Sunday, August 29, 2010

1 Month Old!!! (Technically 4 Weeks)

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Here are their 1 month videos! In birth order of course. We will do a health report in a couple of days. Please continue to pray for our little peanuts!!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010



I got to hold Louise!!!!!!! She finally got the last chest tube out and her lung is staying expanded......so I got to hold her. It felt so good to be able to cuddle with her especially since she has been so sick. She didn't much like getting taken out of her incubator but as soon as she was on Mama's chest she was fine. Matter of fact, she cried when it was time to go back. We are still praying everyday for her health. The neurosurgeon is pulling fluid off of her brain every 2 to 3 days to relieve pressure. I can tell that since they have been doing this "tapping" she is feeling so much better. We are praying that the blood clot that is causing the fluid to build up will resolve on its own and she will not have to have a shunt put in. (The thought of brain surgery for my sweet girl makes me sick to my stomach). Louise has had a very hard 1st few weeks of life and I have a good feeling that things are going to start going her way very soon. Beautiful Lousie (2nd time I held her)













Reece is back on oxygen but other than that she is doing very well!











Ben is holding Reece and I have Charlie. (I need to sprout 2 more arms so we can get Louise in there too)







Charlie and I have a special thing going. Something about him makes me laugh. Every time I see him he is making a funny face or he has scooted himself into some ridiculous position in his bed. He really helps lighten the mood in the NICU.










Sunday, August 22, 2010

3 Weeks Down! What a ride...

REECE (2 lbs 11 oz)
Reece has been doing really well this weekend. She was completely independent of any additional oxygen up until today, when she started having episodes of brady cardia (the slowing of the heart rate like Charlie has been having). This caused her to have her flow started back through her nose, but no big deal. Her belly did look a little swollen on Saturday (and still does), so the doctors stopped her feedings for now. We don’t want to take any chances with the problems that she’s already had with her belly!

P.S. I finally got up the courage to hold her today after my parents and Lucy’s dad came to meet the trio for the first time......Junebug met them Thursday!








LOUISE (2 lbs 6 oz)
Louise has had quite an up and down weekend. On the up side, she has come off of the ventilator, and all of her vitals have improved greatly. Her heart rate and blood pressure are much better, and her oxygen saturation is doing great (along with all of her blood work). On the down side, she had her ventricles (in her brain) tapped with a needle this morning to relieve the pressure from all of the built of spinal fluid (hydrocephalus). It’s great to see her finally more comfortable, but we couldn't’t believe that the doctor decided to do this procedure without calling us or letting us know anything beforehand. We hadn’t even decided what route we wanted to take yet (whether we go to Greenville or Duke for the shunt procedure should she need it), and we hadn’t met the neurosurgeon that tapped her this morning. After seeing Lucy’s reaction, I talked with the nurse and doctor and I don’t think that this communication breakdown will be happening again! Hyrdoceplalus is a ugly monster and we are not sure what lays ahead for Louise. We will continue to pray and we hope you all will too.









CHARLIE (2 lbs 6 oz)
Charlie has continued to be a good boy, with exception to his brady cardia episodes. The docs say that this is normal in babies his age, so we’re not stressing over it yet. They did blood work to check for infection that might be causing this, and it all came back negative. Overall, he’s doing great right now!










Sorry, we have been a little slack on the blog. Our schedule is pretty demanding right now. We have a new goal of trying to do 3 blog post a week. Thank you all for caring enough about our family to follow this journey. We truly believe in "prayer in numbers" and that is why we take the time to keep this blog alive.












