Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Keep the good days comin!!

Hey everyone, well there is really not much to report, but I thought I had better at least make a post so that you all know that everything is AOK.

I held both babies again today. Mallory loved it again and sucked on her binki the whole time. They also were feeding her through her tube so it is good that she is connecting the need to suck with eating. She definately loves her mama. Today I also made a great discovery. She looks like me!!! It is so fun to be able (or veeable--whichever) to see it in her. She has my eyes and I mentioned it to the nurse and she said that she has already noticed it. Everytime Mal looks up at her she thinks "wow, this little girl looks like her mama". I love it. And it's a good thing because I can't see a darn trace of me anywhere in Dawson. He is all Lindstrom. He is so sweet. He loves to be held also and I definately love to hold him.

Other than that no changes really. No word about Dawson's tummy or head today. He is done now with his antibiotics so hopefully they will start feeding him to put some meat on his bones. Although he is already getting a little bigger, which you will be able to see when Ryan gets back here with my cord that hooks the camera up to the computer. (If it is not one thing (camera) its another). Oh well, now you have something to look forward to. Oh and by the way Mallory is up to a whoppin 2lbs. 14 oz. good girl that is a 11oz gain in just 3 weeks!

Anywho, we will talk to you all later!
Love, Amy

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Yet another good day

Today was another good one. Especially for me and Mallory! Today was our first really holding time! At first she whimpered a little bit. She wasn't quite sure what was going on. But when I put her up against me she LOVED it! She had high oxygen the whole time and held more still than I think she ever has. She was my happy little girl. She is now weening down on oxygen with her nasal cannula and hopefully will be off soon. However, she may go at her own pace and we will wait for her. She is on full feedings and loving it. She will be completely off all IVs tomorrow. I am sure that she will be happy to have less cords strapping her down. She got the hiccups today. It was so funny--she had audible hiccups and we giggled at her the whole time. All in all she is doing wonderful.

Dawson is also doing great and enjoyed his holding time today too. Although he has recently found his voice also and peeps at me when he is uncomfortable or if the tube in his mouth makes him gag. He is so sweet. His head results came back and I talked a little to the neurosurgeon. The swelling is in his Left ventricle. The blood has clotted and he has already reabsorbed his grade 4 bleed. The problem is the clot blocking the fluid and causing the back up and the swelling. They are going to watch it for a week or so. He is already starting to reabsorb the clots and we are waiting to see if by chance he can take care of the problem on his own. Plus he is only 3 1/2 weeks old, or 31 1/2 gestation, or -8 1/2 weeks old, which ever you prefer, and they would like him to get a little bigger before they put in a reservoir. Miracles do happen and if he is supposed to be healed on his own he will. If not, there is a reason why he needs to go through this experience and we will love, support, pray for, and help him through it. Either way he will be just fine I am sure.

They also think that the infection that he had was caused by NEC in his tummy. He will be done with his antibiotics tomorrow then as soon as they can they will start him on feedings again. There is a part of his bowels right now that is not moving at all. The surgeon should be over to talk to me about it tomorrow. They are hoping that the feedings will jump start that part and he will be just fine. If not, he will most likely respond to it again with sickness. They will then have to possibly do surgery on his tummy to find and solve the problem. They seem to think we will know in a few days what will need to be done. I know these sound like big problems, but he will be fine, we are sure. He has a few hills to climb, but he will make it!

They both are doing great and we are thankful for that blessing. I went to the Salt Lake Temple today- I love the live sessions! While I was waiting for the session to start I did some reading about faith. Sometimes I think I run a little shorter on it than I should. I don't know exactly what the Lord's will is with these two sweet babies, but I did learn this. He has a perfect love for them and us and He has a plan, which is also perfect. My job is to trust Him. When we know the characteristics of our Father in Heaven it is easy to completely turn things over to Him. Whatever trial any of us face can and will be overcome and we will come out better in the end if we turn ourselves over to the Lord. It is amazing how much comfort I feel when I leave it at this. It doesn't automatically become easier all the time, and it doesn't mean that there won't be hard days. Those days are the days when I get to learn more about the Atonement and receiving comfort from it. I just know and trust that everything will be fine however it ends up because those are the feelings we have had through this whole thing. So whatever road we have to travel on to get there, we will and hopefully we will learn a lot along the way!

We love you all, thanks again for all of your love and prayers!

Love, Amy

Monday, August 29, 2005

Just a briefy

Just a brief little note on the kids. Dawson has not yet had his brain scan so his results most likely won't be back until tomorrow. He now is back to room air. (no cannula) He is doing great on his own. Which from what some of the nurses and Doctors have said is quite awesome. They don't normally expect babies as small as he is to be on their own and doing so well. He is showing off (maybe there is some of me in him somewhere)!

Mallory is back to a cannula and is doing great so far. They are leaving all of the tape in place for the CPAP and the feeding tube in her mouth. Her smart nurse has decided that maybe if they change as little as possible she will adapt better. Tomorrow if she is still doing so well they will put the feeding tube in her nose (NG tube) and they will take the tape off. She will also be up to full feedings tomorrow! Chubby baby here we come!!

So both babies are great this morning. I will let you know if anything changes today. If I don't post tonight it didn't change. I will let you know as soon as I here about the ultrasound results!

Thanks all- Amy

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A good Sunday!

Well, I am without 2 of my best friends again! It is ok though. They will be back soon. I am so glad that Ryan was so easily talked into staying another day. I wasn't quite ready for him to leave so soon. It will be so good when this is done and we can all be at home as a family again.

For the update- Mallory is back on the bubble CPAP and doing well. She was just trying to hard to breathe on her own so I am glad that they put her back to where she was comfortable. She is relaxed and calm and it is great. Her daddy gave her a blessing today, which we know will help her relax and accept the help that is necessary for her to recover. While receiving the blessing she reached right up and grabbed their hands to pull them away from her. When she couldn't get them off, she decided to cry for her daddy. What a sweet little voice. (I want you all to remind me that I said that in about 4 months.) I think that she cried because she gets so darn sick of being moved and poked with needles and having things shoved in her nose and mouth and all she wants is to sleep in peace. Poor girl!

Dawson is doing well. He is feeling a lot better and we are back to holding time. Which I love!!!! He is plugging right along and was awake for most of time that I held him. Ryan even held him. I will tell you that Ryan has huge hands and it took both of them to hold Dawson, what a big boy. He is a bit bigger than those "palm of your hand" babies that everyone tells us about. We are glad that he is growing and trying to get better. He has a big day tomorrow. He will have another brain ultrasound at which point the pediatric neurologist from Primary's will do a consult to see if a reservoir is needed in his head or not. If they do one he will have surgery at Primary's and will be there for a few days in recovery. A reservoir is just like an IV. The tube will go into his swollen ventricles and the little hub that is on the end of a normal IV will actually be under his skin. We will just be able to see a small bump on his head. Then everyday they will poke a needle through his skin, which won't hurt because the hub is just under the surface layer of the skin, and they will draw out the fluid to make sure that the pressure gets released until he can get the clots absorbed so the fluid runs normally. The good news about his grade 4 is that he has already reabsorbed the blood that was there. There is a very small amount of damage done by the blood to the tissue in that area. This is where we will see if there is any kind of long term effects from that. However, he received a blessing from his daddy today also and was blessed that there wouldn't be any--so there won't be.

