Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Audrey Clark Comes Home

Audrey came home monday. It is so wonderful to have her, she is such a sweetie- I feel like I'm just starting to really get to know her. We're just kind of in survival mode right now (on about 3hrs of sleep), trying to figure her out and also how to get the NICU to see/feed Evangeline. 

Can't wait to have E home too! The night we took A home, E started bottle feeding for the first time, as if she knew, "my sissy is gone, I'll do whatever it takes to get outta here!"

more pics to come..

Thursday, May 24, 2012

We're 1 month!

Our nurse Andi got us yellow bows for being 1 month old today! We are all doing well: Evangeline's infection and swelling is gone and she has started breast feeding again. Audrey is most likely coming home this weekend- yay! Praise God for His kindness to our family!

Audrey- 5lbs

Evangeline- 3lbs

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Almost home

We have now been in the NICU a month and the girls are 36 weeks gestation. If Ms Audrey can avoid any set backs in the next few days, she will most likely be home at the end of the week! She has been regulating her temperature, keeping her heart rate and oxygen saturation up, gaining weight, finishing her bottles, & she has passed her car seat test! We cannot wait to have her home all to ourselves! It's like Christmas!

Evangeline continues to recover from her infection. She still has a swollen abscess on her jaw that they think is an infected salivary gland, but it has been going down. Hopefully it will continue to go down and won't be a problem or require surgery. They FINALLY started feeds again (she was starving- trying her darnedest to milk that paci). She is tolerating them well, and they are increasing the amount daily and weaning off her IV fluids. She is on antibiotics until Tuesday, and I'm hoping by the end of the week she may be able to get off her PICC line, and take off with bottle feeding! We love this precious girl, our hearts ache for all she has been through.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thank you!

Thank you so much for all your support and prayers- Evangeline is finally past the worst of it, and recovering from the NEC. She got off the ventilator today, and they were able to remove many of her tubes and IVs. They think we are now past the "danger zone" (the time period where the bowel is at risk for perforation) and so we have avoided that surgery. There is a possibility for surgery weeks down the road if her bowels do not heal up exactly right... Her labs and x-rays are improving, and she is behaving like she feels better.

In terms of the second infection, they are still not exactly sure what to make of it. There is a hard inflamed area on her neck, that has remained unchanged for the past several days with antibiotics. They are not sure if it is a gland issue or an abscess, etc.  A surgeon is going to come in and take a look tonight.  Hopefully, it can just be drained, and will not prove to be a major problem...

From here, we kindof start from the beginning again. After 10 days of antibiotics and holding feeds, we will slowing start re-feeding again and take it one feeding at a time, one poop at a time, one day at a time, and hopefully she will be able to take off and come home so that her momma and daddy can have her all to themselves- no needles/tubes/wires allowed!!

Meanwhile, we do have another child...she's big stuff; wearing big girl clothes, in an open crib, taking bottles, and weighs 4 1/2lbs.

Please join us in thanking God that Evangeline has crossed this hurdle and protected Audrey! Thank you so much for your prayers, I truly believe you all carried us through this. I have prayed that God would bless each of you. 

Thank you for loving us, especially all of the people following our story that we don't know-we're so touched by you! We still have a long road ahead with Evangeline, but must rejoice when we're able. Please continue to pray for us as you think of it. Much love to you! xo.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Evangeline has developed a second infection, they are not sure what it is yet, but they think it's a skin infection. They added a third type of antibiotic to her treatment, gave her a second blood transfusion, and threw in a few more IVs... Her NEC remains the same, it has not progressed at this point, so that is good. However, we are not on the upswing yet, but very much in the midst of fighting. If we can make it through Tuesday without things worsening, then we can exhale and know she is recovering.

Her sis is far away in a progressive unit, showing off, and we pray that she doesn't catch any of this. Evangeline was always at increased risk because the whole pregnancy she had blood flow/distribution issues...How much more can her poor 2lb body take?

Thank you so much for you prayers and support! It gives us hope and strength.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The dreaded NEC

Evangeline has Necrotizing Enterocolitis, which is a serious disease of the bowels in premature babies. They are treating her with antibiotics and a blood transfusion for now. The next 72 hours are the "danger zone", in which we will get a better idea of how bad her infection really is. She is back on a ventilator, has an IV in 3 out of 4 limbs, and a drainage tube down her throat. They will stop feeds for 7-10 days, which means she will lose weight. The doctor made me promise not to google it, and so I am not super informed about it and I plan to stay that way. Please pray for this sweet sick little girl! We are so sad. 

Sweet Evangeline

Please pray for our little Evangeline. I really hoped she would catch a break on the outside, but she still is really struggling. This morning, when I was holding her, she was dropping her heart rate into the 40s and 30s very frequently, was struggling to breathe, and was very pale. I knew something was wrong- they did several tests and an x ray, and discovered that she has an infection- not sure what kind yet. They are giving her a blood transfusion, putting her back on oxygen, and giving her IV antibiotics. They think they caught it early, which is encouraging.  She is still so small, 2 lbs 4 oz, and is growing at a slow rate (unlike her sis who is almost 4.5 lbs), which makes her more prone to this sort of thing. O, I wish she'd grow! My heart aches for her. It will be long road.

Please pray for this chapter of our story to lighten up soon..

Monday, May 7, 2012

meeting on the outside

11 days post delivery, the girls finally got to meet again! It felt so complete.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I am so thankful that the girls are here, and that I can see and touch them.  I am so in love with them, and at the same time, it's just a new "hard".  I cannot tell you how many times in this "pregnancy" I have said, "this is the hardest thing I have ever done", but I'm just sure it's true of the NICU. I miss them so much when I'm away, and I'm stressed by every alarm when I'm there. I hold back tears every time they get pricked, probed, or prodded. I hate that when they cry, I can't hold them to comfort them. It is so hard to trust the nurses with their care, and let go of control of my children over and over. I wonder if they will be ok, if we'll all make it. I'm learning how to cope with this, but have not figured it out yet, it's a different pain than anything I've known. Some days it agonizes me to look at my 2 pound, Evangeline. She is just SO small and looks more like a fetus than a baby. I HATE TTTS for what it did to my child. I know it was not my fault, but it pains me so much that my body was such a harmful place for her.

Objectively, the girls are doing well for their gestation. They have had a few hiccups; Audrey's IV blew and burned her little leg, & Evangeline has low heart rate drops that seem to last forever... But, mostly they are doing what is normal for 32 weekers. They continue to go up on feeds and are both still breathing on their own and off photo therapy for now. Audrey got her IV out, which Momma is so thankful for because it means no more chance for burns! Evangeline is weaning off her PICC line too. We are starting to work on breast feeding!

It is really hard for me to draw on the truth of the Gospel right now. I can barely utter the words, "Your will be done". But, it is true that Jesus has carried my family through each difficult stage of this pregnancy, and He continues to give us enough grace to get us through each day one at a time. I think the girls will make it though their NICU journey, not because they are fighters, but because Jesus is fighting for them. 

Thank you for continuing to check in on us!