Friday, August 20, 2010

Its been a busy week in the NICU. I'm starting to feel more at home in there.....if they had beds for parents I don't think I would ever leave. Here's a quick recap of the week's happenings. We will post some pics on Sunday.
REECE
Reece is doing pretty well. She started back her feedings this week but was backed back off them when she was showing signs that her tummy might not be ready for them yet. She loves being held by Mama. The nurses and I are constantly "working on" trying to get Ben to hold Reece and Charlie. Their tiny size makes him nervous. He says he wants to wait until they are 3lbs before he holds them. I KNOW Reece and Charlie would love being held by their Daddy (plus I can't wait to see Ben hold one of our babies)!
CHARLIE
Charlie has been doing good too and he is looking more like Ben everyday. He has been on and off feedings this week and as of right now he is not eating. I love holding Charlie...there is only one problem.....sometimes he forgets to breathe. A quick "WAKE UP CHARLIE" with a little pat on the back usually does the trick, but it still scares me to death.
LOUISE
Louise has been keeping us quite busy. Her 24 hr test to check for seizures (called a EEG) turned into more of 48hr test. We are still waiting to talk to the neurologist (hopefully tonight) to discuss the results. We have also continued to struggle with Louise's lung. Ben reported last blog post that the pneumothroax was gone......well it re-accumulated. On Wednesday, Dr. Wood put in a new chest tube. This tube did not take care of the problem, so as of this morning our sweet girl got her 5th chest tube. Needless to say she is back on the ventilator and I look forward to to seeing her come off again. The only day she was off the vent, I forgot my camera.....so I didn't get a picture of her beautiful face (and I'm feeling a little guilty about that). Louise has been under a lot of stress this week and showed this with her high heart rate and blood pressure. Ben and I just want the doctors and nurses to keep her comfortable so she can heal. Oh, did I mention, she had another head ultrasound today, we are still waiting to talk to the the doctors about that as well. (As I said......she is keeping us quite busy). Ben and I are hopeful that this weekend will be filled with good news for our beautiful girl, but Louise is in special need of prayers.

Weights
Reece - 2 lbs, 9 oz
Louise - 2 lbs, 5 oz (although this probably isn't accurate because of all the equipment)
Charlie - 2 lbs 4 oz

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Prayers Answered

As of yesterday, ALL OF OUR BABIES ARE OFF THE VENTILATOR!!!!!!!!!! This is a huge goal for our family and we could not be prouder of our little peanuts. Here's a quick update on everybody. ( As for the updates, I list the babies in birth order........I don't think that Ben has a rhyme or reason for the way he list his updates)

REECE
Well, our spunky little Reece is back in full force. She has done remarkably well recovering from her surgery (that was a week ago today). She is so funny, she can throw quite a fit for a baby of her size. Her little cry is so sweet but I have a feeling that it will grow in volume as she grows in size.
LOUSIE
We are so proud that our little Louise is off the Ventilator! She is doing so well considering she only has one good lung. Speaking of, we are working hard on getting this pneumothorax (air pocket in her lung) resolved but every time we think its almost gone it shows it ugly head once again. Ben and I are getting pretty frustrated with this whole thing but we do understand that her doctors are doing everything they can for her. As for her brain bleed, it seems that the bleeding has stopped but the swelling has increased. This is a confusing and complicated thing to understand. What I got from the doctors, is that this is just a waiting game to see how her body responds. She has another head ultrasound on Friday and hopefully we will know more then.
CHARLIE
Charlie is chugging right along. He still has episodes of bradycardia (dropping of his heart rate). Some days they are few and far between and other days it happens more often. Charlie has been tolerating his feedings well and he is even fattening up a bit!
O.K. now its Ben to finish the post for the day. Lucy wrote the post above this morning before her visit. I just wanted to add the daily events before we posted.
Reece
She is still doing pretty well. She is tolerating her feedings well and doing as well as we could ever hope for right now!
Louise
This morning at my 8:30 call to the NICU, we got good news and bad news. The nurse started off by telling me that her chest x-ray showed that her pneumothorax had dissolved, but just as I was about to celebrate....The nurse then told me that she believed that Louise may be having seizures! Our hearts sunk. The doctors now have her hooked up to a 24 hour test, following the 4 hour test they did this morning which was inconclusive. Hopefully, Louise will not have to go through yet another fight.
Charlie
Charlie's belly was a little swollen this morning so the doctors stopped his feedings. An x-ray showed a little gas in his bowels, but nothing to the extent of Reece's problems. We are thankful for that, but he was sure doing well for a while with eating!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

2 weeks old

Reece
Reece has had a great weekend. She had her stitches removed, her bag put on, and as of yesterday is officially off of the ventilator (again)! She has also gone from 5L of oxygen to 3L and shown little change. She is a little swollen still from surgery, and you can see her little scar all the way across her belly.

