Monday, July 26, 2010

There will be a memorial service for Austin at Blessed Sacrament Catholic church in Morton Wednesday morning at 10:30 AM. Anyone that would like to join us for a meal afterwards, please come to the St. Johns United Church of Christ fellowship hall in Minier. The burial will be a private service for family only.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I am writing this with the most heart broken heart in the world. We lost Austin this morning, he passed away around 8am. He developed NEC yesterday late afternoon. They did surgery last night, by this morning the bowel was completely dead. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday, July 23rd was an okay day for the boys. Austin, is still having issues with the feeding. He has atleast taken all his feedings today, but is still having major gas pain. He is very uncomfortable after he eats, not sure if it is the thicker formula or reflux or what it may be. They have started him on come gas drops to see if that will help. If need me may have to try different formula to see if that is the problem. We just want to him to feel better, and be comforable with his feedings by the time he comes home. If it means staying some extra days, that is fine. The doctor advised us today they would keep him over the weekend to observe the feedings and make sure he is gaining weight. He has been losing weight the last couple days, so was of some concern to them. I just have to give it up to Austin he will come home when he is ready. Like I told Greg we have been doing it for 90 days what is a few more. Calvin is doing well, he had I spent the whole evening together. He was such a good boy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday, July 21st was another rollercoaster day for the boys. Austin, had another frustrating day! I got word this morning that he passed his hearing test and was good to go tomorrow. Greg got home this evening and we headed to the hospital. Austin did well for his 5:30pm feeding for me. Then the 8:30pm Greg fed him and it was a disaster. He wouldn't take any of the bottle, he screamed the first 15 mintues. So two different nurses tried their luck with him and he contiuned to do the same. I was about in tears. I just don't understand, I have felt the last day or two when he eats that he has a belly ache. I know they say it is reflux, I just wonder if it is more or what the deal is with his belly. Not sure if it is the thickened feeds that is doing it or what. I guess we will wait and see in the morning what that doctor suggests. I definitely don't want to get him home and have him not eating. I swear that kid is going to be a challenge. Like I have said all along, I won't believe he will be home until I am out the door with him in my arms. All along his journey in the NICU once I have felt like he is a step or two forward, he is then three steps back!!! Calvin is doing well.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday, July 21st was a good day for the boys. Austin passed his car bed test on the first try. YEAH! When I got to hospital this evening, doctor told me we should be out the door tomorrow. I was like WOW. Then I fed Austin at 8:30pm this evening and he had a brady on me afterwards. We will have to see if they still let us out in the next day or two since somtimes they make them go 24 hours without a brady before discharge. I advised them this evening when they told me that we were ready that Greg was out of town so maybe we would wait until Friday to get hime home! Since he won't be back till tomorrow evening. Regardless, sounds like we should have him home by the weekend. Calvin is doing great at home!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday, July 20th was good day for boys. Austin continues to do well with the feedings. He has to pass the car seat trial, but rumor has it he is on his way out the door once that is complete. Grammy and Papa and I ran to Peoria this morning with Calvin. I had to take his monitor to be down loaded. We also stopped by the hospital, Grammy and Papa took turns going into see Austin, while the other stayed in the car with Calvin. Nana came and spent the night with Calvin and I this evening, I went to the hospital and saw Austin for awhile. We are ready for Greg to get home!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday, July 19th was a good day for the boys. Austin is doing well on the nippling. I went to the hospital this evening he took his whole feedings for me at 5:30pm and 8:30pm. They took him off the high flow canula today. He is now just on home oxygen on 1/16 of a liter. Grammy and Papa McMahon came and stayed with Calvin this evening while I went to the hospital. Calvin continues to do well. I increased his feeds to 52 ml, and he still acts hungry. Aunt Judy came to visit this afternoon, she thought Calvin had grown so much! We are getting by without Greg, but sure missing him!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday, July 18th the boys had a good day. Austin, nippled both of his feedings at 2:30pm and 5:30pm. We hope he is headed out the door soon. He is tolerating the one liter on the canula as well. Calvin is doing well at home. Greg left for Indy today for work for 5 days. I was sad to see him leave, I am going to be busy! Thank goodness for family.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday, July 17th was a good day for the boys. Austin has been doing well on his breathing, they lowered him to 1 liter of flow on the canula. He is starting to make real improvements in his nippling. He has nippled just over 50% of his feedings in the last 24 hours which is a huge improvement. Hopefully it is a start in the right direction. The best news of the day with him was he got moved down to 1218 (the last room before you go home)!! YEAH! Calvin is doing well. We drove out in the country this evening to watch the Stanford fireworks. Of course he slept in his car bed the whole time!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday, July 16th was an okay day for boys. Calvin had an appointment at Dr.cross's office, he said he looked great. He weighs 5 lbs 3 oz. We don't go back for 10 weeks. Not sure what this crazy mom will do not having him weighed all the time. Well another typical day today for Mr. Austin. For his 11:30am feeding and the 2:30pm feeding with the feeding therapist he acted as if he had never nippled before. I was so frustrated when I left this afternoon. I came home and after much persuasion from my mom and sister went to the Toby Keith concert with my parents and Brian, Melissa and Greg. While on the way to the concert we called to see how Austin did at the 5:30pm feeding. The nurse said he nippled the entire feeding. Of course that made me happy, but I was careful not to get too excited because it was just one feeding. Sure enough, when we called back on our way home from the concert he had gone back to his old tricks and took basically nothing at his 8:30 feeding. He only took 4 out of the 25ml's. I don't think that child will ever eat. One of the nurses asked him last night if she was going to have to go to prom with him to clean out his feeding tube for his dinner. (some days I wonder)!! I was glad to get out this evening, it was much needed. Shelly, one of my best friends, watched Calvin. She said he did great. I am so thankful to have such great help and support!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday, July 15th the boys had an okay day. Austin is still not nippling well. They have changed his fomula to a thicker formula in hopes that might help. On a good note he is doing better on his breathing. He is only in 22% on the canula. Nana and Aunt Judy came to hospital this evening for the CPR class. Calvin is doing well at home. We have increased his feeds again!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday, June 14th the boys had a good day. Austin had the upper GI test today. The radiologists said that everything looked compeletly normal. It wasn't even showing reflux. Now they just have to figure out what kind of formula will allow him to nipple. There will be a feeding therapist examing him tomorrow to hopefully advise on some technique and help. He is still looking good as far as the swelling goes. His lower extremeintes are still somewhat swollen but his face looks much better. Calvin is doing well at home. Nana and Papa Fonger came to vistit tonight. They had been on vacation for the last 10 days in Price Edward Island. They were glad to see Calvin. Grammy and her golfing buddy Vicki stopped to peek at Cavlin this morning as well, while on their way to golf. (yes they are nuts for golfing in the heat.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday, July 13 the boys had a pretty day. Calvin is doing well. The home health nurse came today and said he looked great. She also weighed him and he weighs 5 lb 2oz. Yeah! Austin, is still doing okay with his thickened feeds. He did spit a little up this morning, so the doctor has decided they will go ahead with the upper GI study. They think it is just reflux but since he is still spitting up some they want to rule anything else out. I am glad they are going to do it, even though it makes me nervous wondering if everything is okay. He only had one brady today so that is a good thing. I added some pictures earlier today to yesterdays post!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday, July 12th the boys had a good day. Thanks to Grammy for watching Calvin all afternoon and evening. I was able to make my first trip to Walmart in 3 months this afternoon. Then Greg and I spent the evening together at the hospital and out to dinner. Calvin loved staying with Grammy and Papa. I think he is getting a little too spoiled. The best news of the day was Austin is doing much better with the feeding. The doctor decided today not to do the upper GI and just start treating him for reflux since clinically he was showing all of the symptoms. They changed his formula to a thicker formula by adding rice. He took his whole bottle at 2:30pm and has done well on the feedings this evening. He had no bradys with his feedings today like he had been having in the last few days. They are definitely correlating those bradys to reflux, and so they aren't that concerned that he had them, but we sure hope he is done having them. He is also looking much less puffy. The diarrel seems to really be working. We just hope and pray this is the turn for him and he will be heading home soon!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday, July 11th was an okay day for the boys. Austin is still having issues with the reflux so they are going to try and schedule an upper GI test. They need to see exactly if that is it and what the extent is in order to treat it. The diarel seems to be contiuing to work and he is beginning to look a little less swollen. We hope it continues and takes all the excess fluid off of him. Calvin is still doing well. He had his first big trip today to Grammy and Papa McMahon's. Miss Hannah was over and enjoyed seeing him. He is starting to get VERY spoiled. I told Austin tonight when I left he needed to hurry home. I told him his brother was getting all the attention. We will see if that works. I hope so!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday, July 10th was a good day for the boys. Austin is starting to get rid of some of the excess fluid, the diarel seems to be helping a little. He is still having trouble with the whole nippling issue. I was there for his 5:30pm tonight, he had a major brady on me. I was so frustrated. The nurse assured me he will get this it is just going to be on his own time. I just feel like the poor little thing has struggled so much. He has just never caught a break. I know it is hard when his brother just aced his way thru the NICU. I just need to realize that they are two different babies. Calvin is doing well. It is just bitter sweet at home without Austin. It is starting to get hard on Greg and I with one home and one still in the hospital. We went from spending 24-7 together to now about 20 minutes while one of us is coming and going. I know six months from now this will all be a memory. I am just taking it day by day. Hurry home Austin!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday, July 9th the boys had a good day. Austin is starting to get some diarrhetics to try and help with his breathing. He has what the doctors call chronic lung disease, and one of the effects of this disease is the retention of fluid. Although the name sounds very serious, this is yet another one of the problems that seems to be quite normal for preemies, and one that he will grow out of. They have been watching his fluid retention for quite a while now, and after running many tests to find the cause and solution, have decided that this is the problem. They believe that the diarrhetics will not only help his breathing, but also help with his reflux problems. One of the nurses told Greg that many of the babies born at their gestation need this diarrhetic to help them through these issues. Calvin is doing well. The home health nurse came today and he weighs 4 lb 14oz!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday, July 8th was a pretty good day for the boys. Austin had his 34 week head sonogram done and it was clear. That was a big relief!! He is still having issues with the reflux, but they have gone back to hanging his feedings to feed him over the course of about twenty minutes, which has caused him to have several bradys. They are thinking they may have to go back to the continous feeds until his belly gets a little more mature. He still has the fluid build up on his lower extremieties so they have done some more urine cultures to see if there is any protein in the urine that could be the cause. They continue to tell us that these types of problems are pretty normal for preemies, but that doesn't make the frustration any less. We continue to hope that one of these days soon Austin will figure all of this stuff out and be on his way towards getting well enough to come home.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday, July 7th the boys had a pretty good day. Austin had the cookie swallow test done and they didn't really see anything abnormal other then just an immature swallow. Therefore, they started him back on nippling this evening he took about 10ml so we are hopeful he is headed in the right direction with his feedings. They still haven't really figured out what is causing him to have the fluid retention. They are doing another urine culture tonight to check the protein in his urine. They said they don't think it is his kidneys but they want to cover all the bases, since he shouldn't be retaining fluid. Both the boys had their eye's checked today and they still look good. Austin had his checked in the NICU. Grammy and I took Calvin to his appointment in Peoria. Calvin was a very good boy, he didn't even cry during the exam. Calvin contiues to do well at home!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday, July 6th was an okay day for the boys. Austin is still having the feeding issues. They were unable to do the cookie swallow test today. They have it planned to do tomorrow afternoon. They are hoping that will give them a better idea of what is going on with his feedings. He is still having the fluid retention. The dose of lasicks didn't help as well as they would have liked so they are giving him another dose tomorrow. Calvin is doing well. The home health nurse came to weigh him today and he is up to 4 lbs 8oz.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday, July 5th was an okay day for he boys. Austin, is still having issues with the reflux so they have ordered a test to look into it. They call it a cookie swallow test where they put dye down the intestinal tract and watch to see how it goes through. This will give them a better idea in what they are needing to do to correct the feeding issues. He is also still somewhat swollen and not getting rid of the excess fluid. They ran a blood test, and there is something that I can't recall the name of that is low. Starting tomorrow they are going to give him two IV's, one to release the fluids, and another to help him to pee so that he gets those fluids out of his body. We are hoping that these things work so that we can have him home soon. Calvin is still doing well at home!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday, July 4th was another roller coaster day. Austin is still having feeding issues. Now he is having what they think is reflux isssues, he is having brady's during his feedings as well as throwing up after his feeds. They have put in a tube that will take his food past the stomach into the intestines to see if that will correct the problem. If that doesn't work they will look into doing some further tests on the stomach. Calvin is doing so well at home. He has been so good for us. I am trying to enjoy him as much as I can even though I was at the hospital most of the day. Greg spent the evening over with Austin. I just hope and pray they can figure out the feeding issues and we can have him home soon!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday, July 2nd was a good day for the boys. Calvin is home and continues to do well. He is such a good baby. He has been so easy for us thus far. I think that he knows his brother is way more high maintenance!! It should be interesting once we get Austin home. Austin is still tolerating his feedings, they are back up to full feeds and he nippled two of his feedings today. He isn't quite taking half by nipple yet, so he has a ways to go. He has only had one brady today. So that is a good thing. Greg went to visit this afternoon, and I went this evening. We will both be so glad to have them both home!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday, July 2nd was a pretty good day for the boys. Calvin is home and doing well. He had his first pediatrician appointment today with Dr. Cross. He is up to 4 lb 5oz and had to get his immunization shots. They haven't seemed to bother him so far. Dr. Cross said he looked awesome, and he wouldn't see us for two months unless otherwise needed. They did restart Austin's feedings today and he is nippling once a day. He did take his nippling feeding today at 2:30pm so we will see how he does. We both took turns going to see him this evening. It is going to be hard having one home and one still in the NICU. Aunt Melissa and Hannah came to visit today, and help me out around the house. It was great!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday, July 1st was a bitter sweet day for the boys! Calvin is HOME!!! We brought Calvin home this evening and he is doing great. We had another rollercoaser day with Austin, they stopped his feedings. He had some brady's last night into this morning and then had a distended belly at noon. They did a work up on him and all his blood came back fine. He had a belly xray done at noon that didn't look the best so they did another at 5pm which just didn't look quite right. They had changed his formula to a 30 calorie formula a day or two ago, and those extra calories can make it harder on the stomach. They are going to do another xray at 6am and see how it looks. If it doesn't improve they are going to look into doing a GI workup to see what is going on with his belly. So of course, I am so happy to have Calvin home, but worried about Austin's belly issues!!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29th was a good day for the boys. Austin was lowered to two liters of flow on his Canula. They also began to nipple him once a day. He took his whole feeding by nipple for the first time. YEAH! Calvin is doing well. He had his head ultra sound repeated on Monday. The doctor advised yesterday that his bleed was a grade one and was evolutional and resolving. He said that his head is fine. We were glad to hear that. He is still on his 1/8 liter of oxygen. We stayed in last night for an overnight visit with Calvin.

