Saturday, November 29, 2008


We have so much to be thankful for. So, this was the best Thanksgiving EVER! Obviously, we are very thankful for our four beautiful daughters. We are so blessed and fortunate to have had all four healthy and adorable. We also are thankful for our family, friends and supporters (some who we never met). Thank you each and every one of you!
Makaila is still on nasal cannula but doing well. She has lately realized what to do with a bottle. She gets 3 a day now and lately has been finishing them. Hannah is off of nasal cannula. She was supposed to be on it for her bottles but the nurse forgot and she actually has been doing good without it. She is also getting 3 bottles and doing better than she used to. Samantha gets all her feedings by bottle and if she continues to do good through tonight she will have her feeding tube removed tomorrow. Her arm is still healing and she still sees Physical Therapy. The girls will start to see Occupational Therapy tomorrow to help with their bottle feedings. Sandra is back on her feeds and is handling them. She will have her IVs removed tonight. She is now on Regland 30 minutes prior to meals in hopes that her tummy won't distend again. Samantha will be coming home this week and I don't think Hannah will be far behind her.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Big step for Samantha

Samantha's arm is doing so much better! So much so that she no longer needs dressing changes! Just a little A & D ointment a couple of times a day! Here you see a picture of her getting rid of her very last bandage!!!!!! Bye Bye bandage!

Sandra had a very big day as well. Her belly was distended again and taken off her feed. To be on the safe side a barium enema was ordered to check for any lower bowel obstruction. Teri went with her and she came back bragging on her because she did so well! And good news is that nothing of any concern showed up on the exam. GOOD GIRL SANDRA! Mom promised her an ice cream cone as a big girl reward but she was too tired from the days activities to take her up on that. (rain check mom).

Feeding time at the Duggan crib; I think the three girls were on a pity feeding strike because they feel sad for Sandra, they all held back on their bottle feedings today. Or maybe they are doing what we all are doing, saving our bellies for Thanks giving day! We shall see tomorrow. Mom held and fed Makaila; Dad, Samantha and I held and fed Hannah. Daddy comforted Sandra during a well deserved Kangaroo hold while awaiting her trip to radiology. She is still a peanut but growing as fast as she can and is oh so adorable. Also she is doing well on nasal cannula set on 1/2 liter.

Nanna and Grandpa's first visit!

Cuddle Time!

I think the staff at NICU will be on pins and needles tomorrow when we show up! Hospital policy allows babies to have mom and dad and four visitors at a time. OK, that is per baby! we joked with them and said we were bringing all 18 visitors tomorrow!!! :} They rolled their eyes at us!

Best news for last! Tally up the votes! One of our precious girls is set to come home next week. And although Sandra would like to express her gratitude to her fans who voted for her, it will be Samantha passing go and collecting 200 dollars on discharge day! (ya we wish) :} Teri wanted her to be discharged Sunday Nov 30th (Teri's birthday) but Dr said that is pushing it mom! We will be happy with what ever day Samantha chooses to come home!

A wonderful diaper donation from the Ladies at Peace Health! Thank you so much!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What a Week!

First, we want to welcome Teri's sister Deb. She has been a big help already. Deb and Samantha had a nice little chat her first night. She will be with us until Christmas Eve, and we plan to keep her busy, busy, busy!

Teri is here with Samantha, and during this feeding Samantha was able to finish her entire meal via the bottle. The rewards for her accomplishment were monumental for the family!

We have come to realize that Hannah is by far our best sleeper. She wakes up to fuss when she wants to change positions, but other than that she is all about sleeping and growing. Makaila is upset in the picture below. We think she just needed a change of scenery. She is going to be so thrilled when she finds out that we are going to give her just that.

As you can see by theses pictures, it was time for three of the girls to move out of their incubators. Makaila (left)and Hannah (right)were reunited for the first time since birth. Makaila immediately tried to start up a conversation, but Hannah just wanted to know where the other two girls were. Then she fell back to sleep.

We were so overwhelmed having three of our girls in the same crib. What a huge step towards having them come home. They are so adorable together! They enjoy looking at each other, and they often grunt in approval. They also like to get the hiccups at the same time. As you can see, Dad is trying to comfort Samantha on the left and Makaila on the right as they go through one of their hiccup spells.

OK, all three of us feeding the girls at the same time had to be one of the funnest days of the year thus far. Makaila, Hannah, and Samantha enjoyed their first first feed together. Unfortunately, they were too tired from the move from their incubators to the crib and spending time with each other to drink very much from the bottle. I am sure we will have better luck today!

Don't worry, we have not forgotten about Sandra. I have to say that she did throw a bit of a fit when her sisters moved into the crib, and she didn't. We made sure that we spent some extra time with her, and that seemed to settle her down. When Teri held her, Sandra was able to climb all the way up to Teri's neck. She is so strong! She just needs to grow. The good news is that she has only had one Brady in the last three days, and we think the C-pap will come off again on Monday or Tuesday. She has also been tolerating her food very well. Someday soon, she will be back with her sisters where she belongs.