Reece holding my hand! The beautiful ring is from Ben and the babies. It's their birthstone which is a Peridot


Daddy's wedding band as a bracelet!





Louise
We got some great pictures of our little Louise with her eyes open yesterday. She did o.k. this weekend, and hopefully will come off of the ventilator today or tomorrow. She is having some high heart rate and blood pressure issues, and this morning her nurse told us that after they sealed her chest tube off, the pneumothorax got larger. Ugh, I just can't wait for her to get better so I can hold her. (She has her brain ultrasound today......We are actively praying for good news)



Daddy's wedding band on her sweet foot! Look how tiny.



Charlie
Charlie has had a great weekend and is being so good! He is still having the Brady episodes (heart slowing down), but they are few and far between now. His oxygen was turned to three liters and this seemed to help. We reached a big milestone, because Charlie has tolerated feedings of mama's milk for almost 24 hours now (.4 mL every 3 hours). He's already gained an ounce since yesterday....we can't wait to fatten this little boy up!






Daddys wedding band!

Ben's hands make a better comparison (than mine) for how the tiny the babies are.













Thursday, August 12, 2010

Well, the past few days were what I would consider to be good days. I don't know who needed it more, the babies or me (Mama).

Charlie
Our tiny little Charlie was 2 lbs as of last night. He was down to 1lb 8oz last week and I was starting to worry about how small he could get. Tuesday he was on only 1 liter of oxygen and the Dr. said this was almost unheard of for a baby of his age. Yesterday, however, he had several episodes of Bradycardia (dropping of heart rate). I say several episodes, but it happened about about 8 times while I was sitting at the foot of his bed. (The lower his heart rate got, the higher mine got......this process is going to have me gray headed by the time I'm 30 for sure) The nurses would just go over and mess with his foot or hand and he would start back up on his own (a good thing) . Last night, they went up on his oxygen and when Ben called this morning before work he was doing much better.

Louise
Sweet Louise is down to 1 chest tube. We are cautiously excited that the episode with pneumothorax is almost over and she will be able to heal and come off the ventilator. Yesterday, she had some blood work come back a little odd, and it suggested that there was some sort of infection going on. Her belly was also a little distended which could suggest the infection was in her intestines. We are quickly learning that that "belly issues" are a big deal in here. The Dr's gave her some "big gun" antibiotics and we are hopeful that these will take care of the problem. We are still praying that her stage 3 brain bleed is clearing up on its own. She has a head scan on Sunday and we will know more then. Personally, I think Lousie is feeling better. She has started showing more signs of a little personality under all those tubes.

Reece
Our cute little Reece is still recovering from surgery. She is on lots of meds and I miss our "feisty" little peanut. I think that her surgery and watching her recover has been so hard on me because I was really starting to bond with her. Its hard to be able to go from holding your child and helping with their care to having to stand back and just watch. It just breaks my heart to see IVs coming out of her head and the ventilator back in her mouth. All her Dr's seem to think that she is doing very well, for which we are very thankful. We want a speedy and healthy recovery and we know that if anyone can do it, its our Reecey Girl!

Its funny, you think there is no way you can love your children more and everyday I wake up and I do. This experience is "tough stuff", but I'm so thankful to be going through it because I wouldn't trade these three lil miracles for anything in the world. I'm going to try to post some pictures tonight (depending on how the day goes and if I'm seeing crossed eyed when I get home or not). Off to the NICU!!!!!!!

Thanks for all the prayers (its working)........continue praying for all three of these sweet peas!

Oh, I don't want anyone to think that I am completely ignoring them. No cell phones allowed in the NICU!!! By the time I look at my phone at night I am far too tired (emotionally and physically) to respond. I'm still learning to balance everything we have going on and I haven't quite factored the phone into the equation yet......I will, just don't know when. I do love getting everybodys text and messages. Matter of fact, I cried like a baby last night when I checked my full voice mailbox. Thanks for all the sweet and inspiring messages.....they really do help me everyday. I have the best friends and family in the world!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

We were told there are going to be be good days and bad days in this whole "life in the NICU" thing and today we had a few set backs.

