Pretty good day

>> Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We more or less stayed the same today on Kamryn's ventilator settings which means we didn't take any steps back. The only negative today was with feeds. There were some issues last night and this morning when she spit up a small amount of the feeds so they decided to cut them off completely for a little while. I think they will start again tomorrow with 1ml/hr and work up from there taking it a little slower.

Kamryn is still a little swollen and I thought this would work itself out a little faster than it has. She is still peeing great, but she just hasn't been able to get all of it out of her. She is gaining weight and hit the 8 pound mark today!! Her blood gases are really good, but just not quite good enough to wean yet. I think that will happen tomorrow if the 4:00am gases look good.

Our primary nurses rock! I mean we have been blessed by a rock solid team who just adore Kamryn. Gretchen went out and got her some little socks and hats the other day to accessorize her! Kamryn looks really cute with them on. Traci and Monica have been such a comfort to us. I told Traci today that the three of them have allowed us to sleep at night because we know they are in such great hands. We are a little bummed that Traci is going on vacation and won't be back until Wed next week. We are going to miss her greatly, but she deserves a break! Here is the latest note that Monica made for Hollie as they continue to trade notes back and forth.

Kamryn has adjusted well to the new placement of her stomach tube. They moved it from her mouth to her nose and I think she prefers it there if it has to be in.

I think that is about it. I hope tomorrow I can report some positive movement on the vent settings!

Have a great evening!


Back in the right direction!

>> Monday, June 29, 2009

It's been a very positive couple of days and we couldn't be more proud of our little girl. She's back to kicking some CDH butt! The medical team has taken her back down to 22 on her peak pressure. To put this in context, she was at 20 just before surgery and was up to 30 for a couple of days after surgery. One of the targets will be to get this peak down to the mid teens before we can take her off the vent. She is definitely making progress! All of her blood gases over the past couple of days have been great and her carbon dioxide levels have been holding steady in the 50's. We like them in the 50's, can tolerate them in the 60's, and need a new plan if they are in the 70's. They have taken the arterial line out of her ankle because it was clotting a bit. This is actually good because it is one less tube and one less possible source of infection. Bad part is they have to stick her in the heal to get blood each time now.

We started her out on 1ml/hr of breast milk yesterday. This is really next to nothing, but a start. She did so well holding it down they went to 4ml/hr and she seems to be doing fine with that. I think we can conclude that her stomach is indeed working fine at this point!

We are so happy to have Monica and Tracy back with Kamryn in the NICU. Monica is her primary nurse for the evenings along with Gretchen and Tracy is he primary day nurse. Tracy moved Kamryn to her stomach today and she slept in that position for hours. It's the first time since birth she hasn't been on her back and she loved it! I just walk in there everyday and count our blessings for the nursing staff. They are just amazing to Kamryn and to us. We found out today that our Neonatologist that has been directing Kamryn's care since she was born is off service starting tomorrow. We should meet the new doctor tomorrow. Definitely a little nervous about this change, but keeping an open mind. We have been assured that he is wonderful.

Stef's sister, Jennifer, is in town for a few days and we are so excited. They actually just left to go up to the hospital to see Kamryn.

Well, that's about it for today. We are in good spirits and Kamryn is moving in the right direction! Here's some pictures from yesterday. Talk to you all tomorrow.



Just my thouhgts.

>> Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hi everyone, it's Stephanie. What a rollercoaster we have been through, and the girls are only 11 days old. Shawn has done an amazing job of keeping y'all updated. He's also been amazing with helping me at home with Brooke and Hollie. He's a fabulous Daddy and I'm so proud that he's my husband.

Yesterday, I took a break from going to see Kamryn. It was the longest day of my life. I tried to stay busy with Brooke while Hollie was at the water park, and Shawn was at the hospital. I took Brooke to the grocery store with me, and she did so great. It was fun to watch people ooh and aah over her. I just wanted to scream out to everyone, HER TWIN IS IN THE NICU AND SHE WILL BE COMING HOME TO BE WITH US!!!! All I do all day long is look at Brooke and wonder if she feels the same void that we feel by not having Kamryn here at home with us.

Like Shawn said, going up to the hospital and watching her look into your eyes, as if she's pleading for your help, is so difficult. Although, I told Shawn last night, maybe she's looking at us and saying, "I'm fighting hard, just like you told me to". Seeing Shawn post yesterday, I could tell he was hurting. I went over to him and asked if he was okay and that was the first time I'd seen him break down and cry. We just held each other and cried. We both feel so helpless. And then of course, Brooke started fussing... This emotional rollercoaster seems to get harder and harder, and I truly expected it to get easier and easier for some strange reason. I guess the more she comes off of her meds, the more she looks and acts like Brooke.

It amazes me that we have Brooke on a schedule already, and she's such a great baby. She's so easy to care for, and she only wakes up 1-2 times at night. But, I have to wonder, would Kamryn be the same way? Would she sleep right along with her sister? Would she wake up when Brooke wakes up? Would she cry, when Brooke cries? I wonder what it WILL be like having two infants to take care of here at the house. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that stress and hard work. I long for it. I just feel like I'm getting farther and farther away from that. Yesterday was the first time I truly wondered if she was coming home or not... But, we called late last night and she had 2 really good gases, and we are taking some of my breast milk up there today for her to munch on. I'm so anxious to see how she does with it.

That's all for me for now. Hollie's going swimming with a friend today, while Shawn and I go up to the hospital to visit Kamryn. I can't wait to see her and hold her hand again. We'll take some more pictures and post them tonight.



Holding on to hope....

>> Saturday, June 27, 2009

First, let me apologize for not posting yesterday. We have invited all of you into our lives and know so many of you are walking with us daily as best you can from a far. I fell down on my responsibility to all of you yesterday by not posting and for that I apologize. I made myself a promise to not leave you all hanging and I won't going forward.

I didn't post anything yesterday because I am honestly a bit overwhelmed right now. Our little girl has been so strong, but she has stalled out on progress. The medical team has been trying different strategies to get over this hump, but haven't had success. I asked them today, maybe begged is a more appropriate word, to just chill out on jacking with her. They wanted to try feeding today. I appreciate that the longer we wait to feed, the harder it will be for her to feed. I get that, but I also know that she is stressed right now and if she rejects the feeding, it will only add to her unstable condition. I haven't interjected on any strategy up to this point, but I couldn't hold back today. I begged to just let my baby rest today and get back on track in the right direction and I think he saw my pain and agreed.

Kamryn isn't as sedated as she has been in the past. This is good to have her moving around as it will help her get rid of some of the fluid and work the muscles she will need to breathe on her own one day. At the same time, she becomes more aware of the tubes down her throat. She wants them out so badly. She tugs at them and looks at me for help. I'm her dad and am supposed to protect her. I am supposed to take the pain and discomfort away and I want to just pull them out. I feel like I am letting her down because I won't help her. When she looks right at me, it feels like she is asking why her daddy won't lift his hand to get her out of there. I spent most of my time explaining to her why I couldn't help and we need her to keep fighting. It was the first day I've shed a tear since all of this started. I'm tired and the journey has only just begun.

