Friday, January 4, 2008

January 4th, 2008

A whole new year. Last year was quite a year....

In 2006, we decided to build a new home. Our family had grown to 7 when Hayden was born September 21, 2006. We had a nice size home, but really needed at least one more bedroom and more family space. In March of 2006, we picked a builder, floor plan and a sub-division where we planned to live. We finalized our plans in July, 2006 and the build project started in August, 2006. Our house was due to complete March, 2007. We put our existing house on the market November, 2006. We were told that due to the time of year, it could take 6 months to get our house sold. The house sold the first weekend it was on the market. So, we quickly moved our family of 7 into a small 3 bedroom duplex and would have to stay there until our new home was finished. A few days before we closed on the sale of our existing home, we found out that we were going to have another baby. This was a big surprise since we were taking birth control. I was taking a birth control that you take 3 months at a time before you have a period. So, I had no idea how far along I was. A sonogram was done to confirm a due date. During the sonogram, we learned that not only were we having 1 baby, but we were having 2 babies. Wow, the surprises didn't seem to end. I am an identical twin, but never dreamed that I would have a set of twins. I'm told that the older you get, the more likely you are to have twins. I'll be 40 in May, so guess they're trying to tell me 40 is old. I thought I was still pretty young :o). Anyway, the build project was very time consuming and stressful. We finally set a close date of March 30th. We were excited to finally have a date to move into our new home. We were going to hold off buying baby items until we were in our new home. We didn't want to store anything extra in our small duplex. We had a garage sale prior to putting our house on the market to get rid of all of our baby stuff - since we were done having children. This took place just a couple of weeks before we found out we were having another baby(ies). The rest of our equipment was donated to our daycare center and people we know. So, we now had to buy double everything. The day before we were supposed to close on our new home, I went into labor and delivered the twins nearly 17 weeks early - March 29, 2007. They were born at 23.4 weeks. This was yet another sup rise since all of my other children were term babies - mostly past due babies. We closed on our new home in my hospital room on March 30, 2007. We went from being so excited about moving into our new home to not even unpacking our house for months. The twins had so many struggles during their NICU days. There were many times that we were told Carver wouldn't make it through the night. We would be called in the middle of the night and would have to run to the hospital with our priest to pray over Carver. They asked us to sign a DNR order on more then one occasion. We just couldn't sign it. We said that if Carver wasn't supposed to live, God would take him when it was time. Until then, we wanted them to do everything possible to keep him alive. Kinnick and Carver both started their journey with PDA ligations. I had no idea how big of a deal this surgery really was. Both babies really struggled to recover from the surgery. Carver developed a grade 2 and 4 bleed after the surgery and nearly lost his life. He was put on the High Frequency Ventilator for 2 months trying to recover. He maxed out the conventional ventilator and got holes in his lungs causing him to need chest tubes to relieve the pressure. He had 2 different central lines, multiple blood transfusions, and a total of 6 eye surgeries for the aggressive ROP that he developed. The bleeds caused Carver to be profoundly deaf in both ears. Kinnick was born with a grade 1 and 2 bleed. Her bleeds cleared up pretty quickly. After recovering from her PDA ligation, she seemed to be moving along pretty quickly. We were sure she would be off her ventilator in no time. She started having feed problems and later developed NEC. She had surgery to remove a portion of her intestines. The surgery really set her back causing her to require more assistance from the ventilator. She had a hard time healing and recovering from the surgery. The incision even split back open at one point causing her intestines to spill out of her body. She was rushed back into surgery in the middle of the night to repair the incision. She remained on the ventilator due to the pressure her stomach had on her lungs. The ventilator caused additional damage to her lungs causing a lot of her problems today. She also had multiple blood transfusions including platelet transfusions nearly every other day for 3 months, 3 different central lines and 5 eye surgeries for the aggressive ROP that she developed. Both babies were in the NICU till October 23, 2007 - 7 months. 2 months of this was spent in an NICU in Royal Oak, MI getting eye surgery. Kinnick was only home 3 days before returning to the hospital with a hospital bug - pseudo mo nus. She was in the hospital another month. She lasted one month before returning to the hospital with RSV. She was in the hospital an additional 10 days. We are now preparing to return to Royal Oak, MI for more eye surgery. We are hopeful that the additional eye surgery will save Kinnick and Carver's vision. Currently, Kinnick is blind and Carver is blind in one eye. We're hoping to save at least one eye for each of the babies.

2008 should be a piece of cake after everything that went on in 2007!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my, Shanon! We knew some of your story, but not all. I didn't know they were "surprise" babies! Your continued faith and strength always inspire me! We will hope and pray for a much more uneventful 2008!