Monday, October 5, 2015

The Hardest Goodbye

After almost 12 weeks of spending every minute with my little guys, today was my first day back at work. I'll admit, the anticipation of today over the past week, was probably harder than this morning actually was. Every time I thought about leaving, I cried. This morning, I made it out of the door with just watery eyes and my lip poking out. I'm almost through the day and counting down the minutes to head home.

Our little guys are doing amazing. Growing like crazy, seriously, these guys are some major chubba wubs. See for yourself. We have arm rolls, chubby cheeks and chins for days. I sometimes can't believe they are the same 3 plus pounders we first met in July.

I hope that one day they understand the reasons I had to return to work vs. staying home with them...which I would prefer. Right now I just have a bit of guilt and jealousy. Guilt because I wonder if they are confused by my absence. Jealousy because someone else gets to see their cute smiles and little daily progress of developmental changes. I want that to be me. But for them and for my family, I work. Luckily, my job has agreed to allow me to work from home on Friday's. Once our little girl arrives, I will work from home two days a week. This does help. (a little)

I realized recently that something I haven't blogged about was their birth story. I'm sorry for that. I think it's important that you all here about it. Not just because it's part of our story, but for others that read about the generosity of Kelly. I want everyone to know what she went through to give us these most precious little boys. So stay tuned for that. Expect my blog updates to be a bit more frequent now that I'm officially back on a computer 5 days a week. Forgive me for putting that aside for so long while I enjoyed my time at home with my Casey & Britton. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nursery and Newborn Pics

Here I am...finally, almost another whole month has passed. Seriously, when I go back to work next month and I'm sitting in front of a computer all day, you'll get SO many more updates from me! Pinky swear promise. 

What I do have for you is to share our newborn photos and FINALLY nursery photos. We are so so happy with how everything turned out and we're even almost done with our baby girls room. (more to share on her on another post)

Now...the boys...they are AMAZING! Growing like crazy and are simply a delight. They light up my world in so many ways that there are just no words. And they are great babies! I keep waiting for the day that all changes. But they cry (not super loud) when they are hungry, getting changed or just want some snuggles. Any or all of those three things, fix all that is wrong in their world. Being pregnant with newborns certainly has a few challenges and I think these guys are just taking it easy on me for that reason. I'm dreading the day I go back to work and have to leave them. It will probably break my heart into a million pieces.

Finally...our nursery is finished and I'm ready to share!! It meant so much to me that Trevor made the states for the walls. His friend had some reclaimed wood that we cut them out of. I'm so happy how they turned out. I want these guys to always know the journey that brought them home to us.

And here are our newborn pics. These were shot 3 weeks ago. So when I post their two month photo soon, you'll see the big difference between then and now! 

And this last photo...was our official Facebook announcement. As of yesterday, we were 24 weeks. Viability! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


First of all. I am profoundly sorry for the "drop off the face of the planet after my babies were born" act that happened. But hopefully I can make a nice long update now and all will be forgiven.

The first few days after Britton and Casey were born are a complete blur. The NICU is very overwhelming. Learning the ins and outs and schedules of the babies feeds and assessments and knowing when the doctors would be there for took a lot of getting used to.

On top of that, Trevor and I tried to continue working on a limited basis during the NICU stay in order to push back our leave. What I didn't want was to come home from Texas and have a month to stay home with them. No. Thank. You. So we frequently had our computers with us at their bedside to stay on top of work. That meant, when I wasn't working, and not holding one of our precious little miracles and not doing laundry and running around to get food...writing blog posts seem to slip down my to-do list.

We stayed at Driscoll Children's Hospital for a total of 26 days. Britton was released after 23 days, Casey followed 3 days later. They were on the critical NICU floor for 8 days. The remaining days were in a private room on the NICU continued care floor considered just "feeders and growers". I know many of you have had NICU experiences. Those experiences seem to range from good, bad and scary. We feel incredibly fortunate that our experience was a compete blessing. There was never anything scary or stressful. The doctors and the staff were nothing short of phenomenal. And they simply loved our story. Every single staff member with the hospital knew our story without us sharing it and made sure to talk to us about it. We also were fortunate that the boys constantly were on the upward trend. The are little fighters and just wanted to go home as much as we did. So we never had those moments of major concern or worry. They just really did do that well. So yes. I feel extremely blessed.

