Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our new reality!!!

Left to Right...Allie, Norah and Olivia. This is how 3 preemies with some severe reflux sleep. But hey...they SLEEP!

BOO HOO...We'll miss you Sammie!

Our Aunt Sammie is moving to Arkansas! What will we do without her?

We love you so much...and we'll miss you so much. You better not stay too long!

Love, Ryan, Allie, Norah and Olivia (the best nephew & nieces in the WORLD!)

Welcome Home Allie (finally)!

Finally, we are ALL home together. On 12/4/09, Allie Rae came home weighing 8 lbs even. (After a pediatrician appt. this week Olivia weighs 8 lbs. 4 oz and Norah 8 lbs. 6 oz). Allie spent 104 days in the NICU! She has come so far since birth when she gave everyone a terrible scare. (I'll save you the details.) Remember, she was the reason we had to deliver the girls at 28 weeks. Weighing only 2 lbs. 5 oz. she was our tiniest BIG miracle.

Such a happy daddy!!!

Officially cutting her loose! Thanks Amber!
We are so happy to wrap up this part of the journey and move on to raising our family of 4 healthy children. We hope when you see our girls and how far they have come, you will remember God's grace. From conception to birth and beyond, God has been with us keeping our baby girls safe along the way.

We love you all. Your prayers have made such a difference and kept us going through a very emotionally exhausting time. Yes, we are exhausted now but that's only from loss of sleep (ha ha). We are SO THANKFUL to have our hospital travels behind us. UGH...those are memories I don't care to keep...except to remember all of the Community North staff, nurses, doctors and RTs who made such a difference in our lives and our girls...and showed us love during our very long stay! (I was admitted on 8/3/09 and Allie was discharged on 12/4/09...125 days/4 months of hospital visits...sometimes more than 1 visit per day.)

Merry Christmas...this will be one we will NEVER forget.

Love, The Vetor's

Happy 100 Days Baby Girls!

On 12/1/09 our girls turned 100 days old. Norah & Olivia celebrated at home while Allie got a bigger celebration from her FANTASTIC NICU nurses. We had a cake made from one of our nurses, gifts galore, cupcakes and a cute decorated room. You guys are so amazing!!!

Welcome Home Olivia!

After 99 days (14 weeks & 1 day) our Olivia (Livi-Lu) came home from the hospital on 11/30/09!!! Yea!!! What a day for our family. We were sad again to leave Allie behind. Olivia, who weighed 2 lbs. 11 oz. at birth, was discharged at 7 lbs. 12.8 oz. She's come alive and loving all the attention she is getting at home.
Our fabulous NICU nurses saying "good-bye"!

Monday, November 23, 2009

3 months old! (1 week old adjusted)

Today Allie, Norah and Olivia are 3 months old. You will start hearing us talk about their "adjusted age" going forward. They were full term on their due date (Nov. 16th) so even though they were born 3 months ago...their adjusted age now is only 1 week old due to being premature. For example, when they turn 1 yr. they will be 9 months adjusted. Make sense?

So over the weekend the nurse practitioner was talking about Allie and Olivia coming home tomorrow (Tues). Unfortunately, Allie had a brady on Saturday which bought her another 5 days (at least). We are waiting to hear back from the NICU today to see what the plan is for Olivia. We were hoping we'd all be together for Thanksgiving and say good-bye to our Community North daily runs. It's so much harder making that part of my daily routine now that Norah is home. I always have to arrange for a sitter (someone who is comfortable with an infant). But I always want to see Olivia and Allie and nurse them. It's harder than I expected.

Norah has been home for 2 weeks today! She is doing great! Ryan is absolutely fantastic with her. He's best at keeping her pacifier in so he doesn't have to listen to her high pitch cry.

All are 7 1/2 lbs.! All of them are still breastfeeding but getting formula supplements. We have changed them from Similac NeoSure to Similac Sensitive R. S. formula to help with their reflux and make it easier to suck down. All have responded so well to this change. We are still watching Norah closely for a milk intolerance. She's the most spitty and seems uncomfortable often. We finally have the night time schedule down w/ her and she is FINALLY sleeping between feedings at night. (Yes, we had several nights of no sleep when she fed at 2:30 am and stayed awake crying until 5 am! It was awful!) We feed her at 8:30 pm, 11:30 pm, 2:30 am, 5:30 am and 8:30 am...and on and on... Hopefully we'll be adjusting to every 4 hrs. soon (please, please, please)!

