Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We survived night #1

The boys are officially home and I can't believe how nice it is to just be able to sit with all my kids and Kent and just enjoy home for a change. We have 1 outstanding helper in Emma who even woke up at 2:30 to help us feed the boys and then wouldn't go back to sleep since she was just "so excited!" If someone would have told me that the first night home would be more about keeping your 4 yr old in bed and not the newborns I would have laughed!

The boys did great though. They only woke up once and that was because Kent and I woke them up to feed them. The NICU said not to let them go longer than 4 hours between feeds. Claire is very suspcious of them and only takes peak at them when she thinks no one is looking. It is very funny.

In all we are very thrilled that they are home and all seems to be well. Thanks to everyone who helped us this past month as well as all the thoughts and prayers. We feel extremely lucky and blessed to have such great family and friends!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Our boys are coming home!!!

We just found out this morning that they are coming home tomorrow. I can't even believe it! I must say that I am quite excited and very nervous because "real life" will start. Being in the NICU has been an interesting experience to say the least and I am grateful for all the doctors and nurses who have been so great to our boys and to our family! With that said though, the NICU is like baby jail.:) We have to complete baby CPR training and monitor training and have had training all day long today. What ever we need to do though I will do!
Mack will have to come home on a heart monitor which will scare the life out of me if it goes off...but other than that the boys are doing great! They are both 5 pounds now and eating like champs.

Just thought I would celebrate and now I am going to sleep as this might be the last night I sleep for the next 6 months!!!:)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One of the best purchases recently...

Since I have been spending a fair amount of time in the car recently I found myself buying this CD the other day. I know I should have just downloaded onto my i-pod but if you have been following my blog then you know that I am not super good at technology. Honestly, I am like my mom and need help attaching things to emails!:) (seriously though, if anyone can help me figure out the picture thing on the blog I would be very grateful!!!)

So this CD has seriously been so much fun to listen to the past couple of days. Emma's favorite track is #14 while I find so much joy listening to Come thou Fount of every Blessing. It is probably because I recently played the harp at my Grandma Simmons funeral with Hannah and we played that song in a medley of hymns. There is something so moving about the simplicity of the melody to me that just goes straight to my heart. If you do happen to buy this CD, read the story about the song. The author of the words was 23 when he penned them. Really amazing!

So anyway, if you are looking for a uplifting but not too Sunday school CD for your drive I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Claire's debut on Youtube

I just wanted to post this quick link to Claire's debut on youtube.
A couple of months back the National Ability Center asked if they could share Claire's story along with other participants stories for a little video they were putting together. The video was shown at their big fundraiser and hopefully helped them raise money and awareness for the programs we have enjoyed!
If you want to check it out you can view it (hopefully, if I did it right:)) at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTpj26qDnsg

Saturday, April 18, 2009

3 weeks old!

The boys are 3 weeks old tomorrow. I can't believe it! In some ways it has felt like we have been in this no man's land of life forever and in others I still can't believe we have had twins. It is a very odd feeling and completely surreal and I think it will feel this way for awhile regardless of where they are. I do want to add that it has been very nice to only have to drive to one hospital this week though. Primary Children's is a distant memory!

I am happy to report that Mack is 4lbs 8oz (so 4 1/2 pounds) and Morgan is 4lbs 5 oz. They are gaining weight and are doing sooooo well. Morgan has really started to eat from a bottle pretty well. Today he ate 2 feeds completely from the bottle so tomorrow he gets to try 4! Mack has eaten 1-2 feeds completely as well from the bottle but they are not consistent so he will be 1 more day before they let him try 4. In all though we are looking at hopefully 2 more weeks. Possibly 3 but I am praying for 2.

I know it will be hard (like I really know, but I can try and guess can't I?) and crazy but I am starting to feel like I am ready to take on crazy! I am ready to not have to explain to Emma that 1-2 more days is not the same as 1-2 more weeks. I am ready to cuddle and enjoy the boys and not have to ask permission to hold my babies. I don't know if I am ready for the sleepless nights but I am ready to start them so that they can be over (hopefully in a couple of months!)I know I keep saying this but I want to thank my family and neighbors and friends for all the love and support we have been given the past couple of weeks! AMAZING!!! Thanks so much!
Here is to another week of driving and feeding and everything else!!!:)

On these pictures Mack is on the left and Morgan on the right. I really liked the one with Kent looking at the boys. We are finally starting to think that they look slightly different.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Eggs and Boys Together

This week has been crazy to say the least. Not as crazy as last week but a very close second!
Thanks to all our babysitters this week. Both Kent and I have amazing family that stepped up this week and helped make sure our girls had a great time and were very well taken care of. Aunt Hannah even dyed Easter eggs since of course I forgot! Thank goodness to great aunts!!!:) I just honestly want to thank everyone who has helped out this week and offered help to us this week. We have been really blessed! I don't know what I would do without all of you!

Today Mack and Morgan were reunited! It was so much fun tonight to go up for our date night to only one hospital and get to see both boys! The Dr at McKay actually called and said that their NICU received another "bundle of joy" (his words, not mine!:)). He also told us that Mack must have enjoyed the ambulance ride so much that he ended up getting off oxygen en route. Also since Mack came back they let Morgan out of the incubator so they are both in the open air crib together!!!

