Tuesday, December 20, 2011

flock of seagulls

merry christmas from the davis family!

and i know, we are all thinking it...

i didn't realize it until we got them printed out.
at least i love the 80's!

hope everyone has fun this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

oh yesterday...

i fell off the wagon.
and then it turned around and ran over me a few times.

a little background:
    when tj and i moved here and looked in the mirror, we were a little shocked as to what we saw.  after pregnancy, bed rest, the stress of the boys in the nicu, and moving we had acquired a little more wight than we had realized.  we knew we needed a change and not only with our weight but our relationship with food.  so we changed everything in our diet and the weight started coming off and we have never felt better.

fast forward to yesterday:
     i had a large final in anthropology last night, two bored screaming babies, a wreck of a house, a primary meeting, and i was exhausted.  i felt the urge creep up inside and once it started i couldn't stop it.  i went to the cupboard, found some old cake mix and whipped up some cake mix cookie batter and ate half of it.

it wasn't that pretty.

i ended up being sick for the rest of the day, but my final?  Nailed it!!  
bring on my birthday and christmas!  best week of the year.

Monday, December 5, 2011

i'm so good at blogging, i'm thinking about going professional

      after many of my readers told me they missed my entries, i thought i would finally grace you all with my internet presence.  by many readers i mean my friend elise and by entries i mean the one every six months that i churn out and seriously, what would i blog about?  my gourmet dinner i ordered from pizza hut?   how about the cute onsies that i pay my friend brooklyn to make?  i promise i would take photos of the delivery man and the money exchange between me and brooklyn so that it's easier for you to see how i do it.
     if you couldn't tell, i'm kidding and i love looking at those kinds of blogs.  i live vicariously through those women and i pretend that i'm going to sew myself a new dress tonight, but i never do.  after the boys go to bed i sit on the couch with the teejer and watch whatever we have recorded on the dvr and i honestly feel completely fulfilled doing so.  but you ladies who blog, keep it coming because it's women like me that are obsessed with you.  i even commented on one of those blogs the other day and the chick wrote me back wanting to meet me at starbucks for a drink.  i almost passed out, i was so excited.  i never wrote her back though.  i don't want my image of her to be shattered.  she is perfect in my eyes.
    anyway onto what you really want to see.


       look at those little buddies.  they are 7 months old now and so much fun!
       on a more important note
             we have four stockings now for christmas!
              i looked over at the fireplace the other night and thought "whoa, we have a real family going on here."  and no i didn't make those stockings, picked them up at good ol' pottery barn but i'll let visitors think that i did.
            well, merry christmas and happy birthday to me this month.  i'll sign off with more photos of my favorite little men.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nobody likes to get yelled at.

I kind of like it, when its coming from Winston. He doesn't cry. He yells at you. It actually sounds like he is trying to form words. Here is a little example. I brought them into our bed to cuddle with me this morning and when I left the room, sure enough Winston was yelling at me. He gets a little sheepish when he realizes I'm filming. Please notice William displaying his fine thumb sucking skills.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

what's it like having twins?

that's a great question.  it's honestly awesome!
this is happiness my friends    

     while i was pregnant, all i heard was how hard it was going to be and "bless your heart" and  "better you than me".  ya know, that kind of stuff.  i guess i was expecting the worst, so when we brought them home, we were pleasantly surprised. 
     let it be known, our little men are very good boys and that makes it much easier.
     the only thing that kind of bums me out is that i don't feel like i can give them enough one on one time.  i start to feel a little guilty, but what can you do, ya know?
     i think my favorite thing about having twins are peoples' reactions to us.  i feel like santa clause.  we are a stroller full of happiness.  everyone smiles at us and comments on how cute they are.  and when i say everyone, i mean everyone right down to the gangsters with the tear drop tats on their face (i have to admit, i was a little scared).  am i bragging?  yeah.  sorry.  today was fun because a cop stopped us while we were walking into the grocery store and talked to me for a good ten minutes about the boys and when the conversation came to a close he said "you guys just made my day happy".  i guess you could say that taking the boys around town is just my way of giving back.  totally kidding.  kind of.
come on, how can they not make you happy
anyway, it's fun being parents of twins.  never a dull moment and always a baby available to cuddle and love on. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

happy, noisy boys


                    these babies kill me.  i love their fat little faces and their happy smiles.  i never thought i could love anything or anyone this much.  they are my little buddies.  my noisy little buddies.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

we're still here!

