Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ready for some Relaxation

Thomas and I have decided to get away for a few days. We have a good friend who suggested that we go and take a break from everything that has been going on the past few months. She provided us with airline tickets to do so. We are so grateful for her and all that she has done for us. I don't think I have met a kinder person than this friend of ours. She truly is an amazing individual, who has been at our side through all the struggles we have had the past six months. We love and cherish her and consider her a true friend. We will be having fun in Los Angeles/Anaheim California. We plan on going to Disneyland and doing some sight seeing. Thomas served his mission in Anaheim and he is looking forward to seeing some old friends and the places he served. It is hard to leave the girls, but we know they will be in good hands as we are gone. We plan to enjoy this time together and relax!

Rachel continues to take steps forward toward her progression in coming home. She had her last dose of antibiotics last night, finally got that darn IV out of her. She has had the IV now a total of ten days. They had to put several in because she kept knocking them out. It took them several attempts each time they had to put a new IV in. I am sure if she could talk she would say I am happy that IV is out for good. Rachel continues to gain weight as well, she is now 9lbs 14.6oz. She is becoming such a big girl. She also had the amount of oxygen that she needed reduced to 1/8 of a liter, but she was starting to breathe a little heavy so they put her back to 1/4 of a liter. We are so thankful that she is moving in the right direction. She is such a little princess. We just love and adore her more than words can express.

Our little Haley is also pushing forward in her progression towards returning home. We were worried about her weight, because she had dropped almost everyday she has been back in the hospital until last night. We know they didn't feed her for a little while due to her belly being distended. They wanted to make sure that she would be ok before they started her feeds again. They have started them and are trying to get her back to what she was on when she was home. They are not rushing her because they are being cautious. She is at full feeds now, but over an hour and a half. They will get her back to full feeds over an hour probably today or tomorrow. The doctors discovered that Haley had a blood clot in her left arm from her last PICC line she had. It appeared to be resolving itself, but they didn't want to take any chances so now she will have to take Lovenox (a blood thinner)by injection twice a day for three months. We aren't looking forward to giving her shots twice a day, but we will do what is best for her. Haley seems so much happier since she was put on oxygen and on other meds that have helped her be more comfortable. She seems so much more active since she has been back at Texas Children's Hospital. We are so grateful that Haley is doing much better and seems to be happier. We absolutely love her and can't wait to see her back home in her own bed.

As always we continue to thank the Lord for the beautiful miracles (Rachel and Haley) in our lives. They have changed our lives for good and have taught us many lessons in life. Lessons we needed to learn! Rachel and Haley have us wrapped around their little fingers. They are just so adorable! We would do anything for them. Can you tell we love them very much? Oh yes we do!


  1. I think that is so wonderful that you get to get away a little bit. Don't feel guilty at all. A break will do wonders to your soul! I am thrilled you have a friend who would help you like that. I know she will be rewarded for her kindness. I am glad the girls are still improving. Have a wonderful time at Disney!! You will come back so refreshed and ready to take on whatever else comes your way. Have a safe trip!

  2. You deserve to take a break from all the stress. You will be able to give your babies much more when you have filled your own reservoire. So glad that the girls are making progress and praying they will both be in their own beds soon. Love from Salt Lake City.

  3. I agree with Melinda, you need some time to be by yourselves and to renew your relationship. I am sad the girls are back in the hospital, but happy they will be cared for while you are gone.

    Enjoy! We will continue to pray for you and your girls.

    Frank and Virginia

  4. Hi Amanda,
    I can't believe you are going to Disneyland, how wonderful. Yes, you two need a break. I am exhausted already with one child who has special needs. If you guys need anything since you are close to my area, let me know. Also, please pray for people who make remarks that are not pleasing. They don't understand what you two are going through.


  5. Amanda and Thomas, I'm soooo glad you decided to take off and relax! That's good for you and the girls. You and Thomas need time to be with each other without any stress. This is husband and wife time. You will be able to offer so much more to the girls when you're back in Houston.

    Don't pay attention to people who don't know what you're going through. This type of people will never be able to get airline tickets from any good friend, because they don't have (or deserve) any good friends! Too bad, so sad!

