The power of praying Scriptures

I am not sure if I did a short post on this before, but I wanted to let you know how Wade and I made it through the girls being in the hospital for so long. This was the hardest season of our life and the only thing we could rely on was our precious Lord. Wade and I were in a unique situation where we had heard the Lord speak clearly to our hearts 1 week prior to the girls being born that we would go through a trial with the girls but that they would end up being healthy babies. We didn't understand what it meant at the time, but it soon made sense. There are times when that word to us seemed so far away and we wondered if we had heard it right, but we repeated that promise over and over out loud to keep our faith.

Our friend Lisa Shea, who God specifically brought into my life at the perfect moment, was a prayer warrior for us. She is part of a group of people who pray for others and whenever we got news that was scary about the girls we told her and she assembled the group to pray. So many people from Elevation who regularly follow the blog were faithful to lift us up daily in prayer as well. I can't begin to tell you the peace the the Lord can bring over you when people are praying hard for you. Lisa also gave us a book by Dodie Osteen that were the scriptures of healing that Dodie spoke over herself when she had cancer and ultimately the Lord healed her without any chemo or medical treatment. We wrote several of those scriptures on notecards and taped them to Liana and Adleigh's isolettes and spoke those over them everyday. We also read the entire book of scriptures out loud often and then prayed for our girls. Here is a link to those scriptures.

We also just started playing a CD of Scriptures for our girls each day. There is so much power in proclaiming the truth of who Jesus is, and we want our girls to be covered in these truths from their earliest days. I want them to know that Jesus knew them before they were ever born and knew what amazing things they would do for His name. And I want them to know the power of the word of God. 

Finally, this may sound a little crazy, but we never spoke doubt out loud. We acknowledged what the doctor's said, but never declared it as true. For example, when we heard of Liana's brain bleed the doctors said she might not make it and we should think about removing life support, but even if we kept her alive she would never be "normal." We never once spoke those doubts aloud and actually rebuked the words of the doctors and told many nurses and doctors that our Jesus was going to heal her. The Lord says all we need is the faith of a mustard seed, and we tried to show that through what we spoke. God is going to do what is best, but we can believe with all that we have that He can choose to heal. We are still praying that there will never be any evidence of Liana's brain bleed and we still rebuke any words from doctors that say she won't be normal. 

While the girls were in the hospital and going through what feels like every issue a preemie can face between the two of them, we drew strength from Scripture. This time was super hard for me, but the word of God reminded me that Jesus had the power to do what He promised and that His love surrounded us in our situation. Those scriptures comforted me as the Lord carried me through my weakest moments and gave me His strength to press on.


4 months (a litte late)

Current update: Liana is recovering from her cold and is doing so much better. She still has a cough that sounds bad and I suction out her nose with every feeding (every 3 hours) and there is still tons of gunk. But other than that she seems happy and is still eating like a champ.

Please pray: Wade linked to this on his blog, but I wanted to tell everyone to please pray for our friends the Freemans. I think most of you know Kayleigh and she is such an amazing little girl. If you haven't read their blog you need to take some time and start at the very beginning to know what a miracle she is. She is having some big complications and we need everyone to get on their knees and pray for her.

The girls turned 4 months old on the 18th (this is 1 month their corrected age) and I have been meaning to post their birthday pictures. They are so adorable and getting so big. I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am to have them home with us. We are actually sleeping in 4 hours stints at night. However, they kind of wake up a different times so I don't get 4 hours. But there is something about having your babies away from you for 3 months that makes you not mind to wake up at 3:30 am. Don't get me wrong it is really hard especially with two, but through it all I don't want this baby stage to end. I feel like I already missed so much of their little lives since I couldn't be at the hospital all the time and I want every second to be one that I cherish. Anyway, look at my beautiful babies.

And here are the girls' separate shots. These babies are gorgeous! Here is Adleigh.
Here is Liana.


The great sleepover of 2008

We got home from the hospital yesterday afternoon. Liana isn't having any bradys anymore unless it is associated with her reflux. I thought I was cautious before about germs but now I am going to be a crazy lady about it. Thank you for all your prayers because she was able to get out of the hospital quicker than we thought and she is doing much better now.

I had two really cute posts planned before we went into sickville, so here goes the first one.

Jamie (Wade's cousin) and I kept the girls by ourselves for a day and a half last week (Wade was home a little bit but we let him sleep). We had two nights where we had to keep them so we figured the best way for us to get sleep would be to have a good ole fashioned sleepover. We made a pallet downstairs and the girls slept in between us on their special pallet and it actually worked. We made a plan to do this each year around the time that they got to come home. Of course we took pictures so here are a few of the shots.


