Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ellie's First Test Result; Eli and Caleb's One Step Back

Thanks for your prayers for Ellie. Her first test came back negative for HIV!

We will still have to have her tested for it again in six months, but for now it looks good. We have been given some additional information since our original request for prayer that tells us that she was probably not exposed to HIV in the first place. There is still a chance, but it does seem like it is pretty miniscule at this point. We will obviously still have her tested as a precautionary measure, but we are choosing not to borrow trouble at this point. My second concern in the situation was for the other three children and protecting them in the event that Ellie is HIV positive. I’ve been told by a couple of different doctors at different times over the weekend that even with them breastfeeding one right after the other, that Ellie wouldn’t pass it to them.

The truth of the matter is this: The hospital staff have taken excellent care of us since I walked into the hospital and was place on bed rest in January. We are all human, and errors do occur. We know the nurse who made the mistake, and she is a great person who generally does a fine job! As long as Ellie is okay, then we are okay. We’d like to let this pass as just another stressful moment in the grand scheme of our “quad project.”

So PLEASE keep praying for little Ellie, but Sean and I really believe that we she will be fine!


Saturday was the day that they told us about the mix-up with Ellie’s breast milk. That was stressful.

Sunday, we got a call from the doctor first thing in the morning saying that we have reached the point in our NICU journey that requires me to be at the hospital a lot. Since I am breastfeeding, they need me up there for as many feedings possible. They also told us that they needed to start learning how to bottle feed even though they weren’t doing all that fantastically with the breast feeding. I was really concerned about nipple confusion and throwing too many things at them at once, but they said that they really needed to start being more oral. So we went up on Sunday morning and I made a last ditch effort to try to get all four of them to breastfeed before the bottles came out. They have these nifty little things called nipple shields that preemies like because it provides a harder platform for them to suck against. With their high palates and ridges from vents, regular breastfeeding is difficult and they’ve all had a hard time catching on. By the end of the day on Sunday, they had all breastfed twice amazingly well! So well, in fact, that several of them didn’t even need any follow up feeding to top them off. It was so encouraging! Since then, they have been ROCKING the breastfeeding every time! Finally! Then the nurse dropped the bombshell on us that Elijah could be home as early as Friday. Oh My Word! I didn’t sleep very well Sunday night because the idea of babies starting to come home was really stressful.

Monday, I showed up at the hospital early to feed the babies again. The day started relatively low key for having four kids in the neo-natal intensive care unit, but from there, the day just plummeted. By about 1pm, Elijah had started dsating (heart rate dropped drastically and breathing completely stopped) severely. It wasn’t just the little dsats that I’ve been watching for weeks now with occasional slight color changes where the babies turn a little blue and then come right back out of it. Elijah completely stopped breathing and wasn’t coming back by himself. I watched as the nurse ripped his covers off, unbuckled his sleeping pouch in record time, and picked him up to pound on his back. He wasn’t even blue. He was completely grey. From where I was sitting, he actually looked dead. His nurse, Corrie, got him breathing again and settled him back in his crib. After that, I needed a minute, so I left to grab some lunch really quick. When I walked back into nursery after lunch, everybody was a little bit flustered. Apparently I had just missed a much worse episode by about 5 minutes. It was so bad that Corrie had to hit the “Staff Assist” button to get additional help. Unfortunately, from there, the afternoon just got worse. I watched as Elijah’s heart rate dived and his breathing stopped again and again and again. And then Caleb decided that he wanted to join Elijah in his activity, so he started doing the same thing. As a mom, sitting there watching the nurses bring my kids back over and over, it was the worst afternoon I have spent in the hospital up to this point. There was literally nothing I could do, and their problems came out of nowhere! Awful!! I never want to have my boys go down on me like that here at home. I suppose the upside is that I now know how to pound on their back to get them to start breathing again. I just wish I could get the picture of my boys looking completely dead out of my mind. That far outdistanced my stress from the two prior days.

Yesterday evening, after their dramatic afternoon, they moved us from the South Nursery back to the main NICU. We are back in their original rooms again so that they can be closer to extra hands if they are needed. Elijah, who wasn’t on any extra breathing apparatuses and in a crib, has been put back in an isolette and is on a CPAP again. Caleb is also back in an isolette and is on a nasal cannula. They have had a full blood work up to look for infections. They may have one, but the doctors are thinking that their problems may actually stem from them being taken off of their caffeine. They have been on caffeine for most of their lives up to this point to help them overcome some of their preemie hurdles. The doctors took them off of caffeine because they were doing so well. Maybe they need it longer? Gosh, whatever their issues are, they scared their Mama half to death! Prayers are much appreciated that they get better soon. And the girls? Just as happy as clams in their cribs! Long story short, Elijah won’t be coming home on Friday. They have to go a full week without an alarm needing intervention to come home. If they have an alarm that requires intervention, the clock resets and we have to start the countdown over.

Whew! What an update! I hope the next few days are uneventful because I’ve had my full quotient of stress for this week!