We will close this post with a picture of Hannah closing out her day bundled up enjoying her pacifier. She sucked on her pacifier for nearly thirty minutes. At which point, she spit in out, and fell fast asleep!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Daddy and Makaila!

Samantha taking a nap!

Sandra needing some extra help again with breathing!

Hannah fast asleep!

Samantha (left) and Makaila (right) reunite!
Monday morning at around 3 am we got a call from the hospital. Sandra had 7 brady's (where she forgets to breath) and had to be put back on C Pap. She also had a distentended stomach so they stopped her feedings and put her back on IV's and antibiotics in case she had an infection. As of today they put her back on feedings and she is handeling them well. I guess she just gets a little gassy sometimes. The other 3 girls are doing good and growing. Their current weights are...
Makaila 4 lbs
Hannah 3 lbs 15 ozs
Samantha 3 lbs 15 ozs
Sandra 2 lbs 6 ozs

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So Proud of My Girls

Look Mom No Nasal Cannula!!!!

Makaila, what is your favorite number?

Look everyone you can finally see my face! Sandra now on nasal cannula!!!!

So, like I have mentioned before there are good days and bad days in the NICU! However, today was a fabulous day! A day filled with good news!

Makaila is still regulating her own temp and doing good. Her feedings were increased to 21 ccs and not having any more tummy problems. She took 5 ccs by a bottle today.

Hannah was taken off of nasal cannula and is doing well breathing on her own. Her feedings were increased to 31 ccs, 3 of which were by a bottle today. Furthermore, she is toady's pooping champion!

Samantha's arm continues to heal day by day, it is looking better. She drank an amazing 15 ccs (half of her intake) with her first bottle and is doing fantastic overall.

Sandra will not be going to Kindergarten with C Pap!. She had been pulling it off more and more lately so they decided to try her on nasal cannula. She is so far doing good. Today was the first time I actually go to see what she looks like. She is beautiful just like her sisters. I think she likes having her C Pap off because she was wide awake for a long time after it was taken out. She can see the world now!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Makaila sucking her thumb!

Sandra and her Daddy!

Samantha in her first outfit!

Hannah in her first outfit!

Makaila had an upset tummy and was taken off of foods. But she is now back on and up to 12 ccs. She was taken off of her antibiotics today too. They are talking about taking Hannah off of nasal cannula again. Sandra had a tummy ache this morning but nothing a suppository didn't help. Samantha has been able to regulate her own temperature and is doing awesome.

We have been trying to get the house organized for the girls. We bought a second refrigerator and it was delivered today. We are in the process of looking for a pediatrician.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mommy & Daddy's Night Out

All and all we had a good time at the Navy ball last night. It was nice to be able to go out since we hadn't in so long. But, to be honest I couldn't wait to leave. Just because I knew when we left we would go see the girls. We had only spent 2 hours with them in the morning and I was feeling deprived. Plus Makaila was very upset because she was hungry.

When we got to the hospital I held Makaila and Josh held Samantha. They started Makaila on her feedings but only 4 ccs. Samantha was taken off her ozygen monitor and only gets her vitals checked every 6 hours.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Poor Makaila

I can never wait to go see the girls. I rush and rush and try to get to the hospital as fast as I can. I walk as fast as I can from the garage to their pod. People keep telling me how great I look. I think it is because of my long walk from the car to their room. ha ha I am always excited to walk in their room and see all 4 lined up against the wall. But there are some days that your heart just drops when you walk in. Well, yesterday was one of those days. I walked into the pod and saw 4 people huvered around Makaila's isolette. Not a good sign. I felt bad but I had to walk past the other 3 girls to get to Makaila. I got to her and one of the nurses tells me that Makaila was having a bad day and they are worried about her. Which immediatley turns my day from good to bad.

The infection that the doctor thought she was fighting she must have gotten. She was vomitting, got very pale and lethargic. And so the testing begins. They took blood work, stomach x rays and urine cultures. The x ray just showed she had a belly ache but was normal and we are waiting for the rest of the results. They stopped her feedings and changed her antibiotics. She had to get another IV because she needed a blood transfusiion. This time if only took 8 tries to get one in. It aches my heart to think what she has to go through. The good news is that by the time I left (5 1/2 hours later) she was starting to look better.

Sandra had a good day and only had one brady. Hannah was taken off of nasal cannula and doing well. And there is no change for Samantha. We did have a consult with the nurse practioner. She basically reexplained about PDA, discussed Samantha's arm injury and the goals for the girls. They are trying to keep them together as long as possible. Meaning that they won't transfer them to another room until they are all ready to go.

