Earlier last week I was told Liam would not be coming home for a couple weeks, more likely around my initial due date of October 29th. This is typically the standard rule for preemies, that they go home more closely to their due date, but because they grew in utero until 33 weeks, we had expected one or two may come home before this if not all. As the weather starts to change and feeling so far away physically from our boys leans harder on us, every day we just want them home even more, especially as we see Aiden thriving at home.

Liam did a quick turnaround and had no heart rate drops (except for when feeding) for the required 5 days. He was then slotted to come home on Friday. We were ecstatic, especially me thinking with my emotions and how I feel leaving them behind on my visit every day. For the past several months, our family has been living in different places and we are growing tired of not being together. We were also concerned though with bringing him home and him having an episode here. Unlike Griffin and Beckham who usually self relieve their episodes, Liam needs stimulation or being patted on the butt to know he is having a "brady." Even more what we give thought to is he does them in his sleep without any warning to know he is having one...so you'd literally have to be watching him breathe while he sleeps the entire time. While we talked as a family, my dad was over, we talked about our options and started to put plans in place for someone to be watching Liam breathe at all times. We also prayed for a clear way of knowing if Liam was ready or not ready to come home. When we arrived at the hospital, there was an evaluation by Dr. Nelson (to us the baby whisperer) that said Liam would thrive at home moreso than in the hospital...he has preferences already and would do really well in an environment that he felt really connected in...so I thought this was it, we have to get him home . Matt and I decided against our emotions before I made the trip down, and thought we'd keep him at Rush through the weekend...while then as Grandpa Lou is holding Liam, he has a brady. He was watching him breathe, doing all the right things to monitor him and there were no tell tale signs (and this is the main concern, there is no warning such as he is focusing on pooping or having reflux or anything, it just happens) and as the monitor went off he started patting his butt as you should do. Not believed to be self-relieved and clearly something that could have happened in the car ride home or at home. He had one again last night that required stimulation. As hard as it is to leave him at the hospital and know he would thrive at home too, we have to give him this time and again restart the 5 day count....please do say some prayers for Liam, that he comes home in God's perfect timing and that when he does we can feel complete peace. Thank you Lord for answering our prayers and loving our children so much and being the ultimate parent to them.

As for our other munchkins, I have some great pictures of Beckham to get up here soon. He is such a laid back, zen guy usually, and his eyes are so soulful and kind. Dr. Nelson had such wonderful things to say about him. Although I hear he was quite feisty yesterday, he everyone deserves a day to cause some trouble ;) Aidan so fun to have home, and he rolled over on Friday for Matt -- I did tell Dr. Nelson and he said wow, he rolled over and he hasn't even been born yet, true! He does seem to have some reflux issues, so we'll need to work through those soon. Griffin may be home tomorrow if all goes well. He is recovering well from surgery and we are so excited to add our little chunk-a-monk to our family here at home. This crazy kid has surpassed all of his brothers and now weighs nearly 6 lbs!!

As always, thank you for the prayers, and please keep them coming!


Our Brave Little Man G

Just walked in the door from a very long day and am updating here (haven't been able to call anyone but Matt) before I sneak in some shut eye until Aiden wakes soon. So grateful Griffin is recovering well - thank you Lord!!

I got to Rush at about 10:30 this morning to spend some time with Griffin before surgery, which was scheduled for 2 but I was told could happen as early as noon. Griffin didn't actually go down to surgery until about 5:20pm and arrived back up to his bed at 7:00pm. When I left he was still in his transport bed but ready to move back into his regular bed. I was able to wait and feed him after surgery and he was absolutely famished!! All day I held him because he was starving and he was much too clever for the pacifier trick after awhile. Food is his #1 priority these days so he did so well having not eaten since 8am!

Post surgery, the surgeon did come up to the bedside and explained that the hernia on the right side was really big and it was a high risk procedure because of how fragile his tissue is. We have to pray for no infection as there is more risk with the amount of manipulation she had to do and the delicate nature of the surgery. He is on antibiotics to help prevent this and should an infection occur then he may incur damage to his right testicle...what is it with these boys and their testicles...ugh!!

Anyhow, Griffin was a champ!! We are so proud of him and hope for a very peaceful, restful and painless night for him. Of course once Liam saw the attention Griffin was getting then he started acting up followed by Beckham who isn't as dramatic as Liam, just plain hungry, so also got some quality cuddle time in with them.

Thanks for the prayers and please keep them coming! Liam will need the same exact surgery when he reaches about 7 lbs...which by the way....

Griffin is our chunky monkey at 5 lbs. 9 oz.
Beckham and Aiden next at roughly 5 lbs. 2 oz.
and Liam at about 3 lbs. 9 oz.

Good night...more to come...