Back To The Hospital

Guest Blogger: Wade Joye

Things got a little crazy at the Joye household last night. Liana and Adleigh had been sick the past few days, which is something you don't want with preemies. A minor cold for a regular baby can become very serious for a premature one due to the lung issues they have and the fact that they didn't get a lot of the antibodies other babies get in the womb.

Anyway, Liana was extremely congested yesterday so we took her to the doctor. Our pediatrician told us to watch her to see if it got worse. Well, the gunk quickly moved to her chest. At 11 PM, she began to have a bunch of brady spells where her heart monitor would go off. After about 7 of those, the doctor told us to take her in to the emergency room.

The verdict in the ER was that Liana needed to be readmitted to the hospital until she made it through the worst of whatever she had. As much as I didn't want to come back here, it made me feel good to know that she was going to be closely watched. Thankfully, we got test results back that confirm that she does not have RSV which is what we were really worried about.

This go around, things in the hospital are a lot different. We are actually in our own room, and we take care of her while the nurse comes in for supportive care. Adleigh is at home, so things are a bit more complicated. My mom and cousin Jamie have been lifesavers.

After our hospital slumber party tonight, we are hopeful that Liana can go home tomorrow. Pray that she has a good night, and that Adleigh doesn't follow in her sister's footsteps.


Bath Time

Thank you to everyone who posted a helpful tip on what to do with a baby who won't sleep in their crib. I decided that since they are on heart monitors right now that it would be okay to roll some blankets up and make my own cozy sleep positioner. This is what they did at the hospital and as soon as I made it last night Liana slept in her crib for 1.5 hours! I couldn't believe it. She is also getting better with her reflux...well she is actually spitting up more, but she isn't having bradys as much anymore.

This Friday we had Adleigh's scans. She did amazing! A lot of you must have been praying because she pretty much slept the whole time and never cried. She had her last bottle at 5:30 am and she didn't eat again until 12:45 pm. She even had to have an IV put in her arm for the HIDA scan so that the nuclear medicine would go quickly through her body and she didn't make a peep. Then they had to strap her to the table (she was laying on a comfy pillow) for an hour to get continuous pictures of what the medicine was doing. We then had to go back at 2:30 and have her lay under the machine for another 30 minutes. We haven't gotten back an official word on the results but our pediatrician said that everything looked pretty good. We should hear something more from her specialist sometime this week.

Today, Adleigh had her first episode of apnea (not taking a breath for 20 seconds). We were so confused! She didn't really even have these in the hospital near the end so needless to say we were a little freaked out. I then had to take her to the hospital to get blood taken to check her bili levels and she had 4 very quick episodes in the car. She hasn't had anything since then so we are guessing maybe she was just in a deep sleep or that the monitor was crazy. Although we did have some blood drawn to check for any infection. So please pray that little Adleigh is completely healthy.

Finally, here is some pictures during the girls' bathtime.
Liana is up first then Adleigh. And if you are wondering, Adleigh's belly button sticks out really far because she has a hernia. In this case it normally fixes itself but it may take months to even a year before it finally resolves.


My mind is crazy jumbled

Thank you everyone who started praying for Adleigh because we went to the pediatrician and she called to see if we could move her HIDA scan up and they said they would do her two tests back to back instead of having her wait for so long. She will still probably go 6 hours without anything to eat but that is better than 8! Please pray that these scans show that everything is normal and that she is just having issues with jaundice from being on the TPN for so long. Our ultrasound is at 10 and the HIDA scan is right after that.

The girls had a good exam at the pediatrician. They are gaining weight. Adleigh weighed 7 lbs 8 ozs and Liana weighed 7 lbs 1 oz. This is the closest in size they have been. Liana is trying to catch up with her sister.

Has anyone ever had a baby that immediately starts crying once they realize they are in their crib? We try and put Liana in her crib and she usually only lasts for 10 to 15 minutes and then screams. I am having a little more luck with one of our swings. Maybe it has to do with the motion because even if you are holding her she will sometimes cry until you stand up and bounce her.

Also, Wade and a whole lot of people from Elevation went to Catalyst (a conference in Altanta, GA) and our pastor got to speak there today. I heard he was absolutely amazing and I really wish I could have heard him! God has done mind blowing things through our church and I am so excited that Pastor Steven got an opportunity to share that with so many people. I miss all of you guys at the conference!