       hi everyone.  it's alex again.   if you're not friends with us in real life or on facebook, you're probably wondering what happened to us.  did the boys ever leave the hospital?  did we end up moving to seattle?  here is the update.
william the day before he left the hospital

winston the day before he left the hospital

         what seemed like forever finally ended june 28th. the boys finally left the nicu.  what was so cool was that they left the exact same day!  that never happens!  the nurses were telling us the whole time that the boys will probably go home at different times and we were kinda dreading the whole having one boy at the hospital and one at home.  we kept whispering in their ears to wait for each other and they are very obedient little men.
one of the best days ever!
          the boys are both doing great!  they are getting so big and really starting to interact with us.  here is a photo of them that i took last week.

        we are so in love with them.  so, now we live in seattle.  we moved about five weeks after we were able to take the boys home.  it's been kind of a whirlwind, but we love love love it here.  we have a pretty killer guest bedroom and all visitors are welcome anytime! 
       TJ started work at amazon.com and he likes it.  we were spoiled having him around for four months between graduation and starting his job so it was kind of a bummer when he left for work.
       speaking of change:
             i cut my hair off and bleached it.  whenever i held the boys, and especially when i would put them down in the crib, they would have this death grip on my hair and about the 593,748,990 time that it happened, i was done.  i also think that i didn't realize, while i was on bed rest and during the whole stressful nicu experience, that my hair was now down to my waist.  i looked like a polygamist's wife.  so off it went!  it's so nice.
            so that is the readers digest update on how things are going.  i want to thank everyone again for all of the thoughts and prayers that were sent our way for the boys.  they were felt and i know that they are part of the reason that our boys are doing so well. 
            i will be updating more so that our family can see what we are up to and if you would like to see what we are doing, feel free to come back and visit!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The End is Near!!! (We Hope)

I apologize for the lack of updates over the past few weeks.  I made the huge but necessary mistake of putting a sprinkler system in my backyard, which pretty much ate up all my free time.  It is now done and if any of you ever need help putting in your own sprinkler system please feel free to never call me.  I don't want to ever have to do something like that again.  :-).

So on to the boys.  Let's start with William.

I honestly thought that today I would be writing a post about bringing William home.  Last night the homecare team came and brought us a portable oxygen tank to take him home with and we were rushing to get his nursery put together.  It had been 6.5 days since his last apnea episode and they only need to go 7 days without an episode before being discharged.  However this morning we received a call from one of our great Primary Nurses Katie with the news that William had an "episode" last night.  It was nothing serious, but unfortunately that starts his countdown at 7 days again.  While we are sad he isn't coming home yet, we aren't too disappointed because Winston probably has at least a week left here and it would be even harder to have one baby at home and one in the hospital.  Also we would much rather have him go through an episode at the hospital with his nurses than to freak us out at home.  William's episode was caused by his reflux.  He is having a much more difficult time with reflux than Winston, so they have started him on some prevacid, which has made a huge difference for him.  Hopefully he will be home in 7 days!

They also did an ultrasound on William's kidneys this week to see if there are any anatomical concerns related to the Urinary Tract Infection that he had.  The ultrasound is showing some reflux of urine into his kidneys.  They will confirm this at Primary Children's after he is discharged, but if that is positive then William will probably need to have a surgical procedure in 6-9 months to have the issue corrected.  There is a still a small chance that the test at Primary's will come back negative, but if not then I guess William will have to spend a few days in the hospital in Seattle.  There are much worse things to deal with so we will take it.

On to Winston.

Winston is still a champ with his breathing.  He hasn't had an apnea episode for weeks.  We just need to get him eating like his brother and he will be able to come home.  There are 4 stages of eating that premies have to pass before they can come home.  Winston has been stuck at stage 2 for over a week.  It will take him at least 3 days to go through the other stages once he figures it out.  We are hoping that by some miracle they are able to be discharged on the same day.

Winston also has a slight heart murmur that comes and goes.  Multiple doctors have looked at it and they all feel that it is something he will grow out of.

Both boys have now passed their eye and hearing tests.  They are getting huge (at least to us).   Winston is 5 lbs, 11 oz and William is at 5 lbs, 10 oz.  They are now 6 weeks and 3 days old and almost 37 weeks gestational age.

We are so excited to have them home optimistically in a week :-).

Here are a couple of pictures.  Both boys were held by their Grandparents for the first time this past week.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Week of Firsts

Today marks day 27 in the NICU.  We are down to 40 days until the boy's due dates.  While every day is starting feel a little bit like groundhog day to Alex and I, we love the little "firsts" that we get to experience with William and Winston and we have had a few great ones this week.  

First Urinary Tract Infection
This might not seem like something to celebrate, but we were thrilled to find out this was why William was sick.  Of all of the scary bacteria that he could have been infected with, we will happily deal with a UTI.  He has responded well to his antibiotics and was acting more like himself within a couple of days.  They are going to run a new urine culture today to make sure that the antibiotics he is on has wiped out the infection.  We will have to do a couple of small procedures to make sure it wasn't an anatomical problem with his urethra that caused the infection (since UTIs in boys are much more rare), but he should be fine.  

