Welcome to Tyler and Parker Thompson's Blog

Tyler and Parker Thompson arrived on June 23, 2008 at only 26 weeks and 4 days old, weighing 1 pound 6 ounces (Parker) and 1 pound 10 ounces (Tyler). Parker spent 129 days (home 10/30/08) in the NICU, while brother Tyler spent 143 (home 11/13/08). We are thrilled to have our family complete with both boys home!

This blog was created by John (the daddy) to inform family and friends (and now new acquaintances) of the twins progression. Below is the blog archive dating back to the week Heather (the mommy) was admitted to the hospital. We try to post weekly updates, but on occasion the week gets the best of us.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Carpe' Diem

July 31 11:15 pm

Let me just state up front that Ty and Park are fine. The following experience (as you'll soon put together) does not include either of the twins.

Quite some time ago I wrote about being reminded that the boys were in the ICU for infants. I wrote about becoming comfortable and having forgotten how grave their situation actually was. Today I was reminded of that. Today a micro preemie was life flighted in from a NICU in Redding. This baby needs to have the surgery to close her PDA.....this was the same surgery that both boys were on the verge of having before their PDA's closed via the medication. Heather was holding Tyler and facing his incubator. (see great pics below). I was sitting in a chair with my back to his incubator so I could talk with Heather and see Ty. This position had me facing the new baby girl's incubator as well as her monitor. As I was adoring my wife and son I noticed the alarm on the girl's monitor was going off. This is nothing unusual as there is always a monitor going off in the Lion room. (In fact, yesterday I almost jinxed the room by drawing the nurses attention to the fact that there weren't any monitors going off and it had been that way for almost five minutes). The monitor, however had changed to the more severe alarm, meaning that things were more emergent. This is also not that uncommon and does not mean anything is critical, it just means things haven't really rectified and more notice is necessary. What drew my attention was that her O2 reading was down in the thirties. This is not good. It happens, but this is considered a major desat. As I watched her O2 fall further I also noticed her heart rate drop as well......110.....1oo....92.....80......the situation was becoming critical and fast. Now I've seen the boys do this and it is frightening, but they have always turned it right around pretty quickly......or at least that is what I've convinced my memory to retain. This baby wasn't recovering. She was not that much smaller than Ty and Park at all. In fact she was born two days before them. She was twenty four weeks when born, but because Park and Ty were twins, she came into the world about the same size.....so basically she is at the same point as the boys. Her heart rate went down further......72.....65......53......53!!!!!! Now if you remember from previous blogs, we learned that when it gets below 60 they start chest compressions (yes, we learned this the hard way having to have Ty endure the event). This was a full blown crisis. The nurse was the only one in the room. It is really rare, but there are only currently four babies in the Lion room....Park, Ty, this girl and one other baby. Ty's nurse had this girl. On the other side of the room the other nurse had Park and another baby. The other nurse had stepped out of the room for a moment to get supplies. This left only one nurse in the room. She had stopped looking at the monitor and was working on the baby. She called for help......."I'm the only on in here and my baby is down". My blood turned to ice water. I looked at the monitor and saw the O2 level now at 0......yes that is a zero. Her blood pressure had fallen even further.....38......24.......12.......the last number I saw was 8.....this baby has a zero for oxygen and an 8 as her heart rate. Help had not arrived. I was so thankful that Heather was looking in the opposite direction. Tyler was directly on her chest and certainly would have felt her heart racing had she been witnessing the event as I was. Then the baby's heart rate dropped to zero......technically I never saw a zero.....after the eight it simply went to a ?......this is what it shows when you disconnect the leads to move the baby.....this is what it reads when it cannot detect any heart rate at all. I was looking at a baby with a zero oxygen level and absolutely no heart rate......help had not arrived.......I could hear the panic in the nurse's voice.......I was caught between three emotions.....the complete and utter sadness for this little girl and her family, the total relief that it wasn't one of my son's and the stinging pain of guilt for feeling the second emotion. It felt like an eternity. I just kept thinking "I'm watching this child die......right here right now I'm watching this child die". Then as suddenly as it began it turned around. She came back completely in what seemed like an instant. Help arrived, just as the baby's stats were back to normal. I could feel the adrenaline coursing through the nurse's veins. I shared in the relief that she was feeling. As well as the boys have been doing.......this is still the NICU.......it still means that life and death are hanging in the balance. It still means I need to resist the urge to look to far forward and relish in the success of the moment. Carpe' Diem is my current mantra. If you don't know what it means look it up.........and rent the movie Dead Poet's Society....it's a personal favorite.