REECE
Our little trooper, Reece, had to have major surgery this morning. I awoken to Ben telling me "Get dressed, There is a surgeon on the way over from Greenville to operate on Reece. We have to get there quick to sign the consent form." Not the way any mother wants to wake up! I'm going to hand the computer over to Ben to explain more on the medical aspect of the surgery ( he understands the mechanics of things a little better than I).
Well, basically Reece had an isolated perforation (small tear) in her intestines. The nurses caught it when her stomach became sort of tight and bloated. An x-ray revealed that air and debris was leaking into her abdomen, which is cause for immediate emergency surgery. After the surgery (which was sort of exploratory), Dr. Chandler said that the isolated perforation is about the best cause for the leak that we could hope for, so I guess that's good news considering the circumstance. They removed a tiny section of her bowel, and put in a colostomy bag (sp.?). Hopefully that will be removed in 6 weeks and she'll be as good as new. For right now we have to worry about infection and hope that it doesn't happen! Keep praying hard!


CHARLIE
Charlie continues to do well. The Dr.s did have to stop his feedings that they started yesterday because wasn't having any output. When Dr. Uy talked to us about this it seemed that she was thinking Charlie may have some bowel issues similar to Reece in the future. We are praying that this is not the case and we can pick up with his feedings soon. There's really no way to tell right now.

LOUISE
We were hopeful that Louise would have her chest tube taken out today, but unfortunately a chest x ray showed that the air pocket on her lung had come back a little bit. They turned the chest tubes back on-and hopefully we can get this taken care of quickly.

Today has been a rough day in the Boland household and we could use all the prayers we can get. Sorry, if this post is kind of a downer........but we are on a rollercoster of ups and downs.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

1 Week Old!!! -Weekend Update

Hi, its Ben here for the weekend update on the babies. The doctors are really happy with how they are all doing at 1 week old. They have started letting Lucy hold Reece and Charlie, who are making really good progress. Louise is still having some issues, but is improving every day. I'm putting some video on this post for y'all to see just how small our babies really are!!! I thought I had done some challenging things in my life, but persuading Lucy to put the babies back into their beds so that they can get some rest has been one of the hardest.
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The first video is of Lucy holding Charlie Boy. He's doing great now. This weekend he came off of the ventilator, and had one of his umbilical cord lines removed. Making good progress! The nurses say his only problem is that he refuses to leave his feeding tube in. No exaggeration, last night he pulled it out and waved it around 4 times in the 2 hours we were there. It's almost like he's mocking the wonderful nurses at this point!!!
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The second video is of Louise in her incubator. Lucy hasn't been able to hold her yet because of the issues that she has been having with here lungs, but as of last night, the air pocket is gone! The doctors say that her chest tubes should come out tomorrow (Monday). That's great progress. The bad news is that the brain bleed has progressed to a Grade III. Dr. Wood said that it was right on the lower limit of Grade III, and that it had stopped progressing, so we're hoping that it will dissolve with no complications. Keep praying hard for her, and stay optimistic!
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The last video is of Lucy holding Reece. She is definitely our overachiever. She has had no complications, and is almost independent of any help from the machines. She is our only baby who has actually grown this week...2lbs 2 oz.!!!!! Lucy can hold her whenever she wants, which is pretty much all of the time!

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Sorry for the formatting, but it wouldn't let me type in between the videos. Thanks for every one's support, and thanks to everyone who has donated blood!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Reece

Our sweet little Reece continues to thrive for a 27 weeker outside of the womb. She is a little spitfire too. She sure will let you know when she is uncomfortable or something is not right. All the nurses talk about how "feisty" she is. This is so funny to me because she was so calm the whole time in my belly. She did have to have a blood transfusion last night, but as we have said, this is common place in their care. I get to be most involved in her care. I have changed her diaper twice and swabbed her mouth with breast milk twice (this is called oral care and it is the closest I get to feeding her). I think I annoy the nurses by constantly asking what I can do, but I want them to understand that I want to be involved in everything that I'm allowed. She still has a long way to go so keep her on your prayer list. Gotta pump!!




