But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him and his righteousness with their children's children . . . Psalm 103:17

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Seth update and Gracie's surgery

I just got off the phone with the doctor regarding little Seth and Grace.  Seth's PDA has gotten smaller since the last sonogram, so that's a praise-- but it also indicates that a PDA is not causing his lung challenges.  They are starting him on some oral medications that will prayerfully help his lungs.  The doctor said that these babies sometimes just need time and she's fine if he continues on in his current condition.  The bottom line is that he get his nutrition and grow new lung tissue.

Grace's PDA, on the other hand, is "moderate" and the cardiologist said, "she would benefit from a ligation."  A ligation is the surgery in which they put a metal clip on the artery (ductus arteriosis) between the pulmonary artery and aorta to close it off permanently.  Though this is a procedure that the surgeons do regularly, there are of course risks.  We are confident that this is the thing to do at this point for our daughters sake and pray specifically against infection as well as other possible problems.  The surgery will likely take place in the next day or so, possibly sooner.

We are so encouraged how our babies (and we) are being lifted up in prayer to our Lord and Savior every minute of the day.  Bless you all!

In His loving arms,

Gavin

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday night: Seth

Hi all,

I wish I could give good news, but aside from some weight gain and his oxygen supplementation need remaining below 60% (for which we thank God) Seth is really struggling. He just doesn't have much reserve of strength or ability to tolerate even being repositioned. I think they have to turn his oxygen up during those times. His carbon dioxide has risen again, despite the higher vent setting he was put on. He is a very sick baby.

Labs, a sonogram of his heart, and an X-ray of his lungs have all been ordered for the morning, hoping, as the nurse put it, to find out SOMETHING for the benefit of Seth.

This is very hard, to say the least, but there is nothing we can do. It's all in God's hands. Seth is His boy. The battle is the LORD's.

Grace had her last dose of medication to close off her PDA. The sonogram in the morning will check if the meds worked or if she needs surgery or more meds. She's a lot feistier after her blood transfusion, thank God!

David, Will, and Grace all gained weight, for which we are truly grateful. Please pray that Marcie will gain, too. She is currently the smallest baby. However, she is also not on any oxygen, so she's doing well there.

Will keep you updated, as soon as we know anything. Thank you for praying. We need it and sense it!

Waiting on Him,
Carrie

P.S. Better day at school today for Isaac! Thanks for praying!

Midnight devotional

Last night I meditated on and prayed from 2 Chronicles 20. The following portions are the ones I particularly prayed through:

Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea."
Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. 4 So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.
5 Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord. 6 He prayed, “O  Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!  9 . .  ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity . . . We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us. ’
 O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless . . . We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”
13 As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children, 14 the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there.
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged . . . , for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, march out against them. 17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. . . the Lord is with you!”
18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.
20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. . ."
21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:
“Give thanks to the LORD; his faithful love endures forever!”22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.
 26 On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing, which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.
 30 So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

Quick Wednesday morning update

First off, praise God David and Marcie gained some weight! Will did too, but that's hardly news. :) Still, we are very, very grateful.

Seth's carbon dioxide level is up to 71. They've turned up his machine to try to vent that out of him. Thank you for praying for his protection and healing. He has been resting comfortably.

Gracie looks so much better and is so much more alert after her blood transfusion last night, plus she hasn't had any more "spells," praise God! She gets two more doses of the medication to try and close her patent ductus arteriosis today. We should know by tomorrow night, I think, if the Lord chose to close off the PDA in these two days or if she will need surgery. We know His plan is best - thanks for praying!

Isaac had another disappointing day at school yesterday, largely due to the fact that it is a very regimented, strict environment, not as "warm fuzzy" as his three previous schools in the past year. He said he's really worried about messing up and being treated so "rudely," as he phrased it. (Not military material, our son.) Thank you for praying for him, and THANK YOU for the cards and gifts! He feels very loved. He saved up the money some people have sent until he had enough, combined with his saved allowance, to buy an inexpensive camera with which he can take pictures of the babies. :)

At His Feet,
Carrie, for Gavin too

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Little gray Gracie; update on Seth

Grace:

Gracie has been experiencing precipitous drops in her heart rate and oxygen level; twice while I was there today her oxygen dropped from the 90%'s down into the 50%'s . One time I was "nestling" her (one hand on head, one on chest, the only kind of holding I can do yet with her and Seth) while praying, talking and singing to her. She suddenly just alarmed and went gray.

She also lost weight yesterday rather than gaining, which was a warning sign.

It turns out her patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) is very large again. She is being started on medication at 10:00 tonight. We will know by Thursday morning if the medication was enough to close the PDA again or if she will need surgery. The medication is not usually as effective this far out from birth date, but they hope to avoid surgery because of the risk of infection.

Meanwhile, she is receiving a blood transfusion to counteract her anemia (low hematocrit).

We pray God's will be done and ask Him to protect our little girl, recognizing she is truly His little girl.

Grace after one of her spells
Seth:

Seth's blood carbon dioxide rose dramatically at just one setting lower on his ventilator, so they had to turn it back up again. They have been unable to wean him at all from support, although thank God he needs less oxygen than he needed prior to receiving the steroids (40%'s and low 50%'s vs. 60%). He has chronic lung damage and just isn't healed enough yet to cope with any lowered amount of support from the oscillator ventilator. Please continue to pray for his healing, peace, and protection in every way.

Seth
Marcie and David need to gain weight. David hasn't netted any real gain in the past week, but wow, is he alert! (Picture below)



Will is was on a lowered CPAP setting today, an encouraging sign, but is still needing oxygen whereas Marcie and David are on room air only through their CPAP. Will is growing well, thank God.

I got to hold Marcie today, comfort Will with some hands-on time, change David's diaper, and "nestle" Seth just as I did Grace, also while singing, praying, etc. Each child is SO incredibly precious and beautiful. Thank you for praying for each. We know God loves them more than we can imagine.

Love,
Carrie

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day by day and with each passing moment . . .

That lovely old hymn has come to mind many times over the past several months and has special meaning today. Friends of ours with preemie twins also clung to the truth in the lyrics.

When I called tonight, Seth's carbon dioxide level was the lowest it's been, PRAISE GOD, and they were going to wean him one setting on the ventilator. PLEASE PRAY he tolerates the weaning well and does not relapse. We hope and pray, believing God is more than able, that this is the beginning of an amazing work in Seth's body.

The three "oldest" babies have had a great night with no dropped heart rates! We praise God for that, too. Glad we mentioned that as a specific item for prayer.