We have another potential problem though. Kent and I both thought we would know who was who but honestly, we were a little bit stumped at first. The nurse asked us if they were identical and we told her that we didn't think so. She was surprised and said that she would have guessed that they are identical. What do you think? Can you tell who is who? (Mack has the little jacket with the hood and Morgan doesn't).
I won't lie to you. I also felt an overwhelming sense of tiredness! I can't believe we have twins let alone boys and that I get to take care of them with my other girls!!! Exciting and very overwhelming! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kent was especially great tonight. He took the boys in his arms and gave them a little "pep" talk for the future. I won't tell you everything he said but he did tell them that when their older sisters start to date that they need to be pests and scare off any other boys that might be coming into our house. I just laughed and told him that the girls will be the ones who are watching out for the boys not the other way around.

In all we are really grateful though with everything so far and look forward to having the entire family under one roof. For now though, we will take 2!:)
Happy Easter!!! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

One big step for us!

I just wanted to let you know that we found out today that Mack will be back transferred to McKay Dee hopefully tomorrow. That means that our twins will actually be in the same city, county and yes hospital! I will let you know if it actually happens but I never thought it would be such a joy to have your babies in the same NICU and not a different one. It is funny how when you think the worst thing would be to have your baby in the NICU you don't take into account 2 different NICU's. That's just life isn't it?!
Now we hopefully only have 2-3 more weeks before the new chaos happens at our house. Oh and they are also both about 1-2 ounces away from 4 pounds. Yah!:)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

One week today!!!

So it was one week ago today that we had the boys! I can't believe it has only been a week as it has felt like a month at least. Kent and I are surviving and the girls have been absolutely wonderful! Other than the fact Emma and Claire haven't seen the boys yet they are perfectly happy playing with cousins and grandmas and friends everyday. To them it is like a little vacation!

Mack is doing much better. They finally found a medicine that is working for his heart and he hasn't had any episodes since 3/31 which is fantastic. He is actually starting to try and feed from a bottle and is in an open air bassinet which is really great. He still weighs just under 4 pounds but in all we couldn't be more happy with his progress in one week. He will probably be in Primary Children's until he comes home but we can handle it for a couple of more weeks. I think!:)

Morgan is great as well. He is still in an incubator which is kinda a bummer as it is a lot harder to just sit and watch him like we do Mack. He has gotten his IV out of his head and also a major IV which was in his belly button out the past 2 days and that is great for us! Both boys are off oxygen and breathing room air which is a huge step for us as that is one of the requirements for them to come home. We still have a long way to go but I will take any progress as a blessing.

One quick little story which I would like to share about this week was a pretty special experience for me. On Friday night Kent and I had our date night by going and visiting the boys. We visited Mack first and then rushed to Ogden to make it to Morgan's 8pm feeding. After having a romantic meal at McKay Dee cafeteria we headed up to see how he was doing that day. The room was quiet and Kent and I were just saying how much Morgan looked like my Grandpa Simmons. (It could possibly be the hair from the eyebrows up to his hair like:)) and for those of you who don't know which is probably everyone we decided to name Morgan, Morgan Simmons Phippen. Very fitting! Anyway, back to the story we got to talking to his night shift nurse and it happened that she grew up in Kaysville as well. We were talking about where we both grew up and I had said, "Do you know where the barn in on Crestwood Rd" and she said " Oh the Simmons place." I was surprised that she knew and she continued to tell me that she happened to be one of my grandpa's nurses a couple of years ago and told me some great stories about my grandma and grandpa.
I left the NICU on Friday night almost crying. I told Kent that my grandparents were watching out for us and especially our little guys. I could possibly be "reading into" this experience too much but it is a very big coincidence that the nurse on Morgan on Friday night was one of the same nurses for Grandpa. To me it was a miracle. Thanks G & G!!! I miss you and love you!

Throughout this entire week Kent and I have felt peace and miracles and blessings bestowed upon us. I have been carried through this week and I want to thank you all for your prayers on our behalf!!! We are doing great and it is because of our family and friends who have supported us this week!!! THANKS SOOOO MUCH!!!!

Here are some updated pictures of Mack Williams and Morgan Simmons. What do you think? Do they look alike?

On the top is Mack and on the bottom is Morgan.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Update on M & M

Things are going well. Morgan is doing so well and other than a bit of jaundice, with billi lights he is eating well and seems to be doing good. This morning I got to do what they call Kangaroo Care which basically means that I got to hold him for almost an hour with him all nestled on my chest like any newborn who fell asleep on their parents. It was AMAZING! It also made me think about the days ahead that are going to be hard but so worth it. It also made me realize how much I needed to get out of the hospital and see Mack. I can't explain how much I felt he needed me as well. Does that sound crazy?!
So with my Dr.'s blessing I got out today and this afternoon went to Primary Children's to see Mack.

Little Mack had a rough day yesterday since they were still not able to figure out his heart. It would just not stop shooting up and he was having around 30 "episodes" with his heart every hour. So yesterday afternoon the Dr decided to try a different medicine and I am happy to report that since yesterday afternoon he has not had one episode! Kent was also able to hold him which I personally think helped Mack as well.
I was able to hold Mack this afternoon and fell in love again! I can't believe I am so blessed to have 2 little boys that are such fighters! I want to also tell you that Kent has been amazing! He has been so good at the whole running back and forth thing the past few days. I don't know how he has been doing it but I am so grateful that he is my companion in these crazy moments of life! He has been everything to everyone and that is pretty much impossible!
Thanks everyone for your love and support! We are so blessed and I feel a real sense of peace at such an out of control time in our lives! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Here is a brief explanation of the pictures (if anyone wants to tell me how to write text under the photos I would love to learn how!)
1. Kent holding Mack for the first time!
2. Maria holding Morgan for the first time!
3. Kent and me saying good bye to Mack before he left for SLC
4. Morgan right after delivery
5. Mack right after delivery