Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Last But Not Least :: Hollyn's Birth Story

Things went well after Hew's delivery. I was back on the mag. Still in trendelenburg. I received the second steroid shot on Saturday morning.

It was a normal morning. The dietary lady brought my tray in and left it on the counter. I couldn't get up to get it so I was stuck waiting until someone came in. Boo! A little bit of time passed and one of our favorite nurses came in to check on me. I mentioned a concern (y'all its seriously TMI otherwise I would share).  She checked me and went to call Dr. G. Turns out, at some point Hollyn's sac ruptured and I also was bleeding some. Soon after Dr. G was in my room. She checked me herself and things went crazy. You see, up until this point they never fully prepared for any of the births as far as the babies were concerned. They did this time. People were everywhere. It was chaos until we waited for my contractions. And waited. And waited. They finally upped the pitocin and we finally had ourselves a 3rd baby girl.

Hollyn was rushed to the table to be examined and intubated before heading off to the nicu. I got to see her briefly before they rushed her off. We didn't get to hold Hollyn or Hew for weeks. It was so hard. Our arms ached to hold our babies.

Hollyn was so strong compared to Hew. She was on CPAP her first day. She would be intubated again but she was worlds ahead of Hew already. It was amazing what a few extra days and a full dose of steroids could do.

She looked so much like Ava and Hazel. And she still does. It's crazy!

Hollyn is doing so well today. She is amazing us with everything she is already doing. She is so feisty.  We call her our little diva.  We are positive that God is going to use her in a mighty way!

Happy birthday Hollyn! We love you to pieces!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Our Hero :: Hew's Birth Story

To preface....Hew's sac ruptured a year ago yesterday. We had hope that he would hang on until 24 weeks. Again, God had other plans.

After Hew's sac had ruptured, things were still going fairly smoothly (as smoothly as they could go). But somewhere over the course of the evening those phantom contractions started again. And then I was in full blown back labor. I was given some pain medicine to help me rest through the night.  It didn't help very much.

When morning came, I was 23 weeks 5 days. 24 weeks was the magic number.  The contractions were still going strong. They administered the first steroid injection to help their lungs. My doctor came down and checked me. Hew was going to be born that day. We knew all the statistics. He wasn't considered "viable". He had a small percentage of "making it" and even then it wouldn't come without huge hurdles. This was to be a similar situation as Hazel's. We were prepared for that.  BUT!!! God had filled us with such a peace. I wasn't hysterical like I was with Hazel. There was such a peace in the room.  It was something I couldn't explain. 

Hew's labor was the worst of the 4 births. (Did I mention that all 3 babies were born sans pain meds?).  He wasn't in the correct position.  It was horrible.

Hew was born and was immediately examined by the neonatologist. He was bruised badly and so much was unknown because of his extreme prematurity.  Soon after, the doctor came over and said that he thought Hew might benefit from going to the NICU.  We were shocked!  God filled us with peace for this very reason.

Hew's NICU journey wasn't with out bumps but he's a fighter and God saw him through.  Today he is a growing, thriving little boy.  Always happy.  We always say he's just happy to be alive.  We are just in love with him.  God has big plans for his life and we know he will do big things one day.

Happy Birthday baby boy!  Mommy and Daddy love you so much!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Randoms

We hope you've all had a great week!

We've been having a pretty low-key week since Hew's appointment on Monday. We did go get the babies their new carseats (birthday presents!).

Our early intervention gal came out yesterday for the babies monthly visit. Our OT is super sweet and helpful. And she has twins so she understand having multiples. They are doing so well. We are all so proud of them!

The home health nurse also came out yesterday to administer the babies their synagis injections. They both weighed about 18 and a half (give or take) pounds. They've done well so far.

And today we ventured out to be the first in line for our local Santa. We were first in line. There was no crowd (praise God for small blessings). But y'all!! I paid $28 for the most horrible picture ever (See below. It's a picture of the picture from my iPhone so excuse the poor quality.) They literally snapped 3 pics and called it done. Oh well. There's always next year. :)

I hope y'all have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Good Appointment...

First, thank you for all your love on my last post. We had a good day celebrating our sweet girl {complete with cupcakes}.

Hew had a follow up with pulmonology yesterday. We once again got the ok to wean him off his oxygen. This time he is free of the longest cold ever so we all feel positive that he has a great shot to come off. We started his diuretic wean yesterday and will start his oxygen wean on Monday. Then, the week of the 17th our home health company will come out and bring a monitor for an over night sleep study. We are praying he does well with this wean. If all goes well he might be oxygen free for Christmas.

Thank you all for praying for us! It means so much.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I’ve Held an Angel :: Hazel’s Birth Story

I apologize for the choppiness of this post.  It’s been hard to write much less edit.

Since I was admitted on Sunday I had been having ultrasounds each shift to keep a check on everyone.  I was hooked to a contraction monitor 24/7.  I was NOT being examined because they didn’t want to disturb my cervix and/or cause an infection.  