Dawson will also have xrays done on his tummy to see what is causing his swelling there. They are thinking that this is what caused the infection in his blood. If you look at some of the pictures you can see that his tummy is swollen or "loopy" (you can see his intestines) this can sometimes be a problem called NEC (I don't know the big long word for it sorry). With this if you don't catch it soon enough some of the bowels can die. If they do they would have to do surgery to remove the "dead" part, then everything would go back to normal. They do not think that his has progressed this far because they caught it so early and every test they have done said that it has not. All of the treatment they are giving him for his infection is the same treatment he gets for NEC so we are all good! I will let you know more as I know more.

It was so much fun this weekend to see so much of our family. It is great sometimes to do normal people things (I do not consider 7-9 hrs a day at a hospital normal, unless I was getting paid because it was my job, but it's not). We are so thankful for all of you that are going through this with us! We couldn't do this so well without all of your love and support. We know that everyone is praying for us and it is making all of the difference. There will be plenty more ups and downs I am sure and I am glad to know that you all are right here with us if we need you! Thanks so much!

Love, Amy

**By the way did you know that you can click on any of the pictures to make them bigger? Well you can. Sorry we didn't tell you that sooner.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Still hangin' in there...

This was put together by one of the nurses for us(thanks Penny!) 2-3 days after the babies were born. We just got a copy of the picture on CD, so I figured we'd post it for all to see. They both look slightly different now, but oh well.

Hello all! We just got back from the hospital, and the babies were both doing well. Of course Mallory is still fighting any form of assisted breathing. They've got a hood on her now because she kept wiggling out of the CPAP. Dawson still continues to improve, and is looking better all the time. Jake got his 15 minute visit today, which wasn't extrememly eventful. The nurses were messing around with Mallory most of the time, so he didn't see much of her, and Dawson was out cold most of the time. We did see his left eye crack open just a hair, but he was pretty sleepy. Jake was happy just the same.

We were able to make it to two family events today, which was nice. It was good to see people we haven't seen for some time. Mallory and Dawson each recieved a little stuffed animal today(thanks Leslie and Peggy) which we attempted to get in a photo with the babies, but we were fairly unsuccessful. The idea is that we take regular(as in 'every so often') photos of the babies, each with thier little stuffed animal next to them, using the stuffed animal as a point of reference to see thier growth. We'll give it another shot tomorrow.

Well, as you may have noticed, I'm half dozing off as I type(you likely are too). I've had a real bad case of 'can't-seem-to-get-any-stinkin'-sleep-itus' lately. I got a few pictures tonight, which are basically more of the same, but I'll put them up in the morning.

Jake and I were going to head back to Idaho today, but Amy talked us into one more day, so we'll be heading back tomorrow sometime. Jake can't wait to get back to school. Amy will be back on for updates during the week, as she is much more religious than I am at tracking the details, and will perhaps have a little more free time.

Thanks again for all your prayers and support.


Friday, August 26, 2005

More pictures, not much more talk...

She really likes her binki.

Yeah I know, it's the same picture I posted before...but it's a good picture, and it bears repetition.

"Alright that does it! I'm taking matters into my own hands!"

AT LONG LAST!!!!! Her entire face!! But we only had about 8 seconds to get a picture, so we couldn't catch her with her eyes open. This was right after they pulled off the long-pronged CPAP, and about 3 seconds before they put on the bubble CPAP(much less intrusive).

This is the bubble CPAP. The prongs that go into her nose are only about 1/2" long. It only took her about 34 seconds to wiggle her way out of it. No, I'm not kidding, and yes, I'm scared...

Amy said he just sat there and stared at her for about 20 minutes...and I can't say that I blame him.

He's not all skin and bones...although you'll have to take our word for it. The hand in the picture gives you a good reference for how small he is.

Yeah, I know this is just a zoomed-in cropped piece of the other picture, but I just couldn't help it.

I could post this picture all day long. It's almost like you expect him to open his mouth at any moment and say "So anyway, what's up?"

"Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh...FINALLY... a little rest and relaxation."

Dawson was awake today and feeling better. He's back off of the ventilator, and his head is actually shrinking now. The nurses say that it doesn't mean much at this point, but Amy begs to differ.

We showed up just as they were taking the long-pronged CPAP off of Mallory and putting her on the 'bubble' CPAP(shorter prongs), which is good. The shorter CPAP is only there for support if she needs it, as she is now breathing on her own. Tomorrow they will take that off and give her a nasal cannula. She's up to 13 ml's of milk every 3 hours, so we expect some meat on those bones in short order.

Amy is doing great. Mallory and Dawson couldn't ask for a better Mommy. Well, that's about the short of it.

Until next time,
Ryan & Co.

Less talk, more pictures...(from me anyway)...

SOOOOOoooo, I'm back in Utah with Amy and Jake for a few days. Here are a few 'teaser' pictures Amy took over the last day or two. There are a few more I'll put up later. I don't have time to say much(which I'm sure you're all grateful for), but I'll have Amy get on and give a little explanation later as well.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

A good ending to a rough day.

Well, I know that the last post I left was a little concerning and overwhelming. I want to let you all know what is going on tonight. Dawson is still sick, although the antibiotics are kicking in and he is feeling better and looks more like himself. The blood tests are not back yet on what caused the infection. They should come in tomorrow. His head is still the same. I think that the good part about the night is what I left today at the hospital.

After much prayer today I have been reaffirmed that the Lord is still in charge, and that He loves us very much. He knew what I needed. When I went to say goodbye to Dawson, after sleeping all day and not waking up for anything, he tried really hard to open his eyes and look at me. That was enough for me. I know that he will be ok, I've just got to be patient and have faith. Then I went to say goodbye to my Mallory. First, Mallory found her voice today and cried for the first time since she was born. She figured it out when they were putting the tubes back in her nose. Then she cried when they measured her belly and when they did her diaper back up. She is so funny. What a cute little sound she makes! We gave her a binki and she was happy. Then, when she settled down, she started to smile. I am not even kidding. I knew it was probably gas, but she just kept doing it. When she would here me laugh she smiled even bigger. I am talking big open mouth and tongue out smiles. They were so cute. The nurses kept coming in to see and couldn't believe it. For about 30 min. we could make her smile. It made my day!!
When I was leaving I thanked my Father in Heaven. That was a gift for me, just like when they cried when they were born although everyone said they wouldn't. I was just reminded that these sweet babies are a gift and a blessing from our Father in Heaven and I am so blessed to be their mommy. I can't believe how much you can love two tiny babies.

Dawson will not have feedings for about a week or more. He is on an IV and that will help him out for awhile. He was weighed today and tips the scale at exactly 3 lbs. What a big boy! He will probably be taken off the ventilator tomorrow or the next day. Mallory is now up to 13 MLs on her feedings and is doing well. She should be off of CPAP and on a cannula tomorrow or the next day too. We should also find out about her head ultrasound tomorrow. I will let you know.

Thanks everyone for you support. We appreciate it so much. I can't even tell you what it means to me on days like this!! I love the comments and appreciate all of the advice and love and support shared there, you all are the greatest!!

Love, AMY

Update on Dawson

It is about 1:30pm and I just got back from seeing the kids for a few hours. On days like this you just have to take a break from the hospital--it is a rough one.