So on to the boys. They are very much still acclimating. Tyler seems to be doing pretty well. No major changes either way. Being on nasal cannula means we will hopefully be able to hold him every day which Heather did today. Parker, being on CPAP, is not so much a guarantee. It really depends on how well he is doing and how comfortable the nurse is. Parker's nurse today didn't seem like she was really liking the idea. Couple that with the fact that I just couldn't bring myself to bother him and you've got a day without holding Parker. He looked so content in his incubator and seemed to be really tolerating his CPAP well, that I didn't want to "mess" with him. They lowered his peep from 7 to 6 which is positive. I really want him to improve so that he can get onto nasal cannula so I figured I would resist the selfish desire to hold him and let him be. They are going to be putting both boys on an extended regimen of a diarrhetic (a drug to help your body give up water). This will help in the continued growth of their lungs. No real side effects to speak of. All in all it was a good day......remember, any day that they don't take a step back is a good day at this point.......and every day the boys are still with us is a blessing I will not overlook:):)

Mommy and Ty

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


July 30 10 pm

So much has happened over the last few days that the boys needed some time to acclimate to all the new things that have been happening. Tyler actually had a change made to his oxygen tube. We found out that there are basically three steps in the nasal cannula process. He began on the middle step and needed to be "backed off" a bit to the first step. He is currently on a "high flow" tube. The actual prongs in his nose have not changed, it is just that he is getting a higher flow of oxygen through a larger tube connected to the machine. Once he acclimates he'll go back to the middle setting then to the lowest. This process will more than likely take a while. It's not really a set back per say. We have always been told that once off of the steroids the boys would likely have some slow downs or minor setbacks. Well, Tyler was doing so well that they discontinued his steroids very early. This set back is more than likely due to that in conjunction with him just needing some time to get used to everything. Parker remains on CPAP with a peep of 7+. He had a little bit better of a day today. He will most likely finish out his steroids and remain on CPAP for a while before he moves onto nasal cannula. Every day that they avoid having to be reintibated is a successful day, so we remain happy with where they boys are at. They had a good twin day today. They were both wearing the same little outfits!! Heather and I have both agreed that there will be times we dress them alike, but it will be the exception not the norm. However, today it was hard to not fall in love with how cute they both looked sporting the same digs. I over heard Parker saying..."You know the difference between you and me Tyler......I make this look good!!!" Cute pics below......cuz I know you'd all prefer to see them over my ramblings:):)