    I'm glad the girls are improving and getting ready to go home! I'm so proud of them! Well, I hope you have a great time in California and plan to have more of these "relaxing times" with Thomas. The two of you deserve all the best! Talk to your good friend, and maybe she can give you airline tickets for a weekend in Paris, or London, or Rome, or Madrid, or, or...


    Always praying for you. Love, Claudia

  6. Have a great trip! Your girls will be blessed by calmer parents when you return! :)

  7. I'm so happy for you, hard decision make to leave for a day or so, but the babies are in good hands, well taken care of, and YOU DESERVE A BREAK, no matter what some spoil sports say...they just never will 'get it'!!

    Bless your sweet friend, that is so thoughtful. Have a wonderful relaxing time and the girls will be just fine. its not like you were leaving them behind the door to fend for themselves - they are cared for - they are loved - so are you....

  8. You don't know me but I've followed your blog since before the babies birth. I am amazed and impressed with you both. I can tell you cherish your girls beyond words. Enjoy your get-away, recharge your batteries~ what a kind friend you have! Don't listen to the negative. It's ridiculous and obviously from someone not understanding your situation. God bless you and your girls! You deserve the best!

  9. I am so glad that you guys are going to get a chance to get away and recharge the batteries. What a blessing you have such thoughtful and kind friend :)

    Also I remember a wise NICU nurse telling me..."Don't worry we are teh best babysitters in the whole world and we love spending time with girls :)" I am sure they feel the same way about your girls :)

    Do not let the "negative Nellie's" get to you. Only you and Thomas know what is right and until they have walked in your shoes it is not their place to judge :)

  10. wow, nothing like some good ole' unsolicited advice from strangers.

    i hope you don't question yourself as a person or mother for taking time out for yourself. even more so, I hope you never let the negativity from others regarding your decision to continue carrying the sextuplets get to you. who's to say that the two miracles you have here today would be here had you selectively reduced? i commend you for the decision you made. no one can judge a situation until they've been in the exact same position. you will be the primary caregiver around the clock once your precious girls are out of the hospital; this is one of the only chances you will have for a LONG time to take a step back and breathe. don't let the naysayers get you down. coming from someone who works in the NICU, i think this trip will allow you to be a better parent upon your return. God bless all of you, with the faith you have in the Lord, your life will always be rich.

  11. I think that's a great idea. You guys deserve it. I hope you can enjoy each other and not worry too much about what's going on at the hospital. I'm sure your girls are in excellent hands. I expect a full report on your get away when you return! :)

  12. Hi Amanda

    I am the parent of ONE special needs child and my other child is hyperactive. My Doctor told me a few years ago that every 3 months, I must have TWO nights away so I can recharge my batteries.

    My Doctor is the parent of a young man with special needs so she knows what she is talking about. That was brilliant advice from her and I so look forward to switching off for 48 hours so I can recharge. I don't want to end up with chronic fatigue before my children reach middle school.

    p.s. Have you considered making your blog comments visible only after moderator approval? That's how I have mine set. Means the negative comments wouldn't even get published. Might be food for thought?

    Enjoy your trip.

  13. I'm so happy the girls are doing well :)
    As always Prayers for you and Thomas your babies
    I love the way you are so open and honest on your blog.

  14. I agree about Mum2twopreciousgifts comment to approve the comments before they are posted

    Its so easy to hide behind "anonymous" or blank profiles made up just for the purpose of hurting people.

    Sad that some people have nothing better to do

  15. Dear Thomas and Amanda,
    I'm so sorry for all the idiots who are leaving selfish comments. Who are they to judge you?
    I hope you go and relax, rejuvenate and rejoice. Once those beauties come home your be so glad to took time for yourselves. Hopefully the next time your in Disney you will take your 2 princess with you. Please enjoy and
    God Bless you.
    Prayers from Iowa.

  16. Personally, I think that calling CPS is going overboard. Whether it's a good decision to go or not, the babies will be properly cared for in the hospital. I'm sure that CPS will not be investigating at this point.

