Milestones and Hurdles

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Friday, March 21, 2008

In HIS Time

We thought it was time, but we learned yesterday... it's in His time. Ford's attempt off the ventilator yesterday did not go the way we had hoped and prayed for. He just wasn't ready. He made it several hours before his doctor decided now was not the time. I am sure the Lord has a plan for Ford to prosper off the vent, but as much as we don't like it yesterday was not that day. It is so hard when things don't happen the way you want them to, especially when you are talking about our precious son, Ford. Our doctor thinks he may have a "floppy airway" which makes it hard for him to breathe and burn off CO2. He was oxygenating fairly well, but his lungs were working a little too hard and had some collapse. I know he is going to get better. I just hope soon the Lords answer is.... NOW is the time. Until then we will be faithful in our prayers for Ford getting off the vent.

Last night this mommy and daddy were at the hospital til 3:30 with Ford and Hayden. We stayed with Ford til he was more comfortable and until we were too about leaving.

Hayden got his first big boy bath yesterday out of the bed. He seemed a little shocked, but liked his little dip in the water. He still has a lot of obstactles to overcome as well. The feeds are still hard on him, he is still not sure about the swallow and breathe part of "suck, swallow, breathe." They still have 4 weeks til their due date so we have time.

I want you to know we miss you all, miss Tyler, our friends and extended family, but this is where we need to be right now... with our sweet boys.
Until next time-- Dana, Trey, Ford and Hayden

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Update on the Loves of Our Lives

Nothing compares to being a parent!!!! It's just the most amazing experience isn't it? And that goes for parents in the NICU as well. We are sorry once again about being unable to blog of late... our internet was down again, but just know we were thinking about all of our friends who are praying for Ford and Hayden.

They are getting to be big ol' boys. Ford is about 5 pounds and 10 ounces and Hayden is close behind at 5 pounds 6 ounces. They get weighed again tonight so we should have new weights to report soon. This is now 35 weeks and 4 days gestation for them if they were still in the womb.
You will hear me say this a lot... we are so blessed, blessed that the boys have overcome many obstacles and are being healed by the Lord everyday.

Ford has a big day tomorrow. He is scheduled once again to come off the ventilator. It has been 2 weeks since last we tried and he really has come a long way. I am believing and have faith that now is the time... our doctor feels a lot better about it. What a BIG BOY! Ford is tough... FORD TOUGH like the commercial says and will do everything he can to stay off the vent. Our hope is... his lungs are now ready. Thank you for praying for Ford's healing... how lucky are we to have such a group of prayerful people on our side. Thank you Lord! Just a cute little tid bit about Ford... he loves the song "You Are My Sunshine"... he just smiles, eyes wide open when I sing it to him.

Hayden is still trucking along. He is still on high flow oxygen... a little less than last time I blogged. He is learning still how to feed. It is so hard for preemies who are not supposed to be born yet and who came so early to coordinate the suck, swallow, breathe technique. We are so faithful that he will get it down soon and also get down on his oxygen requirement. Again, thank you for praying for our little Hayden and his continued success off the ventilator and his healing as well. A sweet little tid bit about Hayden is he loves most everything except diaper changes and temperature checks... he's the sweetest sleeping baby who offers up lots of coy grins :)

Trey and I are now praying for their continued growth, that they remain free of any complications and that they get to come home soon. My due date was April 19th... so that's what we are praying for at this time. The most important thing is that they are coming home... and we have the Good Lord to thank for that. We are faithful this will all happen in the near future.

I can't tell you how great it feels to have so many wonderful people caring about you and raising you up in prayer. I can't wait when we get home to East Texas to be able to share our boys' story... as PROOF that the power of prayer is alive and well and our little miracles are all the proof you need. How can you not believe in answered prayers when you see how far Ford and Hayden have come in the last 10 weeks. Need more proof... some friends of ours in the Cook NICU went home today. Their son was born at 23 weeks and now at 38 weeks and 3 days... he is home with his brothers and mom and dad. What a blessing!

I also want to ask all of you to not only keep Ford and Hayden in your prayers, but also our friend Mark Scirto. We know he has been praying for us and now we are doing the same for him.

Ford and Hayden are so thankful for you all and your prayers... how do I know that... they are just babies right? I know because you can tell how much they love life, how much they smile at us and their nurses and doctors and how much they've fought the last 10 weeks to get better!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Separation Anxieity

More changes for our sweet little boys... some good, some bitter-sweet. Earlier this week Hayden made the move from bubble c-pap to the high flow nasal cannula. That means oxygen with a higher flow to help keep his lungs expanded. He did great on his new support.

As for Ford, the doctors are trying to find his happy spot so he can get off the vent and back on to bubble c-pap. He is getting so big now, 5 lbs. that he just really fights the tube... which of course he needs for the ventilator to do its job. He is down on sedation so he is very aware there is a tube down his throat and a bigger one than just a week ago when he helped extubate himself. That was Saturday... he had to be reintubated and then it took a while to find the best spot for his tube.

