first time overnight with both our girls!!

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Written on 1:58 PM by gracefully discovering:

My MIL being the lifetime social worker that she is asked the nurse if she could bring us a bigger crib so that Naomi could stay here with us at night- BC my MIL is leaving to go home tomorrow and they still haven't given us a discharge date.
So they brought the crib and Nick fixed it up so that they both could have their own little spot in the bed!
Now we expected our first night to be a little rough with both of them...but really it was just Naomi who made it a rough night!!! Fortunately they both are on the same feeding schedule so that wasn't an issue. But we made the mistake of letting Naomi sleep in our bed/bassinet in our room the first two weeks of her life...so she isn't quite feeling sleeping in a crib where she isn't touching anyone. Last week the Pediatrician told us to start keeping her in her own room in her crib...my MIL has been trying it- but....she hasn't been very successful BC Naomi just cries all night!
Anyway- last night she fussed a lot, even though she was in the crib with Nia. She finally fell asleep about 3:30....when her daddy put his Iphone in the crib playing Maxwell and Robin Thicke. She is truly her daddy's child....because he loves to listen to music while going to sleep...and it was so funny...she stopped in the middle of her cry as soon as the music started playing. I guess we found our little musician...or artistic child!! It was hilarious how fast she stopped crying!!! But it worked..and from now on...they will go to sleep with some type of music playing in their room.
Nia doesn't have a problem sleeping in her crib because she has always been by herself in a crib since the first day of her life....she just chills and goes to sleep- no problem!!
They tricked us...in the womb, Nia was very active and Naomi was so calm and pleasant....but now the tables have turned!!
Naomi is a FIRE CRACKER!! This girl is nonstop! I guess she said it's her time to shine.
It's so fun having them together and learning their personalities. I love my babies and I am so happy and blessed to have been able to carry them and bring them into this world!
I'M SO IN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Life in the step down unit

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Written on 1:29 PM by gracefully discovering:

It's been 7 days since we have been sleeping on the pull-out couch in Nia's room in what they call the "step-down" unit.
This is the unit where we learn how to care for her and get ready to take her home. It's been great to spend so much time with her- but we are definitely ready to spend that time AT HOME!

Nia has been doing great considering that she just had major open-heart surgery 2 weeks ago. The Cardiologist even said that she is starting to make the other babies look bad...and I'm thinking.."of course she is....she is a Richardson and that's what we do!!"
But seriously, she has been eating really well, having good poopy diapers and no fevers! However her blood pressure has been a bit high so they continue to increase her dosage of Captopril until they can get her blood pressure where they want it to be. Also her SAT levels have been slightly lower than where they want them to be...so they have to watch her a little longer to see whats going on.
She had an echo this morning and her heart seems to be doing well and functioning at a good level....so that is good news!
We were supposed to leave tomorrow- but now that's not looking good because they want to monitor her a little longer. I guess I'd rather her stay here until they aer completely comfortable with her-than for me to have to rush her back to the ER.

What it's like here:
1. Nurses, Doctors, PCA's and everyone in between coming in the room at least every hour to check on her and give her some type of medicine..or ask us some kind of question.
2. Checking Vital signs all through-out the night...and the lady knocking on the door saying "VITALS" which we think is hilarious
3. Eating fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner- and not eating the "breast feeding mom" plates they bring me from the cafeteria
4. Waking up every 3 hours to feed and change Nia
5. Pumping for Naomi so she can have milk when she is away from me
5. Hearing the beeping noise from the Polsox (sp?) machine....and turning the volume down so we can sleep!
6. Watching the residents sit back and not say a word when the Cardiologist do their rounds in the morning
7. Nick and I sleeping on the full...or maybe twin sized pull out sofa they have in her room
8. CPR training, car seat training. and the teaching of how to take care of our baby girl

I really just want to get home and get some type of normalcy back....and get our own little routine going. It's been hard to leave Naomi. She spends the whole day with us and then goes home with my MIL for the night. I just would like for all of us to be together and not have to split my time with the girls. That is definitely the hardest part. But hopefully all of that will come soon.

