Wednesday, December 30, 2009

4 Perfect Little Eyes

Preemies born before 32 weeks need to have a follow up retinal exam after they leave the NICU to check to see if they are developing properly since they did not get to develop fully in utero. Any extended time spent on oxygen can cause problems as well. Since Jonah and Silas were born the day of the cutoff their doctors wanted them to get checked just in case. I was a little worried about Jonah because he took longer to really open his eyes and start looking around, he's more of a kinesthetic tactile little guy than Silas. Both of them got a good report today for which we are very thankful!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

News From Home

We talked to Quincho today. The water on our side of town had been off for 5 days and he didn't realize that he was supposed to turn off our pump. Jimmy had told him to if that happened, but he forgot. We figured it was burned up and that Jimmy would have to replace it again once we returned. Today Quincho said that it started working again. I'm not sure how that is possible, but we're are thankful! But, we traded one problem for another. In Petén you have to pay your electric bill in person and you cannot pay in advance. Jimmy was able to pay in September when he was there, but a friend of ours was suppose to pay for October and November. He is trustworthy with the money, but he just hasn't done it yet, he probably lost our bill number. If you wait too long they will cut the line to our house and then we have to wait 2 weeks+ for someone to come hook it back up. Please pray that this friend will go ahead and fulfill this favor! It would not be fun to be finally home with 2 babies and not have power.

Please continue to pray for Quincho. He is rebuilding his life and plans on buying land when we return. He is not getting support from his family. Some of them look to him as their meal ticket (since he is working for the Gringos) even though they could support themselves. Pray that God will encourage him and send him some strong Christian friends.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Morning

We pray that all of you had a wonderful Christmas. We are really enjoying the time with Jimmy's family!
Here are the boys on Christmas morning in their Christmas PJ's and their hats that were in their stockings. Our family is so blessed!
I must add that Jimmy's family are KU basketball fans, but both of his brothers are at Kansas State, so that explains Silas' hat.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Last Minute Idea

Ever since Jim and I got married our dads have become friends. Both of them love us very much, but I think it was their common interest in coffee and spoiling their dogs that ultimately made them click. I guess it should be described more as a rivalry than a friendship, since they are constantly talking smack about who roast the better coffee or owns the better dog. Whosever house we stay at we serve as spies for the other side sending them fuel to rib the other about.
My dad is more of a music guy than a sports guy, but somehow Jimmy got him into the Dinsmore fantasy football league this year. I must stop here and interject that Jimmy is in first place as they go into the playoffs! Anyway, since Larry was flying down to FL to drive us back to KS my dad had the idea of taking him and Jimmy to the Jaguar/Colts game. I was shocked my dad wanted to go to an NFL game, but I guess it was the company!
My dad ended up enjoying it so much that he plans on taking my mom there next year! She is much more into football than he is.
Jimmy had a blast too! That was a perfect way to wrap up our time FL. Next time they will have to take Jonah and Silas.

Jonah's legs always make us laugh!

Special Moments

Silas and Jonah got to meet so many people before they left FL even though they couldn't go too many places yet. They met almost all their aunts, uncles, and cousins that live in Jax. I have such a great family! I am so thankful that our boys have that too.
Here is one of the many moments they spent with their Great Grandma Wootton (my mom's mom)!
Here the boys are visiting their Great Grandma Carswell. She had surgery the day the boys came home from the NICU, so we visited her in a rehab facility. I think Jonah looks a whole lot like her and my dad.
Becca came by to see them several times and brought presents almost every time... she is already spoiling them! She will be like family to them if she ends up working in Petén.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On the Way to KS

Silas and Jonah had to say goodbye to their Papa and Grandma Kiki this morning. This broke my heart. I feel horrible taking away their only grandchildren from them. They are very supportive of us and what God has given us to do in Guatemala, but it's still hard to say goodbye... harder now.
We are going to spend the next 4 weeks in KS before we head back to Guatemala around the 17th. The boys have one more doctors' appointment and this will also give them some time to put a little more weight on before heading off to the jungle.

We are obviously a little sleep deprived like normal parents of newborns, so Jimmy's dad decided to fly to FL and help drive us all to KS. This is very helpful and much safer for everyone on the road! It's a 20 hour trip plus all the stops to feed them.
The boys have been sweethearts! They did seem a little car sick today. We went through a lot more clothes than normal, so they arrived at the hotel naked... I'm sure little boys couldn't care less! They are sleeping soundly now... Jimmy too!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Seven Pounders

We love Jonah and Silas' pediatrician. He was so helpful today. He is a friend of my dad's. He is such a nice guy. I felt like we got extra special care, but he probably treats all his patients that nicely. He spent so much time with us going over questions. He hand wrote out a list of issues we might have in the first year and what medications to look for and the doses. He also gave us his personal number to call if we ever have an emergency and need some immediate info. This was such a blessing and made me feel a lot better about taking my little ones to the jungle!
The boys have been off bottles since Friday and the nursing is going great! This is such a blessing. I was having a lot of anxiety over this since there are 2 of them and they had been on bottles for so long in the NICU. God just brought the right people in my path to help me with this and offer encouragement. I know this is the best thing for our boys. Anyway this is a HUGE praise and one of the most rewarding things that I fought for in my life!
Jonah is 21.4 in and 7 lbs 2 oz and Silas is 20.4 in 7 lbs.

