Wiersma Family Blog

A glimpse into our lives as a family with micro-preemies. Our twins boys (Lovingly referred to as our Miracle Men) were born almost 16 weeks early.

Our journey continues when our son Max was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 3. This is his story....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

8 weeks!!

Hard to believe those little stinkers are almost two months old.  They have grown a lot in two months.  Last night, Max weighed 3 pounds 10 ounces...up from 1 pound 10 ounces on 3/27/09 when he was born.  Wesley weighed 3 pounds 7 ounces...up from 1 pound 9 ounces at birth.  They just look like little guys now!!  Kate and the nurses have started to use the boys as runway models for preemie outfits.  I personally think it is a hassle when it comes time to change their diaper...but they do look awfully cute in them!!  I have posted a few pictures below:

The following picture is Maximus in a striped green and blue ensemble.  Notice how loosely it fits him and how long the sleeves are...which is why they are doubled over themselves (bound to be this summers latest fashion!!).  Max is also "playing up" the baby thing by sucking on his thumb. (I do not know why this text turned orange...but luckily it is one of my two favorite colors)

The following picture is Wesley in a vintage 1920's "old man" type bathing suit thing in blue and white stripes.  It is easy to tell by the look on his face and his tongue sticking out that he is loving his new wares!!

The boys have been doing pretty well over the last few days.  Without a doubt, the biggest change in the last few days is that Max is no longer on the jet vent, just a conventional vent.  Apparently the respiratory therapist was suctioning out Max's ET tube (the tube that goes down into his lungs), and something "broke free" in there, and the jet vent was working too well.  They turned down the vent pressures by a lot, and within a few hours or so they ended up getting rid of the jet altogether because it was just making Max uncomfortable.  That was 2+ days ago.  The nurses and doctors said they did not expect him to stay off the jet, and he has already exceeded their expectations.  Being off the jet is a step in the right direction, but Max is on about as high of pressures as they would go before putting him back on the jet.  The jet is just more gentle at higher pressures.  Currently, he is at a pressure of 28, compared to 39 on the jet.  We have learned that this is not an "apples to apples" comparison, so it is tough to really gauge how big of a step this is.  The docs are certainly impressed that his blood gases continue to look pretty good, but it sounded like if he has one or two bad gases in a row, it is very likely they will put him back on the jet vent.  He had a bad gas last night (CO2 of 76), and we went to bed thinking he would be back on the jet when we called this morning, but the Gas looked good (CO2 of 66).  They really want his CO2 in the 60-65 range.  Anything lower than that and they will likely lower his settings.  Anything in the 65-70 range and they will probably wait, and typically anything over 70 means an increase in settings is likely.  So we wait.  Max;s oxygen needs have been in the 50-60% range, which is still an overall reduction and trend in the right direction according to my line graph.  They have also started to "compress" Max's feedings over 2-hours, were when he was on the jet vent, it was a continuous drip.  The docs prefer that kids on the jet not have a full tummy because the pressure of the jet can cause reflux.  Now that he is off the jet, they are ramping up the timing in which he gets his meals.

The only real change with Wes is that he is getting his meals via "gravity gabage" (I think?), so it takes about 20 minutes to give him a full feed.  He has been on a 1 1/2 hour compressed feeding about a week ago, so it is very encouraging that he is tolerating this quicker feeding well.  He is still on CPAP with a pressure of 6 and his oxygen remains at 40% with almost no variation.

Other than the vent change, the other highlight of the last few days is that we got to hold the boys at the same time again, only I got to hold Max this time.  This is the first time I have held him outside of the incubator, and he did very well.  He was a little ornery for a few minutes, but then he fell asleep for a good hour or so.  Wes did the same with his Mom holding him.  It is so cool to both be holding our kids at the same time because it just feels like we are all "together."  If Max were to continue to stay on the conventional vent, the nurses indicated maybe we could reintroduce Max and Wes to each other.  They said it is good for them to touch each other again after spending so much time together in the womb.  That will be an amazing day!!  Just like so many days over the last 8-weeks have been.  We thank our heavenly Father for His providence, for growth, improvement, active digestive systems, good brain ultrasounds, improvement in their lungs, being able to hold them, being able to hold them at the same time, for their spunk and attitudes, and for the opportunity to be parents...even in a very non-traditional way!!


  1. Praise the Lord! Thanks for posting more pictures. It's great to celebrate with you and the prayers will continue.

    Joel and Sarah

  2. Mark and Kate, It was so great to see some updated pictures of the little guys--they are so stinking cute! Thanks for the continued updates on them and I am glad that there have been some improvements over the last few days. Way to go little nephews! We keep praying that they continue to get stronger and bigger and it would be great to see the boys hanging out together again! Love you all!

  3. I love seeing the updated photos! The outfit explanations are too funny! Glad all is going well. You all continue to by in my prayers!!

  4. So glad to hear that the boys are doing good and getting SO big and strong! Love the pictures, they are so adorable!! We will continue to lift your family up in prayers.

    Tina Jacobsen

  5. The guys are adorable. I love that you and Kate were able to hold them at the same time. That's one of those "feel good" family moments!

    God bless you four!


  6. Mark and Kate,

    Just to let you know - my sister-in-law had a DeVos NICU premie and has LOTS of premie clothes...in case you are in need of some more 'old man bathing suits.' Let me know and I will be sure to get them to you!


  7. oops - thought my full name would show up on top - *laura barton* ;)