Saturday, January 12, 2013

The flu and other illness

So last weekend all 7 of us woke up sick on Sunday. Ray had a pretty good fever going on, I had a sore throat, Logan had a fever, the twins had horrible coughs, and I can't remember what Chase and Rylee were feeling. The twins cough was making me pretty nervous though. They were coughing hard enough that I was starting worry that it could be pertussis. I kept a close eye on them and on Monday I took them in to the pediatrician. The doc said he didn't think it was pertussis, which was a relief to me, but he wondered if it could be RSV. That was not what I wanted to hear. I had been trying so hard to avoid this from happening because I did not want to see them that sick and to also go through the hospital again. So he decided to do a nasal swab and have it tested for RSV and some other viruses and we would know by the next day. Well, low and behold, Brooke has RSV, para influenza (bronchiolitis), and rhinovirus. Abby got off a little better and only has the para influenza (bronchiolitis). The doc said to keep a close on them and watch their breathing. Thankfully throughout the week they seem to be making progress and their coughs are sounding a little better.

But as for the rest of the family, we've been put through the ringer. Ray kept his fever for 4 days and a nasty cough. I finally convinced him to go to the doc and he got a steroid to help with the cough and gross nose, but still ended up missing the whole week of school. Logan also fevered for about 4 days but didn't get the cough. We had to keep him home for 24 hours after his symptoms went away to send him back to school cause there's an epidemic of this horrible flu going around. On the news they say that hospitals are turning people away cause they're all full and doctor's offices are packed all day. The week before Rylee had an ear infection and all of the doc's offices were closed because of the New Year's so I took her to the Instacare and it was a 2 1/2 hour wait! Anyways, so after Ray and Logan quit being sick, Rylee and Chase both woke up with fevers on Friday. I also didn't feel great on Friday, but it didn't fully hit me until Saturday, but man oh man did it knock me on my hiney. The hardest part of me being sick was not being able to take care of the twins. Since we were all being sick and with the twins being very susceptible to everything, I quarantined them to their room and only I was allowed in there cause at the time I wasn't sick. But since I got sick, Ray had to step in and has been doing it all for me. It's been really hard to not hold or see them, but it's also been fun to see Ray bonding with them.

All in all, it's been a rough week and I'm really looking forward to all of us getting back to good health so we can act like a whole family again!

The twins' names

I want Abby and Brooke to have record of how they received their names, especially their middle names. When we found out we were having twins and trying to decide on names, we knew we didn't want to do matching names or anything like that, but we did want to do something special for it being twins. So, we came up with doing Baby A having a name that started with an "A", and Baby B with a "B" name, therefore, Abby and Brooke. But after that, we were struggling on middle names. We discussed not doing middle names but all of the other kids had one so I still wanted the twins to. As we were sitting in the NICU one day trying to figure out what to put on the birth certificates, I brought up the idea of doing namesakes for our grandmothers. I really wanted to use the name Katherine after my mom's mom that had died when my mom was little and we liked that idea. Nobody had used her name as a namesake or anything and I felt pretty strong that it would be a special thing to do. But that was only one name, and we had two daughters. So after some pondering on the issue, we thought of how special Grandma Robinson is to us and thought that that would be a great name. So I thought that her name was Jean Robinson, but it's actually Lou Jean Robinson. I fell in love with the name of Abby Lou, but it was too cute. We didn't know if she would appreciate such a "cute" name as she got older. So we decided on Abby Jean, but I always call her Abby Lou anyways as a special nickname. So that is how we named our sweet girls with such special names.

Abby Jean Miller
aka. Abby Lou

Brooke Katherine Miller
aka. my little Brookelette

Life in the NICU

Unfortunately, since it's taken me so long to write this, I don't remember exactly how the next couple of weeks happened. It took them a few days to get off of the CPAP machine and to high-flow air. After they were off high-flow, they took them to a different level of NICU where they were in open cribs and learning how to eat, but still hooked up to the monitors to watch them. The funny story, or not so funny at the time, was that 5 days later when I had went to the hospital like I did every morning and walked into their room only to find it empty!! My stomach flipped and I panicked thinking something had happened to them! I just about ran to the front desk and asked where my babies were and they said that they were ok. At about 2 in the morning they were able to take them off of the high-flow air and was on room air so they took them up to "well baby" NICU in open cribs! I was so relieved but also not so happy that they couldn't have called and told me this so I wouldn't have had a panic attack!

