Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The news is out

I am so super excited to announce I am going to be AUNT! My sister found out she was pregnant back in October and she found out yesterday that it is a GIRL! Another girl for my family and the first for her husband, Justin's, family. So 4 years 4 girls...whoa! We will shortly have our own cheerleading squad.

CONGRATULATIONS KALA & JUSTIN! MARY ROSS ROLLING IS GOING TO BE SO LOVED.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas


I could seriously eat her up. Blake!
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Look at that face! My heart...
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas time

Christmas time is upon us people. Hope you are ready! I know I am. I actually don't even feel like it is Christmas. I guess with all the chaos this year I haven't had a chance to sit and ponder what I want from Santa and how excited I would be when I opened it. I mainly have been busy buying, budgeting, and being way too busy getting our life organized. So now that Christmas week is here I feel like I'm not in the holiday spirit. I sort of feel like it is a sign of my age or as I like to think of it "maturity". That now that my life is filled with three kids, the Christmas that once was all about me is now all about them. Shhh though, lets not tell my parents I even thought that. Hehe!



Ashlyn Kay has opened a couple of presents from friends and other family members so far. She loves opening presents and is so excited about each and every one of them. It is such a joy to watch her get so excited. I am looking forward to many more where there are three little girls running around, ripping open presents, and screaming with joy! Well until someone messes up their pile or takes their most favorite toy ever...-oh what joy.

Palmer and Blake had their 4 month check up two weeks ago. Palmer was 10 pounds 11 ounces and Blake was 9 pounds 6 ounces. They are really trying hard to gain that weight, especially Blake. The occupatial therapist met with Palmer yesterday. Her eating is so much better and she gave her a thumbs up! She still does we they call "fisting". This is where she keeps her hands closed tightly in a ball all the time. We worked on excersises and will continue to work. If she keeps her hands closed in a couple more months the therapist will put hand splits on her to help her develop muscle tone in her hands. Today the twins will meet with the physical therapist. I am looking forward to see what they think about Blakes legs.
Yesterday Blake went to the lab to have her alpha feta protein drawn. I am not sure when the results will come in. We are expecting this month's to be higher then getting lower each time. Guess we will see.





Now that we are closing in on a year end I sit and think about what has actually taken place in the year of 2010...
We found out we were pregnant, we found out we were having twins, we found out we were having twin girls, I went to the beach and ended up in the hospital with contractions and dehydration, Baby A was thought to have spina bifida, Baby A was diagnosed with a sacrococcygeal what??? oh teratoma, we were sent to Childrens Hospital Cincinnati to the fetal care center, every other week I had ultrasound after ultrasound, I went to the ER for more contractions, another visit to Childrens Cincinnati, back in the hospital for contractions again, final visit to Cincinnati, moved to Cincinnati, moved in to the Bradley home, went in to labor, babies delivered via emergency c-section, blake's life was saved, Ashlyn Kay was sent to wetumpka for three weeks while I recovered, Jeff & I moved in to the Ronald McDonald House, Jeff & I visited the NICU every day, Palmer released, moved back to the Bradley home, Blake had a second teratoma resection, Ashlyn Kay moved in to our "temporary home" aka apartment in Ohio, Blake had another surgery, Blake had another surgery, Blake was released (hooray), the whole Moran Clan (finally a family of 5) moved back to Birmingham, spent a couple months basking in the glory of God!, Jeff went back to work (booooo:(, and here we are December and whew what a year!
A whole 12 months of surprise, excitement, adjustment, shock, disappointment, new friends, nervousness, scared to death, pain, and praise!
It was not the year I was planning but now that it is coming to a close it was just the year I needed. I hope that 2011 is a little less eventful but still filled with love and happiness.
Thank you everyone for your compassion, concern, and prayers this year. You are all truely a blessing to our family.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

4 months


On Monday, the twins turned 4 whole months! What a whirlwind those months have been. So glad we have made it this far.

Jeff went back to work on Monday (boohoohoooo.....). I truely have missed his company. Thankfully the girls were all very well mannered on our first day buy ourself. It really wasn't that bad. Tuesday was a little more hectic. AK woke up sick and so we had to make a quick change of plans for the day because I teach aerobics on Tuesday mornings. Jeff's mother has graciously offered to keep the twins while I teach aerobics on Tuesday and Friday mornings. Ashlyn Kay goes to school on Tuesday & Thursdays and can also go to the fitness center daycare on Friday's with me. We didn't want to leave sick AK with her nana + the twins. We figured it out and it was all good! Crisis fixed.

Today AK went to school while I took the twins to the 4 month well baby visit. Southlake Pediatrics is so understanding and kind to us. They always have me call before I come so they can help me carry in the twins and they take us through the back so we do not have to wait in the common area to avoid germs. They try and see us as soon as possible because they understand how babies can be. The girls did perfect!

Blake weighed 9 pounds and 6 ounces, 22 1/2 inches long

Palmer weighed 10 pounds 11 ounces, 24 inches long

Both girls were above the curve, well except for Blake on her weight, but the doctor said that is fine she should be above the curve by her 6 month visit.

The pediatrician was satisfied with their progress so far. He changed Blake's dosage on one of her reflux meds and hopefully that will work. If not we will be making a stop at the GI doctor.

So after the shots (which I hate) were over we loaded up and headed home.

Someone at the docs office commented that the girls must be new babies. I laughed and said, "oh no", "they are 4 months old." She looked a little shocked. Guess that is a reaction they will be getting for a while.


So far the girls are able to hold their head up and sit in the bumbo. They still love their swings and bouncers. Palmer is my smiley pants. She smiles anytime you look at her. She is such a joy. Blake is a go-getter. She likes to be stood up and bounce around on your legs. She is ready to Go! They both are changing everyday and growing. I am proud of them. Palmer is also doing better with her eating, thank goodness. Oh and they both are sleeping through the night. I thought this day would never come. I was having a hard time with it because AK slept through the night so early. The twins were just not big enough and we have finally made it.


Ashlyn Kay is being such a wonderful big sister. She loves to help out with the twins. She gets me their bib and burp cloths, throws away their diapers, and talks to them. Palmer loves her big sister a lot! We are excited about our first Christmas as a family of 5. We are staying in Birmingham this year. It is too much to travel all over with this many kids, especially since we still don't have a van yet. Crossing our fingers that Santa brings us one. I have written many letters-ha!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Here is another picture made by The Blink Lady. Our new family of five!
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

So cute!

One of our Christmas pictures by The Blink Lady!
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

As Thanksgiving is right around the corner I just gush with joy. I find myself day dreaming of sitting around a Thanksgiving table and sharing with others all that I am thankful for. I mean, really, if I were to start sharing my thoughts on thankfulness this upcoming holiday season we would never get to eat the turkey-ha! I am thankful for simple things. Such as first and foremost the fact that my dear angel is here and alive and WELL today. I sit and think of how different my feelings this holiday would be if our journey in Ohio had ended differently. She is such a blessing along with my other two girls. Her smile she shares with me and how her eyes widen when she sees me bring such overwhelming emotions over me. I am thankful for being home, my actual physical home. I am thankful for my husband and how much help he has been to me and how supportive he has been. I am thankful for my AMAZING friends and family who without them I would not have made it past the elevators the day I found out I was pregnant with twins. I am thankful for educated, talented, and caring physicians and nurses who have been such a important part of our lives this year. I am oh so thankful for generosity of others and God's ability to allow me and Jeff to accept their generosity without stupid pride getting in the way. My list goes on and on and on...literally. Never have I had so much to be thankful for than I do this Thanksgiving 2010. My life has been for ever changed for the better.

Blakely & Palmer are doing so well. I am just thrilled at how much they are growing and getting stronger every day. We are working on our motor skills and both girls seem to be making needed progress. Palmer is stronger but Blake hates to be left behind and tries her best to catch up. She is so determined. I am looking forward to yet another "First Christmas" this year. I am also excited because Ashlyn Kay is starting to get to the sweet age where Christmas is truly a miracle in her eyes. I am excited to see her expression on Christmas Day to see what Santa has brought her.

