Thursday, September 27, 2007

One Month Old!

This week has been a hard one for me, I guess I thought I'd have all the babies home by now and the reality is they are still weeks away from that dream. I just break down and cry at the drop of a hat, I find myself in a panic to get information about the babies and then pick it apart to figure out what is going wrong, why they aren't completely healthy and coming home right away. And then I remember that this is God's work, His timing and I remind myself to trust and have patience. Please pray for the babies growth and development and for my patience to be restored each day (or each hour - at times!).

Sophia has been back in the isolette because she wasn't holding her temperature very well. When I left yesterday, they were trying her in an open crib again to see if she can do it overnight. She continues to drop her heart rate while eating, turning a dusky color and giving us a nice scare - maybe her way of keeping all eyes in the pod on her. She is still the most alert and awake, always looking around to see who's visiting her.
Sophia - Sleeping Beauty

Finn has been continuing to have breathing issues as well, mainly while eating. They are doing a PH probe study to try to determine if the little man has reflux. The theory is that reflux may be causing him to have a hard time keeping his oxygen saturation up. We should have the results of the study by Friday and then he can be treated for that if they find anything. He is still hanging out with Cohen in their big crib.

Finn and Cohen - Brotherly Love

Cohen is growing like a weed. He is getting closer and closer to the 6 lb mark! He had another brady the other day so the earliest he would be able to come home would be late next week. I was heart broken to not be able to take him home this week, but at the same time it's a blessing to be able to have them all in the same place for now. I'm sure juggling having some at home and some up at the hospital will be difficult.

Cohen - All Dressed Up And No Where to Go!

Noah is slowly going up on his feedings while going down on his IV fluids. They have discontinued the lipids which were plumping him up quite a lot and now he has lost a bit of weight. He should start gaining weight back since they are fortifying the breast milk to increase the calories that he receives. Chris talked with one of the doctors from the surgery team yesterday. The doctor relayed that Noah is doing really well. He anticipates that they will start to discuss a reconnection surgery mid-October. They want to see him gain a pound or two, to show that he is tolerating the feeds well.

Noah With Daddy's Hairdo

Chris is off of work tomorrow, yippee! We will be on the hunt for some cabinets to put in our living room to hide books and toys for the kids. Our once spacious home for two is becoming quite small with all of the goodies we have waiting for the fantasic four - so it's time to get creative with space organization.
Thank you all for your prayers and support!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Brady Bunch

What an exciting last few days! The babies are all doing great. Yesterday, Busha fed all 4 babies back-to-back...-to-back-to-back. I don't know how she did it but it must be some great-grandma magic! We have re-named our 1/2 of the pod "The Brady Bunch" because all of our little ones have bouts of bradycardia (aka brady) where their heart rates fall below 86.

Noah is now taking a bottle twice a day while still getting continuous feeds. It is sometimes hard to feed him because he sleeps most of the time. That is ok becasue his little body needs the rest to heal. Also, his intestines are working well - we'll spare you the details. He, too, has started having bradys lately just like the others, and bounces back quickly. They say this is normal even for adults but we are a little stronger than the babies are. Noah tips the scales at 4 lbs 10 oz!

Sophia is as cute as ever and still the eating champ. She is not with her brothers yet in the mega-crib because her body temp dropped a bit so she is back in her isolette. She has been so wide awake lately and definitely lets us know when she is hungry. I think she gets so excited to eat that she bradys when she first starts to eat. She is now 4 lbs 2 oz!

Finn is doing better with his oxygen levels now, but is still on oxygen through his nasal cannula. Him and Cohen get to hang out all day together in the crib. He has had a few bradys lately and passes them to Cohen. Finn weighed in last night at 4 lbs 11 oz!

Cohen broke his string of "no bradys" the other day. Finn had one and seconds later Cohen had one while sleeping. This counts toward the "7-day" rule so he gets to hang with others for a little longer. Cohen broke the scale at 5 lbs 7 oz!!!

