Sunday, February 24, 2008

I’m back

I got home from my trip early Saturday morning. Because my plane was re-routed, I climbed into bed just before 5:00 a.m. It is really good to be home. Unfortunately Brandon and Katelyn haven’t gotten much bigger while I was gone but I certainly can see developmental progress. They both seem to be better at everything.

While I was gone Brandon had another incident where his heart started racing. The technical term for this is called tachycardia. When it happened before the one thing the doctors told us would be helpful is to catch it on a EKG. Amy called me when it happened and she raced over to the closest hospital emergency room.

Sadly, the choice of hospitals may not have been good. They were very nice and immediately rushed them in. The first sign of trouble came when the man administering the test said that he had never done it on a baby but told Amy not to worry because he had the manual. We have seen this done several times and his placement of the leads was very different than anything we had seen before. He was still able to catch the tachycardia but as soon as he did, he took all the monitors off. The problem is that the doctors really wanted to watch it over a period of time and in particular, see how it ended. He explained that they couldn’t monitor him continuously when he was only checked in as an outpatient and also mentioned that if the doctors saw a continuous problem they would immediately throw him in and ambulance and send him to another hospital because they weren’t equipped to handle it. Needless to say, we didn’t get much information from this trip to the ER.

It can be a concern but the doctors don’t seem overly worried. They have an idea of what is hapening but they would need to see better test results to know. We will keep watching him and see if it happens again. The most disturbing thing is that to help stop it next time, they told us to put a bag of ice on the bridge of his nose and across his face and hold it there for 20-30 seconds. I really hope it doesn’t happen again!

Another interesting incident happened while I was gone. Blake and Derek like playing around on the computer and lately have started doing it when we aren’t around. They got on Amazon (the web browser was left open) and ordered $57 worth of videos. I must say that I’m very impressed with Amazon’s interface. While they recognize letters, they certainly don’t read. I’m also pretty sure that they haven’t watched either Amy or I order anything online. However, they managed to order the movies that they wanted. They also knew what they were doing and clearly explained afterward that they ordered movies and they knew what they had ordered. Amy was able to straighten it out but we are obviously going to be a lot more careful in the future.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling....

I know this picture doesn't go with the post, but
there won't be any new pictures until Brent comes home.
Today Brandon rolled over. Althought Derek was the only one that saw him do it, I think his description was pretty acurate. He ran in the kitchen and told me that he saw Brandon roll over and then he got really mad so Derek rolled him to his back and that made him mad too! Every milestone with Brandon and with Katelyn are just so exciting. I thought I would feel differently about looking at everything in terms of their adjusted age, but I find that I don't pay attention to any age. They are just on thier own schedules and we are thrilled with each and every development.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Emergency room

I’m on my way to a conference for a week so I will see if I can get Amy to update the Blog while I’m gone. My Mommy and Daddy are in town to help out while I'm gone.

Last Tuesday we spent another night in the emergency room. After the boys had gone to bed we were feeding Brandon and his heart began to race. The only way we would have known is because of the monitors. He seemed like everything else was OK. Just to double check we hooked up the second monitor, that we usually only use when he is sleeping, and it registered the same fast heart rate. We called the doctor and he suggested that we take him down to the emergency room.

Luckily my cousin and his wife live near by. We called and she came over and slept at our house so we could leave the boys asleep. We drove up to Salt Lake just in case they would need to admit him. The short story is that they ran a couple of tests. Watched him for a couple of hours and didn’t find anything wrong. The episode only lasted about a half hour (ending about the time we left for the hospital) and nothing like it has happened again. We will just have to watch him closely and hope it doesn’t happen again. The rough part for us is that I climbed into bed about 5:00 the next morning.

Monday, February 11, 2008

7 months

Yesterday was the 10th and so Brandon and Katelyn are now 7 months old. It's still weird to think about how old they are. Thier adjusted age is only 4 months old and they are still really small for 4 month old babies.

I guess the lack of sleep is getting to us. We find ourselves falling a sleep a lot. This can cause problems …

A couple of days ago Amy was feeding the babies. The boys had gone to bed and after the babies had finished eating they had all fallen asleep. I had also fallen a sleep sitting on the couch but I was the first to wake up an hour or so later. I finally got my chance to clean up after dinner. I began to prepare a bottle for the next feeding. I boiled some water to sterilize the bottle. I prepared and fortified the milk. I then unsuccessfully tried to wake Amy up. We still had more than an hour until our next feeding so I decided to go upstairs and get something done. I would come down and wake them up when it was time for the babies to eat. I must have fallen asleep.

Amy woke up about 2:00 a.m. She still had both babies on her lap and the room was filled with smoke. She had no idea what was going on so she scooped up the babies and headed upstairs. Because Brandon is attached to monitors it makes this even more difficult than just carrying two babies upstairs. On her way up she was shouting for me but it took a while to actually wake me up. Once I woke up and she explained why she was in such a panic, I immediately guessed why the room was filled with smoke. I had forgotten to turn off the oven that was heating the boiling water.