When I got to the hospital and saw Dawson I could really tell that he was not feeling well. He just looks sick. They had to give him a blood transfusion, which they have done in the past several times. He was looking better when I left. They obviously didn't tell me this morning how sick he really was. They said really sick, but they meant really, really, really sick. He is septic, which means that he has an infection in his blood. They don't know what has caused it, but they are running tests right now to find out where it is originating from. They did say that this is just something that happens with premature babies. They have him on the ventilator again. They did want to make sure that I knew that it was not because of his lungs, but because they want him to get some rest. Breathing is hard work and they don't want him to have to worry about it for today. He will probably go back to room air today or tomorrow. He is on some antibiotics and doing great and will probably feel a lot better by tonight. Although he will still be sick. Dr. Doom, whom I am now starting to like, is very optomistic and said that he thinks it will pass without any problems.

The other problem that Dawson has, as if that was not enough, is that his head has grown 1 1/2 cm in the last 2 days. This is not good. What's worse is that while I was there they went in to do a spinal tap, where they pull the Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CBF) out to relieve some of the pressure in his head. When they pull it out it should gush out and be clear or tinged a bit yellow. It wasn't. There was a lot of blood and it was very thick and gooey. That just means that the clot and this fluid is causing a block between his brain and spine so the fluid is getting all backed up in his head. They will do another ultrasound on Monday and watch the growth until then. If that block is not relieved they will take him back over to Primary's and put a reservoir into his head. Each day they will suck the fluid out of that to relieve the pressure until the clot reabsorb. If it does not relieve pressure they will have to put in a shunt. That is a tube that goes into his brain and down into his tummy to drain all of the fluid. The shunts are kind of a pain we have been told. They can get infected, and they also have to be changed as he groows. Not fun!

This is hard news, I know. But the feeling that I have as they tell me all of the details is that our faith can make him whole. Please continue to remember our sweet Dawson in your prayers. I know that this will pass soon. We are just on the down side of things. It is amazing how fast it can drop! I will keep you all posted!

Thanks-Love, Amy


Hi everyone. I just got some news this morning. I guess it is time for our steps back. Dawson got very sick last night. He has an infection in his blood which is causing him to have apnea spells (stops breathing or holds his breath). They will be reintubating him this morning. They are also stoping his feeds. Poor little guy, he has come so far and we are now back at the beginning. I am so glad that I have been able to hold him like I have for the last few days and hopefully it doesn't take long for him to get back to normal. I do have some really cute pictures of him and will load them on when Ryan gets here tonight.

I know everyone is still praying for both of the babies. Please say an extra prayer for Dawson to get better soon. I will be heading over there in just a little bit and I will give more of a report later.

Thanks, Love- Amy

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A good day for both babies!

Well I just got back from the hospital. I did get some pictures. If I posted them they were above this and you have already seen them. If they are not up- I am dumb and couldn't figure out how to put them up. You will have to wait until tomorrow when Ryan gets here. When you see the pics, I am sorry, I know they are cute, but they just don't do the babies any justice. The light from the flash usually reflects off of the humidity on the babies bodies and can sometimes make their eyes look weird or make them look sick. They look sooooo good in person! They are just so darn cute!!

Mallory is now onto a different type of CPAP. She figured out how to wiggle her little head just right so that the little nubs that go into her nose would come out. Then she would go back to sleep and sleep quite peacefully until the nurse would catch on and put them back in, then Mallory would wait until she wasn't looking and do it again. After this back and forth battle all night long they finally put in a different type of CPAP that has longer prongs. She actually has surrendered and is doing wonderful on it. Her only problems are that she sneezes a lot, which is really cute, sad, but cute, and she gags on her feeding tube. Poor girl. When she is asleep she is just fine. Its when someone pokes at her and wakes her up that she gets a little annoyed. She is doing really good though. When she was being fed through her tube today she started sucking on it. I put her binki in her mouth and she went to town. She even held it there herself for a minute. It is really really good that she is associating food in her belly with sucking. Hopefully, that makes learning to nurse easier for her!

Dawson is now completely off anything that helps him breathe and is doing perfect on his own. He is such a cute little boy and it was so fun to see his whole face today. All he has left is his feeding tube (NG tube-goes up his nose and into his tummy). We both really enjoyed our holding time today. He spent a lot of time awake just checking me out. He is so sweet!

Other than that all is well so far. Apparently no one is too worried about Dawsons kidney. They are not really going to do anything about it until he gets bigger. Well, thats what I gathered today anyway. Mallory will hopefully be off CPAP before daddy gets here to see her or at least before he goes home.

It is nice to have a few days where I just go and do mommy things. I love to sit and hold Dawson and change both of their diapers, do their hair and take their temps. They are so sweet and I am so glad that I have them. What a blessing!!!

More later!!
Love, Amy

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Shame on me for thinking that these babies are boring!

Well, the kids definately wanted to teach me a lesson today! Let's start with Mallory.

Mallory was extubated this morning and is now on CPAP. I was here for that whole ordeal. I swear that girl is hiding some serious muscles somewhere. It took 2 nurses to hold her head in place and mom to hold her hands down so she wouldn't rip the nose piece back out. She has really good aim with her hands. She finally settled, begrudgingly, and went to breathing with the CPAP. She did keep her eyebrows furrowed for about 15 min. just to let everyone know she was mad. After that she went right to sleep and has been doing pretty good all day on it. Hopefully, she will relax and learn from the machine quickly so that she can move on.

Dawson has had a crazy day. The ultrasound results for his head and tummy are back. First of all his head was about the same. Which is good. Their bleeds are now clots. Which is also good. They are in the ventricles in the right and left. The left is considered the small grade 4. The good thing is that his head is not swelling because of it so far. Dawsons body will break down the clots and reabsorb them. The trick is for him to do it before they move and block off the cerebral spinal fluid, which would than cause swelling. That is our next mountain to climb I guess. Well that one coupled with the kidney.

On to the kidney. His left one is getting bigger. they have to find out why. One theory was that he was having reflux from the blatter to the kidney which would cause an infection. They called in Life Flight to do a walking transport and we put him in a little incubator on a stretcher and walked him to Primary Childrens Hosp. When we got there they laid him on a table and gave him a catherter. He is so opposite of his sister. He didn't mind it too much. He laid their wide awake just looking around and gave my finger a little white knuckled grip once. Other than that he was just perfect. They shot some fluid up into his blatter and when he peed they xrayed it to make sure that there wasn't any reflux. There wasn't! One test down and who knows how many more until the problem is solved. It is amazing to see what they can do to help these sweet babies.

Dawson was held by his mommy for 2 hours today! It was awesome!! He is now up to 13 MLs every 3 hours for his feedings. Mallory is up to 6. They are both wonderful and I am so glad that I have them!

Grandma A. get some sleep tonight-they are just fine and very content! Everyone please just keep remembering them in your prayers. Who knows what the next 9 weeks will bring to these sweet babies.

I am going home and going to bed. I am beat! I think 9 hours in a hours in a hospital can do that to anyone!! However, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else! :)

Love- Amy

As if one wasn't enough...

As if one website(or 'blog', if you will) wasn't enough, I've created a separate blog to keep Mama updated on Jakes' first year at school, since she won't be here for the first 2 months or so of it. It may not be updated as often as this one, and it may not be as interesting to a lot of you, but you're all more than welcome to follow it if you feel so inclined. The address for Jakes' school page is, and I've put a link to it in the 'links' section on the right side of the page.