Let me assure everyone that we haven't really taken steps backwards, we are just not moving forward really. We're just stuck. There is some good news to report. She has had a couple more bowel movements. Her heart ECHO yesterday was completely normal and this was the first ECHO that showed her pulmonary pressure has come down. She is off her dopamine which means she is holding her blood pressure steady all by herself. We have though been moved out of the isolation room which I am not crazy about.

So the gameplan today is to let her rest, try to get her numbers back in line, and then tomorrow see where we go from here.

We are still eating the unbelievable food that our friend Jackie made for us when she came to visit for a few days and help out with EVERYTHING! Last night our neighbors came over with a small pink bucket and inside were gift cards to different places that looked like flowers coming out of the bucket. We were just stunned with their generosity. Our good friends Scott and Amanda are in town to visit and they took Hollie to the water park today with their daughter Jaycee. We are going to hang out with them tonight at the house and we are really looking forward to that. Next week our Sunday school class will be coming by to bring us food and it will be great visiting with them each night. We really can't get over the kindness and generosity of our friends and family. They have just been amazing to us. It's overwhelming to receive this much support and we would be a disaster right now without all of it.

We continue to hold out hope that Kamryn works this out and gets over the hump very soon. I hope I have a great report for everyone tomorrow.

Thank you for the continued support and prayers for our little princess!



Kamryn Pooped & Pictures!

>> Thursday, June 25, 2009

No, not pictures of the poop but random pictures that we thought you all would enjoy. Kamryn is doing very good again today and she pooped! Her bowels woke up! She is just fighting her way through the CDH challenges and continues on a positive trend. I think we are about to start testing the waters a little bit more to see how she does. I think the next couple of days will be more eventful.

Brooke had a big day today with her first Pediatrician visit. She did fantastic and the doctor said she looked great. Lungs sound totally clear!

Today, we received a pretty amazing package. A whole turkey, fruits, nuts, cookies, etc... We are extremely grateful for this, as it helps us spend more time with the girls in these first few weeks. However, we're not sure who it's from. Please let us know if this is from you. We would like to thank you appropriately.

Our fabulous NICU nurses continue to be such a blessing to both Kamryn and our entire family. We continue to trade notes between Kamryn and Hollie each day. Here are the two most recent. These ladies in the Parkland NICU are just amazing to us!

This picture is just before surgery and it is my favorite of Stef and Kamryn.

Another one of my beautiful girls, Brooke.

Our incredible surgeon, Dr. Megison, explaining how well the surgery went.

Dr. Megison putting everything in the right place inside Kamryn.

And our little girl's heroes, Dr. Trylovich and Dr. Zaretsky. I believe these are the most phenomenal OB docs in the country. I am sure I am pontificating about something here and driving them both crazy.....

And finally, Ms. Kamryn with her bow on.

Have a great night everyone,


Kamryn is such a fighter!

>> Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I couldn't be more proud of my little girl and her determination to beat CDH! She has again gone down on her peak pressure and is now at 25. She was at 30 just a couple of days ago and she gets a lot less agitated now when she is moved or touched. We need to get these peak pressures down to around 15 before we can look at graduating to the CPAP breathing assistance. There are other things that will need to happen, but that is one of the big targets. We can hear bowel sounds today and her lungs sound much more clear. The chest x-rays show her heart shifting a little more to the center of her chest and her right lung is inflating more. Each day this gets a little better and we couldn't be more happy!

The NICU nurses continue to be absolutely wonderful to Kamryn and to our family. Each day, Hollie writes a letter to Kamryn and attaches a picture that they put up above her bed. Then, they write a letter back to Hollie with a picture. It makes Hollie feel so good and helps tremendously since she is not allowed in the NICU at all. Here is today's letter from Kamryn. How cool is this?

I just can't say enough about the entire medical team up there at Parkland. Just amazing!

Stef and I have a big night planned. We are going up to the hospital to see our little girl and then we are going out to have a date! Jackie is watching Brooke and we are going to get to go to dinner together and try to relax for just a couple hours. We are really looking forward to it.

Well, that's about it for today. Kamryn keeps on fighting and your thoughts and prayers are getting her and us through this journey each day. We appreciate all of you so very much!

Take care,


Positive trend continues

>> Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We are happy to report that we are back into a positive trend. The improvements with Kamryn today were small, but we will take it. I had the first shift today and Kamryn spent the entire time awake and eyes wide open. It is amazing to watch her look around the room. I can only wonder what she is thinking. She stares at the tubes coming out of her mouth and I just get a sense that she knows this isn't right. She tugs at her stomach tube and I just want to pull it out for her. I know it's necessary, but it isn't comfortable for my little girl and it breaks my heart to see her like that. I know she is heavily sedated, but it is just so hard to watch.

I need to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the Parkland NICU nurses and doctors. They are, without a doubt, simply amazing people and medical professionals. Regardless of Kamryn's outcome, I will know in my heart that Kamryn is in the best hands possible and that our medical team has done everything that can and should be done to save her life. Each of them are sincerely interested in making sure we have every question answered and spend so much time explaining the current strategy. I can honestly say we haven't met a single nurse or doctor that we aren't 100% confident in. I spent a number of hours today with her nurse Tracy who I can tell just loves our little girl so much. She is so sweet and compassionate and I feel really confident when I leave the NICU. You can't put a price on that feeling. We have spent time with so many nurses and doctors who have been absolutely incredible, but it is nice to start seeing the same people assigned for numerous shifts. Stef took the second shift and Gretchen was there for another night shift. Gretchen let Stef change Kamryn's diaper and brush her gums. Stef walked through the door tonight on top of the world. That was the first real physical interaction we have had with our little girl since she was born.

Brooke has proved to be a very easy baby (lets hope that continues). It's been so fun taking care of her although I am having to re-learn everything. She really is exactly like Hollie was when she was a baby. We are excited to have Jackie, one of Stef's very best friends from Houston, staying with us this week. It has been terrific for Stef and she is so helpful.

Well, that's the update for tonight. Hoping for more positive steps tomorrow!

Have a great evening everyone!


First Day Home!!!

Hi everyone. As you know, I'm FINALLY home. I can't even begin to tell you how good it feels to sleep in my own bed.

Yesterday afternoon and evening were especially hard though. Bringing Brooke home was an incredible feeling. Although, it was just so hard to leave Kamryn behind. I hated that a piece of me was still left there in that hospital. Although, the nurses that are watching after her day and night are nothing short of amazing, so I know that she is in good hands. Shawn called up there late last night and she was still doing amazingly well.