It is amazing how sometimes Finn and Cohen's heart rates will be exactly the same and they'll wake at the same time. Yesterday, Mari nursed Cohen and Finn - at the same time!. It was like a race to the finish. Finn would open an eye and check out Cohen and then they would both start feeding furiously, stop at the same time, and then go at it again.
Keep your hands inside the blanket at all times

Our friend, Jenn, from Austin, came to visit this weekend with her baby, Ansley. Ansley is 4 months old now. Holding her was nuts compared to our babies. I realized just how small our little guys are right now, but they are catching up quickly. How our lives have changed! 3 years ago we flew to San Francisco with Jenn for a fun-filled weekend of wine, staying up all night and all kinds of craziness! We are all parents now, and have whine at all hours of the night, and lots more craziness!

Grammie Goerlich, mema, and pepa stopped by the house on their way back from Madeleine's 1st b-day party. They said it was hit with cake on the face and all! Grammie brought a ton of gifts from her friends. We thought we were organized but now have to do more:).

It is still weird that we have 4 babies and our lives haven't changed that much.....yet! We went out for a nice dinner last night after hangin with the babies all afternoon. It is so cool to have Mari back in action from bedrest and to be a team again.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Birthday Slideshow

Chris has been at work all morning so I decided to create this Birthday Slideshow with all of the photos from the babies' first day. Check it out on our website here:

We'll post more updates on the little ones later today or tomorrow...for now I've got to get going to see these precious little ones at the hospital.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Goerlich pod

We now officially own one-half of the NICU pod -not only are all four of our babies lined up on one side of the pod, but we also got our first hospital bill.

Cohen is pretty much wireless now except for heart rate monitor and he is in a mega-crib. This thing looks more like a rolling jail cell - it's all metal. But who cares because soon Cohen, Sophia and Finn will all be together again.

Sophia looks like such a little sweetheart sleeping in all pink. We can't wait to re-unite her with her brothers - I'm sure she's going to start bossing them around as soon she can. She eats more than any of the boys right now!

Finn keeps "de-satting", where his oxygen saturation levels drop below 85%. The good thing is that he usually bounces back on his own. They are thinking of putting him back on oxygen and maybe starting him on antibiotics just to be on the safe side. He loves to be in his little cave with his covers pulled over his head or just loungin' daddy-style.

Noah is still rockin! He takes a little milk from the bottle twice a day to get him used to the idea of feeding. The rest of his milk is fed through the ostomy that is the end of the small intestine so that the rest of his intestines and colon can do their job. Noah and Cohen were re-united for a while last night - they just slept in Mom's arms.

Cohen is slated to come home sometime next week. He has little episodes of bradycardia, where his heart rate drops below 86. This only happens sometimes when he is feeding so they don't really count towards his "7 days of no brady" rule.

My sister's baby, Madeleine, turns the big 1 today. Happy Birthday Madeleine!!! Unfortunately, we are going to miss her birthday bash in Austin but we are there in spirit.
What? Like you've never seen a 1-year old!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

3 Weeks Old?!

The babies are 3 weeks old today! I went back and looked at the very first blog post yesterday and I can't believe how much they change in this short of time. I never expected they would progress this quickly.
Cohen had his mustache shaved yesterday. We can now see his whole face as they removed his feeding tube because he is now suckin down all 8 bottles. The plan is to bring him home in the next week or two!! Can you believe it?
Finn is off oxygen now but has still had a few "episodes", but nothing major like this past weekend. He is doing better maintaining his body temp and is now slurpin down 6 bottles - Wow!

Sophia is also rockin! She is kickin back all 8 bottles per day now! I think the wink is proof that she knows she's got me in the palm of her little hand. That's ok...I love it!

Noah is now on constant feeds through the ostomy that is the lower section of the small intestine. They feed him 1.7 mL of milk over the span of an hour every hour! What an awesome miracle that he is moving so fast and doing so well! The tentative plan is do his 2nd surgery to re-connect the intestines in about 6 weeks, depending of course on how he is doing.

