Tuesday, December 30, 2008


So this was the first year that I didn't send out Christmas cards. It's not like I didn't have the time, I just didn't feel like doing it for some reason. Instead I'll just catch you up on some of the highlights of this year. Most of it is old news, sorry!
January- My sister Juliann was married January 5th bringing another Michael into the family! It was also the same day as one of the worst snow storms of the year. We just barely ended up with a reception! 
February- I had surgery the day after Valentine's day.
March- We went to Cancun, Mexico (one of our favorite places to visit) with our friends Jamin and Taneil, Andy, Janet and Michael's brother Chris.
April- We found out I was pregnant on April 30th.
May- It's twins! We also went to visit Michael's sister Nicole and her husband and kids in Utah. We had a lot of fun.
June- My brother Skyler graduates high school. 
July- I turned 23!
August- We found out we were having 2 girls on August 5th. Michael and I celebrated our 4th anniversary on August 7th with a week long trip to Vegas. We went and saw Blue Man Group again and had a very romantic dinner! Even if you aren't very far along in a pregnancy, Vegas is miserable in the summer!!
October- I was hospitalized on the 3rd. Bailey and Reagan were born on the 16th.
November-Reagan and Bailey both have heart surgery the first week of the month making it the most stressful week of our lives! Michael turned 27.
December-Bailey and Reagan make it home just in time for us to spend their first Christmas with them!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The girls first Christmas

The girls both came home on December 23rd, making this the best Christmas ever. We thought that Reagan would come home first and we would be visiting Bailey in the hospital today. I guess she decided she didn't want to be alone at the hospital and started eating like she was supposed to. They are both still on oxygen though and apnea monitors, which we are greatful for as they have alerted us to several apnea/bradycardias. So anyways, Nana and Uncle Chris came over to open presents with us. Poor Papa was sick so he stayed next door and watched us on ichat. The girls are wearing the Christmas dresses that Grandma made them. We couldn't find any small enough to buy so she used a dolls dress pattern for them. Aren't they cute? Grandma and Grandpa came over later with Uncle Skyler and we opened presents from them. The girls got some fun books and toys and lots of cute clothes of course. Mommy and Daddy got a lot of fun presents too but all we really wanted for Christmas was to have our sweet little angels with us, and we got that. Santa was good to us this year!
Bailey is on the left and Reagan is on the right. We kept pushing Reagan's arms down and she would raise them right back up.
The two best presents under the tree
Mommy and Daddy are a little tired. It was a long night!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quick Update

I'm really tired, but I thought I should update quickly. First off we were told last Saturday that Reagan would be coming home this past Tuesday so we would need to stay the night Monday. Well Monday came and they told us that she wasn't doing as well as they wanted her to and so they were going to keep her longer still. We were devastated but my sweet sister brought up the fact that the Lord does things for a reason. And he truly does.  You see, I had been having some abdominal pain and nausea for almost a week. On Tuesday Michael noticed that my eyes were yellow, and by Wednesday my skin had turned yellow and I was exhausted all the time. I went to the ER for the second time this year and they ran a bunch of  blood tests, an MRI and an ultrasound on my gallbladder. My Liver enzymes were really high and my bile duct had dilated from 3mm to 11mm in 2 months which was quite a jump. This morning they had me go in for an ERCP where they put me to sleep and put a scope down my throat, through my stomach and into my gall bladder. There they found a large gallstone wedged in my bile duct, and it was not going to move. So they cut a slit in the duct and pushed the stone out. I woke up while the scope was still in and gagged a whole bunch. Yuck. And I will have to have my gallbladder removed eventually. So while all of this was very unfortunate and I'm kind of sore now, it's actually a blessing that Reagan didn't come home because we would not have been able to keep her at the hospital with us because of the risk of infection. And once babies leave the NICU they're not allowed back in so they don't contaminate other babies. So it all worked out. And now I'm even more tired after typing it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Blessings and Thanks

If you can't tell after reading this post, I'm emotional tonight. This year for Thanksgiving I really started thinking about all of the blessings that we have received and all that we have to be grateful for. I realized that through some of the biggest trials we have had, came the greatest blessings. We dealt with infertility for two and a half years and the bitterness and heartache that came with it, went through surgery because of infertility, spent tons of money on treatments, went into pre-term labor, had two heart surgeries for the babies, and have to leave our babies in the NICU but... we have the two most perfect angels we could ever have asked for. I know it sounds kind of cheesy to say that they were worth the wait, but they really were. I would go through all of that and more for them again without hesitating. Michael and I are more grateful for them than they will ever know. They truly light up our lives and have brought so much love to us. Our hearts have literally doubled in size. It has also brought Michael and I closer together and reconfirmed how much we mean to each other. I now realize that I spent way too much time focusing on all of the negative and putting too much energy into being bitter, that I forgot about all that Heavenly Father had already blessed me with. We have a very rich and blessed life. 
This was taken on Thanksgiving. It is the first time the girls had been together since they were still inside me. Bailey is on the left and Reagan on the right
*Update: The babies are now in an open air crib together and are taking every other feeding from a bottle. Yesterday, Bailey took her whole bottle without any oxygen!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bath Time!