My pain as of last night was still pretty intense. It has been hard to walk, sit up, stand up and sit back down. It was so hard being home, and not really being able to do anything. Depressing, actually. We fed Brooke and changed Brooke at about 10:30pm, and then it was lights out. Of course, Brooke and Shawn (and Hollie - she HAD to sleep with us last night) were snoozing away, and I was scared to death to go to sleep. I was afraid the cat would jump in the cradle, or I was afraid that Brooke would cry and I wouldn't wake up. Well, she slept all the way to 2:30 and finally started to stir a little bit. I got up with her, changed her, fed her and put her right back down. She slept til about 6:00 or 6:30. Just like her big sister, she's a fabulous sleeper. Shawn got up with her, and let me sleep until 9:30. I'm a happy camper. I'm especially happy, b/c my pain is so much better today. I can finally walk around without looking like a hunch back. I can't tell you what a relief that is.

Shawn is on his way to the hospital to check on Kamryn. My friend Jackie is on her way in town to stay with me for a few days. She and I are going to go up there tonight to see Kam. I can't wait to see my baby. I miss her so much.

Shawn has been a TREMENDOUS help for me. He's done so much. He did all the laundry before I got home. Since we've been home, he's been helping out with Brooke so much. Feeding her, changing her, sterilizing bottles, getting bottles ready, etc. I can't tell you how lucky and blessed I feel right at this very moment to have him. He's done so much more than I ever could have asked for. I'm so thankful!!!

I also wanted to let everyone know how thankful I am for all their texts, emails and blog responses. I am just now getting around to reading them, and responding. It may take me a while to get to yours, but I just want you to know that I appreciate them so very much. It's so nice to have such wonderful friends and family in my life who care so much.

Shawn will update tonight with a Kamryn update. Love to you all.

Love, Stef


Brooke is home!!

>> Monday, June 22, 2009

It has been a wonderful day full of many blessings for us. First, Kamryn is doing much better after giving us a bit of a scare. You know there are going to be setbacks along the way, but until the first one happens I don't think you are truly prepared to handle them. We went 5 days of nothing but incredible news exceeding everyone's expectations and then a small setback felt like the world was caving in on us. It was tough last night seeing the other ventilator sitting just outside her door waiting to be used if necessary. I know if it is needed, we have maxed out the other ventilator and risk blowing out her fragile lung tissue. I am happy to report the other vent has not been plugged in and is still sitting there! They have sedated her which I think is great because she seems to be so sensitive to stimulation. Her poor little body needs to focus on one thing and she just isn't good at multitasking yet. This should give her some time to get rid of the excess fluid and allow her lungs to get more developed. We have gone down from 30 to 27 on the peak pressure and her blood work is looking much better. She is still swollen, but she had her eyes open for us this morning.

We had a huge milestone today as we were able to bring Brooke home. It was actually harder than I had anticipated as I felt like I was abandoning my other daughter. The emotions really start to jack with you at times. I rationalized that Kamryn needed her rest, Stef needed to get out of there and so did Brooke. It is just hard to be overly happy about bringing your child home when you know you have left one there. Here is Brooke getting ready to be discharged.

And here is our little girl home with her big sister Hollie.

It's been tough on Hollie because of the ban on children under 12 from the NICU. This is the first time Hollie has really seen her sister so it was fun to watch her with Brooke. She feels like such a big girl taking care of her little sister.

Well, basically it was a great day getting Brooke home, we are back on track trending upwards with Kamryn, and Stef is out of the hospital.

I'll have more updates pictures tomorrow!



A little bump in the road...

>> Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sure enough, I leave to finally come back to the house and I am not home for 10 minutes and get a call from the NICU. Kamryn's crit numbers are low and they want to give her another transfusion. Apparently everything else is totally fine and her numbers look good except for this one thing. She is currently getting the blood and will for the next 4 hours. I don't think this is any big deal at this point, but we will see how she does through the night.

Stef was able to nurse Brooke a couple times today and we changed a number of diapers. She is jaundice right now, but we think she will be good enough to come on home tomorrow along with Stef. That will be a big day for sure.

The plan for tomorrow is to bring two of my girls home and maybe start pushing Kamryn a little to see how she does. She is still swollen from the surgery, but she is peeing really well. That should get her swelling down in a few days. I will let you all know tomorrow how she does after getting the blood tonight.

I am finally able to post pictures and I decided to put them into a slideshow because there are so many of them. I tried my best to put them in order of how things progressed so far.

Our families have been unbelievable the past couple of weeks. Stef's family went back home and we really can't thank them enough for all they have done to help us and take care of Hollie. My mom has been such a help with Hollie for the past couple of weeks. There is no way we could have done this without you all! You all are simply amazing and we appreciate and love you all so much!

Angel, thanks so much for taking care of the pets for the past couple of weeks! It has kept my stress level down more than you know! Also, I came home today and my lawn was mowed and totally taken care of to my complete surprise. I am not sure who did that, but please let me know. I can't thank you enough for helping with that. What a gift!



Another good night

Good morning everyone! We had a milestone today that I couldn't wait to share with everyone. Brooke is officially in the CCN which is the lowest level of care in the NICU. She is off all lines and even monitors at this point. She is jaundice at this point so they are keeping her today, but she will be going home tomorrow. We are so excited to bring her home with us. Looks like Stef will be going home tomorrow also. Stef's pain is still a little high when she walks, but it is getting better.

Kamryn continues to do great and she had a very uneventful night. They went up from 24 to 25 on her positive pressure ventilation overnight, but that isn't a big jump. Her carbon dioxide level has moved back up into the high 60's so they need to work a little today to get that down. It appears her vent tube was a little low after they took x-rays so they moved it back up a little bit and that should correct the problem. The rest of her numbers all look great. She has one more day of rest and then they might start pushing her a little to see how she reacts. She continues to just work through everything and remains in the best state we could have ever hoped for. She has really blown us away with her progress.

We are going down soon to spend the morning with them and will update everyone tonight. I may go home tonight and stay there and if I do I will post a lot of pictures.

Take care and happy father's day to all the dads out there,


Our girls are doing fantastic!

>> Saturday, June 20, 2009

It has been a rather boring day around here in the NICU and we will take all the boring days we can get. Kamryn slowly needs less pressure and oxygen to keep her saturated between 95% and 100% and her blood gases are all fantastic. They were able to keep the carbon dioxide down to the low 50's which is very good news. They still have her on a lot of pain meds, but she is moving around more and opened her eyes for Stef today. We are all just blown away with how well she is doing. I think they are going to give her one more day to recover from the surgery and then start to push her a little bit to see what she can handle. This little girl is a fighter!

Brooke is doing so well also and tonight she will graduate to the lowest level NICU. We are really excited about this as there is a chance she could be discharged tomorrow. She is a little jaundice, but that's normal. Stef has been breastfeeding her today and she changed two diapers today. It will be a huge milestone for us to take one of these babies home with us.