Keep us in your prayers as Allie and Olivia come home and we adjust yet again!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Welcome Home Norah!

At 11 weeks and 1 day old, Norah Joann came home on 11/09/09 weighing 6 lbs. 14 oz. She has accomplished so much since she entered the world at 2 lbs. 9 oz. It has been a great week spending so much time with her. Ryan was also very excited to hold his sister for the first time and play with her. He is great at giving her a pacifier when she cries and telling mom "she's mad at you" whenever I leave her alone for a minute and she fusses. Too cute! We hope and pray that Allie and Olivia will be able to join us soon. They were originally due on 11/16/09.
Saying "good-bye" to Olivia Rose...
Saying "good-bye" to Allie Rae...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Let The Waters Rise" by Mike's Chair

"Let The Waters Rise" by Mike's Chair very much describes how we are feeling right now. (Link below so you can listen to the song too!) Be blessed...XOXO, Nick and Stacie
Don't know where to begin
Its like my world's caving in
And I try but I can't control my fear
Where do I go from here?
Sometimes its so hard to pray
When You feel so far away
But I am willing to go
Where you want me to
God, I trust You
There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise
If You want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will swim in the deep
'Cuz You'll be next to me
You're in the eye of the storm
And the calm of the sea
You'll never out of reach
God, You know where I've been
You were there with me then
You were faithful before
You'll be faithful again
I'm holding Your hand
There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise
If You want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You
God Your love is enough
You will pull me through
I'm holding onto You
God Your love is enough
I will follow You
I will follow You
There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise
If You want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Vetor Halloween to remember!

The best Vetor Halloween yet...
Muscle Man "Ryan"
Ryan's 1st Halloween Party at Miss Mandy's
(Norah, Grace and Ryan)

Our Princess Skeletons
(outfits courtesy of Nurse Jess)
Allie, Norah and Olivia's 1st Halloween

Happy Halloween from The Vetor's

10 weeks old today ~ Nov. 1, 2009

Again, I am sorry it has been some time since my last update. It's only because I am so much busier now that the girls are nursing so well. (Imagine our 11 am feeding, take temp on Allie, change her diaper, nurse her & cuddle...start the same on Norah by 11:30 and then Olivia at noon. That's just one feeding of the day and they are fed 8 times each day. Now I'm not there for all of them but several a day.)

Identical twin sisters Norah and Allie

Sweet Olivia cuddling w/ daddy

We originally had hoped Norah would be home on Sat. (Halloween) but she had a brady on Wed night and then another on Friday night. SO ~ it will be at least another 5 days if not longer. I am not holding my breath because she could have another brady. I don't want to rush her home but I am so ready. I feel like we have been very patient with this experience knowing that it would be several months before they were home. However, the running is catching up w/ me and Nick and we are just very ready to have all of our family under one roof.

Allie was seen by a Riley pulmonologist on Friday. They are doing a scope on Wed. at 2pm (please say a prayer for her) to determine whether her stridor is caused by her underdeveloped/floppy airway OR scar tissue from being intubated 6 different times. Honestly I hope it is scar tissue b/c they can fix that with a simple laser procedure. The floppy airway will just have to outgrow itself which could take until she is 2 yrs old. They are also doing a swallow study on her later this week to make sure she is not aspirating any of her milk (when bottle or breastfeeding). I will get more information from the speech therapist on this tomorrow (hopefully). She was removed from the VapoTherm and put on a nasal cannula this week. She is doing well with it. She has taken several bottles from daddy too!
Mommy giving Allie a bath!

Daddy giving Allie her 1st bottle

Olivia looks more and more like Ryan every day. (Oh my goodness!) She is also doing well. She could potentially catch up with Norah and come home very close behind her. She has no respiratory assistance. She is taking some bottles from daddy and nurses and nursing from me when she feels like it. She's a very relaxed & content little girl. (Gotta have one who isn't too demanding, right?)

