding the baby - the placenta is thought to have implanted poorly. The heart is expected to stop this weekend or during the week. We are continuing to pray and I am doing my best to remain calm but the emotional pain of all of this is without a doubt excruciating.

Baby C is more stable but has been diagnosed with the same condition. It is small but in the 15th percentile (at one pound) so is not considered IUGR (intrauterine growth restricted - which would be less than the 10th percentile for weight). The fluid around the baby was ok and movement was good. However, increased monitoring has been ordered and will be done twice weekly by perinatology to monitor for changes - specifically reversal of blood flow. When reversal occurs, the baby must be delivered or not survive. Delivery will depend on stability and size of both Baby C and Baby B. The absence condition, from what we know, will not resolve, our best hope is that it remains stable for a few more weeks to allow for growth so that we may bring home 2 babies. Baby C will be at increased risk for cerebal palsy but also has a decent chance to be ok. The most complete research article I could find has a link that is pasted below.

I have been given 2 rounds of steroid treatments and will most likely be given a booster in 2 weeks. This is to mature the lungs and skin of the babies.

Brent's parents will be with me this Monday when further evaluation is done. Collin (younger brother) will also be here this weekend as he is driving through from L.A.

I have cherished every tiny kick and each moment with my 3 little angels and continue to dream about them growing up together. Please keep us in your thoughts through such a difficult time. Thank you for being patient and allowing us our space and time with immediate family. I will let you know as I learn more.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

a moment with family

We've had some more bad news today. If you don't mind, we'd like a day or 2 to process everything and talk with our parents and families and I will blog about it perhaps sometime this weekend. We really appreciate everyone's continued support and ask that you keep all 3 babies in your happy thoughts and prayers in the meantime.

I've also asked that a sign be put on my door to request no visitors at this time. The best thing for me to do right now is to get as much uninterrupted rest as possible.

I will update properly on everything soon. Thank you so much,

Love, Heather

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

my little spot to call home

Mom took a few photos of my trip outside and the hospital room while she was here. Thought you might like to see.
From Easter4152009

24 WEEKS!!! - we all people now!

So in honor of making it to 24 weeks, I get to hear some new terms such as: instead of evacuating the uterus, they now call it delivering babies, and instead of the fetus(es) they are now called humans. Interesting right? The nurses are excited and my primary OB has already sent in the neonatologist to talk with me. He was actually very nice - and seemed pleased with my progress so far and was also excited about my determination to pump and breastfeed. The following is an overview of what he said...

24 weeks is the very edge of viability. We really need at least 2 or 3 more weeks to significantly improve their chance of survival but the 24 weeks, if that's all we get, does give us a fighting chance. So, if born today, a single baby would have about a 60% chance of survival. Triplets are at least 10 to 20% lower than that but there aren't very good statistics on them really. Our babies (gosh I just love to hear them called babies) are in the lower percentile for weight and therefore have a bit more against them. However, primary concern is gestational age, not weight right now. Given 2 or 3 more weeks, their percentage for mortality can decrease by as much as 30%. They do not show any signs of congenital heart disease so they do not anticipate having to transfer them anywhere. If they need PDA surgery, there is a doctor here that can do that. So, this hospital is well equipped to care for our little ones. There are 4 NNP's on staff and one is here at all times as well as the 2 neonatologists who are in charge of patients in the NICU. The only thing they may need out of town is eye surgery - but that would be at a much later date.

Steriods will be given to me to help increase lung maturity (soon but I'm not sure when yet). It is unknown as to how much help they give but it is known that they improve chances and they are therefore reccommended. This would also reduce the need for oxygen supplementation and if they aren't on it long, their risk for retinopathy (and need of eye surgery) decreases. It is 2 injections, 24 hours apart.

Should the babies be born now (or in the next week or so), their risk for morbidity - especially neurological - would be extremely high. Bottom line, although the 24 week mark is recognized as a huge milestone for me - and one that I am indescribably ecstatic to meet and excede - we still need significantly more time. If they were born now, they would be in the NICU until at least their due date (August 5th). If I can hold of a few more weeks, they have a good chance of going home prior to their due date.

