Saturday, April 24, 2010

Josh's first time to hold Jack Henry since that sweet baby was born!

I love this shot of JH. I think my boys have beautiful eyes!
Taking Harrison home!

Hey Y'all!

I'm sorry that you haven't heard from me in a day or two! We've clearly been busy with baby Harrison and visiting Jack Henry at the NICU. We try to get up there at least 2 times; yesterday I went up there 4 times! Needless to say, it was exhausting to this momma who is 1 week post-surgery and up every few hours at night with her baby at home, but I guess my momma drive kept me going. I just hate it that Jack Henry is there alone and he loooooves it when I/we come up there, so I try to get up there as much as possible, while still being home enough to spend time with and nurse Harrison.

I was thinking about the whole NICU situation this morning as I showered. (yes! I got a shower! haha) While it is not my ideal situation b/c I want my babies all at home with me..... it has allowed us to spend some quality one-on-one time with each of our babies, both at home and at the NICU. It has also allowed us to have a slow transition to managing life with 2 newborns at home. I wish Jack Henry had been able to go home with us on Tuesday... heck, while I'm wishing, I wish they'd never been in there in the first place, but since he is there, I want him to take the time that he needs to be well before coming home. He is in the absolute best place that he could be with what he's been dealing with and I am so grateful for the doctors and nurses who have taken such great care of him in the NICU!

That said, here's the latest on Jack Henry!
Wednesday, we were disappointed to find out that Jack Henry wasn't going to be able to start taking a bottle as we'd been told b/c his breathing rate was a little high. The combo of fast breathing and drinking could be a bit much for him. While disappointed, we wanted whatever was best for him and knew that he'd get there eventually.

Yesterday, when I went in to my first NICU visit, I saw our nurse with her hands in Jack Henry's incubator and I asked what they were up to. She whipped his incubator cloth cover up and she was FEEDING HIM A 15 mL BOTTLE OF BREASTMILK!!!! YAY!

That was a HUGE step in his progress toward coming home! She said I could come back to feed him more that day, so I went back at 2:30, 5:30, and 8:30 to feed him either by nursing + 15mL bottle or just 15mL bottle. *It is important to note that he must be able to drink a 30mL before he can move to a crib, which is the last step before coming home. To stay in a crib, he must be able to maintain his body temperature. He must pass 2 glucose tests. Then, he must be able to take a 30mL bottle from Josh and/or me before he can come home.

Then today, I called to check on his feeding schedule so I could come in to feed him and found out that: A) he was being fed a 30mL bottle at 11:30am B) probably having his IV removed and C) MOVING TO A CRIB! I called my mom and burst into tears of joy. Our baby boy is making HUGE steps toward coming home! The babies have to spend 72 hrs in the crib before they can come home, which would put him potentially coming home on Monday! (I say potentially b/c we have to be flexible and supportive of him and progressing at his own speed. Things change, but we're very hopeful!) He will also still need to be circumcised, pass his hearing test, and pass his car seat test (just makes sure that he can breathe while in his car seat). He is strong and God has been so good to him/us. I know that he'll pass with flying colors!

Recent update: Went to NICU @ 2:30pm and 5:30pm today, so far. Will go back with Daddy Josh at 8:30pm. Jack Henry took 30 mL and 40 mL at the visits, respectively---all from nursing, which the nurse said is not common at all--usually have to supplement with a bottle to get full 30 mL. He's our little hoss! :) Because he passed 2 glucose tests with flying colors, they are removing his IV!!! Dr. Mena asked if it'd be ok if he came home on Monday haha... Um YEAH IT WOULD!!! As long as everything maintains as well as it is, he'll be home Monday. I can't wait to finally have my family of 4 together. :)

So, that's the latest!
Harrison is doing FANTASTIC at home, nursing and taking the occasional bottle when momma needs to be at the NICU and it coincides with his feeding time. He has given Josh and me the gift of 4 hr sleep stretches at night sometimes, too! I am so grateful for my parents, sisters, aunt sharon, and others who have been over at our house daily to take care of household needs as well as allowing us to make trips to the NICU.

Thank you ALL SO MUCH for your prayers and cheerleading for our new little family, especially Jack Henry (and Harrison when in NICU). After Jack Henry gets home, I'll probably slow down on updates significantly, since I'll be manning 2 babies! (with some help for a bit, of course)

Momma Tay

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

1st night and NICU visits

Harrison loves his swing! Thank goodness for picture phones!