Gracie is still on 28 percent oxygen and actually lost some weight tonight. Please pray for her to gain strength and ability to breathe without assistance.

Thank you so much for all the comments and verses/promises some of you have left tonight. You can believe that we have been reciting some of them to ourselves for months and multiple times again today! I love the Psalm. Thanks, Francis!

Isaac was happy and peaceful at bedtime tonight. Thank you for praying for him too.

We now have permission to cradle the two ventilated babies in our arm while they are still in the isolette. The top will be raised up so we can interact more with them. Thank God for blessings like that!

Please continue to stand with us in prayer,
Carrie

P.S. thank you for all the encouraging notes and thoughtful gifts!

Brief, sobering news

Seth has "significant lung disease," and if things don't turn around dramatically and soon, there is a "very real possibility" he'll come home with a tracheostomy (hole in his trachea) hooked up with a ventilator or CPAP machine, as well as a hole into his stomach to allow us to feed him. The tracheostomy will prohibit him from being able to vocalize or cry audibly, and in the doctor's experience, he could have it for possibly even a year.

The doctor said all 5 babies, not just Seth, are still at risk of dying. In her words, "None of them is out of the woods yet."

Case in point: Grace had to have her ventilator support increased rather than starting weaning from the ventilator today.

Marcie, David and Will continue to have spells of apnea, when they stop breathing  and experience drops in their heart rates.

Please continue to pray for these babies. I didn't realize until today how precarious their situation still is. The doctor really laid it out there for us. Naive optimism is gone; we realize the Lord is these babies' only hope for life on earth and for all eternity. He is greater than any challenge and sovereign over each atom of their being. Thank you for joining with us as their prayer warriors.

In His Hands, along with Seth, Grace, Will, David, Marcie, Isaac and Gavin,
Carrie

P.S. Please also pray for Isaac, who didn't have a great 1st day of school today. He is exhibiting serious insecurity and fear at night, especially. We are praying with him, reading from Scripture, staying with him while he falls asleep, and protecting him from news that might be too upsetting.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Psalm 139:4

Carrie's dad (Neal Peterson) took these pictures of the babies today and put them into a slide show-- beautiful!






Carrie at 30 Weeks

Yep, there's been a slight change in Carrie's girth-- though not in the direction we expected 2 1/2 weeks ago.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Seth's lungs; new baby pictures

Dear family (which it feels like you've now all become, even if unofficially),

Seth's lungs had water on them today, so the nurse practitioner put him on a diuretic. Thank God, the second x-ray was much better. He still looks and acts great, he's just needing more help from the ventilator again, with higher oxygen needs, higher carbon dioxide in his blood, and a higher setting on the mean airway pressure. It's tempting to get discouraged, but the NICU staff has been great in reminding me to be patient, and I've been listening to sermons on prayer and reading verses that remind me WHO God is, and who we are in Him and to Him through His Son. Which is not to say it's easy to see my little son grimace instead of cry and not be able to hold him. :( But he does seem to really be comforted by my hands on him, by singing praise songs, and by praying and talking soothingly. So that's one huge praise. So is the fact that he remains infection-free. Thanks for praying!!

Grace may be extubated in a few days! I hope and pray so! She's not needing much oxygen and is now on oral feeds only (via tube). She got her PICC line out today; no more intravenous nutrition! Marcie, too, got her Broviac out and is on oral feeds only. The boys all are on full feeds, too, but Seth still has his PICC line so he can receive his medications. The other boys don't need medications, thank God. We pray Seth joins them too.

The nurse practitioners and nurses continue to say how great it is that our babies tolerate their feeds and gain weight well. Thank God! Again, it's critical that Seth especially get the nutrition he needs (they add enricher to my milk for all the babies) so that his lungs can grow faster than the machine/oxygen can damage them. We would ask that each of the babies is off of oxygen by 36 weeks - exactly 6 weeks from today! - Lord willing.

From yesterday and today:

Seth

Marcie having a snooze

Gracie-kins

Marcie again

David

Will in my arms (he gets too hot if I cover him too much!)

Tired Will and tired but very happy Mom

At Your Feet

When I was on the way home from the hospital the day of the quintuplets' birth, I was listening to the radio.  Casting Crowns' song "At Your Feet" was playing.  I've heard it many times and I'm pretty sure I've sung to it many times-- I know I've whistled to it a lot, because that's what I tend to do.

This time,  I listened to the words and was brought to tears.  I could feel the incredible assurance that the Lord has everything-- every detail, heartbeat, blood cell, eyelash of my babies, every circumstance in my life and relationships-- all perfectly in His more than able hands as I rest "at his feet."

I've gotten more emotional since being married.  Since being a parent.  It doesn't take much to bring tears to my eyes anymore.  Actually, it does.  The things that bring them are huge, incredible, and awe-striking--  the wondrous sight of the sunset on Shepherd Crest in the Sierras, the sweet hug of my son, the lyrics of an age-old hymn artfully describing God's eternal grace and mercy, reminders of how He has worked in wondrous ways in my life through the years . . . .

God is good.  All the time.  I truly believe that.  I've seen it play out over and over, though often more clearly in retrospect.  Did I choose this path we're on now?  No way, I could never have dreamed it up-- that's what God does: "more than we can ask or imagine" comes to mind.

I didn't ask.  I couldn't imagine.  But it IS GOOD!  I LOVE my new kids!  They are beautiful and wondrously made-- you should see their perfect hands and feet!  I am so thankful that God has chosen me to have a family like this.  It's not what I ever asked for, but apparently God knew it's exactly what I need.  I'm just trusting Him to shower His grace, peace, mercy, patience, and wisdom as I father these new ones and Isaac. (Some divine sleep would be nice, too!)

I'm so excited to see what is in store for these children as they grow.  May they be eager to humble themselves and glorify their God.  Lord, may they, too, be found "At Your Feet."

Gavin


At Your Feet lyrics
Songwriters: Jason Ingram;John Mark Hall



Here at Your feet I lay my past down
My wanderings, all my mistakes down
And I am free

Here at Your feet I lay this day down
Not in my strength but in Yours I've found
All I need, You're all I need


Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
Oh, to dwell and never leave
Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
There is nowhere else for me
There is nowhere else for me

Here at Your feet I lay my future down
All of my dreams I give to You now
And I find peace, I find peace


Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
Oh, to dwell and never leave
Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
There is nowhere else for me
There is nowhere else for me

Here at Your feet I lay my life down
For You my King, You're all I want now
And my soul sings

Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
Oh, to dwell and never leave
Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
There is nowhere else for me
There is nowhere else for me

'Cause I am free here at Your feet
All I need is at Your feet
And I find peace, we're at Your feet
We're at Your feet

I am free here at Your feet
All I need is at Your feet
I find peace, we're at Your feet
We're at Your feet, we're at Your feet
We're at Your feet

Here at Your feet I lay my life down

Calling all volunteers!!

