Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
These last almost 2 months now have been extremely difficult on Tracey and I, on our family, on our friends and on little Colby and Avery. In sharing our story my eyes have been opened to a couple things. Number one, we're not alone. I can't tell you how many e-mails I get from other people going through hard times. A couple just lost their twins this past week. Another woman has been trying to get pregnant, is now pregnant and just had a miscarriage this weekend. Another friend has been trying to get pregnant, is finally pregnant but just learned she needs to have surgery to have her gal bladder out which could jeopardize the pregnancy. So what to make of all of this? I don't know really. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be any rationale as to why things happen to people. So don't bother trying to figure it out. Just deal with it as best you can and move on.
Secondly, you can deal with bad situations in many different ways. Alone our story is just a sad one. Tracey and I do our best to keep our chins up and make something good of our situation. I wonder sometimes if I take things too lightly. When I see people I'm relatively upbeat. I see other babies and am so happy. I love to hear about how our friends who are pregnant are doing. I see pregnant people and talk their ear off about pregnancy, babies, etc. In general, I'm dong OK. Shouldn't I be sad? Well....I cried on the way to an appointment this morning. I cried again on the way back. I cried when I got off the phone today and learned that my son's head has grown again. So I'm as upset as the next person. It's all in how you look at things I guess.
I hope that anyone following Colby and Avery's story takes away an appreciation of life and the hope that if they find themselves in a tough time, that they know tomorrow will be a brighter day. Take time to notice the good things, the things you DO have, not just what you don't. In the worst of times finding something to smile about is the best medicine. All this doesn't make things easier, but sometimes it makes it easier to get through them.
As you may have caught from up above, Colby's head is again a bit larger today. That's three days in a row now. Tracey talked with the doctor and found hope that this is probably not a result of a worsening brain bleed. So that's what we hold on to for today until the Ultrasounds come back. That will confirm that his brain bleed is still ok. He is off the ventilator today and hopefully will stay off this time. He's also continueing his feeds and hopefully the doctors will up that again.
I need to head off and give a presentation at 3:30. So I'm going to make the best of the trip, open the sunroof and listen to some Dave (those who know me see that this is an obvious reference to Dave Matthews). I'm heading to the hospital after the presentation and I'll do my best to take some pictures of our little boy. You should see them posted this evening.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Tracey and I are somewhat numb. We want so badly to keep hoping that this is nothing to worry about. Or that this is something that may subside. But we're very scared because this is the route Avery took. And even if things level out for Colby, it could mean shunts and long term issues.
We want to speak with the doctor (when we call we get a nurse and they can't do much but recite data. They can't offer any opinion or outlook of what may come). Hopefully when we're in the hospital today the doctor will be able to offer us some hope. Colby will get another ultrasound tomorrow or Tuesday and that should shed some light onto what is going on inside him.
I'm finding Colby's situation a little more difficult to deal with. Maybe it's because the recent loss of Avery. Maybe it's because he's my little boy and I want so badly to teach him all the "fatherly things". Maybe it's because he looks so well and the thought of him deteriorating just kills me. I'm not sure.
We've come a far way. Four years of trying to get pregnant. Surgeries for both Tracey and I. Countless doctor visits and attempts to get pregnant. Then Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome once Tracey got pregnant which made her belly swell in a matter of a week as if she was 6 months pregnant. Next being hospitalized at 22 weeks pregnant and going through all kinds of treatments to keep labor a bay. Colby and Avery came and it was a daily roller coaster ride. Then we loose Avery. A good couple days from Colby and now this. You have to think that our luck needs to change for the better at some point.