Finally, our good friends the Freemans had their daughter Kayleigh move to progressive care. In the NICU world, going to progressive care is like a dream come true. You are finally told your child isn't in critical condition and you get to go to a pimped out little suite. So I know that Kayleigh's parents are super excited and now the only step left is going home! We are still praying hard for you guys and just know once Kayleigh gets out we are going to plan some play dates! God has given you a wonderful gift and you have shown so many people that God is your strength during the toughest of times. We love you!


Photo Shoot

We are off to the pediatrician in about an hour. I will have to post what their new weights are later on. We went to the eye doctor yesterday and the whole trip took 4 hours! Both girls eyes look great. We still have to go back in 2 weeks, but the doctor thinks that they are progressing nicely. Adleigh has to go get an ultrasound Friday at 10 am to look at her liver and then at 12 pm she has a HIDA scan which is a nuclear medicine study to check her liver/gallbladder. The horrible thing is that Adleigh can't eat anything past 6 am that morning. So she is going to go like 8 hours without food! She can't even have sugar water or anything. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to keep a baby calm that can't eat?
The girls had a little photo shoot. And we have a great family shot. So here they are (yes Adleigh is asleep in most of them):


We love our Grandparents...and each other

We have had the girls home over a week and a half now. For some reason in the hospital we called Adleigh "the bear" and Liana "the mouse." It ended up actually fitting because Adleigh would grunt like a bear and Liana made squeak noises like a mouse. Well, their aunt Jamie has taken their nicknames one step further and we have Adabear and Loulie mouse (mostly just Loulie though).
We had to take Adleigh to the pediatrician because the whites of her eyes turned a greenish color. This was a sign that her jaundice was getting worse so the pediatrician sent us to the hospital to get labs done on her bili levels. It had gone up, but not enough to really do anything about at this point so this week we should hear from her specialist as to what we should do. And just to remind everyone this isn't the typical jaundice that can be fixed with light. She is on a medication and this may take months to go away. Thank you for the continued prayers for her.

Here is the video of the day we brought Liana home and first put the girls together. They had been a little fussy before and as soon as they got next to each other they seemed so peaceful. However, it hasn't been like that much since.

And here are the girls with Wade's parents.

And then with my parents.


First week home

First I want to apologize that it has been so long since I have posted. My computer power cable completely broke the day after Liana came home and my computer died. So I stole Wade's computer tonight and hopefully I will get another cable tomorrow. When I get my computer back be ready for regular posts again!

The girls are doing amazing!  I am loving them being home so much. Even though I have Wade's mom and cousin Jamie helping around the clock we are all still exhausted. Having twins at home is a lot harder than I ever expected, but this is so much better than those awful hospital days. Can I just tell you that we go through diapers like crazy. One day fills up our diaper pail and we have already used up like 4 packs of diapers! Also, I packed up all of our preemie clothes. We are officially in newborn size, but that won't last long either. They are getting so big!

We are already seeing different personalities. Adleigh is so laid back and sleeps really well. She is generally happy and entertains herself. Liana is a little more high maintenance. She never wants to be put down and can be pretty fussy. She does have trouble digesting her formula since it is so much thicker so some of her fussiness is contributed to that. I love that they are already showing differences and keeping me on my toes as to how I have to handle each one.

The upcoming weeks are full of appointments to tons of specialists. I can't believe how many doctors such little girls have. We have already been to the pediatrician. Their weights: Adleigh 6lbs 15 ozs and Liana 6 lbs 2 ozs. But that was about a week ago so they have probably gained a lot of weight since then.

Thank you for all your prayers and love and comments! It means so much that you are still keeping up with our girls. If you could continue to pray for Adleigh's liver. She has the jaundice that was caused from being on TPN fluids for so long and she is still super yellow. Also, thank you so much for those who are doing meals for us. That is so helpful and our family really appreciates it!

Here are some pics from this week of the two of them. 

This is Liana looking at Adleigh.

Adleigh is checking out Liana.

Having crib together time. Perfect shot of their personalities as well.

Wade loving on his two girls. I just realized I need to start getting people to take pictures of me with the girls.


Meals for the Joye Family

We are all so excited that Adleigh and Liana are now at home with their family. I know many people are looking for an opportunity to bless the Joye Family, so what better way than helping provide dinner for the family so they can focus on what truly matters.... the girls!

If you'd like to help by providing a meal, please email me at Lorimblack@gmail.com and I'll send you details on how we are organizing this. Also, if you have any questions on needs of the family, please email me as well and I can help you--needless to say, Ferris and Wade have their hands full right now!

I know I can speak for them when I say, thank you so much for the continued prayers and support.

Lori Black