I get so nervous because we have 4 unbelievable days. We really couldn't have scripted them any better and I get anxious that something is going to change with that. We are still remaining cautiously optimistic because we know the trend could change at anytime. She still has a long and difficult journey ahead of her.

There is a chance that Stef will be discharged tomorrow and if we make it home I will post a lot of pictures from this week. I can't wait for you all to see them!

Take care and we will have an update tomorrow morning.



We had a good night

We went to bed around 1:00am and just had a sick feeling in my stomach. I knew Kamryn was struggling after the surgery and the medical team was working so hard to get her numbers back to the good range. Besides doing procedures, that was the first time her room was really busy with activity. There were 5 or 6 people from the medical team pouring over her chart, tweaking the vent, checking her blood gases, hooking up blood pressure meds, etc. Honestly, I wimped out last night and had to leave or I would have gone crazy.

I made that walk down the long halls to the NICU this morning and my stomach was turning. It's always an anxious walk because you don't know what news you are going to get. Each time we have received fantastic news, but this time was a little different because I saw her struggling last night. One of the doctors smiled at me when I turned the corner and approached her room and I think he knew I was anxious. That was his way of telling me, as soon as possible, that we actually had a good night and I could breathe. What a relief! Kamryn's vent is down a little bit, blood pressure is up to normal, oxygen saturation is fantastic, blood gases look very good and her carbon dioxide is down in the 50's vs. the 70's which is huge progress. Today and tomorrow will be all about letting her body rest so the vent will stay up higher than it has been over the past couple days. No need to test or push her at this point. She is a little swollen right now which we expected, but she is peeing like a champ and is working the fluids out really well. She is back to her positive trend!

Brooke is also doing so well. They took her IV out last night so she is officially disconnected. I was able to feed her last night around 11:30 and she did fantastic. We can officially say she is not a worry at this point and I really think she will be discharged from the NICU tomorrow.

Stef is still in a lot of pain and discomfort. We thought she might be out tomorrow, but I'm not so sure now. No need to rush it so we will see how the rest of the day goes.

I'm off to get some breakfast. I will definitely give everyone an update this afternoon on all of the girls.



Out of surgery

>> Friday, June 19, 2009

I am so happy to be able to report that Kamryn is out of surgery and she sailed through the procedure. She actually didn't go into surgery until around 7:00 tonight so it has been a very long day. The doctor said they didn't have a single complication or issue and he wished all surgeries went that smooth. It seemed like the longest hour and a half of our life, but we couldn't be happier having that procedure past us.

For those of you who want to know the details, here is what we found out. There was actually none of the liver up. As expected, the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and some of the intestines were up in the chest. The actual hole in the diaphragm was somewhat significant and they did have to repair it with a patch. There just wasn't enough muscle to stretch across. The good news is the hole was no where near her lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The surgeon was able to see muscle completely surrounding it. This is significant because this sphincter muscle works like a one way valve to control reflux. If the hole would have been around the LES, there is a greater chance of having future reflux issues. She could still have issues with reflux in the future, but this hopefully will minimize that chance. The anesthesiologist remarked a couple of times that Kamryn tolerated the surgery very well and they hardly had to do anything with the ventilator.

Kamryn is back in the NICU and starting her second honeymoon period. There is no telling where she will go over the next 24 hours and there is a chance that the trend could go down from here. Her initial blood test didn't come back good on her stats so they are adjusting settings to try and get things worked out. I'm heading back down to check on her. I think we will get a better picture in the morning of how well she tolerated the surgery.

Brooke continues to do great and has graduated to a new room in the NICU with less supervision. My guess is that she will get out on Sunday (we hope). Stef is doing much better, but she is exhausted and about ready for bed. I'm off to the NICU to check on the girls.

Thanks for all the prayers and support as they continue to help so much!



Surgery is today

Ok, my gut was wrong as they have scheduled surgery for today. Kamryn will be transferred to Children's Medical Center within the next couple of hours and hopefully the surgery will be complete by late afternoon. I will update everyone tonight on how it went.

We welcome all prayers today as this is definitely a risky step and many complications can come from this event. More later... We are rushing down to the NICU right now.



Day 3 - Off to a great start

We just continue to be amazed by these little warriors we have. Kamryn did in fact have a blood transfusion last night and it helped her crit get back up to the mid 40's. This is great news and she definitely needed that help. Amazingly, they are talking about surgery today if the heart echo looks good. They are actually doing that echo as I type and we have signed the surgery consent forms. Kamryn could get even better in the days to come, but she could also get worse. While there could be a better time for surgery, when she is in a pretty good condition they need to sieze the opportunity. Today may be that time although my gut tells me the echo is going to show significant shunting of blood and a high amount of hypertension which could delay it a while. Hopefully I am wrong. The bottom line is Kamryn had a great night and is exceeding expectations. Her trend has been nothing but good from day 1 and she continues to overcome everything in her way. She is nothing short of amazing and I couldn't be more proud of my little girl!

I was able to hold Brooke for about 20 minutes this morning and she just slept the entire time in my arms. She is kicking butt also as she is now off of her CPAP assistance so she is breathing room air with no problem and is keeping her blood saturated with oxygen all by herself. We think the orogastric tube will come out today and Stef may be able to breast feed her!! What a milestone that would be.

I am really just on top of the world right now with everything. I really don't know that we could have asked for anything more and definitely didn't expect things to go this well. We know everything could change in a minute, but the trends don't indicate that will be the case.

Hollie was up here yesterday, but she still hasn't been able to see her sisters. They have a ban on children in the NICU due to the swine flu. We hope they will make an exception at some point even for 5 minutes. Hollie is really handling everything well. We have 3 really amazing children now that I am so proud of.

Stef just got out of the shower - another milestone!! We are going to try walking around the halls this morning until noon when we can go see our girls again in the NICU.

If they take Kamryn to surgery this morning we will update the blog and if not, we will have an update this afternoon for everyone.

Thanks so much for the thoughts, prayers, and support. It's all working so well for these girls!

Take care


Day 2 in the NICU

>> Thursday, June 18, 2009

First, thanks to my sister-in-law's sister, Christina, for making the button on the left column of the blog. She did an amazing job with it and we appreciate her so much!

I FINALLY got to see my daughters today. After more than 24 hours of having them, I was able to be wheeled down to the NICU. First stop, Kamryn… Oh, she’s such a doll. She’s doing so well. I’ll let Shawn fill you in on her stats. But, her color is beautiful. She’s pink and perfect. While Shawn was behind me talking with the nurse about her stats, I was busily looking her over, and admiring how much she looks like Hollie did when she was born. It’s so neat to see the similarities. Her hair is a little darker than Hollie’s was, but they really do look alike. I can’t wait to hold her. Her little chest is pumping away, but she’s doing so well. Again, I’ll let Shawn fill you in on those details.

