Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fat babies like to EAT

Wishing a Very Happy May Day to our blog friends & followers! 
posted by Grammie Sue 

Tomorrow will be SIX WEEKS since Keagan & CJ's arrival into the world! They have had some more wonderful accomplishments this past week and they continue to amaze everyone with how well they handle the hurdles (must be because Mommy is a track coach and they heard all about hurdles while they were in-utero, during the early part of Mommy's track season) :-)

•Keagan has currently gained over a pound, and is weighing in at a whopping 2 pounds, 10 ounces and CJ is weighing in at 3 pounds, 12 ounces (a gain of a pound and a half since birth)!

•Both CJ and Keagan started on bottle feeding this past week. CJ had a great start.  He was able to "take down" 8 ml the first day (1/3 of a bottle), but most of it ended up on his shirt.  Keagan "got it" her first try and finished her whole bottle.  Day two on the bottle didn't go as smooth, but for "31 week" old children they did fantastic.

•CJ went into an open air crib on Thursday!! No more incubator. It is so much easier to tend to him and so much fun to hear his little noises and realize that he can hear all of us more clearly too! He is maintaining his body temperature just fine. Keagan won't have the opportunity to get out of the incubator until she reaches 1500 grams (3lbs 5 oz.), so she has a little way to go yet.

We continue to be encouraged every day by these babies and also by your prayers, your comments and emails and kind words. Thank you for your continued support and we are keeping our thoughts and prayers moving in the direction of getting these babies back home by the end of the month if all continues to go as well as it has been.

Grampa Ken was able to take some fantastic pictures and video this week:

CJ's first bottle feeding!

Keagan's first bottle.

CJ's new "big boy bed"!

All snuggled into his new crib-warm and toasty!

And finally Miss Keagan looking MUCH bigger these days, don't you think?

Thanks for your love and prayers!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nothing boring here...

I wanted to write and check-in as I know many of you are wondering about the results of CJ's hand scan that was supposed to be yesterday. We ended up having it done last week (we're not sure why) and the results were fantastic! The ventricles have decreased in size again. In addition to that, they have taken him off "watch" and they won't be doing a head sonogram again until 34 weeks which is when they scan all preemie babies (so Keagan will get one too). That means that he is most likely out of the woods for the having to have a shunt put in-a huge praise! 

With that now taken care of, the only medical concern that is still hanging around is Keagan's PDA but she still isn't having any symptoms, so no treatment is being discussed for now.

More good news:
  • Both kids dropped from 3 liters of oxygen (determines the amount of pressure/flow of oxygen into their cannulas) to 2 liters on Friday and then both dropped to 1 liter today!! To put it in perspective, they had been in 3 liters for about two weeks before moving down. 
  • When they hit their 31 week mark on Thursday, Keagan and CJ will begin getting a bottle for one of their feedings. Once they can finish a bottle in a feeding, then they'll add another and so on...this is a big step on our way to going home. 
  • Speaking of which, we got a new doctor yesterday and she'll be with us for the next 5 weeks. One of our primary nurses, Laura, asked her if we'd be going home while on her watch. Her response was if everything keeps going as it is, that it is a very good possibility!! That is the last week of May :) I'm trying not to get to get my hopes up but it is fun to even be talking about it. 
As you'll see in the pics for this week, we are out and having fun! Mommy and Daddy are allowed to hold us now pretty much when they want, so we get out of our incubators often!

We couldn't go see the real Easter Bunny
so our stuffed bunnies had to do ...

YES-that is a normal sized bunny :)

This is what CJ typically looks like these days-not a care in the world.

BIG yawn for Keagan-she also enjoys hanging out
and just like her brother-
loves being held and snuggled by Mommy and Daddy

Seriously Mom-WHAT are you doing to me?!?
Thanks Grama Ryl for my spiffy outfit! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nuggets=1 Month Old=Time for a photo shoot!!

*Auntie Stef reporting for blog duty*

HAPPY 1 MONTH Birthday to Keagan and CJ!!!!

There's not too much to report today, except for the fact that the babies are 1 month old!  According to their Mommy, things are still "boring" in the NICU.  Mommy and the daytime nurse had fun playing dress up with the twins.  The babies put on their fanciest outfits for their celebration (and for their favorite blog followers)!!!  
  • Today the BIG man CJ  was weighing in at 3lbs 6oz!! He is retaining some fluid but, overall, he's doing fantastic.
  • Princess Keagan is hitting the scale at 2lbs 6oz., she's lost a little weight (she was retaining water last week) but doing amazing.
Here are some of the 1 month pictures, enjoy!

I'm wearing my tux! Where's the party at?!

*WINK* Heyyyy ladies...check out how good I look in my onesie!