I responded to a friend's e-mail earlier and thought it was a good update to share with our friends/family:

first night was good... kinda rough, but only b/c of the sleep deprivation. harrison was a doll. we did have some trouble getting him down at the 12 o'clock feeding, but i ended up realizing that his room was too cool for him and we got a space heater for him. he slept great the rest of the times he was in there.

breastfeeding is good. i like that part, but pumping after every feeding is tiring. it's going to be crazy and interesting once we get jack henry home and he's feeding, too. hopefully i can master the double football hold. i'm trying to get some sleep, but definitely need to try harder. it's difficult to get as much as i normally would b/c we like to go up to the NICU at least 2x a day.

we actually just got back. he had his cannula (nose tube thing) removed this AM and is doing great on regular oxygen levels! we had more snuggle ("nuzzle") time. i introduced him to breastfeeding yesterday. I went to introduce him again today, and he ended up going to TOWN breastfeeding! same again tonight! i love it :) he's good at it already and bless his heart, they've had him on an electrolyte, lipid, etc mix for nourishment, but he hasn't officially been "fed" except for when i nurse him at these visits. (mainly b/c until now, he wasn't breathing well enough to master breathing and eating at the same time. they aren't just depriving him) they are going to start feeding tomorrow---- i am going to nurse and then give him a bottle of my breastmilk. we take 1 or 2 bottles of breastmilk every visit, so there is plenty waiting on him. he is such a sweetheart and definitely loves his mommy snuggle time.

alright, i'm off to feed harrison and head to bed! we took some good pictures of jack henry tonight. i will try my best to upload them tomorrow and send them out. g'night from the Gamble 4!

On the way home (4/20/10)

Here's is another pic (also taken with cell phone) of sweet Harrison on the way home yesterday!

A very quick update

Hey y'all! (I e-mailed this to some friends/family last night)

Wanted to let y'all see this picture----sorry for poor quality, it was a cell phone picture. It's not the most flattering of me, but who cares! :o) I'm holding my precious Jack Henry getting "nuzzle" time. We got to have some skin-on-skin time and practice nursing a very brief bit. It was amazing and special to me as his momma to see his stats get even better just being in my arms, when Josh and I talked to him, and when we loved on him. They are tentatively predicting that he'll get to come home this weekend! (YAY!) He is as precious as he can be and I can't wait to spend time with him and get to know him better, as I have Harrison.

We got to come home and bring Harrison with us today. It was a great car ride home and everything since has gone well----thanks to my family, who has gone out of their way to make this an easier time for us, especially for me. I am incredibly blessed.

Alright, I'm off to bed, as I am absolutely exhausted and will be up again soon to nurse my sweet Harrison. As tired as I am, I am loving every minute. This is a dream come true for me. Thank you for your prayers. Please keep them up---God hears them and He is answering them!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Update on my loves.

Hey y'all!

I am DELIGHTED to report that our precious Jack Henry has moved from using a CPAP to a nasal cannula! (just nose tubes that blow air in) This is HUGE because he gets easily frustrated by the doctors messing with him, which usually gets his breathing rate up and sets him back. He did great! There is also talk of me getting to do some "nuzzle time" with him later this afternoon. Be still my heart :)I haven't been able to hold him since the moment that he was born and I cannot wait to get my hands on him!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! :o)

Harrison is slowly being discharged from the NICU to go home with us today! He passed his carseat and hearing tests this AM--yay! I just nursed him and then he still took about 60 more milliliters of pumped breast milk from a bottle! He's a little hoss :) I could love on and stare at him all day.

We are absolutely in love with these babies and just feeling incredibly grateful!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Baby Update

Hey Y'all!

We are feeling your love and seeing the fruit of your faithful prayers--THANK YOU!
Harrison has progressed very well and has been moved to a crib! He was able to come to our room yesterday evening and got to stay here until Josh and I were ready to go to bed! We were in heaven getting to love on our sweet boy! Our family has been so glad to finally be able to hold him and shower him with love. God is so good!

Dr. Mena predicted that Jack Henry would probably get a little worse before he got better and he was right. Yesterday morning, he did get a little worse and was moved to an incubator and put on a CPAP machine. However, he has responded really well to that environment and has made some great progress, requiring less and less oxygen to help him breathe and less pressure in his CPAP. Dr. Mena is still not worried about them and says that Jack Henry just needs time to get stronger.

As of now, it is looking like sweet little Harrison will get to go home with us on Tuesday! We haven't gotten an estimation on Jack Henry, but looking at the silver lining, taking one baby home at a time will allow us to make a slower transition to two babies at home. Clearly, I'dHAPPILY give up this smooth transition in a heartbeat to have my precious baby boy Jack Henry at home with us, but that goes without saying :o) I have complete faith that he'll be with us in no time, healthy as he can be!

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers--they are working--please keep them up!

This is my favorite picture of Harrison (and part of me) so far.. :o)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gamble, party of 4...

