Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kourtney Sucking on her Pacifier!

Here is a cute video we took last night of Kourtney sucking on her pacifier:

Presley is now on steroids to help the inflammation in her throat to help her get weaned off the ventilator and on to the SiPap. They will attempt this tomorrow and hopefully it will work. This is the 4th try.

Kourtney is now on the CPap and is doing great! They are even thinking about putting her on the high flow nasal cannula next week.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mommy's Turn to Hold Kourtney!

Today was my turn to hold little Kourtney and this time we did Kangaroo Care, which is where you hold the baby up to the mother's bare chest for skin to skin contact. It was great, she fell right to sleep on me for over an hour until she got woke up by the nurse because she needed to eat. I can't wait to hold Presley now although she needs to get off of the ventilator first. They told us tonight they are going to try to extubate her again in a day or two. They are both 2.6lbs and are receiving 14 mL of breast milk.The nurses also made this cute little pictures with their names, birthdate, and their footprints! I love them they are so cute! Here are some pictures of me holding Kourtney:

Daddy Got to Hold Kourtney!

Yesterday, March 26, 2011, Travis got to hold Kourtney for the first time. I wasn't there and I am sad that I missed it but it was always agreed on that Travis would hold Kourtney and that I would hold Presley. Here are some pictures of Daddy holding his little girl for the first time:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Presley and Kourtney Are A Month Old!!

The girls are now a month old and are doing good. They are getting 13 mL of breast milk every 2 hours and Presley now weighs 2 lbs 2 ounces and Kourtney weighs 2 lbs. Kourtney is on the SiPap and Presley is still on the ventilator although they try every week to get her off of it. She's the boss! The nurses all tell me that they are feisty little girls and sometimes they even have to pin Presley's arm down because she has extubated herself a couple of times! Presley seems to be the feistier of the two since Kourtney just hangs out calmly with her hands up above her head. I change their diapers every chance I get and that is getting more and more often. We caught Presley smiling the other day and we even caught her on video doing it. I bought them each a purple bunny and Presley's is named Hopscotch and Kourtney's is named Cupcake. The girls did have grade 1&2 brain bleeds but the Drs. have told us that they aren't severe enough to do anything and that they are already receding. We still don't know if they have done any damage that will affect their hearing, eyesight, or if they will have cerebral palsy. That is always of concern with preemies, whether or not they have brain bleeds so we are worried about that being such a big possibility. Unfortunately, we won't know until they are about 1 year old and after we see how they are developing and reaching milestones. We still haven't got to hold the girls yet since they have to be more stable and off the ventilator. We should be able to "kangaroo care" Kourtney any day now since she is off the ventilator and getting more and more stable on it everyday. Until we can hold them, all we can do is to cup their head and their feet since babies this age aren't use to being touched or stroked so they love to feel contained. On 3/12/2011 Kourtney reached 2 lbs and on 3/13/2011 Presley did and we gave them 2 lb Awards to put on their isolettes for reaching a great milestone.Here are my favorite pictures from this month:

Containing Presley. She was really upset that day.

Mommy and Presley

Presley and Hopscotch

Kourtney when she was still on the ventilator

Kourtney on her SiPap with Cupcake
Kourtney on her SiPap sucking on her pacifier
Presley opening her eyes
Kourtney opening her eyes
Daddy's hand on Kourtney


Kourtney's favorite way to sleep

Kourtney all bundled up
Presley's isolette and 2 lb Award

Kourtney's isolette with 2 lb Award
Here are some videos:

Mommy talking to Kourtney
Presley smiling at Mommy
Kourtney smiling at Mommy
Mommy changing Presley's diaper
Mommy changing Kourtney's diaper
Kourtney waving hi on SiPap

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Presley and Kourtney Swain's Birth Story

I decided to make this website so that family and friends, and later on Presley and Kourtney, can come to visit and see my little 25 week miracles, Presley and Kourtney. I guess I should start at the very beginning...

