This past week has provided some challenges on their road home, including getting their 2-month vaccinations, which included:
- The second Hepatitis B vaccine,
- DTap, to protect against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough),
- Hib to protect against Haemophilus influenza type B, which can progress to meningitis, pneumonia and epiglottitis,
- PCV to protect against Pneumoccocal disease, which can also lead to meningitis and pneumonia, as well as, ear infections, and
- IPV to protect against polio.
The doctors warned us that the kids may not be themselves for about 24 hours after the vaccinations and they were right. The most common symptoms include:
- Pain at the injection site
- Poor appetite
- Increased Spells
- Periodic breathing
Everyone spiked a fever and ended up sweating through their clothes. Their appetites were not the best the following day either due to them being a bit sleepier. Honestly, the best way to describe it is that all of their “issues” from a few weeks back, reared their ugly heads.
For example, Kali who tends to “bear down,” meaning to grunt to either pass gas, poop, or protect her airway from reflux, was doing so much more often. When she bears down she often forgets to breathe… she isn’t the best multi-tasker, yet. The frequent bearing down led to poor respiration and thus desaturation (decreased oxygen in her blood) where she had to be put back on her nasal cannula to receive extra air flow. Luckily, she only had to remain on it for 24 hours. The unfortunate news is that because she had this “Spell” she got 5 days tacked on to her stay before she can be discharged. So, Ms. Kali’s discharge is now projected for October 15th.
Lily and Bella are now focusing primarily on waking up and staying alert enough to eat by mouth. These two are the last with their feeding tubes. They are currently meeting 50% of their nutritional needs by mouth and need to get to 80% before they can consider sending them home.
So, that leaves Mr. Theo and Ms. Elliott who have been favored by Frank and I to win the race home for some time. These two, despite their bowel surgeries, will most likely be the first ones home and arriving via stork, or Honda Odyssey, this weekend!
In other news, Frank and I are doing well. We are so excited that our NICU journey is coming to an end, and are more than ready to start the next chapter at home! Frank is coming out of his busy season at work and is planning on taking some time off as the kids trickle home.
I am excited to have him home, so we can establish what life will look- aka a routine- as a family. I am also excited to share that I have returned to my pre-pregnancy weight. I share this for three reasons:
- One, I believe it is a testament to good nutrition and regular exercise (just practicing what I preach),
- Two, it is clear to me that weight truly is just a number because my body is definitely not what it was before in terms of composition therefore, operation “rebuild your temple, based on I Corinthians 6:19-20), remains in full swing, and
- Three, because it has opened my eyes to a whole new population of people I want to empower for better health- Moms!
We also wanted to share with those who were praying for our insurance appeal that we had our grievance hearing. Unfortunately, the committee decided to uphold their decision to deny payment of our perinatal care in Arizona. We would appreciate continued prayer for this journey as we trudge on to the next level. It has become a moral battle of proving the value of life. We are now fighting for more than just our five miracles, and feel as though we have the opportunity to speak for parents who were encouraged to consider multi-fetal reduction and may have moved ahead with those decisions, and thus had to grieve those losses. We also will not back down because we believe in the importance of having a choice in healthcare, and speak for those who may have thought at one point they had no other choice but to give in, or to give up. Most importantly, we also speak for all of the children who did not get a chance at life. We are fired up and ready, so please pray that the committee in this next round would be more open to our appeal.
As always, we thank you for your well wishes, prayers and support. Please know you are a valued citizen of the village that is helping to raise the V-5!