Wednesday, June 30th was a good day for the boys. They lowered Austin to one liter of flow on his canula. He only took 8ml of his feeding today. We hope that he will take more tomorrow. The good news is if all goes as planned we will have Calvin home tomorrow. I am so exicted, nervous, scared, all of the above!!! We will be so happy to have him home, but so sad to leave Austin. Hopefully, he will miss his brother and hurry home!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday, June 28th the boys had a good day. Austin was moved into an open crib and seems to be tolerating it well. He still continues to tolerate his continous feeds as well. Calvin is still doing well. He was moved down to the lower level room tonight (the going home room). It was bittersweet to see him move out of the intermediate room next to Austin, but exciting at the same time. We are planning to stay in the NICU tomorrow night with Calvin. Then we will do our CPR and monitoring traning Wednesday night and hopefully have him home Thursday!!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday, June 27th was a good day for the boys. Calvin passed his car seat test!! He had to be in his car seat for an hour and a half without having any apnea or bradycardia episodes. He should be coming home this week. We will stay the night in the NICU on Tuesday night. They recommend that for parents, the night or two before they bring the baby home. We then have CPR and monitor training on Wednesday night. Hopefully, by Thursday or Friday we will have him home. Austin is still doing fine. They did give him a blood transfusion today. They had to stop his feedings while getting the blood in 2 seperate 4 hour transfusions. They were going to start back his feedings over the pmup later this evening. I had a very nice shower in Mclean today with the Fonger group. I got lots of nice gifts and had a great time!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday, June 26th was a good day for the boys. Calvin is still doing well on nippling his feedings. He passed his hearing test today. They informed us that we could have him home by the end of the week!!! Austin is still doing well on his continous feeds. He is still tolerating the canula with a flow of 3 liters. I had a great today, a shower with family and friends. I got lots of nice stuff and loved seeing everyone! Grandma Gert, Aunt Linda and Grammy came to visit tonight around 6:30pm. Then Nana and Papa Fonger, Great Grandma Fonger and Dan came to visit later in the evening. The boys had lots of visitors. I held Austin for a couple hours, and Nana held him for another half an hour, I think he is starting to get spoiled!! He deserves it though, because we have been holding Calvin more for a few weeks with him being healthier.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday June 25th was a good day for the boys. Austin was lowered on the canula from flow of 4 to a flow of 3. He continues to tolerate his feeds, and is up to 8ml an hour on the continuos pump so he is up to his full feeding schedule. I finally got some pictures on here tonight of him. Calvin is doing well. He is now nippling all of his feedings by bottle. They are going to try and wean him down on the home oxygen from a 1/4 of a liter to an 1/8 of a liter. I am looking forward to baby showers this weekend. One tomorrow in Stanford with my family and friends, and one on Sunday in Mclean with the Fonger family and friends.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday, June 24th was a good day for the boys. Calvin has continued to do well on his nippling and is still in his 1/4 liter of oxygen. He is still in his open crib. Austin is weighing over 3 lbs! Yeah! He is continuing to tolerate his feedings, and is doing well on his breathing. They are up to 7 ml per hour on his continuous feeds. Tomorrow he will get to the equivalent of full feeding when he gets to 8 ml per hour since his full feeds would be 24 ml every three hours. Once he gets to full feeds on continuous flow and shows that he can tolerate it for a couple of days they will have to start making the timing shorter. The nurse said they will have to get him to the point that he can take the full feeding over an hour rather than over three hours, and then get to where he can take them all at once, and then on to nippling. It sounds like a long process, but I am sure they will push him to make the changes fairly quickly. We ran into the nurse practioner on our way in this evening and she mentioned trying to wean him down a little on the canula tomorrow so we will see. She also told us that they have ordered the CPR and monitoring training for us. We were happy to hear that, that means the boys will be coming home in the near future! As I'm sure you can tell by their progress, we are assuming that Calvin will come home first, but hopefully Austin won't be too far behind him. Carrie came to visit the boys for the first time this evening. She was glad to see them!
Wednesday, June 23rd the boys had a good day. Calvin was able to move to an open crib today. He has to be able to maintain his temperature and contiue to do well on his nippling in order to stay in it. He is up to 6 out of his 8 feedings every day by nipple. He is still in 1/4 of a liter of oxygen, but we are hoping he starts to wean himself down off of that in the next few days. Austin is doing fine. They discontiued antibiotics today because he has been on them for the full seven days. He is still doing well keeping his oxygen saturation up on the canula. He is about halfway through the feeding schedule getting him back up to full feedings. He is getting 5.5 ml per hour continuously through a pump. We had some visitors today. Papa McMahon came to visit and held Calvin for the first time. Aunt Melissa stopped by to see the boys after work as well. Tonight, Scott came to visit with Shelly, I think he was amazed at how well they looked. He said they look like babies, just little. I said they are preemies!! Then we went to dinner and I had some much needed fun and laughs! I went back to the hospital for Calvin's 11:30 feeding, and by the time I was done with that and got out of there I didn't get home until after 1:00.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday, June 22nd was a good day for the boys. Austin still continues to tolerate the canula. He is up to 3.5ml an hour on his continous feedings, he seems to be tolerating those as well. He is a little swollen still in his lower extremities and in his face. Therefore they are giving him a two day dose of lasiks (sp?) that will help him to urinate more in order to get rid of the excess fluid. We hope he continues to head in the right direction. Calvin is still in 1/4 of a liter of oxygen. We hope he will start weaning down off of that soon. Calvin continues to do well on his nippling, and the nurse tonight told us that he will go up to taking feedings by bottle 6 times per day tomorrow. Grammy came to visit this evening while we were in Morton meeting our pediatrician. She started Calvin's 5:30pm feeding at 5:40pm and when I arrived at 5:55 he had only taken 5ml of his 25ml. She didn't realize that he is supposed to only have a 20 minute limit on his feedings, and didn't realize that she would need to keep him interested. I took over and he took 17in the last 10 minutes. I told Grammy she is going to have to practice and not just let him play around. We will need her help! Greg and I met with Dr. David Cross at OSF in Morton, and had a nice 45 minute chat with him. He was very informative, and made us feel pretty good about the progress that the boys have made thus far. We loved him, and felt he was a perfect fit for us! During his three year residency to become a pediatrician he actually spent three months working in the NICU in Peoria, which made us feel very comfortable with taking the boys to him when they come home.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday, June 21st was a good day for the boys. Austin was taken off the c-pap for another try on the Canula(oxygen). They took him off about 11:00am today and so far he has been tolerating it well. He is tolerating the increase from 1ml to 2ml an hour in the continous feeds as well. We have our fingers crossed he is headed in the right direction. Calvin is doing fine. He is still in his 1/4 of a liter of oxygen, and taking his feedings well. Aunt Judy, Matthew, and his girlfriend Emily came and painted the nursery today. It looks great!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday, June 20th the boys had a good day. Austin is continuing to do well on the priming. They are giving him his feedings over a continous pump of 1ml and hour. They will increase it to 2ml tomorrow until he gets up to full feeds. They lowered him to no rate on the c-pap, hopefully he will tolerate that change. They did attempt to get a pic line today and were unsuccesful. Hopefully they can get it tomorrow and his iv stays in until then. Calvin is doing well, I told Greg he needed to feed him this evening since it was father's day. He nippled his whole feeding for Greg tonight at 5:30pm. Calvin is just learning how to take a bottle, and he starts out kind of slow at first, just kind of chewing on the nipple instead of drinking from it, but eventually he gets going. Greg was getting frustrated with him at first when he wouldn't eat, then again after he took the whole bottle but wouldn't burp. He looked at me and said "this just isn't my gig, I'm fine with not doing this again until he knows how to eat". I told him that they have to learn all of this and he better learn too! Greg said "you can teach them, then by the time they get home they will know how to eat and I can help out." He then turned Calvin to where they were face to face about six inches apart and said "why don't you just burp already?" Apparently he thinks that Calvin should be able to burp on command like he does. It should be interesting for all of us once we get them home!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday, June 19th was an okay day for the boys. Austin has been having a rough time with holding an iv. They gave him three different ones today that kept coming out. His poor little veins, it just breaks my heart! They hope to give him a pic line tomorrow so that he can receive his antibiotics. He has had a pic line inserted a couple of times already, but when he doesn't need them anymore they take them out. A pic line is a small catheter that is inserted into his vein and advanced through the vein until the end almost reaches the heart. This type of IV is one that can be used for longer periods of time and it runs a lower risk of infection. He seems to be tolerating the priming okay with the new formula and is doing well on the breathing. He is down to a rate of 5 on the c-pap. Calvin is doing fine. He has continued to nipple well and is getting 4 of his 8 feedings a day by nipple. He has gone up a little on is oxygen flow to a 1/4 of a liter. We had a good day at home today, finally starting on the nursery. Aunt Judy is coming to paint on Monday so we got the whole room/closet all organized. I think we carried out like 6 bags worth of stuff for goodwill. Papa Fonger and Nana came to visit, and took us out to dinner. We are spoiled!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday, June 18th the boys had a pretty good day. Austin was started back on his priming and has been tolerating so far. They have switched his formula to neocate which is a partially digested formula. We are hoping this will do the trick this time. They did lower his c-pap rate to 5 so we are hoping he is working to still get off the c-pap soon. Calvin is doing about the same, he is still on the home oxygen and is continuing to do well on his feeds. They have increased his feedings to 25 ml per feeding. He took 19-20ml by bottle each time they tried today. Short post tonight, tired and going to bed!