Daddy holding Tyler

Pics of Parker with his twin outfit on

Yes that's mommy's finger that Parker is grabbing.....seems to be a common theme

Pics of Tyler with his twin outfit on

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Evolution of Peep

July 29 9:30 pm

Today, once again, I found myself having an altered perception that directly related to a word that I had grown up with and loved. Then I realized that that fun little work had already been altered once in my lifetime and now I was on its third defintion. Today I analyzed my evolution with the fun little word Peep. Growing up there really was only thing that peep meant. We all grew up with it....or should I say them. They were little....they were yellow.....and they were absolutely delicious. If there were peeps in the stores (or better yet in your hot little possession) then you could be assured it was spring and that Easter was near. You see they weren't just delicious little sugar coated marshmallow treats. ( And by the way, was anybody else freaked out by the one little tiny brown spot that was supposed to be the eye?? I mean come on, there weren't any other disginguishing marks on it. It was simply a silouette....a scrumptous outline of a little chick that happened to be covered in glorious yellow sugar...as if there wasn't enough sugar already....but then they added that little brown dot that just always seemed to be staring right at you.....pleading with you not to eat it......I have to say....more than once I plucked that little sucker off of there and threw it down before I gobbled up that helpless litte critter that melted in my mouth......come on somebody out there has to be with me on this.......okay maybe I'm the only freak...) We all loved (and by loved I mean still secretly devour them whenever we can) them They meant more than just a treat, they meant it was spring and better yet it was time for Easter Break ( which I now call Spring Break, to be politically correct as a professional educator). As I grew into my later teens, whenever somebody mentioned peeps I immediately thought of my friend Gary. See, Gary will not even think twice about downing an entire box of twelve of these glorious treats in a single sitting. ( I always watch anxiously to see if he suddenly fall into a diabetic coma). He even bought a hat with a Peep on it and would wear it at softball. Peeps are an American instituion. Then a few years ago my frame of reference changed and the term peep took on a new meaning (and by new I mean an alternate......the little yellow chick treat could never be replaced.) See I am afflicted with an occupational hazzard by being a student activities director. I have to keep up with most mainstream pop culture, music and terminology that influences the teenage population. I even become that lame old guy and use some of it once in a while......never very successfully, but it does creep into my vocabulary. Not that I need to use it, but I do need to have a basic understanding of it. That's where the next evolution of peep comes in. You see in slang or hip hop "peep" is short for people. So when you say peep, you are referring to your people or your friends. "Where my peeps at" would mean, where are my friends. So there's your pop culture lesson for the day.....however, I must warn you that this is already "ol' school". This phrase has already had its run and has pretty much been put out to pasture......unless of course you hang around me as I am guilty of its use once in a while. So there it was the only two possible ways this cute little word would ever enter my world.....until of course now. You see this long rambling, down memory and hip hop lane was to introduce the latest exciting news (okay that was a long introduction even for me....sorry June, I'll get to the good stuff now!!). Peep is actually a technical term in the NICU. It stands for Positive End Expiratory Pressure. In a nutshell it is the amount of pressure with which the oxygen is being constantly forced into the nose through the CPAP device. The amount of pressure is measured in numbers from 0 on up. (It's actually the number of centimeters of water.....blah blah blah....you don't really want to know that much). The bottom line is that, when put on CPAP both boys started at number 6. Here is where the boys have deviated. First Parker: he had a rough night last night. He struggled all night long with his tubes. They kept coming out, he wasn't gettting enough O2. They kept having to increase the amount of oxygen to give him, it was rough. The bottom line is that his peep went up to 7+ today. The good news for Parker is that his blood gasses are coming back okay so they aren't having to re intibate him yet. We are really hoping he settles into it and can get his peep back down. If he does get it back down.....back down to four or less......then he can become like Tyler who.........Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da.......got off of CPAP today and is just on nasal cannula!!!!!! That's right, Tyler had done so well that they weened his peep all the way down to four and then took him off of CPAP!!!! This is way ahead of what we had hoped for. Now he just has the little plastic tube with the two little prongs (the cannula) that delivers oxygen to him with just a little bit of pressure or peep. We were blown away today when we came in to find Tyler off of CPAP. He not only was off CPAP, but he has responded so well that they took him off of the steroids early as well. Parker is progressing, just not as quickly as Ty. Park will finish out the steroids and hopefully respond better to the CPAP, get his peep down and be transfered to nasal cannula as well. We'll see.....as long as they don't have to re-intubate him then he is doing well. All in all a pretty doggone good day in the UCD NICU!!!!

Pics of Parker on CPAP

This is the challenging little apparatus that is giving Parker fits.

Tyler without CPAP

Not only was he off of CPAP, but he was really awake and seemingly aware for quite a while.