6 LBS 2 OZ
6 LBS 11 OZ

Friday, April 16, 2010


After being discharged yesterday morning, I went home and slept pretty much all day. I started having painful contractions ended up calling the on-call doctor to see what to do . She said to come in for monitoring. This morning when Dr. Banks checked me, I was 4 cm dilated and he said it was time for the c-section!

The boys are here and they are BEAUTIFUL! Jack Henry was born at 8:29am and was 6 lbs 11 oz, 20 inches long.... Harrison was born at 8:30am and was 6 lbs 2 oz, 19 inches long! They are in the NICU for some fluid in their lungs, which is very typical for babies 35 weeks--even singletons. It should be a short stay though :) I'll post pictures as soon as I can and feel up to it!

I'll write more later. I'm falling asleep sitting up.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Back to baking!

I'm sorry to disappoint everyone, but there was no progress this AM. Unless my water breaks before, we'll be back on monday for another non-stress test, ultrasound and appt to check cervix. It's disappointing in the fact that we were here and ready to go...and ready to meet them, but it's better they bake longer. This is definitely what's best for the boys --as long as they keep not being in distress--and they are our priority! I also hate it that we got everyone's hopes up :( I'm sorry, y'all. This all means it will be very soon, though!... and it's really awesome that we'll be making it to our 36 week goal-yay!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We could have babies soon....

Well....I went to Dr. today. Non-stress test was GREAT. Boys measured approx 7 lbs 2 oz (A) and 7 lbs 4 oz (B). I was contracting a lot during test, 50% effaced and 1.5 cm dilated, so the Doctor is keeping me at the hospital overnight for observations. If I have progressed in the AM, I'll have a c-section and we'll meet these sweet babies! I will keep you all posted! We appreciate your prayers :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

34 week update

Hey y'all! I just got back from our OBGYN appointment. Everything, as usual (PRAISE THE LORD!), looked wonderful! My doctor even said I should get a twin pregnancy award. Ha ha. :o) It was a tough ultrasound today because they are so big and all up in each others business. Both babies are technically head down. Jack Henry way lower (butt up & left) and Harrison is under Jack Henry's tummy (butt up &right). Jack Henry is approx 5 lb 14oz and Harrison is approx 6 lb 8 oz. They are some big boys and I love it! Each of them gained about 1 lb in the past 2 weeks, and if they continue that trend, they will be approx 6 lbs 14 oz and 7 lbs 8 oz at 36 weeks. That is stellar! Even if they are born and have the weights they have now, they'd have excellent birth weights.

They used the ultrasound to measure my cervix. Mine is still in good condition, but my Dr. did say that when it gets to the size mine is, typically the baby(ies) come in 2 weeks. His money is on 36 weeks, and I'm fully supportive of that. Granted, keeping them in longer would be ideal b/c they'd have more time to bake, but 36 is full term for twins and I'm just rooting for at least 36 weeks so they have a greater chance of lung development and staying out of the NICU. (Please, Lord!)

Next week, I am scheduled for a NST (non-stress test) where I will rest on my left side and they will monitor my contractions (I've yet to have a real one that actually hurts, but plenty of braxton hicks, which is normal) as well as the babies' movements and heart rates. It measures the reactivity of the babies' heart rates to their movement. Everything is ok. Apparently it is just something they do for different types of pregnancies, including, but not limited to, overdue and high risk (twins are high risk). Afterward, I'll move upstairs for an ultrasound and regular 35 week checkup where the Dr. said he will check me to see if I'm progressing. The plan is to let me go as long as possible granted I haven't progressed a certain amount each week when he checks.

I asked the Dr. what would make him say "ok, it's time" and he said if he checked me and I was 3 cm and was having real contractions (I have not had any at this point). I am so glad to know that we are on the same page. We are not going to take these babies out JUST because I make it to 36 weeks. If there's nothing wrong and I haven't progressed a certain amount, there is no reason to deliver them yet.

I guess that is about it! They will be here very soon and we're definitely trying to figure out everything that needs to get accomplished before they get here. Quite technically, there is nothing left to do that couldn't be done after they are born.... however, there's a short list of things that need to be done to make our life easier if they don't have to be done after the babies come.

Hope y'all are doing well. I'm off to write a paper for class. We did have an ultrasound today, but she did not send us home with any pictures. There weren't any good ones due to the fact that the babies were so squished together.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

32 week 4D pics

So, these are a bit late, I'm sorry.... I'm 34 weeks now (YAY!) and just hadn't gotten around to scanning these until today. These are exciting b/c we hadn't been able to get a good shot of sweet Harrison's face :)
Jack Henry
Jack Henry