Next, onto Brooke. Oh My!!!! She’s a chunky monkey. All the nurses are asking me how it felt having both of them together in my belly. Just to give you a frame of reference, Brooke weighs the exact same as Hollie did when I delivered her at 41 weeks. 7 pounds and 14 ounces. Plus Kamryn’s 6 pounds, 6.6 ounces. Anyway, Brooke’s little cheeks are just so chunky and cute. I got to hold her too. She was just so sweet. I could see her eyes trying so hard to focus on my face. It was such an amazing moment to share with her. I’ve been back down to see her one last time before I went to bed, but I didn’t get to hold her this time.

I’m doing better. The pain was so intense in recovery. It took the nurses and doctors a long time to get it under control. And once I got into my room, the nurse that I had was lacking any sense of urgency. So, once again, my pain got ahead of me, and it took them all night to get it back under control. Never mind the fact that we couldn’t understand a word that she spoke. So frustrating!!!! But, I’m doing a lot better today and starting to feel the pain meds kick in for the night. I’m going to hand the laptop over to Shawn to update y’all on the girls.

Brooke is doing great and is still on room air levels with her CPAP. I expect them to take her off assistance tomorrow because she is doing so well. Kamryn is really surprising everyone. Given her initial scans and images in utero, no one expected her to be doing this well after her 24 hour honeymoon period. They were finally able to get a PICC line into her arm for meds and nutrition and her oxygen setting is in the mid 20% range which is really low. Ventilator setting has been pulled back because the CO2 levels are getting easier to control. Actually, the surgeons said that if her echo would have been just a bit better, they would have talked about surgery today just a day after she was born which is incredibly fast. They are actually talking about surgery tomorrow if she continues to do this good or possibly Monday. The only problem she currently has are with her hematocrits (crits) which are in the low 30’s. Basically, this means she will need a blood transfusion tonight or tomorrow before any surgery can happen.

We are taking one day at a time, but we have now won day 1 and 2 and are ready for day 3!

Shawn and Stephanie


Pictures of our girls

We finally have some pictures of our girls to share with everyone thanks to my brother. The firewall here is preventing me from making the slideshows or uploading pictures. I am about to go ballistic :)

The pictures are on the right hand side of the screen and were taken yesterday of the girls in the NICU. Hopefully we will be able to get some more today when we see them. We have to wait until noon to go down to the NICU, but I think Stef is going to be able to make it down there. Her pain is much better today and she has been up walking around a couple times.

She did want me to tell everyone that has tried to contact her that she will be getting in touch soon. She has just been hurting so bad that it is hard to talk or do much of anything.

From what we heard earlier both girls are still the same and stable which was great news. It was a totally uneventful night so we are praying that today remains the same way.

I'll post again this evening to let you all know how things are going.



What a day!!

>> Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Exactly 12 hours ago I walked through the front door of the hospital and am just now able to take a break. It's been quite a day.

I need to take a minute to thank our medical team today as they were nothing short of amazing. We had 27 people in the room (not including Stef and I) at one point and two photographers taking pictures of everything. I hope to post some really great pictures of the delivery once they get them to me. I especially want to thank Dr. Trylovich and Dr. Zaretsky. I watched every second of the c-section and they were an amazing team. I am so impressed with their knowledge and skill and I hope they both know how much they have touched our lives.

Stef is doing so much better with the pain at this point. We had a difficult time getting it under control early on, but it is now more tolerable. We didn't get moved out of recovery and into a room until 3:00, but Stef's world is much better now in a comfortable bed. She has slept most of the afternoon and deserves some rest. She has truly been a unbelievable today!

Honestly, the biggest surprise today has been Brooke. She has some liquid on her lungs and it is either an infection or she aspirated on some of the fluid during delivery. She has been on antibiotics today in case it is an infection. It looks like she will continue to be on the CPAP assistance for breathing for a couple days and then be able to come home. It's not a big deal at all, we just can't hold her like we thought we would be able to (I actually did get to hold her for 5 minutes today which was awesome).

Kamryn has done fantastic today given everything she is facing. She's kicking some CDH butt right now. Basically she is on gentle ventilation with an oxygen setting of 24%. Room air contains 21% oxygen so this is actually quite low. They have to keep the ventilator setting higher than you would expect with the low oxygen level to get the CO2 out of her system. While this second setting is higher than you would expect, we are totally within an acceptable range. She does have a high level of pulmonary hypertension, but not a huge surprise with her lung volume. She has maintained oxygen saturation levels in the 90% range for most of the day and I have watched it remain steady at 100% for periods of time. We want this to stay above 85% so she is doing great! The chest x-rays don't show any pnuemothorax as initially suspected and her bowels are working because she gave us a nice poopy present this afternoon!! She also opened her eyes for the first time around 5:00!

So, Kamryn won round 1 today and exceeded everyone's expectations. We remain cautiously optimistic as we know this could change at any minute. We are ready for round 2 tomorrow and expect she will win once again.

Stef and I wish we could thank each one of you individually as you all have supported us so much through this journey and so much today. The emails, voicemails, texts, and comments on the blog have been amazing. I just can't tell you how wonderful it is to hear from you all. We got all the messages and will be reaching out soon I promise.

I will update everyone tomorrow on round 2 or if anything develops. More to come tomorrow including pictures!



In the NICU

Hey everyone,

Wanted to update where we are at:

Brooke is in the NICU right now because of some fluid on the lungs which caused her breathing to be a bit labored. We have now found out that she has pneumonia which is not entirely uncommon with a c-section. They have her on antibiotics and will stay in the NICU for a couple days. Weren't expecting this, but it's not anything to get excited about.

Kamryn weighed 6 pounds 6.8 ounces. She is in the NICU and on ventilation right now. We are on the gentle ventilators right now which is what we want and we have some room to play if she needs more oxygen. For CDH families: Pre-ductal sat in the 80's and going into the 90's from time to time. PH at 7.09. Will get ventilator setting a little later.

They are having trouble with getting one of the lines in right now and are doing x-rays to see if there is a pnuemothorax (hole in the lung). Bottom line on Kamryn is that things could be a lot worse, but they could be better. We will have to see how she trends over the next few hours. More updates to come a bit later and I will try to send pictures soon.

Stef is doing good right now and is in recovery. She asleep and will be in there for a couple more hours before going to her room. It's kind of crazy up here so hopefully tonight I can paint a more clear picture of where we are at.



Babies are here!

Hi Everyone!

Just got off the phone with Shawn. He sounded really really good. He said Stef was doing great and is now in recovery! He said Kamryn cried when she was born which is a really good sign. He also said that both babies scored an 8 out of 10 apgar score (rates babies condition at birth.. appearance, etc.) which is wonderful! Kamryn was born at 8:23am this morning. He doesn't know her weight yet as she is in NICU now. He will post more information later on the blog. Brooke was born at 8:24am this morning and she weighed 7 lbs, 14.8 oz. Please be sure to check the blog for further updates throughout the day.