  17. So glad to hear the girls are doing well! Have fun on your deserve it!

  18. Good for you for taking a break. The best thing that you can do for your girls right now is to take care of yourselves and your relationship with each other. My son spent 3 months in the NICU and I know how emotionally draining it can be.

  19. I cannot belive some of the comments on here. Wow!! I have had a baby who was 7 weeks early and has quite a few medical challenges. I did everything right, but yet my body failed. Having a lo in the nicu is very stressful. My lo was also flown 300 miles from my home, we were devistated, I was abel to go with her by my hubby had to stay and travel up in a few days. This was the hardest tiem in my life. After I knew she would be fine, I would of love to had a vacation, but never had a time. Nor could I leave her, When she was 8 months, she was again hosptalized to to some complications and feeding issues,, so my vacation I spent in the hosp with my daughter. My 10 year old,, just wanted to go to the beach, but we were unable, Now again as summer approaches I have yet to get a vacation, How I would love one,, but no I will not because caring for my daughter is a 24 hour job, between feeding tubes and the projectile vommiting , the constant dr appts, the thereapies, speech, physical and therapy. I can't just take her on vacation either, it's not that easy. Maybe one day some will be able to watch her and I can take my now 12 year old to disneyland. Enjoy your vacation since once you get home, your life will be full time caretakers as well as parents

  20. There is nothing wrong with you two getting a much deserved break. Please don't let others get to you. You two have been through more in the past year than anyone can imagine. And, it will serve your spirit and your marriage well to have a quick break.

    Enjoy your trip!


  21. Amanda and Thomas, in case you don't check your email often, I sent you a message to the email account provided on your other website. Don't feel the need to email me back, but I just wanted to fill you in on something in case you weren't aware. Thanks :)

  22. Have fun at Disneyland! You deserve some time alone : ) So glad your daughters are doing better, we continuee to pray for them. And ignore those lame-os who continue to post nasty things. They are probably miserable loners who have nothing better to do than try and kill other peoples happiness. We love your family, and love to see pictures of your sweet angels!

  23. God help some of you nasty people. In my opinion, it's not OK to say anything to ANYBODY that you wouldn't say to their faces. It is much too easy to hide behind the anonymity of the internet and voice you opinion on something that really is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

    I am neither defending or criticizing the owners of the blog and the parents of these babies. I have my own opinion about whether or not they should be leaving them to go on vacation, but they do not need or want to hear what I think. This is THEIR blog, those are THEIR children, and as adults it is up to them to make their own decisions.

    The internet is a wonderful thing in many ways, but unfortunatly it has also become a tool to hear the voices of too many people who should simply not be heard. (Case in point - celebrity hate blogs).

    Please do not stop posting updates and photos of your sweet daughters. As always we continue to pray for you and for them.

  24. To blackbird114 - (sorry for hijacking your blog Stansels - I just think this needs to be said)...

    Yes they have left their comments open for people to post, but they also have the right to delete posts that they do not like. This is their blog, and a blog is like a diary that people write to share with others. It is essentially "their" property and they can do with it what they wish.

    Some people have become accusomed to using blogs as public forums and chat rooms, but that really isn't what they are designed for. To the Stansels, this is clearly more of a journal with pictures. It's not up to us to judge why they are doing this - that's their business. Nothing is forcing you to come and read here, nobody is certainly telling you to support them in any way, if that's what you're afraid of. I would suggest that if you have issues with the Stansel family you might consider discussing them in private or by email, and not in an essentially public place where you can anonymously say whatever you want.

    Once again sorry for hijacking your blog comments!


  25. They could journal in private, that is what most of us do to keep the memories of our children. There is a reason why they journal in public because they want to share the blessing that the creator gave them.

  26. I hope they do not go private
    I want to watch these little angels grow up
    I've been here from the start and hope to be invited if they feel have to go private
    The comments have become worse and worse.
    I feel so sorry for Amanda and Thomas.

    I had a baby die after living 8 hours
    I then had the second baby born and be in the NICU for 3 1/2 months.
    Some of you talk about them having no stress.
    That others are taking care of their babies.
    No STRESS?????? You dont even know what stress is then
    Neither do I !!!!
    What I went thru is nothing compared to what they have went thru.And they have a long stretch ahead of them.
    How can some of you come on to THEIR BLOG and make such rude comments?