My efforts have ramped in organizing the volunteers and it is clear how much preparation is needed now in advance of the quints' arrival home.

My first focus is to make sure I have my list of volunteers as complete as possible.  If you have any interest in helping the Jones family (and have not already contacted me through the following email address), please e-mail me at jonesquints@yahoo.com and let me know your name, phone number and how you know Gavin & Carrie (or where you read about them).  

I will then be sending the list of volunteers a questionnaire to complete regarding type(s) of help you're interested in and day(s) you are available.

A huge need will be for volunteers overnight.  Although the schedule might be adjusted slightly, it will likely be 11:00pm-7:00am.  My goal is to have enough volunteers that you only need do it once every two weeks.  We will provide full training and you will not be alone during the night shift.

For those friends from out of town who would like to plan a visit to Dallas, please send me those dates so that I can co-ordinate local volunteers around out of town volunteers.

Thank you for your support and I am excited to pull together as many volunteers as we can for this wonderful family and their precious kids.

Stacey Walter

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday night short report

Hi all,

Thanks for continuing your prayers for all the babies and for Seth's lungs. They look good on x-ray but he's needing more oxygen again (54 percent tonight) and his carbon dioxide blood level is 2 percent higher. The NICU really is the roller-coaster I was warned it would be. I'm so glad to know God is sovereign. I get a sinking feeling of frustration as it is, but at least I can KNOW the truth, including that so many are praying. Praise God, Seth continues to look and act really healthy. We just pray his little lungs grow and develop (along with his brain, despite his 9 days of powerful steroid). Sounds like he already has some chronic damage in the existing alveoli, so that's why he needs to grow more lung tissue. He's so cute and was so alert today; I'll try to post pictures tomorrow. I got a really cute one of Gracie, too! It was wonderful to be with ALL the babies; tomorrow I hope to hold Marcie (for some reason the Broviac isn't a barrier anymore), David and Will. I got to interact with Seth and Grace more than usual today, which was precious!

Thank you so much for caring and praying, and for bearing with us as the list of people we want to thank grows ever longer. I find I return exhausted from the NICU, and I'm getting up 3 times a night

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Feisty little Seth

Not much to report tonight regarding test results, except that Seth's carbon dioxide blood level is a point lower than yesterday's (heading the right direction, but still high), his pH is slightly higher (so he's slightly less acidic, a good thing!), and his x-ray may have been slightly better than yesterday's. It was hard for the nurse practitioner to discern much difference between the two days, but the important thing is that his lungs are so very much less inflamed than Sunday. There's still a little bit of haziness in his right upper lobe, I think. Thank you for your continued prayers!

The encouraging subject of this post refers to Seth's continued "war" with his oscillator. Instead of just lying there limp, he keeps trying to over-breathe the machine or flail about, so they've actually had to give him meds to calm him down! Both the nurse and nurse practitioner said that's a good thing, seeing him so feisty and fighting like that. He's down to 35% oxygen still tonight, SO much better than needing the 60% he needed on Sunday! The oscillator pressure is also lower than previously, so he's heading in the right direction. I pray (and know so many of you will, too) he continues to do so and doesn't relapse as he is weaned off the steroid. He didn't grow the past two days, but hasn't lost much ground either and is still 10 grams ahead of taller David. :) Please pray his little brain continues to develop well and he continues to be free of infections! Thank God that has not been an issue yet.

Precious tiny Gracie is doing great, on only low oxygen (mid-20%'s). I can't wait to hold these little ones. Marcie too, who is unholdable as long as she has the Broviac. (She has so much hair! It's so light and usually covered by a cap, so I didn't really notice until today.)

I got to hold both David and Will today! I felt SO rich! They are too precious and perfect for words, just like their siblings. It was weird to know I was only holding a third of my children in my arms . . .

Lengths at birth: David 15 and 3/8th inches, Will 15 and 1/8th inches, Seth 14 and 3/8th inches, Marcie 14 and 1/8th inches, and Gracie at only 12 and 5/8th inches. Grace is tiny but no thinner than Marcie for length, looks like. Right now our babies are "big" at 2 lb 3 oz up to 3 lbs 2 oz. :)

Seth, Marmi, Papa, and Isaac

Marmi, Papa and Gracie

David and Will
Marcie's head of hair (couldn't see her from the front very well)



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wed. night update on Seth and all

Hi all!

This happy mom is grateful beyond words to report improvement in Seth's lung x-ray; there is much less inflammation. In addition, he's on less oxygen and they were able to wean the ventilator a little bit today. The most encouraging thing to my heart was hearing from the nurse practitioner how healthy Seth is looking and acting! He was alert and sucking hard on his pacifier, had good color, no discernible swelling, no heart murmur (meaning his ductus arteriosis is closed), and in short "does not look or act like a sick baby." I just called the NICU and heard he's only on 38 percent oxygen; after being at 60, the 30's sound great to me!

There is still much to pray about, though. Room air is only 21 percent oxygen, so obviously he needs to continue moving in the right direction. He still has some inflammation, and his blood carbon dioxide level is still too high. He's remaining stable but not really improving in regards to blood gases. We PRAY his carbon dioxide decreases and the remaining inflammation clears up so they can wean him off the ventilator sooner rather than later and continue to wean his oxygen. He has 6 more days on a lowered dose of the steroid; please continue to pray that the steroid helps and does not hurt him in any way. In particular, we pray he won't get any infection or have any damage to his brain.

The nurse practioner says nutrition is key in helping his body and lungs to grow, mature, and start to self-regulate (although his kidneys are already producing higher levels of sodium bicarbonate to counter-balance his respiratory acidosis. Truly, we are fearfully and wonderfully made!). Thank God, he is tolerating his feeds really well and they have already stopped his IV lipids and decreased his other IV nutrition as his little belly handles more and more milk.

Gracie is doing great! She is only on 24% oxygen tonight! She also gained a bit and is now 2 lb 3 oz. Marcie is 2 lb 4 oz, and Will is up to 3 lb 3 oz. Seth and David both lost a bit since last night and are 2 lb 9 oz each (although Seth still has the advantage at 1170 grams; David is at 1150 g.). Will is getting all of his nutrition from my milk only; the other babies are all moving forward! An enricher is added to increase the caloric value per cc., from an average of 20 cals to 22 or 24, depending on the baby's progress. David might also be only on milk; I can't remember. :}

I got to hold David for over two hours today; Gavin's parents got to change diapers. I told them they are welcome to change as many diapers as they want! :)

Thank you for praying for ALL the babies and particularly for the concerns regarding Seth.