These 3 little girls have such precious personalities and we are loving getting to know each of them individually. I cannot wait to add Ryan to that mix and see how he responds to them. He misses his sisters. So, that is the latest...they still need lots of prayers. They all are experiencing different levels of reflux (Olivia's is the worst). They just have to continue to grow and develop. Their due date is just another 2 weeks away so they would be considered "full term" by the 16th.

2 months old and HUGE accomplishments!

On 10/23/09 Allie, Norah and Olivia turned 2 months old. We believe that day was a huge turning point for each of our girls...

Norah was removed from all respiratory care! (A huge step towards coming home.) Just Tuesday they took her off the VapoTherm and put her on the nasal cannula. She did so well on the nasal cannula that they weaned her again today. She is now on NOTHING! Today was officially the first day a nurse has made mention about her potentially soon homecoming. She said she better get her snuggle time in before Norah goes home. Norah also started taking a bottle on Tuesday. Daddy fed her first! So when I am not there to nurse and she is awake, she is allowed to be bottle fed. She nursed twice today and took 2 full bottles at other feedings. (5lbs. 10oz.)

Olivia was weaned off her VapoTherm and put on the nasal cannula today. She seemed to be handling that really well. She's been nursing much better these past two days. Olivia is now allowed to start trying a bottle. Daddy plans to give her her first bottle tomorrow over lunch. I hope that goes well. Miss Olivia is very curious about her surroundings. It's very cute to watch her look all around the room. That's why nursing has been a little slow with her. She has a hard time focusing when there is so much more to see. (5lbs. 5oz.)

Allie has come SO far! She has the biggest cheeks right now. She is still on the VapoTherm but weaned down to 2 liters. She is having some bradys still and desats but surely will outgrow them just like her sisters have. She's become a great nurser. Daddy has named her our "spark plug"! That is a great description of her personality. (5lbs. 3oz.)

Each of them is so precious. We miss them when we are away. It's getting harder and harder to leave them behind. I get anxious each morning just to get back to the hospital and hold them in my arms. Nursing is a great way for me to have one on one time with each of them. We have done some serious bonding through these past 2 months. We will feel complete when all 3 are in our home. Please pray for strength for me and Nick. It is tiring running back and forth. We hope to keep healthy during this cold & flu season so we can keep up with all the needs of the girls and Ryan. Thanks for your prayers! I can't believe they have come so far in 2 months. They don't seem tiny to us anymore even though they are still just 5 lb babies.

Love you all!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fun pictures...we are 8 weeks old!

Fun photo shoot with Allie, Norah and Olivia
~ Allie, Norah and Olivia ~
~ Cute ruffle bottoms ~

All 3 have their eyes open...WOW!

Daddy giving Norah her 1st bottle!

"I can't wear pink everyday!"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Almost 8 weeks old! Unbelievable!!!

It's almost unbelievable that Allie, Norah and Olivia will be 8 weeks old on Sunday. We are getting to the point where we are anxious for them to get home, get settled and get our routine down. However we don't want to rush them and the nurses have warned us that this can seem like the longest process. One requirement of coming home is that each baby cannot have had a brady for 5 days prior to discharge. So if discharge is expected on a Friday and baby has a brady on Thursday...the 5 days will start all over. (A brady is a decrease in heart rate to 80 bpm or lower). So what are the girls up to?

Norah was the 1st to hit 5 lbs on 10/13/09! Norah has been nursing since last Friday and doing fantastic. We've named her our overachiever. She knows when mommy walks in the door and starts smacking around...she's ready to eat. It's really funny but great at the same time to see her progressing and doing all the right things.

Olivia is getting really close to 5 lbs. Just give her a few more days. This sweet little girl is showing us her patience. If you could be their at feeding time you would know what I mean. Example, Allie is fed at 5, Norah 5:30 and Olivia 6 pm. When I arrive at 4:45 to get Allie started (who is already fussing b/c she wants food NOW), Olivia is already awake and laying in her bed as quiet as can be just waiting her turn. When I finally get to her to nurse I have to praise her for being such a sweet, patient girl.