I opened the doors and turned on the fans. It smelled pretty bad. It took a while to clear out the smoke and the smell. The picture below is what remained of the bottle. Yes, that stuff at the bottom was at one time, a bottle. The next problem was that we only had one of these bottles and it had been the only one that worked really well for Brandon. Amy headed out in the middle of the night to Wal-Mart to find a replacement. Needles to say I have found other ways to clean a bottle and get it sterile for feeding. No more water boiling for me.

This sad part about this story is that we did something very, very similar when Blake and Derek were babies. I can hear the alarm now. It's time for another feeding so I guess I'd better wrap this post up.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Long time - no post

As always, it has been a busy week (well almost two) and I wish that I had posted more often. In addition to the usual craziness I have been very busy at work. Unfortunately this means that Amy is left to take care of even more stuff at home. I actually started writing this post almost a week ago but I never finish. Instead, I just modify it and add to it.

When I think back last week was a productive week, especially for Brandon. Early last week Brandon again pulled his NG tube in the middle of the night. It had been hard to fit the tube down his swollen nose on the last couple of times so we decided to leave it out and just do oral feedings. We called the doctor the next day and talked it over. He hasn’t had an NG tube since. We hope that we are done and we won't ever have to shove one in his nose again.I always felt like I was participating in a torture scene from "24" every time I had to stick it down his nose again.

Brandon eats really well most of the time. Every so often he has a bad feeding or two but he nurses really well and while Katelyn won’t touch a bottle, Brandon often does extremely well with a bottle. We give him a bottle a couple of times a day. The biggest problem with Brandon is that he is still very fussy a lot of the time. It’s hard to know exactly what is causing the problem but he does a lot of crying. He has a lot of gas. We found out today that both Brandon and Katelyn are positive for C-Diff still so this could be one contributing factor to Brandon’s crying.

Brandon had an appointment with the pediatric surgeon last week. He evaluated him and decided that he is ready to have his hernia repaired any time. We are a little hesitant to do it right away. The hospitals are overflowing with kids with RSV. It is particularly bad this year. We talked to many nurses and parents who have taken their babies in for a simple procedure and have stayed for weeks because they caught RSV in the hospital. In the ideal situation Brandon would only have to stay overnight, but they will reserve a bed in the Pediatric ICU for him because of his history. Right now we plan on waiting a while for the season to taper off a bit before we have the operation done. The one thing that makes us even consider having the repair done soon is that the surgeon explained that, even thought the standard answer is that the hernia wont effect his crankiness, he said that it is also surprising how many parents with fussy babies report a big change after a hernia repair. However, we think that that it is worth the wait to avoid a potentially life-threatening problem.

Before his appointment with the surgeon we dropped by the perinatologist’s office. These are the doctors that gave Brandon and Katelyn blood transfusions while they where still in the womb. We had grown pretty attached to these doctors during our appointments. We would go several times a week and we spent many hours with them in the operating room during the transfusions. One of these doctors was the one who actually delivered Brandon and Katelyn. Visiting them is a great reminder of how far we have come. It is strange for them ask how things are going and have them expect for us to talk about all of the current problems that Brandon and Katelyn are having. The great thing is that the only thing we can say is that they are doing great and Brandon is wearing glasses. It is very surprising to everyone how we have beaten the odds in so many ways.

Brandon made some great progress recently on his developmental milestones. He has gotten a lot better at reaching for things and interacting with people. When he’s in a good mood he is very fun to play with. He really likes to “talk” and he makes a lot sounds that almost sound like laughs. He is also a big sucker for kisses. A kiss on the check often results in a big smile. An ocupational therapists came in and looked at Brandon yesterday. There are a couple of things we need to help him with but for the most part he is right on track for his adjusted age. They are approaching 7 months, making their adjusted age nearly 4 months.

Both Brandon and Katelyn weight gain has been a concern. They are both gaining some weight and the Doctor doesn’t seem overly concerned but it is something that we watch closely. This means that even though they might sleep through the night without us disturbing them we still wake them up to eat every 3-4 hours and we are always trying to get them to eat as much as possible. We add a special formula to Brandon's bottles to make sure that he gets the max amount of calories possible. We weight them often but we always to do it in grams so I’m never sure of how much the weight in pounds and ounces. If I remember correctly a couple of days ago Brandon was 10 lbs. 5oz. and Katelyn is just a little smaller.

Katelyn is also doing really well. She is incredibly outgoing and often very happy. She likes to test out her voice and lets out loud squeals often. She has also learned how to demand things so when she wants attention she lets out yells that sound a lot like she is clearing her throat. During Brandon’s visit with the surgeon she must have felt left out because she kept interrupting with her squeals. She was loud enough that we had to stop and pay her some attention but as soon as we did, she instantly calmed down and smiled. I think we are in trouble for a long time to come.

For those of you who read this from outside of Utah, we have had a lot of snow in the last month. It appears that we will get a break this week but for a while it seemed like it wouldn’t ever stop. This heavy amount has caused many of the deer to come out of the mountains looking for food. I have taken Blake in Derek around the neighborhood in search of deer several times lately. It has been surprising how easy it is to find them. In fact, we often have a group of deer that hang out in our back yard for hours at a time at night. They like hiding under our trampoline and although I have never seen them actually jumping, they have no problem clearing our six foot chain link fence that is also surrounded by shrubs.

I have picutres and video that I plan on posting really soon.