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday, June 17th was an okay day for the boys. Austin is having somewhat of a better day today. His blood work is showing some signs of an infection but nothing has grown on the cultures. They are going to start him on antibiotics to take care of whatever it is. His stomach x-rays are looking much better, so they are going to restart his feedings tomorrow. Calvin is still doing well on his feedings. He nippled three whole feedings today. He did have a couple apnea episodes so they put him on some oxygen, it is just an oxygen tank that they can come home on. He is on the lowest setting of 1/32 of a liter. I was suprised to see it on him this evening, but if he needs a little help that is all that matters. Calvin is up to 3lbs 3 oz. I had a MUCH better day today. I was able to spend time with great friends. Carrie came and brought lunch and visited outside for a few hours. Then Shelly came to the hospital tonight to see the boys for the first time!! I want to thank everyone for the emails and text and all the caring thoughts. I know I haven't got a chance to get back to everyone. I do honestly appreciate it. I told Greg I don't think we realize how many people are following our journey!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday, June 16th was not that great of a day for the boys. When I woke up this morning and called to check on them the nurse told me that the nurse practioner was just getting ready to call me. Austin had a couple pretty severe apena episodes, was not digesting his food, his belly was hard and distended and they had just done an x-ray. They were watching him for NEC again, they did a septic work up on him again and started him on antibiotics. I thought here we go again!! They have stopped feeding him, and are checking his belly every six hours to make sure it doesn't get any worse. It seems this can be common with premature babies, they stop and start eating, and have intestinal issues. They have also been concerned because his scrotum has been swollen, so they called in a urologist to examine him. He did notice that there is some extra fluid in that area, so he performed an ultrasound but didn't find anything to be concerned about. It is nice to know that isn't the problem, but it doesn't change the fact that we once again don't know exactly what the problem is. We just wait now to see if his bloodwork shows any sign of infection. I don't know if he will ever eat!!! Calvin, is still doing well with his breathing and feedings. I think he did better than me today. After getting that call this morning, heading to the hospital right away, then to a follow up dr. appt for myself at 2pm where I spent an hour and a half in the waiting room, then calling to check on them on my way home to find out Austin had yet another apnea episode, to walking in the door to find Auggie throwing up on the floor. Poor Greg...when he got home I just lost it. Anyways, we decided that I would drop him off at the hospital this evening and I would go run some errands and take sometime for myself. I think that was a good idea. I pretty much regrouped and went back to hospital and have a much better outlook. Sorry for such a long post!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday, June 15th was a good day for the boys. I have put some pictures up of Calvin. I was waiting until I could get good pictures of both of them, but Calvin did so well today I thought he deserved to go first. He was taken off of all oxygen today, he is just in room air with no assistance of any kind. He took his whole feeding this morning by bottle from the nurse as well as this evening's feeding from me. They even went up to 23 ml today. He will move up to three bottle feedings a day tomorrow. Austin is still on the c-pap. They may try to begin weaning him off tomorrow by giving him the canula for part of the day. He is having more of an issue with digesting his feedings. They have put his feedings on a pump that continuously give's him food slowly rather than giving him feedings every three hours. He seemed to be tolerating that better this evening than he had been tolerating the feedings as they were before.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday, June 14th was a pretty good day for the boys. Calvin is doing well, and nippled his entire feeding today at noon. We were so proud of him. He did over half of his feeding this evening for Greg, so we are hopeful that he is getting the hang of it and will continue to do well. They did go up from 19ml to 21ml today on his feedings. Austin is still on the c-pap. He had no brady's all day until tonight 5 minutes before we left to come home. I swear he knows just how to get me all anxious and paranoid. I was actually somewhat relaxed this evening since he was doing so well. The nurses seem to think he is going to be the one that challenges us in life. He gets so feisty if the nurses mess with him. They say if anyone is making noise at the isolette next to him he starts getting agitated. They have to put blankets all around his isolette to block what he can see because he is so sensitive to his environment. It will be interesting to see how their personalities turn out as they grow. Calvin is so quiet calm and just sleeps. Austin is always causing trouble!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday, June 13th was an okay day for the boys. Austin is back on the c-pap. He just wasn't ready for the canula. They decided to put him back on this morning after he had several brady's over night. I have decided he is going to do things at his own pace. As the nurse's say he is in charge he will let us know when he is ready. I kangaroo'd with him this afternoon for an hour or so and was sure to let him know he is giving me gray hair. Calvin is doing well. He is up to taking two feedings a day by nipple. He took 14 of the 19ml this morning for the nurse. He only took 8 of the 19ml for me this evening. I am learning that the nurses have much better technique in getting him to eat.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday, June 12th, the boys had a good day. Austin was put on the canula (the same oxygen machine that Calvin has been on that gives them oxygen but no assistance in their breathing.) He was put on it late afternoon and he has been tolerating it very well. He is up to full feeds, getting a 27 calorie formula. Austin weighs 2 lb 8oz. Calvin, continues to do well and he weighs 2 lb 13 oz. He is still nippling once or twice a day and has been taking half of his feeding by bottle. Papa and Nana Fonger brought Great Grandma Fonger and Dan over this evening to see the boys for the first time. They were glad to see them. Nana was able to hold Calvin for the first time this evening during their visit. Nana didn't even cry, we were all so surprised!! We had a nice visit with them and then went to dinner.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday, June 11th the boys had a good day. They are six weeks old today!! Hopefully in the next four to six weeks we will have them home. Calvin is up to 2 lbs 13 oz, he continues to do well on his breathing and feedings. Austin was moved from the intensive side over to the intermediate side this afternoon. He and Calvin are right next to each other. It was so nice this evening to not have to travel from room to room. Let's just hope Austin behaves and is able to stay over there. He is still on the c-pap machine, the doctor said this morning in rounds they will try to switch him to the canula as long as he was okay today. We are keeping our fingers crossed that he is able to be on the canula tomorrow and that he tolerates it ok so that he can stay next to his brother.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday, June 10th, the boys had a good day. Austin is still on c-pap, he is still tolerating his feedings. He is up to 9ml at this last feeding. The swelling has seem to come down some from earlier in the week. Calvin, is doing well. He has been continuing on his feeds at 19 ml. They both had their first eye exam today. They were both looking good so far, just immature. We were happy with that. They will check them again in two weeks.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday, June 9th was a good day for the boys. Austin is still doing well on the c-pap machine. They started him back on his feedings today. We hope he continue's to tolerate them well. Calvin is still nippling a couple of times a day for now. He took 10 of the 19ml for the nurse this morning. Then he took 8 of the 19ml tonight for Greg. We are hoping he continues to do well with the nippling. Today was a long 12 hour day at the hospital for me. Aunt Melissa came to visit this morning, and was able to hold Calvin for the first time. Aunt Judy came to visit the boys today as well, she was excited to see them for the first time!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday, June 8th, they boys had a good day. Austin still continues to do well on the c-pap with no rate. He is still tolerating his priming, they will start to feed him on Thursday if all goes well. Calvin is doing well, I was able to start nippling him today with the bottle. He took 9ml of his 19ml feeding. We thought that was pretty good for his first time! Grammy came to visit today and was able to hold Calvin for a few minutes.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday, June 7th the boys had a pretty good day. Austin is a little swollen so they gave him some lacix to get rid of some of the fluid he is retaining. They told us that it is normal after being sick and all the antibiotics to retain fluid. He is doing well on his breathing the lowered him to room air on the c-pap. Calvin had a pretty good day as well. Even though he was cut off feedings today, due to being low on blood. They had to give him blood today so they don't feed them during that time.
Sunday, June 5th the boys had a good day. Austin's c-pap was lowered to a rate of 10, he seemed to be tolerating it well. They were also able to start priming his stomach, they will do that for four days before they start to feed him. He is up to 2lbs 5oz. Calvin had a good day as well. He has been having a few brady's over the past couple of days around his feedings, so they put his feedings on a pump over an hour to see if that might help. He is up to 2 lbs 7oz.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday, June 5th the boys had a good day. Austin is doing well on the c-pap machine and they are hoping to start priming his stomach tomorrow. Calvin had a good day as well. I was able to start nippling him with a bottle to start working towards feeding him by bottle. Of course just a couple tries today. It is a long process teaching them how to get the suck/swallow technique down. We are hoping to continue to work with him on that the next few weeks. We met Chad Sasha and Miss Sarah for pizza tonight in Peoria, if you've never been to Aggatucci's, it gets a great recommendation from us!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday, June 4th, the boys had a pretty good day. Austin weighed over 2 lbs on Wednesday, but with everything else he has had going on I failed to mention that the last few days. He is doing well on the c-pap machine, but still not eating yet due to his whole stomach issue. The doctor and surgeons did take another look at his x-rays from yesterday and this morning and have decided that they still don't think it is NEC. They are thinking maybe the blood in his stool yesterday morning was from the blood transfusion that he received the night before. We hope for him to be able to start priming his stomach here in the next few days. Calvin has continued to stay on the flow of one liter on the canula today. They have gone up to 19 ml on his feedings.