Gotta go change a poopy diaper...Nia is calling!
Check out some pics of the cutest set of twins you will ever see in your life...and yes I AM BIASED!



On the way to step down!!

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Written on 6:32 PM by gracefully discovering:

Baby Nia is doing amazing! It's been 5 days since her surgery and she has not had one single complication or set back! Today they removed the last of her tubes and lines...so she is free of all support!
She is now being fed my breast milk through an NG tube and a supplement through an IV...but other than that...this little feisty mama is doing it all on her own!
The Doctors said we may be going to step down tomorrow or Monday.
Step down is the unit right before she goes home! She will have her own little room and we will be able to stay with her....even Naomi. Naomi hasn't seen her since the day of the surgery. I'm pretty sure they miss each other. I can't imagine how they feel...I wish I knew. It has to feel pretty weird to be separated from someone that you have been with everyday all day for 9 months. But they will be back together again and I can't wait!
I really can't wait to see how they interact with one another and really get to know their different personalities. From what we can tell already- Naomi is the nice, calm and pleasant one...who just chills and wants to be fed and changed...oh and held! I hope she isn't becoming spoiled...but I think she is!!
Nia on the other hand is a little..well no VERY feisty and doesn't want you touching on her...and if you do- she will surely kick you or smack your hand away quickly! But I think her strength and feistiness has gotten her through this surgery and recovery- so I WILL NOT COMPLAIN!

I wanted to say thank you very much for all of the prayers that everyone has been sending up for our family. It's amazing that people who do not even know us- are praying for us. God is good and He loves when we come together to give Him the glory for his good works! We are definitely blessed beyond measure. I was telling Nick that I feel like this is too good to be true. That she is recovering so well without any bumps in the road (thus far). It's like we/I expected the worst....for it to not be this easy. But when we pray and put it all in the hands of the Lord...and praise Him before it's even done...He will make it this easy...just to show us what He can do. From the beginning...well not the very beginning...but after I accepted Nia's condition and stopped being mad at God for "doing this to us"...I have said that God's will will be done...whatever that is. And is seems like His will is for our baby girl to recover and come home and beat the HLHS like many other special heart babies. I know it's only 11 days out...but I feel good about it and I am gonna continue to believe that whatever His plan is for her- it will come to pass.

no service = no updates

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Written on 9:12 PM by gracefully discovering:

Sorry for the major delay of info...but we stayed at the hospital last night and our cell phones didn't have service nor did we have wireless Internet.
Anyway- our little Nia is doing excellent! She got out of surgery yesterday around 4:45 and it went very well. No complications at all. The say that the first 48 hours are the most critical for these special heart babies....and guess what she made it through the first 28 hours complications free!

She is on a ton of meds and is sedated and hooked up to an oxygen machine. Her numbers look great and the doctors are pleased with how things are going.
I can't articulate how blessed we are! I am so overjoyed that our little girl is such a strong fighter and is getting through this like a champ. I know it is still very early...but I can't help to believe that things will continue on this great path to recovery.

Last night we stayed at the Ronald McDonald house at the hospital so that we could go up and see Nia at any time. It was kinda tough because we kept Naomi with us- but she couldn't go in the CVICU- so Nick and I had to take turns to go visit her.
I went and read a few stories to her and held her hand and kissed her feet! She is a little feisty mama...she doesn't really like people touching on her...and she will kick you to let you know it!!! But that doesn't stop me at all :)

The hardest part has been leaving her. I HATE HATE HATE leaving her room. I feel like I'm supposed to be there with her 24 hours so that she won't feel lonely. I know that the nurses are taking excellent care of her...they all have been beyond AWESOME, but it really tears me up inside when I leave her room. I cry every time...hell I'm crying as I type this now. I swear, I've been so emotional this past week. Funny story: so today as we were checking out of the Ronald McDonald house but I wanted to go see Nia again before we left. For some reason we had a ton of stuff...so I asked the receptionist if we could leave our stuff there until we got back from her room...and she said "well no because we cant be responsible for your belongings" and as she was saying no...I just started crying!! Then she was like..well you can leave it in the corner but we cant watch it!! I wanted to slap myself for crying because the lady told me NO! I'll get it together eventually!