The boys got their 2 month shots today. They didn't make too much of a ruckus. Jonah actually took it better than Silas.

Silas Before:
Silas After:
Jonah Before: (He liked this vaccine)
Jonah after his shots:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The People You Meet!

We love being around the Proctors. They are so passionate about what they are doing and it's contagious! I love seeing them interact with each other and hope our family turns out like that. They have personally invested in us with their time, friendship and encouragement. They haven't missed a single milestone in our ministry. They wanted to meet our boys, so we got to eat lunch with them yesterday.

Crossroad's youth group is coming down in June and their son Clint is making plans too. Maybe we will get their whole family down there one summer!

Christmas Photos

One of the girls that was on the mission team that opened the door in New Horizon took some Christmas photos for us. We wanted one for our Christmas update with the boys. She was very patient. It was tough to get 2 wobbly necked babies to look pleasant at the same time, they kept making faces! We had fun!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Family Date

Last week we decided to go out as a family of 4 for the first time. We went to a small restaurant close by for a late lunch. It was nice and quiet. The boys didn't make a peep other than a little gas... boys are so fun! We are getting the hang of this!
Not sure how this happens. Silas likes to save it all for Daddy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Our New Life

My mind is so sporadic I am having trouble forming a post. I think the being away from home for over 3 months is getting to me more than the 90 minute sleep incriminates. My need to have everything at a specific angle in its specific place is not being met! I feel like we have stuff everywhere. I cannot wait to put all the babies' things away in their dresser drawers and get back to my organized life. I keep thinking about our ministry and how I want to still be a part of it and how I am going to deal with everyone touching my tiny babies at first! We both are thinking about New Horizon and wonder how God is going to work that out. Our life in Guatemala will be forever different when we get back... the unknown is making me impatient.
Here is our family of 4! Jonah is grabbing at his brother!
This was their first time in their little play yard. Jonah rolled over to hug is brother.

The boys went to their first doctor's appointment and got a great report. The NICU conditioned us to measure everything, so we went to the doctor with a notebook of all their feedings and diapers. Their pediatrician is a musician friend of my dad and I had met him before too. We are thankful once again for the awesome folks God brings into our life. He told us to chill out and just be parents! We got rid of the notebook!

The boys are eating very well now. They sleep anywhere from 3-4 hours. Hopefully we can get them completely off the bottle feedings soon which means less pumping and that will add to our sleep time.

I will leave you with some photos of them flashing their dimples!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Tale of the Green Booger

So not sure if this was a nice little warm up or if it is going to be this scary every time. Before we left the NICU they went over how delicate our babies' immune systems are and that we need to be very careful and not even take them anywhere for a while. No one should see them unless they are willing to bathe themselves in hand sanitizer. If they do get sick it is probably RSV and that is absolutely HORRIBLE! Well, that is how I processed everything we were told and stored it in my mind. Jimmy's version is much calmer I'm sure.
Last night as I was swaddling them after their feeding I saw a booger coming out of Silas' nose. It was nice and clear. I wiped it gently and realized it was one of those nasty ones that just keeps coming. It basically extended all the way back into his throat. At the other end was a nice green blob. GREEN! That's bad... right? Well you know I googled the mess out of "preemies with green boogers." We had been so careful with him. Where could he have found germs? We immediately took his temperature. 98.6... it was just a normal digital thermometer. Us being still very concerned, Jimmy made a 1am run to Walgreens. He returned with some saline drops to clean out his nose and a temple thermometer for babies. Sure enough his temperature was still at 98.6.

Silas made it through the night... and seems perfectly fine! This was the States where Jimmy could run up and talk to a pharmacist. Not sure how I am going to handle something serious in the middle of nowhere. Maybe this was a practice round to condition me for Petén!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fun Times With Jonah and Silas

Before the boys were discharged they had to pass a 90 minute car seat test to make sure their blood saturation would stay up being that small bent in a car seat. Jimmy took our vehicle with car seats installed to get inspected by the highway patrol. They showed him how to add blankets to make it safer for preemies. Jimmy is so careful with his boys!
I thought this was a pretty good Silas face as he was observing the situation.
Jonah couldn't care less about what was going on. He was comfortable.
When we got home we just studied them. It was nice seeing them without their feeding tube and monitor wires. We could walk around with them without tripping or setting off any machines!
I cut their fingernails right away so that they would stop scratching their faces. I didn't realize that they had this cool trick of peeing on their backs. We put their diapers on real tight, but still seem to have the problem. Now I know why their bed was always tilted in the NICU!
The perinatologist warned us that the first 2 days or so would be hard on them adjusting to a new environment. They did not like their new big crib at first. Curled up on one of our chests was the only way they would sleep for those first 2 days. We were happy and didn't want to put them down anyway!
It is fun seeing them interact with each other. Here Jonah reached over and grabbed his brother's hand while in Grandma's lap.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

They're Home!