Not Waiting Until We Grow Old

July 28 midnight

In just under two weeks Heather and I will celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. We have always known that we will grow old together. Thoughts of sitting on a porch on a cool summer evening rocking away in comfortable chairs may be the picturesque way to envision our twilight years. Well, apparently those years are already upon us.....sort of......you see there was a time today that Heather and I found ourselves quietly staring at each other as we spent a peaceful hour rocking away in rocking chairs......there was no cool summer evening breeze and we weren't on a porch......however, this moment is sure to rival, if not be better than, any moment we will experience later in life. You see, today's moment of serenity came in the UCD NICU as we both, yes both spent an hour sitting in a rocking chair with our sons. Ty and Park have adjusted so well to the CPAP ( it didn't hurt also that our neighbor Mary was on duty today taking care of both boys.....and she seemed almost as giddy as we were at the prospect that each of us would be able to hold a boy:):)) that not only was Parker able to be held, but Tyler was also!!! So today I found myself sitting in a rocking chair holding Tyler and looking over at my beautiful wife as she did the same thing with Parker......it was a great way to kill an hour:):) Things aren't all perfect however. The problem with CPAP is that they have a tendency to not stay in the right position. The little prongs pop out of their little tiny noses quiet often. This is, apparently, very common.....and trust me.....as much of a pain in the butt it is and as much as it seems to irritate their little nostrils and turn them red......it is still ten thousand times better than having them intibated!!! It is much more high maintenance for the nurses, but they seem to look past it and seem to be genuinely excited as well despite the increase in work it creates for them. The "episodes" they have now are called the A's and B's. A is for apnea and B is for bradycardia Apnea for breathing and bradycardia for low heart rate. So they are still so small and are so used to the vent breathing for them, that they simply forget to breathe. You can see why this would be a problem. As they forget to breathe their heart rate quickly follows and begins to drop very quickly. All of sudden they desat and have their heart drop plummet. We've been told that this is very common for micro-preemies at this stage in development who are on CPAP. It happened to Parker a couple of times today. Now I'm not sure why, but it doesn't seem to scare me nearly as much as it sounds like it should. Don't get me wrong, it is still very unnerving to look at your son's O2 levels to drop into the 40's while his heart rate drops below 100. I don't know if I've just become used to it, or if their advancements have helped me to believe they are stronger now and thus more apt to handle it, or if I'm just more comfortable with the nurses handling it, but I don't find myself in such a panic when it happens now. It still scares the hell out of me, but just not quiet as much. Bottom line is they are doing better and I guess my sub-conscious is allowing me to relax more. Holding them really helped as well. It was a great day....and I'll live in this moment for now!!! Multiple great days in row are starting to string themselves together......quick, knock on wood so I don't jinx it:):) There are some great pics below!!!

A Family That Rocks Together...

This should give you a better perspective of where we have been spending a lot of time. Directly in front of me and Ty is Ty's incubator. You can see the wall partition and then see Heather and Park. Directly in front of Heather is Parker's incubator.

Tyler and Daddy

I got to cuddle Tyler once again.....it was really something special.

Parker and Mommy

Here are mommy and Mary trying to get the CPAP adjusted correctly so cuddling can commence:)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ty and My Thumb

Thought a few more pics of Ty holding my thumb might help with some new perspective.....plus I just love it when he holds my thumb:) Plus a couple of pics of Ty in his big boy clothes.


I was too tired last night to post pics so here they are.......I know pics are so much more important than my ramblings...I'll try and keep my priorities straight:)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

July 27 11 pm

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water/blog..... yes, you've had two solid days of coherent blogging......two days of elegant humor beautifully woven together with clear concise facts.......you rejoiced secretly as not to hurt my feelings.....now, as you read, the realization overwhelms you and you scream out loud NOOOOOOOO, he's back!!!!! Now you'll, once again, be forced to sift through random movie quotes and endure painfully vague metaphors in order to decipher what is actually happening with the boys. Well, get out your pocket Rosetta Stone cuz here come your hieroglyphics!!!!