Things sound like they are very positive so I'm happy for them. Keep them in your prayers..... :)


About to go in for delivery...

It's 6:00am and I am in Stef's room as she sleeps. The ride up here was uneventful which was an added bonus. Thoughts of a flat tire, pulled over by the police for speeding, an accident can be laid to rest although those thoughts kept me up a little last night.

It was a long night and I woke up a number of times before the alarm clock finally went off around 4:30. I never asked other CDH dads about this day and what they went through. Not because I didn't want to know, but because I knew they wouldn't be able to clearly articulate what they went through just as I struggle to do that now. It's honestly terrifying. I'm not mad and angry anymore. I don't argue with God about it anymore and I don't wonder why we have been thrown so many curve balls over the past few years. I have found some kind of peace and acceptance with all of that. I just worry about my wife and child and what is ahead of them. You can't help but think about what your child is about to go through to live. I remember saying just after we found out we were pregnant how we just want healthy babies. I think we all say that, but take for granted most newborns are healthy and don't really worry about it really. I wish for that more than I ever thought I would. It's similar to how we, as parents, know deep down that we would trade places with our children in tough circumstances. I feel that with such sincerity right now it is indescribable. I wish with all my heart it was me fighting for my life and I could spare Kamryn this experience. I know I can't, but the desire is truly overwhelming.

I wish you all could see just how beautiful and peaceful Stef is right now sleeping. She has been unbelievable through this journey. She has managed the pain, discomfort, and stress so well. She's made it to 37 weeks with over 13 pounds of baby in her. I couldn't be more proud of her and her strength. She is just an amazing woman.

It's just about time to get on with the show as they are getting ready to take us down for prep. I truly can't thank all of you enough for the support, encouragement, and guidance through this journey. We are truly blessed.

We are as ready as we will ever be and expect to win. I look forward to the next post as a proud father of twins.



It's go time!!!!!!!!!!!

>> Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ok, so things get a little more crazy. The shake test that was done yesterday gave us negative results on lung maturity so they sent the fluid off to another hospital for LS and PG testing. The shake test is apparently pretty crude and was developed in the 1950's. The LS and PG test are way more scientific and we needed an LS number above 2.0, preferably 2.5.

The numbers came back today and it was at 3.0 which means those lungs are definitely mature in both girls!

We are in shock right now and on top of the world. The plan is now back on for delivery tomorrow morning at 8:00 CST!!

We will update the blog as soon as we can tomorrow to let everyone know how Kamryn, Brooke, and Stef are doing. We could sure use your thoughts and prayers today and tomorrow and appreciate all of your continued support.

Stephanie is just freaking out with excitement and sends her love!



Unexpected change in plans......

>> Monday, June 15, 2009

First, I have to say welcome back to Dr. Zaretsky who has been on vacation. He is our MFM doctor and will deliver Brooke and Kamryn along with Dr. Trylovich. It's such a relief to have him back in town and ready to go when these girls are ready to enter the world!

We have tried so hard to not plan anything or expect things to happen a certain way because those plans will likely fall apart. We did though plan on delivering this Wednesday......... Dr. Z called Stef this morning to check in, confirm our Wednesday delivery plan, and ask about the amnio procedure to check for lung maturity. A few weeks ago Stef and I decided we weren't going to do the amnio test and just go get the girls at 37 weeks. After talking with Stef this morning, my mind started racing and I couldn't help but think the test wouldn't be a bad idea after all. I called Dr. Z and Dr. Savani, who have been my voice of reason throughout this process and trust them beyond words, to get their take on the issue. After learning a thing or two about the test, there was no doubt we needed to go down this path to be sure.

The test is just like a regular amnio procedure except they test the fluid by adding a chemical, shaking it, and watching for a reaction. If there is no reaction, it indicates the lungs aren't mature. This has nothing to do with the CDH condition, but rather if the lungs (in both girls) have had enough time in utero to form and participate effectively in oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange once born.

We decided to go ahead and do the procedure at 1:00 today and then waited, what seemed like an eternity, for the results. Around 5:00 one of the doctors came in to tell us the result of the test was negative indicating the lungs are not mature yet. It felt like the world had just collapsed around us. Honestly, there is a selfish side to all of this. You just want to get on with the show, you want to hold your child, you want to know how this story will end, and you just want one thing to go as planned or expected. You quickly realize though that this is about the girls and if we would have delivered on Wed, Brooke would have probably worked through everything, but Kamryn would have been in a more distressed situation. Kamryn has 25% of the lung volume that Brooke has. We are asking so much of that 25% to begin with and asking that little bit of lung tissue to support her life without even being mature would have been an awfully big mountain to climb.

Tonight we are disappointed that we won't see our little girls when we expected to, but we once again understand that they are charting the course, not us. We are also so thankful to our doctors for leading us in the right direction and making the right decision.

We will find out tomorrow the results of the extended tests that will give us actual numbers relating to lung maturity and a better idea of how long we need to wait. Right now we anticipate it being 1 more week (but we aren't planning anything yet :) )

On a happy note, I am quite confident that you all will at least get to hear more stories about Stef's very interesting life in the hospital!

Take care everyone,



Just have to laugh....

>> Friday, June 12, 2009

To say Stef's visit in the hospital has been eventful so far would be an understatement. Everyday offers a new and exciting experience that has brought us a lot of laughter which is good for us right now. I can't help but share.....

You all know about the A/C issues the first two days. They determined that a number of parts needed to be replaced so they asked if Stef wanted to go wait down in the lobby while the repairs were being done. Stef thought this would be a good break from the room so she went down to the lounge and fell asleep on the couch. A nice social worker woke her up asking if she was there for the group therapy session that is being conducted in the lounge. Group therapy? The social worker asked for her name and tried to find her on the list. Once Stef was able to convince her that she was definitely not on the roster, she received an invitation to join the therapy session. Stef passed and told her she would go back down to her room.

As Stef got closer to her room, she noticed a Sheriff sitting outside her door. This was a little odd, but before she could inquire if she was being arrested for something, the nurses asked where she was going. She explained what had just happened and the nurses decided group therapy wasn't going to happen in the lounge after all and took Stef back down there. As you can imagine, the social worker wasn't happy to be kicked out of the lounge, but Stef was able to get some sleep.

After the A/C was repaired, she went back down to her room and there was the Sheriff still sitting outside her door. As she made it to her room, she didn't get arrested. Big relief! Stef was able to deduce that a pregnant prisoner is next door to her. At least I know Stef has protection up there if needed.

