Tag Archives: prematurity

Brant’s Homecoming Day

Three years ago today, we brought our precious only boy quint home from the NICU. That moment, this day, is one of those memories that you never forget. Throughout my pregnancy and at the beginning of our long NICU stay, I honestly didn’t know if we’d bring any of the quints home, so when the day finally arrived to take Brant home I was overcome with so many emotions. I was overjoyed, overwhelmed, scared, excited, thankful, and so, so, so blessed to name a few.

Our NICU days are a distant memory now. But I will never forget how amazing everyone in the Baylor NICU were to us. I’m forever grateful to everyone single person who worked with, cared for, and loved our quints. ❤️

This picture popped up on my Facebook newsfeed today. And there is a big part of me that wishes for just a few minutes to go back and snuggle my little guy because he’s not so little anymore. He’s all boy, full of laughter and mischief. He has the most adorable wink and smile. I’m thankful for how far Brant has come since the day we brought him home. He has filled our lives with so much happiness and love. 💙



Happy Homecoming Day Brant!!!

💙💗💗💙💗💗

Be blessed,

Michelle

March of Dimes 2017

Another March for Babies is in the books. We have been participating in this event since the quints have been home from the NICU (2015 was our first year because they quints were in the NICU in 2014). The first year we went to Longview, TX for the actual walk, last year we were rained out, and this year we went to Shreveport, LA for the walk. In the past we have had team shirts made, but this year I took easy route and didn’t design shirts. We just have too much going on and I really didn’t want to deal with it. So Steven, the kids and I all wore our NICU Reunion shirts. Kristian and Gavin went with us so they wore one of the shirts from the past walks.

We woke up early, loaded up, and headed to Louisiana. This was the quints first trip to Louisiana. When we got to Shreveport we couldn’t find the event. So we were 30 minutes late and when we finally arrived everyone was starting the race. 😩 So we walked about.16 of a mile and called it quits when we started meeting other walkers coming back to the finish line. 😂 It was fun though. The kids got to jump in the bounce house and climb in a fire truck.


So far we’ve raised $317!!! It’s still not too late to donate. Every little bit helps babies born too early.

https://www.marchforbabies.org/sealsquints











Thank you to everyone who has supported us these past 3 years. Thank you to everyone who has donated. We are so blessed!

💙💗💗💙💗💗

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

Thanksgiving Week

Hey y’all! It’s Thanksgiving week! I seriously can’t believe Thanksgiving is just the day after tomorrow. We have enjoyed being off from school and having so many of our family members home (most of our family works in the school setting). The kids have enjoyed getting out of the house and visiting with everyone. Tomorrow night everyone will come over here for a Mexican feast and games. We always have the best time when the whole family is together.


Last Thursday was Wold Prematurity Day so of course I had to show off my 29 weekers (and big brother too).

img_8364

Last Friday, the Cardinals won the second round of the football playoffs and are Area Champs! So proud of our guys, they all played a great game! On to round 3!

So something big happened this weekend at our house; the boys are officially room mates. We bought a full size bed for them to share and they now sleep together. Brant doesn’t like going to sleep but once he is asleep they do fine. I’ll post pictures of the room makeover once I have everything just the way I want it.

img_8380

Saturday was our first Thanksgiving meal with Steven’s family. It was nice to visit and let everyone see the kids.

I took Brant, Gracie, Rayleigh, and Mia to the ENT doctor yesterday. All four of them have tubes in their ears and it was time to have the tubes checked out and make sure they were still working properly. Thankfully everyone’s ears looked good but Rayleigh’s tonsils are really large, so large that the ENT doc said we needed to get them out so next Thursday she will have surgery to have her tonsils and adenoids removed so please keep her in your prayers.

Here’s a few random, yet funny pictures to put a smile on your face.

Tomorrow I plan to take you on a home tour of our Thanksgiving decorations. I plan to put our Christmas tree up this weekend….that should be interesting.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Be blessed,

Michelle

World Prematurity Day

Tomorrow is World Prematurity Day and it’s no secret that premature babies is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart. I’m so thankful for my 5 preemies. They have taught me so much about strength, perseverance, and the will to live.


Baylor University Medical Center (BUMC) holds a very special place in my heart. I know I say it all the time, but BUMC is truly the best and that is because of the people who work there. From the time I checked into the hospital on January 31, 2014 until we left with our last baby, Rayleigh, on August 29, 2014 everyone treated me and our entire family with so much love. I know the quints are thriving two-year-olds because of the amazing medical care they received from the Baylor NICU staff, doctors, nurses, therapist, etc.

