Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meet Isaiah

I found out I was pregnant in early February 2011. I had just turned 35 and pretty much had given hope that motherhood was in my immediate future, so I quickly embraced the news as my blessing. My 1st trimester came and went with little issue except for painful fibroids at around 11wks that gave me sneak peek at the LO,  but thankfully no morning sickness. When my 2nd trimester kicked I felt that beautiful pregnancy glow you always hear about, until my 27 week appt. when I learned that I was a carrier for SMN1 the genetic condition that is a marker for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. After speaking with genetic counselors & my physician, I made the decision to have an amniocentesis at 28- weeks because a blood test from his father & I would not rule out the condition. In my mind & heart I had already fallen in love with my unborn child, SMA or not and just wanted to prepare as best as I could for his delivery and beyond if he was diagnosed with the condition. The test took 3 long weeks to confirm, but on August 11th, it was confirmed baby boy had at least 1 copy of the SMN1 gene like me so he though he might be a carrier, he would not have SMA.

Also on Aug 11th, it was the 1st night I started feeling sick & threw up in my pregnancy. My hands & feet were also visibly swollen, but I never tested positive for protein, but I was being monitored. At my last appt that Mon. my OB took my pressure a couple of times but it also showed within normal range.  That weekend my appetite was off, which seemed odd and on Sunday night, I once again started throwing up and having cold sweats. I called my OBs office 1st thing in the morning, of Aug. 15th, but I really believed it was something I ate & chalked it up. By afternoon, I ran an errand at the bank & prior to returning I started to feel worst, so I stopped at the local health center around 3:30pm. The nurse asked me how far along I was and I said 32 wks, she said my pressure was high. I immediately called my OBs office, & turns out I just missed a call from them because I left my house number.  She immediately asked to speak with ER doctor & told me I needed to be transported by ambulance or get a ride to L&D. 

I got a ride & arrived by 6pm & blood tests were started & my pressure checked again.  It was getting higher.  By 7pm, the triage room went from 1 nurse to about 5 people including the on call OB,  anesthiologist. I swear everything happened so fast: I was diagnosed with a severe case of preeclampsia (pressure now peaked at 206/150) and HELLP. The only cure for this was to deliver the baby because my liver & kidneys were shutting down. I was wheeled in for my C-sec at 9:03pm & my son was born at 9:17pm, 3lbs 7oz 16 ½” long at 32wks.  Because of the HELLP condition I was given a general anesthia & no one was allowed in delivery rm. When I finally layed eyes on him later that evening, I still could not believe what had just happened that day & how tiny he was. 

After 37 days, Isaiah was discharged from the NICU at 4lbs 6 oz to the loving arms of his mama and his entire family.  There were some rough, but many beautiful days of our journey together in the NICU which I will never forget.  Isaiah is now a healthy baby at 14lbs 6oz at 6mos actual age. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Meet Aeden

 Aeden was born at 26wks 5 days, at 2lb 2oz, 14 inches, on July 23, 2011.

At 22 weeks my doctor notice my cervix was shortening and I had started to funnel. He referred me to a high risk ob to hopefully have a cerclage but in place but high risk ob refused so my reg ob sent me to a second high risk ob with the same hopes and still denied, I was told to just take it easy. My reg OB continued to check me for the next 3 weeks and then I started have back contractions that sent me to the hospital multiple nights to get a shot or meds to stop the contractions. The contractions were not affecting my cervix, in fact it had started to lengthen.

I began my best rest vigil, my husband elevated the foot of the bed and I only got up for restroom breaks and my 20 mins for supper.  At the beginning of my 26 wk, I spent 3 days in hospital on magnesium to stop the contractions (still in my back) that were happening every 5 mins.  I was released on Thursday and woke up Friday morning with what I thought was gas pains. After about 10 hours and they did not subside I started to have some weird discharge so I called my reg ob who said to head to our local hospital. 

When I arrived I was 2cm dilated and had to be transferred to another hospital with a Level 4 NICU - we (my son and I) both had our first ambulance ride. We arrived about 2am Saturday morning and I was 3cm dilated. I continued to have these horrible contractions and continued to dilate then about 830am my water broke and the contractions only got worse. Finally at 1115am they said I could have an epidural, in the process of the epidural Aeden moved into position to be born.  I started pushing at 12(noon) Saturday and he was born at 12:20pm. My epidural kicked in for the last 5 minutes of the ordeal. 

He was on the vent for his first night then on high flow nasal canula for the remainder of his 86 day NICU stay. He had one small "blip" of a perferated bowel which put him on the ossilator vent and then he had to be stepped back down to reg vent then to his nasal canula, during this "blip" he was given only a 50% chance of making it through the weekend, but he is my "little fire" (the meaning of his name). Our NICU stay consisted of constant reflux, apneas and bradys.  