We are hoping that when we get to the NICU today, that Cohen, Sophia and Finn are re-united. They plan to put them in the same crib today! This is going to be sweet.
Mari had her 2-week follow-up with Dr. Cook. She is doing very well and has such a great attitude. I have to take a moment to brag on Dr. Cook. He has been so amazing through all of this. There a lot of good doctors but he has really shown great compassion. He calls the NICU almost daily to check on the babies - he really does care - such a great heart and mind! We are going to start working on another baby soon just so we can continue to see Dr. Cook:)

We have received so many awesome gifts, including a hand-made stork (some real feathers) carrying 4 babies made by an artist in Lompoc, CA. We are working on getting thank-yous out soon, but please accept our deepest appreciation for your generosity!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


What a weekend! We enjoyed the gorgeous weather today by taking the babies for a stroll around Hermann park - okay, maybe not, we're dreaming again.

This weekend was all about poop! We have been waiting all weekend for Noah to poop out his barium so he can eat. Yes, it glows, and we decided to spare you the visual details by not posting the photo. The whole NICU now knows about this and he should be able to begin feedings tomorrow!!

Finn pooped out this morning, too. He decided to take a little siesta from breathing and keep the nurses on their toes. He is now back on the oxygen and was a little tuckered out today from all the excitement.

Cohen has to stop halfway through his feedings because he has to make room for more milk - another dirty diaper for daddy. We think Cohen might be able to come home in a few weeks, after he masters 8 bottles per day; he is now on 6 and rockin!

My friend Walter, to this day, firmly believes girls don't poop, so we won't ruin this for him by talking about Sophia. She is now 3 lbs 9 oz and loves to give hugs. She hypnotizes you with those big eyes for the 30 minutes she's awake.

How our lives have changed! 2 years ago we came back home from Austin City Limits music festival (remember Hurricane Rita!), hung out on our deck under the ghetto mister with a few cocktails , and purchased flights to Hawaii on a whim! Those days were pretty awesome and these days are pretty awesome, just in different ways. We give thanks and praise to the Lord for each and every day!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Can a brother get some food?

Well, still no food for Noah. The surgery team didn't make rounds yesterday so we are praying that they'll make it around to little Noah today and let him begin feedings. Noah told me he's feening for a milk shake!
"Hmm, will I eat today?"

Cohen knocked of 4 bottles yesterday and will be up to 6 today. You know what that means...2 more bottles to go and he'll more than likely get to come home:)

4 bottles just aren't enough - maybe there's more in this thumb

Sophia has grown the most. Almost overnight she gained 5 oz - she is now 3 lbs 8 oz. I can't tell but I'm pretty sure she gets cuter everyday. She gets the gold medal for nursing, which might explain the weight gain.
I'm pooped!

Finn is a quiet little dude. He is content to just hang out and not worry about his body temperature. Finn and I had a long talk last night about this and I think he got it. He looked so much like a little kid with his blue pants and brown shirt on. He always seems so content.
So chill

One day closer to the weekend so I can spend more time with Mari and the babies. I miss our time together.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Missing the babies

Busha & Noah

Cohen swaddled

Hurricane Humberto halts having fun with the babies. There were threats of heavy rain and flooding last night so we did not hang with our babies last night. Mari was able to make it down to the med center earlier in the day. They plan to run one more test on Noah to make sure he is ready for feedings. We hope they do that this morning so he can feed this afternoon. We will post more updates tonight or tomorrow morning.

