Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Best Breakfast Ever

So it has been a little crazy and stressful at our house. I am feeling lack of sleep and I am sure that our older boys wish that their mom was back to normal. This morning, Tony came in to let us know that he was keeping Turner and Levi occupied so we could sleep in a little longer. It was really sweet of him.

When we walked out of the bedroom, there was a note that said "Please go to table #1". Derrick and I were being treated to "Antonio's Restaurant". When we got to the table, there were menus, plates, and napkins. Tony was wearing a "chef" badge, Turner was the "waiter" and Levi was the "cook". Derrick and I were very touched. I was starving and ordered 3 scrambled eggs and toast. It was awesome! I had to feed the twins and pump and wasn't sure when I was going to get time to eat something with protein in it. When breakfast was done, Tony and Turner came in and held Sawyer and Briggs' bottles. (The babies were hungry too!) It was so awesome to be able to enjoy some yummy food and have the twins not crying also.

Thanks guys! You made my day :)

They are both awake!

Derrick thinks that Sawyer looks like an old man and Briggs looks like a baby. We have been entertained by some very funny faces that Sawyer makes. He seems to demand more attention and Briggs is pretty chill.
It is interesting that of all the kids we have, I think that Sawyer looks the least like our other boys. They are very fun to be with. I am working on having them be on a better schedule. Briggs seems to like to sleep during the day and Sawyer is sleeping at night. We will see how tonight goes.

Best Buds! Sawyer is on the left and Briggs is on the right.

Big helpers

Tony and Turner have been great helpers with the babies. They love helping and holding them. These pictures were taken while I was getting a coveted shower and fixing my hair. It was great.

Tony with Sawyer. After he got to hold Sawyer for a while, he had to get ready for school. He said that he wished he could just be with them and hold them all the time. I love my boys!
Turner with Briggs. There are some advantages to pumping milk :) Good job boys! Now if we could only teach them to take care of their 3am feedings! :)

I haven't been able to get the boys to nurse yet but I am grateful that I am able to produce enough milk for them. Derrick let me rent a hospital pump (thanks babe!) that has been great for us. Hopefully I will be able to get them to nurse later but for now, this is less stressful. Derrick has been known to take an extra shift at night so I can get 4 hours of sleep in a row instead of just 2. It is amazing how much time these little munchins take.

Levi is doing awesome with the babies too. He calls them both Briggs until we let him know that he is talking to Sawyer. He is super cute with them. Now if I could only keep Levi out of the baby swings we would be doing great!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We finally got Sawyer and Briggs home today! The boys were are so excited to have them home and it is such a relief to feel like a full family. Sawyer and Briggs love lying next to eachother. They weren't able to do that in the NICU and I think they were missing eachother. I had heard more than one report from the nurses that Sawyer has a little temper...but he has been very sweet since he has been able to be with his brother.

This picture I took at the NICU before we were discharged. They were finally put in the same bed. Sawyer was being a little grumpy but I put Briggs next to him and he just stared at his brother for about 30 minutes before falling asleep.

We are sleeping them together in the crib for now. Derrick must have folded a lot of burritos in his life because he is very good at swaddling. Dont they look so happy to be together? Home Sweet Home. Briggs is in the airplane blanket.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Last night (Sunday) when we went down to see the babies, they took out the G-tubes on both babies and took off Sawyer's oxygen!! They said that we would be able to take them home soon as long as they continued to do well on their feedings. It was a really special night last night to see them make so much progress. I am very suprised that Sawyer and Briggs are going to be discharged on the same day because Sawyer got so much sicker than Briggs. Over the last couple days, Briggs has put on the breaks as far as feedings were going and let his brother catch up to him. I think they just wanted to come home together.

I went down to the hospital this morning to see the boys, and they suprised me with the news that my husband I can do nesting tonight. Nesting is where we spend a night in the hospital to practice taking care of the babies. We will have the nurses a phone call away if we have any problems, and they can see if we are able to get the babies to take their full feedings. If everything goes well, they will discharge them on Tuesday.

I can't believe that we are a mere 24 hours away from having the babies home with us. I am so excited. It will be so awesome. Soon we will be able to get to know them and learn about their personalities.

I have some stuff to get ready for them :) Wish us luck!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Special night

Last night I was counting all my bottles (the hospital gives out disposable ones that I pump into) to see if I had enough to make it through the night and day today. We are going to visit the babies later today than we normally do so I was nervous that I wouldn't have enough. It was a good thing I counted because I needed to pick up some more. I told Derrick that we didn't have enough...and he looked at me and asked, "Are you sure you didn't pick up enough bottles on purpose so you could go back later??" He laughed and I didn't forget them on purpose but I wasn't gonna complain :) He had to get the boys ready for bed with baths and everything so I called up a friend of mine to give me a ride to the hospital to get them. She graciously offered to help and let me know that we could stay as long as I wanted.

