Monday, December 29, 2008

Our crazy life but we love it!

What was on the Duggans agenda today?

11:45 pm change 3 FULL diapers and feed 3 hungry babies
12:45 am lay down to bed
1:00 to 3:45 am check on Hannah since she is crying. all she needed was her mommy to walk around and rock her
3:45 am change diapers and feed
4:45 am lay down to bed
5:00 to 6:30 am check on Hannah; she is still fussy, she really likes mommy to walk her around
6:30 to 7:45 am finally got some sleep
7:45 am change diapers, feed babies
8:45 am Josh worked from home while Teri had tummy time, did dishes, showered and call 7 doctor offices
11:30 am change diapers, feed babies and change their clothes then get them in their car seats
12:30 pm leave for pediatrician apt
1:15 pm arrive at pediatrician
2:30 leave pediatrician office
3:00 pick up a quick bite to eat
3:30 Teri has a doctor's appointment (stomach problem; either stomach lining damage or gall bladder both caused from pregnancy) while Josh fed babies in the car
5:30 pm got babies home, changed diapers and put them to bed (can I go to bed? Nope, chores to be done!)
5:30 pm make bottles for the next 24 hours, laundry, trash night, dishes and tidy up
7:30 pm Samantha's bath time
7:45 pm change diapers and feed
8:45 Josh leaves to go visit Sandra while Teri finishes up with babies and chores
11:45 pm Josh gets home and we start all over again

So, as you can see we are constantly on the go and very busy. We take turns visiting Sandra. The girls did great at their doctors visit. Hannah got two immunizations. One was oral and the nurse said that she was the first to actually like it and ask for more. However, she didn't like her shot. Josh and I have been worried about Makaila's voice. It is very raspy, deep and sometimes soundless. Since she was on the ventilator the longest she has a greater chance of vocal cord damage. The doctor has referred her to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to be evaluated. We are to bring in the girls every two weeks for weight checks. Their current weights are: Makaila - 6 lbs 12 ozs, Hannah - 6 lbs 12 ozs (can you say identical?) Samantha 7 lbs 4 ozs and Sandra - 4 lbs 8 ozs. Hannah is again VERY congested and constantly needs to be bulb syringed. I actually think it is worse then before. The doctor seems to think it is from reflux. With that and a sore bottom from a diaper rash I can understand why she is fussy. She is fussy right now so I have to go check on her.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quick Update!

Most of you are probably wondering how it is having 3 babies home. It is great! I can't wait for the 4th to come home. Hannah seems to be fussier than Makaila and Samantha as we thought. She fusses for anything; diaper changes, during her bottle, after her bottle, before her bottle, bath time, tummy time alright you got the idea. She also takes more patience and energy to feed. She get 3 ounces but usually takes one ounce good and the other two are a struggle. But we learned if she tells she is finished at the end of two to make her eat the third. Otherwise, she is screaming at the top of her lungs two hours later. Luckily, she doesn't wake up Makaila and Samantha. For this reason, it takes both Josh and I to feed at all feedings. One of us props and one of us holds Hannah. Josh has a cold and is having to wear a mask. We fear the girls getting sick. Such a small thing could put them back in the hospital.

Sandra still seems to be having a sleeping brady a day. Which is better than she was having but it is the ones during sleep that concerns everyone. So, she will not be coming home in 2008. Yesterday, she through such a temper before a feeding that she scratched the whole right side of her face. Apparently, nurses are not allowed to trim their nails and don't even have nail clippers so I had to bite each one off so she doesn't do it again. Today the doctor switched her from the 24 calorie formula to the 22 calorie (the one she'll come home on). She is also allowed to eat as much as she wants. I am sure she was ecstatic to hear that! I don't think she has felt a full belly in a while.

Life is busy and a little hectic sometimes. But to be honest with you I thought it would be a lot worse. I think it is going smoothly because Josh and I are a perfect team. We communicate and include a lot of humor in the stress of it all. We can't wait to have Sandra home to go from a full house to a full home!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Welcome Home Hannah, My Due Date, Merry Chritstmas

Sweet Sandra

Who does this baby look like?

