Friday, October 31, 2008

Who is Who?

Alright, here is just a little proof that Hannah and Makaila look like their Daddy. Good luck trying to tell them all apart! Ha Ha!
All the girls are doing really well. Makaila came off of nasal cannula today and she is breathing on her own. She is up to 27 ml of food every three hours, and they are thinking about letting her try breast feeding as early as tomorrow! Teri is so excited she can barely stand it.
Hannah is still on nasal cannula, but she is getting really close to coming off of it again. She was trying very hard to suck on Teri's finger this evening so she should not be very far behind Makaila. She is up to 22 ml of food every three hours, and she starts getting real fussy when feeding time comes around.
Samantha is also on nasal cannula, but her breathing is very strong. We think she will come off of it again next week. She was off of it for a solid three days until her incident with the IV. We think that while she has been fighting off the infection caused by that chemical burn she took a step back. However, she is eating 24ml of food every three hours and gaining weight.
Sandra is on CPAP still, but the episodes (called Brady's) where she forgets to breathe are becoming few and far between. She has only had one today compared to about seven yesterday. She is up to 6ml of food per feeding, and tolerating it very nicely. She is now up to 1lb 13 ounces.
We really enjoyed spending our first Halloween with all of them, but it gets harder and harder to be at home without them. We hope all of you had a Happy Halloween, but please don't eat too much candy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So In Love

Makaila - The biggest news for her is that she is off the vent and now on CPAP. She is breathing 21% oxygen. She is doing good and we are so proud of her. They increased her feedings to 21 ccs of food and are also fortifying it to add more calories. It is amazing how much she looks more and more like her Daddy and Hannah.

Hannah - She is still doing good on her nasal cannula and they are possibly removing it today. She is now getting 9 ccs of food and is doing well with it. Josh got to hold her yesterday. She tried to pull out her nasal cannula and he had to distract her so she didn't. She had a head ultra sound yesterday to check for brain bleeds.

Samantha - Poor little Samantha had an IV go bad (real bad). Her right arm has significant swelling and bruising. The doctor warned us that it was so bad that she may have a permanent scar from it. Only time will tell. The sad thing is that she is doing so good with her feedings that they are probably removing all IV's today. If only her veins could hold up one more day. She is now getting 15 ccs of food. She also had a head ultrasound yesterday.

Sandra - Her lab results came back negative for infection in her stomach. They decided to continue with the 7 day antibiotics just in case. She was started on 2 ccs of food and is handling it well. She to had a head ultrasound.

I was able to hold Sandra and Samantha at the same time yesterday. It was so much fun. Seeing 2 sit on me just amazes me how four fit inside. They were very comfortable laying together. I want to say they cuddled but I just think Samantha was taking up Sandra's space. Josh and I are so truly in love with these precious girls. We are so proud to constantly hear how well they are doing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Girl Updates

We had a very busy weekend. But still got to visit the girls often. As I type, Josh is taking his second mid term this weekend. Josh's mom flew home this morning. We are on our own until November 20th when my sister flies in. We are going to miss our moms excellent care. Tomorrow will be the first day in months that I will be home alone. It is going to take some getting used to.

Makaila - She is still on the vent but they decided to try reducing her breaths per minute (BPM) by 2 or 3 instead of 5. She was at 35 BPM's and gradually went down to 22 BPM's. So, she is doing much better. She is off all IV's since she is eating 18 ccs. every 3 hours. She now weighs 3 lbs. I know it's weird but I call her "Chunky Monkey". It's just weird to call a 3 lb baby that but she actually looks chunky now (esp compared to Sandra).

Hannah - She is back on her billi light and still on nasal cannula. She is now getting 5 ccs every three hours. The silly girl wiggled out of her diaper last night.

Samantha - I got to hold her for over 2 hours last night and it was amazing. She sure is a talker! Her little noises are so sweet. She is breathing on her own and I am so proud of her. She is up to 9 ccs of milk every 3 hours now.

Sandra - Friday I got to hold her. She is so tiny. The nurses call her "Peanut" a name that has followed her. She now weighs 1 lb 8 ozs. She required every one's extra attention AGAIN! I just know she is going to be a drama queen. With all the blood draws she had been getting and IV changes her heart rate was dropping too often. They said that her getting anemic can cause her heart rate changes. So, they had to give her extra blood yesterday. They also put in a pick line. It goes from her upper arm to her pulmonary artery. This IV line is supposed to last much longer. It was so hard to hear her cry when they were working on her. I just kept kissing Samantha and telling her that Sandra was ok.

Friday, October 24, 2008

How 4tunate I Am

As I sit here and type to all of you I still can't believe how fortunate and lucky I am. First of all, being a mother of 4 adorable girls and the wife of an amazing husband and father. I can't believe that a week ago the girls were still inside of me. We have already grown so attached to them (how could we not?). Josh is the best father these girls could ask for. He has been so involved and helpful throughout this whole process.

