Sunday, December 11, 2011

Back In My Arms


Caleb
They can wear clothes now!!


Levi


Caleb


Brothers


Back in my arms.


Stay tuned for more living . . .

Thursday, December 8, 2011

10 Days Old

Ok, so I thought I was going to be alright leaving my boys in good hands at the NICU while coming home to recuperate. I'm not going to lie, it was not easy. Granted I have a lot of hormones going on, it just didn't feel right to leave the hospital, no longer pregnant, without my babies. It took me back to that place where I had to leave Max at the hospital . . . not a good place. I had a lot going on around me and in my mind when I got home but was so happy to wake up with a clear mind knowing that life is amazing and incredible and we are truly blessed. I have one boy in Heaven looking down and watching over us, two boys getting excellent care at the NICU, two girls who bring us so much happiness and adventure, and a husband who loves me.

Ryan and I are visiting the boys for about five hours a day; where we are now able to hold, change diapers, and help out the nursing staff with whatever they need. We are so excited to say, thanks to prayers, modern technology and medicine, that the boys are doing amazing! They are no longer on oxygen or forced air, they are accepting their food through a tube that goes in their nose to their stomachs and are now off their IV's. Caleb's weight had dropped to 2lbs 14oz but is now tied with Levi at 3lbs 5oz. Pretty soon they will just be tiny regular newborns.

Just as I was getting settled into the routine of "visiting" my boys and being at home to take care of my girls, I woke up to conjunctivitis (Pink Eye), yuck! The NICU is a very sterile place and my heart fell with the fear of not being able to visit my boys. I called the nurse, who talked with the Dr. and she told me, in a nice way, that I wasn't allowed to enter the NICU and would not be able to see or hold my sons. I had to hurry and get off the phone so I didn't break down on the phone. It's been 3 days now without seeing them. Sometimes you have to search for that happy place to go to when it's not right in front of you. I've been doing a lot of searching :) I am feeling better and will probably look back and not even remember this short time with out seeing my little guys. In the meantime, I am so happy they are doing so well in the NICU.


Caleb
.
Levi
Ryan is a natural at this.
Caleb
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Caleb
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Caleb
... And this.
Levi
Levi
He's super grumpy that his mom isn't there :)



Stay tuned for more living . . .

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 4

Today is the day I leave my boys at the hospital and go home to my girls. It's bitter sweet. Levi is doing better today but still a bit behind Caleb. I think this whole process is going to be filled with ups and downs. Good thing we are kind of used to that :) Below are some great "up's" of the day. Stay tuned for more living . . .

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Caleb
The NICU nurse is handing Caleb to me for some snuggle time.
Caleb
Me and my little guy.
Levi
Levi is all wrapped up and snug as a bug getting ready to be held by his dad for the first time.
Levi
He looks happy about it.
Ryan and Levi
So sweet.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 2

Day 2
Caleb and Levi have now switched roles. They are both breathing without intubation ( the tube down their throats) but Levi is struggling without the assisted help of oxygen an airflow. I was able to hold Caleb. It felt like I was placing a piece of my heart back into place that I never knew was gone and now I don't want to live without. They are still very very small and need so much help but I feel confident in the NICU staff that they will do everything possible to care for our boys.
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Thank you for all of the prayers our way. Keep them coming! :) Stay tuned for more living . . .

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Boys!!