Love and gratitude,
Carrie

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Praises! Please keep praying :)

Just got off the phone with the nurses. Seth is down to needing only 43% oxygen (room air is 21%) which is quite a drop from where he was, hovering around 60%. We dropped to our knees in thanksgiving to God and in prayer that He continues to heal Seth's lungs, lessening his need for oxygen and help breathing.

We also thank God that Seth's blood carbon dioxide level continues to decrease (from 67 mmHg(?) to 64 to 62), and we pray it continues to do so significantly, allowing continued ventilator weaning. Normal is between 45 and 55 for preemies.

And unless there was a huge scale inaccuracy, it appears that the Lord is answering prayers that Seth continue to grow (especially his brain): tonight he had gained 120 g and passed up David in weight! He doesn't appear to be swollen, so it's most likely not water weight. Wow.

Please keep praying the blood levels and vent settings continue to improve, and that the Lord will protect his little body and brain in every way, if He is willing!

Will update when we know anything more . . .

In the meantime, another big praise is Gracie is needing less and less oxygen tonight. We pray that continues as well! All the other three are doing well, although poor Will has problems with spitting up due to air pressure in his tummy from the CPAP and David hates his prong CPAP mask. Thank you for your continued prayers for their comfort, peace and rest. They are so tiny and vulnerable! Marcie is conked out. :)

To God be the Glory,
Carrie

Weights: David - 2 lb 10 oz, Seth - 2 lb 11 oz, Will - 3 lb 1 oz, Grace - 2 lb 2 oz, nothing on Marcie yet tonight.

Seth - praise and continued prayer

Our little blond boy: It's hard to stay awake when you're so tiny!

Just returned from the NICU. Praise God, the collapsed section of lung had started re-inflating by 9:00 this morning, and the lungs looked less inflamed on x-ray. However, the nurse practitioner said it's the next 18 hours that will be the most critical/telling as far as whether or not the steroid is helping, and she said, "When it works, it's like a miracle." Of course, we realize God is the ultimate healer and Great Physician, and we pray for His complete healing for Seth's lungs and for protection meanwhile over Seth's brain and body. The steroid can actually completely stop growth, including in the brain, and can result in brain damage. That's probably a big reason why Dr. Burgess is only putting him on a 9-day course.

When I arrived at the NICU today, with Gavin and his parents and Isaac shortly behind me, Seth was needing his diaper changed. He cried the whole time I was changing him (that pitiful, silent face scrunch that hurts my heart worse than a real cry!), but then the nurse suggested I hold his arms still and put my other hand over his torso. He stopped crying immediately! I was talking to him the whole time, and that's the most I've been able to touch him in days. A special moment. :)

Grace is doing well, on continuous feeding since her tummy is so little, and being "disturbed" only every 4 hours vs. the others who get attended to every 3 hours (diaper, mouth swabbing, temperature, etc.). [Obviously, all of them are attended all the time, but the nurses let them sleep as much as possible in between their "touch times."]

Today I got to hold Will for 3 hours, and meanwhile Gavin held David for 2! That was a really sweet time.

Little Marcie Jane is thriving as well as Will and David are. It's good to have very little to report. :)

Thank you again for praying for all the babies, and most especially for Seth. We'll keep you posted.

To God be the Glory,
Carrie

Seth

When I called tonight the nurse practitioner told me that he was having trouble on the ventilator, so they tried to adjust his breathing tube to see if that would help. Meanwhile, they were bagging him (giving him breaths) and it didn't seem to be working very well. They ended up just removing the tube, rather than trying to get it in a better place, and put in a new tube, after which time he was much more stable. They did an X-ray to see what the issue was (causing the resistance during the bagging, I think?) and found that the upper lobe of his right lung was collapsed, so they turned him a certain way to let that lung be elevated. Sometimes it only takes a few hours of that to re-inflate the lung. I pray so.

Another X-ray will likely be done in the morning. I don't know how long it takes the steroids to start working, but we know Who is sovereign over every last molecule of Seth's being! We again pray for His mercy and favor over our little man.

Thank you all for praying,
Carrie and Gavin

(Thanks also for all the lovely cards, emails, sweet gifts, etc. Someday we might catch up on all cards and emails WE want to write in return! We can't tell you how much we appreciate all you are doing, most especially your prayers.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

PLEASE PRAY for Seth! Plus new weights.

Hi all,

I spoke with Dr. Burgess this morning, and in his words, "We have got to get that [lung] inflammation under control." Seth is needing MORE help from the ventilator and MORE oxygen (56% or so) than he has before, so he's heading in the wrong direction. Oxygen itself can damage the delicate lung tissue as preemies don't have the ability to neutralize the radicals O2 can create. Yet, they need it to survive, obviously, and Seth isn't doing well on reduced settings. They can't risk brain damage.

 Seth's lung x-rays continue to look very hazy (inflamed) and show very poor aeration. This time period is pretty normal for preemies - about a week-and-a-half to two weeks after birth, if they've been on a ventilator with O2, the NICU starts seeing this inflammatory response. Grace is on much less oxygen (about 32%) and so far is doing okay. Thank you for praying for her.

As for Seth, the plan is to PRAY, to give a very potent steroid and rapidly taper over a nine day period, and during that time if Dr. Burgess and medical staff see lung improvement they are going to wean him down on the ventilator and O2 settings as quickly as possible.

Please pray for healing, obviously, by the Hand of the Great Physician and through His servants who have the training and medications, that He would grant them wisdom and that He Himself will intervene on Seth's behalf. Specific complications that can arise from the steroid use include increased chance of infection due to depressed immune function, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Thank you for praying that none of these will happen.

Of course, we always pray "Thy will be done," but He does invite us to boldly approach the Throne of Grace with confidence that He will help in time of need. I know He is helping me to trust. A CD of Christian lullabies I've been listening too while pumping at night has a line that's very meaningful to me in a prayer for the babies: "be safe and secure in His keeping, and rest in the arms of the First and the Last."*

On a happier note, all the babies are over two pounds now: Will is actually at 3 lb almost 1 oz., David is 2 lb 7.5 oz, Marcie is 2 lb 2 oz. and doing GREAT - she self-extubated at 4 this morning, and I get to hold her today while Dad holds David; Seth is 2 pounds 7.2 ounces - almost completely caught up with David!, and Gracie (aka "Little Girl" and "little Miss Grace" to the NICU staff) is 2 lb 1 oz. Hurray! Will, David and Marcie are thriving, and Will and David no longer have a central line; they are on oral feeds only (via a tube still). So there is much to be thankful for, not least of which is your intercession on behalf of Seth. Off course, we want to continue to lift them ALL up to the Throne of Grace.