Last night, Michael and I went to the hospital at 10 pm to watch the girls get their 2nd tub baths. They had us watch and sort of assist so that this Friday we can come in and do it ourselves. Reagan loved the bath and looked like she was relaxing at the spa. Miss Bailey on the other hand wasn't too thrilled about being taken out of her warm bed. But she calmed down once it was done and Daddy started brushing her hair. So here are some pics of their tub time!This is right before Daddy put Bailey in the tub. She was so mad and squirming all around and she pooped in her Daddy's hand.

Hehe, Reagan's Baby Booty. I couldn't resist putting this picture up. It's so cute, I just want to pinch her little bum!!

                                                  Bailey wasn't crazy about her bath
                                                                   Fluffy head Reagan

                                                 Reagan relaxing during bath time

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Some of my favorite pictures

Reagan with her pretty bow!
Sweet sleeping Bailey.
Reagan's itty bitty hand.
Mommy and Bailey.
Mommy and Bailey again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our Baby Loves

I was able to get a few pictures today of both girls. Actually, I only got one of Bailey before she got mad. You can't really tell because of her blanket, but she's wearing clothes. You can see the collar of her outfit sticking out above the blanket. And that's Reagan all spread out before I change her diaper and with her pacifier, which she loves. If you try to take it from her mouth, she'll start sucking really hard and really fast!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Time really does fly

I can't believe the girls are already over a month old. That is so weird. We don't really have a whole lot of news on them right now, but that's a good thing. As of our last visit, Reagan was up to 2 pounds 9 ounces and taking 23 cc's of milk, and Bailey was at 3 pounds 4 ounces and 20 cc's of milk. Reagan also had her PICC line removed so she is no longer receiving lipids through that, just the nutrients from the milk. Bailey should have hers removed any day now. Bailey is also wearing clothes!! They're preemie clothes and they're still huge on her, but she loves them. She just lays there with a little smile on her face, it's so cute. Can you tell that we're totally in love with these babies? I can't find our current pictures of the girls, so I put their footprints up instead. Reagan's are on top and Bailey's are on the bottom. That's my finger next to them, and they're actually about the same size (appx. 2 inches long) but Bailey's are wider. 

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oh Bailey Jane!

Why did you have to put your Mommy and Daddy through this stress? Bailey apparently decided that she needed to be exactly like her sister and have surgery as well yesterday. So now they will have matching scars. This time was much easier, but still kind of scary. The surgeon asked if they were identical twins (they're not) because he said that anatomically their hearts are exactly the same. Well, it should only get better from here. Actually, both girls are already doing much better. They've lowered both girls oxygen, and Reagan is hardly having any apnea/bradychardia episodes. Yay!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's finally over

Reagan's surgery is done, so I think I can relax a little. We got to the hospital at 7:30 this morning so that I could hold her before she went into surgery. She was so alert and watched me the whole time. At 9:00 I had to put her back so that they could draw blood. It was so painful to hear her cry! Then the anesthesiologist came in. He starts off by saying, "I'm sure you've heard this is a minor surgery, but it's not. Open heart surgery is a major operation." I think I liked it better when I was being lied to. Surgery was scheduled for 10:00 so at 9:30 they started to intubate her. I sobbed as I listened to her scream because the tube was too big, and as her heart rate dropped to the low 40's. They finally got the right size in and let me come over to see her. Her mouth had blood all around it, and her chest was still heaving. We walked with her down to the operating room and they let Michael and I give her a kiss. She just stared at me so pitiful and helpless, and it broke my heart that I couldn't be with her and comfort her. The operation ended at about 12:00 because it took 8 people 45 minutes to get a special IV in her. We were allowed to go see her at 12:30. They had given her a medication to paralyze her so that she wouldn't move around too much or pull anything out. She looked beautiful and had her tongue sticking out under her ventilator. Her vitals are great and they are going to keep her sedated on morphine for the next couple of days. Michael and  I are exhausted  from all the stress, and so relieved. I don't know if I will be able to hold it together if Bailey has to go through this as well. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It can't just be easy

Just to warn you, this is a pity party post. You're brave if you read on any farther. 

So our little peanut of a baby Reagan has to have surgery on Monday. It's rather minor as far as surgeries go and the surgeon doing it has a 100% success rate and has done hundreds of these surgeries over the years. She has a duct on the outside of her heart that will not close. This is common in preemies because the duct usually closes later on in pregnancy. Right now her sweet little heart is working overtime and she is beginning to show signs of some lung problems. I know that this surgery will be good for her and that it will help with her apnea, but I am so upset. Why does my sweet little girl have to go through this? Why do either of my babies? I'm afraid it's going to be hard on her little body, and I've been warned that she won't look good after the surgery, but that in a few days time she'll be back to normal. I don't know if I can bear to see her like that. It's hard enough with all the tubes and wires sticking out of both of them right now. I'm scared and I'm going to go cry now.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our little princesses!

