Sunday, January 31, 2010

Audrey rushed to the ER

A picture of our happy girl taken last week

Last night at about 8:30pm Audrey stopped breathing, turned blue, and went completely limp. I had just fed her and was administering her evening breathing treatment when her eyes started to close and she started getting really dusky. In a matter of seconds she was nearly incoherent and very blue so I yanked her out of her highchair and handed her to Robert. He promptly began CPR (which we had thankfully learned at the NICU) and got her breathing again while I called 911. Audrey was blue and limp for about 4 minutes until the paramedics arrived and began giving her oxygen. The oxygen helped significantly but she remained very pale and when the oxygen was removed her O2 saturation levels dropped again. So after getting her stabilized I carried her out to the ambulance and rode with her to the ER while Robert followed behind in our car. Thankfully, our cousins were in town from Arizona and my Dad and Terri were over for dinner so we were able to leave the other two babies with them while we accompanied Audrey to St. Charles. Once we got in the ambulance Audrey seemed to improve considerably and was being her usual happy, smiley self (I caught her flirting with several of the paramedics:)) and by the time we got to the ER she was as chipper as ever - and extremely curious about her bright, new surroundings. Robert met us in the ER where we stayed with her under observation for about an hour. Chest and neck x-rays were taken but everything looked normal. The on-call pediatrician (who happened to be present at the babies' birth) evaluated her and decided to keep her over night for continued observation. Audrey has been having difficulty breathing ever since October (when she was first hospitalized for her wheezing and strider) but even though every breath seems to take so much effort and energy, she has never lost her pink rosy coloring or stopped breathing (and happens to be the most active and energetic of the three babies). The doctors wanted to put her under anesthesia and scope her airway back in October but decided it was okay to delay the procedure as long as she was eating well and wasn't having any other complications. Last night's events, however, have changed the situation and now the doctors feel it necessary to have her scoped. The procedure is very risky and may only confirm what they already think it is (a narrowing in her airway that will hopefully grow as she grows), but may reveal some other problem that may have caused her to stop breathing. Her wonderful NICU doctor came by and talked with Robert and may be present during the procedures tomorrow (which is extremely comforting to us). The plan is to do a CT scan first (which will probably require anesthesia to keep her still) and if they can see what they need to see, a scope may not be necessary; if they are unable to see anything they will take her to the OR and do the surgery while she is already under anesthesia. Unfortunately, intubation and anesthesia in premature babies with breathing problems is extremely risky and may require an extended recovery time to wean her back off of oxygen. Please pray for protection over our little girl and that these risky procedures will at least give us some answers as to why she has been struggling so hard to breathe.

Friday, January 15, 2010

8 months old...and a trip to Portland!

8 months old!!!

Beautiful Grace

Oliver likes to hold his hand out and stare at it...
until he gets distracted by something else!

Our strong little girl!

Our big bubba!

Gracie relaxing on her hotel bed

Grace is still working on her neck muscles:)

Daddy and the crew

Mama and her girls

Oliver looks a little cold and miserable in this one...

Grace had a rough night and the only thing that
seemed to help was taking a bath with Mommy!

"Hey, Mom! Get this hat out of my eyes!"

That's better!

We're now one of "those" families
that takes up an entire huge booth at Red Robin!

Our hotel room at the Hotel Monaco
there's little Oliver peeking out of the backpack!

Yep, they're "twins"! (Oliver and Audrey)

Oliver took a nap like this for 4 hours on the hotel bed...isn't he darling?

Daddy made the couch into a "crib" for Oliver and Grace
(they don't roll as much as Audrey)

They were very interested in the television...

Daddy and his boys downtown

Daddy and Gracie in her "Amelia Earhart" hat

The babies got to spend the first 8 days of 2010 on vacation in Portland! And Mommy and Daddy got to enjoy getting out of Bend for the first time since last March right before I ended up on bedrest! We packed up the car on New Year's Day, loaded up our pup and three babes and headed over the mountain to P-town! Our original plan was to spend 4 nights there, but the babies were doing so well (and we were having so much fun!) that we found another hotel downtown and extended our stay 3 more nights! We spent the first half of our trip in Tualatin (where Robert grew up) and spent our days shopping at Bridgeport, Pioneer Place, and Washington Square, as well as enjoying some time relaxing in our hotel room and watching T.V. (which we don't have at, I've missed Jeopardy!) What we learned, however, is that loading and unloading three babies in and out of a car over and over and over again is the most exhausting part of getting out and doing things which is why we "smartened up" and moved to a hotel right smack in the heart of downtown Portland for the second half of our trip so we could just walk out the door of the hotel lobby and be in walking distance of all the shopping and eating we could handle! For the most part strangers did really well at keeping their distance and admiring the babies from afar, but we most certainly did get lots of stares, questions, and sideways glances! Pretty hard to be inconspicuous when you're marching through shopping centers with a double stroller, backpack, frontpack, and 80lb dog - we felt a little bit like modern day Clampetts. Most people thought Audrey and Oliver were twins and that Grace was their baby sister (I don't think they did the math on that one...), a few people thought Audrey was a boy (I guess that's what happens when Mommy dresses her in a green sweater and blue socks - hey, I'm not used to dressing them for public yet!), and pretty much every single person that got within a 10 foot radius of us felt the need to let us know that we had our "hands full". I think we ended up more exhausted after our vacation than before (which is saying a lot), but it was definitely worth it. Trying to find public places to feed and change three babies made for some great family memories (think back corner of Qdoba restaurant, all 5 of us packed in the men's restroom at WestMarine, a bench in the middle of the mall...), and it just felt so wonderful to be out of the house and out in the real world! Robert and I were starting to feel like nobody believed we were really parents since we never have any babies with us, but the attention we got on this 7 day trip more than made up for the 7 months we've been hiding the babies at home:)

And today the babies are 8 months old...incredible! Grace is still gaining weight rather slowly, but she's just a petite little thing and is eating really well so we try not to worry about it. Audrey is so incredibly strong and just days away from crawling (that will add a whole new dimension of fun to having triplets!), and Oliver is eating solid foods like a champ and weighed in at a whopping 20lbs at his doctor's appointment yesterday! Just to give you some perspective, 20lbs is the weight of an average one year old and Mr. O is 8 months and should really only be 5 months! His doctor even advised me to start giving him more water and try cutting back on the amount of formula he gets each day. With where our babies started, who would have ever thought we would be worrying about our babies being too big??? What a blessing; we sure have come a long way!

Audrey is cuddled up with her blankie on our bed next to me right now wheezing her way through dreamland. Gracie and Oliver are alseep in their cribs and will be needing their bedtime bottles soon. Time to wash some dishes, make some bottles, fold some laundry, feed some babies...and get ready to do it all over again tomorrow:) Here's to a successful first 8 months... I can only imagine what the next 8 will bring!