Yesterday was a huge day for us and a day I will NEVER forget. Josh and I were able to change our first (of 1,000,000) diapers, check temperatures and Kangaroo hold (hold the baby skin to skin) . I changed Makaila's diaper and held Hannah. Josh changed Samantha's diaper and held her. Hannah was so soft and warm, I think she recognized me, nuzzled up and went to sleep. Yesterday, she was off of her nasal cannula and was breathing completely on her own. However they put her back on the nasal cannula last night. It felt amazing to feel her kick the outside of me. I can't wait to hold someone again. We make the nurses decide who we should hold because we can't make that decision. I want to hold them all!

All 4 girls were on my milk yesterday. Until Sandra had some green stomach fluid. They don't think she is sick but don't want to wait and see if she is. So, they put her on IV antibiotics and will test her stomach fluids for bacteria. We should know about that in a few days. Makaila is the hungry one at 10 cc every 3 hours. That is more than double what the rest of the girls are eating. Right now, they are getting a mix of Similac and my milk. Pumping is not fun but they deserve it and are well worth it. I will continue to pump as long as possible. The NICU has been very supportive in that regards.

We are on our way to the hospital now, but we will be sure to give the girls lots of love from all of you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Together Again!

The first thing we would like to say is that all the girls are in the same room now. I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to go to the same room to visit them. However, choosing which girl to spend time with first, second, etc, etc is very trying. All the nurses are great so far. They are always eager to answer questions, and so proud of Teri for her accomplishment.

Makaila has both good news and bad news. First, she is the only baby on formula and gaining weight. However, she has Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS). Basically, her being strong enough not to need the ventilator when she was born turned out to be a bad thing. The lungs produce a substance called surfactant which allows the inner surface of the lungs to expand properly. Because everyone else needed the ventilator when they were born they received artificial surfactant. Therefore, they are progressing very nicely with their breathing. Unfortunately, Makaila has had to be placed on the ventilator while her lungs develop. The doctor's explained to us that the normal progression of RDS is to struggle on CPAP, revert to the ventilator, and then start to get better. So far that has been the progression. We expect her to get better over the next couple of days. Keep your fingers crossed!

One word stands out in describing Hannah, and that work is FEISTY! She is constantly kicking and letting everyone know she needs attention! Ha Ha! She is now off of CPAP and on to Nasal Cannula. Which means that she does get some oxygen, but she does not need any extra flow or pressure. In other words, her lungs are progressing nicely! She spit up her food a couple of times so they are going to wait a day or two to proceed with the feedings. We think she is waiting for Mom's Milk (which is really starting to come it now).

Samantha is our "Touchy Feely" baby. She has to touch or feel everything around her. The Nurse's had to give her the stuffed animal that we brought to her to keep her from tugging at her feeding and nasal tubes. Samantha is also on Nasal Cannula now, and is only waiting for her magnesium levels to go down before she starts formula/breast milk. We both agree that she looks more and more like her mother every day!

Sandra is such a little darling! Everyone is immediately smitten with her, and who could blame them! She is still doing very well on CPAP, and we think she will be on Nasal Cannula very soon. She is the first to open an eye as you can see in the pictures. We are also waiting for her magnesium levels to come down so that she can start her feeds. Magnesium relaxes the muscles (including the stomach muscles). Therefore, since the magnesium levels are high she might not be able to digest her food properly. For clarification, if they are not on feeds (formula/breast milk) then they receive IV fluids, lipids (fats), and electrolytes.

We would just like to take a quick second to thank everyone for the wonderful comments and emails you all have sent to us regarding the birth of our four beautiful children! We are truly blessed to have all of you in our lives!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Sandra Mae Duggan!

Sandra was the last to be born. Also, she was the smallest at one pound eleven ounces and right at thirteen inches long. However, I don't think it is going to be wise to tell her how small she was because she is some kind of fighter. Sandra was on the ventilator for all of the first night and next morning, but she came off of it about eleven in the morning. She is now breathing with CPAP at (get this) 21 percent oxygen. Basically, she is breathing on her own! She also likes to make a fist and flail around. She was squeezing my finger this evening, and I just can't believe how strong she is! Can you say Tomboy!

Happy Birthday Samantha Marie Duggan!

Samantha is our third born, but she was the first brought out for us to meet. She weighed two pounds nine ounces, and she is fifteen inches long (the longest by almost an inch). Her fingers and toes are very long, and she seems to like laying on her stomach. She was on a ventilator for a very short period of time, and is now on CPAP breathing at 24 percent oxygen. She was very happy to feel Teri's touch for the first time, and she couldn't wait to tell mom all about her experience in the NICU!

Happy Birthday Hannah Lee Duggan!

Hannah was born right behind Makaila. She weighs two pounds eight ounces and she is 14 and 1/8Th inches long. Hannah was very excited to be brought into the world, and she let everyone know it. She spent about two hours on the ventilator, and is now breathing with CPAP at 30 percent oxygen. The amazing thing about Hannah is that she is already on formula, and it looks like she is going to keep Teri busy with the breast pump!

Happy Birthday Makaila Rae Duggan!

