Saturday, January 31, 2009


Here is a quick update on Joel and Leah...

Joel has been out of his isolette for 32 hrs. and is still holding his temp. He is gaining a little weight and eating well. His breathing is excellent.

Leah had to revisit her isolette at 4am after being out for 13 hrs. This was an emotional set back for us, but something we have no control over. She was in her isolette for 6 hrs. and her temp. got up to 37.5 so she came out again to a crib around 10am. She is gaining weight and eating well, we just have to wait for her to get her act together in the temperature department.

We appreciate all your prayers for these little ones. We are hopeful to be home soon...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Family Together & Temps Maintain

Micah and Joel
Elizabeth, Micah, Hannah, & Joel. Leah is still in the "cooker".

Hannah holds Joel for the first time.

Elizabeth holds Joel for the first time.

It's been a good day. We finally had all 5 kids together for the first time. We gathered in the NICU and shared a few moments together. I was so blessed to see all the kids enjoying one another. God has truly blessed up. Elizabeth said about Leah "she's adorable!" We all agreed.

The other good news is that both Joel and Leah are in cribs now. This means their temperatures are looking good. Joel was put into his crib this morning and has maintained his temperature all day long. Leah was put into her crib around 4:00 p.m. Her temperature continues to hold at this point as well. They also need to maintain their weight or gain weight. Once these two things line up (temperatures & weight), I believe we can go home. We continue to pray for God's will and His strength.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today's Photos

Joel - "What?"
Joel gets some kisses.

Mama love for baby Joel.

Joel - Keeping warm!

Leah - Hiding. She was shy today.

Another Day...

Well, we're still here. A week ago today, I was at home mentally preparing for my C-section. Now, a week later, we have two precious babies in the NICU. Leah became an official NICU patient yesterday. She and Joel are both in isolettes. Picture a crib with glass sides and a glass roof. We take them out to feed them and then back in they go. Every three hours, we take their temps, change their diapers, I nurse one then Todd bottle feeds, I nurse the other then Todd bottle feeds. We are supplementing each nursing session with formula to try and get them to gain weight and hopefully help them hold their body temperatures.

This may be way too much info but here is our situation: The isolettes have an air flow of a constant temperature. The temp in the isolettes started out at 33.0 degrees celcius. Leah and Joel have to hold a body temp of 37.5 degrees celcius and above. If they reach 37.0 or above, the nurses turn down the isolette temp. 1/2 a degree. When the isolette temp reaches 28 degrees, they will begin the transfer to a crib- then they have to hold their body temp for 24 hrs before they are released. If they fail in the crib, we start over. Both isolettes are down to 31 degrees after 24hrs. in their isolettes. It's a slow process. The great thing is, they are both healthy, just suffering from their immature status.

Please pray specifically for them to hold their body temps. We are emotionally ready to go home and be a family again. Of course we want to take home healthy babies, so we're willing to wait, but the wait is challenging. We were moved to a different room again last night. Now we have windows again and a bigger room but we're back to three security doors and a walk to our precious little ones instead of being right outside their door.

I haven't mentioned the incredible care we have received here. Our NICU angels a.k.a. nurses have been so amazing. They have hugged me as I cried, laughed with us, admired our little ones, and have gone above and beyond in everything. We are so thankful to have Joel and Leah in their care and know the Lord has sent them as an extra blessing when we have needed one so desperately.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Photo Time!

Leah (left) & Joel (right)
Leah sun bathing

Joel sun bathing

Leah (left) & Joel (right) - Enjoying their first moments together since birth.

Leah - Look at those eyes.

Ups & Downs

What day is it? Oh, Tuesday. We have had several days of ups and downs. Each day with kids in the hospital is an adventure in emotional endurance. Some moments are exciting because there is a victory and the next thing you know there appears to be another problem.

Joel is completely off any breathing devise. His respiration rate is great. They continue to monitor it, but it has not changed in the last two days. This is what got him in the NICU. Yeah!!!