That same night... 2 babies didn't make it in the NICU, that's 4 total since we have been there. I try to remember Ford and Hayden likely have different problems than those little ones... I still get scared and sad, especially for the families. It is hard to see, but Trey and I must remain faithful that the Lord is going to save our 2 little men so we can be a family soon in Tyler.

I just kept reading the boys scripture over the weekend from my book, God's Promises for Everday Life. There were a couple that really helped me. Here's one:

Nothing bad will happen to you. No disaster will come to your home. He has put his angels in charge of you. They will watch over you wherever you go. The Lord says, "If someone loves me, I will save him." Psalm 9:10-11, 14.

We had a long night with Ford on Saturday after he helped pull out his tube... we were at the hospital until 6AM. Slowly but surely he has gotten better this week... he has had to be bagged a couple of times because he went into the ugly cry and dropped his heart rate and Oxygen saturation.

Hayden really surprise us this week with his good ole college try at breastfeeding and bottle feeding. He is slow to be able to suck, swallow and breathe! Still he is doing remarkable and has been moved to the Progressive NICU... That is the bittersweet part of this post. Ford is now alone in the NICU missing his brother and Hayden is trying to get down on his Oxygen and learn how to bottle feed. I have to admit I cried because I just hate that they are separated, but hopefully Ford will speed up his recovery and soon be on Hayden's heels.

The wonderful thing is they are getting bigger and stronger everyday! They are so thankful for your prayers and look forward to many to come.
Dana, Trey, Ford and Hayden

Friday, March 7, 2008

Ford Tough Working To Get Back on C-PAP With His Brother, Hayden

Hello again friends!
We are trying to be better about blogging about our sweet boys, Ford and Hayden because we really do love keeping you updated and talking about our little miracles. Unfortunately, we get so busy in the NICU day in and day out... we usually collapse from exhaustion when we get home.

On Wednesday, our doctor tried Ford off the ventilator and onto bubble C-PAP, which is basically pressure and oxygen from a bubbling aparatus that flows through prongs in his nose. It is what Hayden's been on for over a week now. Ford gave it his best, but had to go back on the ventilator. He just needs more pressure to keep his lungs inflated right now than the bubble c-pap can provide. He made it 18 hours on the bubble c-pap before he tired out and had to go back on the vent. The doctors said it was not a failure... he is just not ready and we needed to know that. At least he made it 18 hours so we now he can do it... he just needs more time to grow and get his lungs healther. I have to admit I was a sad... I had prayed so hard about it and firmly believed he would make it. But, I know this he WILL GET OFF THE VENT & COME HOME! Ford just needs more time to grow his lungs. That's what I am praying for and hope you will too. He really does look good. He smiles a lot, bats his handsome big blue eyes and laughs sometimes as well. We are so blessed.

Hayden is still plugging a long on the bubble c-pap. We are hoping next week we can get him on oxygen and feeding him by mouth instead of by tube all of the time. He too looks really good and he loves his pacifier, loves to eat and loves to be held by his mommy and daddy. They are both gaining weight nicely. They weigh about 4 1/2 pounds each now and finally don't look or feel so frail. I am loving that.

Tonight we were so blessed. We were talking to our new friends who have a 23-weaker who is getting close to coming home... when we ran across a couple who had 2 very cute toddlers. We came to find out their twins, a boy and a girl, were 26 weekers. They spent 3 months in the NICU... today their children are home with them after many hurdles. It's like we were meant to meet them... to renew our faith and hope that Ford and Hayden will make it through all of this. We need little reminders like that from time to time. The mom informed us that when she told the kids they were going to Cook Children's hospital today... the little boy started uttering Jesus' name over and over again. Coincidence? Of course not, we needed to hear their story!!!

Trey and I are so thankful for all of you--
Dana, Trey Hayden and Ford

Sunday, March 2, 2008

AN UPDATE PLUS.... Thoughts from a very proud daddy...

I am adding an update to my husband's post about the boys. If you read it, you know how lucky I am to have him as my husband... and how lucky the boys are to have him as their daddy.
Well, today our little Ford made the leap to the bubble c-pap and off the ventilator. He was fighting the vent the past couple of days so despite not having the best couple of days, our doctor decided to give him a shot at breathing on his own with the help of "continuous positive airway pressure"... the bubble c-pap. It was scary, but exciting. Ford's lungs are not as efficient as Hayden's... so we were just waiting to see what he could do, but having faith the Lord would help him breathe and keep him from going back the ventilator.

He is definitely more comfortable on the bubble c-pap, but it is a little more difficult for him to breathe. If he gets upset, he is sometimes moments away from being bagged. He holds his breath and goes into the ugly cry when he can't get comfortable and then his heart rate slips. Luckily we have avoided getting bagged so far today, but he has had his moments where he was on 100 percent Oxygen. I actually did something to help him today. I held him close to my chest... his chest to mine and instantly his oxygen requirement went down to 75 percent. That's not ideal, but better. I just cried because it felt so good to finally be able to do something for my son... something he responded to! There have been a lot of tears today because I just want him to succeed. I believe God will find a way for his healing, but it's that fear of the unknown and blind faith that is such a test day in and day out. I spend a lot of time in the chapel and with some much needed bible verses. I can honestly say that our faith has never been this strong. There are times I want to say why us, why our babies... but I stay away from the "why me's". I just thank God for blessing us with the most amazing little boys who are fighting hard everyday and showing all of us what miracles are made of.
I just can't put into words what Ford and Hayden mean to us. They are the answer to all of my prayers and what Trey and I have been waiting our entire lives for. I now know what I was put on this earth to do... and it is to be "the boys" mother. It's the best gift and job I could ask for... I want for nothing anymore, except for our boys to be healthy and to come home one day soon. We have faith they will.