Amy should be getting her camera tomorrow sometime, so hopefully she can figure it out and get some pictures up. I'm sure she'll be back tonight with an update, so until then...


Monday, August 22, 2005

These kids are getting boring........boring is good!!

Well I am glad to report that today was a boring day for us. Well not me so much, but this is a nothing really to report post. The most exciting thing that happened medically all day was Mallory got her "billy lights" removed. Both kids are now sunglass free and loving it. They both spent quite a bit of time wide awake today, I loved it!!

Every 2 weeks the babies get their actual bed changed and this was that day for Mallory (technically it was 2 weeks and 1 day, Dawsons was changed yesterday). I happened to be there when they made the change and much to my complete joy I got to hold my precious little girl for about 15 min. I loved it, she didn't know what to think. She calmed down after a minute but she squirmed for the first few. She is so fun!

After the bed change it was time for me to hold Dawson. Well, we cheated and I held him for about 1 hour today! I could seriously sit there all day and hold him! Later tonight when Grandpa and Grandma Atkinson came for a visit I got to hold him again for a minute and he was wide awake. He is so cute when he just looks at you with his little lips all puckered up. Everything that he sees right now is a little fuzzy, but he sure tries hard to focus. Mallory got her first real good look at her vent tubes going into her mouth. They held her attention for a few minutes.

All in all, both babies are great! Mallory's extubation was pushed until tomorrow. I will let you know how that goes and also how the ultrasound results turn out tomorrow. For now all is well!!

More tomorrow!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A great picture day....too bad we didn't get any!!

Hello everyone! Well today was a great day for the "wondertwins" (not to mention their mommy)! I spent about 4 1/2 hours today at the hospital and loved every minute of it!

Mallory is doing great and received her first ML of milk this afternoon! I think she really liked it. She will be extubated tomorrow sometime and I will let you know how that goes. I am planning on being there when they do it. Maybe if I can calm her down she will pick it up a little better, let's hope anyway! I did her hair again today. This time I discovered that if you use a toothbrush as a brush you can get a cute little "mohawk" down the middle of her head. It even curled at the top! Then I put a cute little red bow in her hair. She had to get all dressed up for her grandma's and grandpa's visit! She definately looked sweet! She also loved being all prettied up. Her oxygen sats went through the roof while I was doing her hair and getting her all ready. Let's hope she still loves it when she is 2 or 3!

Dawson is so content! When I look at the pictures that were posted last I can't believe how much he has changed in just the last 2 days! His daddy will be suprised! His swelling in his nose from his CPAP is almost completely gone and his belly is back to normal. He is so darn cute and sweet! He went up on his feedings and now enjoys 5 ml of milk every 2 hours and will go up tomorrow. The nurse said that we will really see him gain weight when he gets up to full feedings, which is 25 ml every 2 hours. She said it will take about a week to get him there if all goes well. Today when I held him he kept making little squeaking noises everytime I moved like he might cry if I put him down. I didn't! I held him for quite awhile today and we both loved it! It was fun to watch him rest, he looks so content and almost looks like he is smiling. He is a happy boy. When Grandpa, Grandma and Grammy were there he gave them a show by stretching and yawning a lot for them. I think they liked it!

So about the pictures. The camera is with Ryan in Idaho and that doesn't do anyone any good. We should have one by this weekend though and we will take some more. I wish that you could all see them in person. You would see how much better they look than in the pics. Don't get me wrong, they look good in the pics, but nothing beats seeing them wiggle and stretch in person!

As for tomorrow- Dawson's head has grown 1 cm which isn't overly concerning, but they will do a scan on him tomorrow to make sure that he is ok. Also last time they checked his tummy one of his kidneys were bigger than the other. They are going to do an ultrasound to check that out and make sure that all is ok. Please remember him in your prayers (I know you probably already are). Mallory will hopefully do great on her extubation. The removal of the tube is not the hard part it is the getting her to tolerate CPAP. I will let you know how that goes!

Again thanks for all of your love and support! We have felt so strengthened by your prayers and we can't possibly explain what that means to us. It is the only way that we can make it through the hard days, that is for sure! We also feel blessed to know that we have so much family on the other side of the veil that are supporting us and we feel their love so much during this time and know that Mallory and Dawson do too! We love them and miss them and we are so grateful that we are able to feel their love and their presence! We were so happy to have Grammy come to see our little miracles today. We love her so much! The miracle and circle of life is amazing to see. We know that grandpa is watching over his sweet great grand babies and cheering them on with the rest of us! We all so look forward to being with him and hearing his stories again!

Well, thanks again for everything, we will let you know how everything goes again tomorrow!

Love. Amy

Saturday, August 20, 2005

What a great day!!

Hello everyone! Well, I know that this will not be as entertaining as Ryan's posts, but we have good news so I hope that works!

First of all- it has been about 8 hrs. since Ryan and Jake left and I am still alive. I think that is pretty good. Actually, I got to go and just sit for awhile with the babies and it was WONDERFUL!

Mallory is plugging right along, at her own pace mind you. This morning the doctors once again tried to push her a little faster than she is willing to go and she let them know that. They extubated her (removed the breathing tube from her throat) and put her on CPAP. She hated it! After 45 minutes of labored breathing they decided maybe they should intubate her again and give her 2 more days. They also put her on a regular ventilator instead of the occilator that she was on before. The ventilator breathes normal time as opposed to the 400-500 breaths a minute she had on the occilator. She is doing so well on it. Her settings are all very low and she is very comfortable. This makes her mommy very happy!

Dawson is doing great! The swelling in his belly and nose (from the CPAP that he is now weaned off of) has gone down dramatically from the last pictures that were posted. When Ryan gets back on Thursday or Friday he will take somemore pics and you will be able to see the huge difference (by then hopefully he is a little chubbier). Dawson is still on 4 mL of milk every 2 hours and probably will go up to 6 tonight. He is doing so well and seems to love the feeling of having food in his little belly. We hope that he gets some meat on his bones soon, he is a little scrawny and has a lot of loose skin to fill up.

Today was a definate day for mom! I went in and kind of washed their hair (all I had was some sterile water and 2x2 pieces of gauze), then I changed their diapers, took their temperature, and washed their little belly buttons. That was great. I love all the little mommy things that I get to do, which isn't a lot by the way. Today was also the first day that I got to REALLY hold Dawson. When a baby is able to be held they like to do what they call a skin to skin method. That is where they hand him to me and they put his little face on my skin just below my neck. They said that this is very good for them and they tend to really love it (the moms kind of do too). Dawson was so comfortable and loved being so close to me, I loved it too! I just sat and loved him and kissed his little head for about 20 min. As I was talking to him he would open his little eyes and look up at me. It was so much fun! Because he is so little we can only do that once a day for only 20 min. for now. I will definately be there everyday for that, look forward to adding another 20 min of baby holding for Mallory!

All in all it was a really good day. Mallory will continue to go at her own pace, which is wonderful. She is on a steady up hill climb so we won't push her harder than necessary. Dawson has amazed all of the nurses and doctors. A week and a half ago they prepared us to lose him and now he is advancing beyond their expectations (a definate answer to prayer).

I love going to see these sweet little babies. As I look at them, everytime I am amazed and very humbled to think that those two tiny bodies house 2 of our Father in Heavens sweet and very special spirits! They have come here for all of us. Everyone that comes in contact with them through this experience is touched and strengthened. They are teaching us such a great lesson about faith and our Heavenly Fathers love and I am so grateful for the lesson. I am learning so much! What a huge blessing they have been already. I am sure that through their whole lives they will have a lot to teach me, I can't wait!