I don't think I had posted our recent family pictures made by the talented Bonnie Cerniglia aka The Blink Lady here in Birmingham. Bonnie has been taking our families pictures literally since AK's birth-day. Bonnie was there in our delivery room snapping away when Ashlyn Kay was born and she has watched our family grow and grow and captured these moments beautifully. We had these pictures done about 2 weeks after we got back from Cincy. They are wonderful!
Go to www.theblinklady.com
Click on Online Proofing, private settings, and scroll through the pages to Kristen M. Our password is MORAN (ALL CAPS) and enjoy my beautiful girls.

Have a wonderful upcoming Thanksgiving holiday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

3 months old!

I seriously can't believe the twins are 12 weeks old today. They are adjusted age 1 month old, but either way time is flying by quickly. Its neat to see the changes from their last month picture. Blakely is really putting on the lbs! She went for a visit at the allergy & immunologist last thursday and weighed 8 pounds and was 18 inches long. I was shocked! We won't find out Palmer's weight until next months 4 month check up with the pediatrician. I am guessing she is weighing about 10 or 11 pounds now though.
Let's see what has been going on here in the "Big Top" circus show....
Blakely is finally eating better. She test slightly positive to milk & soy. Which means she has a allergy and possibly esonophillic esophigitis (spelling). The allergist suggested a new formula called Neocate. She really likes it and there is much improvement with it-thankfully. We will have to avoid all milk and soy products through her first year of life and hopefully she will out grow it at that time.
Occupational Therapy came to the house this past Friday to evaluate Palmer's eating habits and see their skill level so far. Palmer is still working on getting her jaw muscles stronger so that she can get the suck, swallow, breath reflex down better. The OT told me to introduce a rattle and play patty cake with Blakely because she was ready. Palmer is just hanging out right now and doesn't really have a desire to get moving...as we assumed she would be that way. She is my laid back child. Blake is my "go-getter" like her big sister. One thing is for sure that this house is going to be a crazy town once everyone is really moving. I am excited though!
This past Saturday was mine and Jeff's 6 year anniversary. Our sweet sunday school teacher and her daughter came to the house and babysat all three girls. Bless their souls! Jeff & I went out to dinner and really enjoyed ourselves. We were thinking back to that day and not being able to imagine that 6 years later there would be a house full of girls! We are thankful and happy! Especially for our Blake. Sometimes I am sitting on the couch looking at her and just imagining a life a without her in it. I just can't! She is so precious in every way, as are all three of our little ladies.
Oh...big news in our family...my baby sis is pregnant!!! We are thrilled and hoping for a boy to mix it up. May 28th is our big day!
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Back to where it all began

Jeff & I made the visit to my OBGYN, Dr. Michelle Christine, at Birmingham OBGYN, here in Birmingham yesterday afternoon. I felt a little embarrassed strolling my "bus" plus 1 into the office, but everyone was so excited to see us it made me feel better. The office staff who are always so kind, just went bananas over the twins. As always everyone in the waiting room wanted to check out double trouble. It always cracks me up how people find twins amazing. I guess when you have them you just forget how strange it actually is to have two human beings growing in your belly at the same time and then arrive together. I was telling my mother that and she said, "I still can't believe you have twins!" Strange.
I had a good check up and shared our story with the physician. She had been keeping up through the blog and through people at the office, but was just amazed by the story once she heard it again from the horse's mouth. I hear myself telling it over and over again and sometimes stop and think, my gosh this is amazing. Throw in the generosity of the Bradley Family and you have a new "Blind Side" coming your way. Here I come Hollywood! Ha, right? Dr. Christine made a comment about how if you weren't a believer before hearing a story, how could not believe in some way or another afterwards. Medicine is truly a miracle, but so is the power of our God. I remember telling myself he had a plan for my girls and that he would not take either of them away from us and use them in some way. It is now wonderful to start to see this all unfolding.
I was a little sad knowing that my favorite doctor didn't get to deliver the twins but thankful she was able to meet them. I guess silly things like that really don't matter in the end.

OH, I forgot to mention in my email about Blakely's follow up appointment that we spoke to the surgeon about several things. One, being her ovaries. He said he was not sure if they were there or not, but they should be. He said he didn't encourage parents to concern themselves with checking in to that until they were 3 or 4 when the ovaries were bigger. We will probably get that checked out in a year or so around the time of her 1 year MRI. Also, Jeff asked Dr. Lim why she was born not breathing. We knew the tumor was hemorrhaging but had no indication she wasn't doing well with her breathing and were a little confused what led to that. He said that she just happened to be delivered at the moment the tumor had finally taken its toll on her. The hemorrhaging let to too much strain on her heart. So basically she was delivered at exactly the right moment. Now that is a God thing!

Tomorrow we are taking Blake to get checked for a protein allergy at a allergist and immunologist here in Birmingham. We feel 100% that she is allergic to the protein in cows milk, but just need to know for sure. She is eating much better now that she is on the protein sensitive formula thankfully. I hope that Blake doesn't cry too much tomorrow. I hate when she cries from pain.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

O-Hi-O

What a good week we had! Monday, meme & papa made a trip to Birmingham to pick up AK. They kept her while we were going to Ohio. Jeff & I left Tuesday morning, bright and early, and started our 8 hour trek to Cincy. It wasn't bad weather when we left, but boy did we hit some. At one point we passed a exit and immediately then heard on the radio from the weather service that if you were in that area a tornado had touched down and you needed to seek shelter immediately. ahhh! so scary! Made it to Cincinnati despite bad weather and poop in one piece.
Everyone was very excited to see the Bradley Family. We had missed them so much. So we picked right back up where we left off...talking about those Auburn Tigers. War Eagle!
Wednesday morning we had our appointment for Blakely. We went to the hospital a little early just in case. Ate lunch at the cafeteria and as I sat there feeding Blakely I realized the journey we had just been through. I had sat at those same tables eating that same yummy pizza time after time through pregnancy, post-delivery, and now while holding my precious girls. Wow! I wanted to stand on the tables and shout it to everyone. Miracle in your presence! Everyone oohed and ahhed over how cute the twins were too. Melted my heart. Since we had arrived early we headed on up to Floor 4, Area B to the RCNIC. Kourtney (Blake's primary) and Karen ( a charge nurse) came out to see the girls. We were all so excited. When you spend day in and day out with these people leaving them is like leaving a very close relative behind. Nice to visit with yall! I also felt some sadness for all the parents going in and out because I had one time been that parent who watched people bring in their graduated babies to visit wishing inside that it was me.
After our reunion we went to another part of the hospital to see Dr. Lim. He was excited to see us. A different vibe because now we were out! He checked Blakely over and she got a great report. He was very impressed with her healing and how wonderful she looked. We will have her alpha fetal protein markers checked in December. He anticipates these to be high. They will be checked every 3 months. So again in March. Dr. Lim said if these were the same or higher we will need to head back to Children's Cincinnati, but if they are lower then we will continue care down here in Birmingham. She will come back in August regardless for a 1 year follow up MRI. As much as we are wanting to go back to visit I don't really care to be visiting for a bad report. So everyone pray low markers in March. Sounds like something that should be on a t-shirt. Low Markers in March-ha!
Thursday Laura and I did a little shopping and we visited again with more old and some new friends. Friday was back to Alabama day. Thankfully the weather wasn't so scary. It was cold, but not scary. Arriving back in Birmingham to Ashlyn Kay's smiling face was the cherry on top! Such a great week.
Here is a picture of the twins in their Halloween costumes. They are mini-minnie's. Ashlyn Kay was a big girl Minnie Mouse. She would not cooperate to take a picture with the twins. Shocking I know. Thank you all for your prayers for us this week. As always, grateful!
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back to Cincy