--Posted by Becca


  1. bless your heart...!! will pray for "uneventful" !! thanks for the update!

  2. My what a writie-up! I was excited for Elijah to be coming home, but am glad he will be in the hospital awhile longer
    for his breathing issues! I sure wouldn't want that to happen
    to one of my babies at home!!!

    So glad the girls are doing well and that the boys will get
    back to the business of getting ready to go home!!!

    Much love,

  3. Have been praying ever since your momma picked up the boys on Monday. Keep us posted as to your needs. Would like to come to the hospital some time on Friday for some pictures for the shower.

    Rebecca, In times of stress I always imagine myself being held in my Father's arms........

    Love to you all

  4. Send up prayers for of protection and health for all of you.

  5. You, my dear daughter, are quite the woman. I love you!

  6. God Bless you momma Becky...that was quite a day for you and daddy!! Prayers as usual will come your way for all of you, you can count on that! pheww, you do have your work cut out for you for sure, but on the very bright side, by the time your babies will be able to come home, just look at all this on-hand experience you will have... The Dear Lord has his hand on your children protecting them on their way to become "full-term babies"... so we all will keep praying to Him for for His help in keeping them safe & continue to grow to become "big kids" and of course the prayers do include you, your hubby & all your family!!
    I want to thank you again for finding the time to let all your audiance into your lives. You are real special people... I almost feel related to y'all.

  7. Sharri Adkins ZahnterApril 26, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    God Bless you! My grandson went thru a lot of what you are going thru but u hv it times four! One was so much anxiety! I wish I could come give you & Sean a big hug & make everything perfect for u. I have asked for more prayers for all of you. Both of you I am sure, are completely exhausted and ready to give up some days, but please remember God will never give you more than you can handle. If there is ANYTHING I can do for you guys ( anything from a massage at the hospital to a home cooked meal, I am here for you! Hugz! Sharri

  8. Praying for no more episodes! We love you and your kids so much! We cheer at their milestones and cry with you at their setbacks. You are covered by the Lord's protective hands though. The Great Physician will protect you all. Know that you are loved so very much!

  9. Judy

    Due to the nature of the NICU and the fact that are babies are premature, we only allow family in the NICU and even then we limit it quite a bit. This is not only for our children's needs but also the other sick babies in the NICU. Perhaps, when the kids make it home, I might allow you to take pictures but I will warn you I am extremely protective of my children and their needs. We will still need to limit the amount of people the children are exposed to once they come home. When it is sooner to the time that they do come home we will let everyone know the limits that they have. I know a lot of people think they are going to get to oogle them and hold them and they are in for a rude awakening.

  10. Bless your heart!!! Thanks for the reminder that we HAVE to keep praying! I will inform my Care Group from church so prayers will be coming your way from Joplin.

  11. Lifting you up in prayers. Priase God for Ellies negative results. Will continue to pray for her, and I am praying for the nurse (we are human) and I can only imagine what she is feeling right now. I know this has to be so frustrating but I can see your faith carrying you through this scare. May God continue to carry you and Sean and give you peace.
    The nipple sheild is an amazing thing isn't it. I am so glad this is helping with the nursing. I love the nipple sheild.

    Lifting Elijah and Caleb up in prayer-I am so sorry they have given you such a scare. Seeing them having A's and B's is one thing but wittnessing them not breathing is more than a mom should have to deal with. I am praying that is isn't an infection. Sounds like Caleb and Elijah are little buddies raising alot of trouble together. Don't hesitate to ask the Dr.s if you can go home on monitors even if the babies havent had an episode in 7 days. The monitors sometimes give parents a little peace of mind when they go home. The monitors can also drive the parents crazy too they are really loud but I think the peace of mind out weighs the loud alarms.
    Praying the girls continue to do well.
    I feel like I already know you and your family-your babies have a special place in my heart. Don't let go of our heavenly fathers hand. He will continue to guide you during this amazing journey.

  12. God must have some amazing plans and ministry for your family in the years to come. We are continuing to pray...
    love you...Connie

  13. I can't imagine going through that with my sweet baby. I got tears in my eyes when I read the line about your son looking dead and wishing you could get it out of your mind. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. We are praying for you and your babies. I don't know what will happen, but I do know that our Father is the Great Physician, and your babies are in His arms. Thank you for being a positive example for us all!

  14. I SO understand, Sean. I'm so proud of you, Papa Bear.
    I'll see them when it's Okay. Until then, I'll Watch for pictures on your blog.

  15. Keeping the boys & girls and their mom & dad in prayer.

  16. We are so glad Ellie's results came back negitive. We are praying they can figure out why the boys began these episodes. Are they still letting them try to feed? We are asking praying that all four will continue to gain strength and come home when they are ready! It is getting closer and we know you are ready. May God continue to look over all 6 of you.

  17. Rebecca,

    Oh my gosh, I can't imagine. I think you have maintained great composure over all of this. Thank God that you hadn't taken Eli home and have that happen. Prayers still coming for all of them. Keep your head up they will all be fine and come home healthy happy babies.


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