Take Care. Love- Amy


Well, we're off to Idaho in a few minutes, so I just wanted to mention that Amy will most likely be doing most of the info updates while Jake and I are out of town. I'm sure I won't be able to resist a little play-by-play and commentary now and again, but Amy will be doing most of the updating.

I got my first suggestion for the website this morning(aside from the wonderful post title suggestions offered by Courtney Price)! It went something along the lines of: " don't know how to spell 'their'..." Oh come on now, "I before E except after C...or when pronounced 'ay' as in 'neighbor' and 'weigh'... or on Tuesdays and Thursdays in April and May and I'LL ALWAYS BE WRONG NO MATTER WHAT I SAY!!!!! Sheesh!! I don't get any credit for spelling 'quasipseudoproantidisestablishmentarianismist' right, but I'm harshly criticized for missing 2 days of english class in 7th grade when they taught the whole 'I before E' thing!!

Just kidding. Thanks Mom. I can't run the spell-checker for some reason on this thing or it messes up the post with a bunch of goofy-looking characters--and I'm not talking about my brother Logan. Oh well. Also, I'd risk getting sued for plagiarism if I didn't come clean about the 'I before E' bit above--I heard some comedian say something like that once. How unoriginal, I know.

Anyway, now for the reason you're all here--Dawson is up to 4 milliliters of milk every 3 hours, with almost ZERO residual milk left in his belly!! There's a reason I call him 'Awsome Dawson'. Oh, and by the way, 'residual' is the nurses word, not mine(you know, the whole plagiarism thing). They've cut Dawsons' oxygen from 1 liter per minute to 1/2 liter per minute, and he's doing awsome!

They plan on taking the tubes out of Mallorys' mouth today, and hope to start feeding her milk tomorrow. These babies have really made some huge steps lately, thanks to all of your prayers and support!

We feel so blessed to have such good babies, family, friends, doctors, nurses...and the list goes on. Thank you all so much. We love you all.

The Lindstrom Clan

Friday, August 19, 2005

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures...

Here we are--Room 1! Hmmm...let's see...Lindstrom...Lindstrom...Lindstrom...

Ahhh yes--a proud day! There we are on the Room 2 list.

He'll be upset that we caught him on a bad hair day, but a little lint in your ear goes a looooong way.

His tummy looks big, but that's just the nasal cannula inflating his gut. Kind of wierd. It's a good thing he's eating milk now...enough said.

Another striking episode in the unveiling of Dawson Joseph Lindstrom! As time goes on we are actually starting to get an idea of what he looks like underneath all that stuff(not the extra skin, I mean the wires and tubes and tape and stuff).

"Quit messin' with my head! Hey! Cut it out...let me go!"

Under all those Steri-strips is the incision from the heart surgery. The little red mark on him above the incision and to the left is where they inserted a tube to drain any bleeding after the surgery. Oh, and that's Dawsons' backside by the way. Today was the first time we've seen it--ever! Which is fine, becuase I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty of it in the future.

"I know! Let's put these stylish glasses on Mallory so she can sleep, and then we'll turn on these two high-intensity spotlights--and shine them right in her face! That's a GREAT idea!"

Mallory...comfortable at last!

Okay, we're back with pictures...

I'm on a waaaay slow connection, so I'll do the pictures in two posts.

This is the Mallorys' Neonatal Nurse Practitioner(or NNP to those of us 'in the know') giving Mama the scoop. It had been all good news up to this point.

"How long have you worked here sonny?!?!? I need to talk to your supervisor...STAT!!!" Mama wasn't happy to hear that the mean nurses and doctors have been pricking the babies little footsies to draw blood--and this is a genuine photograph of the exact moment of her discontent.

If you were there you would have heard the nurse saying "Would you put that stinkin' camera away already? We're trying to conduct official nurse business here, and this clearly violates section 1.840.3 of the Mommy-Nurse Code of Ethics, paragraph 6. MAN! Some people..." Okay, not really. She's really nice. I promise.

Every kid in the ICU needs a picture of "light savers" to brighten his day.

"Soooo...I like the babies and all, but can we go now?"

We have to make up for some lost time with the whole 'sick' scare, so I'm putting up a bunch of pictures. Turns out Amy was just having allergy flashbacks, so none of us are sick, thankfully. We went and saw the babies today in thier new room. Room 2 is kind of like a hallway with 6 or 8 seperate 'rooms'. Our babies get thier own room together, with one nurse between the two of them.

Usually they take babies off of the ventilator and put them on the CPAP(tubes in the nose that force air into the lungs--I guess the babies usually hate it). Then after they do well on the CPAP, they put them on a nasal cannula, which is basically just a tube with little nubs that go into your nostrils. If you've seen people with the oxygen tube over thier ears and going under thier nose--that's pretty much it. It usually takes babies at least 2 or 3 days to go from the CPAP to the nasal cannula. Dawson went from the ventilator to the CPAP, and on to the cannula in about 3 hours! That's my boy. They fed him his first milk through a tube going into his mouth. They say the babies usually don't tolerate the feedings very well at first, and it takes a while for them to stomach the milk. Well, Dawson took 2 milliliters, and when they suctioned his stomach to see how much he wasn't able to take--there was nothing left! The little guy must have been hungry. The nurse couldn't believe that he sucked it all down on the first try. That's good, because as you can see from the pictures, he needs a little meat on his bones.

Mallory was pretty sedated today. I think they've adjusted things a little after discovering her high tolerance for pain medication, so she's reeeeeeally happy now. She should be off of the ventilator tomorrow, and on to the CPAP. Mallory used to be the photogenic one and Dawson just sat there like a bump on a log(except not nearly as exciting). Today it was all Dawson. They turned him on his belly, which he seemed to like, and we actually got a shot with one of his eyes just cracking open.

Well, Jake and I go home to Idaho tomorrow for 6 days, then we'll be back down. Jake starts Kindergarten Monday, and I really need to get back to work(real work). Jake and I will be traveling back and forth every week, and Mom will be staying here for the duration. The fun never ends!

Anyway, this is the last night to hang out with my family for a while, so I'm outta here.

Thanks for everything,
Ryan & Co.

Quick update...

I only have a few minutes, so this might be short. I've added a link to the U of U 'Discharge Criteria' webpage-'They can come home when...'. Just a little side note: When you click the 'University Newborn ICU' link, on the first page that shows up there are three pictures of babies. In the top right picture, the happy Mom is Amy's cousin Michelle Larson(formerly McClure). The top right baby and the bottom baby are her twin girls Megan and Halle(not sure about the spelling, but it's like Jennifer, with an 'H' instead of a 'J', the 'enn' sounds more like 'al' as in 'pal', the 'er' is replaced with more of an 'ee' sound, and 'if' is pretty much silent). Amy just noticed it when the page came up. Who would've thunk?

So they finally let Mallory sleep on her tummy. She's in heaven. We should've known--she is definitely her Mama's daughter. She's a lot less fidgity now, which makes us and the nurses happy. Dawson is off of the ventilator(hooray!), and is now on a CPAP. The CPAP is basically two tubes that go into his nose and force air into his lungs. He's breathing completely on his own at this point, the CPAP just pumps air into his lungs to ensure that they stay inflated. He started at a setting of 9 on the CPAP(whatever that means), and has already been weaned down to 6. At 5 they take the CPAP off. Then the little guy is all on his own! If he needs supplemental oxygen at that point, they will give him a nasal cannula(once again--whatever that is). At the University Newborn ICU link there is a page that talks about all these things and what they are if you want a few more details. I'll try to post the link later.

