Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coming Home

For those who do not know, all the babies are home! All four came home together on October 30th. I'm so type A about keeping things in order, that I'm going to back track from my last post, but I'll try to be short and get everyone up to speed of what's happening at home as of now. On Saturday the 25th, we went up to be with the babies after Jenna got through with mini cheerleading camp. Randy's grandparents also came up to visit a bit. All the babies were doing great but needing a little O2 during their am feeds. On Sunday , we visited again because I was having to work on Monday. The baby's weights as of 10-26 were: Ricky:6lbs 2.17oz; Heath: 6lbs 6.18oz; Ty: 5lbs 10.4oz; and Leah:5lbs 5oz. All the baby's were sleepy today and made it hard to get them to eat. Dr. Levy came in to round that afternoon when we were there. He asked about their feeds. I know he was itching to see if he could start sending some of them home. But due to lazy feeding, no orders today to room in. On Monday, I had to stay home to work. No one needed O2 with any of their feeds today. The baby's lengths were Ricky, Ty and Leah:18.9inches (48cm) and Heath:19.3inches (49cm). No new orders today. Heath still slow with feeds and having to be gavaged at end of feed because he runs out of time to nipple (they get 30min. to finish a bottle). On Tuesday morning Kristi went with me to see the baby's. I told her on the way up that I felt like Dr. Levy would probably try to send at least 2 of them home by the weekend. It seemed like he was wanting to Sunday but couldn't yet because they had needed a little O2 the other day during the feeds. Lisa Bell, one of the baby's primary nurses was going to ask Dr. Levy when he came in if we could get a big bed to put all of them in one. when he got there to make rounds, Lisa said, "I've got a question to ask you." Dr. Levy said , "Yes, they can go home." We were all a little took back. Lisa said "that's not what I was going to ask you, but OK." He decided to d/c the )2 sat monitors on everyone. We would get to room in the next day with all of them during the day and probably only with Ricky and Leah that night. We would do car seat test on all of them tomorrow. If they pass that and do good overnight then he would send Ricky and Leah home first (they were on same feeding schedule) and them Ty and Heath to follow in a couple of days depending on how Heath was eating. The boys would get their circumcisions tomorrow. Heath would have his NG tube pulled and see how he did without gavaging the last of his feeds. He could feed as needed and not just every 3 hours if that's what it took to get his milk in but if he took less than 20cc left after 2 consecutive feeds, then he would have to have the NG tube put back down. Dr. Levy also ordered to change to 22 calorie to add to the breastmilk so I could use the Similac Neosure formula powder to do that at home. At home I could breastfeed 4 of the 8 feeds so that they would get the added calories in the bottles. I couldn't believe it! I might have 2 of my babies home by Thursday! My mind started going crazy trying to think of everything I needed to get done and pick up before they came home! I knew the day would be coming soon, but it still was like a dream when he said it. Take them home. Yes, that's right, I'm going to get to finally take them home! So after lunch off Kristi and I went running here and there getting things done. I even went ahead and got Jenna a dress for Christmas program at school and winter coat at Target since who knows if I'll be out any before they are needed! We finally got back to Hico around 9 o'clock at night! Wednesday morning the 29th I headed to Stephenville for last minute errands while Randy went to Glen Rose for an interview at Comanche Peak. We loaded up which took some doing with 4 carseats and how to get them all to fit in the trailblazer. But we did it and off we went! When I called that am for an update, everyone had done good that evening. Dr. Levy was still watching Heath, possibly go ahead and let him room in too . He wrote orders for Ty to room in overnight and plan to d/c home with Ricky and Leah. It was still up in the air about Heath. They had done the circs. at noon which I was glad they were done before I got there. Kate, one of our care partners, who was also a wonderful artist made the sign for the kiddos.

Monica, one of our primary RN's with Leah.

Janet, one of our night primary RN's with Leah.

Ricky and Leah spooning.

Heath and Ty cuddled together.

Big Sis Ashley and Ricky.

Jenna changing Ty's diaper.

Wednesday morning, carseats ready to go.

Heath and Ty doing their carseat test.

Ricky and Leah doing their carseat test.

As soon as we got their we finished feeding the babies and started their carseat tests. they had to be able to sit in their carseats without any apnea spells or drop in O2 sats. they all did great and passed the first go around. After that was done we were moved back to the largest of the observation rooms and still had to scoot the bed over against the wall to make room for all of us and the 2 cribs. So before shift change we were settled in for the rest of the day and evening with the babies. Dr. Levy and I had talked before about how we would room in with the babies. I'm glad he decided to let us have all of them at once (even Heath got to room in overnight after all) and be done. Heath got to room in also but they kept in on the monitor. So we were on our own with the babies! We maybe slept an hour the whole night. At about 3am Ricky initiated Randy with a big squirt of poop on his shirt. Glad I packed him an extra one! We only saw the nurse when she came to bring us bottles and to do their weights and assessments at the beginning of the shift. They moved all of our stuff out of our bay so I was sure hoping we got to go home.

