Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CJ is out of the NICU!

This is coming a bit after the fact and those of you who are on Facebook may know this, but the good news to share today is that CJ was released from the NICU on Saturday evening! He is currently hanging out at Clayton Eric's mom's house close to the hospital until Keagan is able to eat all of her feedings from bottles. 


video
CJ getting all settled in to his car seat for the trip. 
**Yes-you do hear our neonatologist discussing the Bulls loss (the important stuff) the night before in the background... 

CJ is doing great and went for a stroll with mommy & daddy in the nice warm weather on Monday.  The stroller was definitely empty without Keagan :( 

We keep getting asked when Keagan will be coming home and we don't have a good answer for that unfortunately. They keep telling is that CJ was the exception to the rule with how early how was able to leave and that Keags is more the norm. We hope that it isn't too much longer but our children continue to teach us PATIENCE daily. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Two months old!

CJ and Keagan celebrated another milestone yesterday-two months old! We had a pretty uneventful day  but did get some good "eyes open" pictures after bath time so, of course, we had to share.

On Thursday, they were 34 weeks gestational age and we keep hearing that 36 weeks seems to be the "magic number" for going home-we can't wait! CJ is still kicking butt at his bottle feedings and is up to 6 bottles a day! Keagan is trying to keep up and can take 4 bottles a day! The difference between the two is that because CJ is so much bigger, he seems to have the energy to finish most of his, where Keagan peters out after about half. We are very proud of both of them and the doctors tell us that they are right on track.

Oh my...two months old already!?!

Both CJ and Keagan now have their feedings tubes in their noses. Two benefits to this: 1) It makes bottle feeding easier and 2) the tape gives them super sweet mustaches!!


BIG BOY!!!!


Who clipped a baby to that bow?


Keagan got her hair done for her b-day picture.  (Not really. It always looks like this.  The Mommy/Daddy day salon uses "extra body" shampoo)


"Why do we keep having these picture sessions?"

The reason we keep having picture session little lady is because we love to torture our children with goofy outfits and flashing cameras....no, not really.  Two months is a pretty big deal.  

In two months both CJ and Keagan have doubled their weight.  They've come off their ventilators, learned how to eat from bottles, gotten out of their isolettes/incubators and into open cribs, learned to cry (yay, crying is fun!) and turned from patients into little babies.  

For comparison:

March 25, 2010


Keagan




CJ


Sunday, May 15, 2011

The long path home...

CJ and Keagan continue on their path to get home to Palatine but they aren't traveling as quickly as their Mommy and Daddy would like them to! 

There really isn't a whole lot of news to report but it has been a good couple of weeks of growing and CJ is up to 5 pounds already and Keagan is 3 and a half pounds (yes, for those of you paying attention, CJ gained a pound and Keagan gained a half pound in the same amount of time-he is a TANK). They are continuing to learn how to eat from a bottle. CJ can finish two whole bottles a day and most of a third, while Keagan daintily sips about half of her two bottles a day. This is really the only thing that they need to figure out before getting the all clear to go home. If we refer back to the check-list that was discussed in the very beginning of the blog, you can see that we are close:
  • Hold own temperature between 97.4-99.0 (doing it)
  • No apnea (stop breathing) or bradycardia (severe decrease in heart rate) that requires stimulation 24 hours before they leave (they rarely have "bradys" and don't have apnea-so this we can check this one off the list)
  • Pass the car seat test-they have to sit in their car seat or car bed for 90 min. without have the above issues (we won't know until the time we're actually getting ready to leave but normally they figure this one out pretty quickly).
  • Eat 100% (8 feedings a day) from a bottle for 2-3 days (we're working on it :)) 


If they were to be competing (which of course they're not-we don't like to compete at things in this family :)) CJ would be winning at eating but Keagan is winning at breathing!! For a kid with "chronic lung disease" she is doing much better than most would expect (and definitely better than her brother).

Last weekend, my wish for Mother's Day was to get my two babies together again and get some photos. Here is a sampling of them for your viewing pleasure! 



A huge thank you to Nurse Kristin who made these adorable coordinating outfits-they looked so cute!


You can see they are both getting a little chub on their cheeks! 


Sooo...holding two preemies at the same time wasn't as easy or as cute as I thought it would be but I promise-they were much more comfortable than they look and it was amazing to get to hold my two nuggets at the same time. 


To end the blog with a fun surprise-Keagan is in her own BIG GIRL BED now. It was my Mother's Day gift from Nurse Laura! It has been a great week of getting to pick her up and cuddle with her much more often. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Party in Peoria!

Hey everybody!  CJ and Keagan reporting (with Mamaw Hutchinson's help)! Since today is a VERY special day..... it's time to party!!!


My Mommy is how old ?!?!?..... 29 years old!!!
There were decorations to be hung......

Party favors to be bought!!!....

And we HAD to "hang" balloons on our beds!
And what's a birthday without a cake?

Plus, we wore very special outfits for our Mommy!

Love you, Mom, but modeling isn't my thing!

Even the nurses' joined in on the fun!

We hope you have a super fun day, Mommy!  We love you lots and lots!  Thank you for everything you do for us!!     XOXOXO  CJ, Keagan, Daddy, and Mamaw


Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Kendra!!

Dear Blog friends and followers,

Today I am NOT writing about CJ and Keagan, but I am writing about their mommy, whose birthday just so happens to be on May 10th. I just wanted to take a couple of minutes of your time and tell you a few things about Kendra and the way she has handled the circumstances of this past few weeks with such grace and maturity. Many of you know these things, but I just want to restate how proud we are as parents.

When the babies were born unexpectedly, Kendra felt compelled to get into her classroom and get it organized for the teacher that would take her place for the remainder of the year, even though she was still recovering from her own major surgery. She doesn’t walk away from obligations and wanted to finish strong even though everyone would have understood if she had just backed away and left it for someone else to do.

Kendra and Clayton made the decision to get the best possible care for their children by having them remain at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria, even though it meant a more challenging living situation. Kendra has basically lived at the hospital for the past seven weeks, taking occasional breaks at Clayton’s mom’s house to rejuvenate or get a decent night’s sleep. This is just what a mom does when she puts her children’s best interests first.

Being thrown into “extreme” motherhood has suited Kendra well. She has gotten to know the medical terminology, the highs and lows of preemie babies, the day-to-day operations of a NICU and has embraced all of it in order to get her babies home as quickly as possible. 

There are other things, but for now I just want to express our gratitude that so many of you have cared enough to include Kendra, Clayton and the babies in your prayers. We thank you for doing that and today, the request is simple: please join us in wishing a very Happy Birthday to Kendra!

*Baby updates will be coming soon! There are good things happening with CJ and Keagan, but today is Kendra’s day to be in the spotlight!! 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!

Here is the link to an article that was featured on the front page of the Woodford Times this week.

http://www.woodfordtimes.com/feature_stories/x294381662/A-mother-before-it-was-time

Wishing a very Happy Mother's Day to our friends and blog followers! Stay tuned for more good news on the progress of CJ and Keagan!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BIG news :)

Literally! We weighed them this morning and each hit big milestones. Not weights we would have ever thought we would have been excited about for our babies before they were born but we are so excited to celebrate them today! 


CJ
The fat boy is weighing in at 4 lb, 2 oz 

 Keagan
And our princess hit the 3 lb mark-what a big girl