The corrolation between your senses and your memory has always fascinated me. We've all experienced it.....you'll be simply minding your own business when suddenly a random scent or song will catapult back in time to a specific event or meaningful feeling. You are powerless against it.....your mind instantly transports you back to a time, specific event or the memory of a specific person.....you are there and it is as real as the first time you experienced it. Your senses make up a large part of who you are. I play with the corrolation between music and memory at work all the time. I'll play a specific song each time a specific event occurs......every extended lunch starts off with the same song, every football game warm up begins with the same song and every final campfire at the end of the year in student government ends with the same song. I've had multiple former students that I will see after graduation tell me of the same expenrience. They will be driving in thier car and hear one of these songs and instantly be reminded of that event from high school. Seeing a completely accurate picture of something pales in comparison to actually being able to touch it, to smell it, to taste it or to hear it. Sound is particularly keen with my memory. Sound is what touched me today. I heard a sound that I will never forget as long as I live. It was faint....it was barely audible......but it was present.....and it was the first time I heard what I've been longing to hear for almost five weeks. I heard the sound of my son's voice. It was barely a squeek......barely a faint cry......in fact I had to put my ear up to the open hole that is intended for arms to pass through in order to hear it.....but there it was....in all it's glory......that little squeek that was my son crying.......it was beautiful.....it was music to my ears.....it is what I have been waiting for for four weeks and six days. Now I know......believe me, I'm grounded enough in reality to know that every single one of you out there with kids is laughing right now and saying "be careful what you wish for"!!! I know that there will be a day (probably in the near future) that I am pleading with them to stop crying......searching frantically for the source of their discomfort, so that I may rectify the situation to gain a moments peace and quiet......I know that two infants crying in the middle of the night will become the bain of my existence.....but for now....for today.....it is exactly what I've been waiting for.......I looked at my beautiful wife and saw the tears welling up in her eyes while simutaneously grinning from ear to ear......I felt this complete feeling of joy well up inside of me......I felt blessed and full of love.........see, some of you may have already figured it out......some of you may have already put the puzzle together.....for those that haven't let me enlighten you.........you see, the only way that my son can cry.....the only way for him to make noise at all is if his vocal cords are not being obstructed by a breating tube......yes......that's right......he is no longer on the vent.....he is no longer intubated......there is no longer a breathing tube crammed down his throat.....he has been extabated.....he is now on CPAP!!!!! This is the monumental milestone that I have been waiting for!!! He still needs help breathing. The CPAP ( constant positive airway pressure) delivers a constant flow of air into his lungs. It keeps his lungs from completely exhaling (think of blowing up a balloon.....once blown up, let out most but not all of the air.....it's a lot easier to blow it up again if it is not deflated all of the way). He is breathing almost entirely on his own, but still needs some assistance from this device that is delivering air pressure through little tubes in his nostrils. This is huge!!!!! By now you're probablly saying "John you idiot!!! You haven't said who.....you haven't told us which one is on CPAP!!! Is it Tyler or Parker" Well, my astute friends and family, that ommission was by choice......I deliberately omitted the specific name of which son so that I may surprise with with even better news.........IT IS BOTH OF THEM!!!! At 9 am this morning Parker made the transition, followed shortly thereafter by Tyler at 1 pm. Both boys have had two blood gasses since then that have both been stellar!!! Both my boys have one less tube in them.....one less obstuction.....one less vehicle for infection to invade their little bodies!!! Today was a great day........a great day to come back from missing them from for two days.


This next piece of information needed it's own title. I still have not jumped on the Starbucks craze. I still do not drink coffee. However, through first hand observation every single day at school, I can personally attest to the fact that caffeine is, by no means, an adult vice. It is as common among the teenage population as fast food and bottled water. Caffeine, that wonderful stimulate that is present in large quantities in coffee is steadily creeping its way down the ages to people younger and younger than before. I am here to say it has reached the micro-preemie stage of it's decent. Yes both Tyler and Parker had their first vanilla latte yesterday and are already on a steady diet of the magic elixer. Breast milk and caffeine are now both staples in thier daily routine. They are both being given caffeine each day. Apparantly it aids in respiration and is necessary to help them with their transition off of the breathing tube. All I have to say is if they aquire a Starbucks habbit, they better learn how to mow lawns pretty early, cuz i refuse to financially support two more people in this household hooked on Starbucks (in Heather's addiction defense she a) finances it herself and b) gave up coffee completely upon becoming pregnant and is still off of it while breast feeding....that a baby Honey!!!)

