Thursday, November 29, 2007

3 months old today!

Ashlyn and Caelan are officially 3 months old today...even though they are still 5 days away from their due day of December 4th. I never thought this day would come! We had a meeting with their doctors today and discovered that there is actually an end in sight. They are thinking that Caelan will be ready in 2-3 weeks and that Ashlyn will probably follow him home sometime in January. We were hoping to have them both home for Christmas, but we don't want to rush Ashlyn if she is not ready. Having Ashlyn in hospital will just mean that Christmas dinner will be done cafeteria style instead of with our extended family...but at least we won't have to cook! I have spent Christmas day in that hospital before (except that I was an employee instead of a patient) and I must say that the hospital does a really great job of trying to make it special for the kids.
Our little ones were placed into separate cribs last night and are no longer co-bedding. Ashlyn is having a terrible time with reflux and has been doing a lot of vomitting since the weekend. The trouble with being in the same bed is that she tends to throw-up all over her brother. You should see the amount of laundry I have done over the past few days! We are happy that they are still side-by-side in the nursery and that they still get to see each other every day during our double cuddles.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Shaylah - one month old
Ashlyn - 2 days ago

100 days

Johnny reminded me today that it has been exactly 100 days since our hospital experience began. I was admitted on August 17th....a day that I will never forget. It has been exhausting both physically and mentally and we are both very anxious to start living life as a family.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanks (and a little venting too!)

I would just like to thank the many people who have e-mailed/called to say how good the babies look lately. We feel uplifted every time someone gives them praise! They are precious gifts to Johnny and I and we are so thankful to have them in our lives. There have been many ups and downs in their short lives already and I am sure that there will be many more to come. I need to say that I get very frustrated when people tell me that they are worried about the babies or that it is so hard to hear about their setbacks. I know they mean well, but these babies are actually doing very well for being born 3 months early. It is very stressful to us when the focus is on the negative aspects of their health, especially when we already struggle on a daily basis to maintain a positive attitude. So here is the challenge for the time you hear that things are not going as we had planned, please think of all the good things that have happened in the past 3 months since their birth. God has their lives all planned out and we trust that everything happens for a reason.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Thanks to our favorite nurse (Erin always gets things done for us!), our babes are now able to sleep in the same crib. They were apparently fighting with each other last night , but they were very peaceful together today. Tomorrow I plan on bundling them in one blanket so that they can feel each other's presence. I hope to continue co-bedding them when they come least until Shaylah is old enough to move into her big girl bed. Both babies are doing very well with their breathing and just need to learn how to eat orally before they can come home. This is a very slow process with preemies and could take many weeks. We are still hoping to have the babies home before Christmas, although the reality is that it could be the New Year before we are together as a family. The babies both weigh well over 6 pounds each now and are actually starting to get a little bit chubby (as all babies should be!). Caelan is the more active of the two and is very alert; Ashlyn is extremely peaceful and loves to snuggle right into your chest. She is such a sweet baby.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What's in a name?

First names: Shaylah, Caelan and Ashlyn are all Irish Gaelic names. We chose them simply because we liked them. There is no special meaning to their first names.

Middle names: Each middle name was chosen with special meaning in mind.

Marlyn: Chosen to honor my mother, who passed away suddenly just 11 months before Shaylah was born. My mom was truely a remarkable woman and would have been so proud of her grandchildren. She loved kids, even choosing a profession that helped shape the minds of the young children that came to see her each week. I miss her more than I can express, especially when I think of the moments with Shaylah that I would love to share with her. She taught me how to be a nurturing person and I think that I am a better mother because of her.

Geoffrey: Chosen to honor Johnny's older brother who died at birth. While losing a baby at birth would have obviously been a horrible experience, Johnny and I are grateful that God chose to give life to another little boy only one year after his death. There would have been no Johnny if Geoffrey had survived.

Faith: Chosen to honor God. We believe that God is in control of all things, even when they do not go according to our own plans. We know that little Ahslyn was meant to be here and we are grateful that God has protected her so far. We look forward to seeing what He has planned for her future!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Feeding issues

So, we finally have the feeding issues all figured out with the nursing staff. We have been told that the policy is not to give the babies a bottle until breast-feeding has already been established (if it is the mother's wish to breast-feed). Pre-mature babies have a hard enough time as it is figuring out how to breast-feed and introducing a bottle only makes it more confusing for them. No one knows why a bottle was given to Caelan last week, especially when we were not consulted first. As of this week, I am introducing Caelan to breast-feeding once a day until he gets stronger and is able to do it more often. He usually only lasts about 5-minutes and doesn't actually get any milk. It is a huge learning curve for him. Ashlyn will begin once she is officially off CPAP and her feeding tube is taken out of her mouth and put in through her nose.

Look alike?

We are told by all the nurses that Ashlyn looks like Johnny and Caelan looks like me. What do you think? I was just happy to be holding them side-by-side so that I could look at both of their faces at the same time. It is very clear that they do not look like each other.

First bath

While Ashlyn has had a few baths on her own, Caelan has only been sponge bathed in bed up until this point. This is their first bath together! Note that you can also see Caelan's umbilical hernia very well in this picture.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Good news, bad news

The good news - Caelan has had his first bottle of milk and he did very well with it!

The bad news - after weeks of asking when I can start feeding my babies, somebody went ahead and fed him his first bottle of milk without consulting me first. I was really hoping that it would have been ME to give him his first "taste". I wasn't there to witness it and am more than frustrated at the lack of communication to us as parents.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Together again

I didn't get to witness this re-union, but the look on Johnny's face tells you how special it was. This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago...thanks Grammy for sending it to us.

Lack of posts

Sorry about the delay in updates. I have not been able to get into the hospital for the past few days due to a sore throat and laryngitis. Yesterday was the first time I was able to see the babies in almost a week! I sure missed them and am glad I am feeling better.

Switch it up!

Now it is Caelan's turn to be off the CPAP machine and doing well. He has not needed any breathing support since Monday (note that he does not even have nasal prongs in his nose!). Ashlyn, on the other hand, lasted one week and was placed back on CPAP earlier this week to give her a break. The babies are still in separate rooms, which makes having quality time with each baby a little more difficult. We are also being told that we may be transferred out of BC Children's in the very near future because the babies are now stable enough to move. We will likely not get much notice or have any say in which hospital we end up in. It all depends on where there is room for 2 babies and when. We just pray that they will end up together!
Both babies have problems with reflux, so feeding is our next big hurdle. They are gaining weight at a nice rate though and are both following the curve just above the 10th percentile. Caelan weighed in at 5 pounds, 8 ounces today; Ashlyn is weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces. They are quickly growing out of their preemie clothes!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Ashlyn was taken off her CPAP machine on Tuesday and has had no problems with her breathing. She is doing so well, that they have moved her out of the NICU and into the intermediate nursery. This is where babies go when they just need to grow and learn how to feed. She is one step closer to coming home! The unfortunate part is that she and Caelan are now separated from each other. We hope that they are re-united soon!