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....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Family time

The boys had a pretty uneventful weekend.  Last night they were both at or over the 3 pound mark...another milestone under their belts!!  Max is still on the jet, and his pressure is up to 41 for the time being,  He has been hovering in the 39-41 range, so we are praying for a good gas tonight so they can turn him back down.  His oxygen needs have been quite good...in the 50% range for most of the weekend, which is quite low for him.  This is particularly good because he is down to 2 parts per million on the INO treatment, so the doctors will likely continue to ween him down on that.  Wesley also had a good weekend.  He continues to be the 24-week superstar on the CPAP, and his oxygen needs are still in the 35-40% range.  He is completely off the INO treatment, and has really shown no sign of regression since that treatment was stopped.

The highlight of the weekend was undoubtedly on Saturday when I was holding Wes and Kate was holding Max simultaneously.  It really felt like we had the whole family together for the first time.  Kate and I held hands and were just in awe of how far the boys have come in 50-days.  It was a very emotional time.  It did get a little scary at one point when Wes "swallowed" a bit of water that had condensed in his CPAP tubes.  He had a bradycardia (or "brady"), which means his heart rate dropped below 80 bpm.  He started to turn a deep shade of purple because he stopped breathing...but Emily (one of our favorites!!) was right there and got Wes propped up and stimulated him and got him breathing again in no time.  This all happened while I was holding him...and afterwards I found out that being frozen in fear was the right thing for me to do.  Praise God for nurses who are on the ball!!  We like Emily so much we even decided to post a picture that she happens to be in.  She is the one in the top right of the picture working her tail off on something, like always.  And now that I know she found the blog, I am going to do my best to embarrass her.

Also, Kate is sitting in the coveted "blue chair" that we have had the privilege of having in our area of isolation for a number of days.  It has since been ripped from our grasp due to the groans of the other families in the NICU...apparently it is the only comfortable chair in the unit.  This picture also gives a pretty good perspective of what life in the NICU is like.  On either side of Kate and I are the boys incubators...and that is about all of the space we have.  You can see the yellow and black tape on the floor, which signifies that the boys are in isolation and all inhabitants require a gown and gloves before entering.  Apparently bacteria are afraid of the black and yellow tape, so they are safely contained either within or on the outside of the "barrier."  If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see two incubators across the nursery.  Those are identical to the ones that Max and Wes have called home for 51 days now.  They are quite sophisticated pieces of machinery, and run about $60,000 each.  Nothing but the best for our boys!!

With every milestone comes the realization that we cannot physically share the moment with Kate's Mom.  Please continue to pray for peace for Kate and her family.  The "adrenaline" and busyness of the days following her passing have worn off, and the realization that she is no longer with us has become increasingly evident.  We are so proud of the boys, and we know she is celebrating with us from Heaven and singing along each night when we sing "Sanctuary" with the boys.


  1. Oh guys!!! My heart just bursts with joy seeing this picture of you both holding your boys together!!! What an amazing gift and blessing from our amazingly powerful God!!!!! I Praise Him for all of these awesome miracles that He's given you and the boys, and we just continue to pray for their health and safety and that they will continue to grow grow GROW! We will pray too, for you Kate, and your family. Words can not express how my heart aches for your loss of your mom, but what a beautiful thing for her to be watching every day, sending her love and blessings from above. We pray God's peace be on you all! Praying always...

  2. Awesome post Mark & Kate. We are so glad to hear the news and love the pictures! It is also awesome to hear about God's hand at work, in silly circumstances, in scary circumstances, but always in amazing ways! Love and prayers from the Sanford Wiersmas!


  3. Hopefully, they don't get too used to those $60,000 residences, they turn 16 and they will still want something that expensive only in the form of a car!

  4. Continuing to pray for your family and especially those little guys. Love the family picture of you with the babes...so precious. I hope someone gave you the article from People magazine of micro premies and where they are today..its really neat and amazing to see these grown healthy adults that were as little as your guys!

  5. Mark and Kate-
    Love the picture of your family, what a continued Blessing you and your boys are. Also loved the "blue chair" the best one by far!! Those NICU nurses Rock the Nursery, how lucky are we to have the 10th largest Neonatal Unit in the country sitting right in our backyard! So glad to hear that the boys continue to grow and that things have been uneventful :) Praying for you and the boys daily.

    Tina Jacobsen

  6. Hi Mark and Kate. I think your nurse Emily is our niece, Rachel's cousin. You'll have to ask her because she may not tell me for privacy purposes. She's a great person. We're so glad that things are going well. We love the blog so we can stay informed and be specific with our prayers. We've been praying for you all.
    Marlys Geerlings

  7. We had Dr. Doctor too six years ago. They called him Dr. Ben to avoid confusion back then. Maybe he's reverting to a new alias.