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday, June 3rd was another rollercoaster day for the boys. I called this morning to check on them, and was informed that Austin had blood in his last stool. They were concerened about NEC again. He had an abdonminal x-ray and blood work right away. The x-ray was normal at noon, then again at six o'clock this evening but they are continuing to do the x-rays every six hours. The surgeons were consulted again to keep an eye on him as well. His platelet count was low again today, so they had to give him platelets which they felt was a sign that maybe he still has a little infection going on. The plan is to continue him on the antibiotics and continue to hold off on his feedings. He was doing well today on the breathing and was able to be taken off the ventilator and put back on the c-pap machine which made us happy. Let's just hope he can stay on the c-pap and we can get the whole belly thing figured out. Calvin had a good day, he was lowered to 1 liter of flow on his canula. We also hope he is able to stay on the 1 liter of flow. Calvin had his follow up head ultra sound for the brain bleed today as well. The bleed is a grade 1 and is starting to evolve so they were glad to see that and won't check it again until closer to when we leave and they check Austin's again. That made us happy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday, June 2nd was an okay day for the boys. Austin's spinal tap came back with some elevated numbers so they will continue him on the antibiotocs for another seven days. They do a culture on the spinal fluid, and nothing has actually grown in the culture, there are just a few more white blood cells in there than they would like to see. His blood work has been improving so that is a good thing. He is doing well being weaned off the vent. They think hopefully by tomorrow afternoon he can be back on the c-pap machine if all goes well. They plan to start priming his stomach again starting on Friday. Calvin continues to do well, they raised is feedings today to 17ml so that is good.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday, June 1st, the boys had a pretty good day. Austin continues to be weaned off the ventialator so that is good. He had a spinal tap done today, which is a routine work up from the incident over the weekend. They need to determine how long to keep him on the antibiotics. The surgeons have ruled out NEC, and have signed off on it. We were happy about that. They will check to make sure his blood work is OK tomorrow and make sure that he continues to improve, while continuing to hold off on feeding him. Calvin is doing well, he is back on his full feeds. I was able to hold him today outside his isolette. I was VERY happy!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday, May 31st was a pretty good day for the boys. The pediatric surgeon and the radiologists reviewed all of Austin's x-rays over the past few days, and have decided that they don't think his intestine issue is NEC. They have diagnosed it as an ileus, which is an obstruction of the intestine due to paralysis of the intestinal muscles. We are not sure, but the way we understand it, this is something that will pass in time. He has started to poop again in the past 24 hours, so the doctors see that as a good sign that things are starting to function more normally again. His blood work is getting a little better. He will continue to stay on the antibiotics for a few more days. They will still continue to do an x-ray of his stomach in the morning at 6am. They hope in the next few days to start priming his stomach again to get him ready back to feeding. He is still on the ventilator and they hope to get him weaned down off of the vent. Calvin continues to do well, he is back on his full feedings.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday, May 30th, seems to be going okay so far. They are continuing to watch Austin's belly VERY closely. He has had x-rays every 12 hours yesterday and today. They will do another x-ray at 6pm. They do think the x-ray is looking slightly better, so the further out we get from the first x-ray the better. His blood work came back about the same today, but atleast the numbers didn't go up. We just hope and pray the antibiotics are starting to work and take over whatever is in his intestines. Calvin is doing okay, all his blood work from Friday has come back negative. So they will stop his antibiotics and continue to feed him.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A brief update of yesterday's happenings. Austin is doing a little bit better today, but they are still keeping a close eye on him. His blood numbers are still abnormal, but that is to be expected with all that he went through yesterday. The midnight x-ray that we waited for last night appeared to the nurse practitioner and radiologist to be a slight improvement over the 6 PM x-ray, and the one from this morning hadn't really improved any but also hadn't gotten worse. He will continue to get more blood work throughout the day, and another x-ray at 6 tonight. We are all hopeful that the antibiotics will start kicking in and his blood numbers will improve today so that we can feel that he is starting to get over the infection. Calvin is better today as well, and he is back to getting small feedings. That is all for now, I will post another update later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday, May 28th. This has not been a banner day for the Fonger boys! As a matter of fact, this definitely ranks as one of the worst days yet. Molly wanted me to do the update tonight since I pay a little more attention to detail than she does, and she is hoping that I am a little more stable than she is (that remains to be seen). The day started out as innocently as any other with Molly and I going about our days as normal, and the boys seeming to be doing alright by the early reports from the nurses. Then the day got very interesting. At about one o'clock this afternoon I received a phone call from the nurse practitioner to tell me that Austin had experienced a very serious apnea episode to the point that he completely stopped breathing and that they had to put him on the ventilator in order to get his breathing started again. The nurse told me that Austin's stomach had once again gotten very hard and they were concerned that, between the stomach problems and the severe apnea, there was a chance that Austin was suffering from necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC. Very shortly after I received his call, Molly had received the same call and within a very short time I was home and we were on our way to Peoria. NEC is an intestinal disease of newborns which almost exclusively affects preemies, and is basically an inflammation that damages the lining of the intestine. It may affect only a small portion, or larger areas, of either the small or large intestine, and when severe can cause the bowel to tear, or "perforate". At this point, the doctors are not sure whether or not Austin has NEC but his condition, as well as the disease, is serious enough that they need to take every precaution in order to treat it if that indeed is what he has. By the time we got to the NICU they had pretty well stabilized Austin on the ventilator and they had done the first round of blood tests on him, taken his first x-rays, and started trying to assess the extent of his problems. The first x-rays taken at about 1 o'clock showed some signs that he may have NEC, but the signs weren't real clear. The doctors decided that since he was already on antibiotics and still having this response, they needed to switch the antibiotics that they were treating him with and try to get ahead of the problem. He was already being treated with two different antibiotics, so they continued one, discontinued the other and started him on two new ones that he hadn't been on before. They also took blood gas tests to make sure the ventilator was not only breathing for him, but also supplying his blood with the correct amount of Oxygen, getting rid of the carbon dioxide, and maintaining the correct pH. At 6 o'clock another x-ray was taken of his abdomen, and the doctor told us that it showed that the intestines were still working, but there was an area on the right side that concerned her and needed to be watched closely. Shortly after that, there were two pediatric surgeons that came by to look at Austin and his x-rays to get another set of eyes on the situation, and so they could be aware of his status if an emergency surgery is needed. Somewhere in the midst of this we were informed that Calvin had started to have many of the same symptoms, and he was beginning to be treated in a similar manner as Austin. Calvin's situation isn't nearly as severe as Austin's, but the fact that they are twins has caused them to be treated in a very similar fashion. Calvin has been held off of his feedings, is getting the same antibiotics as Austin, and has already received a first round of blood tests and has had his first abdominal x-ray. Unfortunately at this point it is just a waiting game, and the staff is simply monitoring the situation to see if it gets better or worse. I suppose I have rambled enough for now about our day, and as I am typing I have realized that it is almost time for Austin's 12 o'clock x-ray, so I need to get my computer shut down and get back to his bedside so we can see if there are any changes before we head home for the night.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday, May 27th. The boys had a good day. Calvin weighs over 2 lbs...yeah! Calvin is doing well, continuing on his breathing at a flow of 1 liter on the canula. He is continuing to tolerate his feedings as well. Austin kept his string of good days going as well. It certainly seems that the antibiotics that they started on Sunday did the trick to get him moving forward again. The nurses once again did a great job of being proactive with recognizing a problem and working through finding a resolution to the problem. He only had one bradycardia, (and after only two weeks we finally figured out how to spell that word correctly) and was tolerating his breathing with only 20 breaths on the c-pap. His spinal tap is still negative, so that is good! I was able to kangaroo with Austin today for 2 to 3 hours. That was great. It had been awhile since he was stable enough to allow me to kangaroo, but he did well the whole time. Now we need them both to just continue gaining weight!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday, May 26th, the boys continued their run of good days. The doctor turned down Austin's c-pap machine from 30 breaths per minute to 20 breaths per minute, and as of tonight when we left he was tolerating the change okay. They changed his feedings to have them fed to him over an hour rather than in a few minutes hoping to relieve some of the air that is in his belly after his feedings. The spinal tap cultures are still negative, they will watch it another day or so. They lowered Calvin's flow from 2 to 1 on his canula. He seemed to be tolerating the change as well. I was able to Kangaraoo with Calvin this evening for an hour or two. We only stayed a few hours tonight, so that is hard. I was told to take a break today since I was over there for 12 hours yesterday! Greg has his final this week and a paper due Saturday, so he has alot on his plate right now. I am looking forward to his week off of school next week so he can be on my schedule. (ha ha)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday, May 26th, they boys had a pretty good day. The doctor decided to lower Austin's pressure on the c-pap as they thought it might be adding too much air and pressure to his belly. That could be what is causing his stomach to become looped after feedings. They started back up his feedings and he has tolerated them so far. He had two bradychardia's today, which wasn't too bad. The blood culture came back negative, and the urine culture was negative as well, they were able to get the spinal tap done today so we will wait for the results. They are continuing to keep him on his antibiotc for seven days. Calvin is still doing well, they did increase the calories on his formula so we can get some more weight on him. This post is quite a bit shorter than some of the others, but I spent about 12 hours over at the hospital today and I am so tired I am about to fall asleep typing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday, May 24th has been another rollercoaster day. When we called first thing this morning to check on the boys we found out that Austin had a better night as far as the apnea episodes are concerned, and his culture for the blood yesterday came back negative, but his CRP level came back elevated more from yesterday. This morning in rounds they decided to do a spinal tap to check for infection in the spinal fluid, and to check his crp level again later in the day. At the 2:30pm feeding his stomach was bloated so they did an x-ray and it looked fine but they decided to hold off on the afternoon feeding and check it again before his scheduled feeding at 5:30. They did recheck his crp late afternoon and it had come down to a little over 3 from it's high of well over 4. At the 5:30pm feeding his stomach was looking okay, so they gave him half of the normal feeding and he digested it. His apnea improved today so the doctors were thinking the antibiotic they started yesterday was working. Then this evening Austin's stomach was bloated and looped again at the 8pm feeding so they did another x-ray. It came back okay, other then air in the belly so they are going to stop his feedings till tomorrow then re-evaulate. It has been one long day for poor Austin, but he seemed to us to look like he was more comfortable today than he was yesterday. Hopefully they can figure out the source of his stomach and breathing problems soon so that he can get back on the path to improvement. Calvin is doing well still, he is tolerating his feedings and has had no bradychardia's today.