It was Thursday.  Day 4 of being on bedrest.  I would have laid there for 4 years if it meant saving my babies.  I was still super emotional (who wouldn’t be).   Kristen had brought Ava up to visit.  (I loved that everyone made sure Ava made it to the hospital every day to see me.  It did us both good.)  I was talking to Kristen about some cramping that I was having but there was nothing showing up on the monitor so we just chalked it up to the laxative :( they made me take the day before.  I mentioned it to the nurse a couple of times.  She would adjust the monitor but still nothing ever really would pick up.  By early afternoon the cramping was worse and I again mentioned it to the nurse. She called my doctor.  This is where my heart broke.  My doctor came in to check me.  I honestly don’t know how far I was dialated.  I just remember her asking the nurse to get Kristen (she stepped out with the girls and praise God there were some awesome nurses who stayed with the girls until other family members arrived). My heart sank.  Moments later she was telling me that Hazel was in the birth canal and would be born soon.  After that it was all a blur.  We got in touch with Matt.  I remember Dr. G trying to comfort me.  A family friend was on shift that day but wasn’t my nurse.  She came in and stayed with me.  (Sidenote:  this same nurse was there for Hazel and Hew’s birth and came to the hospital on her off day when Hollyn was born to be with me.)  We waited for Matt to arrive and there was commotion going on as they prepped everything for her entirely too early arrival.  I was in a fog.  One of the first words out of my mouth when Dr. G said she would be born soon was would she make it.  After I heard her answer I pretty much shut down.  I was shaking and crying and all I could do was pray.  For God to intervene.  For peace.  For our family.

Hazel was born a year ago today.  

I put my thumb intentionally next to her foot for sizing purposes.  She was so tiny.
After she was born, the NICU doctor examined her and confirmed that she was just too tiny to make it.  We had about 20 minutes with our sweet, precious second born daughter before God called her home. We held an angel that day.  She was perfect.  10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes.  I couldn’t get over how beautiful she was and how much like Ava she looked.  We spent some much needed time with her and then Matt went and got Ava from the waiting room.  Explaining to a 5 year old that Jesus was coming to get her sister was the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do.  She was in awe of her little sister.  She held her, hugged her, kissed her.  Seeing Ava love on her baby sister will forever be etched in my mind and on my heart.  Y’all, the faith of a 5 year old is amazing.  We were blessed to have so many of our family members there.   Once we spent some time together we invited everyone in.  They all got to love on our sweet girl.  The nurse came in and said that we could have as much time with her as we wanted but explained to us that whenever we were ready she would come back and take her.  THAT was the hardest thing we’ve ever done.  To decide when to give our daughter over to someone and know we would never see her again on this side of heaven.  We did our best to memorize everything about her.  Kristen was gracious enough to take pictures for us so that we could always have a physical reminder of her beauty.  I will forever be indebted to her for doing one of the hardest things she has had to do.

 Some of the pictures that Kristen took.

Losing Hazel was one of the hardest days of our lives.  I never could have made it through that day (and to today) without Matt and God’s loving hands holding us up.  We knew that God had a plan and that we had to trust that plan.  This was the hardest thing ever.  I had something so precious and dear ripped from me.  But I knew God would see me through.  

Hazel changed me. And God changed my heart through her.   I strive to be a better Mommy because of her.  A better person because of her.  I've learned to praise God in the good times and the bad times.  We aren’t promised tomorrow and I don’t want to take anything for granted.  I praise God for the time I did have with her.  For allowing me to be the Mommy and Matt the Daddy of a little girl who changed so many hearts and lives.  

We had a beautiful Celebration of Life ceremony for her after the holidays.  Planning this service was so hard for us.  We wanted it to be perfect.  It was.  Matt said a few words about her and her short life.  They were beautiful words and I love him so much for speaking during such a difficult time.  Our pastor spoke briefly and a very talented lady from our church sang Steven Curtis Chapman’s With Hope.  (This is where the blog name comes from.) At the end every one sang Jesus Loves Me.  It was a beautiful service full of love. 
Now, here I am a year later and I can talk about Hazel with ease (and I love to talk about her, to share her story and the impact she had on us).  Some days are hard.  Certain situations make my heart ache.  Words hurt sometimes.  But I know that Hazel is in Heaven.  Healed and whole.  My momma heart is eased knowing that she didn’t know pain.  Physical pain.  Emotional pain.  None of it.  I miss her every day but I know she is thriving in heaven with her Maker.   I wonder what she would be like today.  What her personality would be like.  What she would look like.  I will see her again one day.  Until then, I will forever talk of the day I held an angel.

 We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

-excerpt from With Hope

Happy birthday sweet girl!  We love you to the moon and back!

Notice this story doesn’t involve Hew and Hollyn.  Dr. G was giving them the best chance at survival and did everything in her power to prevent their delivery.  I was started on magnesium sulfate and the waiting game started all over again…this time with a piece of my heart missing.