I went into the hospital on February 7, 2011 since I started having contractions. I had started dilating but only a fingertip. My OBGYN was worried since I was only 23 weeks 3 days so he sent me to California Pacific Medical Center where my pregnancy specialists were. They transported me by ambulance and by the time I got to the hospital I was dilated to 4cm and had a bulging bag in my cervix (Presley's bag). It was not good news. Dr. Arvon, one of the specialists, told us we would lose them both and that there was nothing that she could do and that she was really sorry. She explained to us that if you are not 24 weeks along they do not resuscitate babies or try to save them at all. I pleaded with her and continually asked her if 4 days really made such a huge difference of life and death. She explained that it was the strict cutoff and that yes, it did make a huge difference. She then brought in the neonatologist that came in with tears in her eyes and told us she begged Dr. Arvon and the nurses not to make her come into our room and tell us that our babies were not going to make it and that we were going to miss the cutoff by 4 days. Travis and I both agree that that was the single most horrible day of our lives. We cried and cried and Dr. Arvon told us it was just a waiting game. We called and texted family and friends and everybody prayed for us. Nobody will ever know how much Travis and I appreciated the amount of support and prayers that we received. We were on several prayer lists at churches and even prayer chain emails. It meant the world to us.

2 days later on February 9, 2011, I woke up in the middle of the night with a gush of fluid. The nurse came in and said it was my water that broke as she had put some of the fluid in a test tube and added something to it to check and see if it was amniotic fluid. She said that it was and everybody was running around like crazy saying this is it and they moved me to a delivery table. I called Mom (Mimi) and told her that this was it and that there was nothing anyone could do and to please call Dad (Grandpa) and Della (Grandma) and tell them because I just didn't think I could choke out the words again since I could barely talk to her to where she could understand me with all the crying. Dr. Sorem came in and did a cervical check and also collected some of the fluid and placed in on a slide to confirm that it was amniotic fluid. She came back minutes later and said that it wasn't my water breaking but that labor would progress soon. So I just laid there and waited. I called Mom (Mimi) and Dad (Grandpa) and Della (Grandma) back and told them the news. They were so happy!

The next day, February 10th, 2011, Dr. Arvon came in with a plan. She had read that this medicine, called Indocin, would decrease the amniotic fluid around the babies and would, hopefully, make Presley's sac recede back in which of course would be great since it was at risk for infection. She also had me lay in Trendelenberg position, which is laying upside down on my head basically. It was hell but I was willing to do anything and everything. I ate like that, I bathed like that, and I slept like that. The medicine did work but it was only suggested that I use it for 7 days since if it decreased the twins' fluid too much it wouldn't be good for them.

February 11, 2011 was a special day. I was now 24 weeks and everything changed. I received steroid shots for the twins' lungs to mature and also started receiving magnesium sulfate, which is this awful stuff that gives you heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and makes you hot and sweaty, but apparently does wonders for the babies brains and helps prevent/reduce brain bleeds after birth. The Drs and everyone else were now going to do everything in their power to save Presley and Kourtney. We weren't completely relieved as the neonatologist always stressed that only 40% of babies make it if born at 24 weeks.

February 18th, 2011. I was 25 weeks! Everybody was high fiving me throughout the day even though I had contractions that started around noon. They gave me every medicine they could to stop them which worked...until I woke up at 3:18am. I started bleeding heavily and Dr. Dwire was called in who told me I was 10 cm dilated. I was then wheeled into the operating room and 2 teams of 4 neonatologists were there waiting for Presley and Kourtney. It was a madhouse. There were so many people in there. I got an epidural and started pushing. They had a lead on Presley's head and were tracking Kourtney's heartbeat on my stomach externally. They all of a sudden lost Presley's heartbeat and then they couldn't find Kourtney's after just a few pushes. Dr. Dwire called a c-section and said she wanted to be cutting in 1 minute. I was freaking out. They didn't have time to switch my epidural into a spinal block because it takes 15-20 minutes to do that so I was put under.

Presley and Kourtney were born at 3:18 am on February 18, 2011. Presley Taylor weighed 1.5lbs and  was 11.75 inches and Kourtney Madison weighed 1.4lbs and was 12.6 inches. Presley was blue and had no heartbeat for 2 minutes and Kourtney cried when she was born.

Here are some videos and pictures Daddy took of our girls a couple of hours after they were born:

Presley opening her eyes for the first time
Kourtney opening her eyes for the first time and yawning

Presley a couple hours old.



Kourtney a couple of hours old


The neonatologist told us that they would know more about their condition in a couple of hours and then know even more in a couple of days as there is always a "honeymoon" where the baby does great before really going downhill. The girls were baptized 5 days after they were born and that is also the first time I got to touch both of them. It was a great day.