Makaila, Hannah and Samantha reunite. Is Hannah telling Samantha secrets?


3 Divas and their Christmas teddy bears. Thank you Sandy and Donald!

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas was Mommy and Daddy's first date 8 years ago!

I think Makaila slept through her first Christmas!


Merry Christmas to all! Today was my official due date. And it was nice to celebrate it by bringing Hannah home. I was sad to leave little Sandra at the hospital by herself though. Once we had Hannah settled in, it was time to get them dressed in their Christmas dresses and head over to our neighbors for dinner. Let me tell you it takes more time to get 3 fed, diaper changed and dressed. I am glad they looked adorable to keep the attention off of me since I was in jeans and a t shirt and hair in a pony tail. Dinner was delicious; thank you Katherine and Steven for a wonderful Christmas dinner. The girls behaved themselves. But right after dinner, it was time to come home and feed the girls again. One of us feeds Hannah while the other prop feeds Makaila and Samantha. After 4:00 pm feedings we get bottles ready for the next day. That also takes longer now with three babies, figuring out the water powder ratio. Plus, right now Hannah uses a different bottle since she is not ready for a big girl nipple. Once we get this pattern down we'll bring Sandra home and it'll all change again. I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas as Josh and I had our best one ever with three of our girls home.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Not enough words to say thank you!

Today was yet another day of up and down emotions. Where do I start? How about 4:00 am! That is what time Auntie Debbie and Daddy woke up to feed and then it was off to the airport. Auntie Debbie left this morning after being here for 5 weeks. Josh and I will never be able to repay her for what she has done for our family. Being here (away from her family); helping us means so much to us. NICU experience is very stressful and we had it 4 times stressful because we had 4 babies there. Debbie helped me out personally with her just being supportive and always someone I could share the ups and downs of the NICU because she was there to go through it with us. She also helped out around the house a lot. She never let a dirty dish sit in the sink and was on top of the laundry for us. She was always willing to help with the feedings (in the hospital and at home) because she wanted to be with the girls as much as possible. She even did the midnight feedings by herself. These girls are very fortunate to have such a great Aunt and I am so happy to call her my sister.

So, we were all sad to see Debbie leave. But while Josh was visiting Hannah and Sandra he met with their doctor. We got some of the best news ever! I am so excited and filled with emotion as I type that my eyes tear up thinking about it. Sandra will be coming home either Monday or Wednesday next week. Yup, next week! I get emotional when it comes to Sandra making big milestones because she is the one that we were told we would lose. And now they are sending her home next week.

I wanted to call someone and tell them the news as I was so excited! I called Josh's mom. After sharing the news she told me that she had a medical concern and will not be able to visit until Jan 7th. We will keep her in our prayers and hope things are ok. But this means that we are on our own until then. I know that Josh and I can do it but it will be rough. It will definitely take both of us to do all feedings since Hannah and Sandra aren't ready to be prop fed. Sandra will be coming home on an apnea monitor as she still has some episodes. The hospital has changed Hannah to 4 hour feedings but I am not sure Sandra is ready for that yet. Should be interesting! We will be taking Hannah, Makaila and Samantha to the pediatrician on Monday. The real test is when I take them to their hearing exams while Josh stays home with Sandra. Two arms and three infant car seats. hmmmm! So, if we go without a post for a few days you'll know why!

Tomorrow, I am picking up Hannah! What a great way to spend Christmas (my due date). I am so excited! The doctor and the case worker did all the paperwork today since they know I am anxious and will be there early in the morning. Speaking of Christmas, Hannah and Sandra got their picture taken with Santa yesterday. They are so cute! Speaking of cute, we are listening to our household chipmunk (Samantha has the hi cups) on the baby monitor.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hannah and Sandra Update




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Several things to notice in this video...


