Faith and Fear...

Trust and Doubt...

Ups and Downs...

A God that still performs miracles...

A 1-pound baby girl and 3-pound baby boy...

This is our story; this is our life.


In the race of life, God our heavenly Father has come alongside us through the person of the Holy Spirit. And

~when we think we can't go one more step,

~when the race becomes painful beyond endurance,

~when our hearts feel heavy,

~when our minds become dull,

~when our spirits are burned out,

we have the comforter who comes alongside us, puts His everlasting arms around us, and gently walks with us.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sibling Reunion...

Today was a momentous occasion in our lives. After 7 LONG weeks, the 4 of us were all together at the same place at the same time for the very first time....EVER.  Dylan got to see his little sister for the first time this afternoon.  Kaylan finally got see the culprit that stole her food for 3 months.  She managed to grab his arm and give him a big pinch. 

Also today, Jenn had an incredible baby shower.  We are in complete awe of the thoughtfulness and selfless giving that people continue to show toward us and our precious babies.  It was a good turnout and just a wonderful reminder of how much people really do love and support us.  Not only did these friends shower us with gifts, they continue to shower us in prayer. 

Here are a couple of pics from the First Fariss-Four Family Photo Shoot.
Holding Hands :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

NICU Day 50

Today was our 50th day in the NICU. 50 days of driving back and forth, back and forth, back and forth from Coppell to Plano. That doesn't count the 20 plus days I was in the hospital before they were born. It's been tiring but we can see a little bit of light coming in through the cracks. At least Dylan is on the home stretch.

Both babies had a great week - PRAISE GOD! Boy did we need this. It was easier to get through each day knowing they were both healthy, active and doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing. We know how quickly things can change, so we continue to keep our hearts prayerful for progress.

Kaylan is at 2 pounds 9 oz. Dylan is 5 pounds, 6 oz. Kaylan is still on CPAP, but is just a few grams away from being able to go to the nasal canula. Now, I don't want to compare...but...the turning point for Dylan was when he got on the nasal canula - he took off with growth and progress. So, we hope that will be the case for our little Kaylan too.

So, here's to another great week for Dylan and Kaylan and NOT 50 more days! ;)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Look Mom, no tubes!

Just wanted to post some pictures of Big Dylan without any tubes on his sweet little face. I'm one proud mama. The very last picture is a MY baby picture when I was first born - notice how even in 1980, hospitals used those same striped blankets - so vintage. Ha!

The twins are 36 weeks gestation today. Praising God daily that they are both here with us. Can't wait to get them home!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This week - so far, so good!

I must say that things are starting off MUCH better this week than they did last week. Yesterday, Kaylan was extubated (breathing tube was removed)! So, she was intubated for only 1 week. Let's hope that she will not be taking that backwards step ever again. Also, they stopped her antibiotics so she doesn't have any IV's sticking in her. Yippie! She's back on her full feeds and she's tolerating it well so far. She's back on CPAP and they are weaning her down on lower and lower oxygen. So, she's made GREAT strides in just the first two days of this week. Her weight is up to 2.69 pounds. PLEASE continue to pray that she will have a healthy week this week and continue to move forward and not backward! So far, so good. We know how quickly things can change!

Dylan, not to be outdone by his little sister, is taking almost 6 bottles a day and is officially off the nasal canula, which means he is not on ANY oxygen. No more tubes in his face!!! He's sucking those bottles down left and right and I think he's about made up his mind that he's ready to get out of there. I think he's getting really close too!

While I'm so anxious and excited to get Dylan home, that day will be very bittersweet. We will rejoice in taking Dylan home, but will grieve over having to leave Kaylan behind for an extended stay in the NICU. We have no idea how much longer she will have to stay but she obviously has a lot of catching up to do. She's not even big enough to wear clothes yet. As we draw closer to bringing home our sweet baby boy, I'm going to go ahead and ask for prayers for us as we develop a new routine of trying to have Dylan at home and manage making trips to the hospital to see Kaylan. The tentative plan is for us to alternate every other day/night to see Kaylan while the other stays home with Dylan. That sounds good, but I'm not sure I can just see Kaylan every other day/night. :( We will cross that bridge when we get there.

It may sound redundant, but we thank you so much for praying for us. We truly believe that prayer changes things. We could not go through this without your support.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

For Such a Time as This...