While we were there, I was able to feed both Sawyer and Briggs. I really had an opportunity to bond with Sawyer. He has been hooked up to oxygen for so much longer than Briggs that I haven't had the same holding time for him. He was so alert and loved to listen to my voice. At one point during the feeding, he filled his diaper so we had to change him. He got upset and so after his diaper was changed, I picked him up and nestled him to my neck. He stopped crying instantly. It was so nice to know that he remembers who I am and can remember my voice. It was a really special night for me. There is something so precious as a newborn that just stares into your eyes...and I get 2 babies doing that for me. I am so lucky.

Briggs was as cute as ever and he did so good on his bottle. They have both made it back to their birth weights. Thanks so much to all those that have helped out. This has been challenging for me to leave my babies at the hospital and so many people have made it a little easier to get through. Hopefully we will get good news soon that they are coming home.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The whole family!

We had an awesome morning this morning. The NICU lifted the RSV ban so siblings could come into the NICU. The boys were SO excited to meet Sawyer and Briggs at last. They were so good and were able to be "hands-on" with taking care of the boys. The nurse in this picture is Sarah. She has been wonderful and great with our babies. She is explaining to our curious 5-year-old how a tube down Sawyer's nose goes into his stomach and he can get some food that way.

Sawyer was a champ today in eating his bottle. He almost ate the whole thing. He was shy just a couple of mL. When they don't eat everything, the nurses put the rest down the feeding tube. Turner was lucky enough to be able to hold the syringe that had the rest of Sawyer's milk in it. Good job buddy! Sawyer has been doing amazing. He still isn't weaned off his oxygen but he is eating really well. If Briggs isn't careful, then Sawyer will catch up to him.

Tony was able to help do Sawyer's temperature also. Sawyer was not happy at all with that but Tony did a great job. Turner and Tony also got to listen to Sawyer's heartbeat. It was really nice of the Sarah to include them so much with helping.
Levi loved the babies. Here is Briggs. Levi was really interested in the feeding tube on Briggs. He loved looking and touching him. He did a great job at being very soft. I am so excited to bring the boys home and just get into the routine of everything.

I have been pumping like a mad woman to produce enough milk for these guys. I was nervous about being able to make enough because I wasn't able to nurse them and they couldn't nurse on demand. I know sometimes it is more difficult to build up a good supply when you have to pump and can't breastfeed. I am doing great though and making at least enough for both of them each time I pump and usually a half an ounce or more extra.

Levi here is showing us his muscles trying to pick up the milk in the little black bags.

Tony and Turner sitting in the rocking chair in the NICU. They were so good.

I have been waiting to hold both babies for so long (outside of the womb) and was able to hold them today. They unhooked Sawyer from his monitors for just a couple of minutes so we could take these precious pictures. Sawyer was so alert it was great to see. Sawyer here is the one looking at the camera.

I wish I had more pictures of Sawyer but we haven't been able to be as "hands-on" with him until now. He is doing so great. We will get a lot of pictures in the future I am sure.

The older boys watching mom feed Briggs.

Levi is being so soft with Briggs.

The whole family! Don't we have some handsome boys??...all 5 of them. Looks like the beginnings of a ton of fun at our house! (And I will be looking forward to those Father-son outings. Derrick will have so much fun with them.)

We don't have a FOR SURE date for when Sawyer and Briggs can come home with us but it is getting closer every day. I am so proud of all the progress they have made. I looked at Derrick while he was trying to hold Levi and let everyone look at Sawyer while I was feeding Briggs and I thought..."We are going to be really busy". It will be a wonderful busy...but it is little daunting to have so many wonderful boys to take care of.

Friday, May 13, 2011

More good news

We went in to see the boys at the hospital today and got some more good news! Yesterday after we got home from the hospital, Sawyer woke up and was pretty mad that the ventilator tube was still down his throat. They have been weaning him and decided to take the tube out. He did great and is doing great today. We have been told my more than one nurse that he has a little temper on him. He doesn't like to be messed with and will let you know what he is thinking! Sawyer is only on 1 L of hi-flow oxygen and his % of oxygen is about 30%. He is doing awesome and is able to bottle feed sometimes now. He will be at his full feedings today and they are going to take out the other catheter in his belly button that was used for fluids.

Briggs was taken completely off oxygen yesterday as well but today went under the bilirubin lights for jaundice. Hopefully he will be off of the lights today. We don't want Sawyer to realize that Briggs gets a nice light to sit under and some cool shades to wear otherwise he might want to get jaundice too! Sawyer's levels are fine for now. Hopefully they won't get higher.

Briggs is eating his full feedings now. He has enough energy most of the time to get them all the way eaten. I was able to try to nurse him today and he did pretty good for a first try. He got tired though and I wanted him to be able to eat his food so I didn't mess around too much with it. I will be excited to start teaching both boys how to nurse when they get home.

Derrick and Briggs
Me feeding Briggs

Briggs after he got his oxygen removed

Sawyer after getting of ventilation. Isn't he so cute? They definitely look different but both boys are adorable.

Derrick getting to feed Briggs

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sawyer and Briggs!

