Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Haven Joy & Jackson Levi, 9/29/09

Posted by Jay...Rebekah's perspective to come later...

I guess all of this started officially, even though we didn't realize it, on Monday night. Rebekah started having some back contractions and had to have a shot of terbutaline to knock them out. This was the first time she had experienced that type of contraction. Tuesday morning she was having them again and got another shot. She had a 1:30 appointment with Dr. Koster so we were anxious to see if anything had changed. Dr. Koster found that she was slightly dilated, but her cervix was fairly stable. However, Haven was very low...lower than she had ever been.

Fast forward 5 hours....

So I was working late and in a meeting with my boss and got a page from Rebekah around 6:05pm. I called her immediately and she notified me that she was having pretty consistent contractions and that I probably should go ahead and come to Dallas just in case. The nurse didn't seem to think it was urgent at this point, so I was going to run home and pack a bag real quick. On my way home I got another call from Rebekah at 6:13pm saying that I probably should just head straight to Dallas. She knew something wasn't right. So I hopped on the Loop and headed to Dallas. Then I got a call from Gina, Rebekah's mom who was with her, at 6:18pm to tell me that they were giving her an IV and moving her to labor and delivery just in case. So I'm moving a little faster at this point. By the time I get to Canton it's 7:01pm and I got another call from Gina that they were moving her to the OR. So now I'm doing 90-95 with my hazard lights on the rest of the way.

**Side note...If someone is driving at a very fast speed and has their hazard lights are in front of them and they are honking at means move the heck out of the way! Not purposefully drive slow and not move because you don't care that I have something urgent going on. I'm not sure I used the work heck at the time. =)

Back to the interesting story... I get another call from Gina at 7:41pm to tell me that Haven and Jackson had been born at 7:28 and 7:29 respectively. At first I was very upset that I had missed their birth, but later I found out that no one had seen them yet. Rebekah was completely put under and Gina opted to not see them until Rebekah and I had. God had it all worked out where we were able to see them for the first time together. Rebekah was a little out of it, but she was able to spend some time with each of them. She fell asleep a couple of times with her hand on them.

Many of you know our journey; some more than others. It has been a very long road to get to this point and we are so excited that Jackson and Haven have arrived. It still seem very surreal at this point...partly because it happened so suddenly and partly because we can't hold them yet. Rebekah has only been able to see them twice so far, but I have seen them very frequently. Although intimidating at first, you get comfortable with all of the wires and tubes pretty quickly. They are very small and seem so fragile, but they are tougher than they appear. I changed a diaper for the first time with Haven...they now let me every time I am there for a "touch time." They only allow for us to touch them every three hours so they can get plenty of rest, but we can visit them as often as we want 24/7.

They are both doing amazing. They have now been breathing on their own since last night at 7:00. The nurse practitioner told me this morning that they are doing excellent. We are told to expect that we would take them home around their original due date, which would be early December. We are praying constantly that they continue to progress so positively.

Momma is sleeping at the moment and is very sore and tired. Being on bed rest for over 2-months will make her recover a little more difficult, but she is doing well. I think they will push her pretty hard today. I believe the plan is to discharge her on Saturday.

Words cannot express how excited we are, nor how blessed we feel. For whatever reason Jackson and Haven have captured the hearts of so many has really been overwhelming for Rebekah and I. I know God has a very special plan for both of them and I am so thankful that we get to be a part of that plan. God has provided us with so much along this, love, encouragement, prayers, and so much more. Thank you to everyone that has prayed for us along the way and for Jackson and Haven specifically. Please continue to pray for them as they develop in the NICU. I know they feel His presence each day as they grow.

More to come soon. There will be a lot to update in the coming days. Stay tuned....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Week 26-28 - September

We made it to week 26 on the 8th. I had my normal Friday u/s on the 11th with Jay. Haven & Jackson were looking great and had grown over the past 2 weeks. Jackson was weighing 2 lbs. 3 oz. and Haven at 2 lbs. Haven's measurements were a little harder to get though because she is so low. Dr Koster said she weighed at least 2 but maybe a couple oz. more with a better head measurement. Hoping as she gets bigger she moves up a little bit! We tried doing a 3D u/s of them, but yet again Haven was too low to see her sweet face. Jackson had both arms and hands on his face. We could barely see in between his hands. We could tell at one point where he was opening and closing his mouth. It was really neat! My cervix was pretty stable. It only went down to 23 from 24 and had stayed at this my past 2 appts. We were very happy with that! Even though I have uterine irritability constantly, I have not had to have any extra meds to stop contractions.

My next appointment was on Tuesday the 15th, Jay was not able to be with me, but my mom was with me that day. Dr. Koster was doing my routine measurements and switched on the 3D. We saw Jackson immediately! He had moved his hands out of the way finally and she wanted to catch that while we could. So we got a beautiful picture of Jackson (above). So far everyone has said he looks just like Jay. =) We tried to get another u/s on Friday the 18th, and one of Haven this time but she was still too low and Jackson had his hands up again.

This blog includes a couple of weeks, as I did not do my weekly update last week. Please forgive me. =)

We officially made it to 28 weeks on the 22nd, which was a big goal for us and our doctors. My appt. that day was good, everything stable as it has been. We had our second appt. of the week today and it was again really good. Cervix stable at 24cm. and both babies growing so much! Both Jackson & Haven are at 3 lbs. each! They measure a week ahead of schedule at a due date of 12/8 instead of 12/15. Jackson is in the 70th percentile of gestational age and has really long legs! Haven is in the 80th percentile and her tummy was measuring the biggest of everything. =) Along with their excellent growth, their hearts, brains and blood flow look great too!

