Thursday, February 27, 2014

Manuel's Surgery

Friday January 24, 2014
Manuel After Surgery
We awoke to a call at 4 o'clock this morning from Dr. DeSanto informing us that a small bowl perforation had been found for Manuel and that Surgery would likely be needed to correct it. This was discovered because an x-ray was done because his belly was distended (meaning that his belly was larger than normal). The x-ray showed free air trapped between his organs.  
Dr. West (Pediatric Surgeon) had been called and she was on her way to the NICU to assess Manuel's condition. After having gone through this earlier with Marcello, this was the last call that we ever wanted to get for Manuel.
Daddy Feeding Marcello
Mommy and Daddy quickly awoke, dressed and rushed to the hospital.  Daddy called Pastor Currao and Pastor Lepley to let them know of the situation. We arrived to the hospital just before Dr. West and she explained that she was going to do a small incision on his right lower quad of his abdomen. A tube would be inserted to aid in the release of the trapped air.  
After discussing Manuel's condition, Mommy and Daddy consented to the surgery. The surgery was quick (about 20 minutes) and Dr. West came by to talk with us after she was complete. She explained that when she made the incision and opened the cavity to view the intestines that what was visible to her was pink and healthy. She said that the hole was small and anticipated that it may close on its own once the drain was removed.
They would continue to monitor the drain output for the next 10 days and an additional x-ray be performed to monitor the obstructed air. Pastor Currao and Pastor Lepley prayed over Manuel after his surgery was completed.
We are fortunate that Marcello remained stable today and allowed for Manuel to receive the medical attention he needed. Daddy was able to hold Marcello's feeding tube today. This was exciting for Daddy to do given all the circumstances with both Marcello and Manuel.
We give thanks to God for His guidance He provided the surgical team. We know that without Faith and Prayer that we would not have gotten this far with both Marcello and Manuel. We continue to pray for a positive outcome. And Give all the praise to God for our time we have with them.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Mommy!!!

Thursday January 23, 2014

Mommy was treated to a surprise when she arrived to the NICU, as Marcello and Manuel had decorated for Mommy’s Birthday. A chest x-ray revealed that his lungs had appeared normal, meaning that his right lung no longer appeared hyper-inflated. Therefore, as an additional gift to Mommy, Manuel was extubated and placed on Vapotherm since he had remained stable long enough that. A slight whimper was heard from him when the tubing was removed. It was as if he was giving a sigh of relieve that his tubing had finally been removed.
Mommy holding Manuel

Manuel giving Mommy kisses
Marcello continues amaze us and remain stable since his extubation yesterday. He seems to be thoroughly enjoying being on Vapotherm and is a bit more vibrant than he has been the last few days. He continues to do well with his feedings and his stool output still appears good.

Manuel and Marcello gave Mommy an extra special surprise tonight, as she was able to hold each of them for about half an hour. Manuel was so cute because it appeared as if he was giving Mommy little kisses while Mommy was holding him. Marcello really loved being held by Mommy as his stats all stabilized within a few minutes of Mommy holding him.
Mommy holding Marcello

Mommy had lots of visitors today for her birthday, but they had to meet downstairs by the fireplace as they were not allowed into the NICU. She was visited by a few of her college friends and current coworkers. Daddy took Mommy out for her birthday and even managed to sneak in a surprise birthday card for her.

Marcello Cristian
We give thanks to God that Manuel and Marcello had such a stable day on Mommy's special day. We are so grateful that they have even made it this far to be able to spend time with Mommy on her birthday. Every day that we have with them is indeed a gift from God.


Mommy Holding Manuel
Mommy Holding Marcello

Friday, February 7, 2014

Yeah!! 27 Weeks Old.

Wednesday January 22, 2014
Marcello before Extubation
Today, Manuel was visited by Courtney (his Respiratory Therapists) and fitted for the CPAP nasal tubing. However, they were still too large for his nose causing his nostrils to blanch. When the nasal cannula's for the CPAP were compared to those of Vapotherm, we noticed that the cannula for the Vapotherm were half the diameter of those of the CPAP. Courtney will discuss with Manuel's neonatologists to consider if Vapotherm would be an acceptable treatment in the next 24 hours.
Marcello after Extubation

Marcello has remained stable and therefore was extubated today. It was so cute when the tubing was removed from him, as he immediately raised his hands into the air. It was so cute to see this because he looked like he was saying Praise the Lord the tube is out. Marcello was started on Vapotherm and he has remarkably remained stable during the transition.

It has been an amazing day for Mommy and Daddy today for us to be able to hear Marcello's whimper once he was extubated. What a miracle it is to actually hear his voice clearly for the first time.

