Thursday, August 31, 2006


Hello, all! The boys and I are having a blast! We have been going out to lunch with Grandma, Aunt Lyssie, and Reid, going to Starbucks (that should not surprise any of you!), visiting our friend, Bob, at Barnes and Noble, and hanging out at home and at Grandma's. Both boys are eating well, sleeping well, and becoming more and more alert. Riley continues to hold his own head up for short periods of time and Ross has started to visually track the toys hanging over his bouncy seat. We had another great doctor's appointment today! Riley gained another five ounces this week and is now 6lbs 8oz. Ross had an enormous growth spurt and gained 12 oz this week!! He now weighs 5lbs 7oz! Because of their excellent growth, the boys will not have any more appointments just for weight checks. They will see the pediatrician next on Sept. 20 for their regularly scheduled two month check up (and immunizations.....yikes!). Thanks for all of your visits, calls, and emails. I am trying to get back to all of you, but I seem to be a little busy these days!! Thanks for understanding!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Check out the new photos...they are all from when the boys came home! No more hospital pictures!! Yeah!

Checking in

Hi, everyone! The boys are doing very well and we are settling into a routine and enjoying being at home. We have even gone out a couple of times. Yesterday, we went to Target which was hilarious! Imagine us with our huge stroller and a zillion back to school shoppers. We have also gone to my mom's for dinner a couple of times. This morning, the boys had a bath and really seemed to enjoy it, which is surprising, because they usually screamed during their baths in the hospital. Yesterday, we had our first "tummy time" and Riley blew my away by holding his own head up and smiling right at me! I guess he doesn't realize that he's only five weeks old (and a preemie) and shouldn't be able to do that yet! I took lots of pics and will post them later today or tomorrow. Thank you to everyone who has called to check on us. I am sure that you all understand if I don't get back to you right away, but I do appreciate your thinking of us.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Life really begins

We are having so much fun!! I am in seventh heaven with these two amazing little people, finally home and healthy. Our first night, both boys did wonderfully, sleeping well and waking up for feedings every 4 hours. I actually got a couple of hours of sleep, too, which was surprising. However, last night, Riley was wide awake and wanted company, so no sleep for me! Today, we had our first check up at the pediatrician and got some exciting news! I have been going through scale all know that weigh in time was the highlight of my day in the NICU and I couldn't wait to see how the boys had done since we've been home. But......both boys had fabulous weight gains! Ross gained back the ounce he had lost right before we left the hospital, plus two more and is now at 4lbs 11oz! Riley stunned us with a 7oz gain in two days and is now 6lbs 3oz! His preemie clothes are actually getting snug on him! Since the boys have been home, we have had so many wonderful moments. Yesterday, we went over to my mom's house for a family dinner and it was so wonderful to see the boys with their Grandma, Uncle Seth, Cousin, Reid, Aunt Lyssie and Uncle Marc! Peppe (our dog) finally got to meet the babies and was wonderful with them! Then, when we came home, I put them together in the bassinet for a few minutes and they immediately rolled toward each other, wrapped their legs together, and held hands. (Yes, of course I snapped some pics and I will post them soon!) In the meantime, I am posting some pics from our last few days in the hospital and will post the most recent ones as soon as I can. Thanks for all of your phone calls and messages!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Welcome Home, my sons!

Welcome home, Ross and Riley!!!!!!!!!!!! Obviously, I am beyond thrilled that my two beautiful, healthy sons have finally come home. It has been a long, long road, but there is no better feeling than looking into the nursery and seeing my children sleeping. How did I get so lucky??? Grandma (my mom) helped me bring the boys home and get us all settled in. Then, Ross got to meet his cousin, Reid, this afternoon when Aunt Lyssie came over to welcome the boys home. Reid, who is just over 9 weeks old, is gorgeous and looks soooo big compared Ross! We took some pictures and I will post them as soon as I can. Riley slept through the visit, but I am sure we will get pics of all three cousins tomorrow. Uncle Seth stopped by to welcome the boys, home, too! I will keep posting when I can! Thanks so much for all of your support and care for the boys!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Car seat test...check!

The boys passed the car seat test!!!!!!!! Yeah! Now, as long as they both have a good evening and a good night....we are headed home! Special thanks to Uncle Marc and Aunt Lyssie for installing the car seats in my car today and for having my apartment cleaned so that tomorrow the boys can come to a nice, clean home! I will try to keep posting as often as possible....but something tells me that I will pretty busy for the next few days! :)

Please, please.....