Once we had all babies home, I will admit, it was quiet the adjustment. I had become so accustomed to being able to ask the nurses about any questions I had concerning the quints. I trusted them. I felt so overwhelmed with the responsibility to caring for FIVE fragile babies, it was very scary for the first several months. Thankfully, our primaries, Lindsay and Sara, stayed in touch and were wonderful to continue to answer all my questions from home, via text messaging. They didn’t have to do that, but they did because they loved my babies. As time went on and the quints got stronger and healthier, our texting back and forth decreased. I’m thankful I’ve been able to stay in touch with them and several other nurses from the NICU via Facebook. It’s hard to go from seeing people every day to not seeing them at all. But of course, life goes on, the kids have kept me very busy, and the nurses continue to save tiny lives in the NICU.

Last month we attended the BUMC NICU Reunion and it was so good to see so many of the nurses and doctors that took care of the quints. I’m thankful we have the reunion every-other-year so we can continue to see and visit with everyone. I  look forward to going to as many reunions as we can. I know it will get harder as the kids get older and more involved in extracurricular activities. The staff at the NICU will change as it already has in the 2 years we’ve been gone, but hopefully a few will remain and we can meet up and share stories from our 4 months we spent every day together.

I will forever be thankful and grateful for everyone at the Baylor NICU. They saved my babies. Without their care and expertise, the quints would had died because they were too little and weak to survive on their own. They loved the quints. And they were amazing to me during the scariest time of my life. A simple thank you doesn’t seem adequate enough so I hope that every time they see pictures of the quints they think, ‘hey, I had a hand in saving those babies’.

So thankful, so grateful, so blessed!

Michelle

Rayleigh’s Big Day!

It’s hard to believe two years ago, I brought our last quintuplet home from the NICU. I say I because I was all alone. Steven had to work and was getting everything ready at home for our big homecoming so I put my big girl panties on and brought Rayleigh home all by myself. It was a day of mixed emotions; I was so happy, thankful, relieved, excited to finally have all five babies home, however, it was the end of an era for me. I had to say good-bye to some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, our NICU nurses. They held my hand through some very difficult moments and loved on my babies when I couldn’t, and that is something a mama can never say enough thank yous for.

The fact that Rayleigh was the last baby home still seems crazy to me. She was by far our most stable quint at birth. She didn’t have to be ventilated like the other 4 did; she was so easy at the beginning. And then she got sick, and by sick I mean, almost died sick. It was by far the scariest time in our whole NICU  experience. Thankfully, after her heart procedure, she was great and ready to come home.

Since the quints were born in Dallas, which is 3 hours away from our home, I was staying with my friends, Paula and Dave during the NICU days. We stayed in Dallas a few days after Rayleigh was discharged just to make sure everything was okay with her and then we headed home. We spent our first night as a family of 8 in Dallas with friends. The words thank you just don’t seem adequate for everything Paula and Dave did for us during those almost 5 months of us staying at their house. They got to witness us bringing baby after baby home, to their home, and they handled it was so much love. I had so many family members come out and help out with the babies that were home so I could continue to go to the hospital and Paula and Dave were so hospitable to everyone who came through their doors. They are truly the most awesome friends a girl could ever ask for; I am so blessed to have them in my life.

And just like that, our babies were all home. They were little, still had lots of medical needs (feeding tubes), but they were home and it was the most amazing feeling in the whole world, exhausting, yet amazing!

I forget how little Brady was when the quints came home. He was the exact same age that they are right now. I know he had no idea what was going on. For months after we got them home he would say, “take them back to the hospital”. Thankfully, he doesn’t say that anymore. I can’t even begin to imagine what it feels like to become a big brother of quintuplets. It was a tough transition, but he survived it. He is an amazing big brother now.

I don’t deserve all the blessings God has given me, but I am forever grateful! I’m so thankful that after 4.5 months in the NICU all five of my babies came home. I’m so thankful they have continued to grow from tiny little 2-3 pound babies to healthy toddlers that are into everything! They wear me out, but that’s okay, I’m thankful they are here and that they are mine. I’m so thankful to be the mama of the Six Sweet Seals. God is SO GOOD!

IMG_4027

Our baby girl, Rayleigh Ann.

IMG_4257

Paula and Dave with their hands full of babies.

IMG_4216

Paula always went out of her way to make Brady feel right at home.

Be blessed,

Michelle