Two Week NICU Update + My First Father’s Day!

Hey Everyone! Graham here. Wanted to give you all a quick update…

Also I apologize for not making more regular posts/updates, but obviously life has been a little crazy. Navigating work, seeing the babies as much as possible, and getting sleep has been a little tough- and oh I know it’s only the start!

First, THANK YOU so much for all of your support. Stephanie and I are completely blown away and feel insanely blessed. It truly means the world to us both, and I don’t think we could thank you enough. Between Stephanie and I both, we have dozens of text messages and calls. It means so much to know we have so many people rooting for us and these babies. 

We are also completely blown away by the GoFundMe support we have gotten. This helps us out so much, and all I can say is thank you. 

In return, I’m going to do a better job of keeping people updated on a routine basis! Our plan is to make a video every Sunday sharing how the week went. Just finished the first one!

Most Important - Update on Babies!

Overall, all of the babies are doing absolutely fantastic. It seems like every time we go to visit, the doctors and nurses keep telling us how well they are doing. We joke that the updates are almost “boring” – but how that’s a good thing! We’ve heard from multiple nurses and doctors that these are some of the healthiest babies they’ve seen that were born at 27 weeks.

Their first big milestone were their brain ultrasounds that they had about one week ago. They were checking for bleeding in their brains, which is common in babies born before 28 weeks, and could be a sign of a long-term disability.

We praise God that four out of five of our children had absolutely no sign of bleeding. Adelyn did have a Grade 1 Hemorrhage, but the doctors assured us that it was nothing to worry about, and will most likely resolve itself. They will be doing a follow up in about a week. Other than that, all babies are exceeding all expectations- in fact, everyone is above their birth weights already.

Here are some specific things going on for each baby:

Adelyn (Baby A):

  • Currently at 2lbs 8 ounces
  • She has had the loudest scream so far!
  • She is the only one with a picc line in still, and we hope that is removed in the next couple of days.
  • On the night of 6/19, she really liked when I had my hand over her, and she kept looking at me. It was a moment I will never forget!
Play Video

Eliana (Baby B):

  • Currently weighs 2lbs 5.90 ounces
  • Unfortunately, she is in her own pod (each pod has a max of 4 beds)
  • We are trying to do better at spending more time in her pod
  • She opens her eyes more than anyone else, and loves looking at mom!
  • She might be the most “chill” baby we have. She just looks up at us whenever we change her diaper. I love it!
Play Video

Linnea (Baby C):

  • Currently weighs 2lbs 3 ounces
  •  She is our smallest but squirms around the most when being held
  • She had hiccups the other night and they were so cute (video below)
  • Linnea did have to have a blood transfusion the other morning (which was scary to hear), but she tolerated it well and is doing great!
Play Video

Fisher (Baby D):

  • Currently weighs 2lbs 7.9 ounces
  • He is our “wimpy white boy” (it’s a NICU term- look it up!)
  • He is needing more breathing support than his sisters due to his oxygen levels dropping quite a bit more
  • That said, he is in good hands!
  • He currently has to wear a snorkel looking thing, and we look forward to when it comes off
  • Stephanie had a really cute moment with him where he held onto her finger and looked up at his momma.
  • Fisher also stunk up the entire pod with his poop 💩. Nice work son. 
Play Video

Harper (Baby E):

  • Currently weighs 2lbs 9 ounces
  • She was the biggest at birth, and still is!
  • She is probably the most feisty out of the bunch as well
  • She has the lightest hair of the bunch, and is looking like she will be our only blonde. 
  • She is so cute and loves her mom.
  •  She has been the first to suck her thumb!
Play Video

Stephanie's Recovery

Stephanie continues to recover well- she is walking fine and is completely off of pain meds. Her appetite is back, and she is probably eating more than me, but that’s because she is pumping almost nonstop. In fact, our babies are fully fed on Stephanie’s breast milk! Crazy! 

She has enjoyed life 45 pounds lighter already! One of the most interesting things I’ve noticed is the fact that her “regular voice” is back. She was always out of breath from her lungs not having the ability to take a full breath while pregnant, that her voice was always a little quieter than it typically is. 

She is taking it easy, yet still doing much more than she did while pregnant. In fact she drove for the first time yesterday after not driving since March. Here she is two weeks after giving birth to quintuplets: 

Here she is two weeks after her C-section. What a rockstar! 

My First Father’s Day

I never thought I’d be celebrating five kids for my first father’s day, but here we are! I asked the babies for a new Traeger, but they were too busy in the NICU. Instead they made me something even better: a card with their footprints, and an awesome keychain accessory (strong dad move). I love them both!

Our Plan Moving Forward

These next few weeks will be spent visiting the NICU as much as we can, letting Stephanie recover, and planning/getting our house in order before these babies come home. NICU life is difficult, but also nice as it allows us to have some time to plan before life gets crazzzzzyyyyyyy 😃

We do plan on keeping everyone updated more often mainly through this blog, social media, and we did just start a YouTube channel. Everything is under @WeAreTheFreels

One of the things I’m most excited about doing is a podcast Stephanie and I are starting. Every Sunday night we are going to recap the previous week as we start this journey. More details to come!

Thank you!!!!!

Again, just want to say THANK YOU! Your support means so much to us! We have a long NICU journey ahead of us, but we have so much support from friends and family. At times we feel overwhelmed by how loved we feel. So if there is one thing I want to end this blog with it’s this:

Thank you from The Freels (Graham, Stephanie, Adelyn, Eliana, Linnea, Fisher, & Harper)!

– Graham