Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We're Back!!!

After spending four months in Scottsdale, Arizona we've arrived back in Columbus,Georgia. With help from Aunt Kristy, who flew out the day before, we boarded a Delta red-eye flight non-stop to Atlanta. The 757 plane seated over 180 passengers, and only 47 were booked for the flight so we virtually had the entire plane to ourselves. We each had a infant per row and were able to keep them in their car seats, nearly impossible on day flights, unless you purchase additional seats. The flight challenge tests done at the hospital prompted us to apply for oxygen and Delta had tanks for each baby. We fed them prior to boarding and once during the flight and managed to return to Atlanta without incident. Each headrest had a television screen which kept Michael occupied for the first hour until he went to sleep. The flight attendants announced over the intercom that we were their youngest passengers and they were proud to have the Malone Quads and family on board.

When we arrived in Atlanta, we were met by my Dad and Johnny Sparks. Mr.Sparks has a shuttle service and picked us up in a stretch limo. Mr .Sparks runs a first-class operation and we highly recommend his services.

When we pulled up to the house the mailbox had balloons and streamers put together by an industrious crew (Paulette, Yolanda, Zehra Bobby and my mom ).They had assembled swing- sets, bouncers, Pack n Plays, and stocked the refrigerator with plenty of food and formula. The neighbors have helped us with nanny referrals and Michael even met three new boys on the street that moved in the neighborhood over the summer.
Our first pediatric appointment in Columbus went well. Dr Lloyd Hudson was my childhood pediatrician and his office staff was able to schedule all the boys at one time! The guys did great and Mrs.Hudson brought balloons for the babies and Michael. His reps have arranged to get more formula to us....nothing better!!

Now the updates....

William is still the calmest of the group. He is over 6lbs 7oz. Since day one he's had the whole "bottle and breast feeding thing" down and doesn't miss many meals. He got tired of people forgetting who he was so he scratched his eyelid to remind us!

Sean..the red beet, will cry on the hour just to remind you that its 3,4,or 5am! My Aunt Denise gave us a gadget called "ITZBEEN" that reminds you how long it's been since feeding, diapers, sleep etc. It's very helpful because its easy to forget who ate last and how long ago. Sean would just assume I throw this device in the garbage! The picture below has them in order from left to right. Sean is now 6lbs 5oz.

Chase hands down has the loudest cry. He has Kelly wrapped around his finger! He has that distinctive cry where you see tongue and tonsils all at the same time! But he like Michael loves the outdoors, if you take him out on the patio, he stops crying almost instantly. He weighs in at over 7lbs 3oz!

Dylan continues to steal the hearts of women. People he's never met seem to love him. Nurses at the hospital ask me about him daily. The whole underdog weight theme plays well! But folks..he's over 7lbs 1oz! Very alert and oriented, he like Chase has a cry that's distinctive.

Special thanks to the folks we met at the Bella Vista Condominiums in Scottsdale Bldg 24, we will never forget you! The bracelet with all the boys names is beautiful!

Sorry for the delay in blogging the "settling in" period has been more challenging than we thought. Thankfully we've found some help during the day. If you know of any Night Nannies...please send them our way! TMM

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Quads are Together Again!

After eight months of anticipation and 17 days in the NICU, the Malone Quads are back together again! Chase and Sean were discharged at 1145pm! The late discharge was because of a lengthy altitude challenge test the boys underwent before discharge. The six-hour test is supposed to simulate cabin pressure in an airplane. Since our flight is 3 1/2 hrs there has been some concern about how well the Quads would manage. Some folks had even recommended we drive home! We believe it's safer to fly and the research showing effects on pre-mature infants on airplane's, is limited. Delta Airlines is providing oxygen support if needed on the journey home and our neonatology group approved the itinerary. So what does all this's time to get home!! Between work and taking care of these five boys, I may be "on-call" for life!

Chase and Sean were welcomed in the Moses baskets we have set up here by William and Dylan. As you can tell by the photo its a tight fit, but reminiscent of the crib set-up they had in the NICU. Chase is almost 6lbs, Sean 5.1lbs, Dylan 4.11lbs,and William 5.5lbs!