On Tuesday we will load up and head out to Cincinnati for Blake's one month check up with Dr. Lim at Children's Hospital. Jeff & I are both very excited. As much as we wanted to be back in Alabama we have missed the nurses, doctors, and our new friends in Ohio. We have also been a little cooped up since we have been back and this will be a chance to get out and about. Dr. Lim will check her incision to make sure it is still continuing to heal properly. I am also planning on asking him about our question of ovaries or no ovaries. I am hoping he gives us the answer I want to hear, but if he doesn't then that is something we will deal with and not worry about. ON a positive note, her broken down areas have completely healed! We now can use baby wipes on her when changing her diaper and she doesn't scream bloody murder either. This is a relief. We both dreaded the 8 diaper changes, sometimes more, a day we had to do with her. Jeff & I just felt to bad for her. Not exactly sure why they healed up all the sudden but literally one morning we woke up and they were gone. I think it has to do with the fact that we changed her formula to a protein sensitivity formula because I feel confident she is allergic to milk protein. I have in a call for a appointment with a allergist to test her to make sure.
I am so happy that we will get to spend several days with the Bradley family. It's been almost a month since we have seen them and I am having withdrawals-ha! We are hoping the girls can ride a little longer than 3 hours before stopping to eat. It took a really long time to get home last month. If it does take that long to get there then oh well. We are taking the twins and leaving Ashlyn Kay with meme for the week. There is still a issue of car to kid ratio for us. Meaning even our smaller SUV isn't big enough for 3 kids and 2 adults plus luggage. The car seats don't even all fit in the back seat. Hopefully we are going to get a van or larger SUV around Christmas time. We will see though. It is frustrating having to take 2 cars everywhere.
If everyone could pray for our safe travels and a good report from Dr. Lim.
On another note: today we are going to the Fall pumpkin carving social our sunday school class has every year. It is at Homewood Park, so I figured the fresh air would do us all good. I am hoping that the girls do well. I am nervous, but since today is so pretty and a great temperature I think it is the perfect time to say HELLO World we are the Moran Twins (well at least for a hour or so-ha). I will post pictures later!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Out and about

Tonight Ashlyn Kay had her mother's day out Open House at Hunter Street Baptist Church. I asked her when she left school today if she wanted to come back tonight. Of course, she said yes..." Play coys (toys)". So of course we had to go. I convinced Jeff that we all needed to get out as a family. We are really supp. to be out with the twins since they are still tiny bits. We were all geared up for a day out anyway. This morning I was going to the doctor for a checkup and everyone at the office requested a visit from the twins since no one has met them yet. We all got up, got dressed, fed, car ready...oh the process it is to get 3 under 3 plus 2 ready to go anywhere and look presentable. They called at the last minute and needed me to change my appointment. Ahhhh! What effort we made. So I was bound and a determined to go somewhere and the Open House was perfect!
The 5 of us loaded up in our seperate cars because yes we still don't have a car big enough for 3 carseats. It will happen and when it does...Praise will it be. Ashlyn Kay cried of course because she wanted to be in the car with her baby sisters. So sweet to know she absolutely loves those little ladies. I sure hope that her love for them carries on when they are 15 and she is 17. We will see I guess. Anyway...we loaded up and off we went. Arrived at the church and started to unload. Pulled out the double snap and go (life saver). We were greeted by some friends and of course everyone was so excited the babies were out. A couple of stares and comments of "oh twins" later we were inside AK's classroom admiring her art. We chatted with some friends for a bit, her teacher, and watched her play, then out we went. It was a quick 30 minute trip but so nice to be out as a whole family of 5. I loved every minute of it! Can't wait for more outtings.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Game Day

I thought that most everyone would enjoy this pic of the girls in their game day outfits. Laura picked these up for the twins a while back and 9 weeks later they finally fit. Ha! Felt this was photo opp necessary. For all you Bamers I promise to do a photo session of the girls in their Bama gear later. Their Bama onesies are still a little big.
Our update for the week: Palmer is a much happier baby now that we switched her formula. She is eating better and sleeping better. Thankfully. Blake on the other hand, we are still working on her. After adding the rice cereal she is keeping it down thankfully but now isn't eating as much because she gets full quicker. She seems happier. We are still testing out which formula is best for her. I am pretty convinced that she has a slight allergy to milk protein, so we will see.
Early Intervention came on Friday to do their intial evaluation of the twins. The PT's said they looked great for being 5 days old-ha! Yes, my due date was Monday so "technically" by the State's standards they were only 5 days old on Friday. Insane, right, seeing as they have been in this world for 9 weeks on Monday. They are actually the size of a typical full term baby which is great. The PT's said they have appropriate reflexes. They are going to work with Blake more since she is a SCT baby and needs special attention. Their first goal is to get her to straighten those legs out. So we will see them again in a couple of weeks to work on that. They are also sending out a OT to work with the girls on their eating, especially Palmer. She is so messy.
The physicial therapist put the girls together to see how they react to each other. Blake who absolutely LOVES her sis wiggled her way closer and closer to Palmer. P on the other hand wiggled herself away from Blake. Blake seems to be very co-dependent and likes being close to Palmer. Palmer on the other hand wants to have her own space and doesn't care for Blake getting "all up in it". It is very interesting to see a twin dynamic. I am excited to watch them grow.
Also, Blakes bottom is starting to improve. Her broken down areas are looking much better and we are actually getting to use baby wipes every now and then. Hooray! She doesn't seem to fuss as much either. This is a big step and something I am very greatful for. So thank you for all keeping us in her prayers.
Ashlyn Kay was of course very helpful while early intervention was here. Making sure that they were aware that these were her "qu baby sistas"! So cute!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and War Eagle.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Doctors Visit

So things have been going pretty well around the "Big Top". Its obviously hectic, with crying, diapering, feeding, and all the other items around the house that need to be done, but with good help aka Daddy, things are moving right along. If only we could even get some rest-ha! Blake and Palmer both started having tummy and spit up issues. The doctor changed their formula and it did great for Palmer. She stopped her what seemed like constant crying and hasn't been miss gassy pants. Now Blake is another story. Bless her heart she is spitting up way more, well we could say vomitting which was normally all over me (amazing) and choking and just having a seriously hard time eating. So after a all nighter with her constant crying and a little scare of choking I gave in and decided to take her to the pediatrician today. We were sent for a upper GI today. She did great. They gave her a bottle with formula mixed with dye. She drank it like a champ. She was starving. I actually watched the images and it was pretty crazy. She would drink a little and it would try to go down her esophagus but then it would come right back up. So her belly filled up and then she exploded formula. Poor girl. The pediatricians office called and said she had level 4 reflux. The plan is to keep her on her reflux medicine, put rice cereal in her bottle, and change her formula. I am crossing my fingers this works. If not then the pediatrician feels she might have a milk issue and we will need to change formulas again, maybe soy. Ugh! I would normally get irriated and stressed by our situation today but one thing that I have learned is to just roll with the punches. Jeff stayed home and played the daddy role well while we were gone. While we were at the pediatricians office they weighed ol Blakester. She weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces-amazing! I can't believe she is getting so big. Ashlyn Kay was 6 pounds 7 ounces when she was born....strange to imagine Blake is 9 weeks old and she just now reached a full term babies weight and that it was so close to her big sisters. I am very excited that the girls are starting to gain weight and move on up. Tomorrow Palmer has her eye exam because for some reason she never had one when she was in the NICU. Friday early intervention is coming to work with the girls,mainly Blake. I am excited to see what they are going to do!
We are slowly moving our self into some type of a routine. Still have a long way to go.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nursery

My friend Lynlee & her mother decorated the twins nursery while I was gone. Thank Goodness. It was so amazing to come home to this!


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2 months old!

Monday the twins turned 2 months old! So they felt the need to tell everyone! So cute!
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Monday, October 4, 2010

We are home!