Their little bodies are ready to start digesting food now, so feedings should commence shortly, if they haven't already! We're on our way to see them right now, so we'll let you know.

Well, that's all for now---Nanu Nanu(is that how you spell that?)


Thursday, August 18, 2005

According to Jakob...

I had the opportunity to meet up with Jakob Ryan Lindstrom, big brother of Mallory and Dawson, for a few minutes today. This is what he had to say:

RYAN: So, Jakob, it's been 12 days since your brother and sister were surgically extracted from the womb. How has this impacted your life?

JAKOB: I thought they were gonna come a little bit later though, cause I just don't know what's the matter.

RYAN: And you've been staying with your cousins Clay, Lydia, and Henry Salisbury through this whole ordeal?

JAKOB: Yes. I said yes.

RYAN: How are things at the Salisburys'?

JAKOB: Good. I like the kitty, and playing with Clay, and staying with you.

RYAN: I noticed a drawing of a "light saver" on Dawsons' bed the other day. Did you draw that?

JAKOB: (nods head slowly)

CLAY: No, I did.

RYAN: And you wrote "Dawson" on it Jake?

CLAY: No, I did.

RYAN: Good job Clay. What does the future hold for your toys Jake? I mean you've got to feel threatened right now...

JAKOB: I mean I'm scared of the babies taking the toy away that I'm playing with. I like this shake(sucking on straw).

RYAN: Let's talk about Mom. How do you think she's holding up?

JAKOB: Good.

RYAN: What do you feel it will take to get her through this?

JAKOB: By seeing the babies a lot.

RYAN: Can she do it? Can she really do it?

JAKOB: Yes. I think she has something in her head. I mean a brain.

RYAN: What do you plan on doing to help, specifically?

JAKOB: Be nice to them.

RYAN: You're little do you feel about her?

JAKOB: I like seeing her. The doctors have to take care of her.

RYAN: What do you have in mind in the way of a personal protection security plan to protect her? I mean...she will need your protection, won't she?

JAKOB: Give her kisses and loves. I'll say "No don't hurt my sister", or I'll go tell my Mom or Dad because they, they, they don't want the babies to get hurt.

RYAN: You've got us outnumbered now...congratulations. How are you changing your approach to parent manipulation at this point? I mean...this has got to be huge for you!

JAKOB: But there's more Grandpas and Grandmas. More than me and you guys, even our kids. Just more Grandmas and Grandpas. We have to take care of all of us.

RYAN: Is there anything you'd like the world to know right now?

JAKOB: That I love the babies very much.

RYAN: Anything else?

JAKOB: I like to play with my friends, and miss them.

I'd like to thank Jake for taking the time to sit down with me, and let us all know how he really feels about things.

Now for the news...

Well, Amy is a little worried that she's getting sick, so we've quarantined ourselves from the babies for a while. Kind of a bummer, but we'd rather not see them if we're sick. The nurses say that if anyone is sick, thinks they are sick, have been around someone that is sick, or is planning on getting sick...stay away. Even though the babies are in the bubbles, they have so many IV's and stuff that airborne sickness can easily get into the blood stream, and things will go downhill reeeeeeeally fast if that happens. They are still keeping the babies pretty well sedated after the surgery, so this is a good time to be sick--if we have to be sick. By the way, I feel fine, and Amy may not even be sick, but we would rather not take the chance.

The big news for the day is that the babies have both graduated to room 2! The heart surgery was a big hurdle that was holding up a lot of stuff, so now they can really progress. Both babies should get the tubes out of thier mouths in the next few days, and then they can start eating milk! Of course we know they could be back on the ventilator if they end up needing it again, but this is a big step.

There are 8 rooms, but some are pretty much the same as others. All the babies in room 1 are considered the most critical, room 2 babies are all the next level up(doing better), then rooms 3,4, and 5 are all about the same level(even better), and I think rooms 7 and 8 are close to the same. The babies don't necessarily HAVE to go through all the rooms to go home, but it's a good way for us to mark progress right now.

Anyway, that's the Readers Digest version for now.

Thanks all,

Primetime Exclusive Interview...

...with big brother Jakob Ryan Lindstrom. How is he coping with the situation? His toys...are they safe? What lies in store now that they've got us outnumbered? Find out the shocking answers to these, and other vital questions, tonight. Stay tuned...

A little more information, and a few pictures...

Amy says: "The EMT in me wants to watch, but the Mommy in me doesn't! What to do?!?!?" I confined her to the waiting room.

"What? Me?!? I didn't touch the channel! I promise!" The epic saga of 'waiting room channel control' continues...

How many people in scrubs and hairnets does it take to perform heart surgery? Pretty much everybody in the picture. I wondered if it was a good idea to commence flash photography mid-procedure, but it all turned out okay.

I'm adding things a little at a time. If you'll notice on the right side of the screen, there's a section titled 'Links'. I'll continue to add links to relevant websites with more information(some may be not-so-relevant, but oh well). For those of you that aren't so 'web-savvy'--just click on the link and it will take you to the website. You can also click on the pictures on this site to see a larger version of them. There's a link to the University of Utah Newborn Intensive Care Unit website. I haven't spend a lot of time there yet, as I just found it, but the 'Frequently Asked Questions' are pretty interesting, and it looked like there's a whole lot more information there than you could read in a day(oh joy!).

There's also a link(PDA Information) to a short little article explaining the situation with thier hearts, which they just had surgery for last night. It's short, to the point, and has pretty pictures. By the way--the babies are still pretty doped up on pain medication, and we'll be going to see them in a little bit.

As I find more links with concise, relevant information(like Text Twist), I'll add them to the list. I'll let you know whenever I add one, and if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Any suggestions at all regarding the site are always welcome!


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Heart Surgery.......Shmart Shmurgery