Unfortunately, the protection isn't as responsive as we would like....... Yesterday, Stef was visited by a Chaplain from the hospital. She asked Stef if there was anything she could do for her. She just wanted to make it clear that she wanted someone there there on Wed to pray for the twins after delivery. Nothing seemed out of the norm when she had a knock on her door this morning and there stood a pastor. Stef invited him in and talked a bit before giving him her name, the twins names and he even prayed with her. She was very happy to hear that he would be praying for the girls. About that time there was another knock on the door and there stood the police. He asked the "pastor" to come to the door and asked for hospital identification, which the "pastor" didn't have. Uh oh. The officer then checked out his drivers license to make sure he didn't have any warrents for his arrest. Oh this really happening? After he learned he was clear of warrants, he gave him a warning and asked him to leave. We don't know exactly who this man was or if he is actually a pastor. Stef talked to the police officer afterwards. She asked him if he was legit, and the officer said, he's probably legit, just going about things the wrong way. I think the man had good intentions, just maybe an over achiever??? Is this crazy or what?

We have had our share of entertainment the last couple of days and all is good. We have been incredibly impressed with how many doctors and nurses have come to check on things and answer all of our questions. We feel more and more everyday that we have made the right decision about where to deliver. The medical staff is incredible and so caring about our situation. We also get a steady stream of entertainment at no charge! We are still planning on Wed for delivery.

Also, the NICU team came to visit Stef today, and offered to give Hollie a tour today. This gave her a huge sense of relief, as she knows this will help Hollie understand what Kamryn will look like the first time she sees her. Hollie's planning on being here between 2 or 3, and Stef's going to go down with her to hold her hand for the tour.

Hollie's last night of camp is tonight. She's having a lot of fun, and is learning a lot.

Stef also wanted me to let you all know that some parts of the blogs are blocked due to the hospital firewall. She's able to read the blogs, but she can't post responses. She wants everyone to know that she's still praying hard for everyone, and reads about the progress and fights that all these babies are still enduring every day.

Thanks again for all of the support from everyone!


Hosptial Room, Sweet Hospital Room......

>> Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Well, I've been here about a day and a half, and everything has been just fine. The doctors and nurses taking care of me have been nothing short of AMAZING. I feel very loved and taken care of. This is what we wanted. The only complaint I have is the darn A/C. It keeps breaking and I'm getting to that miserable stage. The engineers keep coming in, scratching their head, flipping switches, opening and closing panels, scratching their head, leaving, and then that's it. The room cools down for about an hour, and then starts to get hot again. So, the nurse that I have tonight is going to talk to him and see what the deal is. I just want to rest comfortably before I have the babies! That's why I'm here. Other than that, I'm a happy camper.

Tonight, Dr. Savani came in and visited with me for a little while. He's just the sweetest doctor. Very caring and compassionate. Shawn is SO disappointed that he missed talking to him. Anyway, I told him that Shawn and I both feel like we are in the best place possible for this delivery. We are very content with the decision we made of delivering here, and now it's a waiting game for us. I expressed to him that we are praying for the best. He told me that it all comes down to Kamryn, the fight that she has in her and of course, God's will. I couldn't agree with him more.

We also were visited by Dr. McCurnin in neonatology, as well as, Dr. Wyckoff, who is head of resuscitation. We hear that Dr. Wyckoff is known all over the world for her expertise. They both assured us that we are in good hands. Everyone that we have talked to have reassured us that all doctor's, nurses, and specialists know that we are here, and they are just waiting for the babies to make their debut.

Hollie's first day of camp last night was fun. I talked to her today and I asked her what she did. Her response was, "We just had fun". She did tell me that she learned how to milk a cow. This should be really interesting when she sees me nursing Brooke... LOL! She was so tired today that she took a nap for over 2 hours. Bless her heart, she's just going through so much. I can only imagine how tired she is. I can't wait to see her smiling face tomorrow.

Well, that's all for now. I'm going to go over to the a/c unit and scratch my head, open a panel, scratch my head again, and then get back into bed. That seems to give me an hour or so of cool air :). If that doesn't work, I'm going to just kick the darn thing.



9 Days and Counting!

>> Monday, June 8, 2009

Well, it's 4:30am and guess who's up!!! I'm sure some of this insomnia is due to anxiety of going to the hospital later this morning. But, this is pretty typical of me to be up around now. I usually go back and forth between the bed and recliner, trying to find a comfortable position. Finally after about 2 hours, my body will just give up the fight and let me fall back to sleep sooner or later. But, this morning, I think I'm up for good.

I'm ready to get admitted into the hospital for my own peace of mind. Although, I'm not ready to leave my familly. Last night, Shawn had to take his truck in to get a tire replaced. Hollie and I drove over there to pick him up so we could all go out to dinner. I think it hit Hollie on the way over there that Mommy was going to the hospital, and was going to be gone for a while. She kept telling me how much she was going to miss me. It was so incredibly hard to hold back those tears. I think I did give her good news though. She thought that I was going to stay in the hospital the whole time Kamryn was going to be there. I reassured her that as soon as I have the babies and I'm well enough to go home, then we would be bringing Brooke home, and then we would start our visits to the hospital to see Kamryn. That eased her mind for about oh, a minute. And then she started worrying about Kamryn. She asked who would be taking care of Kamryn, if Shawn and I were going to be at home in the middle of the night. I told her the nurses. She asked who would feed her and change her diapers and I told her the nurses do all of that for us. Can you imagine being 7 1/2 years old trying to understand this whole CDH thing??? It must be so hard for her. Bless her heart. However, Shawn and I reminded her of all the fun things she'll get to do while I'm in the hospital. She has her evening Brownie camp all next week. It's a camp that takes place Monday through Friday, and lasts from 7pm to 10pm. I gave her a disposable camera for her to take pictures. I can't wait to post those on the blog. She's so excited about it. And she'll also get to see her friends to go swimming, etc. I pray that the time travels fast for her.

Today she was telling me how excited she is about HER babies coming. This is the 3rd or 4th time I've heard her refer to them as HER babies. It's so cute to hear. I just can't believe that they are going to be here in 9 days or less. I'm so ready!!!

Well, that's all for now. Please continue to pray for babies Jaime, Avery and Carter. Baby James is going to make his debut into this tough world tomorrow. All of their blogs are on the right hand side for you to follow. Our thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of those families.

Love to you all!