Align CenterAs we headed out of the Bradley's driveway on Thursday I was excited but sad all in the same emotion. I couldn't wrap my head around it that we were actually leaving. My grandmother flew up Wednesday morning to she could ride in the car with me and the twins on the way back. Jeff had to drive our other car with Ashlyn Kay in it.
The ride was actually not that bad and we only had to stop three times to feed and diaper the girls. Finally made it back to my driveway around 5 p.m. I actually just could not believe that I was home. My house looked strange to me, so different, so un lived in. Ashlyn Kay and Jeff had already made it home and she was so excited to be back with some of her old toys. My amazing friend Lynlee and her mother ( love yall ) had put together and completely decorated the nursery and Ashlyn Kay's new big girl bedroom. Jeff covered my eyes and did a "reveal". They were both amazing. I will post pictures soon.
We settled in and tried to get a little sleep which is very little these days. Friday I spent the majority of the day unpacking and getting reorganized. I just couldn't stand all that stuff sitting around. I am still working on a little of it but its pretty much done. The first complete day at home was not that bad. We fed, diapered, played, ate, and repeated all day long. We were both exhausted though from having made the drive and then running on fumes.
Saturday I took a little time to myself while Jeff and my grandmother watched the girls. Then a friend came over while he took some time for himself at Bryant Denny Stadium.
Sunday I was dying to get to church to see all my long lost friends. I was so happy to finally see familiar faces. Ashlyn Kay was excited too. She was very concerned though because when we left her "baby sista" was crying so she made sure to tell everyone at church. So cute!
Today was the girls 2 month well baby visit and to get established with our pediatrician here. Oh my Lord at the chaos that was. Two babies equals two of everything. Plus filling him in on all the drama of the past weeks. We were there for almost 2 and a half hours. I was exhausted by the time we left. Palmer weighed 7 pounds and 2 oz. Blake weighed 5 pounds 14 ounces. I was out of the room when they did their lengths though so I don't know those stats. The doctor said they looked amazing especially to be preemies. Blake thought she was a grown up and tried to crawl off the table. He was amazed at their journey as we still are too.
By the time we put Ashlyn Kay to bed each night and the twins are sleeping we are exhausted. Jeff is still home from work thank goodness but when he leaves I will cry. Having twins is hard but its all about organization and I'm trying really hard to stay on top of it.
We recently discovered that Blake might not have ovaries. We have asked for a repeat ultrasound so we will see. This would mean much more management once she hits puberty. We are praying this is not the case. She is doing so well and her incision sight looks wonderful. It is still broken down in areas but we hope that starts to heal. She seems to not cry as much when we change her diaper so that is great.
I am so happy to be home with all three of my girls!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle

I feel like "Welcome to the Jungle" should be the Moran family theme song from now on because I'm pretty sure that is what my life is going to be like everyday from now on.
Jeff, Palmer, and I picked up The Queen B tonight around 5. Ashlyn Kay stayed with Laura & Ashley & big cat (ha) while we were taking care of business. After we gathered all of Blakely's belongings and got our million appointments set we were off. So here Jeff and I set out with the twins in tow and me sitting in between them. Not 5 minutes in Palmer starting crying because she had a bad diaper. Here goes Blake crying to make her feel better. So we stopped at the gas station, changed Palmers diaper, and off we were again. We picked up Ashlyn Kay and headed to the apartment. After taking a half a hour-not really-to unload three kids, their crap, and the stuff from the hospital...it began.
Jeff started to cook dinner and Palmer started to cry because she was hungry and so while Jeff was working on her bottle ashlyn kay was shaking keys in front of her face saying "hush baby sista, hush". Started feeding Palmer and here went Blake. So I started to feed Blake and then AK starts crying, "mac and teese, mac and teese". Okay, so now I am holding and feeding both twins, J is working on our dinner, plus mac and teese for big girl. I think by the time it was all over my shoulders were permanently stuck around my neck which is sure where they will be for the next oh lets say ever!
It is just so comical! We are so thrilled to have Blake home with us though. It is all becoming bittersweet and very real what has happened and what will continue to happen.
When you leave the NICU you are given a discharge summary which summarizes your child's stay. Upon reading what all happened the night she was born I was almost in tears. I never realized actually how terrible it was. She was born with no heart beat and they brought her back to life then lost her again and then brought her back...and here we were sitting in our SUV driving home. Oh Lord how much I love you for saving my angel!
Taking care of her bottom tonight was and will always be a constant reminder of her journey and our future journey to come.
I can't wait for Thursday but am sad at the thought of closing a very important chapter in my life. I also very sad to be leaving the Bradley family. They have been our saving grace and I will be indebted to their kindness and generosity forever. I love them so much!
Keep continuing to pray for a safe trip for us home and the ability to constantly give it to God.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

AMAZING NEWS!

Everyday we get a phone call from the resident to update us on Blake's progress and other information we need to know. So like normal I answer and she goes over anything that has happened within the last 24 hours. She informed us that Blake took 98% of her feeds via the bottle. So they decided to remove her NG feeding tube since she was doing so good with her bottles. So that was great news! They had indicated we would have to go home with the feeding tube but thankfully she loves to eat.
On Monday she will be 12 days post op from her last surgery. Originally they were feeling the need to remove the sutures 14 days post op but this morning in rounds the surgeons said Monday would be fine because the sutures were ready. The resident told us that since she was eating so well, gaining weight, and getting her sutures out on Monday that she could go HOME! Hooray! So on Monday or Tuesday depending on us the Queen will be making her exit from Children's RCNIC. This is the most exciting news ever. This means we can leave on Thursday or Friday to head home to Bama. I am literally about to burst with excitement.
I just can't believe our journey here is coming to a end and we are finally moving on the next stage. It will be 7 weeks on Monday since the twins were born. I just can't believe how far we have come and in such a short amount of time. The doctors each time are amazed by how well she does with each task they give her. Meme says well of course she is doing good, God answers prayers doesn't he?! Our God is a awesome God for sure!
This time next week I will be sitting at my house looking at my three angels all together. What a blessing.
Lets all keep praying our journey continues to be positive!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blakely & Palmer "friends for life"


The visit went great today! The snuggled a little and then fell asleep. Blake seemed to really enjoy herself and she calmed down so much while Palmer was there beside her.
Things are still looking up for both of them and Blake is doing great. She is now taking every feed, the full amount, by bottle. Coming home soon is so going to happen!

Funny Story

Last night Jeff, AK, Palmer, & I went to the Bradley's home to have dinner. After dinner we stayed a while to chat then the girls started to fall apart a little so we knew it was time to go. It was time for Palmer to eat as well. The Bradleys home is only a couple of minutes from our apartment so Jeff and I thought it would be okay for Palmer to hold off until we got home. Were we wrong! We buckeled the girls in and headed out of the drive. Palmer started crying or screaming because she was hungry then here chimed in Big Sis because we had left her "cup cup" and her "buh"! So AK is screaming "cup cup" over and over and Palmer is shrieking with hunger. Oh and we had also taken our trash with us to drop it off at the dumpster but of course we forgot to drop it off. So screaming kids and a car that smelled of poop! AMAZING! All we could do was laugh hysterically. Then Jeff said, "Just think if Blake was back there"! Ahhh!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A official meet & greet

I am just so stinkin excited because today will be the official meet and greet for Palmer & Blakely. Now yes, they did share a space for 31 weeks but have not yet actually touched each other. I haven't been able to hold both my girls at the same time nor even see them together. I just can't wait! My hope is that they just cuddle up together as if they have never been apart. Knowing my kids they will not even interact at all and just lay there like two babies-ha! I hope not. We will see I guess.

Palmer is obviously feeling better and cold free. Bless her little soul though I think she has some reflux but that is not shocking to our family. She is getting so big and is just as adorable as ever. Blake was doing great when I was there yesterday. She is now allowed to take a bottle every feeding. They give her 40 mL and allow her to take as much as she likes then they put the rest through her NG tube over 2 hours. She took 10 mL at the feeding I was there for and did really well. The OT and Speech Therapist will continue to work with her on that. She tends to want to suck it down quickly. If any of you know Jeff and how he eats this is not shocking one bit.

The discharge nurse dropped by again yesterday so we could discuss the possible discharge date. First of all I can't believe I am even getting to discuss discharge. I honestly thought this day would never come. On Wednesday she will have her sutures removed. From a surgical standpoint she is ready to leave, but from a feeding standpoint we will have to see. We hope by Wednesday she will be taking all of her feedings by either bottle or NG tube. A NG tube is the tube in her nose where they hook up a syringe and pour the formula in there and let gravity pull it down. So as long as she is doing good with feeds Friday is our discharge date. We will stay in Ohio for several days to make sure nothing is going to happen with her wound. Then on Monday or Tuesday we will head to Birmingham with a stop in Nashville. Blake still isn't able to put alot of pressure on her wound so riding on her hiney for such a long time would be too much. So hopefully October 4th or 5th we will be making our way to Alabama!