    And I stand by what I said before...almost all of you who do have a almost blank profile or dead blog (there is no Email or active blog that they can even defend themselves.)

    So in other want to be able to come on to here...Say what you want and thats that.
    I'm sure you are some of the same ones who post of the moms blogs who have lost babies telling them to get over it and move on.
    The internet is a great thing. But not for using it for purposes like this.

    I too am sorry for hijacking your blog..but I feel this nees to be said also
    God bless you and your babies

  27. i was so relieved to see some ignorant (and i mean ignorant in its true definition) posts removed and then -got to the few above.Dang!

    can you believe how silly some folks are??? they are so full of ugly they just have to spit it out and they don't care where.

    like you had anything but the best intentions for your children - those dip sticks will never get it, because if they were in your shoes, they know what they would do..

    Off my soap box now... Hope you have a wonderful trip - will be anxiously awaiting your posts when you get home.


  28. Hi BB114 -- Erma here! something horrible can/has happened to these dear babies - but they made it through and they're here and they're loved --anything can happen at any time, whether the parents stay home and fear or are gone for a day or so. they would feel horrible about that i am sure, sometimes you just have to have a little faith.

    Thomas and Amanda have enough faith in our Father in Heaven, enough faith in the doctors and nurses and the girls caretakers to be able to leave for a day or so. lets not begrudge them their lives too... please!

  29. Hi Stansels!

    I hope you are having a good rest and that the girls are doing well.
    I'm sorry that people do not understand that your blog isn't a "board" or "forum" where people can chat with one another. Some folks don't understand that the comments placed here are directed at you and not at one another, or the world in general. This isn't a chat room! Others don't seem to know simple blog etiquette (maybe they can Google it), and I'm sorry you have to put up with that.
    I'm also sorry that some people don't understand the concept of the power of prayer, and that by posting stories and pictures of your wee ones, many of us are inspired to pray for them. Please continue to ask for prayer!

    Have a lovely weekend!

  30. I too have really enjoyed reading and following up on how the girls are doing. Your faith and courage through all the trials has been a inspiration to us all. Thanks for sharing your girls and your lives with us. I hope a negative comment doesn't change that. I look forward to hearing how your trip went and how everyone is getting ready for your 2 little angels to come home.

  31. Hello, Amanda and Thomas I've been reading your blog since the start what an inspiration you guys are.With all you have been through with your kids you DESERVE a break!Don't listen to these knuckle-heads that are trying to put you down,some people were just not born with any manners.I hope you enjoy your vacation.

  32. It is very hurtful to attack one's physical features or disabilties. It is not a kind thing to do.

  33. What is the point of incessantly posting negative comments berating Thomas and Amanda? They've been deleting your comments, so obviously they've read them. They get it. Some people don't approve of their parenting. There is no need to come here and keep posting more and more hateful comments. I mean, you shouldn't feel the need to prove your point to anyone but them. I'm not saying I would have made the same decision if I were in their shoes, but I've never been in their shoes and, quite frankly, it's not my place to speak. I work in the NICU, I know how hard it can be. And is. 24/7. But they chose what they thought was best for them and their children, so let it be.

    And the few posters who can't let it go are just getting more and more hateful. "Port wine stained face?" How old are you? "If one of the nurses calls and says one of the girls died...?" Really?? Are you hoping this happens so that you can rub it in their faces? Because that is how it's coming across. I truly hope you aren't as malicious as you've come across in your comments.

    As far as the argument, "they allow comments so they must accept the positive and the negative," I don't disagree. However, there is a fine line between negative and downright evil. Several of these comments have gone above and beyond evil. If you have a bone to pick, how about being a mature adult and doing so tactfully?

    Thomas and Amanda, I wish you nothing but the best. And your love for your children is evident, contrary to the belief of others.

  34. While I don't agree with the decision to go so far while the babies are in the NICU, I do agree that people are being way too hateful. It's not necessary to be so mean and nasty.