Thank you and bless you all,
Carrie for Gavin, too

*(Thanks, Aunt Linda W. for the CD! Isaac has used it for years to calm fears at bedtime, and here we go again with five new babies!)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Marcie and grandparents

We just went to visit Marcie and she's still doing well.  They're getting ready to transport her back to rejoin her siblings at St. Paul.  They did a sonogram on her today and it showed that her PDA is gone, praise God!  They can come and go several times, but we are thankful that it is not an issue now and she can go back onto her feeding schedule.  She has lost a little bit of weight while at Childrens', so we're eager for her to gain that back and more.

My (Gavin's) mom finally threw in the towel and bought tickets to come out on Monday.  We decided earlier that it would be most helpful for them to come when the babies come home.  At the same time, I doubted that Mom would be able to last that long without seeing her grandchildren.  She lasted longer than I thought she would-- then Dad gave in, too.  It will be great to have them here, though just for a short time.

The nurses in the NICU made a special shirt for us a few days ago, which I am modeling below.  I think I'll have to frame it.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Success!

We just got word that the surgery went well.  Praise God!  They were able to get the catheter into her femoral artery through her groin area instead of her chest, which was what we were hoping and praying for.  We are about to head on up and see her.  Thanks so much for praying!

PICC unsuccessful, surgery this a.m.

Marcie Jane will either get the central line catheter (of which Broviac is just one type) in her jugular or her femoral artery in her groin. Please pray there will be no infection, no damage to surrounding tissues and organs, and for the surgery to go perfectly, Lord willing. Will update when I hear it's in.

Thank you for your prayers,
Carrie

Attempting PICC line instead

The surgeons asked that a final attempt on getting a PICC be tried first, and if it's not successful then they will go ahead with the Broviac. I should receive a call soon.

Thanks for praying. It would be GREAT if the Children's staff can get a PICC in! The woman doing the procedure says she sees a couple of good sites yet to try.

Thanks also for continuing to pray for our little Marcie Jane, who we realize is really God's little Marcie Jane.

Carrie

Surgery scheduled for 7 am

If her IV fails before then, she'll have the surgery right away in the middle of the night. She's resting comfortably now. Thank God for such kind, professional docs, nurses, and medical staff!

I'd love it if they can get the port catheter into a leg instead of her chest or neck, but need to trust that God will direct all of that perfectly. The "biggest" small risk is a lung puncture and collapsed lung.

Thanks again for your prayers. We should hear by 9 am.

Love,

Carrie

Friday, August 17, 2012

P.S. on Marcie; new pics

Marcie made it safely to Children's Medical Center and was feisty, as always - to quote the transfer nurse "She isn't really cooperating [with the mask change-over], but that's okay. We like them spunky like this." She was active the whole trip; but then the trip was only 3 blocks. :}

They were settling her in when I last called, so I don't know if she will have surgery tonight or tomorrow.

Here are some more pictures. Thank you for praying!!

David, just 50 grams below his birth weight at 2 pounds, almost 5 ounces
(Goal is birth weight at 2 weeks old, so we're praising God for their weights and feeds!)

Gracie with Daddy's ring balanced on her knee. She's exceeded her birth weight by an ounce - now 1 lb 13 oz. :)

Seth, who has also exceeded his birth weight and is now 2 lb 3 oz, even thought he looks SO skinny!

Will and Mom. He likes to hold his own pacifier in, so I think he's dreaming about it.
He's gained 20 grams (0.7 ounces) over his birth weight.

Marcie holding Daddy's ring; back up to birth weight (at least until this latest development.
Her feeds had to be stopped when she was put on medication for the ductus arteriosis.).

Marcie needs broviac surgery

Being repositioned this afternoon; those are Gavin's hands. She's a feisty little one! She has the cutest little squeak cry.
She forgave him when he settled her comfortably back into her little cocoon.
Dear praying friends,

After watching/hearing Marcie Jane get stuck over and over again yesterday and today while we were at the NICU, and hearing the nurses and nurse practitioners say that the veins they were hoping to use were already blown, I am more than ready for this news. 

Please pray for our little girl, who has really been tough - she mostly just sucks harder on her pacifier or squeaks a few times. She will be undergoing general anesthesia and surgery either tonight or first thing in the morning. This broviac will provide the access to her superior vena cava (?) she needs to receive the remainder of her medications  and IV nutrition painlessly. (She's receiving about half the the milk she needs for her size; they have to work up gradually on her feeds as her tummy is so very tiny.) Dr. Burgess says it's time. Her veins just don't look good, and it's only a matter of time until the latest IV also starts leaking. PLEASE PRAY it stays until she has received her medication to close the ductus arteriosis! We will know tomorrow night or Sunday morning if her ductus has closed or not. 

She is so skinny (the 2nd smallest baby, behind Grace) it's amazing they were able to get the IVs into her as long as they were. All her limbs have been attempted for PICC lines but just don't allow the catheter to proceed to the right location. 

Thank you for your prayers for the surgeon and all the staff responsible for the surgery. We pray God's continued mercy and protection over Marcie, that she would be comfortable through this whole thing, that the anesthesiologist would give her exactly the amount of general anesthesia and pain medication she will need, and that the surgery will go flawlessly. 

I am certainly at peace about this; Gavin doesn't even know about it yet but I know he will agree. We are SO grateful for the amazing care she has been receiving and know it will continue. I am also grateful to know that this is no surprise to God. He does all things well, and we thank Him for his mercy over each baby and us all during this time. 

In His grip, along with Marcie Jane, Grace, Seth, David, Will, and Isaac,
Carrie for Gavin, too


Thursday, August 16, 2012

All clear!

With greatest thanksgiving to God and prayer warriors: David and Seth also had completely clear brain scans!

Seth needs prayer for some fluid on his lungs, please. His blood work may also indicate an infection, although he doesn't act at all sick. It may just be his bone marrow kicking into gear. We pray so!

One really specific prayer request is that he and Grace would be able to come off the ventilators and oxygen so they don't develop any chronic lung disease or bronco pulmonary displasia.

Marcie has a large ductus arteriosis now and is having lots of spells where she stops breathing. Please pray for closure and wisdom for the staff.