I just can't believe this day is almost here. Continue your prayers for her good progress!

Monday, September 20, 2010

another day

Well, Palmer woke up this morning sounding really congested and snotty. Jeff & I had planned on taking her to see Blakely this morning for their reunion. We were so excited! Just being on the safe side I thought it would be a good idea to take Palmer to the pediatrician to make sure her congestion wasn't a cold or something. Well wouldn't you believe it was! I am so upset. How did she get a cold? So not only does she have a cold which could always turn into RSV she didn't get to see Blake again. Can you say disappointing.
Then once I got to the hospital I found out that Blake threw up everything she ate yesterday. Whoever decided to start her feeds pushed a little too hard and she wasn't ready for all they were giving her. So she didn't do well and she has lost a fair amount of weight. Which was upsetting.
So her plan was changed again and they are going to start much slower like Jeff & I suggested. She was 5 pounds 2 ounces on Saturday and today she was 4 pounds 9 ounces. Ugh. Oh the upside everyone has been asking how much Palmer weighed. She is a whopping 6 pounds 4 ounces. Can you believe it?
We are hoping both girls are better tomorrow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

B Pod here we come

So today was a big day for the Queen! After surgery rounds this morning she was given the A-Okay for feeds. Hooray. We were knocking on the door of 3 weeks without food, poor gal. But that has all changed. The nurse called and said they decided to go straight for the bottle and no feeding tube. Jeff and I thought it was a little premature, but they are the physicians, not us. I arrived just in time for her first bottle feeding. They want her to take a minimum of 35 mils a feeding every 3 hours. She did pretty well with her bottle the first go round. She only took 25 mils, but the nurse said that was okay. About a hour after she ate she had a drop in heart rate, but I was told it was probably reflux which we know she has. So the nurse said she would see how she did at her following feeding. She was promised to be moving to B pod which is the private room so that Palmer can come and visit.
I called back tonight to see how things went and to see if she got moved. She did get moved, hooray! I am sad to see G pod go, but I am happy that Palmer will be able to come and visit. I just feel strongly that the girls need to be together. The nurse informed that her feeding went okay, but she did have some trouble breathing while she ate, so they went ahead and put in a feeding tube to start her off with. I was sort of happy about this. I really felt like they were throwing way too much at her way too fast. I don't want to overwhelm her, taking it slow is much better in my opinion. Hopefully she can work up with her feeds and then start back with the bottle again in a couple of days.
I also got to change her diaper today. I have only changed about 3 so far for her. Her bottom looked well and wasn't read and swollen so that is good. Her incision seems to be healing really well. It is still a little strange because her little hiney is so different from well babies. I am sure we will get used to it eventually.
I am as always appreciative of your prayers and need them to continue that all things keep going up!
Tomorrow after my 6 week post pardum check Jeff and I are planning to take Palmer to visit her sister! Hope she likes her as much as Ashlyn Kay.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Looking up

Blake is recovering well from surgery, thank goodness. Yesterday they went ahead and moved her back to her crib from the warmer. After rounds this morning the surgeons decided she could move off of her stomach and lay whichever way she wants. She seemed happy about that. Blake was going to be moved to "B" pod which is where the private rooms are. I was really excited because once she gets moved Palmer can come to the NICU. I am dying to get her there and get the two girls together for the first time since August 9th. A community admission arrived literally minutes before her nurse was about to wheel her on back-booo to community admissions. So they were hoping she would get to move in this weekend after some folks were discharged. We will see....
Other than that little disappointment for me Blake is doing wonderful. She looked great and seemed so happy today while I was holding her. It was nice to hold her again after a couple of days. It is the worst thing to one day be able to cuddle her and then the next just look at her. It stinks!
Yesterday we did get the good word from a surgical standpoint that in two weeks she can be discharged. Hooray!
So things are starting to look up!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Surgery Day

Today was yet another surgery day, our 4th to be exact. She has had a surgery every single week of her life except for one. Can you imagine?

Jeff & I arrived around noon or a little before and spent time sitting with her, holding her, and loving on her. Jeff held her for a long time which he really enjoyed. Once the anesthesia team arrived around 1:00 we did our usual routine. Go over the past surgeries, answer questions, and then walk down to the 3rd floor where we have to stop and give our hugs and kisses then we head to the waiting room. The surgery actually started around 1:45 or 2:00 and she was out in about a hour. Quick one this time. Dr. Lim met with us afterwards as usual. He let us know he had once again rinsed out the wound then closed it up except for a tiny pin hole area to allow for drainage to get out. He cleaned out the other suture lines and put in more sutures to help pull the skin closer together. It looks much better. Well Jeff always laughs when the nurses and I comment on how great it looks. Since her hiney actually looks so strange. I would post a picture because yes I took one but I'm not going too.

Dr. Lim said she would remain on the antibiotics for another two weeks just in case and that hopefully if all looks well through the weekend her feedings will begin. Hip Hip Hooray for Blake! The nurse said when they do their assessment and she listens to her belly that it is just gurgling. Poor girl. So as long as no infection appears and her healing continues to do well then it will be up to her to break out. He said he would suspect about 2 more weeks and that we could even have her sutures removed in Birmingham. What great news!

Our apartment lease is up on the 1st of October so we know we are staying until then but will hopefully be able to bring her to the apartment at the beginning of that week.

She recovered well from surgery today. By the time she got back up to the pod she was trying to get her intubation tube out so they respiratory therapist went ahead and pulled it out. Girl doesn't like that thing. She had little pain and was snoozing away when we left. She is becoming a pro at these surgeries.

So thank you all for prayers during her surgery today. Please pray that her healing continues and that we get to start making our way back to Alabama. Sweet Home Alabama!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Here we go again

Well here we go again. I feel like I repeat this same statement at least once a week, which actually for the last three weeks I have-ha. So tomorrow Dr. Lim and his team are going to take her back to the operating room for another wound revision. After the last surgery they left a portion of the wound open. They have been cleaning it and changing its dressings at each diaper change while keeping her on strong antibiotics. The open portion of the wound has now retracted (closed) up enough to where the doctor feels like it needs some help. They could allow it to continue to close up on its own but then she will have to remain on a no formula diet. As of today she hasn't eaten in about 2 weeks. So they will go in, wash it out completely, and put in several sutures to help it close up. So hopefully in a couple of days she will be able to start back on formula. They will insert the tube back in through her nose and feed her that way for several days to make sure her stomach tolerates the formula. This shouldn't be a problem since she has done this before. Then the occupational therapist will work on touch sensation around her mouth. She also should be good with this because she loves her pacifier! Then the occupational therapist will work on feeding her with a bottle. She will work up her feeds while continuing to allow her wound to heal. Then cross our fingers will be out of there.
So at 1:00 tomorrow the hope is that this will be Blake's last surgery here in Cincy. As always keep her, the surgeons, and all of the team in your thoughts and prayers. I will update everyone once she is out of surgery.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Still hereI c

Tomorrow the girls will be 5 weeks old which means Blakely has been in the RCNIC for 5 weeks. It seems so much longer than that or maybe shorter I am not sure. We had a good end of the week though so that is exciting.
Blake did not have to have her scheduled surgeries on Thursday and Saturday. The surgeons feel like her wound is looking good, draining less, and overall improving. She is still on antibiotics and will remain on them for at least another 10 days. I was allowed to hold her again which makes my day. I just sit and rock her for hours. Having that privilege taken away at times is torture. She has also been put on the list to be transferred to B pod which is a pod full of private rooms. Her primary day nurse says we should be in within a week or so. I am so excited to be able to take Palmer & AK to see their sister or as AK calls her "baby sis".
My meme has been here since Wednesday to help out while Jeff is in Alabama for several days. I am so glad she is here helping out and the company is nice too. Ashlyn Kay missed her too!
The surgeon popped in yesterday while I was there and said he was milling over what to do about her open wound. He was deciding between closing it with sutures or allowing it to heal and close on its own. I don't want her to go back to surgery but allowing the wound to close by itself will take a fair amount of time, which prolongs our stay yet again. Oh well. He also said that he thought she might be able to start eating again in a couple of days. She is starting to get very fussy being without food.
Overall she is improving well and as long as the infection stays away we are moving on up.
Thank you for always praying for her recovery.

