Thank you all for sharing in the lives of our three amazing children- Mairead, Jack, and Ben. We hope you visit often!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday- Ben is home!

The great news is that Ben is home. We were discharged at about 1pm, and he is doing great. He received the RSV vaccine, so we hope he is home for good.

The not so great news is that Jack is a little worse. He needed a lot of oxygen last night and was really struggling, so they moved him to the neo-natal ICU around midnight. Since then he is a little better, but he has a long way to go. Dave and I are not able to hold him right now since he is so dependent on the O2. We hope that they are able to wean him soon, but he really needs it right now. He is not eating very much and may need a feeding tube, but that is better than losing weight since he is still under 5lbs.

It is very hard not to be able to hold your own baby, but we know that he is being well cared for. We are trying to concentrate on the good news of the day and to enjoy our time with Ben. We'll still be back and forth to the hospital to see Jack so that he can hear our voices, even if we can't hold him. Hope to post more good news soon.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday Update

Hello everyone- thanks for checking in with us. So many of you have called, emailed, and left messages on Facebook, and we really do appreciate them. We have been overwhelmed with everything we have going on, so we have not been able to answer each of you, but your messages mean a lot to us, and we appreciate that you are thinking of our boys. It does help!

Today was kind of a 'status quo' day. I guess no bad news is good news! Jack is pretty much the same. He is relying on the oxygen to help him breathe, but they have not had to intubate him, which is a relief. His respiration rate is still high, which means that he is still working hard to breathe. But, he is sleeping and eating well, and still does not have a fever. Due to the virus, he has tiny little collapses in his lung. The nurses assure me that this sounds a lot worse than it is. It's called adelectisis, and it just happens because his alveoli are full of mucous, so they don't open, they sort of collapse. The hard part about RSV is that there is no way to predict how long he will be sick, or how sick he will get. The doctors and nurses think that he is in the trhoes of the worst of it, so let's hope that things are looking up tomorrow.

Yesterday, they were talking about sending him in to Children's Hospital in Boston, intubating him, doing a spinal tap, and other terrible things, but he has been very strong and has not needed any of that. Our friends in the NICU agreed to take him instead of sending him to Children's, if it came to that. This is typically not the protocol- once a baby leaves the hospital, he is not supposed to return to the NICU for fear of infecting other babies (Mairead was also an exception to this rule because she had not left for more than 24 hours or something to that effect).

Ben is doing really well. He is taking his entire feeding, it just takes him a really long time to do it. They would like to see him speed things up before sending him home. There IS a vaccine for RSV, and they have decided to administer that to him so that when both boys do come home, Ben will not get RSV from Jack. Ben is up to 5lbs 11 oz right now and actually has chubby little cheeks! He is adorable and much more alert lately. Jack is still a very alert little guy, even though he doesn't feel well. He is still very tiny at 4lbs 9oz. The nurses seem to love him, though, and they take very good care of him.

So, we still don't have anticipated discharge dates for either baby, as they are both in a 'wait and see' kind of pattern. I hope that they are both very strong and healthy soon, and that we are posting new pictures of them together. Thanks again for all of your support.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Mairead was all ready for St. Patrick's Day today-- She looked adorable, but I am not so sure that I like this picture because she looks so grown up! I can't believe how quickly she is growing and changing- she is such a beautiful girl and so much fun to be around.

We are hoping that the 'luck of the Irish' is with us soon- Jack is still on oxygen in pediatrics, and seems to be dealing with the worst of the virus right now. He is comfortable with the oxygen, but is definitely still working hard to keep his breathing regular. So, he is very tired and is not eating as much as he should. We are hopeful that this will pass quickly so that he does not lose weight, putting us back at square one. We can't do much for him except hold him as much as possible and make sure he is getting the O2.

Ben has been eating much more lately and took 2 full feeds last night. He still is not making his minimums, though, so he still has the tube. There is no way to predict how long he will be there, but it seems that he still has a ways to go. He is gaining weight (all the way up to 5lbs 9oz), but when he gains weight, his minimum requirement for food goes up. It's a vicious cycle with him. He has not shown any signs of RSV, though, which is one bit of good news.

Dave and I are trying to balance our time in two different parts of the hospital, as well as at home with Mairead. The boys don't know what is going on, but she does, so we have to make sure that her life is as routine as possible. Thanks to Grandma Dorothy for coming to help us out and providing us with meals, support, and help with the kids.

I hope to be posting good news soon- thanks to all of you for your support.

Quick Update

Jack has RSV and has been re-admitted to the hospital. He is in pediatrics and Ben is still in the NICU. Ben is eating well, but still has a long way to go. Jack is on oxygen because he is struggling to breathe. Dave and I are doing our best to balance time between the three kids. We try to divide our hospital time between Ben and Jack, but also to spend the afternoons with Mairead. Hopefully things will take a turn for the better soon

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Update

Our boys are nine days old now and they are just about the cutest things ever. I had never even held a baby as small as Jack is, and I still can't get over how tiny they are. They look so much alike, but they do have different expressions. Ben's face seems rounder, but that may be because he weighs more than Jack does. I have kept Jack's hospital bracelet on so that when Ben finally comes home, I can use them to tell the boys apart! I had also heard of painting one baby's toenail, so that will probably happen, too! I am sure that their personalities will emerge and that we will know who is who, but I don't want to mix them up!

Jack is doing great at home. He is eating what he is supposed to, and he sleeps a lot, which is good for Mom and Dad. It has been a tough week for us, and we are very thankful to have our family around to help us out. My entire family has been here at one time or another, and Dave's mom is coming to stay for a few days starting tomorrow. Having these people to help us is huge since I am still not supposed to drive. I think I could drive, but if I rip the internal stitches or do other damage, I will have an even harder time taking care of three kids, so I can't risk it.

Tomorrow, Mairead returns to daycare, so we hope that her life will get a little easier. She has been sick with her ear infection, and her whole routine is off, so she is completely not herself. I think she is very confused about all of the coming and going, and she is just not her happy go lucky self. I am hoping that she will be happier once she goes back to daycare to play with her friends and have her routine back.

Ben is working really hard, but he still has a long way to go. The good news is that he is much more alert, but he still isn't taking all of the food that he needs to. The doctors have a minimum requirement for him, and he has to take all of his minimums many times in a row in order for the tube to come out. Then, he has to keep taking the minimums without the tube before he can come home. We really have no idea when this will be, which is very hard on us. The back and forth to the hospital PLUS a newborn at home PLUS a sick toddler is really tough to balance. We just can't wait to have three healthy kids at home with us.

Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive. I hope that we will be posting soon about Ben coming home to his brother and sister.