1. Hannah and Sandra in the same crib!


2. Sandra without nasal cannula!


3. The size difference between Hannah and Sandra!


Sandra continues to amaze us with her bottle feedings. The doctor increased her to 36 ccs because she was always hungry. She still is finishing her bottles in about 5-10 minutes. That is crazy! Hannah is still doing great with her bottles and eats about 60 ccs. She still once in a while de sats during her feeds. I keep telling them to remove her pulse ox and then we won't see any de sats. I am hoping they still plan on sending her home Tuesday! We are now trying to deal with insurance and all the referrals that the kiddos need. The good thing is that their RSV shots were approved. They run $1000 and are a monthly series until April. That adds up to $24,000. Their hearing referrals had to go to another doctor, which I didn't mind. However, they denied Samantha's plastic surgery doctor because he is out of network. We have an appeal in though. Luckily, our pediatrician is on top of all of it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

So cute, had to post!

Precious Sandra!

Sandra's precious feet!



Makaila and Samantha playing!

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Hannah is due home Tuesday! I am so excited! I am glad she comes home before Auntie Debbie has to go home (Wednesday). Josh let the doctor know that Makaila and Samantha are on a 4 hour schedule. So, they are going to put Hannah on that schedule so it'll be easier for us once she is home. One less thing we will have to do. Every little thing can help, even the small things. Today Hannah and Sandra got their immunizations. That way they are close to being on the same schedule with Makaila and Samantha. However, they are on different schedules for their RSV shots. Tomorrow Sandra will be going to an open crib. They were going to do it today but didn't want to over stimulate her after her shots. I am so excited that she graduated from the isolette. It is so much easier to just grab them and kiss them in the open crib. One big step for a little one.

Hannah and her pacifier!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pictures Galore and Video

Daddy decides to put prop down and pick up Makaila!

Comfy snowman!
Sisterly love!

Lunch time!

Did Makaila find her thumb?

Makaila resting peacefully!

Feeding time!

I am so excited to bring Samantha home! Can you tell?

It's official Samantha's going home!

Sandra loves her pacifier and her Daddy!

Hannah is wondering where Makaila went!

Samantha and her usual hi- cups!
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Samantha's first bath! Thank you Aunt Linda for my cool bathtub!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

First Doctors Visit

I first want to start off by letting everyone know that Makaila and Samantha are very good babies and are doing great! I truely thought that it was going to be more dificult. Granted only 2 are home so far. We have already changed their feeding schedule to every 4 hours to give us a longer break in between. This way they are more hungry and awake and will take their bottles better. They really like the new schedule.

Makaila and Samantha had their first doctor's visit today. Even though we had to wait longer then we wanted to, we liked the doctor. She seemed friendly and great with the girls. We are not going to have to boil the water for their bottles any more which will save us a bunch of time. Makaila weighed in at 6 pounds and Samantha at 6 pounds 6 ounces. Yeah! I was so proud of them on their weight gains.

Hannah is getting 6 bottles a day now and Sandra 3. They both are doing great with their bottles. Sandra's caffeine and Reglan was increased since she also has gained weight. She now weighs 3 pounds 9 ounces. Hannah is still congested and needs to be bulb syringed prior to her bottles. But if they do that she does good and doesn't need oxygen. Debbie and I visited them on Saturday and Sunday while Josh played with Makaila and Samantha. Speaking of Josh, he got A's in both of his classes this semester. Good job Josh! I don't know how you did it with how busy life has become.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Welcome Home Makaila!

You wonder how we'll be able to feed all of the girls. Well, wonder no more! Josh is prop feeding Samantha and Makaila. Prop feeding is not recommended for a singleton but a necessity for multiple babies. It is a balancing act and you need to be able to multi task. Josh is great at it!



My sister watched Samantha while we went to pick up Makaila from the hospital. Makaila did not pass her left ear hearing test (the same as Samantha) but passed all her other tests. I was sad to see Hannah in the big crib all by herself. I held Makaila and Hannah together so they could say their "Goodbyes!". Hopefully Sandra will be with her soon. We are so blessed and 4tuneate to have 4 beautiful healthy girls. Boy are we lucky the two home are so well behaved and easy (so far that is). They are really settling in nicely. Today Josh is going to attemp to feed two at once so that Debbie and I can visit Hannah and Sandra and run a couple errends. Thank you Josh! The blood transfussion that Sandra got seemed to help her. She is having less Brady's again. Hannah's congestion seems to be getting better also. They are both finishing their bottles so maybe the doctor will increase the amount they are allowed to try.