Me working on getting Heath to eat.

The beds squeezed in the corner of the room.

Sign on our room.

Thursday morning, all the babies together again on the bed.

THE MOST WONDERFUL NEONATOLOGIST, DR. LEVY!!! We received such wonderful care from Dr. Levy, his partners, and the nurse practitioners. He was always down to earth and told me straight out what I needed to hear and know. They always kept us well informed and didn't mind me bugging them (which I did alot). And yes, we had the best nurses too!! I knew my babies were loved and well taken care of when I couldn't be there. They always asked if we had any questions and didn't mind all the ones asked. Our nurses were very personable. I enjoyed getting to know them all. They are like family to us, which did make it hard to leave them, even though we had a wonderful reason too. I hope to stay in contact with them so they can continue to watch the quads grow. We'll be back at Cook's December 11th for the follow up head MRI's (last check for past bleeds or anything else) so we plan to visit everyone then.

The quads other primary nurses, Elizabeth and Lisa. They had to have their last fix one last time before we headed home.

Dr. Levy came in to round about 11am. He came to our little room and did one last full assessment on the babies. Then he says they look great and can go home. I said, "Even Heath?" He said, "yes, but just keep a close watch on his eating." I'm tearing up just thinking and reliving this day in my mind. He said we could take them ALL HOME. HOME. My voice began to tremble as I tried to hold back tears. "Thank you for taking such great care of my babies." I had to hug him. He also was amazed at how well our children have done, even Ricky and Heath who were so sick in the beginning. Randy and I both were crying when he left the room. They all had grown and thrived, overcoming the obstacles of coming so early. Once again, answered prayers. God never ceases to amaze me and his power to make all things possible.
It took us all day to get out the door. Lisa came in just to do the babies discharge. The poor girl had like 4 hours of charting to do just for the discharges! Randy had to make 4 trips down to the car with a packed cart each time. He did some major packing to get it all in. they had to have their Synagis shots that afternoon before we left. this is a new vaccination for RSV. RSV for us is a cold. RSV for a preemie means they could be back at Cook's on a vent in no time. So this should give everyone an idea why we will be in quarantine till spring! the pulmonologist, Dr. Hadeed, came by that morning also and said we didn't have to follow up with him at this time. If we needed him, call him; if not, take care! All the babies go see the pediatrician on 11-4 and Leah goes to get her eyes examined the next day 11-5. The boys don't have to follow up with eye exams till July. Even some of our nurses who weren't working that day and ones that were came to see the babies off. I tried to get as many pictures of them as I could and get them to sign the preemie baby books. A bit after 3pm we started getting them situated in their carseats. I'd forgotten how tight you have to get those things! The day we left Ricky weighed 6lbs 4.25oz; Heath weighed 6lbs 6oz; Ty 5lbs 15.5oz, and Leah 5lbs 9oz.

Then the parade/caravan began shedding tears along the way!

We made it out the NPICU doors and headed to the elevator.

Smile girls! It takes a crew to get everyone downstairs.

Off the elevator as everyone stops and stares at our caravan or carseats!

Last photo before we walk out the doors!

Babies first time outside!

The fun begins; loading the carseats.

First in, Ricky Shane.

Second, Heath

3rd, Ty

Last but not least, Leah.

Loaded and ready to go! Bye everybody! And off we went, home with our babies! I sat between Leah and Ty so I could keep an eye on everyone. They were so tiny in the carseats! We made it fine without any problems.

We're home!!

We didn't tell Jenna we were possibly bringing home the babies so we could surprise her. She thought she had to spend the night with Nana the night before so we could take the carseats up for their test. Doesn't she look surprised! She was so excited to see them all at home.

Together again in our own bed!! Truly God's little blessings!


Cassidy said...

thnaks for the update !!
no monitor, no oxygen, good news !!

Linda Frances said...

Tina - I know you are so glad to be home at last! A truly Happy Thanksgiving for you all.

How is your Share the Care team working out? Email me if I can help in any way.
Linda G

The Power Family said...

Tina, we've never met, but I heard about your Quads through a friend. We are in Glen Rose and have triplets. Cook's also took care of our babies, and did an amazing job! We are praying for the continued health of your little ones as well as rest for you and your husband. God Bless! Hope to meet you!

Anonymous said...

Tina, I've watched from afar here in Fort Worth. I'm your Mom's old high school friend, Karen Ware (Erickson). The babies are just perfect! I can't believe how far they've come and how well they've done, given their premature births. God is definitely watching over all of you. Hope to meet you, Randy and the kids in the future.

Shelley said...

We need to see first Christmas pictures! Hope you are getting some sleep!!

Marla said...

Hi Tina! You don't know me, but I had heard (way back then) that there was this nurse at the hospital having quads. We live in Stephenville and I had twins the same year in May. Can't imagine all the things you went through. I just bawled with happiness reading your Take me Home story! They are fantastic!! I'm reading through your blog from the beginning!