I always feel a little awkward asking you all, my friends to pray for our little boys because I know you all have things in your life you need prayers for, but I will ask again for the boys and because I know you all care so much for them. Little Ford needs a prayer that he will thrive on the bubble c-pap and will have better CO2 test results and also that he will calm down, need less oxygen and not need to be bagged. Hayden needs your prayers that he will get to room air on his oxygen so he can bottle feed and breastfeed. I think focused prayers work... they have so far. Thank you for your love and support. Boy, do I have an amazing story to tell Ford and Hayden when they are a little older... about the people who helped change their lives and who have already changed ours. I miss Tyler and our home, but right now Ft. Worth is home with our little miracles!!!
Proud Mommy of Ford and Hayden

Sunday March 2, 2008
If you find yourself reading this…and it has been longer than a minute since you hugged your children…stop…and give them a big squeeze…just because!! I know it sounds trite…but do it b/c others haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet!! The key word is yet…we have yet to give them each a big squeeze, but Dana and I know, very soon, we will be holding on tight to each little one…out of the hospital. Yes, we have held them…attached with tubes, but we haven’t really given them the hug that fathers and mothers give each morning and night. With each passing hour and day, we get closer to that moment. The moment when we can give the overdue hug and kiss that we all have been waiting to give. The greatest feeling, is knowing that each night, our little ones are held tight by our Lord and Savior. Dana and I say a quick prayer each time we leave their bedsides….asking Jesus to hold them tight and keep them warm and safe until we get back. I know that our babies know what it if feels like to be touched by Angels…and I get chills each time I think about how many hugs they have received thus far. Thank you Jesus!!! We all go through our daily routines and this incredibly fast pace life that we all lead….and forget all about the simple things….seeing your children smile!! Our boys can find a way to smile through all of the tubes, injections, temperature probes, and pricks. Their smile gives Dana and me so much strength and peace. Who knew that we would be leaning on them for strength? One can not describe what an inspiration these kiddos have been to their father. I mean, who knew that something so small and so sick could be so resilient. I have always heard that big things come in small packages…that saying means so much more to this father than ever before. These two small packages have brought more meaning, more inspiration, more faith, more belief than I ever thought I could retain. Sitting, watching each miracle breath that these two “fighters” endure, brings a beautiful smile to this face. I know that without having God on our side, answering each prayer, we would not have almost 8 wonderful weeks with our twins. And many more to come. As for our amazing twins…they could not have had a better weekend. Thank you all for participating in that with us!! This weekend has given us consecutive days of improvements!! Our handsome Hayden is jumping through each hurdle like Jackie Joyner Kersee…he is steps away from being put into a big boy crib. He is currently about 4 pounds 1 oz. and eating over 8 ounces of breast milk each day. Doesn’t sound like much does it? It is!!! Compared to earlier days when we were talking in teaspoons per day. Full feeds have been crucial to their development and growth in these past weeks. We realize that we are no where near the end of the tunnel…but that light is sure getting brighter. Hayden loves his passy!! He knows when it’s time to eat…and his primary nurses know not to be late with his feeds. Speaking of primary nurses, both Hayden and Ford’s…not going to name names…but THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!! For keeping not only the boys happy, but keeping us afloat as well. You know who you are!! We could not do this without all of you!! Hayden and Ford thank you as well. As Dana mentioned in the last post, Hayden is no longer on the Ventilator…and Ford is being weaned down on his Conventional Vent.
Speaking of Ford….that little kid has had a fabulous weekend. He has all along been about two weeks behind Hayden. One of our Doctors says that he “resents his brother b/c it was Hayden that leaked early on”…and “he is just taking his sweet little time”!! He too is on full feeds, taking in a tad bit over 8 oz. a day as well. He is becoming more familiar with his passy…not sure what to do with it yet, but doesn’t mind it in his mouth. He too is weighing in at 4 pounds. They both love their tummies…their primary doctor has said that “Premature babies are like turtles…they don’t like being on their backs”. I could not be prouder of these two turtles than I am at this very moment.

Dana and I are so very grateful to all of you…for all the prayers being sent this direction. Thank you for all the messages left on the blog…that still keeps our hopes up and sprits high. I hope that everybody has a blessed week and continue to keep these little ones in your hearts, prayers and thoughts daily. I look forward to the next post…that will be filled with even more triumphs and victories.

- Thank you from a very Proud father of two amazing sons

Picture Worth A Thousand Words

Picture Worth A Thousand Words

Proud Parents

Proud Parents

Proud Mommy

Proud Mommy

Proud Papa

Proud Papa

Pics of Ford

Pics of Ford

Pics of Hayden

Pics of Hayden