Her IV came out, but PTL they were able to get another in her arm! Please pray it stays!

Grace now weighs an ounce more than at birth, and I think David is the only one who hasn't regained his birth weight, but he's only 50 grams away!

Thanking the Lord and you who are praying,
Carrie

(Took some cute pictures and will post them when able.)

Isaac, brain scans (Thursday the 19th)

Hi all,

Thanks SO much to those who have sent cards and gifts to Isaac. He LOVES them and is feeling a bit sad on days he doesn't get a card. So at the risk of sounding very selfish, if you are willing/able to drop him a little line (it can be any kind of card, nothing expensive - just a notecard) that would be super meaningful to him. :)

Brain scans later tonight on David and Seth - thanks for praying! They are checking Marcie, Seth and Grace again for the opening of that flap - patent ductus arteriosis. We pray for wisdom for the staff and healing from our Lord if they find anything.

Update to follow!

Love and gratitude,
Carrie

P.S. It's the babies' one week birthday!!! :) PRAISE GOD they have been doing so well thus far. We pray it continues. Thank YOU for praying! And for all your kind emails and comments and cards and baby gifts - will write later. :)

Brain scans - please pray!; praise x 3

We were relieved and incredibly grateful that Will and and the two girls had clear brain scans yesterday (a day earlier than we'd expected); please pray with us that David's and Seth's will also be completely normal and clear of any sign of brain bleeding. They get theirs today. Thank you for standing with us and behind the precious babies!

When Marcie was getting her head scan done, she immediately reached up to feel/massage the ultrasonic gel they squirted on her head. She is SO active (as she was in the womb), she's not giving herself a chance to gain weight, even though they've increased her volume of milk (6 cc's each feeding).

She and David have had some struggles with apnea and heart rate dropping. She was put on a different type and mask and is being given reminder breaths. Her blood work and a chest x-ray were normal. The nurse today said very seriously to me, "Pray this IV continues to hold." Yes, Lord, please! No need for a broviac yet, thank God. Please pray for peace and comfort for her so she will settle down, be less feisty/agitated, and just rest in His arms.

I pray God fills those isolettes with His peace and comfort from the Holy Spirit. I prayed that very specifically for Seth last night and was thrilled to hear and see God answer!

Seth's blood gases and chest x-ray were excellent, so the staff was able to turn down the oscillator. He has been so much more comfortable and relaxed!
All babies are now receiving my milk! So exciting (and serious business for me). I thank God for His provision and pray I'll be able to make enough for all of them during the critical first few months. After that, we'll need to supplement. I crave getting to hold each one and nurse individually!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Very brief update, Tues. night, Aug. 14

Thanks for praying for Marcie Jane's PICC line insertion (through her leg). Disappointingly, it was unsuccessful. As her nurse said tonight, pray that her IV continues to function well. Maybe they will try to keep using IVs, maybe she'll end up needing the broviac. We pray for the former, but know God is God. He blessed us with an hour-and-a-half of getting to hold her today, skin to skin on my chest. SO precious! Meanwhile, Gavin did a quick phone interview live with CNN outside the NICU. I was perfectly content to stay where I was. :)

All babies are doing well tonight, thank God and you, too, for carrying them and us to Him.

Love and gratitude,
Carrie

Monday, August 13, 2012

Video of today's press conference

If you're interested, this is the full video from the press conference this afternoon at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Rare quintuplets born at UT Southwestern Medical Center - Press conference from UT Southwestern on Vimeo.

I love this article and its pictures!! Plus baby PRAISES

Thanks for your prayers regarding the press conference! We had a really fun time. We've been on at least 5 (are there more?) of the local channels. You can now Google us and read about us in Dallas, Houston, Sacramento, Chicago, World Magazine Online, and I'm sure many more of which I am unaware as I struggle to stay awake. All a bit surreal, but lots of fun, especially the following phone interview and article online: From the Daily Mail in London, UK The pictures of the babies (taken by the UT Southwester photographer) are so sweet! You can see that Will is the only one who looks like a "normal" baby thus far (and reminds me of how Isaac looked at birth), but of course each dear little face and body makes me miss them already. Sleep first. :) We prayed over each baby before we left the hospital this evening. I love the feel of their soft skin and tiny bodies.

I so appreciate the kind notes of encouragement, empathy, and assurances of prayer from complete strangers showing up on the blog now (and in the comments in response to World Magazine's online article).

And now for the really important news of the day!:

The babies were all still on the upswing when we left the hospital. Seth's breathing was improved, as was Gracie's, and each baby's ductus arteriosis (that open flap between large blood vessels near their hearts) is very small! Gracie's was quite large before her first round of medication, but she now doesn't need any more medication and has avoided surgical closure!!! HURRAY, THANKS for praying, and PRAISE the Lord! Many happy tears around here!

Please keep praying for the development of surfactant in each little lung, and that Seth will dirty his diaper. He's only partially digesting his food at this point, so they're applying a little encouragement at the other end to try and draw the milk through his digestive system so it develops well. Marcie Jane's PICC line insertion (last attempt) is going to be tomorrow because they wanted to give her a day off, poor little munchkin. Again, please pray the nurse practitioner will  successful!

I got to hold Marcie's pacifier in her mouth for a while, and goodness, that little girl likes to suck! She was crying slightly, and it felt SO good to be able to meet her little need for comfort. The nurses say she is super active. Gavin got to hold her up in his two hands - WOW, she is small! - while the nurse changed her bedding. Gavin also changed her dirty diaper while I looked on.

Grace was also really awake today and looking at us (probably just two big blurs in her vision), snuggled down in her favorite position - her side. :)

It's been a GOOD day. I am glad to be home with Gavin and Isaac, grateful for the help of Mom and Dad and those bringing meals and helping in other ways. I'm hoping to get some good rest tonight, and am very, very grateful for how the babies are doing. 