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday, May 23rd. Today has been another bump in the road day. Austin has had 4 or 5 apnea episodes over the past 24 hours that have been a little more severe than his previous encounters. The apnea that he has been experiencing lately has been to the extent that he has turned a little purple, and his oxygen saturation levels have dropped into the 40's whereas they have normally only dropped into the 60's. After he had a couple in one hour they made the call that they needed to do some testing. Between the fact that the severity had escalated, and the fact that they were happening on a more regular basis, they wanted to be proactive with this and try to find the cause of the problem. They started by doing an x-ray of the lungs and abdomen to see if there were any problems, which came back clear. They then did a CBC blood count and a CRP blood test. The white count in the CBC came back fine, but the CRP blood work came back elevated. The CRP test doesn't necessarily give any specific indication of anything, it is more of an indicator of inflammation in the body and signifies the possibility of infection. One CRP test though doesn't tell a whole lot, they look at these tests over a number of days and look at the trend of the number. Since the CRP came back over 2, they decided that they should start antibiotics. If the test comes back tomorrow with a number lower, they will start to rule out infection and look for another cause for the apnea, but if the number stays the same or goes higher they will have more evidence of infection. They also did a blood culture and urine test. We won't know till tomorrow or Tuesday what they find out for sure with his breathing, or the CRP test, we just hope and pray they figure out what is going on. There is a chance they will put him back on the ventilator to let his body rest. Not what we wanted to hear, but if he needs a break to get over this we will accept it. Calvin is doing well, they lowered his canula setting down to a 2 from a 3 and raised his feedings from 13ml to 15ml and he was tolerating the increase. Another rollercoaster ride!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday, May 22nd, the boys had another pretty good day. Calvin was able to get his IV taken out since he is now on full feedings, and that is enough to not only give him all of his nutrients, but also enough fluids that he won't dehydrate. He is getting 13 milliliters every 3 hours, and just as a point of clarification, one ounce is 30 milliliters. We were surprised when we arrived this afternoon, they had Calvin dressed and swaddled in a blanket. Austin, is just about to his full feedings, so hopefully he will be getting rid of his IV soon. Papa Fonger and Nana came to visit this evening. Nana had a sore throat so she didn't go visit the boys. Calvin was wide awake, so it was nice for Papa Fonger to see him with his eyes open. The boys both gained a little bit of weight today, which was good, but these small increases in weight can be a bit frustrating. They have to get to 1500 grams before they can get in an open crib instead of the incubator. If only they could gain weight as easily as their parents!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday, May 21st started off rocky, but ended up being a good day for the boys. The phone rang at 6am this morning from St. Francis, of course I grabbed the phone in two seconds. It was the nurse practioner wanting to let us know that Austin's belly was a little hard and looped so they had decided to stop his feeding at 2am, 5:30am and 8am. They would do another x-ray and check it at 10. It is nice they call with any info it just startles you when the phone rings. I went over to hospital around noon with Grammy and was able to go to rounds for both boys. While in rounds, the doctor told me she had done an exam on Austin. His stomach was much softer and he had good bowel sounds so they were going to resume his feeding. She also said that Calvin's head ultra sound came back, and the bleed hasn't gotten any larger. She said it was still a 1 or 2 which is on the way to correcting itself so they will check it in two weeks to make sure. I was VERY happy to hear that. She explained it like when you get a bruise on your arm, then it starts to change color then fade away. So lets hope it continues to do so. I went back to hospital tonight with Greg and both boys were doing well, still on their breathing with the lowering of the machines yesterday. So lets hope they keep it up!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday, May 20th. The boys had a pretty good day. They were behaving well enough that the dr lowered the settings on their breathing machines. Calvin is down to only 3 liters of flow on his canula from 4. Austin was bumped down to 20 breaths per minute instead of 30 on the C-pap. So we will contiue to hope they do well. Papa McMahon came to visit this evening, and Calvin was showing off. Of course as soon as he got there Calvin was wide awake bright eyed staring at him the whole time. The nurses noted that Calvin already knows who he needs to butter up. Of course, Papa McMahon was glad to see that. I was actually able to get a good picutre of Calvin while he was so awake. I was going to put it on the blog, but then thought I can't put it on without a good picture of Austin. He is still on the c-pap so it is so hard for me to get a picture of him with the mask around his head and face. Calvin had his follow up head ultra sound today, so we will hope and pray for a good outcome.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 19th the boys are continuing to have a good day. We had a short stay this evening. We got new washer and dryer today so had to come home and get it installed. Austin is still on C-pap and Calvin Canula. Austin did have two bradychardias today around feeding time. They are thinking he might have reflux, so they started putting his feedings on a pump and giving it to him over an hour instead of all at once. We did see the dr while we were there, she said they were still doing well. At two days of age they had a screening done that checks for 60 or more different problems that some babies have, all babies in Illlinois are required to have this screening. The test then showed some abnormalities in Austin's thyroid levels, so he was set to be re-checked this week. He has had two follow-up checks done the past two days that have come back negative, so he is going to be cleared. Calvin's initial test came back clear, but since he and Austin are twins, they decided to re-check him as well, and those tests will be done tomorrow. The doctor asked us tonight if the boys were identical, and we replied that we don't know. There are some disparities in the explanations from different OB/GYN doctors as to whether or not they could be identical, so the doctor said the easy way to check would be to check their blood types and if they are different blood types they couldn't be identical. They both have the same blood type though, so we still don't know. We were able to change diapers and take their temperature while we were there. I dont like short nights over there. I will be glad to be going over more during the day now.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday, May 18th. The boys continued their run of better days today. Calvin is still on the canula and Austin on the C-pap. Neither one of the boys had any brady's today, which made us quite happy, but they still have a knack for showing off when we get there by showing us how they can make the monitors go off! The nurse informed us that they had been quiet all day and that it had been kind of boring, needless to say they decided that since we were there they would show us how good they are at desaturating their oxygen levels so that the monitors start beeping. I had my follow-up appointment today with the doctor that delivered the boys, so since we had to be in Peoria late in the afternoon we just decided to make our daily trip to to see the boys early. During my doctor visit I was told that I am healing quite well, and most importantly, I can drive again! I will be glad to not have to depend on someone for a ride anytime I want to leave the house. We were able to stay from 3-7 which we found is a much quieter time in the NICU than 6-10 at night. Greg told me today we had to leave by 7, since he has a final coming up in one course and a paper due in the other. The boys are off their TPN now, but I can't seem to remember what that stands for except that the "N" stands for nutrients. Basically, the TPN is the IV that gives them all of the nutrients they need, but now that they have been able to stay on their feeding schedule they are receiving enough nutrients from the milk and formula that they don't need any additional nutrients from the IV. Even though they are receiving enough nutrients from the milk, they still need some additional fluid through the IV so that they can stay hydrated. Now if mom's milk will just come in all the way we would be able to cut out the formula and give them straight milk. I am going to bed early tonight. Need some much needed rest!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday, May 17th. The boys had another pretty good day. We spent the whole evening over at the NICU. Austin is still on the c-pap, and Calvin on the canula. They have each had two bradychardia's today which the nurses say is pretty normal and is acceptable at their age and size. We would disagree with that statement since it is so distressing to hear the alarms going off and look down to see your son laying there not breathing because they simply forgot that they were supposed to. They are both taking their feedings every three hours. We saw dr. for short time tonight, and she said boys are doing well. She told us that anytime babies this size and age are handling their feedings that is a good sign. I had a request from Aunt Melissa to put their weight on the blog. They both lost quite a bit the first week or so, which the dr. said is normal for any preemie or full term baby. The last few days they finally started to put the weight back on. Austin weighs 1 1b 9 oz and Calvin weighs 1 lb 12 oz. This evening, as most every evening, we were at their bedside at 5:30 when they take the boys' temperature and change their diapers. For the last 10 days or so we have gotten into a routine where Greg takes their temperature and I change their diapers. Tonight Greg finally decided that it was time to switch roles and change a diaper for the first time in his life. I am not sure who was more uncomfortable with the whole situation, but they both survived the trauma. I think it proved to be a bit more challenging than it appears to change that little diaper with all of the wires and cords in the way. Maybe now he realizes that it isn't as easy as the nurses make it look, and the "constructive criticism" will slow down when I am doing it. I go back to doctor tomorrow for my check up will be glad to get my driving priverlages back! (yeah)!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How it all started

