Sunday, January 31, 2010


UPDATE: 2/1/10

So my apologies go out to all the faithful bloggers who have been checking the site daily, only to see the same update from 3 months ago. Needless to say, life is busy, and I don't get a whole lot of time to just sit at the computer! Hmmm, imagine why? But, I wouldn't ask for it to be busy any other way. Being a mommy of 3 is the most wonderful thing I can be doing. Moments of insanity, yes, when we have the harmonies of Jaron and Teagan both hungry and crying, and Kaylan in the background saying "STOP!" But, we eventually get things settled down again :-)

Jaron and Teagan are doing awesome. You would never look at them and think they are preemies. They have chubby cheeks and the cutest smiles, and coos. Early intervention is coming once a month, our first session was in January. Carol, is our physical therapist's name with early intervention, and she has shown me things to do to help them with things like getting there necks and backs stonger, focusing on "playing" with toys, etc. We were also at a pulmanologist in Hershey and he thinks they look and sound well. He put Teagan on 2 different inhalers to help with her breathing, just so she doesn't have to work so hard and burn calories that way. Jaron, so far so good with no meds. We go back to see him in March. We are off the oxygen, well Jaron we still put him on a little at night. But we are soon finished with that phase of things, thank goodness. Now it doesn't feel like we have plug in babies anymore! We can walk freely around the house :-)

Two weeks ago Jaron was 11 pounds, and Teagan 9.4. Far from their 1 pound plus weight 6 months ago. Yes, Saturday, the 6th makes them a half a year old already. That just blows me away.

Everyday when I hold them, squeeze them, and just love on them I am overwhelmed with emotion. I truly am holding two miracles in my arms, I am always so humbled at the way the Lord worked in our lives and their lives the way He did. You know, someone asked me if I ever worried about losing one or both of them, and I can honestly say I never did. When I woke up after my c-section and heard that my baby boy and girl were both alive, I knew it was going to be okay. Just to let you know how awesome our God is....

... years ago when Mitch and I were trying to get pregnant with Kaylan, and my parents were praying for us about conception, my dad shared with us right after that prayer that he felt like the Lord told him not to be surprised if there was more than one. That was a word the Lord sent to us years before they were born.... He gave us a promise like that in advance, knowing we would have/need that to remember and hold onto in our journey with them. Yes, that is the God that we serve.

So, the Shellenberger party of five is adjusting and doing well. And to put a plug in for Kaylan, because she is an amazing little girl too, she has been a great big sister. Yeah, there are the times she yells stop, but most times she is saying, Hey Teagan, Hey Jaron... aww their so cute and soft, giving kisses, giving them their nuks... you know things that big sisters do! She has adjusted so well, she has a very creative mind for a two year old, and doesn't mind playing on her own with her toys or imaginary animals that show up at our house while I am taking care of the babies.

I know everyone wants to see pics, I will try to get some posted, I am not doing this from my computer so no pics for me to send right now.

A side note, I am walking with a team in the March for Babies (April 25th) and would love for you all to support me in it. March for Babies organized by the March of Dimes raises funds in order to provide programming, services and research to promote healthy, full-term pregnancies and prevent infant mortality. You can check out my personal page for Team Miracles on the right sidebar of the blog. There you can find additional details about the walk and The March of Dimes. You can also sponsor me by making a tax-deductible donation.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Update from the Daddy: 11/6/09

On Wednesday morning we brought Jaron and Teagan home from the hospital. We got in there just before 10:00 and were loading the van by a little after 11:00. First trip with the whole family in the van. We have been home here since, and things are going well. Jaron and Teagan came home with oxygen and monitors, so we have a mess of wires and tubing running around the house. Not a good mix with a two year old pushing her stroller around. I put up some hooks on the walls, so we have a system now to keep the tubing off the floor as much as possible.

Heather is feeding them four times a day now and we are bottle feeding the rest. We will continue to ramp up the nursing, but they recommended we take it slow. The doctors recommended this so there is not a huge change in the twins' schedule that might set them back a bit with weight gain. Kaylan is so fun to watch as she interacts with Jaron and Teagan. She is a very good little mom. She says things like "aww, what's wrong buddy," and "its OK." She likes to "pet" them, that's what she says.

We have our first doctors visit today, which will be our first time out with them. We are not planning on being out much, so it may be little while before we see some of you all, but thank you so much for all your prayers and support. It is so helpful. You can continue to pray for good weight gain. They said we do not need to supplement with formula as long as they are gaining weight. You can pray for an ability to figure what life with two babies and a two year old looks like as far as a schedule, feedings, play time, house work, and a job, when I get back (I am off until the middle of next week). You can also pray for small windows of time for Heather and I to connect, and build our relationship.

PRAISE GOD for the amazing gift of these two little lives. I is just so awesome to have them home and healthy.

Here are some pics:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Update: 11/1/09

" Alot of you have already heard, and I am thrilled to finally say - we are going to be bringing Jaron and Teagan home!! Wednesday, November 4th is their homecoming date! They will be going home on oxygen and monitors, so tomorrow (Monday) the medical staff will be briefing us on how to use those when we are home, Tuesday they have Teagan's last eye exam set up, and Wednesday it's homeward bound!!!