Josh and I have received very nice gifts from all of you. We appreciate every oneof them! But I would like to mention one that I will treasure 4ever. My very dear friend Sandy (yes, one of Sandra's name sakes) got me a ring with the girls name engraved and each of their birth stones (yes, they all have the same one!). It is beautiful and I plan to wear it 4ever! Thank you Sandy and Donald!






Thursday, December 11, 2008

Welcome Home Samantha

I'm out of here!


Tummy time is so fun!


Tummy time is so exhuasting!


My sisters don't know what they are missing!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Highs and Lows of the NICU

Today was probably one of the most roller coaster days in the experience of the NICU. First, I had misplaced our video camera last week and was almost in tears every time I thought about it. I had lost some many "firsts" that were video taped. I knew I had the memories that I would never forget but was sad that I would never be able to show the kids. Today I decided to recheck a restaurant that Debbie and I had eaten at last Monday (which was a very stressful day). This time the employee said that yes they did have a lost video camera. I actually had tears to hear the news. Debbie tripped over a chair she was so excited for me. Thank you again Dad for our video camera.

So, we get to the NICU very excited to get Samantha packed up to go home. I get a call from the nurse practitioner to tell me that Makaila will be going home Friday or Saturday. Now I am even more excited. Samantha is ready to go home but Josh isn't off work so we have to wait. As I was giving Sandra her bottle she had a brady and refluxed so she was unable to finish it. After that, Debbie and I decided to get a bite to eat. When we get back Sandra was having Brady's almost every 5 minutes. They did blood work, chest and abdomen x rays. Her colon was inflamed pushing on her lungs and she is anemic again. She is getting a blood transfusion and they decreased her amount of food to let her tummy settle. Now I am literally torn to pieces with all the emotions. It was time to go home with Samantha and we had to leave Sandra not feeling well. But we know we left her in good hands and will call often.

Samantha was a princess on her way home and didn't make a peep. And I think she loves her new home. She is settling in nicely. As we were making dinner I looked outside and it was snowing. Yes, I said snowing! It was yet another high of the day! The snow is sticking but probably not for long! Maxine sure looks cute with snow stuck to her fur. She is enjoying the snow. Boy, is it cold outside though!

Debbie was released from the hospital last night also for all concerned! I will post pics tomorrow of the girls! I know you all were awaiting to see if Samantha came home today so I wanted to post that at least. Josh and I will now trade off on visits to the NICU and tomorrow is his turn.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Update on the 5 girls!

Alright, now that we've got your attention! We still have four girls. But, their Auntie Debbie needed to be updated too. She wanted to spend some more time with them and decided to stay in the hospital to be close to them. She was admitted on Monday after a LONG visit in ER. After many diaper changes and bottle feeds her index finger swelled up and got very painful. She is still a "medical mystery" as the docs don't know what is going on with her finger. She is waiting for yet another orthopedic consult. I hope I don't get the Bends disease as I am visiting the 1st and 8th floor. Up and down, up and down, up and down...you get the idea.

Deb is very anxious to get out of the hospital since Samantha is going home tomorrow. Yup, that's right! She passed her car seat test and her developmental tests. She did not pass her left hearing test though. Not to be alarmed though. She will be retested in 2 to 4 weeks and if she fails that one then they will do a diagnostic test. She now weighs 5 pounds 9.5 ozs. She is getting her immunizations today. The poor girl! She is allowed to have as much formula as she wants. She usually eats 55 to 60 ccs. She will continue to see see Physical Therapy about 3 times a week for her arm. And we will do silicone changes and massage therapy at home. She will also continue to see the plastic surgeon possibly weekly. We are hoping to have PT came to the house to cut down on car trips.

Makaila is anxious and not far behind Debbie and Samantha. They hope to have her home Friday or Saturday. She needs to not have De Sats during her bottles to make that happen. She is also getting between 55 and 60 ccs by bottle and had her feeding tube removed. Both Samantha and Makaila take their bottles in about 15 minutes. Which is amazing!