We continue to give thanks to God for the blessings He has provided for Marcello and Manuel. God is Great and we know that He is hearing prayers from everyone that is lifting them up to Him.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Making Progress

Tuesday January 21, 2014

Today, Manuel received an x-ray this morning to see how things were going around his belly. Small air pockets could be seen around his bowels but nothing too concerning was discovered since he had passed a large stool last night.  The neonatologists made the decision that they would continue to monitor the air and see if further action would be needed. Manuel was weaned from his antibiotics today and his vitals remained stable even after he was fully weened from the antibiotics.

Marcello received a visit from Dr Kokoska and Nancy (His Octomy Nurse). They were amazed at how his incision was healing. There were three visible areas of full skin connection that had not been present last time they had stopped. Overall, they felt that Marcello has been doing well with his healing and feel that if he continues to do good that he would be able to be extubated and be a candidate for Vapotherm.

Praise goers out to God for keeping Marcello and Manuel safe and in continued good health. We know that without placing our faith in him and relying only on man that we would not have the healing the twins are receiving from God.  We continue to pray for God to place His Hands of healing over them.

A Brother's Touch

Monday January 20, 2014
Macario and Mateo with Marcello
Mateo touching Marcello's Foot
Today we received word that the hospital was implementing flu precautions meaning that no outside visitors besides parents would be allowed in the NICU. The precautions would begin on Wednesday January 22. Therefore, we took the opportunity to bring Mateo and Macario for a visit with Marcello and Manuel. The boys were excited to be able to see their brothers as we had informed them that this would likely be the last time that they would be able to see them until after the hospital removes the restriction.

When the boy's arrived to the hospital, they washed, scrubbed, and put on their gowns. Mateo and Macario could not hold their excitement. They couldn't get in to the NICU fast enough.
Macario holding Marcello's Foot
Upon entering the NICU, they were allowed to visit with Marcello. During their visit, they were invited by Marcello's nurse to touch their brother for the first time. The boys (and Mommy and Daddy) were excited that they would be allowed this experience.

Mommy and Daddy had Mateo and Macario re-sanitize their hands before placing their hands into the incubator. The boys were nervous but excited, they were allowed to reach into the incubator and touch Marcello's foot.

Marcello laid there and allowed the boys to touch him. He kicked his foot every once in a while, but the boys, just loved it when Marcello kicked their hand.

Manuel holding Mateo's Finger

The boys then went to visit with Manuel. Since Manuel was a bit more stable than Marcello, Mateo and Macario were allowed to reach in and have Manuel hold onto their finger. Once Manuel got a hold of their finger, he gave Mateo and Marcello a gentle friendly grip.

Manuel holding Macario's Finger
It was surreal just to watch Mateo and Macario connect with Marcello and Manuel. Mateo and Macario were surprised at how soft their brothers skin was. We know that the boys will cherish this experience as it will be difficult for them not to be able to come to the NICU to visit with their brothers.

We give thanks to God for allowing the boys to connect. We are so thankful for our two little miracles and know that each day that we have with them is special. We are just so thankful that we as parents were able to share the moment with Mateo and Macario. We pray that God will continue to bless Marcello and Manuel with health. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Held in Their Mother's Arms

Saturday January 18 and Sunday January 19, 2014

Mommy Holding Marcello

Saturday January 18, 2014

On Saturday, both Marcello and Manuel remained stable. The neonatal teams were pleased with their progression and with how Marcello's incision has been healing. Mommy and Daddy are thankful for the quiet times that we get with the twins. These boys have been through so much already that we are cherishing the quiet time that we have with them.

Sunday January 19, 2014

On Sunday, Mommy was in for a surprise.  The NICU staff have been monitoring the twins for the past 48 hours and they informed mommy that because the twins had remained stable, Mommy would be able to hold them outside of the incubator and in her arms.

Mommy Holding Manuel
The nurses helped Mommy get seated and once she was ready, they brought over Marcello for her to hold.  Marcello whimpered when he was brought over to Mommy but soon settled in for some snuggle time with Mommy.  Mommy was able to hold Marcello for about 30 minutes and then Marcello had to be placed back in his incubator.

Mommy was then moved to Manuel's incubator and then Manuel was brought over for Mommy to hold. Manuel also let out a whimper when he was moved from his incubator to Mommy, much like his brother Marcello. Manuel settled into Mommy's arms and remained calm during snuggle time.

What a wonderful moment this was to capture and see how both Marcello and Manuel responded to their mother. It was as they both knew that this was the person that had been caring and nourishing them before their arrival.

We give thanks to God for this moment. Although we have a long way's to go before we can even think of them coming home, it is moments like today that we give thanks to God in allowing our boys to remain here with us. We pray for continued health for both Marcello and Manuel.