He is still on a higher level of oxygen than he was before getting sick and is struggling a little bit more to wean himself off of it.  Unfortunately the oxygen being pushed in his nose tends to dry things out.  He has been a little bit stuffy lately and so they have put him in a strange contraption that gives him more humidified oxygen to help him break up what ever is causing him the stuffiness.  It is a clear case they lay over his head.  So I guess for the next couple of days he will be the bubble boy :-).  

First Cribs
As you probably noticed in the photo above, William is in a crib rather than in an incubator.  Our great nurse Brooke surprised us one day this week by having them both setup in their first cribs before we arrived for our morning visit.  They both passed the 4 pound mark, which is when the NICU likes to wean them off of the incubators.  They still need to be bundled up in a couple of blankets and wear a hat to keep their temperatures up, but it makes such a difference in our visits to have such easy access to the little guys.  

First Bath
Probably my favorite thing we have been able to do so far is to give Winston his first bath.  William can't participate yet, because he has been sick and still has an IV in, but he should be able to get one tomorrow when his IV is out.  Winston loved his bath.  Essentially we swaddled him in a fleece blanket and then placed him on a bath pillow in a warm tub of water.  We washed his body by pulling one limb out at a time from the swaddle blanket and washing him while doing some massages.  The boys have a physical therapist who comes to help us with this.  The massaging helps their joints with development.

First Bottle
Both William and Winston have been doing great with their breast feedings with Alex, so they were able to start taking a bottle once a day as well.  I had the honor of giving them their first bottle.  Never thought that would be such a thrill.  

And Finally our First Family Photo!!
We had a great nurse one night this week, who was shocked to learn that we had not had the chance to hold the boys together yet.  She made it her mission to make that happen which was no easy task.  While they boys are in the same room, they are on complete opposite ends of the room and attached to multiple monitors, oxygen, etc.  She was able to move equipment around for us so that we could have them meet up in he middle of the room.  Probably my second favorite moment of this whole experience only after hearing their first little cries. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Small Bump in the Road for William

The boys had been having a great week and I think Alex and I just got comfortable with only hearing good news.  So we were completely caught off guard yesterday when the nurse practitioner called and told us that William was sick.  He had been bradying (sudden heart rate drops) more than normal and his labs came back with high blood platelets and a low white blood cell count and he was just acting like he wasn't feeling well by being really lethargic.  They had sent some of his blood to be checked for bacterial infections, but they also needed our consent to do a spinal tap so they could rule out bacterial meningitis.  Pretty scary.  Every time I hear meningitis I can only think of when my sister Sydney got near-death sick with bacterial meningitis at 10 months old and lost her hearing.  On top of that Alex had a minor sore throat that day so she had to stay away from the NICU.

I hurried down to the hospital and walked in the boy's room just as the nurses were prepping William for the spinal tap.  I pray I never have to have one of those and it was pretty tough to watch your 3 week old premie have to have one.  Luckily for my emotions William didn't cry out at all while they did the procedure, which I guess was more indication that he really isn't feeling very well.  The results from the spinal tap were only going to take a few hours so I stuck around the hospital until they came back.  As a big relief to all of us his spinal fluid was normal so they can rule out meningitis.  We need to wait a few days for his bacterial cultures to come back, so in the mean time they have put him back on an IV and started a 3-day series of antibiotics.  It's also possible that he has just got a viral infection in which case we will just have to wait it out.  To help him breath while he is fighting the bug they have put him back on the high-flow oxygen.

It has been tough seeing him go through his increased brady episodes and desat spells.  Both boys normally do this several times a day, however when healthy they quickly recover on their own and if it weren't for their monitor alarms we probably wouldn't notice.  However since William is sick he just doesn't have the energy to bounce back from the episodes, so the the nurse or us need to help stimulate him to get him back and it is the first time I've visually seen him turn blue.  Kind of a wake up call that as well as Winston and William have been doing they really are still sick and need to be in intensive care.

I'm sure that this will turn out to be just a small bump in their road to them coming home with us.  Despite William being sick they both gained weight last night and Winston passed the 4 pound mark!  William is only two ounces behind him.  This morning William looked visibly better than last night and seemed to have more of his usual energy.  Hopefully he will be doing even better tonight when I stop by to visit them.  And hopefully Alex is feeling better soon so that she can get back to visiting them.

Today marks their 21st day in the NICU.  Only 46 days until their due date!  We can't wait for them to be healthy enough to come home.