I need to do a better job of taking care of myself. I totally OVER DID it yesterday...and I am feeling it. I think I forget that just 7 days ago I had a c-section and delivered 2 babies! My feet are super swollen and my incision is hurting bad! I really need to take it easy- but its impossible because I feel like I need to be in 2 places at one time..taking care of two babies in two different places! But I do not want to be put in the hospital because my incision split open or my feet are swollen to death! So instead of going back to the hospital tonight...I'm lying in the bed with my feet propped up and finally getting some sleep as my sweetie pie Naomi sleeps! Side bar: this little girl is the best! She is soooo sweet and calm and pleasant. I'm so in love with her! I Love just looking at her and watching her different facial expressions...she is adorable! I can't wait until both of them are here together..it's gonna be the best! I love my girls soooooooo much! It's an indescribable feeling...and I love every minute of it. I was made to be mommy to these little girls!!
Here are a few pics of them!





Sorry for the delayed updates

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Written on 4:32 PM by gracefully discovering:

for some reason I have had the hardest time updating my blog today. The Internet was/is acting crazy in the waiting room and I am now blogging from my phone. If there are typos or spelling errors...please excuse them!
UPDATE:
Nia did really well through her surgery thus far. They have completed the repair portion of the procedure and now they have a few more steps to take. Her heart is beating on it's own and her levels are saturated. Don't ask me what that really
means. The nurse said she doing as well as a baby can do during this surgery!! She also said that each day it amazes her what God has done and is doing in this hospital everyday.
Now we are waiting on the doctor to come down and talk to us.
Our friends and family have been here with us all day and Naomi has been such a pleasant little lady all day waiting on her sissy to come out of surgery. It's such a blessing to have the I've and support from those who love you.
Thanks to everyone who is praying for our baby girl and our family. We have a lon g road ahead but she has done well so far and I can't help but to believe that everything will remain on the good path and recovery will be a breeze.
She is finished and we are about to meet with the doctor. Update you soon

Day 1: Norwood Procedure

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Written on 12:05 PM by gracefully discovering:

Today, our precious baby girl will have her first surgery. For those of you who do not know why she is having surgery- she is here today because she was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome with an unbalanced canal. Basically it means that she has half of a heart. If you would like to read more about it...go back a few months in my blog to get all of the information.

I will continue to update on this blog to keep you all posted on the outcome of the surgery as well as her recovery. Reading other heart moms blogs really got me through a lot these past 7 months. So I hope that I can provide some insight or comfort for someone else as they go through this very confusing and difficult process.

Day 1:
We arrived at the hospital this morning at 6:15 am to hold our baby girl before she went into surgery. This was only the second time that we got to hold her since she has been born. At first she was a little fussy...but once she got comfortable in my arms, she was good to go! As she held on to my finger, we talked and had a great mommy/daughter bonding session! I can't believe how incredibly in love I am with these two girls. Now I understand what parents mean when they say you experience a love like never before.
The surgeons came in to talk to us about what to expect...even though we knew everything they told us...it was comforting for them to explain it to us- so we could be sure that they knew what they were doing :) JK! We know that we are in the best place possible to be for her surgeries and for that we are considered blessed.

After Nick and I got to spend a little QT with Nia, they took her upstairs. We were able to go up with them but couldn't go through the double doors. After multiple kisses and "be strong big girl" we finally let her go. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. I know that without this surgery she can not live...and that's about the only thing that's keeping me together right now!
The surgery will take anywhere from 8-10 hours...we will get updates every two hours! Talk about
Latest update: They have completely put her under the anesthesia...and her body received it very well. They have also hooked her up to the heart and lung machine...so that her organs will not have to do any work during the procedure. I'm so happy that my baby girl won't have to feel any of this pain...and she won't remember any of these surgeries once she gets older!! But I'll be sure to tell her how strong she was and how she fought through like a big champ!! I love her so much and am so proud of how well she has done thus far!

okay..I'll update gain when we hear something.