Almost Home!

Exciting day! We are here at the hospital 'rooming in' with Grayson.  All NICU families do this before heading home. We spend the night with them without nurse supervision but they are available to help if we need them. I must say, Aaron and I would have been nervous to head straight home with our preemies. Grateful for our practice run!  We will stay here tonight and Miss Hallie will join us tomorrow night (she is 40 minutes into her car seat test and doing great!) Grayson passed his today with no problems and both babies passed hearing tests today.  I couldn't more proud that our sweeties have done so well. I had no idea they would be coming home this weekend until yesterday afternoon. Doctor Hamilton-Spence reviewed their charts and saw that they are both without out feeding tubes (G pulled his out A few days ago and they left it out and he has done great since then), taking their feeds without any issues, nutsing extremely well and continuing to gain weight consistently.  Hallie is a day or so behind Grayson due to a few heart rate dips associated with learning the suck/swallow routine, very common for preemies. It's not overly concerning bc it is caused by feedings but they like them to grow out of that phase before sending them home. The doctor today noted, however, that full term babies very likely do the same but don't have monitors to detect.

Hallie peacefully sleeping during her car seat test.

Weight/length updates: Grayson is a whopping 6lbs and Hallie is 4.15 ready to hit her 5lb mark. Last Sunday, they measured 17 & 18 inches long.  Big brother is about a pound and an inch ahead of his little sister.

We came today for the 2:30/3:00 feeds to spend some time with them both before heading to our room. Grandpa and Grandma Thomas were here and Grandma held them both for the first time. Such a sweet moment seeing her love on her great grandchildren. We are so blessed to have them here with us.

Since coming to our room we have had our very first moments of parenting on our own and it could not be more wonderful.  My heart is so full.  Grayson is the sweetest little boy and has been perfect for us.  He grunts a bit between feeds and I am learning what he is telling us as we go.  He always been our little grunter from the get-go.  I am loving this time with him and can't wait to have them both together tomorrow. It's so surreal holding him without monitors, wires, and nurses surrounding us. We have waited for this for so long and I am soaking each and every minute in.  Funny to think they should actually still be in my belly!

                                      Grayson's first night with mommy and daddy.

Last week in the NICU! 


Adios Feeding Tube!

So proud of little girl today!  Her feeding tube is out, never to return again!  Grayson struggled with his feeds today. I asked the nurse tonight to give him his tube if he had a hard time with the bottle.  I would rather him rest than overwork on his feeds. We know he is coming home soon so no reason to rush.

We had eye exams today that went very well overall. Grayson checked out perfectly and will see the optometrist in a year. Hallie's eyes were not as mature as brother's so she will see the doctor again in a month. Dr said he felt they would likely be where they needed to be at that time and if not we have a few treatment options. I'm praying and believing they will mature in their own.

I spent the afternoon holding them together in my lap soaking in their sweetness. I could stare at those two faces all day!

Aaron and I went to a movie tonight and plan on going to Lifegroup tomorrow night. I have a girls night planned as my last hoorah Thursday.  We are taking advantage of going out to dinner and seeing friends now, because we know when they come home our lives will be focused entirely on the little stinkers... As it should be!

Tomorrow is their one month 'birthday'!


4 Weeks Old!

I can hardly believe Grayson and Hallie are already 4 weeks old.  In one sense, it feels like time has flown by so quickly but in another it seems so long ago their precious faces were covered in ugly tubes.   "They grow up so fast."  If I've heard this once I've heard it one hundred times; however, now it resonates.  In 4 weeks they have grown and changed so much already.

Today Grayson weighed 5.9lbs and Hallie 4.9lbs!  Grayson feels and seems like a 'regular' sized baby and Hallie seems so small next time him although she is just one pound shy of brother's weight.

We originally assumed Gray would come home first because he was bigger and stronger but I am not so sure that will be the case.  Sister has been taking her feeds so well and Aaron noticed a big difference today in her sucking strength and time it took her to finish a bottle (just 10-15 minutes!).  As of this evening she has taken feeds in her bottle for 36+ hours.  Gray is also doing well but needed a little help this afternoon.  Grammy Karlos gave him his bottle while we were there tonight and he finished it all with no help but he was pretty sleepy... Sweet boy.  Our nurse thought he may have been a little more fussy than usual today and said he spit up.  He grunts and squirms constantly so it may just be his usual day aside from a little spit up.  They will keep an eye on him to make sure he isn't getting sick and look for signs of reflux.  Praying for neither.

I am so looking forward to the next chapter of our life.  I look forward to the hectic but sweet days of having our babies home with us.  We are getting closer everyday and I couldn't be more proud of our little fighters.

Happy 4 weeks Sweet Angels!