To God be the Glory,
Carrie for us all




Precise gestation length

The babies were born at 27 weeks and 5 days, but because they are quints they were more like 27-week preemies than 28 week preemies. I'm just grateful for the additional 5 days, and sure would have chosen to go much longer! But it was obviously completely out of my hands when Will broke his water and got things going really quickly, and God is always sovereign. His plans are perfect, even when I don't understand them. (And praise Him, all five babies are doing better in some way this morning. I will blog tonight, if able.)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Evening update, Sunday


Praises:
  • Seth's left lung is better. Now they are trying to better inflate his right lung. He remains on the oscillator ventilator. 
  • The nurse practitioner was able to get a PICC line in David's other arm!
Prayers:
  • Again, that all the babies will begin making their own surfactant, especially Seth, and that Seth's breathing issues would continue to improve so he can get off the ventilator and avoid the complications (including chronic lung disease) that can arise from long-term ventilator use. 
  • There was another unsuccessful attempt to insert a PICC line in Marcie Jane, this time through her leg. Another nurse practitioner will attempt it through her other leg tomorrow. If unsuccessful, Marcie will need surgery from Children's Medical Center to insert the broviac into her chest. I would LOVE to avoid this, looking at Gavin's scar from his broviac during treatment for leukemia as an adolescent, but I realize a scar is one of the least important things on the list of potential concerns. Boys think scars are cool; girls aren't so fond of theirs. :} I'll just be grateful to have her with us in future years and can point to it as a sign of God's faithfulness and goodness. 
  • Gracie had to restart her blood pressure medication at a very low dose, but did a good job without it for most of the day, so that is an encouraging start.
  • I arrived at the NICU tonight to find Will crying and milk coming out of his nose and mouth while his oxygen level dropped. The nurse quickly syringed him and explained that the CPAP can make it difficult to keep the milk down; maybe he needed to burp and just couldn't. It was nice to hear his cry for the first time, but otherwise obviously upsetting to see him struggle. It was a good reminder that even though he continues to sail through the NICU experience thus far, he also has his little challenges and "traumas," and it bothers me that I can do virtually nothing to help him - and in this case it was my milk he was distressed by! So a "little" but important prayer request is that the babies on CPAP will be able to eat without problems. I'm also reminded that if Will were the only baby, we would be praying like crazy for him; it's just that all the others' needs are so much greater at this time, he tends to be the P.S. rather than the center of the attention. I love him just as much as his siblings!
  • Please also pray for Isaac, who has exhibited some signs of anxiety and stress, and for me to be more stable around him. I cry SO quickly and am so overwhelmed in general (not helped by the hormones of having given birth to five babies, and now having five preemies in the NICU, plus pumping around the clock!).  But I sure love these babies and wouldn't trade them for a stress-free life, that's for sure! I can't imagine doing without one of them. 
Thanks again for praying, and please also remember the press conference at 1:30 Central Time tomorrow, that the Lord would honor Himself and that I will be composed and not a sobbing wreck. :} The whole family could use your prayers during this time. It's stressful for grandparents and aunts and uncles too! 

With love and gratitude,
Carrie

Many praises; a few more requests

We praise God that Seth is already better this morning! The pulmonary interstitial emphysema is already much improved. The neonatologist/Director of the NICU showed us the progression from bad to a bit better to much better on the lung x-rays they took yesterday, last night and this morning. Seth is needing more pressure on the oscillating ventilator, but less oxygen. He still needs lots of prayers, of course, that this would resolve completely, that he would start making his own surfactant (the fluid that allows for air exchange and inflation of the alveoli) - that all the babies would, actually, as the 4 smaller ones have already maxed out the dosage of the surfactant they can receive from the NICU. The neonatologist said they should start making their own sometime between today and maybe 5 days from now. We certainly pray so and deeply appreciate your joining us in that request.

Another exciting development Seth-wise is that he is now receiving my milk, too, and David, Marcie, and Will are getting double the number of feeds they were getting - every three hours now instead of every six. Gracie can't be fed by tube until she's off the medication to close her patent ductus arteriosis (PDA). She receives her last dose tonight, will start getting milk tomorrow, and will be re-scanned to see if the medication was enough to close the flap or not. If not, she'll be restarted on the medication. She can have three rounds of three doses before she needs to have surgery.

The neonatologist is wondering if Seth's lung issues may be due to  his PDA worsening, so will probably order another scan tomorrow or the next day to see if it's enlarged and needing treatment.

The other big prayer request for today is that the nurse practitioner be able to get the PICC lines in through their legs. I would love it if they can avoid having surgery to put in "broviacs" for medication and food delivery. Will still doesn't need a PICC line, thank God.

Grace got to get off her blood pressure medication entirely and is no longer receiving oxygen, although is still on the ventilator. Marcie, too, is off the oxygen and requiring less support from her CPAP to help her breath. David is requiring slightly more support that previously, but is getting only a tiny bit of oxygen.

Will continues to thrive and sleep. :)

Official lengths: Will - 15.5 inches, David - 15.3 inches, Seth - 14.25 inches, Marcie - 14.15 inches, Gracie - 12.5 inches long.

THANK YOU FOR PRAYING and for continuing to do so!

Love and gratitude,
Carrie (heading for a nap)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Please pray for Seth, especially.

With five babies at different stages of wellness, it's quite a roller coaster around here.  

Seth is facing the biggest challenges right now.  He is not breathing well and his oxygen levels are dropping significantly.  His lungs are over-dilating as well and so he is on the best, gentlest respirator.  

Grace (the smallest baby at 1 lb 12 oz) has a large hole between her pulmonary artery & aortic artery. It is a common issue in preemies that sometimes needs to be taken care of with medicine or possibly surgery.  She also has water on her lungs (pulmonary edema).  She has been started on the medication in hopes of closing the hole. If it doesn't close by Monday she will likely need surgery.

Seth also has a hole in the same place, but his is smaller & not yet needing treatment. Pray that his hole closes naturally. 


They have been unable to get a PICC line into David & Marcie Jane. Please pray that on Sunday a nurse practitioner will be able to insert a PICC line in David's arm & Marcie's leg. If PICC line insertion fails, these 2 babies will require surgery for port catheters.
On Thursday all 5 babies will have routine brain scans to be sure none have brain bleeds.
Baby Will continues to thrive!



We are confident in the abilities of the doctors and nurses watching after them, especially since these issues are things they have seen and taken care of many times before.  We are more confident in our Lord and His ability to care for each of these little ones in ways we humans would never imagine!  


Please pray for Carrie also, as this is a very emotional time for her in many ways.  

I, too, ask for your prayers.  I'm feeling tugged in many different directions and my brain is having a harder time making decisions and multi-tasking.  

Love to all and many thanks for your prayers,

Gavin 

Saturday morning report

We got a decent night's sleep last night, but Carrie was up quite a bit and is still quite tired.  I just went over to see the babies and things are still pretty stable overall.  They have not lost as much weight as is normally expected in the first few days.  Grace is actually still at her birth weight-- a good thing, since she was the smallest.

Last night they were trying to get a central PIC line (a longer term IV) into Marcie, but were unable to do it successfully.  They may try to do it again on the other side today, so we pray they will have success with that.