Hannah still has a cold and struggling with her bottles. Occupational Therapy is working with her. She still tries with 3 bottles a day. Sandra now gets two bottles a day and doing great. She had her nasal cannula removed today. She still has brady's but the doctor felt that the nasal cannula wasn't helping her not have them. But thought that maybe might causing them due to nasal congestion she gets from wearing her nasal cannula. They are still weaning her off of the isolette and she is able to continue to maintain her temperature.

Josh and I are preparing for the girls homeward bound. Saturday Debbie, Josh and I took a CPR class on infants. Normally, preemie parents stay a night at the Ronald Mc Donald house one night prior to taking their baby home. However, I guess we have proved ourselves because our doctor doesn't find it necessary for us to do that. We had to be signed off on different duties...diaper changing, bottle feeding, temperature taking. All things we have been doing since they were born. So, it was all an easy sign off.

Sorry for no pictures this update. I am at the hospital writing this. Hopefully the next picture of Samantha will be in her new home.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Auntie Deb long awaited cuddle time with Sandra!


Makaila got caught sleeping!


Sandra chilling out after her calisthenics!


Hannah catching up on some z's!



Samantha's first time in a swing!


Lately we have been getting a taste of what is about to come. The girls are now on two different feeding schedules. Which means someone always needs to be changed or fed. It is crazy! Makaila and Hannah have colds and I feel so bad for them. They feel just awful. Hannah has it the worst. She can't lay on her back without having desats. She has been really struggling with her bottles but I think she just cant breath very well. Makaila seems to have figured out the whole bottle idea. She is still trying 6 a day. Yesterday she finished 5 of them. Sandra tries one bottle a day. The nurses and doctors are surprised at how well she is doing with it. Yesterday she took 20 ccs of the 28 offered. Do not under estimate the peanut. The other day she literally crawled out of her diaper and made a mess. Last out of the isolette and first to crawl. ha ha Speaking of isolette, she is being weaned off the temperature controls and we hope to have her in a crib with Samantha this coming week. After one of Samanth'a bottles she was wide a wake so she had her first ride in a swing. She actually really liked it and finally feel asleep.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Change of Scenery

There hadn't been much to update until today. There were many changes all around. One of the biggest news is that they were all moved to Level 2 NICU. This is a very good thing. Makaila and Hannah are in one crib in a private room. Samantha and Sandra each have their own private room. Their rooms are all close to each other. We no longer have to leave during shift change and family can visit whenever they want. We are allowed to sleep in their rooms with them and I can pump in the rooms with them too. Another big change is that our girls are getting bigger. Makaila, Hannah and Samantha are out of preemie diapers. Samantha barely fits in preemie clothes.

Makaila - now taking 6 bottles a day and finishing them so far. She is the messiest eater in the bunch. We are going to need a lot of burp clothes for her. Her feeds have increased to 45 ccs every 3 hours. She is off of nasal cannula and breathing on her own fantastically.

Hannah - is taking 3 bottles a day at 45 ccs each. She is a little silly in the fact that she wants to sleep when we try to feed her. But as soon as we put her in her crib she is wide awake and ready to party. She is off of nasal cannula but sometimes has to wear it when she takes her bottle because she pretends to be sleepy. The other day we had Makaila, Hannah and Samantha lay next to each other and Hannah cuddled right up to Makaila. It was the sweetest thing ever. That is why I decided to keep them two together in their new apartments.

Samantha - was getting 8 bottles a day but got tired out and wasn't finishing them so she is now getting 4 a day. She is eating 47 ccs every 3 hours. Her arm is healing well and is still doing physical therapy along with massage. She now is wearing a silicone wrap to help with the scarring. She has the chubbiest cheeks and is very adorable.

Sandra - is still in her isolette but has started maintaining her own temperature and will start to wear clothes now. She is doing great on her nasal cannula except for the fact she pulls it out constantly. She is by far the feistiest and strongest. She may be small but do not doubt her. She got her first bottle today and took 7 ccs without any breathing issues. She has changed so much lately. Sometimes I look at her and she reminds me of Makaila and Hannah and other times she looks like Samantha. So, she is definitely a mixture of Josh and I.