I'll update with pictures soon! Our girls are doing so well. They have been off their ventilators for 4 days now, and are on nasal canulas (not sure if that's spelled right). They are requiring very little extra oxygen as well. They were fed with Mommy's milk today and tolerated it well. It's been fun to see their little personalities developing already. Bailey is so calm and serene and hardly ever fusses, even when they are working on her. She likes to open her eyes and just watch us. She also loves to sleep with her hands tucked up right against her face, just like her Mommy. She even tries to suck on the hand that has her IV and is covered in tape and cotton. Reagan is quite the wiggler and is more sensitive to the NICU sounds than her sister. She doesn't like a lot of stimulation unless it's coming from Mommy or Daddy. Then she calms down. She also puts up a fight if she is not sleeping on her stomach. That is her favorite position and she will fuss until the nurses turn her over. They all think she is the cutest thing because she is so tiny. Michael and I got to hold them for the first time yesterday and the nurse said she has never seen a baby do so well on their first Kangaroo care as ours did. Neither one cried, lost any body heat, or varied in their vitals. It was an amazing experience and we had so much fun doing it. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So it appears that the twins are just as impatient as their daddy. At 9:18 and 9:20, Reagan then Bailey Orton were born and weigh 1 lb. 14 oz. and 2 lbs. 4 oz. Everyone is as healthy as can be expected and doing well. Here are our girls-

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Taking the good with the bad

The good: On Sunday we learned that our sweet little Reagan is using her head to  plug up the hole in her sac. Needless to say, we are very proud of her!! She is having a difficult time getting enough nutrients from her placenta which is why she is so small, but she's holding strong. Our Bailey bug on the other hand is growing right on track and is very active. In fact she likes to keep her mommy awake at night with lots of kicking and moving. I am hooked up to heart monitors for the babies so Michael and I enjoy the comfort of falling asleep to those precious little heartbeats. 

Now for the not so good : The dr's  believe I have some sort of infection that is causing all of this. The even bigger problem is that they have no idea what the infection is. They know I have cholestasis and have put me on a pill to help relieve the itching that keeps me awake at night. I also had 14 vials of blood drawn in addition to the 2 they take each morning which are being tested for all sorts of infectious diseases. I'm also on medication to stop the contractions that have started again. This shouldn't seem like a big deal except that an infection could be potentially hazardous to our little one's. So for now we wait and rule things out one by one!

Thank you all for your love and prayers. I know that this is what will give me the strength to keep our girls healthy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pre-term labor

Sorry, this is about to get long. On October 1st my perinatologist sent me home on strict bedrest because Reagan was right on my cervix and it was beginning to shorten. On Friday, 10/03 I had an appointment with my OBGYN. She noticed that I was 1.5 centimeters dilated and that my cervix had really started to thin. She immediately sent me over to labor and delivery and they got me hooked up to some monitors. Turns out I was having contractions every three minutes. At about 12 that afternoon, Reagan's water broke. It has slowly been leaking, but the ultrasounds show that she does still have some fluid left. I am currently taking magnesium sulfate to stop the contractions. Talk about hot flashes! I thought my skin was on fire. I have also had 2 steroid shots to help mature both girls lungs and hearts. I'm also on a constant dose of antibiotics to prevent bacteria from entering Reagan's amniotic sac. My arms and hands hurt from the 12 blood draws I have had in the past 48 hours, and my back is very achey. But I know that I can stay strong for our baby girls. This is my job and I want to do it the best that I can. For now our goal is to make it to 34 weeks, only 7.5 weeks away. With all the love and prayers that we have been receiving and with Heavenly Father watching over us, I am hopeful and positive that this is possible. Thank you all!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stuff we love take 2!

Our baby girls. This was their first ultrasound.
Hawaii. As you can tell, we love to travel!
Mikey, Savannah, and Arden, three of our four beautiful nieces.
Most of Michael's family. Brian, Mikey and Arden were missed.
And our newest niece, Madison. 
Sorry about having to put them in two posts. I'm not very good at figuring this stuff out!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Things and people we love

Chichen Itza in Cancun Mexico.
Our chocolate lab, and spoiled baby, Bear.
Michael loves off-roading and working on his jeep.
Michael and his Dad on a hunting trip. 

My family: Mom, Dad, Juliann and Skyler. And Bear's butt.

Friday, September 5, 2008

22 week belly

This is my baby belly at 22 weeks. For those of you who may not know, Michael and I are expecting our first children in early January. We are so blessed to be having two sweet baby girls, Bailey and Reagan. Both girls are growing well and are healthy, though Reagan is quite a bit smaller than her sister. The doctor thinks that she is just genetically smaller, which unfortunately means she got her Mommy's genes. Both are quite active and love to kick Mommy and each other. We are so in love with our little ones and we can't wait to meet them.