Well, we've got another week of NICU in the books. And this chapter was a little more climatic at times than I would have preferred. Last Monday started rough with Kaylan's aspiration episode which lead to intubation. And here we sit on Sunday and she is still intubated. We've stayed on our knees all week for her recovery and I think she seems to be turning the corner and getting better. I've said many times that when my babies are doing good, I'm good - when they're not, I'm not (welcome to Motherhood, right?) I am planning to have a long talk with God tonight about this next week -- we need it to be a good one!

On a much lighter note, I had my first baby shower this weekend. My fabulous cousins, sisters-in-law, and aunt all hosted a beautiful shower at my mom's house. There were diaper cakes, wreaths, bottles, decorations, balloons, cake, food, flowers and gifts galore. We had so much fun playing games and oohing and aahing over all the ADORABLE clothes for Kaylan and Dylan. It's possible that my two children might just have the cutest clothes ever created...seriously. No, seriously. Cutest. Clothes. Ever. Kaylan SERIOUSLY needs to get to 1500 grams so she can start modeling her wardrobe! And Dylan....oh Dylan....he's already so cute, but he's going to be rocking some pretty sweet onesies, pants, and shoes. The best part of the shower (in my opinion), is that each guest wrote letters to Kaylan and Dylan that I will be reading to them and keeping for them to read one day. So sweet.

I'm eternally grateful for everyone's generosity and committment to pray for Kaylan and Dylan. As we sat in church this morning, I was crying and worrying about Kaylan (she was having a rough morning), and was listening as I was told that God hears every cry and holds every tear. I'm so thankful that even as I sat there (struggling to focus) in church, that God knew my heart and listened as I pleaded with Him for Kaylan's health and progress. He also hears and holds every tear of Kaylan and Dylan's. I know that God has allowed us to have this experience, in this day and age, with these babies because He has a specific purpose for our lives as well as our children's lives. He's given us all of you who support and encourage us for such a time as this. And we are blessed beyond measure to receive your love.

"And who knows, maybe you've been put in this position for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14 (paraphrased)

Hope you enjoy some pictures of the weekend as well as some new ones of our little precious angels.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Six Weeks Down...

The twins are 6-weeks old today!  It has been a very long 6-weeks, but sort of a blur at the same time.  It's so hard to believe that they are supposed to still be in the womb at this point.  That really blows my mind! I am so glad we are able to witness the entire 3rd trimester of Jenn's pregnancy outside of her body.  Crazy to think that we are still over a MONTH away from their official due-date.

Kaylan is doing a little better.  She has responded well to the very powerful antibiotics and her blood levels seem to be returning to normal.  She is still intubated and is breathing on the ventilator but, they started her feeds back today.  We are hoping that she can tolerate them so they can get her extubated and back on the C-CRAP (CPAP).  I never thought I we would look forward to having her on CPAP, but since taking a step back, we are now begging for it.  She is starting to show signs of stability as she is being feisty and moving around a lot.  The only thing sadder than being able to hear her little 2-pound voice cry is seeing her on the vent trying to cry and no sound coming out because there is a tube down her trachea.  I cannot wait to hear her little cry again.  Maybe this weekend. 

Dylan is continuing to run circles around all the other babies in the NICU.  He is now up to 5lbs 5oz and taking the majority of his feeds from the bottle rather than the feeding tube.  He continues to amaze us and the nurses with his progress.  He has gotten a little bit of a bad reputation for pooping on people when they go to change his diaper.  I am pretty sure it is a game to him because at least once a shift, he will projectile excrement in the middle of a diaper change.  He sits and holds it and waits until someone goes to change him and then, like a porcupine shooting its quills, he lets fly.  It may be some sort of primal defense mechanism.  I don't really know but it is really funny when it happens (to someone besides me.)

Thanks everyone for continuing to prayerful lift up these babies.  We are so blessed and so encouraged by people interceding in prayer on our behalf.  We still have a ways to go and  I do not know how we could make this journey without all the prayers and support.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pray for Kaylan...

We know prayer changes things...

Please pray for sweet Kaylan!  That's all.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Transfusion. Antibiotics. Infection. Repeat....

Well, I feel like I could copy and paste an old blog about Kaylan and put it here tonight. I've just about reached my breaking point. Kaylan is sick again. Transfusion #5 is starting tonight...as well as antibiotics, and they have stopped feeds. They continue to be concerned about all the air/gas in her tummy. They are hoping that by stopping feeds and giving antibiotics, things will turn around and look better. She's still intubated and I'm not sure for how long. Her lungs do look better, but she's had some abnormal blood work today. You'd think by now I would understand all the things the doctors say and decipher all the acronyms they rattle off - but I don't. In fact, I find myself asking them to repeat themselves several times.

