Merry Christmas!

Sorry for the delay in updating the blog. As you can imagine, we have been soooo busy with the twins at home and Aiden still in the hospital. The boys are getting SO big.

At the top of the page you may have noticed our new temporary header – a Christmas version of 3 peas in a pod. Thanks to some very thoughtful friends at work for the adorable ornament!

Aiden is still having difficulty taking his feedings by mouth — he tries very hard, but is often in pain when he tries to swallow. The doctors have done a swallow study and an upper GI xray, but do not see whatever is causing the problem other than the reflux which was already being treated. They have been making a number of changes, trying everything from new reflux medications to switching to various formulas, etc. Earlier this week, they put him on a new reflux medication and changed him from breast milk to a very broken down form of formula used for babies that have difficulty metabolizing the proteins found in milk. One of the big concerns was his limited weight gain (he would gain weight one night and lose it the next), however, in just the past 3 days Aiden has gained a whopping 11 ozs. He now weighs 6 lbs., 9 ozs.! We hope that he will be able to come home soon.

They also performed a neural MRI to follow up on Aiden’s brain bleed (on the left side of his brain). The MRI shows that it is continuing to resolve, which is good news. However, the MRI did show a very small cystic encephalomalacia (fluid-filled area) in the white matter on the right side of his brain. This had not shown up on previous neural ultrasounds, and the doctors say that it is too early to know what impact it will have. Given how small it is, it may affect Aiden’s motor skills as he gets older or it may not have any impact at all — only time will tell.

Ethan and Evan are doing very well and also getting SO big! Ethan is up to 9 lbs., and (we think) Evan must be around 12 lbs. As you will see from the pictures below, they are not so tiny anymore.

We have some new pics and video below but we are working on some special Christmas pics which we will try to post next week. In the meantime, enjoy the ones below.

A special ornament from some good friends. This gift was “Just Right.”

Ethan is very alert and loves to look around

The “twins” sound asleep in their pack’n play

Sheriff Evan is in town

Poor little Ethan is upset

Aiden in his special little outfit

Close up of Aiden (he loves his pacifier)

Aiden in his little Christmas outfit

With his best friend in his mouth

The bib is bigger than him!

Aiden getting a little bath

What a cute little face!

Dad holds both boys

Evan is enjoying himself

Ethan is done for the night

Aiden has grown so much in just a few days!

So Thankful!

We have so much to be thankful for this year. It has been a long and tiring haul through the NICU these past three months, but God has been so good to us! We particularly appreciate all of your continued prayers for the babies. On Tuesday, Nov. 20th, Aiden had surgery on both hernias. The surgery went very well, and he has been healing well and has not experienced any more episodes or obstructions since. He had to be re-intubated for the surgery and of course was unable to eat for some time before and afterward. Although there was initially some minor difficulty weaning him from the ventilator, he is back on the nasal canula and doing well. He is now back on the South Side of the NICU with the “feeders and growers,” and although the doctors are proceeding very slowly and cautiously, he has re-started taking one feeding a day by mouth. (He must be taking all feedings by mouth before he can come home). Despite all of the difficulties he has had, Aiden continues to grow and is now up to 5 lbs., 4 ozs. We have posted some new photos of him below.

Ethan and Evan are doing very well! As of last week, Ethan is up to 7 lbs., 8 ozs. and Evan is a big boy at 8 lbs., 8 ozs.! Ethan is off oxygen and although he is still on the monitor, we have slowly started to wean some of his medications. Evan had a follow-up eye exam at the end of last week to follow up on a concern of some possible scar tissue that was developing behind his eyes; however, the doctor no longer sees anything and said that everything now looks good! Evan does have some acid reflux, so he has started taking medication to help with that. They both love to “talk” and play and “read” their books.

Please continue to pray for Aiden’s healing and for Ethan and Evan to continue to remain healthy and growing.

The boys are not always this fussy
Ethan is exhausted — being a preemie is hard work!

Ethan trying to hold his bottle

Peace and quiet at last!

Such a cute little “e-monster” (Evan)

Close-up of Ethan

Evan gets really focused when eating

Ethan loves to “talk” with his hands while he is eating

Poor little Aiden is so upset!

Aiden wakes up for a picture

What are you looking at, Aiden?

I knew he would smile sooner or later

What a cute little face

Aiden has such long eyelashes

Does he look more like Ethan or Evan?