Allie is 4 1/2 lbs. She's been doing real well on the VapoTherm and even started nursing on Tuesday (when Olivia started). However yesterday she had several severe bradys. We gave her a break from nursing yesterday. Please pray for her that she was just overtired and worn out rather than getting sick. We are hoping for a better report on her today.

The plan is to give each of them a good week to get better at nursing. So when I am not there they are still being fed through their feeding tubes. In another week or so we will introduce a bottle to them. Then the nurses will be able to bottle feed them when Nick and I can't be there. Bottle feeding is a huge step towards getting close to coming home!

Thanks for continuing to pray for them!!! Stacie

Friday, October 9, 2009

Three little princesses

Three sweet little girls enjoying snuggle time!

Room decorations for Allie, Norah and Olivia!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Allie, Norah and Olivia's 1st pictures together again!

Exciting week for the Vetor girls!!!

Today was a fun day for Mommy at the NICU (other than Olivia's extreme desat). Nurse Jessica helped me get the girls together for their 1st triplet picture. Although the NICU isn't allowed to co-bed anymore I could tell they LOVED LOVED LOVED being close together. Although Norah and Olivia have been held together several times this was the first time for Allie to be back with her sisters. It was a SPECIAL moment for all of us Vetor girls! (Enjoy the pictures and don't cry! PS: The brace around Allie's nose is just part of the SiPAP so her nose doesn't get too ouchy. Jessica was nice enough to remove the mask so we could get a picture of her sweet face.)
Allie (A), Norah (B) & Olivia (C)

Allie - WHAT A GIRL! We are so proud of her for overcoming the big ventilator hump! She has been off since Friday October 2nd. The first few days were rough for her. Her heart rate was very high but they did allow me to hold her and during that time her heart rate went from the 180s to the 140s. She was completely calm. They are still concerned about her floppy airway and she remains on the SiPAP machine. She was moved to a big girl crib yesterday (Wed.) They will continue to watch her airway and hope the stridor (squeakiness) goes away on its own. Otherwise, a pulmonologist from Riley will come evaluate her. Allie continues to remain right at 4 lbs. Mommy snuggling w/ Allie

Norah - This little girl is putting on weight like crazy. She is now over 4 1/2 lbs! She was moved to her big girl crib on Friday. They have been slowly weaning her off the VapoTherm. She was on 3 liters of pressure and now down to 2 liters. Once she stays at 2 liters for a day or so they will probably start letting her practice breast and bottle feeding! I am ready for that and ready to be done pumping all the time. Norah is a sweet, sweet little girl!!!

Olivia - Also in a big girl crib and enjoying her window view...that's what you get for being Baby C in the triplet room of the NICU! (Nice perk) She is about 4 lbs 3 oz. She is our sleeper and cuddle bug. Her PDA is still there and her murmur is loud. Pray this continues to resolve itself. Between the reflux and PDA issues she is having some extreme desats where her oxygen drops pretty significantly. Pray about that. We hope this is something she outgrows quickly.
Daddy snuggling w/ Olivia & Norah Miss wide awake and alert!
Speaking of reflux, all girls are being treated for it with prevacid. It's seemed to help Norah a lot and Olivia a little. Nurses have said that reflux can cause their bradys (drop in heart rate) and desat (loss of oxygen). Also, last week they had follow up head ultrasounds which thankfully all came back OK.

We continue to feel all of your prayers. The girls are making such great progress. Please pray for Ryan as he is adjusting to all these changes in his life. Our routine at home is not the can't be. He's testing us (like 3 yr olds do). Pray for Nick and I to know how to balance our time between home and the hospital.

Much love,
Nick & Stacie Vetor

Please pray for Allie...

Please pray for Allie! She was taken off the vent (for the 5th time) Friday at 3:30 pm. She has been very upset and restless today. It's very hard for Nick and I to see her this way. If either of us sit with her, putting our hand on her back and holding in her pacifier, she really seems to calm down. So we took turns today. I sat with her from 3pm-6pm and Nick was with her from 6pm-7:30pm. Whatever it takes! So please pray hard that she can rest enough to get stronger, not be in pain, not have to fight to breath and safely remain off the ventilator.