Last bit of info, white baby boys do the worst in the NICU. It is unknown why but the doctor said they can sometimes be as much as 2 weeks behind girls. We don't know what we're having and he said it wouldn't change their plan of care even if we did so it wasn't necessary to find out. It's just something else we'll have to pray over, and get through if the time comes. Right now, we are doing well. This is a good moment.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Relaxing Tuesday

I napped an awful lot today and seem to be having an easier time talking (on the rare occasion that I actually say something). My blood pressure seems to be bouncing back and forth between my high and low (140/90 and 120's/70's) so that's a little frustrating but I suppose it could be tons worse. A nurse who has had me frequently since I was admitted here came in to give me a pep talk today - a really nice change to the sympathetic silent treatment I've become accustomed to. She said she's been praying for me and the babies for up to 1 hour a day! and that she's so excited for me to be 24 weeks tomorrow as it's considered "viability". She knows I have a ways to go but is happy for me that I've made it this far. She said they were talking about it at the nurses' station and are just so pleased to spread the news! ha! I had no idea that I was "the news". She told me once "the news" reaches perinatology that things will change. The neonatologist will most likely want to start seeing me soon as well.

I had 2 visits from good friends from nursing school today which were much appreciated - I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight after such excitement! The babies have been kicking like crazy this week as well - so much fun - I can tell the difference in their sizes by the strength of the kicks. I do hope they are all growing well (ok I guess that could've gone without saying right?).

I see perinatology on Thursday - when I've officially been here for one month. It's actually gone by really quickly and continues to do so. They'll measure the babies then and I'll of course update as soon as the doctors have talked to us.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Holding Steady

My labwork this week was basically the same as last week which was really good news! My platelets did drop a little but are considered stable for now. I'm so thankful. I can exhale a little more. 24 weeks this Wednesday - although there's new debate with my primary OB over whether my weeks change on Tuesdays or Wednesdays - so either way, 24 weeks is 4 more than I came in with!!! We are now considered on "the edge of viability". If I can get through 26 weeks, the babies will be considered viable. Then 28 would be the next goal for weight and brain developement. Past 30 weeks would leave breathing difficulty and of course weight gain as issues but would give the babies a 90% chance of survival. So, long term and short term, those are the goals - make it to 26 - then 28 and if we can push to 30...

So for now, 24 is cause for celebration. This moment - I am beyond thankful for.

Thursday the perinatologist will measure the babies again - hopefully, all have been growing and all is well - they sure kick like it is! Then Sunday starts the labs all over again. In between, I rest and eat and rest some more.

My blood pressure seems to have increased a bit again- not enough to cause the doctor alarm or warrant a change in meds, but a notable increase all the same. I'll be increasing my rest over the next few days / this week to see if my body will respond and allow for another decrease. It sort of came up yesterday afternoon and hasn't fallen since - it's about 140 over 90 which is the very top of where the doctors want it to be. Previously, it's been around 130 or lower over 75 to 80 which they seem to get really excited about. Anyhow, that's the only other news.

Again, so thankful for all of the phenomenal support and prayers. Love, Heather

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Still doing my labs for tomorrow (one is a urine collection - takes 24 hours so I started this morning). I've enjoyed Mom's visit. Easter bunny Brent brought a basket over - so sweet. Tomorrow, we'll see what's happening. Hanging in there - staying determined. Hope everyone's weekend went well.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

From it's not me it's the babies' belly!

I'm still learning with the photos - but hopefully it works. Brent and I had a bit of fun with the paints today...and my mom made a surprise visit. Hope everyone has a Happy Easter. Love to all.

I've also added some more belly photos to the album which you can get to through the title link below the posted photo - enjoy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

good good friday

Blood pressure is still holding steady. I woke up in a fog today after having the best dream about taking the babies swimming for the first time. Brent was with us and we did a mom and tot class - so the teacher had one of them. See, I can plan well - even with dreams. Anyhow, it was wonderful and I was a bit sad to wake up and have to eat breakfast although my little bruiser baby B was having none of that sleeping in business. Dr. Brown (primary) was a bit more upbeat yesterday. Wonder if that means he'll be downtrodden again today? Ah - he means well and has been very patient and sweet throughout - I am very lucky. Peri apparently wrote a nice note about my care in my chart so Dr. Brown was pleased.

Hanging in there. Hopefully I'll get to post a few more photos this weekend...

Love you and hope you have a wonderful Easter.

Oh and I thought you might find it interesting. In reading a bill from the perinatology group, I found out that there is an extra charge for each extra baby viewed in the ultrasound. So, without considering insurance, my ultrasounds are around $1000 a piece - and close to $500 of that is for the "additional babies". I'd love to see a bill for the super-multiples I hear about on the news and such. There's a whole new generation of million dollar babies out there - and many haven't even been born yet!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

my voice

A few people have tried calling to check on me and get sort of alarmed at the sound of my voice - I suppose I've sort of gotten a bit used to it. People usually think I'm either crying or sleeping but actually I just don't breathe very well with this belly - I have to lie on my left side as much as possible and seem to do better if I just lie sort of flat but my belly is very high and I suppose pushes up on my diaphragm and I sometimes have trouble getting a full breath. Everyone is aware here and they listen to my chest, etc. to make sure nothing else is happening - just a part of this very complicated pregnancy I suppose.