After our appointment today, Jay was taking me back to my room and took me on a little detour. Don't tell my Dr=)!!! I have a window in my room where I can see the sky, but I haven't felt fresh air since being in the hospital. Unless you count the transfer in to and out of the ambulance back into the hospital. So today we went out the front of the hospital and spent about 5 minutes out in the wonderful 62 degree, blue sky weather. It was amazing and the biggest highlight of my time on bed rest, not directly related to the babies that is. =) Thank you Jay!

My Dr. was very pleased with this progress but has quickly shifted her focus to our next goal of 32 weeks. That is definitely a big goal of mine as well, but I take it 2 weeks at a time. Once we make it to 34 weeks, if everything is stable, we were told that we would be released to go home to deliver in Tyler!

We are so thankful for all of our family and friends. This has been an amazing time in our lives. We know God is always with us and it has been so evident. I personally am learning that He is always so very evident but I let life get in the way. My personal prayer is to remember this when I am no longer having to be so still. Thank you as always for your prayers thoughts and support. We are making it slowly but surely to our goals every week!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Week 25 continued and a little bit of week 26

Jay gave an update a day early to let everyone know about our current visiting restrictions, so I'll continue and be giving more details on our previous week. Week 25 started out pretty calm. About the middle of the week I started having some uterine irritability and I had to get a shot to calm things down. This irritability continued for the next 3 days, nothing major, but enough to get a shot in the arm. I had some guests during the week that gave me some familiar company while Jay was in Tyler at work. He was able to join me on Thursday night after work for a long Labor Day weekend.
The weekend brought lots of activity. We started Friday morning with another ultrasound. Haven and Jackson look great. My cervix had shortened a little, but nothing too concerning.
Our parents, Melissa, Silas and Eli came to see us and spent most of the day here. After lunch we had our NICU tour. I was a little anxious about that, thinking it would be a little scary to see. Turns out it was quite the opposite! Seeing where they will be living if they spend time in the NICU helped and made me a lot more comfortable with the possibility. The charge nurse that showed us around was so helpful in explaining things that would be very scary just walking in to. It is very nice and very private. Initially they will have to be in separate beds and rooms, but the wall in between retracts so that it becomes one big room that we can go between instead of walking from room to room. There are 2 different beds that they can be in depending on when they get here. One of them has a top that comes down and encloses them to help keep their temperature regulated until they can maintain it by themselves. Once they can both do that, they will get to share a bed. The nurse showed us a set of twins that are now able to share. It looked like a bunch of blankets piled on top of each other in a crib. It was cute. Even though they can maintain temperature, they still keep them very warm by layering blankets on top. There is a room they offer to new parents that we will be able to stay in for a few nights to give being on our own a trial run. That way if we have any problems, the nurses station is 2 steps away. Seems like cheating, but is also a good idea, as I'm sure a lot of parents get home and don't know what to do the first couple nights by themselves.
We also got to see Jays sister Melissa and our nephews, Silas and Eli. It was so good to see them but hard not to get up and play with them. They were a little confused by the whole hospital atmosphere. Melissa was able to get a lot of pregnancy pictures for us. I was very excited to be able to get these done and they turned out great!
Today is Friday September 11th. Jay got in town last night and we had another U/S today. We are 26 weeks 3 days today. Every 2 weeks we have a more detailed u/s where they estimate weights. Jackson is estimating 2lbs. 3oz. and Haven is estimating right at 2 lbs. They both have very long legs that measure over 27 weeks. Their tummies measure right at their due date of December 15 and their heads always measure a couple days ahead of their due date. Everything internally looks "beautiful" as our Dr explains it. We tried to do a 3D u/s today, and got a little glimpse of Jackson. His hands were right in his face ever time, so we could see in between them at times. We did see his little mouth opening and closing on 3D which was neat, and could see features here and there, but never a full picture. We could see his little hands perfectly though. They were moving so much it was even hard to get a good 2D u/s. On another good note, my cervix is stable from my last u/s. Based on the measurement, my Dr said percentage of making it to 32 weeks is 85% so we were very pleased with that, and hoping things stay stable! I think that is all for now. Thank you for keeping up with us and for your prayers.
With Love, Jay & Rebekah Haven & Jackson

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Week 25

Week 25 has been an eventful one. Tomorrow will be our second full week here in Plano. Things are going pretty well overall and we are thankful that God has brought us here for care. It is increasingly evident that we are where we need to be. We toured the NICU on Friday and were very impressed. They were extremely friendly and informative. If Jackson and Haven have to spend time there, we are confident that they will be taken care of very well. Rebekah will share more specifics in a later post.

We had a lot of visitors this week. We have been overwhelmed by the amount of love and support we are receiving. God has blessed us so much and we are thankful for everyone one of you that are praying for us.

Jackson and Haven got to meet their aunt Melissa and cousins Silas and Eli on Friday. Silas and Eli were a bit intimidated by the hospital room, but it was cool to see their interest in their cousins...specifically Silas. You can tell he is ready to meet them.

As much as we have enjoyed visitors, unfortunately we are not going to be able to have visitors for now. Rebekah's doctor has noticed she seems to contract more when she has visitors. For that reason, she wants to limit visitors to immediate family for now. It would seem that visitors would be a good thing, but anything that can impact her heart rate or blood pressure could have an impact on her uterus contracting. So, for now, we are going to have to ask for no visitors.

Jackson and Haven are doing so well. Their heartbeats remain strong and they look great. They are moving around and kicking like crazy. They entertain us on a regular basis. We saw them on a sonogram on Friday and Doctor Koster consistently uses the words "great" and "beautiful." We got a great profile of Jackson (above), but Haven is head down and too low to get a good picture. We are so thankful for how God is guiding their growth and development.

Posted by Jay