Well, good news! At about 5:30 pm tonight the heart surgeon called us and told us that they would like to do the heart surgery on the babies at 6:30 pm. Short notice, huh? Well, we actually prefer it that way. No time to worry about it more than necessary.
We got to the hospital at just before 6:00. They had the babies all prepped for the operation. They actually do the surgery in the ICU room right in their own beds. They just shut the doors and don't let anyone in until they are done. Both of their beds were all layed out and open so we got to kiss and love them and be really close to them. I actually got to hold Dawson a little bit. (well as much as you can hold a baby with a gazillion little tubes coming out of it's body.) It was awesome. Ryan and I really felt excited and very much at peace. This is a huge step for them to get past. Ryan had another opportunity to bless the babies and gave them such a neat blessing. We really know that the Lord is very mindful of us and these sweet babies. We also know that the Lord is very aware of our breaking points and will not give us more that we can handle. We have learned so much about faith through this so far. These babies will be okay and everyone that knows them will have their faith strengthened through this experience! It has been amazing to us to see prayers answered so openly. We also feel all of your support and love and I can't tell you what that means to us! Thanks so much!
Anyway, at 6:30pm they gave us the boot. It was time to start. We had been briefed on the risks and were very confident that everything would be okay. For the surgery they gave the babies some very heavy sedation. We thought that it was kind of funny that it took 3 times the normal amount to get Mallory under. She has her daddy's resistance to pain meds. After the babies are sedated they cut a small insision right below their arm pit. Then the go in until they find the PDA. This is actually an artery that goes between the aorta and pulmonary artery in their heart. At birth this should close off and the blood actually then finds a new route. This didn't happen with either baby so the surgeon places a small titanium clip on the artery to shut it down. Then they just stitch them back up.
At about 8:30 pm tonight both babies were done with their surgery without a single problem, of course! They will both rest for the next 24 hours heavily medicated. Then they watch them to see when they are ready to come off the ventilator, which should be in the next 2-3 days if all goes as planned. This is such a huge step because once that is done they start to feed them through their little tubes to help them fatten up a little. We will also be able to hold them a little bit, which is very exciting.
These babies have come so far in the last 11 days. They are blowing the doctors away, with what they have overcome. We know why they are able to heal so quickly and are so grateful for this blessing! A wise person :) told us that although this is hard we wouldn't want to trade a minute with these babies for anything. She was right! We love them so much and feel so blessed to be their parents. We know they came when they were supposed to! It is all in the hands of the Lord and we are glad for that, that's for sure!
Ryan has a couple more pics to post, but it is quite late and we are going to bed. He promises to get them up tomorrow. Thanks again for all of your love and support. We appreciate that so many of you are following this because it allows us to sit down at the end of the day and get it all out. Plus it is so much fun to brag about our cute little babies!!

Love, The Lindstrom Family

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Update and Pictures(yes, I'm running out of post titles)...

The little guy looks different in just about every picture.

They have the lights on them to help jaundice and some other stuff(don't ask me), so they have to wear the coooool shades to protect thier eyes.

She loooooves the limelight...and the binki...and Mama...

The neon light is kind of like the big spotlight, but from underneath...I think...

I don't know what this is, but Amy said to put up a picture of it. Actually, I'm supposed to tell you what all this stuff means...riiiiiight. This is the ventilator, and that's all I know.

The left number is oxygen--anything over 21% is supplemental oxygen being provided by the machine. Last week Dawson was at 90%(bad), and now he's at 21%(good). 21% is what we all breath, so when he's at 21%, that's all him(good). The right number is Nitric-oxide(or something like that). It expands all the vessels in the lungs to promote better oxygenation. Both babies used to be on a lot of it(high number), and are now pretty low. We're shooting for 0 on this one.

This is the magical screen of colored numbers. The green one(that's the top number for all you color-blind folk out there, and I know there's a few of you) is the heart rate. 140-180 is a good range. The red number in parentheses(second down) is blood pressure. Somewhere in the 40's is good. The blue numbers(third and fourth) are the oxygen saturation levels in the blood. The dark blue(post) is the level coming out of the lungs, and the light blue(pre) is the level going into the heart. In the 90's is good, and they should both be pretty close to each other. When Mama talks to the babies, the 'post' goes up, meaning the babies are excited, and thier lungs are working good. The white number(bottom) represents respirations. This doesn't mean much while they are on the ventilator, but when they are breathing on thier own, it tells you how many respirations per minute they breath(a respiration is considered one full breath in and out). 40-60 is normal for the babies, 12 is normal for adults. When the babies respirations get much higher than 60, they worry that the they are wearing themselves out. There's no need for the babies to wear themselves out breathing on thier own when the ventilators can breath for them. This allows them to direct all thier energy towards other things, like recovery. So--there you have it. It's quite possible that I'm all wrong, but I think I got most of it pretty close. If anyone knows any different, feel free to inform me so I can get it right. When I was saying before that 'good' means that the nurses are having to do less and less to get the numbers looking good, and 'bad' means the nurses have to do more and more to get the numbers looking good---these are the numbers. They are almost always in the good range, but the babies status depends on how much stuff they have to give them or do to them to keep the numbers in the good range. Wow, that about wore me out.

Jake wanted me to take pictures of EVERYTHING. This one made the cut(just because he was in it).

So this is what Amy had to say to the Doctor today, albeit not to his face: "Okay Mr. Doom and Gloom, take your little rain cloud and go somewhere else."--laughing all the while. It's interesting to be hearing bad news from the doctors and nurses in one ear, and hearing that things will be just fine and not to worry in the other ear. We've had that experience more than once in the last 10 days(yes--it's been 10 days). The doctor told us today that Mallorys' brain scan came back showing that the grade 3 bleeds she had previously are getting a little worse. There is a little swelling in the ventricles in her head, and--like Dawson--they just have to watch it and see what happens.

They've decided that they need to do surgery on both of them to fix the Pulmonary Valve issue, and that will be later this week they think. They've said not to worry, that it's a pretty common procedure, but in the same sentence they've also prepared us for the worst. One thing that the doctor said that I thought was kinda funny: "Thier tough as nails, I'll tell you that--both of them!" He's not a real funny guy, so he was dead serious when he said it. I started laughing out loud. In my mind I was saying "You have no idea how many people are pulling for them--they'll be just fine."

We both continue to feel and 'hear in the other ear' that everything is, and will be, just fine--don't worry about it. What that means we don't know, but we don't have to know.

Mallory was a bit more calm today. Yesterday she was a little upset about everything, and she let everybody know it. Today Mama sat down and gave her binki to her, and she was in heaven. It's funny to watch her with her binki. It was so nice for Amy and I to see the babies for a few hours alone today. Amys' brother Clint, his wife Abby, and thier three cute kids are letting us stay with them during this whole thing, which has been wonderful. By the way, I think I've thrown out the word 'cute' more these last 10 days than the entire rest of my life. But I'm okay with that.

Abby took Jake today for a few hours, which was extremely nice. Sibling visiting rules are two visits a week, 15 minutes each. They haven't really been keeping track, so we figure with two babies, he gets four visits a week. Even with four visits a week though, we're up there twice a day, so I usually sit out in the waiting room with Jake while Mama visits, then we switch. It was so nice to just spend time with the kids together, with no pressure.

Anyway, that's the skinny for now.

Thanks all,
Ryan & Co.

Update and Pictures(yes, I'm running out of post titles)...

So this is what Amy had to say to the Doctor today, albeit not to his face: "Okay Mr. Doom and Gloom, take your little rain cloud and go somewhere else."--laughing all the while. It's interesting to be hearing bad news from the doctors and nurses in one ear, and hearing that things will be just fine and not to worry in the other ear. We've had that experience more than once in the last 10 days(yes--it's been 10 days). The doctor told us today that Mallorys' brain scan came back showing that the grade 3 bleeds she had previously are getting a little worse. There is a little swelling in the ventricles in her head, and--like Dawson--they just have to watch it and see what happens.

They've decided that they need to do surgery on both of them to fix the Pulmonary Valve issue, and that will be later this week they think. They've said not to worry, that it's a pretty common procedure, but in the same sentence they've also prepared us for the worst. One thing that the doctor said that I thought was kinda funny: "Thier tough as nails, I'll tell you that--both of them!" He's not a real funny guy, so he was dead serious when he said it. I started laughing out loud. In my mind I was saying "You have no idea how many people are pulling for them--they'll be just fine."

We both continue to feel and 'hear in the other ear' that everything is, and will be, just fine--don't worry about it. What that means we don't know, but we don't have to know.