1 month - so big and handsome!

Practicing for when he's in trouble... it wasn't me!!

Princess Keagan in her party dress and headband!  So fancy!

I opened BOTH eyes this morning for my photo shoot!  I can't believe I have been in the "big world" for a month!

Thanks for checking out the pictures of my brother and me!  I can't wait to meet my favorite blog followers when I make it home!  xoxo

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Feeders and Growers!

The other night, one of the nurses (not one who is regularly with Keagan or CJ) walked in and told me that she has been following the blog and would like an update :) So I figured that everyone else was probably wondering what we have been up to as well...

I'll start with some great news that we received on Monday. CJ had a follow-up head sonogram to check the size of the ventricles in his brain. It came back that they have decreased in size which means the fluid in his brain is not building up (so the clot that was plugging things up is most likely starting to dissolve). They will do another scan a week from this coming Monday but this was a big step in the right direction!

Both kids had to have chest echos done this week to check their PDA's. It has re-opened for both of them (not uncommon in preemies) but neither is showing any distress because of it, which is good. The doctors will continue to monitor them and if they continue to do fine on their own, then nothing will have to be done. If they start to struggle, then we'll have to talk about doing surgery again. The goal is for them to make it to 36 weeks, which is when most infants' PDAs close (for good) on their own. 

CJ is getting big and strong. He weighed in today at 2 lb 13 oz (up from 2 lb 4 oz at birth)!!

I am TIRED people-why do we have to keep taking all these pictures?? 

Let's celebrate!! Keagan and I are 29 weeks old (gestational age) today! 

Little Miss Keagan is 2 lb 5 oz today (birth weight was 1 lb 10oz). They do get to wear clothes now that they have their PIC lines out and can maintain their own body temp without much assistance from their incubators. Isn't she precious? 


As you might have noticed, we are not posting nearly as often as we were at the beginning. The reason behind that is 1) I am lazy (or busy doing other things as I like to think of it) and 2) everyone else has gone home :) No the REAL reason is a very good one! The twins are now in the category here of "feeders and growers!" So basically, they just need to eat and get big and then get the heck out of dodge.  Hopefully, that means lots more "boring" days where we don't have a bunch to report.  But, we will continue to update you on our boring babies as often as we can because we know there are a bunch of you out there that care so much and we are soooo lucky to have you!!!  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Together Again!!!

Hi-its Kendra writing today. It normally takes me awhile to get motivated to write but today is a REALLY fun one so without further blog using all pictures!

The very first Hutchinson family picture!
The hospital brought in a professional photographer and since CJ is totally stable right now, they brought him over to Keagan's incubator for the photo shoot. Keagan is in front and CJ is closest to Mommy and Daddy.
CJ goes "Woo-hoo...this NICU roller coaster isn't so bad guys!" If you hadn't noticed yet and the other reason our day today was so great-Keagan is off the CPAP machine. That means both babies just have nasal cannulas to help them get enough oxygen (just like you or I would have if we're in the hospital)! So far, she is doing very well on it. 

Both babies seemed to snuggle in after a few minutes with arms and legs in each others bubble-ahh...memories of life back in the womb :)
Brotherly love! Their diapers look HUGE but CJ and Keagan are just that small.
Daddy-be careful where you put that beard!!  
A little Mommy love. 
 We'll end with my personal favorite. Again (like all the shots in case you were wondering) Keagan is in front and being cuddled by CJ. And YES-they do look a lot alike!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Room with a view!

Hi blog friends and family!
We have realized that it is really difficult for people to picture the physical arrangements here in Peoria at St. Francis Hospital, so thought we could help you to visualize where Kendra, Clayton, Keagan and CJ are spending their time! The NICU is divided into neighborhoods, which are basically the different areas within the NICU. Each baby has their own private room. The first two weeks Keagan and CJ were in different "neighborhoods" in the NICU. Last weekend, a room next door to Keagan's opened up and they were able to move CJ into a big, beautiful, corner room with a window! It makes such a difference to be able to see the outside world! Each neighborhood has a different name...and theirs is the Butterfly neighborhood.

On one wall of the room is the incubator and all the monitor, supplies, etc. This is Keagan's room-you can tell by the PINK!

Here is CJ's room. Notice the WINDOWS to the outside world!!

There is a small built-in desk with a computer for the doctors and nurses to do their charting.

There is a couch/day bed in each room, so that whoever is staying overnight has somewhere to lay down and stretch out. Kendra can also pull the curtain for privacy when pumping or napping. There is also a pretty comfy arm/recliner chair in each room.