William shortly after his spinal tap procedure.  Even when he is sick he his pretty darn cute.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two Weeks Old! - 52 Days until due date

A quick update on Winston and William.  They both are doing great which is mainly why we haven't updated lately.  No news is usually good news as we are learning.

Winston has blown past his birth weight and currently is tipping the scales at a whopping 3 pounds, 11 ounces.  He continues to do amazing off of his oxygen.  He continues on full feeds and they are now adding extra calories to Alex's milk to help him beef up.

William past his birth weight yesterday, but fell back under it tonight.  He currently is weighing 3 pounds 6 ounces.  He is still on a little bit of oxygen and probably will be for a while.  His lungs just weren't quite as developed as Winston's.  He is also on full feeds with extra calories.  He is great at letting us know as soon as he has a wet or messy diaper.

No major tests coming up although they do have their first appointment with the Optometrist tomorrow to see how the blood vessels in their eyes are developing with the oxygen they have been on.

We love coming to visit the boys and take care of them for a few hours each day.  I guess one of the few positives of the whole NICU thing is that we get to ease into the whole parenthood thing.  The boys have also been getting regular visits from their grandparents and their aunts and uncles.  Here are some pics from the past few days:

 Aunt Alex
 Aunt Drew
 Grandma and Grandpa
 Grandma with Winston
 Grandpa with Winston
 A new great grandchild!
 Aunt Sydney
 William spooning
Winston just chilling with his pacifier

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lots of good news - 57 Days until due date

It has been a lot of good news this week.  We officially crossed the 1 week mark in the NICU which I think will always be a blur in our minds.  Both of us said that yesterday felt like the first semi-normal day for us since they were born so that is good.

The boys have both been doing so well this week.  We keep bracing ourselves for a down day, but so far we couldn't be happier.  We are so glad that they didn't have any major setbacks in this first critical week.  Both boys are off of their antibiotics and up to full feeds through their feeding tubes.  That means that both of their IV's were able to be removed.  This is great for them because it greatly reduces their chances of infection while in the hospital.  All of their blood cultures have come back normal which means the antibiotics did their job.  Whatever was keeping William's white blood cell count low seems to be gone.

Both of the boys have been consistently gaining weight every day now.  It's not much but they are adding about 10 grams per day.  Winston is only .5 ounces away from reaching his birth weight.  William is stil about 3 ounces away.  The next milestone with their weight is to get them to 1800 grams (about 4 pounds) which will allow them to be taken out of their isolets (incubators) so they can start attempting to maintain their own body temperature.  With William at 1470 grams and Winston at 1520 grams and them currently only gaining 10-20 grams per day it is going to take some time to get to that point.

They are also both breathing really well.  In fact today Winston got taken off of all oxygen support completely!!  William is only a couple of days behind his older brother.  It's amazing to see them go from being fully intubated to off oxygen in only 10 days.  They may need some oxygen support when they start oral feedings as it is a big workout for them to learn how to eat, swallow, and breath all at once.

William's billyrubin levels have also dropped on their own without the lights, so hopefully he won't have to sit under the lights anymore.

We love our visits with the boys and I am already having dreams about taking them home.  Last night I had a dream that the mailman delivered Winston to us wrapped in paper.  He came to the door and had me sign for him.  I was so excited to get him and the whole process seemed completely normal.  I then was panicked because we haven't even bought a crib for them yet.  I guess I better start working on that :-).

 William all swaddled up
 Winston free of his oxygen
Winston asleep on his tummy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Huge Sigh of Relief!

We spent most of yesterday extremely anxious to find out about the boy's head ultrasounds that would tell us how much bleeding in their brain had taken place with their premature birth. We waited all day for it to be read only to be told we probably wouldn't find out until the next day. We left the hospital to get some dinner and when we returned the new night nurse was giving us a brief update and ended by nonchalantly saying "oh and by the way their head ultrasounds came back completely normal." After asking exactly what that meant we found out it means that there was no bleeding or at least if there was bleeding that it didn't leave any damage to their developing brains!!! I can't tell you how grateful we are.

While the boys will be in the NICU for weeks to come while they grow, get off oxygen, and learn to eat knowing that their brains are and will continue to develop normally takes the world off our shoulders. Thank you to all of our family and friends who were praying and fasting for them while we found this out.

To celebrate, the boys got their first shampoo job to wash out the gel that was used on their heads for the ultrasound.

Winston getting his spa treatment
William with a clean head of hair

Their Grandpa and Grandma Dunn also came by to visit with them:
 Grandma Dunn and Alex with Winston
 Grandpa Dunn helping William hold his pacifier
William with a new set of designer shades and his pacifier.  Hopefully he will be done with the lights today.