Okay, so this blog has gone on forever, and I'm exhausted (taking forty teenagers camping for two and a half days will do that to ya!!!). So, I'm off to bed........I knew better than to go to bed without an update. Tommorow is Monday and I know that one or two of you just may be checking this tomorrow morning.......before work of course!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Moving Up!

New "digs" for the boys - that is the BIG news today! It's amazing how much we really DON'T know about things until we're involved in them. This rings true for today's event. Both boys were placed in new incubators called "isolettes" (pics below of boys in their new environments). These type of incubators were what we assumed the boys would be in when they were first born - we were wrong. This is actually an upgraded bed, showing that both boys have progressed into a new level of care. The previous open beds that the boys were in are reserved for the sicker babies (easy access to the many tubes and for emergency medical attention). The benefits of the isolette is that it's temperature controlled and buffers outside noise (which will be good for both boys - they hate noise). From a selfish point of view, I have to reach in the little side doors to get to them - they seem a little less accessible. It's only perception of course (well, sort of - ha ha)!

Today's stats were fabulous once more! Tyler: 2lbs, 15.6 oz (almost 3 lbs - woo hoo!); 28.5% O2; 47% CO2. Parker: 2lbs, 12.1 oz (twice his birth weight!); 28.6% O2; 43% CO2. Both nurses said the boy's numbers were "stellar"! The doctors talked today about moving Parker off the conventional ventilator and onto the CPAP ("nasal prongs" hooked up to a machine that delivers a small amount of extra pressure support - one step further to him breathing completely on his own). This would allow his breathing tube to be removed - one less infection risk - yea! This would be an amazing progression...it fills my heart with hope!

I have to mention how lucky I am to have the most amazing family, friends, and co-workers. PLEASE know that I've received your messages and I am just blown away by the support and love. I never realized how important words could be - from our ability to inform everyone of the boys progress to people sending their prayers, words of support and pure love. THANK YOU! I can feel the "vibe" and have been touched by so many. And for those I don't know, especially those supporting my darling husband John, I appreciate you more than you'll ever know. I can't imagine being the husband in this scenario, especially someone like John who LOVES being in control. This takes away ALL of your control. Not only was his wife sick (but healing nicely by the way), but to end up with both babies in the NICU - what overwhelming stress. He is my miracle! I am one lucky woman and I realize it!
THANK YOU ALL AGAIN! I promise to pay this one forward some day!

P.S. The blood donations have been an overwhelming success - thank you so much!

Taj Mahal Thompson

Parker's New Palace!
Tyler's New "Pad"!
Tyler's nurse reaching through the side windows to fix his breathing tubes
Cozy Tyler

Snuggly Parker

Friday, July 25, 2008

Snuggles X 2

Okay, so being the "guest blogger" is a lot of pressure! But to be fair, I have to admit that I've blogged before. The riveting blog titled "Donor Club for Parker & Tyler" was from yours truly - exciting...no? I agree that John would've started that blog with a tale about vampires or an analogy to leeches, but as you'll most likely realize, my blogs may be less "colorful" - but with JUST as much heart! ;o)

So mommy and boys had a wonderful day! Yes, I snuggled two precious little guys today - a mother's dream. When I arrived Tyler was resting peacefully on his tummy. I immediately noticed that he had on big boy clothes! He was no longer sporting his diaper speedo (pic below in his FIRST outfit - thanks to those who donate preemie clothes to the hospital). His oxygen was around 36%, pressures good and little desats - these are good things. After his assessments (where he offered a lovely poopy gift to mommy), I held him for over an hour with no REAL desats (meaning he didn't fall below 70 without immediately coming back up on his own). In fact, he looked rather peaceful - as was I. After Tyler was put back in his bed, the nursing shift changed and a lot of commotion ensued - baby crying, nurses talking, bells ringing (including Tylers). Well, besides missing mommy, I think Tybug was just plain irritated - he began fidgeting and desatting. The night nurse, one of the more experienced nurses, talked about giving Tyler a sedative but was going to try some other techniques first. She suctioned out his mouth and tube, gave him a warm bath, swaddled him tight, laid him on his tummy and covered his head. He was a happy camper the rest of my stay. Relief...I could relax.