Ok, so it happened. On November 28th, at 31 weeks and four days, I gave birth to Levi Ryan Harris and Caleb Ryan Harris. Here is my story. . . Thanksgiving was so much fun. There was a bit of planning to do for dinner and a couple of projects I wanted to finish at the house, so my mind was definitely sidetracked. Actually my mind has been so occupied lately with getting things settled in the house and all of the holidays, that I was still in amazement that I was actually pregnant at all let alone with twins. Sunday morning after Thanksgiving and all company was gone, I told Ryan something felt different and I wanted to get it checked out before he left that evening for four days. When we went in, the dr said I was not dilated but that my cervix was shortening. Not a big deal but, because I was pregnant with twins and still so early, he told me that he wanted me to go to the hospital and get my first dose of steroid shots to help the babies lungs development. I would be monitored for an hour to see if I was having contractions, then return in 24 hrs for my second dose of steroid shots. My mind was racing but I felt a calmness that everything was going to be ok. I was given the shot and monitored then sent home. The contractions were not consistent enough to keep me in the hospital. We went home, had some thanksgiving left overs and took it easy. We put the kids to bed and Ryan and I settled in for a quiet night on the sofa; him watching football and rubbing my feet :), and me laying there thinking of how I wanted to decorate the house for Christmas. We went to bed and I was casually timing my contractions on my phone. They were inconsistent but started to get painful. Then, they were 8 minutes apart one hour and 7 minutes apart the next. I looked at Ryan asleep next to me and decided to call the dr and see what he wanted me to do before I woke Ryan. My dr told me to go strait to the ER. I called Ryan's parents to come watch the girls while we went. By the time we were at the hospital it was about 1:15am. I cried at the front desk when the way too chipper receptionist that was slower than a snail, couldn't find the preregistration form I had filled out online and again the day before. My contractions were starting to hurt really bad by the time I was placed in a hospital bed. The nurse checked me, I was dilated to a 5. They rushed meds into me to try and stop the labor but only minutes later the dr arrived, I was at a 6. I couldn't believe what was happening and when I looked at Ryan who, only moments ago was sound asleep and oblivious to anything, looked shell shocked when they handed him his OR scrubs just in case of a c-section (both babies were feet down)I almost laughed . . . almost. They were trying to hold off the labor for at least 48 hours so I could get enough steroids in my body for the babies lungs to function better at birth. The dr checked me again and said he felt one of the babies feet. While the nurse was putting in the catheter, I felt a gush of water and knew my water had just broke. All heck broke loose, people started showing up telling Ryan to put his OR clothes on. Everyone had their game faces on and an emergency c-section was happening, ready or not. This is where it gets real. I am laying in the OR, holding Ryan's hand, looking at his face because, it's he only thing that wipes everything else away. My body is being opened and tugged on in every direction. I hear a babies cry and see Ryan's face light up. I quickly see a baby rushed by me as they announce Levi's arrival. Then it seemed like forever before they were pulling the second one out. When I saw Ryans face as they pulled Caleb out it didn't light up the same way. He looked at me and took my face in his hands and said "it's in the Lords hands now and we will get through this together". I couldn't see Caleb or hear a cry and maybe it was the drugs or maybe it was an angel around me but I felt a calmness. I was so frustrated I couldn't move or see anything but the fabric draped in front of my face. Ryan watched and told me Caleb was blue and not breathing. They were pressing on Caleb giving him shots and putting tubes down his throat. He was not stable but was after a lot of, work was taking in some oxygen. They wisked both babies away and I only saw two bundles of blanket fly past me. We felt a bit of relief when we were later told that both babies were stable but needed a lot of help from nurses, meds and machines. At that point, things were out of our hands and our prayers were with our new boys. Levi was born on 11/28/11 at 4:16 am, weighing in at 3lbs 6oz and 16.93in long. Caleb was born at 4:19am and weighing in at 3lbs 2oz and 15.75in long. It wasn't until about 2:00pm when I saw my boys again in the NICU. As my sons are laying in their little beds, hooked up to so many monitors, it remind me of my last goodbyes with my son Max. Not being able to hold him like I wanted, but holding his hand and kissing his warm cheek goodbye. Now, not being able to hold my new sons yet, but holding their tiny little hands and kissing them hello. We will never be able to replace our Max, but when I look at these boys, I am reminded of him and the gift from God that they are. Stay tuned for more living . . . *no access to a computer yet to send pictures, but wanted to get the great news out about our little boys. If someone knows how to transfer pics from iPhone to blog let me know, and I will put some up.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

September

September brought cool crisp air and the excitement of the upcoming holidays. But . . . before we could get too much in the holiday mode, there were a couple of people we love, who had birthdays.
Abby, our little artist turned nine. Our birthday tradition is that the birthday boy or girl gets to design their birthday cake all by themselves, no questions asked. This year, Abby wanted Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night." Usually, I do the cake and the end result is a surprise on their birthday. Abby decided this year, she was old enough to help with the cake. We started the cake at about 10 pm the night before her birthday. She wrestled the frosting, sampled some cake pieces, and licked the spoon until about 11:30 pm then, asked with very sleepy eyes if she could go to bed.

We celebrated our sweet Abby's 9th year in the 100 year old barn with family and friends. 






Papa Randy and Abby 


I wish I may, I wish I might . . .

 Belly Bump *note that this is in September :)


Ryan's birthday was soon after Abby's and he chose a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. We had a scrumptious dinner with family. Luckily for us, Nathan and Megan's family was there to join in.


I love these two people!


 
Stay tuned for more living . . .

Thursday, October 13, 2011

August

A lot more happened in August . . .



Charlie decided she wanted to learn how to ride her bike. She literally hopped on her bike and rode off. It's amazing what you can do with a little desire and determination.


The girls started their first day of school. It was a morning full of mixed emotions and tears, but in the end they were brave and realized they really didn't have a choice. :)



Charlie wanted to wear her Lego Star Wars shirt in honor of her brother Max.


We celebrated my dad's 65th birthday. The candles on the cake didn't even begin to describe the warmth and glow that is in my dad's heart. If you have met him or ever will meet him, you will know what I am talking about.


Jared and Kelli had a little boy. It's great living close and being a part of special moments like these.


Abby waited almost 9 months for this little guy to come into the world. She begged to be there soon after the birth so see the cute little guy and capture the moment. She is one proud cousin!


Stay tuned for more living . . .

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's About Time


Remember when I said we were going to have a summer filled with adventure? Well, we did just that! I will make things short and sweet with lots more to come; just like my kisses to my kids. First let's go back to August . . .


El Salvador 2011

Ryan always negotiates some local jewelry for me
   
awesome group
 
cold Coke Zeros
 
dancing with Garrett, aka Frank Sinatra



Stay tuned for more living . . .