I'm not really sure how to keep processing all of this. I just don't know how much her tiny body can take. And I'm not sure how much I can take either. I've shed tears and stayed on my knees about her health. I am begging God to continue to intervene. He has been faithful before and I know He will be faithful again.

On the flip side, I feel highly neglectful towards Dylan's progress. He's doing so awesome. He had his first bottle feed tonight and he did great. He burped and everything! He's consistently gaining and I feel like I just shove him to the side and run to Kaylan's bedside every time I'm at the hospital. It's such a battle to relish in the joy and progress in Dylan all the while grieving over Kaylan's struggles.

I can't plead enough with every reader of this blog to continue to fight this fight with us and carry the burden by committing our babies to prayer. We KNOW prayer changes things. We're waiting and expecting Him to do great things.

"I found it's easier to truly entrust my child to God when I was helpless to relieve his suffering." - Chris Seidman, Pastor - The Branch (viaTwitter )

Monday, July 19, 2010

Two Steps Back...

When we are walking on water, it is amazing how fast we can sink when we take our eyes of the One sustaining us. See, I am learning the enemy is very good at distraction. I think it probably one of his best tools or tactics. He wants to distract us just enough for us to lose our focus and that is when we get caught in the undertow. I am not suggesting God needs my faith to work in a situation or bind the enemy, but He does want us to be acutely aware of His love, grace, control and our total dependence on Him.

What the heck am I talking about?

Well, let me rewind a day. Yesterday, we spent the majority of the day hanging out with the babies in the NICU. I got to hold Kaylan for 3-hours and Jen got to hold Dylan. They both did really well. Both were starting to show signs of great stability. Dylan is almost 5-pounds and Kaylan, just blowing past the 2-pound mark, had not had a single Brady in over a day. Kaylan was doing so well that the doctor even ordered her to start alternating formula with extra calories and extra protein into her feedings to give her a bigger boost. We left the NICU yesterday afternoon, did some grocery shopping, made tacos, got some things ready for the shower this weekend and got some really good rest last night. Things were going so good it was almost like the babies were pretty much on auto pilot only needing the occasional diaper change or feeding. In fact, I went to bed thinking that the nurse that takes care of our babies might as well get a good book to read on her shift because of how uneventful things must be.

How fast that everything can change! This morning, I came home from one of the best Monday morning workouts in that I have had in some time. Jen was on the phone. Not like her to be up at 6:30am, much less be talking to someone. She was on the phone with the doctor. Dr. R had called to let us know that Kaylan had vomited on her feeds, choked, had to be revived with the CPR mask and was now intubated ( she has a tube stuck down her throat and into her lungs that is doing the breathing for her). How scary! We went from thinking about how awesome she is doing to having her life hanging in the balance in just a few short minutes.

We rushed to the hospital and found out she had vomited 3 more times since her first episode. We met with the doctor who said that there is now a possibility of Kaylan developing Aspiration Pneumonia, which is caused by the bacteria in the milk infecting her lungs (this is a common occurrence in stroke patients). They have run several more blood gasses and labs since this morning. It appears that things are trending back to normal, but we will just have to wait until tomorrow’s labs to see if there are any other complications or issues.

It is so frightening to think about how things can turn for the worst in the blink of an eye. It also is frightening to think about how the enemy is going after children. I think about kids who are dealing with some pretty scary things right now. These things are definitely from the enemy. Our pastor’s son, Skyler, was just released from the hospital earlier this week for the 4th time this summer dealing with major complications from TB MSRA. Kaylan has had several setbacks including today’s episode. Also, Jen’s friend Megan’s daughter (Miranda) fell out of a car this morning and hit her head and is now in the hospital. It is very upsetting to think about how Satan is attacking these innocent kids. It is one thing to come after adults with sickness, pain, and disease, but he has his target on young people. Thank God He is still in control.

We are asking for special prayers for Kaylan. We pray that everything will turn up normal in her labs and they can extubate her in the morning and resume normal progress. Please also be in prayer for other kids that are going through a difficult season with injury or disease. Our hearts are very sensitive to parents with sick kids as well. Please continue to lift us up in your prayers.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Palm of His hand

Here's a few pictures of our sweet babies. Kaylan still fits in the palm of Landon's hand, however, his wedding ring no longer fits around her arm. :) Small victories, right? Such a reminder that God holds each of us in the palm of His hands.

I manipulated a couple of pictures together in Power Point and morphed a picture of D and K together...looking forward to the day that we can take an actual family picture with all four of us together. The bottom picture is Dylan in his rockin' guitar onesie made by my sweet friend Melody. She's so talented. :) She made one for Kaylan too with a pink guitar.