Charlie

Mama Boland here, my goodness it has been awhile since I have done a post. I would update everybody on me but there is no time for that. I am in complete mama bear mode and all I can do think about my sweet babies.
Big news......Charlie is off the ventilator. Yay!!!!! The doctors told us to not be too surprised if he has to go back on. Even if he does the it is good that he can practice breathing on his own. As you can see in the 2nd picture he now has a C-Pap. Its a little scary looking but its a step in the right direction and that is all we care about. They have also started to ween him off some of the sedation meds and he has started to cry. Today they let me reach in his bed to attempt to comfort him. It worked...as soon as I put my hands on him (extremely gently) he settled down. Its so amazing how they respond differently to their parents. The nurses say that they can recognize our voices and smells. I love being able to help them anyway I can. Ben, on the other hand, is much more cautious when it comes to touching them. Matter of fact, he usually has to walk away when anyone is touching them....it just make him too nervous.Ben is such a good daddy and its funny to watch how our different roles in this parenting thing are emerging. Anyways, the bottom line is that Charlie has a had good few days and that makes us so happy. He still has a long road ahead of him so continue to pray.



Thursday, August 5, 2010

LOUISE

After 2 great days, yesterday Louise slipped a little. It started yesterday morning with a blood transfusion (this is really no big deal, and our babies will receive lots of this during their stays in the NICU). Then, in the afternoon, the doctor told us that he had inserted another chest tube prior to our visit. A chest X-ray had shown another small pocket of air between her lung and rib cage (pneumothorax) that the 2 tubes already there couldn't reach. He felt pretty could about the 3rd tube, although her O2 saturation kept rising and falling all day yesterday. Finally, when Lucy sent me down to deliver food to them in the NICU at 4 this morning (that is getting to be so much fun), they were able to ween her down a good deal on the oxygen and she was holding steady.
Pray for Louise's little lungs, and that her head ultrasound on Sunday shows that the Grade II hemorrhage has downgraded to a Grade I.


We're gonna slowly post updates on all three babies today (since I was such a slacker yesterday) as we get the time. I think they might finally kick us out of this room, so we may be moving. I did have an excuse for no posting yesterday, in that Lucy let me go to the office for a few hours. Felt a little weird to be back at work with Lucy and the babies here!!?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

3 Days Down!

First, we would like to thank everyone for their love and support through this tough journey that our family has been going through. Things have been getting better for our little ones, which in turn is making things a little easier on us. Lucy is doing great, and is nearly back to normal (besides the Fred Flintstone feet!!). She finally got some sleep last night, and the swelling is from standing beside the incubators all day long without sitting down. Anyways, here's what has been going on with the babies:



Reece

Reece is being very strong. She has been off of the ventilator and breathing on her own for over 24 hours! What a trooper. Lucy has been very involved in her care since she has been so stable. Today Reece's nurse allowed her to take her temp, change her diaper, and give her some -no idea on this spelling- collastrum (early breast milk?) with a syringe and qtip. You heard right; the breast milk has arrived. I've never seen Lucy more happy than when she was feeding her, but it scares me to death to put my big hands in the beds. I guess that's normal???



Louise

Louise is trying really hard to get better. She still has her chest tubes in, but they are getting very little fluids off which is good. She is also being weened off of her oxygen and nitric oxide...I know that her nitric oxide has gone from 30 to 5 whatever that means. The only bad news is that a head ultrasound revealed a grade II brain bleed from all of the trauma that she went through. But the good news is that the doctor said that a grade II (out of four), is not even enough of a problem to try and treat it. It could potentially progress to a grade III, but we're hoping that it will downgrade (I hear its about 50/50 which way it goes). She might need to get a little rest, but she can't sit still!