Wow, it feels so good to say that."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Update: 10/21/09

"Here we are, another week gone by, everyday getting us closer to bringing our twins home! No discharge date mentioned at all yet, but we are hoping no more than 4 weeks. They are 11 weeks old now, which makes them 36 weeks gestation. Another 4 weeks would put them to my due date with them. I am excited to say that yesterday they took both Jaron and Teagan off the medications they were on (meds such as diuretics to help them get rid of any extra fluid, etc). They had eye exams again this morning and the Dr. said Jaron looks great, no need to check him again, and Teagan looks good too, but he just wants to see her again in another 2 to 3 weeks. Jesus, we ask that when Teagan's eyes get checked again in a couple of weeks that it will be her last as well!

Feedings are going well, I am now nursing both of them two times a day. They are beginning to coordinate their sucking, breathing, and swallowing, but sometimes it's a little hard for them and they "alarm." I believe I asked about praying for this before, so just continue the prayer that this coordination for them will just click.

Jaron is now 5 lbs. 3 oz, and Teagan is so close to hitting 5... she is 4 lbs 14 oz. Everyday the nurses come by and say how much they can't believe how the twins have grown. They just dote over them and say how cute they are. I hear all the nurses have a little crush on Jaron :-) He's already workin' his charm. I am not sure the staff will let us leave, they love our little kiddos so much!

I am praying that these last few weeks go by quickly, or maybe I just need to pray for patience. It's like the end is so close, but still feels far away. I am longing for the day to hear the words get ready to take your babies home. I have been SO excited for the families we got to know from the NICU that I got to see take their babies home, I can't even imagine how excited I will be when it's our turn. Just thinking about it right now makes me want to burst!! That is the update I cannot wait to give. Until then, like I said, pray for our patience.

We love you all so much.
- Heather"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Update: 10.15.09

"Wow, how the time passes me by, and here I am giving a much needed update! Jaron and Teagan are just awesome! They are still on some oxygen support. Teagan is now on the regular nasal cannula, which is the last step for respiratory support! Jaron is still on the hi-flow nasal cannula, and we are praying he will soon be like his sister and onto the regular. It's been just over a week now that I have been able to try nursing Teagan once a day, today I actually tried twice. She is showing great progress with it. Jaron got to try for the first time today, and he did great for the first time! This is exciting for me, and a great step to getting them home. Today makes them ten weeks old. I can hardly believe we have been doing this over 2 months... they have come such a long way. Looking back at pictures of them is just amazing. They don't even look like the same babies anymore... they are getting their chubby cheeks and little bellies!! Absolutely adorable.

I have probably mentioned this before, but what's on our hearts to pray for is that when it is time to go home, we will be leaving with the BOTH of them. A lot of times twins will go home separately because one is doing better than the other. I would love to have their homecoming at the same time, and have our three children under the same roof. And that they won't be coming home on any kind of oxygen or monitor, because they keep telling us that is a possibility too.

Jaron is now 4 lbs 15 oz, and Teagan 4 lbs 7 oz. We are soon going to see that 5 lb mark! Who knows, Jaron probably already hit it when they weighed him tonight!

Since you all have been such awesome prayer warriors for Jaron and Teagan, if you think about it, you can be crying out for some other very little ones. Last Friday they admitted a 23 week old baby (he was a twin, but his brother passed away. He only lived a few hours.), and he is stable. His name is Isaiah, his parents are Marci and Sam. I have had the opportunity to talk with the mom, Marci, and had the privilege to pray with her the same day that Isaiah was admitted. I am sure they won't mind that I just shared that with you all, I wanted to share their names so you can pray for them by name. I know the Lord has awesome things in store for the this family and their littlest one!! And I know Jaron and Teagan are bringing hope and encouragement to them, seeing where there boy is going to get to.

I know there are twins that were also just admitted, and I am hoping I get a chance to talk and encourage her as well. Pray that the Lord uses me in these mother's lives. It's for such a time as this that we are in the NICU at this time, right?!

We are so blessed by all of you.

Much love,

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Update: 10.1.09

"More good news to share with everybody! As you know last Tuesday Jaron and Teagan were both taken off of their vents and onto CPAP. Well yesterday I had another wonderful surprise to see that Teagan now has the high flow nasal cannula! This is just the next step needed to be made to get weened off of oxygen... so of course our prayer is that Jaron is right there with his sis and will have the high flow soon. This looks so much more comfortable too, the CPAP isn't very friendly to the face or nose!

They had another eye exam this week, and things still look good there. The occupational therapist that works in the NICU got to check them out too, and assessed them. She says everything looks great, Eventually, she is going to show me some massage to do for them that is helpful. Oh, and a highlight for me this week was bath time!! I was able to give both of the twins their baths. I just took a warm soapy wipe and "scrubbed" 'em in their beds, and then put them in their little tub to rinse them off, and they both loved the water when I rinsed them. They were wide eyed when I was doing it.

Obviously, we continue to pray for their lungs, but as you think about it, when it comes time for them to start feeding, which won't be for another couple weeks, pray for the coordination. And for my patience! This will be one of the hardest things they will have to do, breathe, suck, swallow.

Last but not least, their weights. Jaron is 3.15 and Teagan is 3.7. We are soon going to see four pounds! Amazing, compared to how tiny they were 8 weeks ago!

Here are some pictures of their bath times. Hope you enjoy! This was a fun update for me to give.

Love, Heather "