Monday, November 24, 2008

Let Me Upgrade You!

I never thought I could fall in love with someone like I fell in love with Everett...but boy was I wrong...While Everett is still my #1...I have two new little lives that I have only known for 16 days, but I am in love with them as if I have known them my entire life...

So It has been a week since my last post…and the girls have been UPGRADED…from the NICU to SPECIAL CARE! It was a total surprise for us to come to see them and them be in another environment. They are with the “grown up” babies now.

Both Lily & McKenzie are weighing in at 2lbs6oz. They have been doing well off the breathing tubes…they have had some “naughty days” where they need a little more help from the c-pap machine, which is to be expected with them still being so small.

They are 30 weeks and 3 days old, I feel like we have come a long way since November 10th at 2:21am & 2:23am. They are on continuous feedings eating almost 6oz of my milk a day. Lily has had calcium/calories added to her milk so they can fatten up faster. McKenzie will probably have that added tomorrow.

This past week has been an emotional roller coaster for me…I have had my ups and downs. I was actually having a “pity party” for a few days…I even sent invitations out to my "pity party"…but no one showed up! Good thing…I didn’t need the encouragement for pity. What I have had is never ending support from wonderful family and friends. It is so great to see how people step up when they know you are really in a rough place; it is exactly what I needed!

The weekend really helped me over my “hump”. I was able to go and hang out with friends and just be out of the house doing “normal” things. Chris and Carletta came down from NY to visit the momos (THEY NEVER COME TO MD JUST TO VISIT!) but they did for us…and for that I am so grateful! Hanging out with them, Jernee & Dave this weekend really gave me a good boost.

On Sunday, the 23rd we were able to hold our little McKenzie for the first time (see pictures above). It was something I had been putting off for a while, just fear because they are so small. Now I know I was also putting it off because once you hold them you never want to let them go. I guess I didn’t want an additional attachment. Monday the 24th we were able to hold Lily too...I am so happy to have held them both. Leaving the hospital every night knowing that I am walking out empty handed breaks my heart, However I know they are in God’s hands…and those hands can do way more for them then mine can do.

I attended my first NICU support group meeting on Monday; it was very informative and very personal. I was happy to have my Mum and Yasmin there with me to just be a family support system. I definitely needed to go to the meeting; I just wish there were other Moms there that could give advice on how they are handling the NICU stay so I don’t feel so crazy! I walked out of there feeling refreshed and feeling positive about the path Lily and McKenzie are on right now. I know they are a long way from home, but they are a long way from where they started.

I find myself sitting up all hours of the night wondering what the momos are doing…or if they need me. I can’t wait till I’m off driving restrictions. I will probably sneak out of the house in the middle of the night just for a quick peek.

Today...Auntie Melissa & Uncle Leon came to see the momos...we were able to see Lily have a bath (see pictures below)...she was alert and Don't think she liked the hair washing...but it was sweet to see her active. The nurses are all saying how much "spunk" they have...they are just like their momma!

I have fallen in love again…and it feels great…

-The Momo Momma

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Everyday is a Victory!

Yesterday 11/17/08 I heard our babies cry for the very first time...It was the sweetest sound I have heard...God bless those little vocal cords!

Each day we get a little further away from their first day of life...which means we get closer to them coming home. Today they are 29 weeks and 2 days. Here are the Victories we had in the last few days

* Lily & McKenzie both came off their Breathing tubes on Sunday 11/16/08. Lily had hers taken out in the afternoon (we were able to see them do the procedure, as well as get a look at her sweet little face with no mask or tubes!). McKenzie had hers taken off that evening. They are both progressing well on the Si pap breathing machines, for the most part they are breathing on their own

*McKenzie finally came off the Billy Ruben light on Saturday 11/15/08, Lily came off on 11/14/08. Their levels have gone down and they are actually picking up a little "brown" coloring! :)

*Hearing our babies cry...I cannot explain the feeling that came over me when I heard the little voice from inside the incubator. It was like a kitten. I wanted to cry, but I have stuck to my rule... NO CRYING in the NICU...I can't have our babies see me cry.

*Lily & McKenzie are both gaining weight!!! as of 11/17/08 Lily weighed in at 2lbs2oz and McKenzie weighed in at 2lbs4oz.

*Feedings...the momos are accepting my milk and have been put on continuous feedings taking in about 8cc's a day.