On Sunday, April 25, 2010, our life became a whirlwind. After attending a birthday party in McLean, I came home to rest. Around 7:00 p.m., while lying down in bed, my water broke. Greg, (yes, this life altering change has inspired me to call him by his real name) rushed me to Advocate-BroMenn hospital in Normal. As they were unprepared to handle a 24 weeks and 4 days rupture, I was transported by ambulance to OSF St. Francis Hospital in Peoria. Upon arrival there, the babies and I were monitored continually for 48 hours. We were able to find out that Baby B, whose sack had not ruptured, was a boy, Calvin. We were unable to find out the sex of Baby A, Austin, due to him being oblique, ruptured sac, and situated directly on my bladder. After holding me off in the ante partum wing for 4 days, Austin decided it was time to come into the world, so on Friday morning I woke up to bleeding and contracting, and was wheeled into labor and delivery. After 30 minutes of receiving an epidural, and it not taking, they could not wait any longer as Austin’s umbilical cord was compressed against my cervix. As a result, Greg was unable to experience the birth, but was immediately informed by the nurses when Baby A, Austin Mikel was born at 7:32 a.m., and a minute later when Baby B, Calvin Lawrence was born at 7:33 a.m. Austin weighed in at 1lb. 4 oz., 11 inches and Calvin weighed in at 1 lb. 10 oz., 12 ½ inches. (I ended up being out for an extra hour, due to the finding of a tennis ball size uterine fibroid, so was unaware of my two sons until 3 hours after they were born)!

