Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Aidan at the Hotel

Aidan is adjusting to life at the hotel and after a few rough days, things are going much better. He is eating very well and is now sleeping better. Sleeping at the hotel is very different than it was at the NICU. However, we have been trying his swing, bouncy seat, and boppy to entertain him during the day. He didn't like sleeping in the pack and play and really preferred that mommy hold him all night. Since mommy does need some sleep, I was able to find a smaller bassinet that is working much better and I have finally enjoyed a few hours of much needed sleep. Aidan hates having his diaper or clothes changed and screams every time it has to be done. When this happens in the middle of the night I am a little scared he is going to wake the whole hotel, but hopefully this is just a temporary phase. He is a such a sweet boy and he is still obsessed with his hands and fingers. He frequently smiles at me and loves to make his "jazz hands." I am loving having him at our home away from home and cannot wait until Ava is released and we can go home for a few months.

One jazz hand. 

Swing, bouncy seat and boppy. Variety is the spice of life!

Finally asleep! 

Two jazz hands! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Three Week Birthday!

Aidan and Ava are three weeks old today. Aidan was able to visit his sister and as you can see from the pictures, he cuddled up next to her. It always warms my heart to see them together and to watch them interact. They clearly know when the other one is around and I cannot wait to see their bond develop as they are able to spend more time together.

They love their pacifiers!

So cute in their matching "I Love Mommy" outfits. 

Happy Three Week Birthday Ava and Aidan!

We love seeing our two precious babies together. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Double Daddy Duty

Brad is finally on the mend from his cold and after waiting several days, he was finally able to visit Ava and see his beautiful daughter without her breathing tube. We brought Aidan along and he and Ava were able to be together again. Brad not only held Ava for the first time, but he held both of them at the same time. What a beautiful moment! Ava continues to do well, but they are still waiting for all the fluid to drain. She continues to suck the pacifier and shows signs that she is definitely ready to take oral feeds once they are able to give them to her. The formula they will have to use doesn't taste the best, but they are optimistic that she will take it since she hasn't tasted anything else at this point. Please continue to keep her in your prayers and stay tuned for updates.

Daddy and his kiddos! So cute!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Aidan Comes "Home" to the Hotel

Aidan and I have been hard at work since Thursday so he could get released. We had a great day on Thursday and tried rooming in Thursday night. Unfortunately, it proved to be too much too fast and we had a rough night. Friday wasn't much better and Mommy stayed at the hotel after feeding him all day so we both could get some much needed rest. I fed him all day on Saturday and he was back on track so we tried rooming in again. Last night went really well and he was released this afternoon. We went to see Ava after he was released and they were able to lay next to each other again. They really seemed to like it and he again had a huge smile on his face. When they lay side by side, it is remarkable how much bigger he looks. She is definitely very dainty and he is much more masculine looking, but they do have very similar features. We have enjoyed spending time as a family at the hotel this afternoon and evening and long for the day we can all be together. Ava continues to do well and we look forward to spending time with her again tomorrow. Daddy saw her for the first time since they took her breathing tube out and he couldn't believe how different she looks. He went to see her again tonight and tomorrow he hopes he will get to hold her now that he is on the mend.  Enjoy the rest of the long weekend and thanks so much for the prayers. They are working!

Aidan sleeping after Daddy put him in the car seat. 

First stroller ride. Doesn't he look tiny!!

Daddy with Aidan outside the hospital on the way to the hotel. 

One of Ava's favorite nurses, Peggy, putting Aidan in with Ava this afternoon. 

Aidan and Ava with their hands touching. 

Aidan smiling because he is so happy to see his sister. 

Aidan smiled several times while we were there. I think she might have been telling him jokes.
Grandpa DeShaw would be proud. 

Pink and blue. Doesn't she look small next to him? She is right at 5 pounds and he is at 6 pounds. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rooming In

Aidan and I have been together all day and his feedings have gone really well. Tonight I am "rooming in" with him at the hospital and if all goes well, he will be released tomorrow. It should be an adventure, but I am so excited to have our little peanut "home" at the hotel with us. He weighed 6 pounds today and is doing really well. Now that Ava has her breathing tube out, they should be able to have some more visits which will be great for both of them. Wish us luck tonight and stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Two Week Birthday Aidan and Ava!

We can hardly believe Aidan and Ava are already two weeks old today. Where does the time go? It doesn't seem possible that two weeks ago they were still in my stomach and we will wondering what they looked like. Now they are here and we cannot imagine life without them. We are madly in love with them and so pleased they have both done so well these last two weeks. Aidan is doing great on his feeds and there is a good chance he could be released from the NICU by the end of the week. He now weighs 5 pounds 12 ounces! We are thrilled that we are getting close to being able to bring him to our home away from home at the hotel. Ava is doing well despite a few set backs these last few days. They are going to try and take her off of the vent again on Thursday and we are hopeful that this time it will be a success. As always, thank you for continuing to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Happy two week birthday Aidan!

