Monday, January 14, 2013

Wow! Where has the last year gone?

It is pretty unbelievable that we are watching our one year olds crawl around, cruise the edges of furniture, climb the stairs and get into everything.  It has been an AMAZING year full of uncertainties, some fear, a ton of crazy, but lots and lots of blessings!  I apologize for allowing 10+ months to pass without giving you an update.  I will do my best to answer some of the most asked questions and post several pictures from the past year. 

Daily life in this crazy house:
I am often asked what our days are like.  Well, it has changed and become so much easier the past five months.  At six months I took a deep breath and realized that things were becoming much easier.  The first six months I really depended on the help of volunteers from our church and the most wonderful neighbor. These sweet ladies came two or three times a week to rock babies.  I would NOT have been able to stay sane without these wonderful helpers.  During these early months the babies napped mostly in their little bouncy seats, since their naps were so sporadic and short.  It was just easier to tend to them if they were all within arms length.  We even began accepting help a couple evenings a week since we had three very colicy little guys.  Poor things would just cry and cry each evening.  As you can imagine it was tough to even do the simplest things for Brock because all three little ones needed so much.  After we would finally get them settled in we would rush to get caught up on bottles and some cleaning, then we would collapse into bed and get ready for the first wave of feeding which were every 3-4 hours.  However, at six months Cade, Evan, and Lincoln began to be entertained more easily and started to stretch out their naps.  Now they are on a pretty consistent schedule with a morning and afternoon nap and three meals a day with mostly finger foods.  We are still having some difficulty getting them to sleep through the night.  They are in three separate bedrooms, they had started waking each other up so we had to separate them.  Now they are doing better at self-soothing and are getting up less and less.  Brock is in preschool three days a week.  I am so thankful that I am able to take him to school.  My amazing friend and neighbor, Miriam, comes over three days a week and stays with the little guys while I take Brock to school.  Most days the babies and I stay at home.  If weather permits we do take walks and even enjoy outdoor play time in our giant playpen, aka Brock's trampoline.  Most Wednesday's I am able to load up all three babies plus Brock and go to a local bible study with childcare.  What an amazing gift that has been!  Since August I have had over two hours of ME time on Thursdays, simply because a group of servant-hearted women, lead by Wynn, saw this as a need and arranged for two ladies to come and love on my little guys so I could leave.  I am also blessed to be able to run to the grocery on Tuesday mornings because Miriam and Barb put the babies down for their morning nap and sit with them while I'm out.  Without the love and servant hearts of Miriam, Barb, Wynn and so so many others I would have had to hire help.

Road trips with three babies and a five year old:
Yes, we have already been on several road trips.  We have traveled to Illinois twice, Chattanooga twice, and Indianapolis once.  For the most part they are good little travelers.  Because there are three infants there are some very chaotic moments but we always make it through and have made it home safely each time.  Every two to three hours we stop to allow the boys to have some time to stretch. This usually requires a stroller and finding the cleanest floor possible to allow them to crawl, not such an easy task.  For Christmas the babies have received new "big" boy car seats that are hopefully more comfortable for them. 

Health report:
Each boy is doing very well and is reaching all monthly milestones.  They are all crawling and have been for several months.  I expect them to walk soon as each boy likes to pull up and cruise furniture.  More recently, they have discovered the fun in pushing their walking toys around.  We feel so blessed that they are doing so well and developing at a healthy rate.  At this point you would not know that they are preemies.  It is a true testament to the dedicated prayer warriors we had during our pregnancy and still have.  Thank you for all of your continued prayers!

Big brother Brock:
Brock has amazed us!  He has adjusted so well.  As you can imagine, adding three very needy little people to our house has completely turned his world upside down.  We really try to keep some things similar to before, however it is also so important for him to understand that our lives are different and will never be the same, but that we are so much more blessed now.  He has an occasional moment of sadness if we aren't able to do something with him, but he recovers so quickly and is back to loving on his brothers.  Brock is a very protective big brother and often worries and frets over them more than we do.  Now that Lincoln, Cade, and Evan are more able to interact and play, Brock often creates pretend games around the babies.  The past couple of weeks Cade has been his puppy named Chow.  Chow is a very good puppy and the only kind we will have for years to come.  Evan loves to wrestle with Brock.  They are a little rougher than I would like and I'm sure it is a sign of things to come.  Brock loves to hold and cuddle Lincoln.  Lincoln's sweet, calm personality tolerates all of this cuddle time. 