Dylan is closing the gap on 5 pounds. We expect him to get there this week. Kaylan is getting a little extra boost in her milk to make her gain some weight. Our prayer this week is for her to stay healthy! If she can get a couple of good healthy weeks in, I think she might take off. The infections and transfusions really set her back. She's a tough little girl though.

Got some sleep this weekend. Ready to tackle another week. Sigh.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rechargable Battery Unplugged...

We both woke up this morning completetly exhausted. I know what it is like to wake up tired, but this was a new level of tiredness. Going full speed daily for 17 hours straight…daily, over 55 consecutive days of trips back and forth to Plano, Jen getting up to pump every 3-hours for the last 35 days, trying to maintain my early morning workouts. It has finally caught up with me. I felt a level of tired that is deep into my bones and in my soul. Well, today, I have the day off (as I am scheduled to work tomorrow).  So today, my plan is to try and get some rest.

My day of resting could not start until I took care of a few chores around the house. One, being to work on the tropical jungle that is otherwise known as our yard. Now, I typically enjoy working in the yard as I usually feel as if there is something spiritual about it. (I think it might be because God instructed Adam to “work the land” in the Garden and since we are created in the image of God, then I sometimes sense a deep spiritual connection about spending time in creation and I like the feeling of satisfaction upon completion.)  Another reason I like to spend a couple of hours working the land, is it gives me a chance to think and reflect.

So as I am mowing, edging, weed-eating, etc, I kept thinking of a certain scripture that I heard from a podcast a while back. I was reflecting on probably one of the most cliché scriptures: Psalm 23 –
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name's sake.

I was thinking of quiet waters. Still.  Serene.  Quiet.  Placid.  Water.  Our life has been nothing like quiet waters as of recently. With all that has gone on, all that is going on, I feel like we have been somewhere between Niagra Falls and the raging rapids cutting through the Grand Canyon walls. I have not laid down in green pastures let alone even stop to see what color the pastures even are. We are going constantly.

So as I worked in the yard, I was reminded that if I need my soul refreshed, I must take the time to slow down.  Unplug.  I must have more daily quiet time. I need to withdraw from the fast pace to a quiet place a little bit more. I need to breathe slower.  Breathe deeper.  I need my soul refreshed. If I don’t slow down, I am going to look back on this whole experience and only think of how hard it was as opposed to what an incredible journey God allowed us to be on. So, today, I am resting, no TV, no internet (with the exception of typing out my thoughts here), no microwave dinner-to-go, no IPOD. Just the quiet calm water and my immaculate well-manicured green lawn. My soul is being refreshed and my energy being recharged.

Oh yeah, by the way, did I mention today, Kaylan is up to TWO FREAKIN’ POUNDS!!!!!! That’s right; she doubled her body weight…where you at Dylan? Way to go Kalyan! We couldn’t be prouder!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Massage Anyone?

Kaylan had a massage appointment today at 2:30. Well, not exactly. I went up to the hospital this afternoon to meet with the occupational therapist to learn about certain touches that Kaylan can learn to get used to and like. Right now, her little nerve endings are so sensitive and she can't really handle a lot of stimulation and touch. The few times that we have kangaroo'd her has stressed her out. So we are backing off of the holding for awhile and trying to ease her into some other touch stimulation.

I gave Kaylan some little feet, toes and hand massages today. Additionally, I rubbed her back, her forehead and hips. She loved it. She really responded well and relaxed a lot. (Who wouldn't love that, though?) Can I sign up for a little massage therapy every few hours too please? These little acts of touch allow her to know and learn my presence and associate the pleasant touches with mommy and daddy, vs the not so pleasant touches from the nurses when they are poking and sticking her with needles. She was up 1 oz today, so she's slowly inching towards 2 lbs.

Dylan is 4 lbs 8.5 oz! He's our little Baby Buckaroo (see picture below) :) He's still doing great!

Well, we've almost made it through another week...They will be 5 weeks old tomorrow. Still praising God daily for His faithfulness to us and especially Kaylan and Dylan. Praising God for each reader of this blog and every person near and far following and praying. Your encouragement and prayers are more impactful and sustaining than you know. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Running on Fumes...

