Thursday, July 26, 2012

Smooth Seas

After the storm of fear that plagued us from Drake's health issues two weeks ago, we have had several days without a worried captain and first mate. Annie and I have not been able to experience the happiness that we so desired, until the last few days. We are so filled with joy, it shows through to everyone we talk with. Nurses, parents, friends and strangers all say, " It is great to finally see some smiles." I will admit, it feels great to smile! We continue to pray daily for the storms to stay small and our ship to remain strong.

Today began with some of our good friends visiting from Tyler, we consider them family. They delivered our mail, mostly bills to sort through, and some really nice gifts for Drake and Kennedy. Most importantly, they brought some great friendship for us to enjoy. In return, they had a first hand experience in the kangaroo time mommy snuck in with both Drake and Kennedy before we all went to lunch.

Today's activities for Kennedy included her second attempt at CPAP. The doctor said, "She is doing exceptionally well." We are hopeful this will be her permanent graduation from the breathing tube going down her throat. Even if they do move her back to the ventilator, it is helping her build strong lungs while she is doing the breathing on her own. However, she was a bit annoyed that she has to wear the stylish headgear that inhibits her glamourous photo opportunities. She is still tolerating the higher calorie feeds as long as it is given over a length of time. If this keeps up, she will be able to lose the PIC line in her arm...this means she will be able to wear some of her very own preemie clothes, even if they are still too big.

Drake had an eventful day as well. The doctor said it was time for him to go to a larger diameter tube that he uses for his breathing. He still had the original one from when he was intubated a month ago in Tyler. This means that he is growing and it will provide better airflow to help him receive adequate ventilation. Like his sister, he was quite upset about the whole ordeal. Now, the kangaroo time he had this morning further confirmed my observations on how much he loves it. Like yesterday, once he hit his mommies chest, all movement stops and time seems to come to a halt for both of them. If they would let them do it all day long, there would be no objections from either of them.


  1. Thanks for letting us all share this wonderful story with you and your wife. It's amazing how well your little ones have progressed in the past few weeks. You're still in our daily thoughts.

  2. Awesome to see the progress that these two continue to show... they truly are amazing in all the things that have happened to them in their short lives so far, and each battle in front of them has been won with triumph :)

    Don't fear what is ahead in their lives, just keep trusting God to continue to protect and heal them, growing them into the beautiful children they are and will continue to be as they grow older each day. He has these two in his care and nothing can happen to them with him watching over them :)

    Thank you for the updates every day, as I know I look forward to hearing what is new with these two, and so glad to see they continue to make progress :)

    Brian and Annie, you two are such special people, and your love for your children and being their rock through these past few weeks is so beautiful. I pray that the four of you have a wonderful life together and you are amazed every day by the joys of being parents to twins. Keep up the amazing work you two have been doing, and know that your love is touching Drake and Kennedy so much every day... they know they are loved, wanted, and that is the most comforting and healing presence to them right now. Between the two of you, God, and everyone else in their lives, they know how special they are which gives them the strength to conquer anything in their path.

    God bless you Gilstrap family and everyone else who is blessed enough to know you four. Drake and Kennedy, you two rock! :)

  3. Hello. My name is Trena O'Brien. I am a friend of Julie Liming. I had my twins at 24.5 weeks back in 2009. We spent almost 5 months in the NICU but now the girls are 3 years old and crazy as ever. Your blog brings back a lot of memories. My husband and I were just reading through some of our blog a few days ago. I will pray for all of you. I know how hard this time is. Just remember God is in control. I had to remind myself of that many times a day, every day.
    Take care!!
    Trena O'Brien

  4. When I come home each day - your blog is the first thing I do. I can't tell you how excited I am for the progress these lil angels are making. God has big plans for them I just know it. Can't wait to see everyone. Love to you all,


  5. Wow! Is ot just me, or do they look so much bigger?! It is obviously the special time with mommy and daddy that is doing the trick.

    They are so perfectly different from one another, the yin to each others yang.

    We will keep up the prayers for smooth seas and that you guys can enjoy the cruise!

  6. Prayers will continue for your precious family. <><

  7. Yvonne and SydneyJuly 27, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    They are absolutely adorable! So glad for smooth sailing the past few days! Keep up the good work babies!

  8. God is so good! Your family has touched my heart more than you can imagine. It started off by me seeing a friends post on FB over 2 weeks ago and I read your blog. I pray and think about you all often each day and I thank you for sharing your life with complete strangers like myself. We are sisters and brothers in Christ and I'm so glad I read that post two weeks ago. What a true joy it is to read this last post and see how well everyone is doing. Way to go Kennedy and Drake!!!
    Take care!

  9. So awesome!!! These babies are amazing and so are their parents! Keep up the good work and get stronger and stronger every day. We will continue joining in the ongoing prayers for your precious family!
    Julie Cathey

  10. We continue to pray for you and your family. My wife and I know what you are going through. We had twin boys in the same NICU at 32 weeks old. Keep the faith and stay strong. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  11. Through a friend of a friend of a friend, I've been in Houston following your family's story. I just returned from a few days away with my two miracles and your recent posts put a huge smile on my face. So much I'd love to say, but in short you two are amazing parents and a have been incredible the past month. My youngest was a NICU baby, though no where as sick as yours. He is now 17 months and to this day cannot fall asleep unless it is in the kangaroo time position. if your twins are life Liam, you will have many,many, many nights of that love to looks forward to, and trust me, you will love each night as if it were the first. Remember to be good to yourselves, the twins need you both strong and healthy. Cheers from Houston.