He stayed in the NICU until 39 weeks gestation because doctors were certain he would need the "nissen" sugery, however about middle of his 38 weeks he decided to eat without desatting.  I spent these 3 months in the ronald mcdonald house right across the road from the hospital, while my hubby ran our home and continued to work.  He came home on oxygen and apnea monitor on October 17, 2011. 

I lost my job due to having to take care of him and his inablitlity to attend day care, so now I am a full time mom to a healthy happy 6 month old that weighs 10lbs 14oz. He is developmentally correct with his adjusted age of 3 months - a little ahead actually with some of his milestones. He is small for his age but the doctor is certain he will catch up.  During my entire pregnancy we jokingly called "him" butterbean becuase of the way my 8 week sonogram looked - now we jokingly say that if we knew he would have been born the size of a butterbean we would have called him watermelon instead.  He is truely a miracle and I wouldn't trade a day of our ordeal for anything in the world!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


It's taken us a little longer than we expected, but we have the t-shirts ready for purchase online now.  Check out the "Shop" tab at the top of the page.  All proceeds will be used for the Gift of Faith Project.  Thanks!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Meet Donnie

A couple of weeks before my water broke I was VERY  uncomfortable. i could tell he felt to low for comfort. Also I was  having some blood tinged mucous almost every day. I went in to the  doctor a few times with my concern but they thought I was just paranoid.  They said baby was pretty low, but nothing to worry about. August 3rd I  was having some pretty intense contractions. However, only some of them  were enough to take my breath away & eventually they subsided.  August 4th I noticed baby Donnie hadn't moved but only twice the whole  day. Then he started to have the hiccups.

I was going to tell my husband  we needed to go in to check on him once he got home, but around 5 pm. I  went to the bathroom. When I stood up I felt the huge gush...First  words out of my mouth were "OH CRAP!" (These were the same words out of  my mouth when my water broke with my second daughter too)My sister was  actually on her way to borrow my fetal doppler..I waited for her because  I knew she was close.I also called DH & he was on his way home from  work. My sister took our daughters to her house & dh rushed me to  the hospital. When we got there I was 3cm & 70 percent effaced. I  also had a low grade fever, so they thought I might have an infection.  (Mind you, a week before I had asked if it was possible I had an  infection & they brushed it off & didn't even check.)

My contractions were very inconsistent. They started me on antibiotics & gave me a steroid shot for his lungs. A couple hours later they  started pitocin because they said it was best to get him out quicker if I  did
 have an infection. My contractions (all in the back) really picked  up. They hurt worse than any of my other labors. I got a dose of stadol  which was all this hospital had. (I had nubain with my other two labors  & it works soooo much better) After about 20 minutes it had already wore off. I begged for more & they said I had to wait an hour in  between doses. I got my second dose after the hour. This also wore off  again in 20 minutes. (The nubain with my girls lasted me hours for just  one dose. I never needed more than one dose with them) When it got  closer to time for another dose I could feel a lot of intense pressure. I  started to slowly sit up in bed with each contraction. My mom was  confused at what I was doing , but it helped the pain to sit up.  Eventually I was sitting straight up. I was also pushing a little as I  started to sit up but I didn't tell just felt natural. Then  when I was sitting straight up I told them I needed to push. They  checked me & said it was time.

The doctor came in & sat down all  gloved & gowned..I started to push ..he was out in two pushes!  Donald Terry Jones 3rd born at 1:37 a.m. on Aug.5th. 3lbs 4oz. 14 1/2  inches long. It was the hardest labor but the easiest when it came to  pushing:) They took him right away & only brought him over for a  quick picture. He has been our fighter from the very beginning only on CPAP for less than a day and nasal cannula almost the rest of the time. His NICU stay was only 40 days. He is now almost 6 months old and over 13lbs and EBF.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Meet Felix and Evelyn!

When I was 24 weeks (out of 40) into my pregnancy with my twins, I went to my usual check-up and all looked good. I was the size of the average single-baby-carrying-and-32-weeks-pregnant woman (read: I was going to be huge by the end). Everything checked out well, nothing alarming or even flagging that there could be a problem. We had had out ultrasound a couple weeks before, finding we were to have a boy and a girl-- so exciting!

The day after my check-up, I had some heavy bleeding around supper time. I called in and they said to come in so we could check on it. They couldn't figure it out and noticed I started having contractions, so they gave me some anti-contraction meds and admitted me for the night. I wasn't allowed to lay on my side or move from being flat on my back, because they needed to keep the monitors on me. Finally, around midnight, they seemed to think things were under control and changed me over to being on the monitors for half an hour every 4 hours- this meant that I could sleep until 4am, which I gladly did. I felt like everyone was completely overreacting and that I would be so embarrassed about having come in and caused all this trouble come morning.