So sweet!

Happy two week birthday Ava!

Pretty in pink for her birthday! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Aidan's First Bath with Mommy and Daddy

I was finally released from the hospital today and although I am feeling a little rough, I couldn't wait to see Ava and Aidan. Nothing cheers me up more than seeing their sweet little faces. Before I was admitted, we had planned on giving Aidan a bath and I was so bummed we weren't able to as planned. However, Adian's nurse, Mandy, was great and set everything up so we could tonight. We gave him what is called a swaddle bath and although he wasn't sure at first, he ended up loving the warm water. He did great and smelled so sweet once we were done.

Let the games begin. Our first attempt at a bath. We hope he likes it!

Daddy getting ready to put him in the water. Here goes nothing!

Maybe this was a bad idea. Aidan is not happy!

Wait a minute...this water is nice and warm. I think I like it!

Aidan is so relaxed he doesn't even notice Daddy washing his face. 

All clean and still sleeping. First swaddle bath a success!

Worn out and fast asleep. Snug as a bug! So cute! (On his tummy only because he is in the NICU and hooked up to monitors. Mommy was nervous about it at first.)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Holding Strong

I am happy to report that Ava and Aidan are both doing well. I was hospitalized again on Friday, so I haven't been able to post any updates. I am still in the hospital, but am hoping to be released tomorrow. Brad has been super husband/dad running from each of our three rooms. I am on the opposite end of the hospital from the kids so he is getting a good workout every day. Aidan continues to work on eating and while he is getting better, he has some more work to do. He is such a sweetheart and continues to love looking at his fingers and moving them around. He pulled his feeding tube out again today, so those fingers can get him into trouble. :) He loves to look at me with those big blue eyes and I just melt in a second. Daddy has been changing his diapers, taking his temp and kangerooing with him while he gets his feeding tube. As you will see in the picture below, their favorite past time together is sleeping while Aidan gets his tube. At the rate he is going, we are hoping he will get released next week sometime. However, as with Ava, we just want him to go at his own pace.

Ava is also doing really well. They have been working on trying to get her off of the breathing tube since they closed her chest. They were going to try it on Saturday, but her lungs just weren't ready. They are continuing to monitor how she is doing and may try again tomorrow. Such is such an angel and we love it when she moves her arms and legs or opens her eyes when we visit. Today she cried a little while we were there, which was heart breaking to see. However, her amazing nurse, Loren, said it is important for her lungs that she cry a little just like a normal baby even though it is hard to watch. Brad and I tried consoling her, but her nurse knew just the trick and she stopped. We long for the day when we can hold our sweet girl, but we want her body to take the time it needs. We are just so thankful her heart is doing so well after the surgery.

Please stay tuned for updates and continue to pray for our little miracles. I will post another update as soon as I can and I hope you enjoy the latest pictures Aidan. I am finally posting some of the pictures of him with all the visitors he has had. I cannot wait to take pictures of everyone holding Ava. Thank you for all the support, encouragement and prayers you continue to send our way. Words cannot express how thankful we are.

Aidan with his cute bear hat on. 

Daddy and Aidan snoozing. 

Aidan yawning. He loves to sleep!

Mommy and Aidan snuggling. 

Daddy and Aidan kangerooing and sleeping. Talk about multitasking! 

Aidan and Uncle Paul who came for a visit from Ohio. 

Aidan with Grandma and Grandpa Weitl. 

Aidan with Grandma DeShaw. 
Aidan with Grandpa DeShaw. 

My dear friend Joy and Brad with Aidan. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers reading this. It has been a wonderful Mother's Day for me and the best gift has been seeing both of my precious babies doing so well. Brad gave me a sweet card from the kids and a snow globe with their picture inside that plays a lullaby. I have to say that my husband has been an amazing support this whole week and has really been by my side going above and beyond the call of duty to help me recover. He is a natural with Aidan and Ava and it warms my heart to see him interact with them. As much as he and I always joke around, I feel so blessed to have him as my husband and I cannot imagine going on this journey with anyone else but him. Thank you Brad for making my first Mother's Day so special.  

