Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ready, Set....Home.

The kids have gotten so big over the last couple of weeks! Caleb, Abby, and Elijah are all the size of full term babies now, and Ellie is trying her best to catch up:

Caleb: 6lbs. 11 oz.
Abby: 6 lbs. 7 oz.
Elijah: 6lbs. 7 oz.
Ellie: 4lbs. 11oz.
We have spent the last few days trying to figure out their feeding plans for when they come home. It’s extremely confusing, even for the hospital staff. Caleb and Abby both had Video Swallow Grams last week to see if maybe they needed their food thickened to cut down on the number of alarms and stem that they needed. Although they both passed it, clinically, the occupational therapist decided that they need thickener added to their food. Caleb has done extremely well with the change, and isn’t turning blue during feedings anymore! Abby, on the other hand, is still really struggling to eat. She just hasn’t done as well as her siblings. I think her feeding plan needs to be tweaked a bit more.

Elijah had a Video Swallow Gram on Tuesday and completely failed it. That sounds bad, but it’s actually a good thing. Now we know why the boy has been turning blue on us when we try to feed him. He has been aspirating his milk/formula. Now his formula is thickened to the consistency of honey, and he has drastically improved. He hasn’t turned blue while eating either. Thank goodness, because he was really freaking me out.

Ellie is a little eating machine! She didn’t need a Video Swallow Gram because she’s always done quite well with eating. She is still eating slightly thickened food since their formula comes that way, so that’s helping her get it down even faster. Now, if we can just get some of that food to stick to her little frame. J

The really hard part of this week for me has been the news that I can’t nurse the kids any longer. Due to their reactions on thin liquids, it’s just too dangerous to try to continue it. After working so hard for almost 3 months, it’s really difficult to just give it up. I feel like I’ve given up so much: a normal pregnancy, a normal delivery, a normal start to motherhood. Now I can’t even breastfeed my kids. I had no idea it would be this disappointing. I considered it a privilege and a bonding experience, and now it’s gone. I know there are other ways to bond, but in this moment, it’s just really hard. However, what I want obviously is not as important as what is best for the babies. There is a grieving process that goes along with losing some of these things. I’ve started the process to wean myself using the pump. I can’t physically pump and feed this many kids every 3 hours, so we decided that they had breast milk for the 3 most important months of their lives, and now it’s time to just let them have formula.

However, the good things that I need to keep in mind are that we have four beautiful babies that are breathing, feedings will go faster with everyone on formula (15-20 minutes per baby, rather than 45 minutes per baby), and I get to have a couple of full nights of sleep before they start coming home! I must admit, the sleep thing is really exciting, and I intend to FULLY enjoy them before the babies come home.

Yesterday, we had our Discharge Conference with the babies’ care team. Things are starting to come together very rapidly, and we needed to get the final list of what happens between now and discharge. For a couple of the kids, there are a few last things such as hearing screens, car seat tests, etc. and then they will be ready. We followed that conference up with Monitor Training, so that we know how to troubleshoot things when the alarms start blaring.

We also set up our rooming in dates. Tomorrow, we will head to the hospital and start a 24 hour cycle of us doing everything for the kids just as if they were home. The hospital is giving us a room down the hall that we can sleep in between feedings. So every 3 hours, we will walk to the NICU, each mix the food for and feed two kids, and then try to catch a little more sleep before the next round. (Thanks to my brother for watching the house while we are doing that!)

With all of that being said, next week is going to be a BIG week for us. As it stands now, if everything goes according to plan and no issues come up:

Ellie is coming home on Sunday.

Elijah is coming home on Monday.

Caleb is coming home on Wednesday.

(We don’t have a discharge date for Abby yet.)

We are excited, anxious, and a bit overwhelmed knowing that we could quite possibly have three babies home in less than a week. Yikes! We could still use some more help, so if any of you are at all interested, please let us know. I think I can handle two, but beginning with three, I’ll need an extra set of hands. We know that it’s possible the dates could be pushed back for them as has already happened a couple of times, but we are almost 100% sure that we will have at least Ellie and Elijah coming home.

Your prayers are needed now more than ever as we need to adjust very rapidly to our new lives. Thanks for keeping us before the throne over the next few days while we finally start putting our family together!

--Posted by Rebecca


  1. Once again tears fill my eyes as I absorb the latest news on your family... so much to say... I'll keep it short with I love you all dearly and I continue to pray many times a day for all of you.

  2. This is all such wonderful news! We continue to pray for every detail to fall into place perfectly. Thanks for the updates.

  3. Excited for this new phase for all of you!

  4. Wow. Simply amazing. God is so good. I totally understand the grieving about breastfeeding. I have been through that, but as you mentioned, formula allows the feedings to go faster and will provide you with some extra hours of sleep. I'm so happy for you, Becca!

  5. Woohoo! Praise the Lord!! Halelujah!!!
    You are in our prayers and I can't wait to come visit in a few years and meet your wonderful family!!

  6. AAAhhh! You make my heart smile. I like hearing such good news. Tally ho & on we go! Thanks again for sharing the story of your lives with all of us. As always, will pray.

  7. Great news! Once they are all home, it will be easier to have a routine, sometimes we just had to "wing it" while trying to visit the NICU and be home with the babies/big kids, etc.... We never did the 24 hour stay though. We just had to do the CPR training. I'm sure every hospital is different. :) You are all doing fantastic and I will continue to pray for everyone. Your updates are fantastic...thank you!

  8. We are excited for you that you'll be getting to take them home. We'll let you know first hand that feeding every 3hrs seems like there is no time in between. We immediately pushed ours kids two 4hr feedings and just fed them a little more when they were discharged. That helped us get a little more of a break in between.

    At 3hr feedings, the babies would wake up 30mins before their feeding screaming hungry and if we only fed 2 at a time, then it took an 1hr to feed all of them.

  9. I am very excited for you!!! It is really good that they are going to have you start a routine in the hospital. I know when we were discharged with Titus it was very overwhelming coming home with no idea how things would be. I will be praying for you!!!

  10. "Homecoming" takes on a whole new meaning! Praying for all the strength and good humor you will need and want in the coming weeks and months.

  11. Rebecca and Sean:
    Andrew and I are continually praying for the two of you and your little ones! We will be praying that all goes well at home! We love you!

    We are moving back to the KC area, Lord willing, on Monday May 16th. When we get settled in, I would love to help you out in any way that I can. Please don't hesitate to ask!

    With love and constant prayers!!!

  12. How exciting and scary that the babies are going to start coming home! They are such miracles. :)

  13. Not being able to breast feed was a really hard one for me to deal with too.

    Yes, the third baby means a huge increase in difficulty. For some reason the extra set of arms doesn't come with the extra babies.


We would love to hear what you think! Please know that all comments are on a slight delay as we approve them on our end. Thanks for commenting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...