Just as the e-mails used to serve as my outlet, so now does the blog. And after stating all of this, there is still much to be positive about. There's still hope that Colby will get better. Tracey and I are relatively young and no matter what our outcome, we've talked about expanding our family in the years to come. I have a wonderful stepson. A fantastic family. We've worked very hard to get many things in our life to where they are today and we are extremely thankful for all of them. Most of all we have each other. Together Tracey and I can get through anything. It's just this one detail of having a healthy baby that for some reason just gives us quite a bit of trouble.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
(Picture from last Tuesday, Sept 18th)
The last couple days have been great for Colby. He's been moving in the right direction in a many ways....his tolerating the feedings well, his head size has been staying the same which would indicate that the hydrocephalus isn't getting worse. We talked with the doctor yesterday and he said that the ultrasounds came back and looked as if his brain bleeds were actually getting a little better !!! That's HUGE !!!! Although we get very excited to hear about the good news, we know that he has a long way to go until he's in the clear. So we do our best to be happy, while understanding that things can change quickly.
This morning is a good example. I called just now to check on how he did last night and things were generally OK. His head is a little bigger this morning. We don't want to be alarmed because it could simply be the way the nurse measured it, or it could be a brief swelling that will be gone tomorrow. This is the kind of thing we loose sleep over. He's also getting another blood transfusion this morning. I'm not too sure what to think of that. He's gotten them in the past and I guess if that's what he needs, then that's fine. I just don't understand if that's something to be concerned about or not. Because he's so small, he has his own bag of blood that they use while he's in the NICU. So it's not like he's getting all different people's blood. They said he's been doing so well with his feedings that they are going to a continuous drip into his belly now. That's a big step. He's never gotten that far before!
Tracey's car is on it's last leg. We're now searching around for a minivan. There are a lot of beautiful ones our there...but we just can't afford them. So we've found a couple that are 07 models with under 10,000 miles on them and are heading out today to test drive a couple.
Also, Tracey got the OK to go back to work in the beginning of October. That will help her regain another aspect of a "normal" life again.
Can you believe we have just over $2,000 raised in Colby & Avery's name for the March of Dimes !!!! That's all because of all of you. We see your names when you donate and Tracey and I can't thank you enough. Hopefully some day years down the road I will be able to tell Colby about how the story of him and his sister raised thousands of dollars which went to help other preemies and their families. It's so important to Tracey and I to do our best and use our situation to help educate people about premature birth and for Colby and Avery's story to leave a positive impact on people. Thank you all for your support.
Scott & Tracey
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Honestly, we would prefer that if anyone would like to do something, that they donate to the walk we're doing for Colby and now in honor of Avery. We understand your donation is for all of us and it would go a long way in their name and would help prevent other babies and their families from having to endure what we've gone through..
Thank you to everyone who has already donated !!!!
Scott & Tracey
Tracey and I were with her and ensured that she was showered with warmth and love.
In the three weeks that our daughter was with us, she showed us that strength is measured in many ways. Avery, never weighing more than 1 lb 13 ozs, is the strongest person we had ever met.
Avery was my first child. And even given her very difficult situation, she brings me such joy and happiness. I believe she's impacted other people as well and this is something that will stay with all of us.
Tracey and I are doing fine. As you can imagine we're going to keep to ourselves a little over the next couple days. Feel free to be in touch via e-mail and I will continue to update the blog on how we're doing and on Colby's progress as often as possible.
Thank all of you for your love, support and compassion during Avery's journey.
Scott & Tracey
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Avery too is continuing to show signs of a worsening situation with her brain. Her hydrocephalus continues and her head is getting larger. She cries a lot now. You can't hear her because she has tubes into her lungs, but she tries to cry.
Colby gets another ultrasound tomorrow. Thus far we've had a couple tough things happen and we're due for some good news.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Avery was doing well too. As I mentioned, they put a thicker breathing tube into her and that seems to have helped her feel less agitated. They got the results from her ultrasound back and her brain bleed (IVH) is still the same. But now there's signs of hydrocephalus. You may have seen dwarfs with enlarged heads or pictures from years ago where the facial features are normal, the be forehead or skull overall are very large. This is from hyrdrocephalus. It's a build up of water between the brain and the skull. No a days, it doesn't pose too much of a risk as long as the doctors can keep on top of it. Avery has a very mild case at this point. If it doesn't progress, it will probably have absolutely no impact. If it does, they intervene early now a days and would drain the fluid before it pushing too hard on her head or brain. So that's a new thing to monitor for her.