Since there are so many of you who read this blog and pray daily for our family I would like to use this outlet for a prayer request for friends of ours. Our friends in Birmingham had a sweet baby girl Maggie Belcher this week. She had complications during her delivery and is now in the NICU. The doctors feel her organ functions are good but are concerned about her brain function. Please keep her family ( The Belchers) her your prayers and pray for Maggie and her recovery as well. Being a mother of children in the NICU it is a scary place sometimes and you need lifting up as much as possible.

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hairbows are always a good sign

Yes, the title is correct. Today when I arrived to the RICNIC my angel had in a hair bow and a top on! Whew hew! I knew that things were going good today when she was allowed to show her fashionable side. Dr. Lim said her wound looked "a-okay" and that he felt like he could hold off on surgery plans this week. He would cleanse the wound at the bedside and have her nurses change her dressings. This was music to my ears. She also was extubated last night and was allowed to go directly to room air, no nasal canula like before.
She isn't completely out of the woods due to the fact that she is still stooling into and on her wound, but that is unavoidable. The nurses are cleaning it and changing her dressings with every diaper change. Crossing our fingers this keeps the infection under control.
Today was a good day!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another surgery down

Thank you everyone for praying for Blakely during her surgery today. It went very well and she did great. We waited most of the day for it to happen, but it finally did. The surgeons only had to open a small part of her incision rather than the whole thing. They cleaned it out with antibiotic wash. The surgeon said it didn't look as bad as it could have. They put a sponge in the open wound and a are using a wound vacuum over that. This seals off the area and the vacuum pulls the nasty stuff out. She will have to have the sponge replaced in two days which means yet again another surgery and then possibly again on Saturday. They are continuing to treat her with aggressive antibiotics.
When I left tonight she was waking up and seemed to be doing well.
We are going to let her rest tonight and visit her again in the morning where hopefully she won't be in any pain. The surgeon said this infection (as long as it clears up) should only prolong our little journey by a week or so. Let's cross our fingers and toes!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The wear and tear

During dinner tonight Blakely's surgeon Dr. Lim gave us a call. He informed us that he felt the need to take her back to surgery tomorrow. I had to hold back my tears. I had a feeling it was coming, but was in a state of denial hoping the new antibiotics would work a miracle. They didn't though. She will be having yet another surgery tomorrow sometime. The surgeons are adding her on so they have no idea what time her surgery will be. From what I understand she will have all of her stitches removed, her wound cleaned out, and they will leave some areas open and then she will have a dressing which need to be changed multiple times a day. He said he might have to take her to surgery several times this week to completely clean it out.
This is obviously not what neither Jeff nor I wanted to hear. After going 6 days without food she will now go no telling how long. This also pushes our "break out of NICU jail" date to later and probably much later. I feel like this is a never ending cycle.
She is so tiny and her body can only handle so much in my opinion. The nurses keep reminding me that these babies are tougher than we realize. I do know that I have a tough one, but her mamma is starting to worry. I also am being a little selfish because I was allowed to finally hold her as much as I wanted and now I can't even think about it. I am thankful she is tumor free and thankful she is alive, but as a human I want more.

Keep her in your thoughts tomorrow. Surgery is always a risk. Jeff & I are growing weary and need strength as well.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Prayer for Blake

If all of you very dedicated prayer warriors would please send up a extra prayer for Blakely we would appreciate it. Her incision sight is looking more and more like it is getting infected. This obviously is causing her some pain (which I don't like :( ) and this would mean she would have to go back to surgery to have the infection cleaned out. Then we would have to start our battle over again.

Thanks everyone!

1 month birthday!

Tomorrow is the girls 1 month birthday! Hooray! They will be 35 weeks old. This is such a great day. So much has changed and it has all changed for the better.
Palmer is doing very well at our temporary home. She is such a wonderful baby. She sleeps and eats and repeats. Never cries and loves to snuggle. I am so happy to have her here rather than being in the NICU anymore.
Blake is doing well after surgery. Last night they extubated her and put her on a nasal canula. Hooray! She has been taken off of her pain medicine and is tolerating it well. She was so happy to be able to move her head around, finally. While we were at the bedside the surgeon came by. He took off her dressing because he said it was a little too moist. He put extra steri strips to support the open incisions. The surgeon said sometimes during this type of surgery when they shave the tumor away from skin it can permanently damage the nerves of the skin and it causes the skin to die. He felt like at this point hers was not in that situation because there were no breaks in color. They are planning on taking her catheter out soon. This is a important step. The hope is that she can urinate on her own. Again, sometimes there is nerve damage and it causes the bladder to not work. So we will cross our fingers. I again have confidence that this will not be the case. They are going to be able to move her to her back today which will allow for some of the fluid to start moving out of her body. The major battle now will be to keep her wound from getting infected. This is very tricky since it is on her behind. This is why she is not going to be allowed to eat for yet another 4-5 days. Hopefully by then the incision will be healed enough to ward off infection. All in all things are looking up and we are making great progress.

My sister & her husband are leaving today to head back to Alabama. We have had a great visit. My parents will go back tomorrow. I am so sad everyone is leaving. I am happy that Ashlyn Kay will be staying this time around. Jeff & I are so happy to have her back. She loves her "baby sista" as she calls her. She laughs at her every time she makes a noise. I can't wait until she can meet Blake too.

We are so thankful for everything right now!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hooray

Today Miss Blakely had her final tumor resection. Jeff and I got to the hospital around 6:30 a.m. and sat with her until the surgical team got there. Talk about intimidating....16 surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologist, surrounding your 4 pound 4 ounce daughters bedside. I actually got choked up finally realizing what was about to take place. We followed the team down the elevator and then we parted ways. They took her in to the opearting room at 7:45 a.m. We sat in the surgical waiting room until 1:00 p.m. What a long long wait.

Dr. Lim came and met with us after the surgery. First words out of his mounth..."It was a success" the whole tumor was removed! I threw my arms in the air as if I were saying "Touch Down" and squeeled Hooray! A weight had been immediately lifted off of our shoulders. Literally I felt myself relax and smile with true joy for the first time in several weeks. He continued to tell us how he resected it, what all was involved, and what we were to expect when seeing her.

She has a catheter so that she doesn't pee on the dressing, she has another drainage tube coming from her belly where the tumor used to reside to drain out any possible infection that way arise, and she still is intubated and pretty sedated with pain medication. She lost about a ounce of blood and they were replacing it when we were there tonight. She was given a lot of fluid and is super swollen but that will eventually go away.

This afternoon she was pretty sedated and didn't interact with us, but looked painless and calm. Jeff and I left to take a much needed break and when I went back with mother & daddy she was a little more aware and tried to open her eyes, but they are just too swollen. Bless her heart.

She will remain on TPN and no formula for 7-10 more days. That is a long time without food but the doctor does not want to risk infection from her bowels at the incision sight. She will continue to have the catheter and drainage tube for another week as well. They will try and take out the intubation tube in the next 48 hours depending on her pain level.

Dr. Lim feels like she will heal well from the surgery in about 2-3 weeks. While she is healing they will begin feeding her again and the occupational therapy will come in and work with her on oral stimulation and feeding. She does well with a pacifier so she should and hopefully catch on quickly. So our best case scenario for getting back to Birmingham is 4 weeks and worst case is well who knows. We have complete faith and have no reason to believe we are going to have any problems. She has proven to be a trooper and push through.

They are going to eventually move her to one of their "private rooms". They will have a schedule where Palmer and AK can come to visit. They want to co-bed Palmer & Blake so that they can reconnect. They feel like the twin relationship promotes healing.