So anyhow, I really am not very good on the phone, but if you need to call, I just thought I'd let you know what to expect. One day I'll write out all of the little quirks and trophies (aka - veins, spots and coming soon, STRETCH MARKS!!!) I've earned from all this...

peri visit

Dr. Newman with the perinatology group just left. He just came in for a chat - they'll measure everyone again next week (on Thursday). I asked him if he knew of Dr. Elliot's work and to my surprise he did and told me (not so surprising) that I was not yet a candidate for mag treatment as I don't have preterm labor and my blood pressures are hanging out in the high but ok for now range. So, I'm still coasting. They have started to supplement my diet with Ensure (which actually isn't all that bad - or I'm just that hungry) so that's a change. It's for more calories, a bit of protein (since I'm leaking it all out and the babies need it) and the vitamins it supplies. Other than that, no changes in care as of right now.

Father Jack came again for a much appreciated chat today. I told him that I feel as if I have my own prayer army behind me and that we just can't have any other outcome than us all being ok.

I had a dream last night that I was holding the babies in my arms. There weren't any tubes or machines connected to them - they smelled so sweet and were so soft and content, Brent was smiling - one of them even had his ears and little old man look that he has in some of his baby photos - we were all so happy and so aware of how lucky we are and what a miracle each day is. Just the simple family moment for which we've been praying. What a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

big day wednesday

just thought I'd let you know that I did in fact get to go outside for a beautiful 15 minutes of sunshine. what a day - a shower, clean sheets AND my first trip outside in 3 weeks - wow - I need another nap!

23 weeks

Happy celebration Wednesday.

After receiving an email from a friend (thank you so much McCall and Claire), I spoke with my primary OB yesterday about a mag treatment that has been tried with some success in Pheonix by a Dr. Elliot - he is the head of maternal fetal medicine there. I also researched magnesium sulfate and don't know that it will really help my current situation. It is used in treatment of preeclampsia, but to control blood pressure (which mine is quite well controlled currently), treat seizures associated with the disease (I have not had any - and don't show any signs of having them as of yet) and also to treat preterm labor. Although we have contacted this doctor's office twice, we have yet to hear back from them. I would like to see his protocol - even if it isn't warranted in my present situation. I do however, plan to discuss this further tomorrow with the perinatologist here.

I also asked if temporary dialysis would be an option should I go into acute renal failure. ( I know they do it post delivery but wondered about now). I am still making plenty of urine and until that stops, I wouldn't be a candidate for dialysis - if my kidney's aren't functioning very well, I wouldn't be a candidate for magnesium sulfate as if is filtered there and is very hard on the kidneys.

Those are the medical questions I've gotten so far. Oh there was one more: my protein this week was almost 1700 and my uric acid was 7.2. In comparison, normal for pregnancy is 300, and 4 or less. Once my protein reaches 5000, people start to get antsy to deliver, however if there is no liver or platelet involvement, they will let the protein go much farther - up to even 30 grams at times. This of course would mean a high likelyhood of renal damage later. Unfortunately, my liver and platelet function started to fluctuate again last week. We'll see this week. It is all extremely unpredictable.

My regular OB was a bit more upbeat yesterday - I think he somehow goes through just as many emotions about my pregnancy as I do. He sort of surprised me when he said he was wondering how I'd even made it this far because when he admitted me he thought I would have to be delivered that week and would just loose all of the babies. He said continue praying. HA - I feel like I should have a window installed here so they can only look at me through it rather than bring negativity or skepticism into my space. It does me a diservice to be visited by nay-sayers.