Thank you!

Happy October!

Hello! Happy October!

It feels like I haven't sent an update in a long time. SORRY! The girls are 5 1/2 weeks old now and 33 1/2 gestation...(they still have a ways before being considered "full term" babies).

Allie - please pray for her HARD...they gave her a 2nd dose of steroid today. They are hoping/planning to extubate her Friday or Saturday (maybe even early next week). But please pray the steroids help and that she is ready. We are excited and anxious all at the same time. We really want her off the vent but at the same time we are so worried about whether or not she is ready this time. She's gained a lot of weight since the last trial of getting her off and that was their "grow her up". I have held and snuggled with her several times this week and she has grown A LOT! She's a big girl and totally keeping up with her sisters. She has LOTS of spirit! Allie girl, we know you are strong enough to get off and stay off that ventilator!

Olivia - our big girl hit 4 lbs last night and graduated from her isolette to her big girl crib today! This one is our sleeper and snuggler. She's doing very well but has had a few very bad bradys in the past two days. This may be / hopefully is related to reflux and her feeding tube. Norah's are frequent but she recovers quickly whereas Olivia's can be pretty severe.
Olivia's big girl bed

Norah - is right on Olivia's heels...she may hit 4 lbs at her weigh-in tonight. She'll hopefully get moved to a crib tomorrow. She is having some blood work and urine tests done so please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. It's probably nothing (because newborn screenings all came back fine) but the NICU is very diligent and if there are any concerns at all they want to double check just to rule out stuff.

Norah and Olivia are both down to 3 liters on their VapoTherm/Nasal Cannula (respiratory care) and have to be down to 2 liters before they can try to breastfeed. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding is 1 big milestone and hurdle to getting closer to going home as well as getting off all respiratory care. Many of you have asked but actually their weights are not a factor in when they go home.

Ryan is enjoying preschool! Although he never can tell me what he is learning. Ryan is so sweet with his sisters when he visits. Nick, Ryan and I enjoyed a family day on Monday to Tuttle's Orchard to pick apples and Monkey Joe's to play. It was wonderful to spend time together and just laugh. We are trying to get any and everything done around the house and ready for little girls to come home. Hopefully someone will come home in October but there are no guarantees and hopefully no more setbacks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Updates from 9/21/09 - 9/25/09

Sorry for the delay in updating you this week...

Monday and Tuesday: Another "first"...Nick held Norah and I held the triplet room together! We got to enjoy that moment together whereas before we were always separated in their different rooms.

Wednesday: Our girls' 1 month birthday!!! This was such a special day. Olivia's central line was taken out. I visited during the afternoon and got to hold Norah and Olivia together! (They got to touch each other and hear each others voices for the first time since birth!) I had to text daddy a picture of this while he was at work but Grandma Susan visited just in time to get to see them together.
Norah Joann

Olivia Rose
Thursday: I arrived during the morning to find to find out that Allie again pulled her vent tube out. She's really not helping herself get better. This is the 2nd time she has done this and then they have to put it back in. We visited last night and filled their drawers with preemie jammies and blankets for the nurses to use. Right now only Olivia and Norah are dressed and they look so darn cute. Olivia had a follow up spinal tap which was totally fine. She also had to receive some blood due to her low red blood cell count.

Baby weights: Allie is 3 lbs 6 oz, Norah is 3 lbs 10 oz and Olivia is 3 lbs 10.5 oz! All have gained 1 lb. since birth!!! These girls are gaining well and staying pretty close in size.

Friday: Today I got to hold Olivia and Norah together AGAIN. Awww...such a wonderful feeling but it will be even better when Allie is in my arms too. When I was leaving, they were working on getting Miss Allie moved to her sister's room. It will be SO great to have them all in one room.

Mommy holding Norah and Olivia TOGETHER...with their eyes open!

Sisters holding hands...touching for the 1st time!

Sweet girls...can't wait to have Allie in this picture too!

Please pray for their follow up head ultrasounds on Monday.

Much love,