Dude, that's way too bright! (Finn)

Sophia attitude

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

2 weeks = 14 Days o' Fun

Babies are 2 weeks old today! In gestational age they are 34 1/2 weeks old. Unfortunately, the camera battery died so we only got a few photos today.
Mari continues to get stronger and stronger and you would never know she just had surgery. She is going to the hospital in the afternoons and I join her around 8pm after work. She is nursing Cohen, Sophia, and Finn for one feeding of the day. I don't know how she does it! Cohen is now up to 4 bottle feedings per day and Sophia and Finn are sucking down 2 bottles per day. Noah will begin feeding today through his feeding tube for the first time in 2 weeks!! I imagine the little dude is starving. Busha Goerlich (great-grandma) stopped by yesterday to feed Sophia her first bottle...great-grandma's must have a magic touch because Sophia slurped it down. Grammie Goerlich (my mom) stopped by last night to love on the babies and drop off some goodies. She has been taking the babies' photos to her country music concerts and getting the pictures signed. So far Alan Jackson has signed one and this week Tracy Byrd will lay the pen down - he told my mom not to come to another concert without pictures of the babies! Yep, they're already superstars!
Busha & Sophia

Mari is doing awesome with the babies. Not only is she up there all day but she is getting so much done for them. By the grace of God, she went from nearly passing out in the NICU to changing Noah's ostomy bag last night. Her strength and love are amazing!
Jaz is back to normal Jaz - bumming around under the covers...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Jaz who?

We're back! Mari and I needed some time off so we just got back from a short trip down to Cancun for the weekend - ahh, a much needed vacation. Okay, so we're just dreaming, but one day we'll be able to do that again.
Jaz at the beach

Speaking of vacation, our first-born, Jaz the Jazmanian devil, has been on vacation with my friend Molly and her dog Flash. Jaz has really been enjoying the vacation lifestyle - lounging around and eating food she's not supposed to (sorry about the cake...and bagel...and buns...and Sun Chips)! The funny thing is that our minds are on vacation. I mean, we have completely forgotten about J-dog!! I was supposed to pick her up this weekend and completely forgot about her. Hopefully, this is not a sign of what's to come when the babies come home. Normally, we are so excited to see her; in fact, when we flew back from Hawaii, we drove 3 hours to Austin to get her and turn right back around to drive 3 hours back home - we were up for 36 hours straight just to see Jaz sooner. Tomorrow we'll get her first thing in the morning and she can get some cuddle time in bed...and clean up any crumbs we have dropped on the floor.
How can you forget that face?

I know, I know, get to the babies. Finally, all 4 are in the same pod now! We're pretty sure they know this and are much happier now.


Cohen is now 4 lbs 8oz and taking 3 bottle/nipple feedings per day. If he could just remember to keep his heart beating while eating. Cohen has a reputation for being the pooper. I mean, he goes like all the time. I change him before feeding him, he goes while I'm feeding him, then he goes again while I'm changing him after his feeding. On the days I'm thinking, I act like I don't smell it so someone else has to change it - I'm so bad but my time is coming!

Amazing little Noah

Noah is rockin'!! He continues to amaze the surgeons and nurses with his rapid recovery! They are considering beginning feedings through feeding tube tomorrow already. He is growing without milk which is definitely good, but he will now be able to get some of Mari's antibodies from her colostrum. He now tips the scales at 3 lbs 15 oz. Sometimes, I think he is hurting a little because he'll get a bit fussy, but he calms right down with a little love or swaddling. God is definitely listening to all of the prayers and healing little Noah.

Mom & Daughter

Sophia is growing too! She is now 3 lbs 5 oz. I love her fuzzy little head! She is definitely the little princess, especially with all the cute outfits she has. We're pretty sure the nurses play dress-up with her because she always has on a different outfit. She is definitely daddy's little girl.

Finn is doing great as well. He is closing in on the 4lb mark! We think he will be the little perfectionist out of the bunch. He gets a little fussy if we take too long to do things or things aren't how he thinks they should be. It's fun to see him figure things out. The first time he bottle fed, he would suck and then wrinkle his forehead in curiosity, thinking "Did I just make that happen?"
Busha & Finn

We love y'all!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Momma's Back!

I'm back! It's been a wild, wild week and a half. One I will never forget. I want to thank each of you for your comments, prayers and support. I really could not have gotten through these last days without them. What a blessing to have you in my life.