Just a very quick note to let you all know that the boys are doing beautifully! They are continuing to gain weight (Ross is at 4lbs 9.5oz and Riley is at 5lbs 11.5oz) and have adjusted to our move to Pediatrics very well. Later today, the boys have to pass their car seat tests (sitting in their car seats for an hour without and breathing or heart rate problems) in the hopes that they will be dishcarged on Tuesday. Please keep your fingers crossed that they have a great day and a great night so that we can all go home tomorrow!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

No more NICU

Big news!!! The boys are now in the Pediatric Unit and out of Intensive Care!!! I am so thrilled! I am staying with the boys overnight now, which is wonderful for all three of us! We will (hopefully!) only be there until Tuesday and then the boys will be coming home, as long as they don't have any more brady's (heart rate drops) between now and then. The each had another weight gain last night, so here are the new weights: Ross is at 4lbs 61/2 oz and Riley is at 5lbs 8oz. Thanks so much for all of your support!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Getting closer and closer...

Hi, everyone! Ross has moved into an open crib and so far, he is doing a great job of keeping himself warm! Riley had a great weight gain last night and is now 5lbs 7oz! He was also measured and is 18 inches long, which is not a big change from last week, but that's ok because he has gained so much weight. Ross lost a tiny bit of weight yesterday, probably because he was moved to an open crib and had to use so many calories to keep himself warm. However, he was also measured and is now 17 1/2 inches long which is a big jump! The doctors are considering changing him to a higher calorie formula to boost his weight gain. It looks like we will be moving to the Pediatric Unit tomorrow, which is a big step! I will be able to stay with the boys and sleep in their room, so we can start to prepare for coming home!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

New pics

Please be sure to check out the new photos! The boys are doing well. They both had great weight gains once again and Ross is now at 4lbs 4.5oz and Riley is now at 5lbs 5oz. They are big boys and I love their chubby cheeks!! Ross is now doing a great job maintaining his own temperature and is almost ready for an open crib, which is a big step in getting ready to go home. The boys are eating well, sleeping calmly, and generally doing beautifully. Depending on how the next few days go, the boys may be moved to a step down unit where I can stay overnight with them, in preparation for them coming home. Of course, it all depends on how they continue to make progress, so please keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm back

Hi, everyone! I am being discharged from the hospital today and am feeling much better. My pancreatitis is all gone and my gall bladder has been removed. I certainly didn't want to spend 6 days in the hospital, but at least I knew the boys were safe and well cared for while I recovered. I was also happy to be able to walk down to the NICU several times each day to visit with them while I was in the hospital. A very special thank you to my sister for posting and letting everyone know why I was out of touch for a few days. The boys are doing well! They have each gained some weight since I last posted and here are their current weights: Ross is at 4lbs 2.7oz and Riley is at 5lbs 2.7oz. Riley actually hasn't gained in the past couple of days, so he is going to get formula with some extra calories to see if we can boost his weight gain. Also, he is a little anemic, but the doctors ran some tests and determined that he is making new red blood cells at a good rate and should be just fine. Both boys are now on "demand" feeding which means that they can eat whenever they are hungry (although they are not allowed to go longer than 4 hours without eating) and can eat as much as they want. Ross and Riley are each eating close to 2 1/2 oz at each feeding! That's very similar to what full term newborns eat, which is so exciting! Finally, both boys are still having a few brady's (heart rate drops), which is still expected for preemies at their age. However, that means that neither kiddo is quite ready to come home yet, since they have to go 7 days without a brady before being discharged. So, that's the update! Thanks for checking and caring so much about the boys! -Melissa

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hi, this is Melissa's sister Ilyssa posting today. Sorry it has been a while since our last post; things have been sort of hectic. Ross and Riley are both doing well and continuing to grow each day. Melissa, however, is not doing quite as well. She is in the hospital and has to have her gallbladder removed. She will unfortunately be there until Wednesday or Thursday. However, she is able to visit the babies frequently, which makes being there not as bad. She's not in terrible discomfort anymore, just pretty tired, as she prepares for surgery. I'll try to post news about the babies every couple of days if possible. As always, Melis says thanks for all of your notes, calls, and general support.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

More great weight gains! Ross is now at 3lbs 8.6oz (that's a whole pound of growth since his birth!!). Riley is now at 4lbs 12.3oz...he is a very big boy! My mom and I had a great night with the kiddos last night, getting them washed up, weighed, and fed before they fell asleep. Thanks again for the phone calls, emails, and messages on the message board. I appreciate all of your support!

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Holding my breath....