Makaila Rae is our first born. She was also the heaviest at two pounds fourteen ounces. She came out and had lots to say about being delivered before Halloween! Ha Ha! She is fourteen and one quarter inches long. She is doing very well! She is breathing with the assistance of CPAP, but she is breathing at 26 percent oxygen. We breathe at 21 percent, so it looks like she won't be needing the assistance for much lunger. She was the only baby not to need a ventilator for any period of time. She also has quite the grip, and she couldn't get enough of squeezing mommy's hand!

30 Weeks and in the Hospital!!!

Yesterday evening Teri started having lots of contractions! This is really nothing new (especially for Thursdays), because we usually get a demand dose or two of medicine and they dissipate. However, last night they stayed exactly the same after four doses. Our doctor decided it was time for Teri to check into the hospital for observation. Teri was given IV fluids, but the contractions remained about seven minutes apart. Therefore, the doctor placed her on the magnesium pump (a six gram dose) to start. Teri says the pump makes you feel like you are on fire. The contractions have spaced themselves apart somewhat, but it is very seldom that ten minutes goes by without her having a contraction. Brace yourselves, I think we are getting close! Right now, I am listening to Makaila and Hannah's heartbeats. They are so strong!

Dr. Palmer just walked in, and I can tell she is hoping that Teri can continue on. However, I think she is on the fence as to whether or not we continue. Now we are listening to Samantha and Sandra's heartbeats. Sandra's heartbeat sounds like a jackhammer, but Samantha is moving around too much to get a good reading. OK, there it is, another strong heartbeat!

We received the Cord Blood Kits (not a moment too soon)! We are very excited to be utilizing CBR for this process. I found out the other day that they have been successful in treating Type 1 diabetes and Leukemia with stem cells. Now, the Girls and Teri will have these available to them if the need arises.

I was able to get in touch with the producer of our show on "The Doctors" and she is getting a camera crew on stand-by.

Well, I think that brings everyone up to speed! Teri is finally asleep. Shhhh!!! Now, I am going to get some homework done!

Take Care!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Doctor's Visit

We had a good doctor's visit yesterday! All four girls grew (yes even Sandra)! Their new estimated weights are:

Makaila - 2lbs. 10 ozs.
Hannah - 2 lbs. 12 ozs
Samantha - 2 lbs. 11 ozs.
Sandra - 1 lbs. 11 ozs.

Samantha seems to be the longest baby but Hannah has hair! It was so cute! And I gained 1 whole pound this week! I am told I am ALL BABIES! The good news is that the doctor thinks I can make it to 32 weeks. The bad news is that I am going to try to make it to 32 weeks. LOL She is pleased with how well all 5 of us girls are doing! My Terbutaline pump was increased and adjusted according to the contraction monitoring I did on Wednesday! Josh and I have decided, with doctors recommendation, to do cord blood banking with Cord Blood Registry for all four girls. I am another week without insulin also. All in all a great doctor's visit!

Some great news that Josh and I received recently is that my older sister will be flying out for a month to help us. We are so grateful and blessed she will be able to.

Friday, October 10, 2008

29 W 1 D

Well, this week was a repeat of last week. Why can't we skip Wednesday and Thursdays? Wednesday I did the 24 hour monitoring again which results in NO sleep. I had a few hours with 6 contractions so I might need to get my medicine increased again. Thursday I was exhausted. I did my evening monitoring and had 6. That was not long after a big dose of medicine. So, I gave myself a demand dose, drank water, went to the restroom and remonitored. Then I had 7. The nurse called me and told me to get ready to go to the hospital and she'd call my doctor. I ended up having to get another demand dose, drink water, go to the restroom and remonitor again. At 1:30 am I had 4 contractions and was allowed to go to sleep. Phew! Today is our long ultra sound appointment. I am excited and anxious to see the girls and how much they have grown. The appointments are getting more difficult for me because I get so worn out. But then again everything is difficult these days. I had measure 52 inches around earlier this week. Then all of a sudden gravity took over and my belly has dropped several inches which makes it difficult to do anything. I am very excited to have made it to 29 weeks and still be at home. My body is very tired though and everything hurts. I am so grateful for each day I make it further though. Stay tuned for the ultra sound results.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Latest Belly Pics

I know you have been waiting on these! I have grown an additional three inches since these pictures!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

28 weeks 2 days

On Wednesday I did a 24 hour monitor for contractions. And on Thursday my medicine was increased. Thursday night confirmed that the terb works. I changed my infusion site and apparently it got bent and I did not get medicine for about 3 hours. By my evening monitor I had 10 HARD contractions. I was up until 3 AM calming my uterus down by doing demand dosing and re monitoring several times. Needless to say, I was exhausted by Friday after 2 nights of minimal sleep.

Friday, I went to the doctor. Sandra grew 9 days worth in the last week. YAHOO! All 4 girls are doing good and are very active. The identicals have their heads down and the fraternal twins have their heads up. So, their butts are all together. It is amazing to see the girls now. You can actually see different features. Sandra has her Daddy's button nose and Samantha has a round chubby face. We actually saw that Sandra has a BIG mouth and was eating...a good sign. The doctor now is saying that we will go until Sandra stops growing. Days are getting harder for me but I am trying to keep a positive attitude.