Charlie

Well, Charlie's vitals are back to great like they were for the first day. We still can't figure out what in the world caused that scare he gave us but we sure don't want to go through it again to find out! He did have a little trouble with his red blood cell count last night when they did a CBC test, so they did a blood transfusion. We were really worried when they told us that, but then the nurse said that she had been doing this for 20 years and had never seen a reaction. He has been doing well since, and his skin has a little more color now (he was kind of pale so they ran the test).



Again, thanks for everyone's support! The texts, emails, and calls have been much appreciated and we are blessed to have so many people caring about our new family. Maybe pictures tomorrow, but it still takes me a while to figure our how to post them. Keep thinking positive everyone!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rollercoaster Ride Underway Already!

This is Reece


This is Louise






This is Charlie






We will not be doing as many picture updates as I'm sure most people would like us to, but the snapping pictures stimulates their senses. We want to keep them as stress free as possible right now because they are still supposed to be in mama's belly. They may look a little scary right now but they are the most beautiful little miracles to us.



Dad's turn to keep up with the blog for a while. Yesterday was terrifying for all of us here at the hospital.

LOUISE
It all started yesterday morning when a chest X-ray showed a pocket of air on the outside of Louise's lungs. The doctor told us that this was called a pneumothorax, and that he promptly had inserted 2 chest tubes to drain it off. She stabilized, and they added nitric oxide to her ventilator to open the cappilaries in her lungs (1 of which had collapsed from the air pocket outside). Chest X-rays this morning showed a tiny pocket of air still there, but overall the lungs are healing themselves. Excuse the medical terms, but we're becoming quite the experts.
CHARLIE
We went for a visit to the NICU last night about 9:15, and everyone was doing great. All vitals and gases were right where they were supposed to be, and we talked to they babies (quietly) for about 20 minutes before heading back up for the night. The docs even told us that tomorrow they thought Charlie and Reece would be extubated (breathing tubes taken out) if they remained stable. Well apparently about 10 minutes after we left, Charlie went into cardiac arrest for 10 minutes. The nurses kept chest compressions going the entire time to keep his blood circulating, and the doctor gave him a shot of adrenaline. Immediately, his heart began beating again just as strongly as ever!? We watched them do a heart ultrasound, and the cardiologist and Doctor Wood agreed that Charlie's heart was completely normal and developed. They were both worried and dumbfounded that they had no explanation for what caused this to happen, and actually Dr. Wood was surprised that his heart had begun pumping again. Wow, I hope its not like this for long!!!!!!!!!

REECE
Well, as the nurses keep telling us, no news is good news. Reece has been behaving for us, and has had no serious issues yet. Lets all keep our fingers crossed and pray that it stays that way. They expect her to be extubated today or tomorrow. What a good girl.


We have been praying hard, and are thankful for all of you praying with us. We know that we will get through this, and the babies are in the hands of god and the doctors. Seems like those are pretty good hands to be in to me! We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers that we have gotten, and please continue to pray for our little ones. Physically Lucy is doing a good deal better (I have never been more worried or stressed in my life as I was last week), but mentally she is really taxed. We need her to get some rest so that she can make our babies some food, so we would appreciate no visitors just yet until things calm down a bit. Feel free to text us, or call me at 864-304-6659 for updates on mom and the babies (my phone will be on silent but I promise I'll call back during my update breaks). Please keep our new family in your thoughts and prayers during these difficult times. This will be the greatest help you can give us.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

names and weights

Baby A - Rosalyn Reece Boland "Reece" - 2lbs
Baby B - Louise Grace Boland - 2lbs 2oz
Baby C - Charles Spencer Boland "Charlie" - 1lb 15oz

They are here!

The Boland Babies are here. Ben came to give a quick report: They were all around 2 lbs, cried when they came out, and are all almost breathing on their own. Ben would not tell us names because Lucy wants to deliver that news :)

We are so happy they are here and will update as soon as we know names and exact stats!

August 1st, 2010

Lucy's contractions got stronger last night and after examining her this morning, they decided it was time to go! Lucy and Ben are in the O.R. prepping and we are anxiously awaiting there arrival. Please pray for Lucy, Ben, Baby A, B, C and all the nurses and doctors that have them in their hands.

Love,
Aunt Laney