Mallory was a bit more calm today. Yesterday she was a little upset about everything, and she let everybody know it. Today Mama sat down and gave her binki to her, and she was in heaven. It's funny to watch her with her binki. It was so nice for Amy and I to see the babies for a few hours alone today. Amys' brother Clint, his wife Abby, and thier three cute kids are letting us stay with them during this whole thing, which has been wonderful. By the way, I think I've thrown out the word 'cute' more these last 10 days than the entire rest of my life. But I'm okay with that.

Abby took Jake today for a few hours, which was extremely nice. Sibling visiting rules are two visits a week, 15 minutes each. They haven't really been keeping track, so we figure with two babies, he gets four visits a week. Even with four visits a week though, we're up there twice a day, so I usually sit out in the waiting room with Jake while Mama visits, then we switch. It was so nice to just spend time with the kids together, with no pressure.

Anyway, that's the skinny for now.

Thanks all,
Ryan & Co.

Monday, August 15, 2005

First of all--thank you all so much for your comments. It seems like every time I sit down to reply, something pulls me away. Amy really draws strength from your comments, even though we haven't been able to reply much, because it allows her to see and feel everyones support in a more tangible way.

We've had a great few days, and as Amy says, it's almost like you're at the top of the hill on the roller-coaster, waiting for it to drop. Today it dropped a little. Mallory is still doing really well. She isn't making great strides, but we really think it takes a lot of work just to stay stable sometimes, so she's doing great by us. It's late, so I'll spare you the details, but she's off of this and that, and her whatever came back good---that's about it really.

Dawson is doing fantastic in just about all areas except one--the brain ultrasound/scan(not sure which one). This is the one you hope goes really well. There are different grades of bleeds in the brain, from 1-4, 4 being the worst. Dawson and Mallory both had grade 3 bleeds when they were born, which means that there is bleeding, but it's not getting into the brain tissue, where it really causes problems. Mallorys' came back about the same as it was a week ago--which is good(it takes a long time for the blood to absorb). Dawsons' came back with the two grade 3 bleeds still about the same as they were a week ago, and a tiny little new bleed, which is a grade 4. Needless to say--it's been an emotional day for Mama.

We were told previously that a grade 4 bleed WILL cause permanent long term damage. Today they told us about the same thing, with a slight disclaimer. They said that they worry about the kids with grade 4 bleeds, and wonder how it will effect them in the long run. When they see these kids years later, sometimes they are severely disabled for life, and sometimes they are absolutely perfect---you just never know. She said that Dawsons' bleed is the type they worry and wonder about. Of course we'll take the little bugger no matter what! He's such a cute kid! Now that he's losing weight he's really getting cuter by the day. I took a few pictures and a little video, so we'll see if we can get some up tomorrow, but for now I'm headed to bed.

We know that the Lord is running the show, and no matter what happens--everything will be just fine. We feel so blessed to have these babies in our lives. I guess we've got a lot to learn from them. There are no accidents--everything happens for a reason. At one point in my life I was told that I would face many challenges, as well as many opportunities--the big secret is that they are one and the same. Life is what you make of it, and nobody can do it for you. We've been blessed with the best family and friends anyone could ever ask for, and we are so grateful for all of your love and support.

Well---nitey-nite all,

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A day that deserves 2 posts! This ones from mom.

What a good day! We went in to see the babies after church and they are doing SO, SO, SO, SO, good (yeah, Ryan was in trouble).

Dawson is now down to 0.9 on his nitrate and will be totally off by tonight. He had one of his I.V.'s in his belly button removed and the other will be removed tomorrow. Tomorrow morning he is scheduled for an echocardiogram and brain scan. The echo will see how his little valve in his heart is doing and if he needs meds or not. The brain scan will tell us if his brain has been bleeding anymore.

There are 4 levels of bleeds and 4 is the worst. Both babies have a level 3. This just means that there was a lot more blood than they like to see but that it is all being contained in the ventricles or spaces in their brain. After a bit of time, if the bleeding has stopped, it will clot then reabsorb. As of right now there is no telling if the bleeding has or will cause long term developmental problems. That is a little scary to hear, but we have faith that they will be just fine. We will all just keep praying for both of them! A 4 means that the blood is in the brain tissues and will cause damage. We want to stay away from the 4.

Anyway, back to Dawson. He will be off the ventilator tomorrow if all goes as planned. At which point they will give him a C-PAP. This is a tube that goes on and into his nose and forces air in to him. He will be breathing on his own but the air will help make sure that his lungs stay open. Babies don't generally enjoy this. He could be on this anywhere from 2 days to 3 weeks, depending on how he does.

Dawson is also a very content and laid back little boy. They are now down to only one dose of sedation a day. He is mostly just sleeping and is very mild mannered! What a good little boy! He is fighting so hard and is doing so well. What a blessing!
We will try to get a picture of him sometime with his eyes open. He looks just like his grandpa Lindstrom--for any of you that have met Jeff you will definately agree!!

Mallory, Mallory, Mallory. What a funny little girl! The comments that we get about her are always somewhere along the lines of "She is quite tempermental". Yeah, she doesn't like to be bugged. She loves her mommy and daddy and is quite content to have us there by her, but apparently she gets a little wiggly and lets everyone know when she is not happy. It's probably a good thing she can't cry with the tubes in her throat or she would have one more way to let them know she is not happy. The nurses can now read her body language. She has a little shutter that she does when she is mad whenever they poke at her or put her in a position she doesn't like. She is so funny!

She is over all doing great also. They will wean her, as Ry said, just a little slower this time. Her lung should be better in the next few days. She is off most of her meds and is just plugging along. We love when the nurses put bows in her hair, she is so pretty. Today one of the nurses even did her hair. They spiked it in the middle and waved it a little down the sides. I can't wait until it's my turn to do all of this!

Today I got to do some mommy things. I took their temperature, cleaned their belly buttons, cleaned their little lips, and changed their diapers. Which by the way were both poopy!! Under any other circumstances I am sure you wouldn't want to hear about our kids poopy diapers, but in this case it is awesome because it means that their little bodies are working right!

Well once again we appreciate you all!! We love reading your comments and feeling your love and support. It means so much to us!! Thanks for your prayers--they make all of the difference! We love you all!

Love- Ry, Amy, Jake, Daws, and Mal

You can now comment without registering...

I'm figuring this thing out a little at a time. You can now leave a comment without registering on the website. Just click the '0 comments', or '8 comments', or however many 'comments' at the bottom of each post, and you can leave a comment, ask a question, anything you want--just no making fun of me(just kidding, that's allowed too). You can even leave an anonymous comment, which is a little scary. Just know that your comment will be visible to anyone who clicks on the comment link. You don't have to leave your comments for us either, if you know someone else will be checking the comments, you can leave a comment for them. Whatever works for you! We plan on spending the bulk of the day today at the hospital, so we'll be back with an update later tonight. Thanks all!


Amys first attempt at pictures...

Some are a little fuzzy, but she's been reprimanded, and promises to do better.

The door to room 1--I'm not sure why. But aren't they cute?

Mama trying to get her to open her eyes--to no avail.

Dawson grabs on and doesn't let go--white fingertips and all.

He's usually pretty well sedated, so we don't see his eyes much. He looks like skin and bones, but that's actually good. They've both been losing weight!

'Could somebody please pull this thing out of my mouth?'

Yeah, she got the sleeping-with-her-mouth-wide-open thing from me.