Also, today's big concern for Seth and Grace (not unexpected) is patent ductus arteriosis, which is a heart condition preemies get sometimes when a shunt artery does not close off.  If it does not close, the pulmonary artery gets too much blood from the aortal artery side and it can lead to pulmonary edema (fluid on the lungs).   They will be doing sonograms on them to check for the condition and then likely start them on some medication to help close the shunt artery.  If three rounds of the medication (over a few days) does not take care of it, the worst case scenario is that they need to be closed surgically.  The doctor said it is a 15 minute procedure, but still obviously serious surgery.  We hope and pray that they will not need the surgery and the medicine does its job.

Here are a few more pictures from delivery day.






Quick Quint Update

I am so in love with these 5 tiny bundles of perfection! Obviously, my favorite times of the day are those I spend in the NICU. Thank God (and those who have been praying), while still very sore and waiting for my body to resume its normal functioning level, I'm able to walk around and feel much better when I do - a good "excuse" for going to the NICU 3 times today. ;) I kept thinking I was feeling them move as I slept last night, then would wake up so happy to know they are here and doing well. And then today the staff kindly and gently prepared me for reality, which is that NICU time is a roller-coaster of health and emotions (mine were definitely on the wild track today after blissful euphoria yesterday!). I just wept with Seth as he got an IV removed, his forehead all scrunched and his mouth open in a soundless wail. I know babies cry, but he is SO tiny and vulnerable it hurts me to see him upset at all, even though I know it's what's best for him and the staff are SO sweet and gentle and focused on "their" respective babies. We are honored and amazed to see how many people care deeply and personally. Some staff members, including the nurse practitioner doing the procedure, prayed about Seth's PIC line insertion prior to and during their work over him. Thank God, they got it in the right spot so he has more of a "permanent" nutrition injection apparatus that won't erode his tiny veins. The PIC lines go in the arm and up through the shoulder area and down to where the blood volume is high at the superior vena cava, just before it enters the heart (I think!). Gracie had her PIC line inserted already but it's not in quite the right spot, so please pray they can get it to go where it's supposed to - down instead of up. Marcie is having hers inserted right now, so we pray for success and for comfort for her. David will have his inserted soon, probably tomorrow. So far, big boy Will (who truly looks big compared to Gracie!) doesn't need another line. He and David and Marcie are still receiving little feeds of mother's milk along with their TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition, the components of food, including calories, injected directly into the blood).

 Thank you SO much for your prayers for these tiny lives. Their fragility is overwhelming sometimes, and I am so grateful that the God who flung the stars into space with perfect precision is also holding our five mini-children in His hands. The NICU staff says there are good days and hard days; take the good days (of which we've had two) and be grateful, and hold on during the hard days, trusting God is in control and watching over every last little function in their itty-bitty bodies. We crave your continued prayers. Despite all I've read on others' blogs and in books, it was impossible to gauge beforehand how truly heart-wrenching their struggles are and how very precious each one already is to us. No matter that there are five; we treasure them all! And I have to add as an aside that they are already much better-looking than yesterday. They're all tucked up into nice little bundles, and instead of wide open mouths they are sucking on their tubes and trying to lick up the biogel that is used to clean and moisten their mouths and lips. Oh, and I got to change and give Seth his biogel today! What a treat, although he's such a sensitive little soul even the diaper change upset him. I hope my voice was calming to him. Gracie, on the other hand, seems largely unphased and super tough and spunky. She's the one who sticks her tongue out and tries to eat the biogel. David is on his tummy tonight and looks utterly adorable (wish I had a camera when I went to visit last), and Will just kind of chills all the time. He's big and sleepy. :) Marcie is doing great; just praying she gets her PIC line in correctly. She has dark hair whereas Gracie has blond. Seth is our blondie boy; the other two have dark hair, especially Will. He has a surprising amount! They are ALL adorable and perfect in appearance, but I know I'm biased.

Thanks also for all the kind comments and congratulations. We'll try to answer your questions soon, but now it's bed time!

Love and gratitude,
Carrie

Friday, August 10, 2012

How to help

The Jones family is blessed to be surrounded by so many people who are wanting to help out in any way possible.  My role is to help manage all of these requests and to establish a schedule of what is needed and when.  I am also the person you can ask all the questions regarding the help that is needed as we need to allow the family to spend as much time as possible with their newborn quints.

If you would like access to the web site regarding the needed help, please send an e-mail to jonesquints@yahoo.com and let me know your name, phone number and how you know Gavin & Carrie.  If you simply have questions, you can send them to the same e-mail (jonesquints@yahoo.com).

Thank you for all of your support!

Stacey Walter




Thursday, August 9, 2012

Good news!

 Will, David and Marcie (the first three babies to be pulled from the womb) are now off the ventilators and on the CPAP instead! They are also receiving little feeds, and I'm so grateful to God for His work in my body that I can already provide for them. The first milk is so beneficial, especially when it's from their own mommy.

The NICU staff estimate Seth will be able to join in on the CPAP and feeding fun either tomorrow or the next day. Right now both he and Gracie are getting some blood pressure medication (very normal because they were the last two out), but the last time I was in the NICU Gracie's nurse told me they were able to decrease the dose because she was already doing better. As the tiniest one and very last one out, we deeply appreciate your prayers for her (and the other four, too, of course!). The first 72 hours are the most critical.

The clinical coordinator for the NICU just came in again, saying they are all doing so well and that "Everything went perfect today." The doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, respiratory therapists, and everyone else on the Code 5 team were amazing. All glory to God for His care and provision!

With so much gratitude and joy,
The Mommy

Anybody ready for some news?



I figure everyone is waiting with bated breath, so . . . here we go.


Introducing!

The Jones Quintuplets
Born August 9, 2012

Will Edward: 2lb, 10 oz. 10:01 AM

David Stephen: 2 lb, 6 oz. 10:02 AM



Marcie Jane: 2 lb, 0 oz. 10:03 AM



Seth Jared: 2 lb. 1 oz. 10:04 AM



Grace Elise: 1 lb 12 oz. 10:05 AM


All the babies are healthy and doing well, despite how they look (referring to the lines and tubes-- they're all beautifully formed!)  We praise God for His mercy and love in bringing these 5 new lives into ours!  The whole delivery went flawlessly from beginning to end.  Carrie has already been up and into the NICU two times to see the babies!  Everyone is saying that it's incredible how quickly she's recovering and couldn't believe how soon she was in to see them.  Isaac is enthralled with his new siblings!  Thanks to all for your prayers and all the glory to God!  

Unfortunately, we aren't connected to our email account here, just the internet, so that's a bit limiting and frustrating.  Bear with us on that, please.

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

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