We did our best to be a part and active in the majority of the "assessments and feeds" that occurred every 3 hours. The only ones we missed were typically the 2 am and 5 am. They encouraged us to get rest, so typically our day began around 7 when we woke up and ended when we tucked them in after their 11 pm feed. We would go out for lunch and dinner to get out of the hospital. Yes...we gained probably 10-20 pounds while gone and eating out that much. Well...I know for sure I did. Oopsie.  We also tried to see Kelly and her family when we could.

Britton was definitely the overachiever. And as Baby B, we were told that's rare. Typically Baby A is a bit ahead. But Britton was off and running from day one. Off oxygen after only a few days, great respirations and taking full bottles a week before his brother. Which is why he was released a few days ahead. However, once we got that release date, I'm pretty sure a lightbulb went off in Casey's head as if he said, "wait, don't leave me here"! So he caught up quicker than they thought and ended up only 3 days behind.

That day was last Tuesday. And that was a very bittersweet day. To have both of the boys in our care and knowing we were going home was such an amazing feeling. But leaving the doctors and nurses that had cared so well for them, was hard. And nothing could ever put into words how difficult it was to say goodbye to Kelly and her family. They mean so much to us and always will. I only wish we lived closer. She's given us the most beautiful, amazing and perfect gift. We are so in love with these little guys...I knew we would be, but nothing prepares you for how much.

On Tuesday evening we began our journey home. We left Rockport and drove to Austin. We wanted to start small on the trip and see how everyone did. The next day we had breakfast with our attorney that helped us through the surrogacy and made everything seamless. Was so thrilled to get to meet her in person. Then we drove 3 hours to Dallas. We had family and friends there that we wanted to see and that gave us a full afternoon/evening to spend with all of them. And...guess who was gracious enough to open her home to us!?! Caroline and her husband, Colby were so kind and I loved getting to know them even more than I felt like I already do through her blog. And yes, she is just as sweet in person as you would imagine she is!

The next morning we got up super early and drove to Rogers, Arkansas. Trevor's 94 year old grandfather lives there and we thought it important that he meet his grandsons. We don't get there that often and he can't travel. It was such a great day. Definitely a highlight. On Friday we again left early knowing we were 8.5 hours from home. That does not include the time to stop for feedings. We thought we'd just drive and see how they do. Well, they did great and we made it home by 8 pm! My good friends had had our home cleaned and our fridge and pantry stocked. What a perfect gift after being gone for 32 days! Our cats didn't even blink and eye (well, barely) at the fact that we brought home two tiny humans. I think we could have brought a pack of 70 pound dogs home and they wouldn't have cared as long as it meant we were home and home to stay!

The great thing is, these boys are GREAT babies. We've been able to stay on the NICU schedule that they were on, we typically wake them for their feeds and aren't huge criers. I know this may all change, and probably will from time to time, but for a 4 day road trip and our first few days home, their parents have been eternally grateful to them!

As for an update on me, yesterday I was 20 weeks. So Britton and Casey's little sister is cruising right along. I had an OB appointment in Texas a few weeks ago with an u/s and she looks great!

My heart can barely stand it. I still can't believe how much life has changed in a year's time, but I know I am thankful beyond words for all of my miracles.

I'll leave this post for now with lots and lots of pictures. Told you I'd make the delay worth it!
(Sorry for any typos...I literally typed this with a baby on my chest)

Only a few days old

You know, Casey just hanging out in the NICU

Meet our funny guy, Britton

Britton milk drunk

Kelly's first time holding Britton and Casey

Britton and Casey


My favorite moments are cuddling with these two

Double kangaroo care

Our very first family photo

Kelly holding both babies

Kelly's oldest daughter, Sydnee

Kelly's middle daughter, Ella

Kelly's youngest children, Taylor and Nicholas

Trevor finally holding both babies

Britton "home" with us

 Just waiting on this guy

 Their first photo together out of the hospital

How we slept on the road home...Trevor and I each got about a foot on each side

First time in their beds at home

First nap time together

Nap time fun at home

More nap time 

And more naps side-by-side

On Sunday, August 16th, we were a month old!! 