  35. I love the Stansels so very much, and think that they are spectacular parents!!!

  36. Enjoy your MUCH DESERVED time to enjoy yourselves!

  37. Tracy--Most NICU nurses care far more about "their" babies than when it's time to do cares. We try to leave them alone for a reason, and as a mom to a micropreemie you should know that. Don't try to make nurses sound so cold and uncaring. Do you know how many parents DON't visit their babies AT ALL. This couple going away for a few days is no big deal compared to the amount of visitation that some parents think is acceptable. You have no clue. Also what worked for you may not work for everyone....that's what makes America great....we make our own choices and have to deal with the consequences. So are you going to go on the Duggar website and harass them for having yet another baby who is now struggling in the NICU with NEC?????
    If you think there are no "good" Nicu parents that have taken off a day or two then think again. You'll have a lot of blogs to visit to post your dissatisfaction on if you think every "good" Nicu parent visits every day of their kids stay. If you did, well, good for you but that's not what works for every parent. Some have other kids at home, have to go back to work, have no transportation, don't care, strung out on drugs, etc etc etc

    What concerns me more is parents coming in smelling like a pack of cigarettes, don't have anything for the baby but expect the hospital to provide it for them (carseat etc)...who come in long enough to get that paper signed so they can collect their SSI check, when the baby gets to the point he/she can room in don't come for weeks at a time until we have to call CPS then they magically show up or don't get up and feed their baby...that concerns me much more than taking off for a day or two.

    While I am at's so totally FALSE that NICU babies are in constant PAIN. As an advanced practice nurse (NNP) it kills me to read that overdramatic statement on here so much. Yes, we do painful procedures to these babies, yes some of them have surgery/procedures that might cause them pain but just because they wake up doesn't mean they are in pain by virtue of being preemie. Lets get real people...all NICU babies are not preemie either.

    The babies are here, so the debate about if they should have had them or reduced is mute. They obviously visit/care for the babies. Do I agree with everything they did..... no...but really it's none of my business and now that it's done the focus should be on these two babies and how they are doing.

    Heather--your husband is a grown man that could take care of himself. Your son is a little child that needs his mom all the time. You should have NEVER went to the hospital and left your special needs son with someone else to look after him. do you see how stupid that statement sounds?

  38. FYI...I was granted a leave of absence from my job so that I would be able to be with my son. My husband was able to to take FML as needed. We are both very fortunate to have supportive employers.

    Also, I didn't want to leave my child. I had to stay with my husband. He was airlifted to another hospital while having chest pains. The doctors suspected it was a heart attack. It was quite serious and we weren't sure if he was going to survive the helicopter ride to the hospital. Thankfully, he did. I'm glad that I was able to be there for my husband, but it was horrible being away from my son.

    I do realize that my son was not in constant pain while in the NICU, but he did encounter pain. Pain that I wish he didn't have to go through. I have nothing but praise for anyone in the medical field. The doctors, nurses, NNPs, respiratory therapists, etc. are true heroes.

    Once again, I hope these little girls will recover and can go home with their parents. They've been through so much and deserve a long a healthy life.

  39. Heather,
    I hope you know i was being sarcastic in my comment about your husband. I was trying to get my point across....I think I did.

    I ADMIRE the strength and courage of ANY parent that has a baby in the Hospital, be it NICU, pICU or PEDS for any reason. It's hard..i do know that and all we can do is the best we can. My baby was a 25 weeker that had a fairly uneventful course, but I know how it is. Even as a health care provider it's hard NOT to judge others given what we think we might do/feel in the same situation. I made a lot of choices for my daughter that just prior to her premature birth I would have said, "no way would i make that decision for MY baby". I've also made some premature judgements on parents (just like I did you Heather without knowing the full circumstances around your husband) only to finally sit down with them and really listen to them. I can't help (human nature) to continue to sometimes judge those I come across however I have become more aware and try to keep it all in perspective.

    There were times I know I was irrational, unrealistic, emotional, stressed and took it out on anyone who came my way. Was it right, no, but it happened.

    Just as your baby knows you are there, they also know when you are stressed/nervous/depressed. You have to take care of yourself if you are to take care of a baby.