There is a wall of cabinets similar to dorm style living, where Kendra and Clayton can keep personal belongings/snacks, etc.
Here is the sink, diaper weighing scale and right outside the window is the nurse's station so they can see into the room at all times for watching the monitors and activity in the incubator.

The nurses do a good job of making it feel more cozy and homey than just a hospital room. Here are some "arts & crafts" pieces that have been made for the babies.

There are window sills for personal objects, pictures, etc.

Update on the babies:

CJ-He looks soooo good! Those eyes are beautiful and opening more and more! He is doing well with just his little nasal cannula and is enjoying the time he gets kangarooing with Mommy! The doctors and nurses are keeping a close eye on his head circumference and his bilirubin levels, but the doctor had good reports this morning. He is tolerating his tube feedings very well, but Mommy did experience the first baby puking on her last evening :-) All-in-all he is stable and gaining weight (up to 2 pounds, 7 ounces!)

Keagan-She is a beautiful little peanut! She is almost pushing 2 pounds! Her fluid retention has greatly subsided, so it is a good weight gain, not just fluid. She is still on the CPAP breathing apparatus and doing well with her oxygenation level. Her nurses are having fun finding some little outfits to dress her up in now that she isn't having to be "naked" under the bili lights. There is a "lending closet" for some preemie clothes so the parents don't have to go out and buy preemie clothes. She has a couple of darling outfits with little ruffles on the tushy, that are enormous on her, but make her look like a little doll. She is also enjoying the fairly new kangaroo holding with Mommy - it relaxes her (and Mommy).

So, that about wraps it up for now. Hope you are all well and enjoying some spring-like weather, wherever you may be. As always, thanks for the prayers for CJ and Keagan and their mommy and daddy too. It is so helpful in getting everyone through these days, knowing there is such a wonderful support system out there cheering them on from the sidelines!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

MaMaw's Thanks

Hi-it's Mamaw (Clayton Eric's mom),

I am more a talker than a blogger (as Verizon Wireless can attest), but my lovely daughter-in-law has finally convinced me to add to the blog. So, for my addition, I would like to write a personal note. We have been truly blessed with the addition of C.J. and Keagan to our families. They have made such a loving and inspiring impact on our lives in such a short time. They continue to amaze us with their developments.

Now, on to the personal note.... I would like to thank all our families and friends for the out pouring of love and caring you continue to give us on a daily basis. You build up our strength with your thoughts and prayers, and your kind deeds touch our hearts. Life in the NICU is compared to a roller coaster, with many ups and downs. We are treasuring every moment of this period in our lives, relishing the "ups" and weathering the "downs". But with the support of you all, and the superb care from the OSF NICU staff and doctors, we believe C.J. and Keagan will continue to do astounding things!

We had some good picture ops today, so here you go :)

CJ was quite alert today-this is probably the best pic we've gotten so far! 

Grampa Ken was right-I am going to be a thumb sucker. I've been trying to get this thing in there for 2 weeks now and FINALLY figured it out today!

Mamaw, Mommy, and Keagan

Today was Keagan's first day of getting her Kangaroo Care. 

I loved being held by Mommy for 2 hours-all of my levels were great and I got in a fantastic nap. And how cute is the bow in my hair?!? 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

2 Weeks Old - Pictures and updates

Auntie Stef reporting for duty here...

It's been an eventful day at the hospital!  Miss Keagan is catching up to her brother with milestones.  She got her breathing tube out today and now she's on the CPAP machine (basically breathing on her own)!!  She looks like a 2 pound sumo wrestler today, she is very swollen because her PDA has closed and her blood is essentially flowing in a new direction - which is VERY good, this is what the surgery would have done but she did naturally.  GO KEAGAN!

I had a lot of requests for pictures to be taken while I was here.  Unfortunately, I only got a few shots of the princess during her coming off the ventilator. 

Getting prepped with the CPAP face mask, it's Darth Vader time!

Look at that beauty! 

See how swollen her little arm is?  In the words of her father, "When you weigh 2 lbs. you shouldn't have rolls on your arms!" HAHA!

The most precious sumo wrestler I have ever met! She's a little fighter!

Mr. Man CJ is doing awesome!! He's eating like a champ, when I say eating, I mean getting milk put into his tummy through a tube.  Either way, every 3 hours he's sucking down milk like it's his job! It was so awesome to get to hear his little "cry" today.  It's weird being around babies and not hearing cries (they can't when tubes are in their throats)!  He likes to just whimper every now and then, it sounds more like a whiny puppy, but I still like it.  Here are some updated pictures of the little man:

Little man just hanging out with milk in the belly.

 Zebra stripes day! 

 Opened my eyes for Auntie! Look at how alert he is...

 Taking a break from the Bili light, and opening those baby blues!

More milk, back to sleep! See you later blog friends!