Right before the c-section...I am smiling here but this was before they missed twice on the IV and I wasn't quite as numb as I wanted to be for the c-section. I was completly numb about 3-4 inches above the incision but the spinal didn't do all it was supposed to do. After they pulled Briggs out, they gave me some other kind of medication that completly knocked me out and they were able to try and fix my belly button hernia and pull everything together as tight as they could. My doctor was awesome! He cut out a ton of old scar tissue and made everything nice and neat. Even with all the hard times in the pregnancy and the crazy day of surgery...I would do it all over again. I love my boys.
I love this picture. Sawyer is in Derrick's left hand and Briggs on the right. Doesn't Derrick look awesome in scrubs!
Briggs at 6 lbs 3.o oz
Sawyer at 6 lbs 3.1 ounces
Sawyer on the left labled A and Briggs on the right. Hopefully we don't have too much tandem crying. It was great to get here :)
Briggs before they did the CPAP
Sawyer on the ventilator
Briggs on the CPAP. He loves his pacifier and they had to cut it so it would fit under his nose mask.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Roller coaster

Sawyer and Briggs day 3.

Sawyer still wasn't responding to the CPAP like the doctors were wanting him to so they switched him to a respirator around noon. His poor body has been working so hard to breathe for 3 days that it was such a relief to see him calm and not stressing that even though this is another step towards the machine breathing for him, he is doing better. The machine is set to breathe for him 50 times per minute and anything over and above that he is doing by himself. He was breathing about 57 times per minute and doing great. He is breathing with 70%oxygen help...so much better than yesterday. Overall, Derrick and I feel that this is what he needs to get better.

Briggs is doing well. The IV got moved from his head to his foot and they are trying to wean him off oxygen from the CPAP . They will let Briggs breathe regular air (which is 21% oxygen). He is at 27% right now. He started gavage feedings of 5ml every 3 hours. I am so happy that all the milk I've been pumping and all that wonderful collostrum is being put to good use. He loved his first feeding and I am eager to keep up pumping for them. Sawyer will hopefully be able to start garage feedings tomorrow.

I am being released from the hospital tomorrow and then will get to figure out the back and forth between home and hospital. I will hopefully be able to

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Welcome Sawyer and Briggs Johnson!

Well we have 2 new boys to add to our family. Sawyer B and Briggs S. Sawyer was born at 11:43am and Briggs at 11:44am on May 6th. I am not sure where to start...I am still in the hospital and trying to post this on my mom's IPad. They both weighed 6 lbs 3 oz. Both boys ended up in the NICU for fluid in their lungs. Unfortunately they got steadily worse with needing help with breathing. It seems that whatever Sawyer does Briggs is soon to follow. We are not allowed to hold them or touch them right now because it stresses them out too much. The neonatalogist finally decided this morning that both boys needed catheters into their belly buttons because they were having a difficult time getting IVs in their tiny veins. I guess that an IV will deteriorate in about a12hours and need to be replaced. Poor Sawyer was poked 6times before they decided that catheters were a better way to go.

Both boys were steadily needing more oxygen and a higher flow of oxygen. Sawyer was on 100% for a little while. Briggs was sitting at 60%. They decided to do a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure) on both boys (hopefully I get all the right information and spelling down). The CPAP forces air into their lungs and so they stay open. They also are giving them surfactant (sp?) which also helps their lungs stay open. It was explained to me as they are trying so hard to breathe. It is like they are trying to blow up a balloon that has not been blown up before. They have been breathing so hard and fast it is like they are trying to run a marathon. This proceedure helps them not work as hard to breathe. Because of all this, they haven't even tried letting them eat and are just giving them fluids.

Last night we were surprised that both my mom and Derrick's parents decided to come and see the boys. It has been really nice to have the extra support. My mom is staying with me until Monday at the hospital and Derrick's parents are at the house helping with our other boys. Derrick was able to give both boys priesthood blessings with his dad. I know that God is watching over us and I feel His love so strongly. Sawyer and Briggs just need some time to get past this hurdle. They will probably be in the NICU for at least a week. The nurses are doing a great job and I am grateful for their care for our boys. Please think of the boys in your prayers.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Babies are coming

May 6, 2011...good day to have some babies?? Just thought I would blog really quick while I'm eating my last snack before I have my c-section today. The doctor took mercy on me and let me move my date up a couple of days. I am really glad because it has been getting harder for me to sleep. I am officially 37 weeks and am really excited. At the doctor this week, the babies were weighing in at 5 lbs 8 oz and 5 lbs 10 ounces according to the ultrasound. Hopefully the ultrasound is fairly accurate and they are at least 5 lbs a piece. This is such a perfect early mother's day present to me. We feel so blessed to be able to have these two little boys in our lives in addition to the 3 other boys that we already have been blessed with. I will post picts as soon as I can...(I don't know if Derrick will get around to it while I'm at the hospital).
Wish us luck!

As a side note...Tony, Turner, and Levi are going to be playing with some friends today after school. Turner said that he super excited about today because he will get to go swimming with his friends...oh and he is excited about the babies too. LOL. I love all my little guys :)