But apart from that they're doing well. They're 2 weeks and 4 days old now. : ) YIPPIEEEE!! It feels like they've been in the NICU for months. I can see the changes in them already. They're opening their eyes much more. Moving about more. They respond to our voices more. Life is good !!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
...well..I will. It was GREAT !!! Sorry, no pics. I went alone. I'll get some pics of me with them soon.
Avery is doing great the last couple days !! Yesterday she was a little off, but that's to be expected. She has been getting breast milk, albeit very small amounts since Sunday now and has been doing wonderful with that. Today I had a full work day. Out of he house around 8am, on appointments all day and back home around 5. Quick bite to eat and then off to the hospital. I think that will be my "norm" for a while. I didn't get back home until about 10pm. But hell, I got to hold my little girl! I would have stayed there all night if I had to !!
Colby is doing well too. Yesterday, he was having a hard day. He was back on the oscillating respirator for a couple days and I think that was getting to him. He was agitated and didn't want to be touched or anything. His lungs are cooperating so they've taken him off that for now. He was zonked out. Completely wiped. I put my hands in and held him as best I could within incubator, but tried to let him be.
It's kind of funny because when you talk to him, his forehead raises up. Almost like he doesn't know how to work his eyelids yet, so he tries to pull his eyes open with his forehead.
Sorry I haven't been as diligent with the updates but life is getting a bit busier now. Tracey is home and doing MUCH better. She's able to drive herself to the NICU. I'm falling back into more of a normal work routine. I'll continue to post updates every couple days and certainly when we hit milestones.
One important thing is happening tomorrow.....they're doing their weekly ultrasound to see how the babies brain bleeds are doing. Last week was the same as the week prior. I'm STILL hoping that this week will show signs of improvement.
I hope this blog is working well for everyone. You can click on the pictures to make them larger. You can also comment on posts by clicking on the comment icon. You don't need to register to post comments. You can click on the "Anonymous" icon and simply sign your comment (if you wish to) within the verbiage that you type. Or...you can always e-mail me as you did before. : )
I've got another full day tomorrow and it's getting close to 11:30, so I'm going to sign off for tonight.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Then, on Sunday, August 26th, Tracey started having more persistent contractions. They continued through the night and finally, on Monday, August 27 we were sent back to ICU. By this point, we were worn down from weeks of living in the hospital. Very little sleep and a roller coaster or emotions had taken it's toll on us. The doctors checked Tracey to find that she was progressing into labor. They declared that we needed to hurry into the operating room for an emergency C-Section. Within 1/2 an hour we found ourselves in an operating room, Tracey was strapped to an operating table and I was donning the blue hospital outfit. Within minutes the doctors asked me to stand up and see my baby girl, Avery, for the first time. I sat back down to tell Tracey how good she looked. Then came Colby. It all happened so quickly that it's a blur now.
They were born at 25 weeks and 5 days gestation. Both babies had been able to get the benefit of staying in utero for 3 more weeks because of their mom's resiliency. During this time Tracey had gotten shots of a steroid to help the babies lung development. Colby weighed 1lb 15ozs. Avery was 1lb 13ozs. Both measuring 13 and 1/2 inches. Although it was much sooner than we hoped, our babies where now with us.
Apart from this, our pregnancy was non eventful. Almost no nausea. Just great given that she was carrying two babies !!!
I was soooooo excited to finally see my wife pregnant. I was dreaming of our little guys running around the house. I subscribed to about 5 baby/pregnancy/parenting magazines and would watch all the TV shows about babies and pregnancy. Things were going very well!!