I promise, I will not be away for so long again!!! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

I'm their mom...and it's so amazing.

So much to say. SO much to update. For those that don't boys arrived just after midnight on Thursday morning at exactly 33 weeks.

Casey Harrison arrived at 12:14 am on July 16th weighing 3 pounds 12 ounces and 15 3/4 inches long. 

Britton Michael arrived at 12:16 am on July 16th weighing 3 pounds 15 ounces and 17 3/4 inches long. 

On Wednesday evening Kelly and I were completely packed up and ready to leave the hospital when the doctor returned and said he was concerned that her last 2 BP readings were borderline. He no longer felt comfortable with her going home for the night. I unpacked us, got us some dinner, and started to settle in for the evening. Then Kelly had some vision spots. Dr. B had asked me if this happened to text him. I did so and within minutes he was in our room. We talked for a bit, but decided with her high protein levels, the BP rising and now vision changes, the best thing we could do was to deliver the babies. Unfortunately both babies were transverse which mean we had to go in via c-section. We called the husbands and told them to start heading to the hospital. Babies were coming. 

Earlier in the evening the doctor had tried to transfer Kelly to the hospital with the Level 3 NICU, however they wouldn't take her because they had no beds. So Kelly needed to deliver where she was with her OB. That meant NICU teams had to be assembled and sent from the Children's Hospital for each baby. Within a few hours, Kelly was on her Magnesium and all the teams were in place. We were so blessed by the wonderful doctors and staff that Kelly's husband, Trevor and myself were all able to be in the operating room. We saw and HEARD our babies as they entered this world. There are no words for me to describe that moment. 

They came out little, but loud! My little fighters. People say girls fight harder, but I've been told my boys are proving that wrong. I love that. 

Britton (Baby B) was struggling just a hair more than Casey (Baby A) with his breathing. Therefore, he was given the VIP treatment and was flown via helicopter to Children's. Casey was transferred via ambulance. It thrilled me that the NICU teams took the time to take each baby into Kelly's room for her to see before they were transferred. Once I knew Kelly was okay, Trevor and I (and T's brother) headed to the hospital to see our boys. By 4:30 am, both boys were in their little homes for the next little bit and stable. We were given a family room to lay down and rest. At this point, I was running on so much adrenaline there was no way I was going to sleep. I just tried my best to let my body relax for a bit before joining the boys for their first rounds with the doctor. 

We were told they were doing exactly as they should be for 33 weeks. And that is a good thing. Over the past few days, they have flip-flopped just a bit and Britton is actually overachieving on his breathing now. Within the next 24 hours they will begin weaning him completely off oxygen. 

Casey breathes just a little harder and faster, so he's still using a bit more oxygen than his brother. Other than that, he's doing great as well. They just think he needs a little more help for just a bit longer and that's okay. They've began feeds (through tubes, not bottles) and those are going well so far. 

So lots of things have worked out. We were present for the birth. We were able to deliver with our OB. I am beyond grateful for that. We ended up at a Children's Hospital for their care. This is ABSOLUTELY where we should be. I have zero doubt in that. These people here are amazing. Not only that, but we've been given housing for the duration of their stay at the hospital. I literally go up an elevator and walk down the hall to seem my guys anytime I want.

 My only regret is what Kelly has gone through this week. The c-section has not been easy on her and she's still struggling to get her vitals stable. She had to have a couple blood transfusions and it hurts me that she's having to go through all of this for us. She was and is amazing. What she's done...what she's given our whole world. Perfect little boys. Little boys that we are constantly told are some of the loudest of the babies here. 

This whole experience just fills my heart with so much love. Look at what I have now. A family. Trevor and I are so deeply in love with these guys we can barely stand it. I was even able to hold Britton last night and this morning. Trevor was able to hold Casey. Pretty sure it's time to switch! 

I'll try to update again soon. Still so much I want to share about the amazing people and staff that we've been surrounded by this past week. But here are a few pictures for now. 

Visiting Kelly before transport. And Dad's finger.
Only a few hours old

First hold. Best thing ever.

The awesome Dr. Bradford who took such good care of Kelly and our boys.