After the boys were born they were immediately rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit, NICU, and were both put on ventilators. I was admitted to the post-partum wing, and was glad to see family surrounding me! That evening, the NICU called to inform us the boys were being taken off the ventilators and put on C-Pap machines. We were pretty proud of the boys for only being on vent for 12 hours each. Then Greg and I settled in for a 4 night stay, and I was able to start pumping around 4pm. Saturday morning Greg went down for the first session of rounds with the doctors. He came back to report that the doctors were impressed the boys were off the vents already and were doing better than they expected for being only 25 weeks. The doctors advised they would start priming the boys’ stomachs to prepare their digestive systems for food. They did advise it would be a roller coaster, a lot of stopping and starting of eating. I made my first trip to the NICU on Saturday May 1st. That morning was very hard to see my babies sooooooo little. That day we continued to pray and would go visit them in the NICU every few hours. Papa and Grammy Mcmahon, and Nana and Papa Fonger spent most of that day as well as the next two days on and off with us and we just continued to pray for them.

Sunday May, 2nd both boys continued to do well on the priming and were just being monitored with the feedings, blood, work and both on the c-pap.

Monday May, 3rd they had two big tests performed, one being a head ultrasound to check for a brain bleed, and the other a PDA test to check for the closing of the valve that connects the heart and lungs while in the womb. Both tests were run in the morning, and by afternoon we had GREAT results from the doctor. Both head ultrasounds came back normal and the PDA was closed on Austin, and maybe a little open on Calvin, but nothing they were going to treat, just monitor. So that made Mommy and Daddy very happy. They will do a follow up head ultra sound between days 10-14 of life, to check for the brain bleed again. We continued to visit the NICU every couple of hours that day. I finally got some milk to stimulate that day. Not much just a very tiny amount. So that was nice, to send down to the NICU for their priming. Even, though I was only getting a milliliter or two that is all they needed so it gave me some relief.