The babies are all doing well. I got to hold Noah for about and hour and a half yesterday! The nurse said that I probably won't be able to hold him every day just because some of the nurses will not be comfortable moving him after just having surgery but I think it's so important for him to be held and feel the warmth of his mommy! He had some secretions from his ostomy which is a great sign. They put an ostomy bag on him last night to catch that. Our next hurdle is to have him start to tolerate slow feeds and absorb those enough to grow for the next surgery. I am praying this will happen quickly and that God will continue to heal Noah's body.

Mom and Noah

Sophia is off of her oxygen and donning her pretty clothes that Miss Jen got for her - thank you, Jen! The nurses love all the outfits you got for the babies, sometimes I think they are playing dress up all day because I'll come in to find them in new outfits just hours after the first one was put on.

Sophia in her Purple Frog Jammies

Finn is still on a bit of oxygen but should be coming off of that soon. He keeps taking it out of his nose so I think he's trying to tell us something.

Dad & Finn

Cohen is really doing well with the breastfeeding. I think he'll catch on after a few more days. It's so fun to have him in an open crib, it makes it a lot easier to go in and just scoop him up.
Auntie Em & Cohen

My sister, Emalee, has been in town since Wednesday night and has been a huge help. Not only getting things done around the house but to make me feel more comfortable around the babies in the NICU. I have been a little scared to just go in and take them out of the isolettes, but she swiftly pulls them out, wraps them up and loves on them. It has given me the confidence to do the same which helps so much to make them feel more like their mom and less like a daily visitor.

I knew this was going to be a roller coaster and that it might be one that was a little tough to ride but I had no idea that I would want to jump off so badly. I was looking for that exit the first couple of days as I watched my babies struggle to survive. I really didn't think I was cut out for this or that I could handle it. It's amazing now to see how God will give you the strength if you allow Him to. I wrote this poem below a while ago and I revisited it this week - reminding myself the kind of mother I want to be. I hope you'll enjoy it and see that sometimes the tough times in life are there to bring you closer to who God wants you to be.

“Breaking Place”
Take me to the place
Where You need me to break
Take me to the place
Where my heart can feel Your face
Lord, hold me tightly
As I peer over the edge
Of this ledge that You’ve brought me to
I want to understand
Help me to know
That You will be my wings
As I jump over this canyon
And go forward for my King
I am here to serve You, Lord
The leader of my life
I will go where You will guide
I will live to testify
Love to all of you! - Mari

Friday, September 7, 2007

3 peas in a pod

Alright, we're back up and running. Yesterday was my first day back at work. It was fun to see everybody but my heart was with the babies. Fortunately, we are not far from the med center and I'm able to make it down there after work.

Cohen, Finn and Sophia have been re-united! They are now in the same pod right next to each other. Cohen has moved into an open crib, with Finn and Sophia not far behind. I'm hoping that by next week they are all in one crib. No more wandering around the halls trying to remember which baby is in which pod.
Mom & Mr. Finn

Dad & Cohen - The Work Never Ends

Sophia - Why Are You Bothering Me?

Noah is still recovering from surgery. He is a bit sedate from the morphine and after-effects of anesthesia. The nurses and staff are amazed at how well he's doing and how good he looks; I'm not sure why they're surprised - he does take after me:) Mari spoke with a hematologist yesterday because there is some research that indicates blood clots may play a role in causing NEC. They will run a few tests to rule this out and don't think that this is the case with Noah. Other than that, they are hoping he will poop pretty soon so we'll know that the lower portion of his intestines are working. All the moms we have talked to always say, "You'll never be so excited about poop." Now I know what they're talking about. Noah has been entrusted to God and He is looking over Noah.

Noah - Trying to Take A Peek At Us

Noah Getting Respiratory Treatment for A Little Fluid on the Lung

Blogs probably won't be updated until after 10pm so take a nap and log on then.