Yawn. Goodness I am TIRED! I think all this back and forth to the hospital, back to work, and lack of sleep is catching up with me. Forgive me if I doze off while writing this..................................okay I'm back ;)

Good news - Kaylan's urine culture came back negative, so it appears, at least for now, her infection is gone. YAY! Praise God! She has literally been a pin cushion lately with all the IV sticks and labs they've been drawing from her. Her poor tiny body needs a break. Her main ailment right now continues to be the extra air in her tummy. The CPAP is a double edged sword, because she needs it for lung support, but it's also the cause of all this extra air in her tummy making it bloated and distended. We're just praying for relief for her and ultimately any healing that needs to take place with each and every one of her internal organs. The nurses try and keep her on her tummy a lot of the time and she really responds well to that. She always looks so compfy on her tummy. She's still holding steady at 1 lb 13.3 oz. I'm sooo ready for her to hit the 2 lb mark. It's taking FOREVER. I need to learn to be patient with her.

Little D is doing awesome...or I should say BIG D! He's now 4 lbs 6.1oz and growing strong! His feedings are now down to 45 minutes and they've lowered his oxygen level down to 2 liters. He's changing every day and I love getting to see his funny little expressions. We'll get to give him a bath on Sunday...it will be our first time to do this. So fun! (I should clarify...it's not the first time he's had a bath, but just the first time WE get to do it.  He actually gets a bath every 3 days, just like his dad.....just kidding). :)

They will be 34 weeks gestation tomorrow...6 more weeks til they are officially due. (Still hard to believe, isn't it?)

I'm feeling weary and tired and I struggle focusing my mind on my words and find myself speaking repetitive prayers to God. Thank goodness he knows my heart even if I can't speak the words eloquently. Each time I'm in the car, I've been listening to a praise CD given to us by another NICU graduate family. I've kind of gotten stuck on listening to "The Desert Song" which has a chorus that says:

All of my life, in every season, YOU are still God, I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship......I will rejoice. I will declare...God is my Victory and HE is here!

This is so true. In spite of everything going on, we have so much to be thankful for. Trying to stay focused on that as each day passes.......Going to bed now. Back at it again tomorrow hopefully with a fuller tank.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tiny Babies...Big Prayer Request

This was sort of a rough day for the Fantastic Fariss Four. Jenn went back to work for the first time since being put on bed rest 2-months ago. I think it is good for her to go back and get in a routine, but the first day back was still really hard for her. She cut away once in the afternoon to go check on the kiddos. I was glad she did. What a blessing for her to work so close to the hospital (5-miles away).

I started my first official day in my new position after my promotion. I had a little bit of a difficult time focusing on work as my mind was consumed with Jenn and the babies. It wasn't that bad though. Yesterday, our associate Pastor Steve, prayed with me and Jenn for God to give us a spirit of strength that would continue to carry us. And after such a long weekend, I definitely felt that sustained energy today and felt as if God was breathing fresh life into me.

Kaylan. Poor Kaylan. She is such a tough little baby. Such a fighter. She had a pretty stressful day. She has been fighting her second infection in a month. Today, they went to get some urine culture via a catheter. They tried a total of 3 times and were never successful in getting their sample for a culture because she is too tiny for the catheter. The final try Jenn and I were there and she was screaming at the top of her tiny lungs. She was in such pain from the attempt of forcing a 3.5ml catheter into an opening that isn't big enough for a 1.5ml catheter to fit through. Also, her tummy continues to be distended and full of air. She has been through so much and I am continually amazed at how much she can endure. I feel like she is so much stronger at 1lb than I am at 205lbs. Please stay on your knees for sweet Kaylan. She needs all the prayers. Even though we are hopeful, the reality is she is still fighting for her life...daily!

Dylan, on the other hand, keeps surprising us with his progress. Today they sped up his feedings from 90-minutes to 60 in preparation for his bottle feeds, which could possibly be as soon as next week. We both struggle with having a baby that is doing exceedingly well, and one that is really struggling. We our so proud of Dylan, but it is always with a slightly heavy heart as we look across the room and see little sister just fighting for everything she can.

While worshiping yesterday, I was struck by a line from the song "How Great is Our God". The lyric states "Age to age He stands, and time is in His hands, Beginning and the End..." God has been in complete control of our babies lives from the beginning and will continue to be throughout their stay in the NICU. We have to remember that everything is in His time, not ours. May God give us the patience and endurance to walk this road and know that it is in His time... His PERFECT time.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy One Month K and D!

Today is Kaylan and Dylan's one month birthday. We celebrated big today with cookies, cupcakes and LOTS of visitors....a little bit of over-stimulation for the babies I think ;) I can't believe it's already been a month ago that they were born. What I REALLY can't believe is that I'm still 6 1/2 weeks from my DUE DATE! Crazy!