*Today 11/18/08 Lily & McKenize both had on little tops. They are so cute, they are working on helping them keep their body temperature, they have turned down the heat in the incubator so to encourage them to keep their own bodies warm.
*Today I had my staples removed! Yay! It feels about 50% better...

We couldn't be happier with their progress...God is truly blessing us abundantly. I Pray they stay on this path of positive growth and progress.

The picture above is of McKenzie holding onto her Dad's finger...she was having a bit of a fit, and he was keeping her calm and got her back to sleep...she would NOT let go of that was the sweetest thing ever.

-The Momo Momma

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Hardest Day

Nobody could of prepared me for the feelings I would have, leaving the hospital without our babies...

November 14, 2008, was the hardest day ever. I thought the first day of being in the hospital was going to be the worst...but that did not compare to the feelings I had when I woke up on Friday morning.

After 2 nights of sneaking over to the NICU at 3am and 4am, I couldn't imagine going home and not being able to just sneak up the hall to see the momos. Just as I was getting "comfortable" at the hospital it was time to go...without the momos.

I know they are in the best care possible better care than I could give them at home right now. After 5 hours of tears, it was finally time to leave. Such a bitter/sweet feeling. Mom and Melissa helped me pack up my "suite" and Everett carted it all out. We went to say our goodbyes to the Momos.

They look so comfortable snuggled up on their bellies. They have had their belly feeding tubes removed...YAY! So they can sleep on their backs and their bellies now and comfortably snuggle their hands under their chins while they are is a sight to see! So cute.

After taking a walk out of the hospital to the rainy cold...and seeing I was missing nothing...I wanted to turn around and run back into room 175! The "outside world" doesn't seem that great anymore...cheaper gas and hot McDonald's fries just don't cut it!

Life at Nana's house has been good to me so far...and we are close to the momos!

-The Momo Momma

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pumping Ain't easy...but it Sure is FREE!

Tonight marks our last night in the hospital. It is a bitter sweet feeling...Happy to be leaving the hospital...sad to be leaving the momos...

Life has truly changed these last few days. In a matter of 30 minutes, I went from a wife to a wife and a mother. It is an amazing feeling that I am still not over. I LOVE going to see the momos in the NICU during the day and sometimes in the wee hours of the night. This will be what I miss the most about being here...knowing they are right up the hall from me even if it is 4am, I can just go peek in on them.

I have yet to hear our babies cry because of the tubes they have, and a few months from now when they are home with us, I will probably be wishing for these silent moments, but right now I need that little cry from them.

The Momos are doing very well in the NICU they are growing and changing each day. Everett and I have been able to take their temperatures and change their diapers. At first it was very scary because they are so fragile, but now I look forward to those moments, just to have skin to skin contact with them. Daddy did a great job today changing Lily, she was a little fussy, but then she realized it was her Dad and calmed down. It was very sweet...I will post pictures as soon as a find the camera cord!



Unlimited supply

Milk me like a cow


Increased bra size!



...So those of you who know me know that I am ANTI breast feeding...I know, I know shake your head and judge me all you want! It took having these sweet Preemie babies to get me to pump, knowing this would give them the best chances at growing and getting healthy.

I will not lie...this is really is very demanding. The lactation nurse told me that I wouldn't have milk till the end of this week, maybe a few drops...well boy was she WRONG! I have pumped enough milk for the momos to eat for a month! --right now they are only eating about a tablespoon per feeding! hee hee! But still I am flowing like a river!

Before I log off to go to sleep...oops...I mean go pump then pretend to sleep for 3 hours then wake up and pump again...(Ahhh the Joys of Motherhood)...Let me highlight a few of my favorite moments here....

*Starting this blog and the wonderful comments, I read them all at least 3 times! Keep them coming!

*The love and support from my husband...being here each and everyday for us.

*Visitors galore!!! Each and everyone of you made each day go by faster. My surprise visitors (Kameela, Porsche & Marg)...what a treat...your support speaks volumes...thank you.

*Nana's dinners, cakes and Pies

*The birth of the Momos 11/10/08...

-The Momo Momma

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And MoMo's make four!

Lillian Kennedy Sands & McKenzie London Sands came into the world at 28 weeks on 11/10/08 at 2:21am and is how it all happened...(pictured above left McKenzie, right Lillian)
Sunday was a great day...I was getting used to my braids Aunt Ladybird had done on Saturday...Kijafa and Kendall snuck in ... Nadia, Jernee, Amaka & Nana came to visit...everything was perfect. It took me out of my 2 week blues! I was ready to face week 3 and beyond!