    I see nothing wrong with stepping back and taking some time to take care of yourself so that you CAN take care of your baby. How many times on the news do we hear of parents slamming their kids in the wall because they cried all day or drowning all their kids in the lake. Maybe had they just stepped back and took some time to regroup those babies would still be here.

  40. Ok big bad doctor; I'm shaking in my boots from your knowledge. You just said much of what me, just an insignificant nurse, said.

    You certainly aren't showcasing your "dr" education very well. And just because you have MD or Do or maybe just phD behind your name doesn't make you the, "almighty".

    Did I not say that all parents/situations are different....I know I did.

    I didn't need your lesson on preemies. I know that the job nurses do cannot replace a parent. Despite how stupid you think nurses are, I am an educated, important part of the medical team. Nothing I said is not known. I know very well about micropreemies and what they do and don't need.

    Maybe you should use less Science and put some more humanity into your'll make you a better dr and certainly a better person.


  41. jmart... I couldn't have said what you said in your post at 9:45 better myself. The 8 hours a week I spend in the NICU volunteering (I hope to be a NICU nurse once I finish school) are 8 hours more than, sadly, some parents spend there in a month. You were spot on with everything you said.

  42. I usually don't post on blogs but wow. Seriously people, is this really the place to be berating these parents? They have lost 6 children. 6!! Most of you don't even know what it would be like to lose one. But 6? I am a nurse in an NICU and totally agree with all the comments talking about parents who don't visit at all. We have parents all the time who think we'll just take care of their kid and get them all packed up and ready to go home and they can just swing by and pick them up when it's time. Then we have parents like Amanda and Thomas seem to be. The ones who obviously are head-over-heels in love with their children and who come visit and check in often. It is bogus to think that parents can be with their children 24/7. They have things outside the hospital that have to be attended they can have a home and be able to support their kids when they come home. And, after 6 months of the NICU rollercoaster, I don't blame them for wanting a little bit of relaxation as their girls get closer to being home. Because we all know that once these precious girls comes home, that won't be an option. I admire Amanda and Thomas for staying together and staying strong as a couple during this time. I have seen many couples split due to the stress of having a child in the NICU...let along losing 6 children first. So, what I'm saying is unless you have a similar story I don't think you have a voice in this situation. Unless you've lost multiple children and had two more spend over 6 months in the hospital (sometimes in separate hospitals) then maybe you should think about what they might be going through before you start bashing their decision. They're not abandoning their children. They're going away for two days for crying out loud and will probably spend more time on the phone checking in on their girls than actually enjoying Disney. You have a right to your opinion but to attack them for their decisions and berate them for even choosing to use help to get pregnant is amazing. Some people can be so incompassionate. Amanda and Thomas - I hope you know that not everyone shares the opinion of the few who decided their opinion was so important that they should hang you out to dry with it. It's ridiculous. You are doing a great job and have a right to delete any comments that you would rather not see again.

  43. I would like to point out that this is not a chat room or message board where people should be discussing things with one another. Simply because some people choose to use blogs in this way (example GWOP), does not mean that most people who use blogs welcome their comments section to be used as an open forum where people can grandstand, or chat or argue back and forth.
    Whether or not we agree or disagree with the Stansels, this is their BLOG, which is essentially an online diary. They have every right to delete whatever they want.

    Once again, SORRY for hijacking your blog. As always you and your sweet babies are in my family's prayers!

  44. hi kids, just got home from a quick trip to St George to see the folks, mom in law is ill...
    I could hardly believe some of the newer posts on your blog... don't you EVER believe you are anything but GREAT parents who put the children first.
    I hope you had a wonderful trip and that all was well when you got back.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimonies and your sweet babies with us.
    Love always, Erma

  45. We were just released from a couple nights in NICU at TCH. During our stay, we recognized your name on Haley's swing and realized we were rooming next to a very special little lady. Just wanted to let you know that she is so loved by every member of the staff there. As I am sure you know, she absolutely adores her swing and can sit in it for hours! She is a total cutie and is in great hands while you guys are taking a little time for yourselves.


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