35 Weeks

>> Thursday, June 4, 2009

Well, Tuesday was another big day for both Shawn and myself. We had an MFM appointment, and the babies are still growing like they are singletons. Kamryn is just over 5 pounds and Brooke is just over 6. I'm feeling good. I contract a lot in the mornings and evenings. But, during the day, not that often. Dr. Zaretsky checked my cervix though, and it's still long and closed. Thank the Lord. We are planning on me going to the hospital on Monday, the 8th, and then just wait it out from there. Hopefully, I can wait until the 17th, when I'm 37 weeks and Dr. Z is back in town from his much needed vacation... I'm looking forward to going to the hospital, just for my peace of mind of being there in case I go into labor. But, I start to cry when I realize that I'm going to be away from Hollie for what could be 2 weeks. I told Shawn yesterday that I'm going to leave the house on Monday the mother of 1 and then come home in 2 weeks the mother of 3. I still worry about Hollie, but I have given most of that worry to God. Worrying and stressing about a specific plan for her, once I'm in the hospital is literally wearing me out, and I just can't do that any more. I have promised myself to just take things day by day. I have to relax and take it easy from here on out. I started a list of things to do, and have started working on them. Shawn keeps asking me if I've packed my bag, and I think I have one or two night gowns packed and that's it. I'm definitely going to be working on that today. That's about it for me...

When I say that Tuesday was a big day for Shawn too, well, it was. He had his appointment with his urologist, the doctor that diagnosded his testicular cancer back in 2007. Although, the cancer infarcted (stopped growing on its own without chemo or radiation), Shawn has been ordered to have MRI's, chest x-rays, and tumor marker blood work every three months for the last 2 years. He
went in for his follow up on Tuesday, and his doctor said that
everything is still clear, and the cancer hasn't returned. He was
hoping to go in and have the doctor say, "okay, that's it, I don't
need to see you any more". Unfortunately, he still needs to see Shawn
two more times within the next year. Then, after that, it will be
once a year for two more years. Once he's done with those
appointments, then he'll be cleared. I should mention, that all of
those appointments will include more MRI's. These aren't just regular
MRI's. They are MRI's with contrast, which is a liquid that flows
through his body via IV and is quite uncomfortable for him not to
mention 1.5 hours in the "tube". These appointments are pretty scary
for him, b/c they not only bring back memories of him being diagnosed,
but it also reminds him about his dad. His dad was diagnosed with
Pancreatic cancer just one month before Shawn was diagnosed with
Testicular cancer. It can't feel good to go in there, even if it is
only 2 times a year. As you all know by now, Shawn is a fighter. He
has his sense of humor which has gotten him through these two cancer situations, among other things. Just to give you an idea of that humor... He and Hollie did Indian Princesses last year, and they had to come up with indian names to be in their
tribe. Well, Hollie's name was "Dancing Butterfuly". Shawn's name???
"Lonely Walnut". I'll just leave it at that...

We ordered some custom made bracelets to hand out to friends and
family when they come in and visit the babies in the hospital. We'll
take pictures of them tonight and put them on the blog. But, they are
turquoise, and say "Kamryn Hope - CDH". And then, they have bows on
either side. They turned out really cute, and I'm pretty happy with
them. I didn't custom order children's sizes, so Hollie put hers on
her ankle, and it looks really cute.

That's it for us this week. I'm sure we'll post more either this
weekend, or Monday evening.

Take care,


Getting close!

>> Monday, June 1, 2009

We are 2 days shy of 35 weeks. We are so close! I can’t believe it. Last Wednesday at Dr. Trylovich’s office, my belly was measuring 42 weeks. So, I’m sure it’s closer to 43 now. It’s so big, that yesterday, two strangers asked me if I was expecting twins, instead of asking how much longer I had (assuming I was pregnant with one). So, I obviously look bigger than usual.

I have come to dread the evenings, because I know I won’t be going to sleep at the same time as Shawn (I really miss that), and I also know that when I fall asleep, I won’t stay asleep, due to using the restroom frequently, and just flat out being uncomfortable. Last night, I was in the recliner and I got up to use the restroom, and my pelvis hurt so bad, that I literally shrieked from the pain. It was loud enough to wake up Shawn, and he had to help me to the bathroom, b/c it was so hard to walk. You don’t realize how your body parts are all connected to each other, until you’re pregnant… LOL

I’m also having contractions on a regular basis, but even though they are still uncomfortable, they aren’t painful enough to knock the breath out of me. So, I get to sit and wait until they get closer together, and are more painful, or next Monday when I go into the hospital. Which ever happens first.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, Hollie’s daily foot massages have come to a complete stop. I even asked her to rub them the other day and she refused. Darn it, I really thought that was going to play out the way she promised too… LOL!

Okay, enough of my complaining. It’s the last week of school. I’m so incredibly excited for Hollie. She can’t wait til Thursday (last day of school). We promised her that we would take her out to dinner and a movie to celebrate her going into the 2nd grade. She’s having a hard time deciding between Subway and Chick Fil A for dinner. Shawn and I are pleased with her choices… LOL! The week I go into the hospital, she starts one of her Summer Brownie camps. I’m truly disappointed that I won’t be able to hear about her camp right when she gets home from the first day, but I know I’ll see her the next day for her to tell me all about it. My cousin Courtney drove in from Fort Worth on Friday to help me finish getting all of her camp gear together. By the end of the visit, I was dragging. Thank you Courtney, so much, for driving all that way and helping me out. I had such a wonderful time, and can’t wait for more visits. You are an amazing woman, and I’m praying for you as well!!!

Okay, one last thing to tell, and then I’ll close… Last Wednesday, we went to see Dr. Trylovich. We knew the visit was going to be pretty routine. We had the sono, and as you already know, the babies are measuring beautifully, etc. So, we were led back into the exam room, and the nurse told me to undress from the waist down, as Dr. T would be checking my cervix for dilation. Well, before I go any further, you all have to know that Shawn’s sense of humor is what gets me and many others through difficult, painful times. I’m pretty cranky all the time now, b/c of the discomfort. So, his gift of timing was and always is priceless. He’s just so much fun to be around… Okay, so on to the rest of my story… For some strange reason, I was sitting in a chair with a sheet wrapped around my waist, and Shawn was sitting on the exam table. Well, I saw the light bulb go off above his head as soon as he had the idea… He hopped off the table, and was looking through all the drawers for another sheet, found one, and got back on the table. He put the sheet over his lap to make it look like he was ready for the exam when Dr. T. walked in. I told him it didn’t look real enough, so he rolled up his pant legs to his knees. So all you could see were his hairy legs, socks and shoes under the sheet, to make it look like he had undressed from the waist down. It was priceless. So, as soon as Dr. T walked in, she started laughing hysterically. The first thing out of her mouth was, “please tell me you have pants on under that sheet”. And the first thing Shawn said was, “Can we just hurry up and get this over with?” It was so funny. We laughed and laughed. The funny thing about it is, we always said we wanted to do that with all of the fertility appointments we had. You know, you just have to have find the humor in the difficult things we are given each day. And if you can't find it, create it yourself.

I’m going to go ahead and pack my bag for the hospital today, just in case something happens this week before I’m admitted next Monday. I doubt it will, but you just never know. There are a few other odds and ends that need to be taken care of before I go in, so I better get busy.

We are also continually praying for Baby Jaime, Avery and Carter. Baby James Reeve is almost here, and we ask for your prayers for him too, as well as Baby Jackson Beal.



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