A month ago our lives changed in a drastic way and we are so thankful to have these precious miracles. It's an honor to have been chosen to be their mommy and daddy. It's been a month of daily visits (twice daily for me), a month of driving, several tanks of gas, Toll charges, changing diapers, pumping, crying, praying, laughing, worrying, visits, IV's, blood transfusions, infections, CPAP, incubators, ounces, gains, losses, Kangaroo holds, more tears, more praying, more worrying, more visitors, more pumping and more moments to fall in love with them every day.

So, bring on NICU month 2. Let's do this.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Another big day for Dylan!

Dylan is out of his box today! He's in an open crib now because his weight is up (4 lbs!!), and he is maintaining his own body temperature. Also, Dr. Santiago said that he hasn't heard his heart murmer in 3 days so we're thinking that has resolved itself as well. Woo hoo!

Our sweet Kaylan is still fighting her infection but on her way to getting better. Poor baby has been stuck so many times with needles in the past few days. I really hate that for her but I know it's just part of the process. I feel like lately we've just been talking about and posting pictures of Dylan. Kaylan seems to be stuck in neutral while Dylan is in the fast lane.

Obviously we still ask for your prayers for Kaylan and Dylan....particularly Kaylan as she is so suseptible to getting sick now. We are really trying to be so diligent about hand washing and sanitizing before we touch her.

I'm going back to work on Monday so this has been my last week where I can spend several hours a day with them. :(  Landon will have to drag me out of the hospital tomorrow night :)

Here's some cute new pictures of Dylan...The reason we haven't posted any of Kaylan in a few days is because she's been so sick and wrapped up with gauze and IV's and we've just tried let her rest.

They say it takes 30 days to make a habit. Many of you have been praying for our babies longer than that. Hopefully, they are part of your daily prayers now! ;) Keep them coming!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Out of the Loop....

Today, we spent the day at the hospital (shocker), with Landon's parents who are in town for the weekend. Kaylan has responded positively to her 4th blood transfusion and her little body is working on fighting the infection. The doctors were concerned about a urinary tract infection, but an ultrasound of her kidneys today revealed that everything was fine in that regard. Hopefully, whatever is ailing her will be nipped in the bud in another few days. They will continue to draw labs on her and watch/monitor her infection over the next few days. We are hoping they can start feeding her again tomorrow.

Clearly our lives have been emersed lately inside the walls of Plano Presby Hospital. Our hearts, minds, bodies and souls are fully invested in all things Dylan and Kaylan right now. But, apparently I am WAY out of the loop on the happenings of this world. Can someone clue me in? Did you know Lebron James is going to Miami? Jake and Vienna broke up!? There's some big soccer tournament thingy going on that is supposedly a big deal??  Ohhhh and apparently there's an oil spill in the gulf. Just thought you all should know. ;)

(I'm kidding people. We're somewhat clued in. Don't worry). :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

I might need an attitude adjustment when this blog is over. I have to be honest, today was not great. Kaylan is sick again. She received blood transfusion number FOUR today because her blood count was very low. Additionally, some lab work came back with elevated white blood cell counts which indicates another infection has set in. So, they started her on 7-10 days worth of antibiotics. Since they took her PICC line out yesterday, they had to stick her in two places to administer fluids, IVs and blood. Of course, they couldn't feed her all day either while doing a blood transfusion. She's anemic (due to prematurity), and they also put something in her throat that goes down to her tummy called a repogle (not sure if I'm spelling that right). The repogle is supposed to suck out any air/gas from her tummy because her tummy is really irritated right now. They are also concerned that she may have an urinary tract infection. They won't really know what's going on for a few days until further labs and cultures come back. On top of all this, we had a nurse today that we had never had before and well....I didn't like her. In fact, I had to submit a complaint tonight about her so I could make sure that she wouldn't be caring for our babies anymore. I won't get into all the details about why I didn't like her, but basically, she stressed me out and added anxiety to my already emotional state with everything going on with Kaylan. So, how's that for a Wednesday? I know it could be worse. Like I said, I probably need an attitude adjustment. It just goes back to the fact that when they have a good day, I have a good day. When they don't, I don't, and I didn't. I'll end this blog tonight with GOOD news though. Dylan is still doing fabulous! He is 3 lbs and 14 oz now! Just 2 oz away from 4 pounds! Woo hoo!

No pictures tonight. Didn't really take any today. Please, PLEASE pray for Kaylan to respond well to the blood transfusion and the antibiotics. She's such a fighter, but man it is so hard to see her with all these IV's etc in her hand and leg. I hate it.