Very different little boys:
We have noticed differences in the boys' personalities from almost day one. 
*Lincoln is a thinker.  He has always studied us and his surroundings.  If I place food on his tray, even if it is a familiar, favorite item he will pick it up and turn it around before eating it. 
*Cade loves a good party and is always happy to have people around.  If you talk to him he will give you a big smile and probably clap and wave for you. 
*Evan is our active man.  He is a climber and can scale almost anything.  His new favorites are up the slide or the lip on the outside of our stair case. 
They are all so much fun and we are so thrilled God has entrusted us with such amazing and perfect gifts!

Thank you for joining us on this journey!  The past year has been the most amazing, difficult, exciting, and blessed year of our lives.  We are looking forward to what 2013 has in store for us.  It is sure to be another year with hopefully a little less craziness but a ton of blessing!

Some recent pictures
1st Halloween
(sorry don't know how to rotate the pictures)
 The Zoo Keeper with his animals
(special thanks to Mema for the costumes)
 Cade, Lincoln, Evan
 Christmas Eve in their matching "old man" jammies
 This is what happens most of the time when you are trying to get three babies to cooperate for a picture.  Trust me, these elf hats (created by Mema) are adorable.
 Cade enjoying some bday cake tonight.
 Out for a walk
Evan, Cade, Lincoln

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Almost 8 weeks old

It is hard to believe our boys are almost two months old.  Today was their due date, March 8th, although we knew we would never deliver on this day.  It has been several weeks since we updated you on their progress, as we have been a little busy.  Every minute is worth it and we feel so blessed; however, I must admit that I ask, "Why Me?" when we are up "partying" most of the night.  Sometimes it is hard to see the blessing when you are surviving on just a few hours of non-continuous sleep.  Then the morning light comes and you focus in on those sweet little faces and I feel unworthy of having such perfect little gifts.  We know that this stage will pass quickly and we will miss these days.  We are about a month away from breaking them out of the house.  The dangerous RSV season will end in April and then we will be able to be around more people since the boys are stronger and less infection will be floating around.

All the boys are growing but Lincoln has had some difficulty gaining weight.  However, he seems to be on track now.  Poor little guy just doesn't love a big meal like the other two.  Today we went for their two month appointment and their weights and measurements are as follows:

                             Weight                 Length
Cade                     6 lbs 7 oz             19 3/4"
Evan                     6 lbs 12 oz           19 1/2''
Lincoln                 5 lbs 12 oz           19 1/2"

We are so thankful for all of the prayers, gifts, and help we have received over the past several months.  It is truly taking a city to raise these boys.  Without all of you this would be so much more difficult!  THANK YOU!!!

Please continue to pray for Cade, Evan, and Lincoln's health and growth.  Brock is a great big brother, so we ask that you pray that he continues to feel like these little brothers are a blessing and not a curse :) and for Brian and I that we will make it on the small amount of sleep we are getting.

The following pictures were taken at 5 weeks.  Elisha Farmer, a very good friend of mine from high school, who has taken many pictures of Brock, traveled down to spend the day with us and take pictures of the boys.  WHAT A GIFT!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The boys are home!

All 3 Boys Are Home!!!!!!!

After five days of just having Evan and Cade at home, Lincoln got to join his brothers at home.  From the hospital, to taking pictures, to the doctor for their first check-up, it has been an eventfully day.  It is amazing how different having all three home feels.  Maybe it is just a feeling of our family being complete.  We look forward to this next phase in our blessed adventure.

Lincoln now weights 4lbs 9oz and is 18 1/2 in. long
Cade is 4lbs 8oz and is 18 1/2 in. long
Evan is 4lbs 14oz and is 18 in. long

Please continue to pray for these 3 blessings!
Pray that Cassie and I are able to juggle all of the tasks that need to be done to take care of Brock, Lincoln, Cade, Evan and ourselves.
We continue to amazed by all of those thinking, praying, helping and providing for us.  Every bit is appreciated!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Almost 3 Weeks Old

It has hard to believe that in a couple days Cade, Lincoln, and Evan will be three weeks old.  Much has changed since our last post.  All three boys are in open cribs and are over four pounds.  Their weights are as follows:  Cade 4 lbs 3 1/4 oz, Lincoln 4lbs 4 3/4 oz, and Evan 4 lbs 9 oz.  Yesterday, they all passed their hearing screening.  Today the doctor told us that we will likely be able to take Evan and Cade home on Saturday.  Both are taking bottles and no longer need their feeding tubes.  Lincoln is a few days behind and will hopefully begin taking a bottle on a regular basis very soon.  It is a little bitter sweet to be able to take two of the boys home but we are sad to leave Lincoln there.  Please pray that it will soon "click" with him and he will join us at home. 