On Friday they all went to their first pediatric visit in Scottsdale. I know what your thinking...didn't you just leave the NICU? Yes, but apparently apart of the discharge suggests a Pediatric follow-up appointment within 48hrs. Fortunately, it worked out well and Dr.Traci Hurley took William and Dylan in the morning and Chase and Sean in the afternoon. The office was less than a mile from the condo so it worked out well. We were their first set of Quads. Uncle Dwight and Aunt Pat took Michael on a excursion and Grandmother Collier, aka "mimi", had Sean and Chase.
The transition for Michael is a work in progress. So far he knows their names, likes to attempt feedings, and loves to wash his hands, unfortunately, he's developed a slight cold over the past 24hrs, so you might imagine how tough it is for him not to be able to interact as much as he would like.

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I almost forgot the "Queen Bee", she's doing well, considering the assembly line starts every 3hrs! She can't wait to get home though..that makes two of us! TMM

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Two Down Two to Go!

After 15 days in the NICU William and Dylan decided it was time to go home. They were discharged a day earlier because they had met all of their benchmarks...and you know how insurance companies feel about extended stays! Fortunately, we were ready and had gone to dinner the night before.

The drive home was exciting, Kelly sat in between the car seats in the back, and I drove with the flashers on for the first couple of miles. Uncle Dwight arrived from San Diego at the same time of our discharge so we were able to direct him in. My Aunt Pat returns today.

The fellas are feeding every 3-4 hours. So far Dylan reminds you of this schedule, while William likes his sleep! We'll see how long that lasts! Expect Sean and Chase in the next 48hrs. Dylan is on the left (he's over 4 1/2 lbs!) TMM

Monday, September 3, 2007

Views from the Malone Suite@ Phoenix Children's Hospital

A picture says it all! The babies are gaining weight and getting stronger. The latest timetable on discharge may be Wednesday. William and Dylan are leading the pack with feedings, but first must pass bottle feeding and car-seats tests. Bottle feeding for three days straight, and a 90min car-seat test with no apnea episodes qualify for discharge.

Kristy has been hard at work organizing the nursery. It was painted over the weekend and is nearing completion. Special thanks to Uncle Delt Frazier for bringing the cribs down from Atlanta.

"Now the updates on my brothers..........

William was the first to bottle feed for 24hrs and had his feeding tube removed. He's in line to be discharged Wednesday.

Sean has had a "Sedona Red" hue and has started to bottle feed.

Chase is over 5.3lbs! His feeding tube may come out today.

Dylan along with William may be the first discharged this week. He continues to exceed expectation. Pictured below are Dylan and Chase co-bedding, and his Great-Grandmother giving him a bath. Dylan is over 4.4lbs now!

Special thanks to Dr.Crandell Chambers for covering for my father during his visit to Arizona. More pics soon...TMM

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What a difference a week makes!

My parents, Dr.and Mrs. Thomas and Carolia Malone from Columbus Ga, and grandmother Mrs. Letitia Mero from East Hampton NY, flew in and went straight to the NICU. My grandmother had two sets of twins, one identical (Winnie & Martha), and fraternal (Camelia and Carolia). Four generations in one room!

Pictured below are Kelly and Mrs. Letitia Mero, great-grandmother, and Dylan and Sean. Carolia and Thomas Malone feeding Dylan.

Dr.Eleanor Metz, from San Francisco, arrived on Sunday. She along with my grandmother were total surprises! The late Dr.Leon Metz was my Godfather and his family has been very close to ours. Dr. Metz's father, Dr Phillip Nicholas delivered me in Nashville Tn, and his family gave me housing during medical school. As we announce godparents of the "Goodfellas" they hopefully will play as significant roles in their lives.

The Babies are continuing to improve... The boys took their first road trip and were transferred to Phoenix Children's Hospital. The room they're in is awesome!!! They were able to put our entire family in one room! It reminds me of an airplane hanger with its arch-style ceiling. The boys have been moved to cribs and are co-bedding. They are keeping their temperatures steady, all IV's are out, they're next task is bottle feeding. So far Dylan has taken the lead, but the others are close on his heels. Chase and Sean are up to over 38cc's, William 33cc, and Dylan 41cc.

William & Sean
Chase & Dylan