Oh yeah, maybe pray for my attitude. ;)
Nighty night.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Another Good Day!!

Yesterday was another good day in the NICU. I know for us it is hard to imagine having back to back good days, but yesterday we had just that - two good days in a row! Jenn had shared a couple specific prayers with me that she has been praying in the middle of the night during her milk runs. One of those prayers was for Dylan to come off CPAP this week...answered. Another prayer was for Kaylan to have her PICC line removed...answered. Yep, that is right, as of yesterday, she is IV free and getting all her nutrients through milk.

Another big step for Kaylan is she graduated diapers yesterday. I know that doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment, but for her, it is huge. She had been wearing a "diaper" (if you want to call it that-it was actually a cotton ball attached to a piece of tissue paper) called Wee-Pee. She is no longer in the smallest of the small Wee-Pee brand. She is still technically in the weight range to wear the Wee-Pee smalls, but due to her active digestive system, she had to move up to a bigger diaper. I am so proud of you baby-girl.

Kaylan also continues to gain weight at a consistent rate. She is now up to 1lb 9.8oz as of yesterday. Watch out 2lb mark! Kaylan is knocking on your door and I am pretty sure she is going to blow it down sometime next week. Dylan was back down to 3lb 7oz. He had better watch it. I think I will tell him the story of the tortoise and the hare today to give him some extra motivation. Other than that, he is loving his new found freedom from his CPAP mask. He is more alert than ever and last night, he even cracked a couple of smiles.

It is hard to believe that as of this weekend the twins will be a month old. The amazing thing is that under a "normal" pregnancy, they would still be in the womb. Thank God that nothing about this pregnancy has been "normal". We are so blessed to get to see what is supposed to take place in the womb, outside of it. I am always reminded that we still have a very long way to go, but I am also reminded that God's faithfulness is not tied to our faith. Praise Him for that!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Celebrating Freedom....from CPAP!

Happy Fourth of July everyone! I realized earlier today this is the third holiday in a row that we've spent inside the walls of a hospital. Memorial Day...I was on hospital bed rest....then Father's Day with the babies in the NICU...and now today. I feel certain that next year on each of these holidays we will be really celebrating!

Today, when Landon and I were driving to the hospital, I told him that my prayer this week was for both Kaylan and Dylan to graduate from CPAP and on to the nasal canula. The nasal canula is the next step after CPAP and it is a much smaller tube that goes in the nose and is more comfortable for the babies. Plus, it gives us a chance to see their faces a lot better! Well, God must have been listening (not sure why I would be surprised by that), because when we got to the hospital, Dylan was off the CPAP! This was such a wonderful surprise to us. We had no idea that he would be taking this step today! I held him for a couple of hours today and it was so much easier to hold him without all the big blue and clear tubes being pulled in every direction.

Landon held Kaylan today. She did really well with her Kangaroo time. She is still on the CPAP and probably will be for awhile. I'm still praying God will work yet another miracle in her and that maybe this will be the week for her too! :) We shall see. She's still so tiny and it's hard not to want to compare the progress of Dylan to her. Overall, she's had her own set of successes and we are so thankful for them. Although her size is still under 2 lbs, the fact that she is now on full feeds (for her size), and was never intubated, speaks volumes. (Well, it speaks volumes in the NICU world). I realize that not everyone reading this blog speaks "NICU." We try not to speak "NICU" too much (when blogging), seeing how this has now become our second language. :)

On that note, several people have asked us what the criteria are for the babies getting to come home so I thought I'd give just a few pieces of information that might shed some light on that. Most people say, "when they get to XX pounds, they can go home, right?" Actually, it's less about weight in each baby, and more about several milestones that they need to achieve such as:

  • Maintaining their own body weight
  • Hold their own body temperatures
  • Take a bottle
  • No "bradys" for 5 days in a row
  • Breathe on their own w/o assistance (CPAP, nasal canula, etc)
  • Learn how to suck, swallow and breathe on their own
These are just a few of the things that they will need to do before they can go home. These are also things that we would ask prayers for specifically for Kaylan and Dylan. The other prayer request we have is regarding each of their heart murmers. Kaylan's heart murmer is quite large and we don't want this to be a hindrance to her progress. Please be in prayer for complete healing for each of their murmers.

Here's our little man off the CPAP now! What a little cutie! Go Dylan! We love you so much!

Weights as of 7/4:
Dylan - 3 lbs 9.9 oz
Kaylan - 1 lb 9 oz

Friday, July 2, 2010

Kangaroo times 2!!!