My nurse today has talked about wheeling me outside for a bit of fresh air - my first in 3 weeks. We'll see though - after lunch.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I've decided

So I know this will sound a bit funny to many, but I've decided that loosing these babies is just not an acceptable option. I've always had this odd delayed reaction to really horrifying situations - I'm sure it's a defense mechanism that I've sort of built up over time to allow me clarity during times of chaos. However, in a time such as this, it really does take me awhile to get a grip and make the change from hopeful listener to determined activist. So I woke up this morning and just all of a sudden could think of nothing else other than these babies being ok. Not out of desperation or hope as usual, I just know I cannot accept any other outcome. It's changed my focus just a bit and allowed me to be more in charge of my care. The doctors seem to be floundering a bit - they don't have an answer to my problem so they sort of keep throwing small things at it in hopes that the problem will just sort of stay steady rather than attack over time. It's been driving me crazy. Everytime one of the 5 - yes 5 doctors comes in here, they tell me something a little different then tell me the worst outcome and tell me to prepare. As if that's even possible. I end up an emotional mess which does me and the babies no good at all and it takes me a day to regain my composure enough to even know what to ask - by that time, another doctor has come and gone. What a rollercoaster!

So I've decided, I know that this has and will go down in my memory bank as one of the most horrific, emotionally traumatizing, exhausting experiences Brent and I will ever have. But it will - it must end better than what they've given me hope for.

So, today I have renewed strength and my blood pressure has been much better controlled. I've also finally put on a couple more pounds - which in their haste to monitor fluid retention, was and issue that seems to have escaped the doctor's minds.

I am (once again) so appreciative of the support and I know I have must have legions of people praying and sending love and happy supportive thoughts our way. Please know that the efforts have not gone unnoticed. Thank you so much.

I will see perinatology again on this Thursday but I'm told that they will not measure the babies again until next Thursday - sometimes they seem to buck that system though. We'll see - I'll keep you posted. Something's growing in there - even the nurse commented the yesterday on my ever expanding belly as she weighed me. I almost never leave the bed and am under the covers so much that I think they sometimes forget about my belly.

Please keep reading the blogs for more updates and passing thoughts! I'll be in touch. Love, hugs, kisses and kicks (actually they are turning more into thuds and thumps).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Update

I should start by saying that I do as of right now have another week. However, my kidney function is declining - rather slowly right now - but the worry is that that decline will gain speed. My liver function is still within normal limits but has fluctuated slightly (elevated) and my platelets are also still within normal limits but with a slight decline (as compared to last week's lab results.) I feel ok and still have no swelling but apparently some cases of preeclamsia are just like that. My uric acid level has increased again - it is apparently used as a "soft indicator" of the disease process - meaning things are progressing and my kidneys are being put under more strain. Again, I was told there was nothing to do but wait. I'll be 23 weeks on Wednesday.

Future plans: if my labs remain stable and the disease process slows a bit, I'll remain here until it's absolutely necessary to deliver. However, if I make it into 24 to 25 weeks which is considered "the border of viability" for the babies, and my kidney function is continuing to decline, my primary OB has considered moving me to Baton Rouge during a "push" time. That is, if they are pushing my system passed what is routinely reccommended in an effort to buy another crucial week for the babies, he wants me in a hospital that staffs a perinatologist everyday - here they are on site only on Monday and Thursday. They specialize in ultrasounds and check the development of the babies.

If my condition worsens significantly prior to the grey area of viability, they will reccommend delivery anyhow.

That's the latest.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

sleepy sunday - and a story

The other triplet mom next door is delivering today if I'm not mistaken (if not today then tomorrow morning). Her doctor came in and talked to me today (as she's been on call this weekend). Apparently the other mom is 29 weeks and 5 days and all the babies are at least 3 pounds. Anyhow, I wish her and the babies good health and happiness.

I've started my 24 hours of testing again today. Trying to stay calm about it and rest as much as possible. We'll see tomorrow.

I suppose I'll tell you my odd story for the week. So since I've come here, the nurses have worried about 2 things primarily...1. depression, 2. constipation. Now, I long ago developed the firm opinion that the majority of nursing is centered around excretions - sputum, bm, urine, blood - doesn't really matter what the excretion is, nurses have some sort of action to create, or reduce said excretion. But to be on this side of things, ha - what a different point of view. So the other day as the blood pressure cuff was cutting off the circulation in my poor bruised right arm once again, the nurse got a serious look on her face and said, "you know, if you need anything for psychosis or depression, don't be embarrassed to ask." Then she added, "and if you feel constipated, we can give you something for that as well. There's no need to be a hero and sit here and suffer." (and all this time I had no idea that I'd only need to sit blocked up in silence to be considered heroic). So, I could feel the giggle about to come out of my mouth, cleared my throat and said, "my flowers and family have done wonders for my mood - and I love the huge window in here - at least I get to see the weather, but if I start to feel like I'm loosing it, I'll let you know." Then I added, "I assure you, I have no trouble with constipation, but if a problem develops, I'll be sure to ask for something - I'm not that kind of hero." She seemed satisfied and opted not to push the issues any further after sort of mumbling, "you know nurses are the hardest patients to take care of."