4am came too quickly and I got up to go to the bathroom before being trapped in the bed with the monitors strapped on me. I got about 3 steps from my bed and liquid gushed everywhere. And I mean everywhere. My first thought wasn't the "Oh my gosh, my water broke!!" you'd expect. It was "I am so glad this happened here- I don't have to clean it up!" Then I freaked out. I tried to tell myself I just peed all over myself. We couldn't test the fluid for a while because of there being blood in it (I was still bleeding- that issue was never figured out or resolved). Finally they were able to confirm what we all knew- my water had broken (turned out to be Baby A, our daughter). I was started on several antibiotics, as infection is the most dangerous thing for a baby in the situation of not having their protective bubble around them to keep them safe. I was told that as long as they could hold off labor and everyone stayed healthy, they could keep the babies inside of me until they were big enough to be born. The following several hours were doses of anti-contraction meds, IVs, steroid shots and everything else anyone could think of to save these babies.

Around lunch time, my husband and two year old son came in to visit and the head neonatologist from the NICU came to give us the hard truth. He gave us the statistics for babies born at this gestation and they weren't good. Basically, our kids had low odds of living and even lower odds of not having a major disabilities. Then I was left to cry with my family while the two year old got into everything out of boredom.

I was able to keep those kids in me for two more weeks. I was on magnesium and nearly every night had a shot of brethine to stop the contractions. Our son, with all of his extra space to move in me and the freedom of not being kicked constantly by his sister, started exploring more and he was nearly impossible to find some nights. More than once, nurses were brought to tears of relief when we finally found his heartbeat. After the two weeks on bed rest (which, for the record I loved and I was so busy with hospital stuff and visitors, I didn't even get a nap... or to bed early) I was having contractions in the morning instead of just at night. The doctor decided to keep an eye on it and see if they'd stop on their own. Once they got to be evenly spaced, they tried to step in and stop them, but they wouldn't stop.

At 4am the following morning, on April 29, they preformed an emergency c-section. I puked through the whole thing, didn't get to see them and felt that the c-section was the most wretched feeling thing I had ever experienced. My BP crashed and once they had me under control, I had to go to recovery, instead of my room, to recover. My husband went to the NICU and waited for the news. An hour or two later, a NICU doc came down and told me they were both alive and told me their sizes- Baby A was 2 pounds, 3 oz. Baby B was 1 pound, 15 oz. Alive. That's all I got to know for now, but it was such a relief.

It wasn't until my (still unnamed) babies were 4 or so hours old hat I was able to get out of my bed to go see them. I was pushed to the NICU in a wheelchair, scrubbed in and promptly puked. Back to my bed. 2 hours later, I tried again. This time, I got to glance at both of them and get the summary on Baby B before I puked. I also got to officially name Baby B (Felix). 2 hours later, I was able to see Baby A (and name her Evelyn) and get the summary on her. Both kids were doing well.

I think God must've prepared my heart for the NICU. I never felt freaked out by all of the machines and wires hooked up to my kids. I thought they looked big. I had no expectation to hold them yet, so I wasn't let down when they told me I'd have to wait until their umbilical lines were out. I remember about 3 days in, I was allowed to lift and hold Felix in his isolette while they changed his bedding. I was so excited about holding my baby, I may have cried. And that wasn't even "real" holding, as I'd soon find out.

When they were a week old, Eve was off of her vent and had her PICC line in and I was able to hold her, outside of her isolette, skin to skin. It was so amazing and she was so tiny. She just snuggled into me and slept for the hour she was allowed out. Felix didn't do well with outside stimulation and he was 2 weeks old before I could kangaroo care with him. He struggled a lot in the beginning. He had to go back onto a vent after he came off, he would protest the smallest things- even talking near his bed- by not breathing. We would sit and quietly look at him, only touching him when required for his routine "cares". Slowly, but surely, they grew and developed. Felix struggled with breathing on his own and was on oxygen until the week before coming home. Eve struggled to digest her food and went a week without pooping, and no one knew why, despite all the tests. When she finally pooped on her own, we brought in a cake to celebrate with the nurses.

When they were on and a half months old or so, they were moved to cribs. They lasted less than a day before going back into the isolettes. Two weeks later, we tried again, and this time, they were strong enough. We could hold them at will and, best of all, family could hold them too.

Over the next several weeks, they worked on growing and learning to eat on their own. The eating was the slowest thing to fall into place. They just didn't seem to want to do the work. In the end, we had to withhold feeding by way of tube and let them learn they needed to do the work. Their weight was closely monitored and after 2 days, they were back to gaining an ounce a day. Plans were made for them to come home the next day.

