Wednesday, January 16, 2013


October was a big month for our family!  Sweet Katherine started the month at 3 lbs. 7 oz.
Kaden started the month at 4 lbs. 4.6 oz.
Throughout the month, Katherine and I spent a few hours like this everyday.:)

On the 2nd, they were 3 weeks old!

On the 3rd, we did Kaden's first pre and post weight for breastfeeding.  They typically don't do these until later, but I was sure that he was eating a pretty good amount (even though some of the nurses told me that there was no way that a baby this small could be strong enough to get more than 1 or 2 ml from breastfeeding:) ).  One of my favorite nurses, Mary Jane, was working that day and she trusted my instincts.  Lactation came and did a pre and post weight on him and he took in 40 ml!!!  Everybody was surprised that a 33 weeker could breastfeed a full feeding.:)  We were so proud of our little guy!  I'm wondering what he will be like to feed as a teenager?:) On the 5th, we gave Kaden a swaddle bath for the first time. Mommy and Daddy were a little nervous with all the people watching, but he loved it!

Getting dressed after bath time...

Grandpa was then able to hold his grandson for the first time.  It was a pretty special moment.

The OT then came to show us how to give him a bottle using a "side-laying" position, which is better for premature babies.

Here are a few sweet pictures of Katherine.

At 4 weeks, Kaden weighed 4 lbs. 11.2 oz.
Miss Katherine weighed 3 lbs. 8.1 oz. We weren't able to come see them on their 4 week birthday because we were both sick, but we had the sweetest nurses who gave them extra cuddles.  One nurse, Rebecca, even spent her lunch break holding Katherine.

On the 10th, one of the nurses "bent" the rules a little and let Karson kangaroo both babies.  I had asked for them to share a room when they first entered the NICU, but their policy is for each baby to have a separate room due to several babies in the NICU testing positive for Staph infection.  About a month into their stay, they put them in the same room because they ran out of space.  Even though they were in the same room, we still couldn't cross contaminate gloves, robes, get the picture.:)  Needless to say, Karson was a little excited that they let him do this!!!

On the 11th, we gave Katherine a sponge bath for the first time.
She liked it.:)
On the 11th, they were 1 month old!  Kaden was excited...:) Kaden weighed 4 lbs. 13 oz. and Katherine weighed 3 lbs. 10.6 oz.

This was our first family of 4 picture since their birth.

They also were able to be reintroduced to each other for the first time since their birth. They were clearly impressed.:)
Katherine thought it was pretty cool to get out of her isolette for a few minutes.

Grammy (Karson's mom) also came to visit and held Kaden for the first time on the 12th.

In the next few days, Kaden started making a lot of progress very quickly.  His feeding tube came out on the 12th.  We brought his car seat up on the 13th and he passed the car seat test.  The doctors started talking about him going home in about a week.  One of the nurses told us to go on a date before he came home.  I'm SO glad we did, because he ended up coming home sooner than we thought.:)

He passed his eye exam on the 14th. On the 15th, they did his hearing test (for the THIRD time) and he finally passed. While we were visiting him, the doctors told us to run home and pack a bag to "room in" with him that night.  It all happened so quickly...I'm so glad we have pictures!

Here we are getting ready to "room in." I laugh when I see this picture because I remember how crazy that night was...nursing Katherine in the NICU, nursing Kaden in our room, giving get the idea...:)
Miss Amy, another of our favorite nurses, came in the middle of the night to get his handprints and footprints.
We then loaded him up and brought him home.:)
This was our first picture at home with Kaden.  He was five pounds of pure sweetness!
As wonderful as it was bringing Kaden home, it was a very bittersweet day.  We hated leaving Katherine without her big brother to keep her  company.  Miss Janelle took extra special care of her that night.
Kaden made sure to leave Sissy a sweet note.:)
The 16th was also the day they turned 5 weeks.

Once Kaden came home, Katherine decided it was time to get busy and really work on eating.  She started breastfeeding and bottlefeeding more and more each day. On the 18th, she reached 4 lbs and she got to come out of the isolette. On the 19th, her feeding tube came out!  We were SO proud of our little fighter!

On the 19th, we took Kaden to his first pediatrician visit.  

Weight: 5 lbs. 6 oz (less than 1%, 21% adjusted)
Height: 18 inches (less than 1%, 27% adjusted)
Head: 13 inches (less than 1%, 57% adjusted)

His first bath at home...
Meanwhile, sister was getting closer and closer to coming home.  She was going to come home on Monday, but over the weekend she had two pretty significant apnea spells. When that happens, babies have to stay in the NICU for at least five more days. She returned to her isollette because she was having a hard time maintaining her temperature and they ordered us a respiratory and heart rate monitor for our home.  We were SO ready for her to be home, but we definitely did not want to rush it!

At six weeks, Katherine weighed 4 lbs. 4 oz.
 Kaden at 6 weeks
On the 25th, Katherine passed her car seat test and they told us that we could take her home the next day.  We were overjoyed!
Grandpa flew in from California to come snuggle with babies.:)
Katherine let us try out some of her bows.  This one is bigger than her head!  :)

This is our first picture at home as a family of four.

Our first "outing"  to the pediatrician on the 29th.

Weight: 4 lbs. 9 oz. (less than 1%, less than 1% adjusted)
Height: 17.5 inches (less than 1%, 5% adjusted)
Head: 13 inches (less than 1%, 36% adjusted)

Even though it was Katherine's appointment, they weighed Kaden as well.  He was 6 lbs. 2 oz.  
Having fun (sort of...) with their Wombmate hats from Grandma...

Sweet Kaden,
We love you SO much!  You are such a joy. We could just stare at you all day! You make the sweetest little noises.  You definitely LOVE to cuddle.  When you are sad or your tummy hurts, you immediately become happy if we hold you. We might have spoiled you a little before sister came home, but we couldn't help it.:)  You are still a very good eater.  You eat about 2-3 ounces each feeding and you are needing to use a bottle less and less.   You are starting to like tummy time more and more each day and you are getting so strong!  Every time we put you on our lap to help you burp, you close your eyes and slowly raise your hand.  We think it's pretty funny.:) Sweet Kaden, we pray every day that you grow up to be big and strong. We pray that you love the Lord and that you serve Him in all you do.  We pray that you always love your family and that you know how much they love you.

Mama and Daddy

Sweet Katherine,
We love you so much sweet girl!  You are our sweet, tiny, and FIESTY miracle.:) You have started  making the funniest faces.  Everybody who sees you comments about how wide-eyed you are.  When you look at us and try to focus, you go cross-eyed and stick out your tongue.  It's pretty cute.:) You still have a hard time keeping your food down.  You eat a little over an ounce at each feeding and then you spit up quite a bit.:(  We know it makes you so uncomfortable, so we have you on medicine that seems to be helping you a little. You don't cry very much, but when you do, its more like a scream than a cry.  You definitely want to be heard!  Sweet Katherine, we pray that you get bigger and stronger every day.  You are such a fighter and you make us so proud.  We pray that you love the Lord in all you do and that you always know how much your family adores you and how much we thank God for your life.

Mama and Daddy