Sunday Night was when all the action began I went over for NST testing around 8:30 (just in time to get on the monitors before Desperate Housewives came on!) My wonderful Nurse Jill, was very patient with Baby A (who we now know as Lily)...we were having a hard time keeping her on the monitor...she would jump on and off...and was a bit irregular but nothing that we hadn't see before. Everett and I left testing at 10:45 and headed back over to our room.

My WONDERFUL Night Nurse, Stephanie, came in to do my vital signs and take a listen in on the babies through the doppler monitor, we could tell Lilly's heart was racing...she left to go get my regular nightly pills and then came back. While she was gone Everett and I discussed her doing the doppler again b/c we were the time she came back with my pills, she had already called over to the NST nurse to tell her what she heard...and told me I was going back.

I Headed back over to the NST center and got back on the monitors...I told Everett he could stay behind it was midnight and he had to work, so I didn't want him to be up late, and I THOUGHT I would only be over there for a half hour at most.

By 1:15am I was out of my real clothes into a hospital gown with an anesthesiologist, 4 nurses and 3 doctors all standing over me, with forms know the ones that say "sign here, you could die" or "Yeah we can make a mistake, but you are releasing us from liability" lol :) It was very clear we were going to have these babies, RIGHT NOW.

Lily's heart rate was out of control...she would go up to 180 then shoot down to 105, 90, 35 beats per minute. Something was definitely wrong she was in distress. The Nurse went to get Everett and he walked into the NST room that was packed at this point!

I couldn't believe this was actually happening at this very moment, they raised the bed and wheeled me away, that is when the tears started flowing like Niagara Falls. I had never felt so close to LIFE and DEATH at the same time. It was a feeling you have to experience to truly understand.

I was whisked into the O.R. Everett was still over in NST getting scrubbed in. In a matter of 10 minutes I had a Spinal tap in, my binki line shaved for surgery and a catheter in. It was all happening too fast... I have never said the Lords Prayer so fast and so frequent in my life. Before I knew it I could no longer control my legs, belly and feet. I was strapped down and just waiting for the surgeons to do their thing!

At 2:21am Lily arrived (1lb 140z 15.4 inches), she had a knot in her cord that was causing her heart rate to fluctuate so much and she had the cord around her neck. At 2:23am McKenzie (2lbs 1 oz 14.8 inches) arrived. It was so strange not to hear them cry, I had to keep asking Everett if they were okay, he was the only one that could see them since I was strapped down. They were moving and breathing and being taken care of by 3 NICU nurses each.

After I was all put back together, I was wheeled off to recovery, where my Mom, Melissa and Everett were. I couldn't believe the babies that were once inside of me were on the outside world. It was amazing!

Everett and Mom were able to see the babies around 9am the morning of their birth, the NICU had to stabilize them. I wasn't able to see them till 8pm at night.
Lily and McKenzie are doing well right now, they are breathing with the help of oxygen but they are breathing on their own 89%. The have feeding tubes and IV lines in. They are very pink and hairy :) and they are OURS! God is sooooooo GOOD!

This day reminded me the reason why was here, I would of never know Lily was in distress at home, and could have possibly shown up for my next appointment with only one surviving baby in womb. I am so grateful for the knowledge and resources that my Doctors and Nurses had.

We ask for your prayers for our little girls as they finish their growing in the NICU, they will probably be in for 6-8 weeks. I will continue to update their progress as the weeks go by.

-The MoMo Momma

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Today America woke up to THE FIRST African-American President. What a milestone in the HISTORY of this country. I am proud to know that the momos will grow up knowing there are no limits to their DREAMS, No glass on their CEILING and every reason to say, "YES WE CAN"...

While greatness is going on I am inside feeling totally bummed.

Impatient is more like it...this is the biggest waiting game I have ever played and I am not even half way there!

N.S.T (non stress test) however, I feel stressed when 2 hours of testing turns into 4, I know this will get better as the babies get bigger. 2 times a day EVERYDAY...

Preparing for parenthood--can you really prepare? I think the answer to this is no...but I would love a Target supply person to bring me the baby section so I can touch and feel things to make a registry! That would help me feel "prepared"

Amazing and Strong...that is what Karimah said to me today, when I told her I was feeling selfish and sad...thanks Karimah :)

Time passing by...I have never watched a clock more than I have in here. It certainly doesn't help that there are large school clocks everywhere. I feel like I can't wait for the hours to pass...however I have NO WHERE else to be but here

Internet access...without this I would have probably ran away by now! It is my OUTLET to the world, the who, the what, the where! I am not a big telephone is my joy! And of course without Internet you wouldn't be reading this!