Jonah and Silas were discharged from the NICU this morning and we have been enjoying them all day! Thank you so much for your prayers for our boys. The fact that they got to come home the same day is a specific answer to prayer! They both weigh 5lbs, 11oz.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Life in the NICU Day 26-29: November 10-13

Happy 4 Weeks in the World, Jonah and Silas!
They are 36 weeks gestation today. It is hard for me to think that they should have still been in my tummy for another month. We have already gotten to know so much about them.
They have been doing so well nursing. I think that if we brought them home right now, they would do fine, but they have to learn how to take a bottle for all 8 feedings to be released. A bottle is harder and more tiring than nursing.
This is Sarah, their nurse for the morning. She took a lot of time talking with us. Today I was a little down. Each day one boy does better than the other. If you take just a snapshot, it looks like one is ahead of the other, but they flip flop. Well yesterday the doctor wanted to bump up Jonah to 2 out of 3 feedings and leave Silas at every other. I was concerned because 2 days ago, Silas was doing better than Jonah, but the doctor didn't asses them that day.

I want to keep them on the same feeding schedule, one, so that I can feed them myself as often as possible, and two, so that they come home at the same time. My greatest source of anxiety right now is that one would have to stay longer than the other. They sense each other and cry if we leave one in the crib without his brother. It is already hard enough to leave two without their Mommy, now we would take away their brother too... it would break my heart. I would be concerned that the one left would even regress and take longer to come home.

It seemed like every time we tried to talk to the doctors they would say, "Well I haven't looked at their charts yet." The healthier babies in the NICU get looked at last. I understand that, but it was getting frustrating. Sarah must have spoken to the head of the NICU, because he spoke to us for a while today and agreed to give Silas a try at the 2 out of 3 to be on the same schedule as his brother and... they both were successful as of their last feeding. Now the little sleepy guys just need to keep it up.

Sweet Silas snuggling with his Mommy!
Jonah falling asleep with his crazy leg sticking straight out!
Jimmy changing a diaper... this is a big deal! We are still at the point where we like changing diapers! We will take any moment we can get with them.
Jonah with his Daddy!

Please keep praying for them. I want them home with us to get loved on all the time!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baby Showers

My Aunt Grace and her daughters threw me a family baby shower when we first got here. It was beautiful and so much fun to talk about babies with all my aunts and cousins. I learned about all kinds of family traits! I wish I had taken more photos!
Our friend Rebecca who has been to Guatemala tons of times to visit us threw us a wonderful shower at Trinity. As missionaries we do not get to be here to celebrate all the special moments in our family and friends' lives, so the fact that they would celebrate ours while we are here really means a lot to us.
It was so great seeing old friends! My roommate from my sophomore year in college came and I hadn't seen her in 7+ years!
Here are some of the cute decorations Becca made! One for Silas and one for Jonah!
Thank you to everyone who came to our shower and celebrated our little boys' lives with us!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Life in the NICU Day 25: November 9

Great News!
We went in today and their nurses told us that they are being bumped up to a bottle every other feeding! One of those will be a bottle if they want after they nurse. That's 4 bottles a day! They are doing so good, they got to skip 3 a day. They have to get to 8 a day to be able to come home. The step in between is 2 bottle feedings then a tube feeding (6 a day). It is harder for them without a rest in between (tube feeding). And... they are both 5 lbs as of last night. Silas is 5lbs, 1.6oz and Jonah is 5lbs, 1.5oz! We are so excited. They will be home soon!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Life in the NICU Day 21-24: November 5-8

Both boys have taken up to 2 entire bottles a day on their own. They might be bumped up to 3 a day tomorrow. We think they could have been bumped up sooner, but that's a parent's opinion! Our two favorite doctors haven't come in for awhile, they seem to be more aggressive than the ones looking at their charts for the last week and a half.
Yesterday Jonah started opening his eyes more. His eyes are very sensitive to the bright lights above his bed, so we had to wait a little longer to enjoy them!
Each day I feel like we connect with them more. They have their little mouths open when we get there like little birds ready to be fed. One visit Jimmy walked in about 5 minutes before I did and picked up Jonah for his feeding. Silas, still laying in the bed, was very upset and started to whimper. Soon his Mommy came and fed and snuggled with him too. I was worried at first that they wouldn't distinguish us from the nurses, but they know who we are! We are very much attached!
Silas caught on to the nursing before Jonah, mainly because Jonah just wanted to sleep! Since they get a feeding through their tube while they are being nursed, anything they get is extra. For that reason, Silas hit the 5 lb mark first. Jonah is 2 oz behind. Jonah did really good this morning nursing. Yesterday seemed like a turning point for him in many areas.
Silas was taken off the pump they were using to slow his feedings and hasn't had any problems with reflux. Jonah's slight reflux is better too.
Silas found his thumb for a little while!
I was on a mission to find them more hats since they lose so much body heat through their heads. I found some sunglasses too. They need something to protect them from the harsh lights in the NICU!
I think they would have liked them if they hadn't already been asleep! They will wear them in KS. We only put them on them for the photo op! (Silas is on the left, Jonah on the right)
They are still on track to come home around 36 weeks gestation. That should be in a little over a week! Please keep praying for them!
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