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers especially today during her surgery. Continue to keep her on your mind for a good and uncomplicated recovery. Our battle is more than half over. We hope to be in Birmingham by October! Praise the Lord for he is good!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Surgery Information

Hi all! Tomorrow Blakely will be having her "hopefully" final tumor resection surgery. I am extremely anxious to have this behind us. Her surgery starts at 7:45 Eastern time tomorrow morning, bright and early. Jeff & I are planning on arriving to the hospital around 6 or 6:30 to spend time with her before the wisk her away from us. The surgeons are anticipating her surgery lasting around 4 hours from start to finish. The said the day will go like this...
The surgeons will arrive at bedside to go over information and meet with the nurses for final evaluation. We will all go down to the floor below the RICNIC where surgery will be. Jeff & I will wait in the surgical waiting room. We are hoping they will update us half way through, but we are not sure. Once she is done they will take her back up to the ICU and she will get all settled in then they will call for us. I am planning on spending the night there, no way I'm leaving my girl.
The surgeons are hoping for a straight forward surgery with little to no complications.
She is doing good considering she hasn't eaten in 48 hours and has about another 10 days of no eating. Can you imagine? She also has developed a little pink eye and hates her eye drops. I would too though.

Please pray for her tomorrow morning. We have made it so far to have something happen now!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm Outta Here


Palmer made it out today! She finally broke out of NICU jail. Hooray! We are so excited and happy to have one little lady home safe.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Big Week

Wow! This is going to be a big week for the Moran Clan. Let's count the ways....

1. Moving out of Ronald McDonald House tomorrow. Sad to go. You have been good to us Ronald. I will miss you.
2. Moving back in with the Bradley family until Thursday. Thank you Bradley Family!
3. Palmer is coming home or well home away from home on Tuesday! Hooray! We are so excited to have one of our girls out of the NICU (and so quickly) and in our arms whenever we want. No more trucking through University Hospital, signing in, sterilizing hands via the glass doors, holding her while she is attached to wires, and having to kiss her goodnight and walk out the door. Goodbye to University and welcome home Sweet Pea.
4. Blakely is having her second and hopefully final surgery on Thursday. We are excited to be moving forward but nervous about the whole process. I hope and pray she does well and recovers quickly. We are on our way to getting back to Birmingham. Praise Jesus!
5. Moving into the apartment in Mason on Thursday. Finally a place all to our own.
6. Ashlyn Kay is coming back to me on Friday. I have missed her so much words do not even begin to explain. 3 weeks without your child is entirely too long, especially when you don't want the break. My family is also coming to visit us for the Labor Day weekend. Almost everyone under one roof again.


So those are my "To Do's" for the week. I am exhausted already.

I am so thankful and grateful to be able to write such positive post lately. I look around the NICU sometimes and realize I could be in a much different frame of mind right now. I have two twins who are thriving which is rare where I am at. God is amazing in every way and each and everyone of you have and are playing a role in getting these girls home. Your prayers work and really need you all to keep up the good work. God is listening and providing.

I need everyone to keep us in your thoughts and prayers this week. There will be a lot of emotions and changes this week. Mainly we are concerned for Thursday and Blake's surgery. We anticipate that she will do fine but preemie's are unpredictable. We have extreme faith in the surgeon and hope that God touches and guides his hands. We will update everyone throughout the day as we get updates. Please pray!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Movin on up...

It's the end of the week here in Cincy. Lots of changes this week.
First, I am so excited because our friends The Gilmers came into town last night. You don't realize how much you really miss someone until you see them again. You also don't realize how little of a "life" you have outside the NICU until someone takes you away. We visited with the girls today, did a little retail therapy, and had a wonderful home cooked dinner at The Bradley Home. Lots of chatting and catching up. I'm feeling so much better and more like a "real" person again-ha!
Now on to the stars of our little show.....
Palmer "Sweet Pea" Moran (haha), I like to refer to her as my little peanut. I should use the term "little" loosely though. She is now a whopping 4 pounds 6 ounces. Whoa big girl. She is now taking every feeding by bottle and LOVES IT. She wants more when its all gone but they won't let her have anymore yet, not until she is above 2000 grams, which she is very close to being. The nurse tonight said she would probably leave towards the middle of next week. Hooray! My angel is coming home soon. One down, one to go, right?
Next in our line up we have the Queen B herself, Blakely. Queen B is exactly what she is. She seems to be ruling the RICNIC roost right now. The nurses love to dress her up in outfits and put bows in her hair and have photo shoots as they call them. I think we have a fashion diva on our hands too because when they get her undressed and leave her that way she gets very mad, her heartrate sky rockets, and doesn't come back down until they put clothes back on her. Isn't that hysterical? She got moved to a crib today which is a big step in the NICU. We had a meeting with the surgeon today to go over the results of her MRI she had on Wednesday and go over her next surgery and expectations for recovery. The MRI showed where the remaining SCT is. It has not breached into the spinal column which is a blessing. He is not exactly sure where all of the nerve endings from teratoma extend too. He will have to obviously cut all of them out no matter where they go to. This could mean into her bowel or bladder. So there is a risk she will have nerve damage to her bowels or bladder. We will not know this until she is potty trained or later. If there is damage we will not know the extent is either until she is older. He will remove her tailbone as well as the lower portion of her sacrum. These two things make the distinction between your lower back and butt. So when she is older around 4 or 5 she will have plastic surgery to correct her scars and to give her that distinction. The surgeon suggest waiting until that age so that all possible issues of tumor reoccurance have gone away.
The surgery is tentatively scheduled for this upcoming Thursday. We were and are not really ready for this, but the surgeon feels like she is ready. He needs her skin flap where he removed the outter portion of the tumor to be healed by that point so that there is enough skin to pull back together. If not she will have a open wound for a while and be at several different risk for such things as infection, etc. The surgery will take about 4 hours from start to finish. Such a long time for a tiny baby to be under general anesthesia. It makes me very nervous. I completely have faith in the surgeon. He did save her life more than once already!
Things are moving so quickly now. Palmer is coming home soon, Blake is having surgery and will then be on her road to recovery, and before you know we will be back in Birmingham. Whew!

As always we ask for your continued prayers for our little girls. I have so many prayers that I need right now. Palmer to adjust well to being away from the NICU, Jeff and I adjusting to having a newborn at home again, Ashlyn Kay is coming back to Ohio soon and we are worried about balancing time between her and the other girls, and then obviously for Blake and her surgery and recovery.

Life is moving faster than expected right now, but God has a plan....I am trusting in it!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So many changes in just a couple of days. We are making such strides in the right direction. It's all so exciting.

Blake lost her nasal canula, so she is breathing on room air. I love seeing her face with out all of the tubes. She still has her feeding tube, but that is nothing compared to all of the other contraptions. She has been on room air for several days now and is doing great! She is eating well and they are happy with her growth. She will have a full body MRI tomorrow at noon. This scan will assess her brain activity, lungs, and the remaining portion of the teratoma. This will give the surgical team a better idea of where we go next and a plan of action for her upcoming surgery. We hope to have a meeting with Dr. Lim this week so we will know more of what the plan is. She will also have a VCUG. This is where they fill up her bladder with blue dye and see how it comes out. Sometimes with teratomas things get shifted around inside so the doctors want to make sure she does not have what they called urinary reflux which means the urine goes up instead of down. If she does have it, normally babies out grow it eventually. They will have re-intubate her for the scan because she will be under general anesthesia. Keep her in your prayers and think of her while she is having her scan.
Palmer is growing so fast. She is our little porker. She now weighs 4 pounds 4 ounces-whoa! Tonight Jeff got to feed her from a bottle-first time ever! The nurses said she did great. This is our next and final step before she gets home. She has to be able to take all of her full feedings from the bottle for several days before she can go home. She still will probably be in the NICU for a couple more weeks. Otherwise she is doing perfect.

We found a apartment today and will hopefully move in before Labor Day. The apartment is in Mason which is about 20 minutes from the hospitals. The apartment will allow us to have more of a home style setting for when Ashlyn Kay returns and Palmer comes home from the hospital. We are really excited about it! We are enjoying being so close to the hospitals but now that we are spending more and more time there it really won't matter where we are. The insurance company is still working on getting Palmer moved over to Childrens to make things easier on Jeff & I. It gets hard having to split our time between both girls and going back and forth. We now are splitting up and so Jeff will be with one baby for a couple of hours while I am with the other then we swap. This allows us to spend more time with both girls.