Anyways, it was so nice to walk in and see my sweet babies laying there with clothes on and I was able to pick them up whenever I wanted to and snuggle them to my heart's content! I think it wasn't until they were in the open cribs that they were able to take the feeding tubes out of their mouths and in their noses too which was nicer too. I was then able to try to start nursing them and get the process going to get home!  It was such a difficult time trying to balance my time between being at the hospital working with the twins and then to also be home with Ray and the kids. I just had to keep reminding myself that it was a small moment in time and this wouldn't last for forever. It was really nice that every time I walked out of the hospital and was having a hard time leaving Abby and Brooke, the temple was right across the street and I was reminded that I was loved and everything and was going to be ok and that no matter what happened, we were an eternal family. It was a great comfort to see that every time.

Brooke Katherine Miller
Brooke

Abby Jean Miller

Abby

This was the setup in our cubicle of the NICU.
Another advantage to being in this other part of the NICU was that there were windows at the front so that Logan, Chase and Rylee could finally see their sisters! Before the twins had moved levels, there were no windows for observers or anything, but they said that we could bring in the older kids once a week to visit. Ray and I laughed and said that would not be such a good idea with how crazy those 3 could get, so it was nice when we moved and they could finally see the twins.




Dad holding the sweet little ones. Brooke on the left and Abby on the right.

Brooke on left, Abby on right. Aunt Shaelyn found these precious outfits and they were so cute!
More pics from in the NICU in cute outfits from Grandma Jolley. Abby is on the right, Brooke left.

Brooke
Abby
 After a few days of trying to nurse, I got to the point that I didn't care what it was going to take to get us home. I decided to pump my milk and feed it to the babies in a bottle. My philosophy was that it was the same product and it didn't matter how they got it. This way too, I could have some help with feeding them :) After we started this, they took off with it! On the exact 2 week anniversary of their birth, I roomed in the hospital. This was where I basically had to prove that I could take care of them on my own (I was not thrilled with this policy). I stayed the night in one of the hospital rooms by the NICU and they twins stayed with me in there all by ourselves with all of their monitors. I was so excited to hopefully be going home! That was such a long night!! I remember it quite well. All of the monitors beeped nonstop and I couldn't sleep with it. The monitors were going off for no reason and I just wanted to shut them off! But I had to feed the babies, take their temps, and weigh their diapers every 3 hours. Somehow.....somehow.....I made it through that long night and they gave us the ok to go home!!!! I don't know if I have ever received such wonderful news!! So we had a process we had to do to get discharged. There were a bunch of videos I had to watch that I've already seen with all of the other kids and then they also had to do a car seat test. Brooke and Abby had to sit in their car seats for an hour and have their oxygen levels tested to make sure they could breath in that position. The problem we had was one of the car seats was too big. Thankfully, the Health Department had a preemie size car seat they donated to us for Abby so we could go home. After the whole process, we were discharged and able to have our family together again!!! Praise the heavens that was a good feeling to walk into the house and know our family was under one roof!

Ready to go home!!! Abby on the right, Brooke on the left. I think they look like little dolls in their seats.


Twins' Birth

So I keep waiting to get completely caught up to post about the twins birth, but lets face it, it may never happen. I happen to be sick with the flu today and so laying in bed has provided a perfect opportunity to get some posts done. I really wanted to go in sequential order from the summer but if I don't blog about this now, my memory may completely delete all details. :)

So at about 32 weeks we noticed that Baby A was not growing quite at the rate she had been so the doc decided to start doing nonstress tests (NST) frequently to make sure that she was doing ok. At 34 weeks  as we were doing these they noticed that her heart was staying the same rate and not "peaking" like they want it to. So they had me start coming twice a week. By the next week when they did my ultrasound (which happened  once a week at least anyways) they discovered that my placenta was starting to deteriorate and they said that if I haven't gone into labor by 36 weeks then they were going to do a C-section (cause Baby A was laying breech across my cervix. Baby B was head down and ready but A was not letting that happen.) At that same appointment they checked me and I was at a 2. But after I left the office I kept having contractions. I decided to clean out the car not knowing when things were going to happen and it was a pig sty, but mostly to try and keep my mind off of the pain. That night there was also a soccer game at the high school and that sounded like a great distraction so we went there and I kept hurting a lot but I never thought it was labor cause nothing was consistent. But that night was a miserable night of sleep, or lack thereof. My back and belly kept hurting so bad but I once again didn't realize that it was contractions.