Everett---my guy...I wouldn't be able to do this without him by my side each night! Every MoMo momma needs a guy like him :)

Nana's home cooked meals...a nice break up to the "room service" offered here. The beef stew with dumplings last night was amazing!

Twins...the joy at the end of this test of "patience" See you soon Lily & McKenzie :)

-The MoMo Momma

Monday, November 3, 2008

Things can CHANGE...

Babies touch the world with love...Congratulations to Vonnie and Jermaine on the Birth of Kayla 11/02/08!!! Enjoy the new addition to your family.

Our sweet Vonnie from LnL Book club gave birth to her "Election day baby" early... Karimah was visiting with me when the news arrived she was going into labor. I couldn't believe it was happening, my heart was all a flutter for her. It made me realize that even though I am looking forward to Lily and McKenzie on 12/08/08 ... babies will come as the please! Things can CHANGE! I'll take them whenever they come. I think Kayla has set the stage for her personality...and followed the rules of babies... THERE ARE NO RULES!

Sunday wrapped up the weekend with more wonderful visitors... Reem, Rye and Momma Holley. I am so happy to have visitors, it makes the days less routine... thanks guys!

Nana sent over 1.) Clean laundry, 2.) Roast Sunday dinner 3.) old Navy lounge wear! Is it possible to have a better Nana? I doubt it...If I can end up being just half the mother, my mother has been to all of us, I will feel I have reached my "perfect momma" status!

The babies are doing well....some long monitoring sessions...some good short ones like tonight! I have to warn you all now... my girls are not PUNKS! I watched them fight today in womb... Baby B kept hitting Baby A in the belly ...finally Baby A had enough and gave Baby B a swift kick! So watch out twins (Leon & Quinny) you are not going to punk my girlies!! :)

Tonight will be my first night alone...I sent my guy home so he can get up early and vote. Tomorrow 11/4/08 America will elect a new President of the United States. One of the great things about America is the right and power of a vote, no matter who you vote for it will make a difference in the direction of the leadership of America.

America will be a different place after tomorrow...things can CHANGE!

-The MoMo Momma

P.S. The Bond Baby gets a hot dog or a hamburger tomorrow! yay! So many things to look forward to!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

"Party over here!!!"

Friends are God's way of taking care of us. They are here for us when they could be somewhere else.

Saturday, November 1st was Towanda's 25+4 Birthday....and she spent most of it here with me! Can you ask for a better friend? What a wonderful day we had. Melissa arrived first bringing McDonald's fries (hmmm)....then Towanda.... then Temika. We had such a good time, laughing and joking, I ALMOST forgot I was in the hospital and they would soon all go "out to the real world" and continue the night. However for the time they were there I felt like I was back in 1996 at 2 Chinook in my mothers basement, laughing and giggling like high school girls! I could not of asked for a better Saturday, in or out of the hospital! Thanks Girls!

Dave also stopped by...but when he comes...he brings WORK in a big red staples box!!! Nothing fun at all!!! But it helps to remind me that the world is still going on out there, while I'm in here...there are things to be done and that he still needs me ("TREE")! "Choose a Job you love and you will never work a day in your life"

Later on my Christy & Mum came with a lovely cake for Towanda, we all sang Happy Birthday and enjoyed one of "Nana's" signature cakes (You too can have a Nana's Cake...ask me how!) I had to get "special permission for my extended guest list! I mean really only 4 people at a time plus are we supposed to party?!

The girls went to out to enjoy a birthday dinner with Tow and Mum and Christy stayed. I received my first knitting lesson....knitting...yeah I said it...I'm "fitting" to knit up 2 blankets for our girlies!!!I'll keep you posted on that progress...I feel like a little old lady toting my "knitting bag" around! ha ha! Mum also gave me a mini pedicure!

Earlier that day we had our regular testing and was able to see the babies in 3-D!!! It was so scary and amazing...we were only able to get one picture of one of the babies...the other was looking a little like a jack-o- lantern (I say that with "mother's love"). I am working on figuring out how to trick out my blog with pictures and will try to get a picture up of the 3-D soon!

PHEW what a day... Testing at night lasted a little bit longer than normal...I guess I shouldn't eat hot wings before I go in...the girls were salsa dancing!!! :)

-The MoMo Momma