For now our angels are doing wonderfully and we couldn't ask for more. We are truly blessed and again God is proving how powerful prayer is. Without prayer I don't think we would be where we are 2 weeks in. The nurses account the night Blake and Palmer were born and how what little miracles they are. Hearing how things went and in what horrible condition Blake was in, it really and truly is a miracle. EXPECT A MIRACLE!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another week has officially passed. It is insane that it is now the end of the month and the girls will be 33 weeks old tomorrow or 2 weeks old. I am beyond thankful that I can write those words. Today, Jeff & I were remembering when I first moved up here on July 26th and how so much has changed since then.
We are so happy because Blake has remained stable throughout this whole week. She has made some great improvements. She was taken off the CPAP machine and now has a nasal canula. Her pain medicine has been discontinued. She is having some withdrawals and is a little anxious with all the stimulation she now hears and feels, but she is slowly getting used to it. We are getting to hold her more often which is so nice. I finally was able to see her beautiful eyes the other day. It is amazing what you don't realize you miss when your child is in the NICU rather than bringing them home. The doctors have mentioned doing the MRI this week and they are also going to do a VCUG. A VCUG is a test where they put in dye to determine if urine is flowing the correct direction. We will find out when the test will be tomorrow, hopefully. Blake is having a little issue with her feeds. They had to slow them down to come over a hour time period. She was spitting it back up when it was coming faster than that. This new slower method seems to be working.
Palmer will start getting bottle fed this week, hooray. We have been doing our kangaroo care more often. This is where the baby gets down to just their diaper and you put them skin to skin with the mother and they lay their for about 2 hours at a time. It promotes healing and lots of other good stuff. Palmer is on her way to coming home.
Jeff and I are still staying at the Ronald McDonald House. We intend to stay here about another two weeks then move to the furnished apartment in Mason by the time AK comes home then soon afterwards Palmer.
We are praying for another stable week for both girls. At this point we couldn't ask for more. We are so blessed.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Moving forward

Today is Friday, August 20, 2009. Time is moving faster than I thought. We are only 2 days away until the girls will be 33 weeks old. Even though they are actually going to be 2 weeks old the NICU's refer to them in their gestational age. My friend was here yesterday and she mentioned how strange it is to see them in person when normally you wouldn't be able too. I never thought about that, but yes, it is strange.



I haven't updated in a day or so, maybe longer, because there is not really any change, which is actually a good thing. From where we are now, no change is good change for a while. When I went into see Blake this morning she was much more alert but still sleeping. Because they have now completely stopped her pain medicine drip she is more aware of her surroundings. Sometimes she likes this and sometimes she doesn't like this. The doctors still have her CPAP machine on but they talked about in rounds this morning that over the weekend and next week they are going to work to slowly remove it. No rush they said. If she remains unchanged over the weekend they are going to once again attempt to try and get the MRI. Lets cross our fingers she cooperates because I as well as the surgeons are anxious to get that test. Her pathology report is not back yet and I was told this morning it takes a while because of the makeup of a teratoma. A teratoma is a germ cell which is just a cell literally made up of a bunch of stuff and so they have to disect it layer by layer to literally examine every portion. Which sounds like it would take forever. She also had a echo on her heart today and we should have the results by morning. Her first echo shortly after she was born looked good, so lets cross our fingers this was does too.

I am feeling more comfortable holding her now. So I held her for about 45 minutes today. She seemed to really like it, better than before. She had occupational therapy today, but I will have to wait until tomorrow to see how that went. I'm sure great. They also are increasing her feed volume. She is now taking 16 mL every 3 hours and loves it. Girl likes to eat.



Palmer likes to eat as well. She is taking 33 mL every 3 hours. They are not going to change her feeds for a couple of days. Next week they are going to attempt to bottle feed her which is about a week early, but she is showing signs she is ready. Hooray! That means she is closer to coming home. They also moved her out of the warmer and into a small cart type bed and are waiting on a crib to come available for her. Now that she is bigger and they will start bottle feeding, we will be spending most of our days between both NICU's just holding the girls and chatting with the nursing staff.



Ashlyn Kay is being a mess at home with her Meme. She was mopping with Papa this morning and was admiring her baby sisters pictures in her new picture book this afternoon. I miss her smile tons and can't wait until she is back on Ohio with Jeff & I.



I am feeling better today and moving around better. Still only about 60% back to normal. I will get there though.



Thank you all for being so devoted to keeping up with our family and praying for us. Again, your prayers are working. Both girls seem to be improving and moving in the right direction. We have still a long way to go but everyday is one less day we have to fight.



Also, several people and church organizations wanted to know if we had a charitable organization for the girls. We now have a account set up at Regions Bank.

For anyone who wants it:

Bank: Regions Bank

Account Name: Blake & Palmer Moran's charity account or Kristen Moran's charity account

If you need the account number or routing number you can contact my sister via email @

mrsrolling948@gmail.com

I love each and everyone one of you! We are making progress...God obviously has a great plan in store!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Progress Report

The pictures on the left is blake and the picture on the right is palmer





I am so sorry I haven't been able to update in several days. The RMDH was having computer/Internet issues so I couldn't get onto the computer to get anything done. Argh! They have their issues fixed but tonight I came to Mason with mother and daddy to stay with the Bradleys, visit, and eat some yummy home cooking! Mother & I also had manicures and pedicures today so we could relax. So nice.

Progress report on the girls....
So many things change daily and it is always so much information in just a 24 hour period.

Blake: either on sunday or monday they removed her intubation tube-hooray. I can't remember which day. She did well for a while. They also earlier had taken her completely off of the epi. and her blood pressures remained stable on their own. So fast forward to today. They had to put her on a nasal CPAP because she was having trouble remembering to breath while she was asleep, which she is most of the time due to her being on pain medication. Her blood pressure still remains to be stable without epi. They also gave her some caf. to help remind her breath. She did well with that and I don't think she has had any more. She still has in the picline and a IV in her hand for administration of pain medicine. They have started to lower her pain meds which makes her more active. I like to see her more active. She also has a feeding tube now. They started her on formula and they give her 4 ml every hour around the clock. She is tolerating them very well. She was going to have a full body MRI scan monday but they changed their mind when her blood pressure dropped. They rescheduled it to Wednesday. Now that she is on CPAP they have decided to post pone the MRI all together for several weeks. Her surgeon is now ordering daily bedside x-rays so they can start monitoring the tumor. All in all she is very stable and things are good today. I was told by her night doc that we WILL be able to hold her tomorrow and I can't wait! I haven't done anything but laid my hand on her back since the day she was born. Its so hard to have a child and not be able to hold them AT ALL! You miss the little things, changing diapers, cuddling, swaddling, everything. Even though we get to hold Palmer she still has cords and stuff everywhere and its just not the same.

Palmer's update:
She is doing amazing! She is putting on the lb's and loving her formula. Now that she is breathing all by her self they were able to put clothes on her. So gets to have preemie clothes that still swallow her whole on all day-hooray! I can't wait until I actually get to feed her with a bottle and hold her for hours. It is going to be amazing and its only 2 more weeks away!

I am doing good. Still very sore and weaning myself off the loved drug Percocet. I am moving a little more swiftly but will not be running any foot races any time soon. Mother and Daddy leave tomorrow and I am so so sad! I will be glad that they are coming back in just a couple weeks. Now it will be just Jeff & I all day, everyday! Whew...wonder how that will work? Joking. Jeff & I really miss AK. I can't believe she won't be back for a couple more weeks. I am so looking forward to the day when my whole family can all be in the same house at the same time! That is my Christmas wish! Santa please make it come true.

Keep praying for us as a family. We are starting to miss our friends, our bed, our dogs, etc. and its only been a couple of weeks. Life as a parent of a NICU baby is hard sometimes. You feel very encouraged them discouraged several hours later. We are blessed to be at the point we are, but you always hope for more and better. I think its just natural to do that.

Have a good night yall!