The best Mother's Day present was one I received a little early on Friday. We were able to have the NICU nurse, Mary, bring Aidan to Ava's room and Ava's nurse, Kim, put Aidan in bed with her. On the way to Ava's room Aidan was sleepy, but his eyes were wide open as soon as we arrived. Kim held him next to Ava and he kept looking around. Finally, we decided to actually let him lay beside her and he put his hand on her face. He didn't want to let go of her, so his grip was tight enough that his little finger nails turned white. After about a minute or so he must have figured out it was Ava because he flashed her a huge smile. It just melted our hearts! For the rest of time he laid there he was very alert and kept looking around. She was sedated, but she did open her eyes a few times. It was amazing to finally see them reunited and it was obvious they could feel each other's presence. It is a moment we will never forget and we look forward to many more as Ava gets better. Mommy loves you Aidan and Ava!

Ava's nurse, Kim, getting things ready for Aidan to visit. 

Aidan wide eyed as he snuggles in next to his sister. 

Aidan putting a protective hand on his big sister. 

Aidan and Ava resting together. So sweet! Reunited at last!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Introducing Aidan and Ava

Aidan and Ava made their debut into the world as scheduled on May 8, 2012. Ava was born first at 8:20 a.m. and was crying even before she was pulled out. She weighed 5 lbs 2 oz and was 17.9 inches long. Aidan was born at 8:21 a.m. and he weighed 5 lbs 4 oz and was 18.5 inches long. We were so relieved to hear both of them crying right after they were born. The c-section went well and Brad was able to be in the room during the delivery, which was a huge relief for me. They held Ava up so we could see her before taking her to her operating room. They kept Aidan in the same room with us after he was born and within minutes of birth, he decided to pee on a nurse. After they had him all checked out Brad was able to hold him over by my head so I could see him close up and hold his little hand. They are both precious and they actually look very similar. We were also very surprised to see that they both have dark hair. The delivery went very well and we were both so happy that Dr. Rose was able to deliver them. Hearing them both cry was music to our ears and it was surreal to think that our babies were finally here after so many months of waiting. The first leg of our long journey for today was complete and now Ava and Aidan's individual journeys began.

Aidan was stabilized quickly and after hanging out with us for awhile in the operating room, daddy went with him to the NICU. Ava was stabilized in her adjoining operating room while Dr. Eidem and Dr. Burkhart did an echo and assessed her heart. They determined that the restriction did present as they anticipated and the full Norwood surgery would be performed. Thankfully she did not have any additional issues and she made it known with her crying and screaming that she is one strong little lady. She was baptized and when her daddy was able to see her for a few quick minutes, the second she heard his voice she calmed down and stopped crying. She is a daddy's girl already and we are so thankful he was able to tell her how much we loved her and that she was in the best possible hands before they started surgery.

Surgery began around 10:20 a.m. and they finished up around 2:30 p.m. Everything went very well and after monitoring her for several hours post-op she was able to go to the cardiac ICU for recovery. Everyone was pleased with how the surgery went and I think were were all amazed at how well she did throughout the day. She has proven to be our little fighter and we are so thankful to everyone who cared for her today. A special thanks to our dream team of Dr. Rose, Dr. Eidem and Dr. Burkhart. The plan they carefully put together was perfect and it is because of their expertise that everything went so well today. We also want to thank all of our amazing friends and family for their love, support, encouragement and prayers. There is no doubt in our mind that God was watching over us today and the fact that Ava did so well today is proof positive of the power of prayer. A huge thank you also to our parents and my amazing friend Joy for being with us today. It meant so much to have you all here with us for Aidan and Ava's big debut.

Ava still has a long journey ahead of her, but we are so thankful that things have gone so well so far and please continue to pray as she now faces a long road to recovery. Please also keep our little Aidan in your prayers. We are thrilled beyond measure with how this day has unfolded and we cannot wait for you to meet our little miracles. Until then, please enjoy a few pictures. I am hoping to update the blog on a daily basis now that I am feeling a little better, so please continue to check for updates and thank you for your patience this week. I had hoped to post earlier, but recovering from a c-section was harder work than I anticipated.

Daddy and Aidan right after Daddy cut the cord. 

Daddy changing his first diaper for Aidan. 

Daddy putting Aidan's outfit and hat on him. 

Our handsome boy swimming in his clothes. When Brad and I packed this, we were sure it would be way too small because it looked like doll clothes. 

Daddy holding our little peanut. He loves to be swaddled. 

Mommy and Aidan enjoying some kangaroo time. My precious peanut!

Our little man posing with his eyes open for Grandpa. Love those blue eyes!

Our precious Ava in the Cardiac ICU. 

Ava's little foot. It is just so tiny!

Our sleepy little heart warrior. 

Ava and Aidan look very similar. We still cannot believe they both have dark hair. 

Ava in the Cardiac ICU with all of her monitors. It is a little scary to see our precious baby hooked up to so many machines, but they are making her feel better with each passing day. We are amazed at her strength!