Joel is now off the feeding tube. He is eating well; both from mommy and a bottle. This is a great sign.

Joel will finish his round of antibiotics on Wednesday night. Once this happens, they will take the IV out of his arm. We hope the current IV holds so they do not have to put another stint in.

Joel was out of the warmer until this afternoon. His temperature dropped a little so he is back in the oven (warmer). He has to maintain his temperature before we can go home.

Leah is still a patient. Her weight dropped more than they like and she is a little yellow. They decided to keep her in the hospital. Her weight is now increasing and she is eating pretty well. However, her temperature has dropped as well. She is sun bathing as well. We thought they would release her on Wednesday, but we are not sure now.

Rebecca is no longer a patient of the hospital. She is my patient now. My job is to keep her eating and drinking. According to the nurses, she is suppose to have 3500 to 4000 calories each day. She is also suppose to drink about 4 liters of water each day. She has been tired and challenged by this entire situation. The emotions are up and down. We have had several tears over the past few days.

We continue to hang onto the strength of God and call out to Him often and we are so thankful for all the people surrounding us with prayer and encouragement.

Another praise is that we moved rooms over to the NICU. It feels like we have moved in with the nurses and doctors. We literary step out of our room, through the nurses area, and into the room with our babies. Before we had to walk from one side of the hospital floor, through 3 doors of security, to the other side in order to see and feed Joel. The other awesome part of this move is that Joel and Leah finally got to see each other for the first time since they were born. We put them side-by-side and enjoyed this precious moment.

Rebecca and I left the hospital this afternoon for about an hour. We went home to is Micah, Hannah, and Elizabeth. It was great to spend a little time with them. We long to be home and restart our family life.

Signing Off!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Micah's blog

Text Color

4 days old! Leah is a little cold because mom and dad took her clothes off to feed her (parents, parents). Joel is still in the N.I.C.U. . It'll be fun when they come back.

I'm gong to tell stories next time. Until then,

-Micah out

Saturday, January 24, 2009

51 Hours Old

Today has been a busy, tiring day but with God's grace I am sustained moment by moment. I have had a few opportunites to hold Joel and try and teach him to nurse again today. I am very thankful for any time we get with him. The times we can hold him are very scheduled, so it makes the day challenging - nursing Leah, pumping for Joel, eating three meals, reassuring our oldest three, holding and trying to feed Joel etc... Lizzie asked me today, "Are you going to cry again mommy? Why you crying?" I confess I spend a lot of time in tears which is why even chatting on the phone is hard right now.

Joel is improving, but it seems with every good report comes a potential bad... today he is off oxygen, but still needs a little "push" of air so the tube in his nose is still in. His chest x-ray today showed a small pocket that may or may not be an infection. Tomorrow will determine what happens next. If the pocket is gone, it was just fluid and we can begin the process of getting him eating on his own (right now he has a tube into his belly) and coming home in a few days, on the other hand, if it is an infection we're looking at another 7-10 days on antibiotics in the NICU.

I am trying to find rest in the unknown at the feet of Jesus. He is mighty, and bigger than these circumstances. If I think too long on all of this I feel like I might suffocate, so I must simply take each moment as it comes. Please continue to pray for all of us- the "big kids"- we are seeing signs of stress with them, continued strength for my sweet husband who is too amazing for words, healing for our sweet little Joel, that Leah would continue on this great path, and recovery and peace for me.

Blessings and love to each of you,

Friday, January 23, 2009

Micah's Blog

They're here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The twins are so sweet and tiny. My mom is tired, Leah is, um, uh, sleeping, and Joel is in the N.I.C.U. . The Long family is big.

-Micah out

Additional Photos

Joel on the Neonatal Breathing Ride - He's off this machine now and doing much better. We miss him.

Proud Sister Elizabeth with Leah

Loving Sister Hannah with Leah

Bigger Strong Micah with Leah

Daddy playing Dress Up

More Photos




First Photos

Joel is on the left.