Parker time today was also magical. After my time with Tyler I wasn't about to NOT hold Parker (who was sitting at 33% oxygen...talk about ROCK STAR!). The night nurse seemed a bit hesitant to let me hold him...no, actually she asked, "Are you supposed to hold him when he's all hooked up like this?" I confidently said, "You bet!" Her eyes grew wide and she knew I wasn't going to take "no" for an answer. Well, the fact that I had already pulled up the rocking chair and had my boppy and pillows ready to go was a pretty BIG sign as well. She quickly said, "Let me go get Sharon to help". So Tyler's nurse came over to help place him on me with a little different hold this time - Parker was kept swaddled in his blankie. It wasn't skin on skin contact (good for preemies to get used to mom and dad smells, heartbeats, etc.) but because he was "burritoed up", I had a much better view of his face and he was EXTREMELY content. In fact for the hour I held him he desatted twice into the high 70's (only because he wiggled a little) and pulled himself right back up. It was more satisfying than you could POSSIBLY imagine.

The only concern I had before leaving was Parker's hernia. His testies are probably four times bigger than Tyler's right now...a little scary. This hernia is caused by part of the bowel protruding into an area that it doesn’t belong because the muscle that would normally close off the area hasn’t fully developed. The reason that hernias are serious is because it is possible that it could cut off blood supply to the intestines (this would cause the death of tissue in the intestines, which is a much more serious condition). The doctors try to wait until a baby is of a certain weight before performing surgery (not sure what that weight is) – so for now it’s watch and wait.

So...a thumb's up day for me and the boys! I know it's just KILLING John that he is missing two days without them. It just seems like every day is such a milestone - but actually at this gestational age every day is pretty major. It's amazing that the boys came only 4 weeks ago - in some ways it seems like forever. And it's unexplainable how I can't imagine my life without these little souls. I guess it's this magical thing that happens to parents the second their child is born - or at least it's happened to me.

Stylin' Ty

Tyler sporting an outfit today! His first big boy clothes...Beep Beep!
And of course I couldn't resist a pic with eyes open.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Have a beer Tyler and relax