Precious Moment

Yesterday when I walked into the NICU Hallie and Grayson were side by side in Grayson's crib. I thought my heart may explode!  Our nurse said he was fussy and as soon as she put them together he calmed right down. They were grabbing each others faces and hands, it was one of the most precious sights I've ever seen!

Before we know our little ones will be home with us and our life as a family of four will start.  We are excited and anxious all at once.  One thing for sure, we have never known a love like we have for Grayson and Hallie.


Baby Shower

Last weekend Mom, Karlos, Andrea and Ali threw a beautiful baby shower for me.  We had to reschedule 2-3 times because of the uncertainty throughout my pregnancy and on bed rest.  About 40 of my closest friends and family showered me with love and amazing gifts!  Needless to say, the twins are two very spoiled babies!  Throughout this journey I have been blown away by the love and support my friends and family have covered us with.  We are abundantly blessed!

Three Weeks Old!

Both Hallie and Grayson are now in open cribs and continue working on bottle feeding.  It's hit or miss.  When they are alert and awake they take their bottles fine but when they are sleepy... not so much. Today Hallie took most of her feeds by bottle.  They will come home once they are able to eat by bottle and no feeding tube for 48 hours.  There is no weight limit but they will also have to pass the carseat test (no heart rate changes for two hours while sitting in their seats).

I'm posting a few days after the 3 weeks mark and are proud or announce Hallie is 4.3lbs no Grayson is 5.2lbs.  Grow babies grow!  They are more and more precious everyday and their sweet little cheeks are starting to plump up.

Love my angels!


11 Days Old!

I've been meaning to post sooner but between hospital trips and pumping every 2-3 hours this momma is busy! I drove for the first time yesterday and have been enjoying the little things like trips to Target, organizing the nursery and being able to do everyday chores around the house.

Back to the babies! Grayson and Hallie are doing so well and flying through their milestones for their gestational age. Both of their IVs came out on their one week birthday. One less wire and no more needles! They had a hard time getting Hallie's IV's in which broke momma's heart seeing her cry and hurt. Needless to say, we are happy to be past IVs. The IVs were assisting in nutrition and administered preventative antibiotics due to low but low normal white blood counts. The next big milestone was graduating from cpaps. Hallelujah! From the get go both babies did well breathing and were breathing 21% oxygen as an adult does but they needed a little additional help taking deep, full breaths. The c-paps are extremely frustrating for everyone including babies, parents and nurses. The tubes in their noses agitated our poor babies and were always coming loose and sounding off alarms. Holding them with c-paps was challenging as well. It was hard to see their tiny faces because the huge c-pap tubes covered half of their faces and enlarged their nostrils making their tiny little noses appear much bigger than they are. Tuesday (8 days old) they tried to take c-paps off to see how well G&H would tolerate them off. They are now 11 days old and have been c-pap free for three days! They are so much happier and rest much better. Grayson in particular struggled with his and is so much more relaxed. We thought he might be a fussy baby but it was the yucky c-pap after all. As of yesterday/today both are back to their birth weight. Grayson dropped to 3.6lbs and Hallie was 2.14lbs at her lowest. Dr. Brann said they should gain consistently from this point forward. Grayson is now starting the process of regulating his own body heat so he is able to wear big boy clothes! Hallie won't be far bend him but is still a little too small to regulate her own body temperature. Daddy dressed him for the first time and as with all firsts he was a little nervous. Grayson wasn't a happy camper but once he was dressed he was cool as a cucumber. Aaron was the first to change a diaper and take their temps which we do regularly now before we hold and they are fed.

Yesterday was a really special day. I walked into the NICU for the 12 feedings and Tanya one of our nurses gave Aaron both babies to hold at once! It was the sweetest moment yet! I melted seeing Grayson and Hallie in their Daddy's arms. We then held them side by side for the first time since birth. I wonder if they notice they are away from one another after 31 weeks of being so close? I can't wait until they are able to be close together and bond again. We also introduced them to nursing yesterday. Hallie did well until she fell asleep and Grayson wasn't interested at all. Now that we are attempting to nurse their feeding tubes are in the noses rather than the mouths so not to interfere or confuse them. It looks more comfortable to me in the nose than the mouth. Wish they could tell us what they think!

A lot of moms really struggle with their new babies in the hospital, understandably so. I want my babies home with us more than anything but I was mentally prepared for them to come early and am very confident in the team of nurses and doctors caring for them. I know they are being watched over and pray for their health and protection every day.

We continue to be so grateful for their health and know that they came exactly when they were supposed to, in God's timing. We were told had they not come when they did Hallie could have been at risk as she wasn't getting as much of the needed nutrients as Grayson was which attributed to their difference in size. Thankfully, she is here and eating like a champ now. He is taking 35ml and she is at 28ml. I am fully supplying their feedings by pumping and hope to be able to keep up as they continue to grow.

We are so in love with our little angels and love watching them grow!