Tuesday May 4th, was a VERY hard day for Greg and I. We had to leave the boys, and go home. After lots and lots of tears we left the NICU around 6pm. I was relieved to know there is an 800 # I can call 24 hours a day to check with their nurses to see how each are doing. Of course, I told them they would be hearing from me 100 times a night. I made it through my first night at home on Tuesday, Auggie was glad to have mom and dad back at home. It was just very hard to be home without the boys and digest everything that had happened the past week or so.

Wednesday, May 5th was mostly the same as usual with priming, monitoring and lots of loving care from the wonderful NICU nurses. Of course I already have a few nurses that I love and have bonded with. Having such great nurses gave me a little relief to be at home and try to heal myself back from the surgery knowing that they were in good hands. Greg went back to work on Wednesday, Grammy spent the day with me until he got home from work and we headed to hospital. When we arrived at the hospital we received the news that we love to hear, that they had been doing quite well throughout the day.

Thursday, May 6th, here came our first hurdle or step back, Calvin’s stomach had some bubbles, so they stopped priming him and while doing an x-ray they found a tear in his lung. The dr called me at home and Greg on his cell phone to let us know the bump in the road. They continued to monitor the tear and it corrected it self by Saturday which was a huge relief. He didn’t start back on his feedings until Sunday. May 9th.

Friday, May 7th,they continued to watch the tear in Calvin's lung, and Austin was starting to get bubbles, in his stomach, so they stopped his feeding, so not a great day knowing both boys and been cut off their priming, and Calvin had the tear in his lung.

Saturday, May 8th that morning, we went to hospital and the doctors informed us the tear in Calvin ‘s lung had corrected itself, they were still going to hold the boys off on feeding that day, but we were relived the tear had gone away. We were also excited to find out that Austin was out of the humidity and I was able to Kangaroo (hold him on your chest for an hour). Calvin was still in a little humidity so we were unable to Kangaroo him. While I was sitting with Austin the doctor informed me that the chance were pretty high that Calvin would be out of the humidity by tomorrow and I would be able to Kangaroo him then.

Sunday, May 9th. Mommy's first Mother's Day! Not exactly how I had pictured it to be, but we made it through. Greg and I spent the day and were able to get good news for both boys. Both Austin and Calvin had gotten well enough from their stomach issues that they were able to start the priming again, and Calvin did indeed get out of the humidity and was stable enough to Kangaroo. The best thing so far about having twins in this situation has been that each of us got to Kangaroo with one of the boys. I got to hold Calvin for about an hour, and Greg got to hold Austin. We left the NICU around 5pm and had a visit from Grammy, Papa, Brian, Melissa, and Hannah for my first mother's day.

Monday, May 10th, was a good day for the boys. We found out Calvin was off the C-pap, and placed on a canula which is a machine that simply supplies oxygen but does not assist in breathing. I stayed home and rested with Grammy and then we headed to the hospital after Greg got home from work. Our biggest surprise when we arrived at the hospital was the sight of Calvin's face. The canula only requires a clear tube across his face with prongs in his nose, while we had gotten used to seeing him with the c-pap mask covering the majority of his face. I kangarood and held Calvin for a little over an hour tonight, which was VERY nice!

Tuesday, May 11th, was yet another good day. Grammy and I went to Walmart in the morning, to get some much needed supplies. I am still struggling quite a bit trying to get my milk to come in. I am still pumping every two to three hours, but unfortunately I am still only getting just a couple milliliters each time. Not sure what I will do once they start feeding and requiring more then a couple milliliters for their priming.

Wednesday, May 12th, was an okay day for boys. Austin, started to struggle a little with his breathing and had some heart rate drops and Bradychardia (where they forget to breath) Dr. informed us they will have those on and off for quite awhile so those are common. It means they are getting tired, and may have to take a step back on the the support. Even though that scares Greg and I, we are trying to remain positive and realize that they are small and they will not constantly move forward. Grammy and Papa went to the Cubs game in Chicago today. Papa Mcmahon brought back two cubby bears for the boys. I am sure they will be Cub fans some day. Nana Fonger came and stayed with me and took me to hopsital mid afternoon and then Greg met us. The doctor advised they will do a follow up head ultrasound on Thursday.

Thursday, May 13th was another so-so day. Austin had a bad night with the breathing, he had many bradychardia's and they had to up his breath's per minute on the c-pap to 20. The boys had their head ultrasounds done, but we won't have any results for 24 hours.

Friday May 14th, wasn't a good day for the Fonger boys! We are finally starting to believe what the doctor's and nurses told us at the beginning when they told us that this would be a rollercoaster ride. The results came in on the head ultrasound, and they found a small brain hemhorrage on Calvin. Of course this is not at all what we wanted to hear, but after talking to the doctor we do feel a little better about the finding. The doctor told us that brain bleeds are rated 1-4, 4 being the worst, and Calvin was experiencing a 1 bordering on a 2. She said those are considered mild, common with someone their age, and they usually work themselves out and if not there is usually not any long term effects from them. They will recheck it again in 1 week to make sure that if it has not fixed itself, it is at least not getting bigger. Austin's head ultrasound came back clear, which was a relief, so they won't check his again till around 34 weeks, close to when we go home. Austin was continuing to struggle with his breathing when we left this evening, still having heart rate drops and oxygen saturation drops. It is so hard, but if they have to put him back on vent we will deal with it. There is only one more setting they can bump him up on the c-pap before they would put him back on the vent. I am sure he is getting tired, and if he needs to spend some time on the vent to rest, that is what we want to happen. I was able to kangaroo Austin for an hour and a half this afternoon. YEAH!! Greg worked at the tap tonight, so Shelly and Lindsey came over to visit, and then Brian and Melissa were in town for a wedding so they spent the night.

Saturday, May 15th wasn't quite as bad as Friday, but still not what we would consider a good day. They bumped Austin up to the highest setting on the c-pap. We hope he doesn't have to go back on vent again today, but are willing to accept it if he is getting tired. Calvin, improved on his breathing only having a couple Bradychardia (heart rate drops). We were at hospital most of the day, then came home for an hour or two before we headed back with Nana and Papa Fonger. Shortly after we returned, the respitory therapist was there to change out Austin's c-pap mask. She was able to hold him up and we could see him with all his gear off. He opened his eyes wide as could be to Nana and she started balling her eyes out. I told the nurses I am sure that won't be the last time they see her cry her eyes out. Nana and Papa both brought the boys their first little Case IH tractors. After we left hospital, Nana and Papa took us to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. It was my first time in public in three weeks, other then hospital and home.

Sunday, May 16th today was a pretty good day for boys. Mommy and daddy are home now and tired. We put in an 11 hour day over there. They gave Austin some blood today as his blood count was getting low. Hopefully, that will help his breathing. He only had 2 bradychardia all day today. Calvin didn't have any so far. I was able to hold Calvin for an hour today. I am still pumping every 2-3 hours and still not getting a whole lot, but I'm not throwing in the towel yet!!!

Finally after much coaxing from Greg and my mom I am up-to-date on the boys' journey, and plan on posting an update every day. I know this first one was long, but you should be pretty well up to speed on their development.