We are exhausted. But some how get up the next day and start the process over again. Hoping that the next time I walk into their room I hear the nurses say that they are all doing good.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Echo Results

So, the doctor heard heart mur murs on Sandra, Samantha and Hannah. Therefore they had echo cardiograms. Sandra's showed to be normal but Samantha and Hannah have PDA (a common Preemie issue).

patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)

The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that connects a baby's aorta and pulmonary artery while the baby is in the womb. This connection allows blood to be pumped from the right side of the heart straight to the aorta without stopping at the lungs for oxygen. In the womb, only a small amount of a baby's blood needs to go to the lungs because the baby gets oxygen from the mother's bloodstream. The baby's pulmonary artery, which carries blood to the lungs, is not needed at this time.

After birth, the baby is no longer connected to the mother's bloodstream. The baby's blood must now go to his or her own lungs to get oxygen. Normally, as the baby begins to breathe on his or her own, the pulmonary artery opens to allow blood into the lungs, and the ductus arteriosus closes. Once the ductus arteriosus closes, blood leaving the right side of the heart no longer goes straight to the aorta. First, it goes through the pulmonary arteries and stops at the lungs to pick up oxygen. Then, blood carrying oxygen returns to the left side of the heart and is pumped out to the rest of the body.

If the ductus arteriosus does not close after birth as it should, it is called a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). A PDA allows blood to flow directly from the aorta into the pulmonary artery and from there to the lungs. This extra amount of blood flowing into the lungs strains the heart and increases the blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.

They used to do heart surgery to close it but recent research shows that is not necessary. If no symptoms arise they will retest the echos prior to going home. This vessel can close on its own and that is our hope.

Other than that, the doctor decided to do a 7 day IV antibiotic for Makaila since her WBC is high. I begged to try to do oral so we can get rid of her IV, but didn't get far. Oh by the way, they had to shave her head to get the last IV in her head. And yes, we saved her hair. She gets a bottle once a day to try. She had been taking about 5 of her 27 ccs by bottle.

Hannah got her IV's removed ans is back up to full feedings. I tried her on her first bottle yesterday and she had about 5 ccs also.

No change with Samantha. But, Sandra now weighs a whole 2 lbs.

Josh and I are going to the Navy Ball tomorrow night. That's just mean, I have to dress up 3 weeks after delivery and try to look good. Wish me luck! It'll be our first (but hopefully not last) night out in a very long time. It should be fun.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Good Days and Bad Days

Some days the girls are doing so good and other days we are reminded that they are preemies. The weekend nurses were actually bored in our pod because every one was doing so good. Unfortunately, yesterday all four girls required additional attention.

Makaila had been on room air and doing great until she had a rise in her temperature. They drew blood, and at first said it looked good then they decided that her CBC showed she might have an infection. The poor girls has veins like me. They tried nine times to get an IV in her and failed. I felt so bad for her. They gave her a break since she was tired and had to go back on nasal cannula. Luckily, the night shift was able to get an IV in. They started her on antibiotics for 48 hours until we get blood culture results. She is so patient and well behaved.

Hannah started spitting up her food. So the doctors decided to stop her feeds and take some X-rays. It turns out that her stomach is just a little irritated and she needs a brake from her feeds. They put her on an IV yesterday, and today they plan to restart the feeds, but space them out over a longer period of time. She was very fussy yesterday because she was getting so very hungry. I had to hold her hand and give her a pacifier to calm her down. I will tell you this, there is nothing wrong with her lungs!

Hannah started spitting up her food. So the doctors decided to stop her feeds and take some X-rays. It turns out that her stomach is just a little irritated and she needs a brake from her feeds. They put her on an IV yesterday, and today they plan to restart the feeds, but space them out over a longer period of time. She was very fussy yesterday because she was getting so very hungry. I had to hold her hand and give her a pacifier to calm her down. I will tell you this, there is nothing wrong with her lungs!

Samantha is doing very well on room air and her feeds. However, her arm is very disturbing. Much of the skin that was damaged due to the burn has peeled off, and has started to heal. To say that it is terrifying to look at would be an understatement. She uses the arm, and more importantly does not seem to favor it. She is either really tough, or not in very much pain. The plastic surgery department has consulted us twice, and they say she may need surgery when she is six months old. On the other hand, our doctor has seen worse burns heal quite nicely. No matter what happens, Samantha is in for a lengthy recovery from this wound.

Sandra is still our little peanut, but she is tolerating her 13 milliliters of food every three hours very nicely. Last night they stopped her IV, today we expect her food to be raised again. She now weighs 1lb 15 oz. With any luck, she will surpass the two pound barrier today. Unfortunately, she did have to receive her second blood transfusion, but our nurses seem to be surprised at how few she has had to receive given her size.