We never cease to be amazed by the love, support, and help we have received from all of our friends and church family.  Thank you just doesn't seem to be adequate.  We are so grateful for each of you!  Please continue to join us in prayer for Cade, Lincoln, and Evan.  We pray they will continue to thrive and meet recommended milestones.  Also, pray for a smooth transition home. 

Brian, Cassie, Big Brother Brock, Cade, Evan, and Lincoln



Cade showing off his new bed

Evan showing you what a big boy he his taking his bottle

Friday, January 27, 2012

Quick Update (1 1/2 week old)

The boys are just over a week old and much has changed. They are growing and changing each day.  Brian has gone back to work and tries to see the boys at least once a day, mostly after work. I often go to the hospital for their 9:00 am and 12:00 pm feeding.  We are able to help take there temperatures, change their diapers, and assist in feeding.  Of course, our favorite task is holding our sweet babies.  All three are trying to take bottles but we are waiting for it to click and for each of them to consistantly take a full bottle without falling asleep.  Poor sweet Lincoln is still spitting up and having a harder time gaining weight.  Their current weights are:  Lincoln 3 lbs 12 1/2 oz, Cade 3 lbs 13 oz (his birth weight), and Evan 4 lbs . Even though we are spending a lot of time on the road, it is worth it and we look forward to our time with the boys each day.

Please Pray for:
Brock to adjust well
Brian to be able to balance work, time with the boys at the hospital and family at home
Cassie to be able to continue to provide the boys with enough milk and to get enough rest
The boys to start/continue to keep their food down, maintain their temperature, keep growing and start being able to take a bottle at each feeding.

This picture is the only time we have been able to have all three together at the same time.
From left to right, Cade, Evan, Lincoln

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm growning up I'm 3 days old......

 Lincoln - current weight: 3lbs 9 1/2oz
 Cade - current weight 3lbs 6 1/2oz
Evan - current weight 3lbs 8 1/4oz

Lincoln, Cade and Evan continue to hang out in the NICU and are doing as well as can be expected.  Lincoln and Evan are still "showing off" as the respiratory therapist said, by not needing all the normal breathing care of preemies of their gestation.  Cade continues to show signs of improvement one moment, then signs that he is still struggling to maintain a preferred repertory rate a short later.  It is either too fast, or he just forgets to breath and his heart rate begins to drop, scaring Cassie and me and causing the nurse to stand at his isolette waiting to see if he can correct it himself. Each boy is also receiving phototherapy (light treatments) for their jaundice.  They look so cute with their little shades on.  Evan and Lincoln no longer need fluids through an IV.  Cade continues to improve his tolerance of the breast milk and we are hopeful that he will no longer need his IV after tomorrow. 

We are so thankful to all of the nursing staff in the NICU.  They are amazing!  It is with some sadness we leave the hospital tomorrow since it will be without our three littlest boys, but we leave them in really great hands.  A special Thank You to Meggie Bumpus, the most incredible night NICU nurse!  She has been taking amazing care of our little guys and makes sure they are in the best hands. Meggie has been wonderful to answer all our "first time preemie parent" questions.  I think the boys have already developed all of their first crushes on the adorable nurses they have each day and night. 

Care Calendar Information
Calendar ID:  94874
Security Code:  7373

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Boys are here - the first 24 hours!

Cassie delivered 3 beautiful baby boys yesterday at 3:06, 3:07, and 3:08pm.  Baby A - Lincoln, weighed 3 lbs 14 1/2 oz and was 17 1/2 in., Baby B - Cade weighed 3 lbs 13 oz and was 17 in, and Baby C - Evan weighed 3 lbs 14 oz and was 16 1/2 in.  The boys are in the NICU to monitor their breathing, vitals and make sure they get food and fluids.  Cade does have an oxygen tube but we are told he is the norm and Lincoln and Evan are the (good) exception.  Cade was given a "treatment" to help his breathing, and he has since been taken off the oxygen, but his breathing tube remains in just for air. The doctors and nurses are very positive and when asked for an estimate of how long the boys would be in the NICU they said about 2 weeks.  I have been able to change diapers, check temperatures and most recently tried to bottle feed Evan.  All of this is being done through an isolet now.  Evan took a little of his bottle, then fell asleep; so to make sure he got his food, he now has a feeding tube. Cassie did awesome and is doing well now. She has been able to get down to see the boys a couple of times and we are looking forward to watching their first bath and may be able hold Lincoln and Evan briefly, maybe as soon as tonight.

Care Calendar Information
Calendar ID:  94874
Security Code:  7373