Wow! I can't believe it has been 3-weeks! Three-weeks since God, in His perfect timing, blessed us with 2 tiny miracles! Three-weeks since He revealed Himself through 2-heartbeats and 4-pounds of flesh & blood. It has been a very long 3-weeks full of ups and downs. I have experienced more life in the last 3-weeks than I have in the last 3-years! What an amazing 3-weeks it has been. I would not trade it for all the money in the world or 10 "normal/perfect/healthy" babies. Three weeks ago, God said, "Landon, Jennifer, I have chosen you 2 to go through this because you can handle it". So as I blog tonight, I thank God for the last 3-weeks.

Jen got a pretty nice 3-week suprise tonight. She got to kangaroo hold Kaylan for the very 1st time; for 2-hours. This sort of came as a suprise as we showed up at the hospital tonight. Also, she got to hold Dylan for 2-hours this afternoon. What an incredibly proud mom! Getting to spend 4-hours holding both of her babies in one day. It says in the Psalms (56) that tears are liquid prayers. Well, I guess God heard Jen's liquid prayers over the last week and let her enjoy her motherly nature by getting to hold both babies in one day.

As for an update, I guess we can say that today was a little better than yesterday. Dylan's blood transfusion went well, but they have to ease him back into his feeds very slowly. His IV fell out of his head and he had to be poked 7-times before they could get it going in his leg. Poor guy! I do think he is enjoying his new outfits though, because today he passed the 3 and a half pound mark!

Kaylan is still a pound and a half. She is almost ready to have her PICC line removed because of how well she is tolerating her increased feeds. It should come out within the next week. That is awesome because we were led to believe it would stay in for a very long time. She was as fiesty and active as ever tonight. It is incredible how vibrant she is. I already feel sorry for Dylan because sassy little sister has made it known that she will be vying for all the attention.

We will continue to ride this journey like my 401k in the stock market. Good days and bad days. Gains and Losses. But unlike the stock market, our "bailout" comes from a power much greater than the fed. Here is to 3-weeks!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rollercoaster Ride

Did you feel that? That's the rollercoaster we are on going down a hill today. We're bound to go up from here, right? Today, our little Dylan needed a blood transfusion. As I was getting ready for my day this morning, my phone rang and it was one of the NICU doctors. (By the way, it's usually not a good thing when they call you.) I have to give them credit though....they usually start the conversation with "Mrs. Fariss, this is Dr. (insert on call doctor) and everything is okay, but...."

It was Dr. Reddy on the phone today and she said Dylan's blood count was really low and they needed to do a blood transfusion. Now seeing how Kaylan has already had THREE blood transfusions you would think that wouldn't rattle me a bit. Well, I was still a little rattled I must admit. Dylan is on full feeds right now and they told me that during the blood transfusion (which would take a total of 10 hours), they would not be able to feed him! So, now my baby boy has to have IV's stuck in him AND he doesn't get to eat?! Oh great, he's going to be in a REAL good mood today! Oh and by the way mom, you can't hold him either today! Ugh!

My mom and I headed to the hospital around 1:30 this afternoon and they hadn't started the transfusion yet, but they had already stuck him with IV's to give him fluids. Now, little did I know when I showed up that they were going to stick one of the IV's in his little head to give the transfusion. So, when I showed up, they had cut a little hole in his cap and stuck an IV in the top of his head. :( Plus, he had another IV stuck in his right hand so they could give him fluids. They give the first dose of blood over four hours, then they give him a break, and then administer the second dose over the next four hours. He should be done with all this around Midnight tonight. I'm hoping he's back to himself tomorrow and he and I can catch up on some kangarooing tomorrow afternoon! Of course, he's still super cute in his clothes now and he did have an "I love Mommy" onesie on today, so that made me feel better. :)

Miss Kaylan had a pretty good day today. Nothing new to report on her. She still weighs about the same but she was her usual active, fiesty self. The developmental therapist told me she was impressed with her "fixing and focusing" and her grasp and muscle tone. Muscle tone? Who knew you could have muscle tone at 1 lb 8 oz? She was a little fussy tonight so I'm hoping that both D and K will be happier tomorrow since it's Friday.  ;) I know I will be.

PS - Today, the babies are 32 weeks gestation. It's crazy to think I was trying to just get to 32 weeks of pregnancy....I feel like the past three weeks have been the longest of my life. I'm sure we haven't seen anything yet. Looking forward to going back up on the rollercoaster tomorrow and this weekend!