At least I got my laugh for the day. I'll let you know how permission Monday pans out...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

present moment, wonderful moment

No new news today - just enjoying a bit of time with Brent and our little family. Love to all.

Friday, April 3, 2009

hi neighbor

So I learned today that my noisy neighbor is the other triplet mom. Funny how much you learn by just being quiet. She's apparently a bit farther along than me and has been here for a week. I know she must not mean to cause a racket but each morning at 5am I get to hear her babies heartbeat (because someone feels the need to turn her doppler up to deafening sound level), then I hear her placental sounds followed by talking, someone pacing around her bed in high heels - that part is really getting annoying- and then about a 30 minute shower followed by high heels leaving followed by Heather(me) sleeping until breakfast. Did I mention how far I am from being a morning person? Anyhow, her doctor will keep an eye on us this weekend as mine is not on call. Other than that tidbit of exciting information, it's been a thankfully uneventful day.

I got to shower - my day was skipped yesterday partly because after being deflated once again by the specialist, I just couldn't work up the energy to properly enjoy one of the highlights of my week. I opted instead to catch up on rest, be a little grumpy (ok maybe alot grumpy) and aggravate Brent and read a ridiculous amount. So, today after getting all of that out of my system, I was in a bit better mood - slept just as much and read some more.

Continuing on, remaining thankful, scared and nervous, but undefeated...I'll let you know how the weekend goes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

just keep swimming!

I ended up in the ultrasound room with the specialist first thing this morning - a bit disoriented as they'd gotten me up from a sound sleep and hurried me across the hall. The babies are ok - the doctor said that their weight difference was expected with multiples - well his words were "one always gets most of the groceries" - although I'm still a bit alarmed. They were A: 11 ounces; B: 12 ounces (they had each gained an ounce since last week); C: 1 pound 4 ounces - guess who's getting the groceries. I was assured that they were all within range for normal growth and development for their gestational age. I suppose I should let this go as well as there's really not much - well nothing I can do about it. My cervix apparently looks amazing - they seem to get really excited about it's length - there are no signs of pending labor which is good. I then got another short lecture on how little is known about preeclampsia (as if I weren't already aware) followed by the worst case senario outcome of having to deliver the babies far too early due to life threatening complications for me. Of course I burst into tears. The doctor looked a little surprised and said he just wanted me to be prepared just in case but that I looked ok so far - it's just a day to day and hour to hour assessment. Wow, I feel so prepared now, thanks. pft. good talk good talk. With that he left after asking Brent something about golf.

So the point is, we're all still here oh and I've started picking up a pound here and there which is good - I'd lost a bit after being admitted here -still no signs of swelling and still feeling ok overall - just exhausted - next big day is permission Monday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

22 weeks today!!

What a special day! Every Wednesday, I feel like I can exhale a little more knowing we are one week closer to safe babies. Still a ways to go, but the small feats are so worth smiling over. Jane and Andrew (family from England) visited as well today - I haven't seen them in over 10 years though to sit and chat it feels like I was playing at Green Farm (their home) just yesterday. They delivered many goodies which was very fun - my room now has 2 additions of Easter flowers which smell amazing in addition to the other arrangements here. I slept well last night a woke this morning to playful kicks as usual - I've never EVER been a morning person but I must admit that I smile waking up to that. It's just amazing. I try to save each one in my memory and treasure all of these quiet moments as much as possible. My primary doctor (Brown) came in with a smile today and said that he hopes I continue on this path - next labs are set for Sunday and I will see the perinatologist tomorrow. I'm not sure if they will measure all of the babies or not but will be sure to update all on any news.

It has been quite busy here today. The "other triplet mom" (as there are apparently 2 of us up here) was somehow having trouble this morning and many of the nurses and staff were a bit flustered as all of the labor and delivery rooms were full as well. A few of them checked on me to make sure I was ok and told me that they would prefer not to have triplets here today - that both of us needed a bit more time. I agreed wholeheartedly. Interesting that there are 2 of us here though - although I'm not allowed to know anything more about her we apparently are aware of each other and ask about one another often - I've asked if she was ok and she does the same. The nurses are funny - not wanting to share any information (HIPPA) but wanting us to be comforted by the fact that we're not the only one. What an expreience - I still sometimes wonder if this is all really happening.

Other news: The church here has decided to postpone a baby shower for us until I can attend. They want to wait until we can really celebrate everything!

More later - nap time now! Love and gratitude to all.