It's been an exciting morning here so far! First of all, last night both boys had another weight gain. Ross is now 3lbs 6.9oz and continues to love to eat! The doctors increased the amount he is eating at each feeding and he is thrilled! Riley had a tremendous weight gain of 4oz in one day and now weighs 4lbs 10.4oz!! The doctors have decided that he can now eat whatever he wants at each feeding. More exciting news for Riley - he is now big enough to maintain his own body temperature and doesn't need to be in an incubator anymore! He has also been transferred to a regular bassinet. I also got some news this morning that is almost too exciting to think about. First, Riley has to finish his course of IV antibiotics (he still has six more days). Then, as long as he has no more bradys (heart rate drops), maintains his own temperature, continues to gain weight and does well with his feedings - HE CAN COME HOME!!!!! That's a lot of goals and he has to meet them all, so I am trying not to get my hopes up. We will just have to wait and see how he does.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

No more tubes!

I had a wonderful suprise waiting for me when I got to the hospital today. Both boys' feeding tubes have been removed and they are taking all feedings by mouth. Riley had a little trouble staying awake for one of his feedings, but he did better the next time. Ross seems to have a neverending appetite and always finishes his whole bottle. The boys look so gorgeous without any tubes on their faces. Special thanks to Karen and Cindy for coming to visit today!
More great weight gains....Ross is now at 3lbs 5.9oz and Riley is at 4lbs 6.6 oz. They are both taking all feedings by mouth and Ross' feeding tube is scheduled to be disconnected today! Riley's will stay in until the 10th and then his should be disconnected, too, as long as he continues to do well with his feedings. We had a great visit last night with my mom and sister. My sister got to hold Riley for the first time! Both boys were alert and looking around and both did very well with their bottles. Ross was a little chilly so the nurse bundled him up very well and he looked even tinier than usual, but still so adorable! We took a picture and I will post it when I can.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Better news

Quick update...the boys are both doing well. Riley's heart rate is nice and stable again, thanks to the quick work of the doctors and nurses and the meds they put him on. His face is much less swollen and his eye is completely better! He is taking almost all of his feedings by mouth now, which is wonderful. Also, he had a great gain of 2 oz yesterday and weighed in at 4lbs 5.2oz! Ross is also doing a super job! He is taking all of his feedings by mouth and loves to eat! He also gained and weighed in at 3lbs 4.4oz.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Scary times

It has been a bit of a tough 24 hours, but things are looking up now. Riley continued to have even more trouble with his heart rate dropping and then, late last night, the left side of his face became red, hard, and swollen, and he was unable to open his left eye. The doctors did lots of bloodwork to determine what was going on and they figured out that he was battling an infection somewhere. So, they started IV antibiotics at midnight last night. Today, he had a CT scan and was seen by an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist, who determined that he has an infected parotid gland (salivary gland), which is causing the swelling. The antibiotics have already started to work and the swelling is going down and he is now able to open his eye again. Thankfully, the antibiotics should completely solve the problem and he should be absolutely fine. The doctors feel that the heart rate dips were due to him fighting the infection, and thankfully, he is having far fewer of them now (all preemies have a few dips but he was having too many!). More good news for Riley....he gained another ounce and now weighs 4 lbs 3oz! Ross also had another gain and is now at 3lbs 3oz. For those of you who have been to visit and have seen Ross' bellybutton....yes, it is weird looking. But, he had an x-ray today and the doctors discovered that he has a hernia, which is why his bellybutton looks that way. It is no big deal and will either get better on his own, or he may have to have it repaired when he is 5 years old. Thankfully, it's nothing we have to worry about now! Thanks for checking on the boys!

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Ross is continuing to do beautifully with learning to drink from a bottle. He has really gotten the hang of it and seems to look forward to eating, which is a great sign. Riley is also learning, although, he is having a little more trouble coordinating sucking, swallowing, and breathing in the right order. He had a bit of a tough evening last night with some heart rate dips, but he is doing much better today.

Friday, August 4, 2006


Another wonderfully exciting day! Ross now weighs 3lbs 1oz and is 14 3/4 inches long!! Riley now weighs 4lbs 2.1oz and is 17 1/2 inches long! I am so proud of how well my boys are growing! Also, both kiddos are making amazing progress with learning to drink from a bottle! Ross took three whole bottles today! His nurse has nicknamed him "Piglet"! Riley took one whole bottle and part of another one today, but he was sound asleep for his third one. I am thrilled with how fast they are learning. Thanks to all of you for reading these updates and for your messages on the message board!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Just a quick mom, sister and I went to the hospital tonight for the nightly weigh-in and bath time and we got some exciting news! Ross now weighs 2 lbs 15.9 oz (so close to 3lbs!!) and Riley weighs a whopping 4lbs 1.1 oz!! Yeah!!!!

Gaining weight

More excellent weight gains to report! Ross is now at 2lbs 14.8 oz and Riley is weighing in at 3lbs 15.1 oz. They are both learning to drink from a bottle and to nurse and are taking more and more food by mouth, which is fantastic! The doctors think that they will be ready to move to a step down unit in about a week!