The following morning, we got the call that Felix hadn't gained enough weight and that Eve's gain was also low, but not as severely. They wouldn't be able to come home. They had me come and room-in with Felix that day and the following night to see if having me there would help, or if he was too tired. He did great, as did his sister, so after 101 days in NICU, they came home without monitors, oxygen or any other "extras".

Our time in the hospital was long and hard. They had many struggles. They struggled to breath, keep warm, digest food and eat. Daily, they struggled to live and to perservere and thankfully, they succeeded. Now, they are 21 months old and doing all the things 21-month-olds should be doing. It's a miracle, really and I am so glad I got to witness it.

Intibating at birth
First day in the NICU
Evelyn-7 weeks old

Felix-7 weeks old
Evelyn and Felix-6 months old
Evelyn and Felix-1 year old

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Website

We have a new website:

It links our facebook, twitter and blog all into one. All you do is click on your destination from there. Please add it to your Favorites.

We've been having a few issues but they should be resolved shortly.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Meet Victoria

We had quite a long journey to get to the point we are today. We started trying to get pregnant in 2007, and our third IVF attempt in July of 2010 was going to be our last. We couldn’t believe the phone call on Labor Day of 2010 that our IVF had worked and we were finally pregnant. The first two months weren’t easy, as I ended up in the ER twice with bleeding, and one of those times put me on bed rest for 3 weeks. By the end of October the pregnancy seemed to be continuing as normal, and I felt like I could finally enjoy this little person growing inside me.

On the morning of January 27th, 2011 I had my regular doctor's visit and everything leading up to that appointment had felt normal. That week though, I had noticed a strange liquid, so my doctor had his tech do an ultrasound to make sure I wasn’t losing cervical fluid. When the doctor called me back in to discuss the results, I was already 3cm dilated. I was immediately checked into the hospital, at 24 weeks and 2 days. That evening when the neonatologist spoke to us to explain all the risks involved if I went into labor, was the worst day of our lives. We couldn’t believe that after overcoming so many obstacles to get pregnant, our baby may not even survive. Now, the focus was go get me as far along in the pregnancy as possible, on strict bed rest. They gave me the round of steroid shots to help develop the baby’s lungs in case she arrived early. I lasted until I was 26 weeks and 3 days. My labor pains started the afternoon of Friday, February 11th  at first I thought it might be stomach ache, since I had no idea what labor pains felt like, and  they grew more intense with each passing hour. Almost 7 hours later, and after receiving heavy doses of Magnesium Sulfate without even a reaction, there was no doubt I was going into labor that evening. My baby girl arrived by C Section at 11:37 that evening, weighing 2lbs4oz. My husband and I burst into tears when we saw how tiny she was.

I had apparently developed an infection and my placenta had already started to detach, and the reason they gave me for the early onset of the dilation, was incompetent cervix. We are extremely blessed that the issues she had, would be overcome with time and growth, but at the time it seemed like she would take two steps forward and five steps back. It was an extremely emotional time for us, and not how we imagined the birth of our first baby. She finally came home exactly three months after she was born, and only a few days after my very first Mother’s Day.

Today, she is a thriving 11 month old only a few weeks away from turning one.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Meet Dylan

I had a miscarrage at 21wks and for three years I believed I would never have a baby but then one day I felt really bad pain in my breast and knew I missed my period so I went and took a test and I was pregnant. I went to the OBGYN and he told me that he didn't see a baby, so we cried (fiance, my mother and I) he send me to a special sonogram tech and when she did it I saw my little baby the size of a rice bean and then we all cried again but of joy! 

My obgyn did some tests and realized I wasn't making a certain hormone and that may have been the reason for the prior miscarriage. I paid 250 dollars for this medicine I had to place in myself twice daily until I was 3 months...

I made it to three months and was going to both my obgyn and a specialist weekly and my wonderful specialist found my cervix was open a slit and I would need a cerclage in order to not miscarry, as scared as I was I knew  my child would only make it if I went through this procedure.... it got done and I had been on bed rest for two weeks and then minimal walking until 32 weeks and 4 days......

I started to feel tight in my stomach and went to the hospital where they sent me home after numerous tests. I went home, slept, and woke up with worse pain, went back and they monitored my contractions and gave me shots to stop my contractions and sent me home..... finally at 32 weeks and 6 days I returned and they checked me and realized I was ripping because my cerclage was keeping me from dilating.  The cerclage was taken out and dilated right away and was bleeding and kept dilating until it was time to push..... I gave birth for 1hr exactly and gave birth to a 4lb 4oz baby boy at 32 weeks and 6 days.....

He stayed in the NICU for two weeks and 3 days and I pumped at home and went daily and fed him. I was so sad and cried regularly until he was released to me (at 4lbs 10oz) 

My son is big and healthy now and I thank God everyday for the miracle God has given me.

Three days old

Going home!  2 weeks 3 days

First Halloween, 4 weeks old

Now, three and a half months