Griffin & Liam's Surgery

Tomorrow (10/6) Griffin is scheduled for surgery, he has a bilateral hernia. When I was visiting on Friday night the nurse noticed it on the right side. The surgeon confirmed it was on both sides. Of course hearing the word hernia, I asked for the attending to come take a look as well as the last time we heard of a "hernia" it was in fact a tumor (for Ethan). So, we are confident after seeing the area in question and talking to Dr. Patel that it is indeed a double hernia for Griffin :(

The incidence of hernia in preemie males is about 60%, so poor Griffin didn't escape the odds. We just got the call at 3:00 today that he is schedule for tomorrow. He has had "bradys" aka heart rate drops and actually had one at 8:30 last night when I visited, but this so far is not preventing him from surgery. The importance of performing the surgery is because the hernia currently is soft and pliable, but could become impacted leading to an emergency situation, so we certainly want to take care of it as soon as possible and the surgeons and neonatologist do feel Griffin is in good health to proceed. I will not know for sure until tomorrow morning when I meet with the surgeon and anesthesiologist if it will be local or general.

Please keep Griffin in your prayers to remain stable during surgery, have no negative reaction to the anesthesia, to have no more heart rate drop episodes and to have a strong recovery (i.e. he doesn't take any steps backwards).

Liam will also need surgery but is not yet big enough in size to have it performed. He will have to have it most likely after he comes home. Liam has been experiencing major "brady" episodes. Saturday night during Matt's visit he needed stimulation and dropped his heart rate to 50, he did this again yesterday while I was feeding him and needed me to stimulate him to "bring him back up". It is certainly scary to have your child start to go limp in your arms and need your help. This is still just being attributed to a sign of his prematurity.

Please pray that Liam outgrows these brady episodes quickly and is able to come home soon. Sometimes the 5 day brady count (5 days brady free before going home) can really drag out and we don't want little Liam left behind in the NICU. Turns out Griffin really does not either...maybe he feels badly for sitting on Liam's head for nearly 8 months ;) Anyhow his brady yesterday was literally 5 seconds after Liam's. Griffin can relieve himself usually though and bring his heartrate back up. As I say, he just doesn't want to leave brother behind....

Thanks for the prayers we will keep you posted as we can. Things sure change and move quickly!

Big Brothers are the Best!

Ethan has 4 big brother shirts that he loves wearing, especially on his visits to the NICU. While we know life is changing for us in a HUGE way, we are so proud of how E has handled everything. He is quite the brave boy and already showing his brothers how great of a big brother he is...they are so blessed to have someone like E in their lives. Just wait until highschool, they will be lucky to have E lead the way!

Certainly, we are not naive enough to think they will all get along every moment of the day, in fact probably quite the opposite, but what we do know is that big brother will always be looking out for them, helping them learn (already so excited about this), and he will always know in his heart that God answered his prayers (yes, the prayers for brothers, with an "s") ;)

Family Photo Ops

Our first family photo...featured in our local newspaper (and that is all the press we would ever want, thank you!).

Holding all my littlest boys at once..I pictured this moment throughout my pregnancy!

Matt's turn! Will be great to look back at these photos when they are all towering over us! :)

Aiden is Home!

Late night and finally HOME, yeah!

Holding true to his "A status", Aiden is the first one to come home (at 36 weeks exactly!). Last Tuesday (9/30) we arrived home with Aiden at about midnight! He passed his carseat test earlier in the week and was A&B free (apnea and bradicardia) for the required 5 days. The first night he "slept" (and I use that term very loosely!) with his hands over his ears being used to the sounds of the monitors and other babies in his NICU pod. He also has night/day a little mixed up since the NICU is 24/7 with lights on around the clock sometimes. We were also surprised to see how alert and aware he was -- such a difference from our visits and so thrilled to have him home! While he did have very good care at Rush, he just seems more "himself" and more content, especially in his plush bouncy seat!

Ethan took him on an official tour the next morning and was so excited to have him home too. We have also heard 100 million times from E's mouth, "mom isn't he just so cute?"...sweet but also an ulterior motive in that all the NICU nurses have told E how Aiden looks just like him! :)

While we love having Aiden home, it is bittersweet. We see much more of his personality while he is here and really feel like we can bond with him so much better in our home. It has made it even more difficult to leave "the brothers" behind every day on our visits, which we now tag-team getting down to Rush. We will be exhausted when they are all home we know, but happy to have them all together!

And look at the last photo...Aiden's first trip to see Dr. Chris (can't say how much we love her and her team who were so excited to meet Aiden and play with E)...we're on our way home, E just had his flu shot and Aiden is pooped from the visit. E reached in to grab Aiden's hand, held it the whole way home as they both slept...now that can give you a toothache! :)

sleepy little bug in his papasan bouncy

Tour Guide "E"

Brotherly love...and proof for the teenage years ;)
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