Leah is on the right.

Mommy & Leah

Mommoy & Joel

They're Here - Yah!!!

Joel Thomas Long - 6 lb 2 oz, 18 3/4 inches long came into the world at 5:21 p.m. on 1/22/09.

Leah Hope Long - 6 lb 1 oz, 18 3/4 inches long came into the world at 5:23 p.m. on 1/22/09.

As you can read from Rebecca's last posting, we decided to do a c-section based on the information we received from the ultrasound, midwife, and doctor.

We arrived at the hospital around 3:00 p.m. They prepared Rebecca for the delivery/surgery. I got to play dress up. Then we went to have these babies delivered.

They did the final preparation for Rebecca in the operating room as I waited outside. While waiting, I could see Rebecca through the window. She looked so beautiful. She was smiling, laughing, and joking with all the people taking care of her. I admire her strength, humor, and faith beyond words. I am so thankful to be married to Rebecca and to have an amazing family with her. As I prayed preparing for the c-section, I was struck with the words, "You can rest now." I felt the peace of God and new everything was going to go well.

Joel and Leah came into the world with great cries and looking very healthy. The doctor and midwife encouraged us that the c-section went very well.

As they cleaned up the babies, we discovered that Joel was having a difficult time breathing. He wasn't filling the lower air sacks and gasping from breath. He was still getting plenty of oxygen, but having to work extra hard. They decided to move Joel to the neonatal care unit. They had to put a breathing devise in his nose, an IV in, and a tube in this throat. He is in great hands. Throughout the night, I went to visit Joel. Each time I visited, he was doing better and better. As of this morning at 8:00 a.m., he was progressing well. He is still on a breathing devise that is much less invasive. The nurses and doctors all feel like he will get through this well. They haven't told us any time frames on when he will move over to the regular nursery.

Leah is doing very well. She is a peaceful little girl. She is sleeping well, breast feeding well, and filling her diapers.

Rebecca had difficulty through the night. She was very nauseous, tired, and uncomfortable. This morning, she is feeling much better.

I'm feeling fairly rested. I learned to sleep on this lovely chair/bed.

I have posted several photos. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


We went for a routine visit today and came away with a scheduled C-section just hours away. The sonogram showed two over 6lb. babies. Joel was head down, but Leah has flipped and is now breech. Then, we discovered I am dialated to a 4 already. After some tears and prayers and consultations with our midwife and the doctor, we decided to go ahead with the recommended C-section. This way, I don't risk both a vaginal delivery and a C-section and we will avoid an emergency C-section. It feels very strange to know in a few hours we will be holding our 2 little ones. My faith is again stretched to release control to the One who created all of us. I am so grateful for His grace and mercy. We appreciate your prayers. We'll post pictures and info. soon. The delivery is scheduled for 4:30 this afternoon.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Micah's blog

It's been a loooooooooong time since I last wrote. I hope you had a great Christmas. I'm so exited about the twins (Joel and Leah) coming.

I don't think I told you that I like to write stories. If you want me to write them tell me on comments.

-Micah out

Saturday, January 3, 2009

33 weeks 2 days- but who's counting?

Wow! We received a great report at our OB appointment yesterday. Both babies are doing great. According to the measurements from the sonogram, Joel is 5 lbs. 12 oz. and Leah is 5 lbs. 7 oz. Both of them are head down- ready to make their debut. My prayer is to avoid a C-section and to bring home 2 healthy babies when I am released. My midwife Kimberly is supportive of me trying a natural birth- provided they stay in this position. She expects to see them in the next 2-3 weeks. I'm good with that as long as their development is on track.

We are in the process of washing and sorting clothes, preparing bedding and decorating the nursery. If the twins' nursery if finished before their arrival, it will be a first in our family! It's a goal I'm working towards- we'll just see how much time they give us.

I am getting excited to meet these two little people. What an incredible blessing God has given to our family.