Category Archives: G-tubes

Looking Back with Gratitude in My Heart

Facebook sure has a funny way of messing with my emotions. This memory popped up yesterday and man did it take me back to a time of lots of uncertainly, fear, and stress.

It was during this time, three years ago, that I really thought we were going to lose Rayleigh. She was so, so, so sick. In fact, she was in heart failure. I remember holding her before her surgery wondering if it would be my last time to hold alive. We experienced lots of ups and downs and scary moments during the quints NICU stay, but I I have never been so scared in all my life as I was when the medical team came to take Rayleigh back to the cath lab. Walking to the waiting room was tough. Sitting and wondering what they were doing to my baby was agonizing. They gave us an estimated time of how long the procedure would take and when the doctor walked in earlier than expected, I was scared. I didn’t know if that was good news or bad news, thankfully, it was all good news. Rayleigh recovered quickly. The surgery had immediate positive results.
Today she’s a healthy, happy, and thriving little girl.

While all this was happening with Rayleigh, Tessa was back in the NICU at Dallas Children’s Hospital. So I had 2 babies still in the NICU at Baylor, 2 babies in the NICU at Children’s, Brant at Paula’s house in Dallas, and Brady (who was only 2 years old) was back home (3 hours away) with family members. Talk about loosing your mind, I honestly don’t know how I didn’t lose my during that time. I’ve always believed in the power of prayer, but it was during this time, in particular, that I really felt the power of prayer. I was so scared, but prayers and God carried me through.

Tessa had surgery to have a feeding tube placed and was released from the NICU again. Both Gracie and Mia had their surgeries to have their g-tubes placed. After a couple of days recovering, we were able to bring them home. Rayleigh, who originally did the best after birth, was our last baby in the NICU and wouldn’t come home until the end of July. But…we got her home and for that I’m forever grateful!

I look back at these memories with so much gratitude in my heart. God was in control the whole time. He guided us through this experience, putting the right people in the right place to help us when we needed it most.

So, I want to spend today in prayer. Leave me a comment on my blog or Facebook page, text or call me, send me a private message, however you want to contact me, do it. Tell me what you want me to pray for and I’ll start talking to God on your behalf.

💙💗💗💙💗💗

Be blessed,
Michelle

The Quint’s 3 Year Update

Last Friday we took Mia, Tessa, Brant, Gracie, and Rayleigh to the doctor for their 3 year checkup. They are all healthy and thriving! The doctor was very pleased with their progress and so are we. I am so thankful they are doing so well. The doctor talked about how by the ages of 3 to 4 years old most premature kids usually catch up with other kids their age and we are seeing that with our quints. Here’s an update on each one:


Mia Danielle: 

Birth Weight: 2lbs 10oz         Birth Height: 14.9in

Current Weight: 25lbs           Current Height: 34 3/4in

Individual update: Mia is staying strong on her growth curve. She’s very small, but the doctors don’t seem too concerned about it. I honestly think she’s going to be small like me. She’s in the 2nd percentile for weight and 4th percentile for height. Last week we were treating her for an ear infection and when the doctor looked in her ears, he said the infection was getting better. Mia is the only quint who still has a feeding tube. She gets 2 feedings a day through the tube on top of her meals and snacks.  Overall, she’s doing great and we’re pleased with her progress!


Tessa Suzanne:

Birth Weight: 2lbs 14oz         Birth Height: 16.5in

Current Weight: 28lbs           Current Height: 35in

Individual update: Tessa has always been one of the biggest quints, the girl likes to eat. She’s in the 20th percentile for weight and 6th percentile for height. We are very pleased with her growth!


Brant Lee:

Birth Weight: 3lbs 6oz             Birth Height: 15.7in

Current Weight: 27lbs             Current Height: 36in

Individual update: Brant just doesn’t like to eat. It is like pulling teeth to try to feed him. He likes to take a bite and run off then come back for another bite. Or he’ll stuff his mouth full and have to spit everything out. It’s so frustrating dealing with him when he’s eating. That being said, he’s now in the 5th percentile for weight and 10th percentile for height. Overall, he’s healthy we just have to get him to eat more so he’ll grow big and strong.