I went in to the doc again the next day so they could keep a close on Baby A and after I told them about all my pain they checked me again and I was at a 3+. Dr. Ott wasn't super keen on that told me that I could be in labor and he wanted to do another NST. Baby A's heart still wasn't cooperating super well and so he told me to go home and relax until the afternoon and not to eat cause there was a good chance that I could end up having the C-section today and then to come in that afternoon and he wanted to check me again. So I was obedient, kind of, and went home and sat and finished sewing the car seat covers and then went to Kathryn's cause she was watching the other kids and I wanted to ask her about C-sections since she had them with all of her kids. Well, after going back to the doctor's and checking me, I was at a 4. He said I was definitely in labor and to go straight to the hospital and get checked in and have these babies in the next couple of hours!! Wow! Talk about a panic moment, yet exciting. I went and got Ray from school and we headed to the hospital.
I don't feel that this pic does justice for the size that my belly really was. I was so big and so uncomfortable.

So on August 24 we got checked in to the hospital and settled in our room. They gave me the blasted IV and i almost passed out, like usual and then they came and said that it was our turn. I was kind of starting to panic at this point about going into surgery and worried about the babies health. They gave me the spinal block and then strapped me to the table and then they let Ray come in which was a huge relief to have my "rock" there.
Don't you think he could totally pull off being a doctor? :)

They made sure I was all numbed up and started the surgery! Holy smokes, I was gonna meet me babies finally!! The first pulled out Baby A at 3:57 pm and showed her to me for a brief second and then took her away to check her. About a minute later at 3:58 pm Baby B was born! They showed her to me for just a second and also rushed her away. As they were sewing me back up Ray went with the babies and it was complete torture not holding them right away like I have with the other kids. After they got me up to the recovery room I started getting really sick from the anesthesia stuff and started throwing up....a lot. I might add that this is a horrible experience right after your stomach has been cut open. But the worst part was that I was too sick to leave my room so I couldn't see the babies yet. But Ray came in a little bit later to tell me about the babies. We decided to name Baby A, Abby Jean, and Baby B, Brooke Katherine. Abby weighed 4'14" and 45 cm (17 inches) long. Brooke weight 5'8" and was also 45 cm long. They were immediately taken to the NICU and placed on CPAP to help them breath and feeding tubes. It was pure torture sitting in my hospital room and not seeing the twins yet!! It wasn't until about 3 in the morning that I had quit puking and Ray was able to push me in a wheel chair to the NICU. It was so sweet to finally see my babies but also very difficult cause they were in the isolettes hooked up to all kinds of monitors and machines. I wanted to help them of course and it was quite the process to get them out with all the wires.  I am extremely thankful that nothing was wrong with the health of Brooke and Abby and it was just going to be a process to get them adjusted to life outside the womb and learning how to eat on their own.

Baby A, Abby Jean Miller










Baby B, Brooke Katherine Miller

Brooke Katherine Miller
Abby












Brooke
Brooke
Proud Papa
Finally holding and seeing my babies! It might have been 3 am, but that wasn't gonna stop this mama :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten

I can't believe Logan is old enough to start his first day of Kindergarten! He is attending Washington Elementary and his teacher is Mrs. Frank. I am so excited to see the progress he will make this coming year.


Idaho: Trip 2 - Yellowstone National Park

So after we got back from Idaho for the wedding, we soon had to be out of our house. The problem with that was that we hadn't closed on our new house yet. So to fill the time while we were homeless for about 2 weeks, we went back to Idaho stay with my parents. While there, we took the kids to Yellowstone National Park. It was a fun trip but a little too long for a 6 1/2 month pregnant mom with twins. :)  But the kids loved it and I enjoyed it too....despite the very swollen legs and sore belly.

Having lunch at a picnic area.


If you look real close, there were some elk hiding in the trees.
Trying to patiently wait for Old Faithful to do its thing.
Drove right next to this massive beast.

Idaho: Trip 1 - Water Fun

 While in Idaho for Trevor's wedding, it was "nice" weather and grandma thought it would be a good idea to play in the water. The only problem with this idea is that "nice" weather in Idaho is something completely different from what we're used to in St. George. Instead of 100+ degree weather that we had at home, it was like 80's with a breeze and the water temperature is A LOT colder than our lukewarm water. The kids wanted to play in the water, but it was so cold to them that it didn't last too long. When they were in the swimming pool they would immediately start shivering and not enjoying it as much as grandpa and grandma would have liked.
Grandma like to "give ya a dollar if...." you put the sprinkler down your shorts! Well, Logan will do just about anything for a dollar. :)