July 24 8:30 pm


Several years ago I was fortunate enough to travel to Europe for the first time. I will never forget the first time I sat in a restaurant in Paris and witnessed underage drinking. You see, I believe the term underage drinking is germane to the United States. While trying to decipher the menu (and by decipher I mean make sure I didn't accidentally order snails or something......which I actually did order on my honeymoon and tried......yeah it was gross.....what a waste of perfectly good garlic)....anyway I looked up from my menu to see a family of four having dinner. Two well put together parents, a boy and a girl who were roughly six and eight respectively. So what caught my eye???? It was the four, yes four wine glasses casually strewn about the table as we would have four soda glasses here in the US. It was really a bizarre sight. For them, however, it was everyday life. A glass of wine with dinner was apparently somewhat common place for a child. Wine is good for heart and helps to relax you. We've all done it. Whether it is out with friends or home with the family......a nice glass of wine or a cold beer is great to unwind with. In moderation, what's the big deal? Of course some of us are guilty of "unwinding" a bit too much on occasion. So what about for a micro-preemie (I'm not sure if, and am way too lazy to look back to verify, I have used this term before, but Heather and I discovered it a little while ago. Apparently our two heroes aren't simply preemies......dun-da-dahhhhhh....they are micro-preemies.....action figures sold separately.....yes they were so darn small when born that the word preemie simply wasn't descriptive enough.......by the way.....just a reminder that when they grow up we probably shouldn't damage their fragile male egos by using the word micro very much.....just a thought) okay I'm guilty of multiple tangents in a row......aptly defined as mindless rambling.....so back to the story at hand.....what about a beer for Tyler. See, our arrival today found us faced with yet another very difficult day for Tyler. His nurse was taking care of another baby when we arrived. When we said hello and asked how Ty was, you could tell she needed to talk with us in more depth than a casual report so we proceeded over to see our little buddy and waited for her to finish up with the other child. In a nutshell, Tyler continues to be extremely agitated. He is more wiggly than he ever has been. His agitation manifests itself in constant flailing of his arms and legs which helps to cause severe desatting. Just changing his diaper today saw his O2 drop into the teens and his blood pressure drop dangerously low as well. This was the day the nurse was having with Tyler....extremely labored and unrestfull. Here's where the beer comes in.....finally. Several days ago the docs had placed a standing order with the nurses to use a mild sedative on Tyler if they saw fit. Kind of a micro beer for a micro preemie to help him relax and unwind. Heather and I were both concerned about the need to sedate the little guy. Until today, they had held off on doing so. Today it simply became necessary. He wasn't getting any quality rest, and his continued episodes are becoming more and more dangerous as well as frequent. So we were informed by the nurse today that she gave him a dose earlier on. She said it helped quite a bit. It had been several hours and it was clearly wearing off when we arrived. I cuddled him (cuz Heather was busy with the Great news of the day which I'll get to in a minute.......you know, bad news first so as to end on a good note) with my hands as best I could which seemed to help a bit. It didn't take long though to realize that another dose was needed. The dose helped a lot. He seemed to be able to finally rest. Then assessment time came. Diaper changed, blood pressure taken etc........and yes......you guessed it.....another episode that found the nurse "bagging" my son once again. Doctor present, we got through it. The glimmer of light, the shade of optimistic hope was seen just before we left. He seemed to have settled enough to get an hour of quiet rest....my hope is that tomorrow will show the monumental turn around that Parker saw on his second day of steroids.....let's hope:)

Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da.....okay that's my attempt at a blog drum roll.....that's it....you know you are all hearing it in your head now.......you Pavlovian Dogs!!! The drum roll indicates the great news of the day!!!! Parker is not only off the oscillator and on to the conventional vent....he is not only seeing his O2 requirements down to 29%........but Mommy got to hold Parker today for the very first time!!!!!!! The cutest pics in the world are below!!! Yup, Parker's complete turnaround from four days ago continues. We came in today to find him on his new vent. Not only was he tolerating it well, but they had already decreased some of his settings and had him receiving 29% oxygen mixture!!!! ( remember you and I breath 21% and he had been living in the 70's for a long time!!!!). It was great!!! We weren't sure if Heather would get to hold him, since he had just been transferred today, but Allison said let's give it a try. We can always put him back in the incubator if he doesn't tolerate it well. She admitted to us afterward that she really didn't think he'd last long, but he did......45 minutes in Mommy's arms!!!!! It was the best medicine for everyone involved:):) The doc did tell us yesterday that they can often relapse after the steroids stop flowing, but for now he is doing very very well.

Last note: I have enjoyed being able to focus 100% of my attention on the boys for the past four and a half weeks, but duty does call. I will be running my stud gov retreat for the next two days. Not to worry, I will be in constant contact with my beautiful wife and can get home lickity split (there's another weird random word rearing it's awkward head???) should anything happen. I really do think/hope Tyler has turned his corner and tomorrow will find him beginning his miraculous turn around......and with the way Parker is handling life I'm comfortable leaving. Let's face it, we all know Heather is in charge 99% of the time anyway. So what does all this mean to you......well, the next two nights you will be entertained by a guest blogger.....that's right in my absence the real boss of this family will be taking over the blogging duties......personally I think she's going to love it and I will be permanently replaced:):):) Thanks to all of you for your continued well wishes, prayers and overall support......you may not realize it but it makes a big difference:):)

Parker's Turn

Mommy and Parker snuggling for the first time!
Parker has the cutest eyebrow lift - sometimes he seems so aware of his environment!