Gracie Lou:

Birth Weight: 2lbs 7oz             Birth Height: 15.3in

Current Weight: 29lbs             Current Height: 36in

Individual update: Gracie was our tiniest baby at birth and now, she’s our biggest and has been our biggest for a while now. My diva girl likes to eat! She’s now in the 30th percentile in weight and 20th percentile in height. She’s doing fabulous!


Rayleigh Ann:

Birth Weight: 2lbs 8oz            Birth Height: 14in

Current Weight: 27lbs             Current Height: 35.5

Individual update: Rayleigh lost her g-tube in March and the girl is rocking life without her tube! She is in the 10th percentile for weight and 10th percentile for height. We are so proud of her for doing so well without her tube.


  • All of the quints are getting speech therapy again.
  • I asked the doctor to refer everyone for an occupational therapy evaluation to see if anyone needs therapy. It’s been a while since they all had OT and I want to make sure we stay on top of their development.
  • All the girls are completely potty trained. Brant will pee in the potty but is not pooping in the potty yet.
  • Sleeping through the night is still hit or miss. Hopefully when the girls all get their new big girl beds that will encourage them to stay in bed and sleep well. Brant usually ends up in our bed sometime during the night, most nights.
  • They all love school and are doing well. We only have a few more weeks until summer break. They will be attending the same school next year for Pre-K3.

They were born at 29 weeks 1 day gestation and considering they were born 11 weeks early, they are doing exceptionally well at this point in their lives. I am so thankful to all the doctors, nurses, and therapists who have helped us get to this point. We have been so richly blessed with the best medical care and for that we are forever grateful.

💙💗💗💙💗💗

Be blessed,

Michelle

Update on G-Tubes

This past Friday Rayleigh and Mia had a checkup with the GI specialist in Dallas. As most of you know, all four of our girls came home from the NICU with g-tubes due to aspirating and issues with feeding from being premature. Well last year, Gracie and Tessa were doing great eating on their own and the doctor decided they would do fine without their g-tubes. He was right, they have done amazing and have grown well on their own. This past year Rayleigh has started eating better and was using her g-tube less and less. At our last checkup in November I just knew he was going to take hers out too but she hadn’t gained enough weight plus it was winter and he doesn’t typically take out tubes during the winter months because that’s when kids get sick the most. I’ll admit, I was so disappointed. I guess I had convinced myself she was ready and he’d take it out and when it didn’t happen I was a little sad. But, God is always teaching me lessons, and the doctor was right, she wasn’t 100% ready and I’m glad everything worked out the way it did because when she had her tonsils removed we were able to feed her and keep her hydrated with the tube. After her recovery, we stopped using the tube and let her eat and drink on her own. She’s done well and on Friday the doctor decided she was ready to fly solo. I’m so proud of Rayleigh. She has come so far in 3 years.

So now Mia is the only quint with a g-tube, and that’s okay. Yes, I wish she could eat enough to be healthy and thrive on her own but she’s not ready yet, so we will continue to be patient and get her the help she needs to be successful. She uses her tube twice a day. She is offered 3 meals and at least 2 snacks a day; sometimes she eats well and sometimes she doesn’t. Mia has come a long way and I’m so proud of her progress. She’s such a tough little girl.

Mia in green…Rayleigh in pink.

As always, we’re so thankful to have our Tom.

 

Mia was loving life and so happy to keep her g-tube. Rayleigh on the other hand, was not happy about not having her tube anymore. I should have taken pictures before the appointment when   R was happy.

 

Mia’s facial expressions crack me up.

 

I finally got a few smiles out of Rayleigh at Pappadeaux.

 

My sweet girl has come so far and we are so proud of her.

 

Yummy crab cake.

 

Love these two sweet girls.

Please continue to keep Mia in your prayers. The GI doctor put her back on medicine to try to help with her appetite and so far it seems to be helping.

Be blessed,

Michelle