Monday, November 5, 2012

NC Children's Promise Radiothon.

Over the last 10 years, I've been blessed with the chance to work for such an amazing local radio group. One of my favorite things I get to do is to broadcast live on location at NC Children's Hospital every Thursday before Thanksgiving as part of the NC Children's Promise Radiothon on 94.7 QDR. I've heard countless stories from parents with children treated at NC Children's Hospital, and those brave children themselves. Stories that will make you cry, and stories that will make you smile. One story has always stuck with me, and that's the story of the Purvis family. After Melanie delivered Haley, due to Melanie's complications (and Haley's as well)she was not able to hold her baby girl as most Mother's get to right after their child is born. I always wondered how awful that really was for her. Of course, I could never fully understand. Not until until March 17th, 2012. My twin daughters were born via Emergency C-Section at 5:58, and 5:59 that morning. Two months before their Due Date. Grace and Lily both needed resuscitation and other immediate life supporting care. Michelle was under full anesthesia and I had to wait in separate room with no idea how things were progressing. Unlike most Mothers, and like Melanie, Michelle could not hold her babies right after their birth. Neither could I. The closest I got was seeing them rushed passed me while a Dr. administered Oxygen manually to each of them. I saw them for a split second, but I will never forget it. They were so beautiful and had so much hair! We did get the chance to hold them for the first time more than 24hrs later for Grace. And 48hrs later for Lily (lily was intubated for the first 24-48hrs). It's an indescribable experience. On the one hand, you are so over joyed to hold your child for the first time, and on the other hand you are terrified. And it's the "new parent" kind of terrified. There are so many wires, and so many alarms going off. Your attention becomes more on whether or not your child is breathing. Whether or not their heart is beating. Parental instincts kick in and overshadow this milestone. Our babies were born at the Rex Healthcare Special Care Nursery. It's a "mini NC Children's Hospital" and part of UNC Healthcare. While, it's not exactly the NC Children's Hospital, I know the experience is the same. We had the same world-class care that I heard about for years at the NC Children's Promise. The same type ofparental support and the same types of Nurses who cared for our daughters like they were their own. So, it's my personal experience that motivates me this year to ask you to pick up the phone and make a donation. Please, especially if you were lucky enough to have been able to hold your child the minute he/she was born. Or lucky enough to have your child(ren) born healthy. There's amazing care being done every second of the day at NC Children's Hospital, but only with your help. Thank you.
Holding Grace for the 1st time.
Holding Lily for the 1st time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Challenging First Week Back.

I have always read friend's facebook posts about going back to work that first week after bringing their newborn baby (in our case, babies) home. I always thought I understood how hard it was to leave. This week, I realized that I never fully understood how hard it really is on a father or mother. I was eager to get back on the air, a small slice of normalcy in my day, but did not know how hard it would be to kiss those babies and my wife goodbye. I think about them every second of the day! A few days after we brought them home, Michelle had them laying together on a blanket on the carpet. Grace and Lily reached out to touch each other, and ended up holding hands for a moment. The proud Daddy had to share this photo with you. -J.J.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

39 Days....A NICU Crash Course Completed.

39 days ago, our beautiful twin baby girls were welcomed into this world unexpectedly. It's been amazing to watch them grow so quickly in these 5 1/2 weeks. 39 days ago I didn't know what "bradycardia" and Apnea of Prematurity was. I didn't know what it meant to "De-Sat" I had never even heard those terms before. 39 days later, I am well aware of what they mean. Heck, I didn't even know how to change a diaper. See, it's these 3 things that make that monitor DING DING DING...DING DING DING...(imagine it repeating for several minutes). I hear that alarming "ding ding ding" in my sleep and at most every moment of the day. It's not as bad as it used to be, but it's a sound that haunts me still...39 days later. I know it haunts Michelle too. Today, the monitor does not ding ding ding...ding ding ding as frequently as it used to. I can change a diaper on a squirming infant easily, take their temperature with those fancy NICU thermometers, and do not get as worried as I used to when the monitors have their occasional alarms. The girls are growing, and they've been so well cared for by their nurses and doctors. Especially, Brandy, Alaina, Amy, Mary J, Mary P, Kelly, Kimberly, Crystal, Meg and Denise. They have spent the most time with them, and while others have cared for them just as lovingly, I must mention those NICU RNs by name. They are part of our extended family now:) Their love and care for our daughters has been unimaginable and their patience with us has been as well. 39 days later, we are more confident in their care because of such amazing nurses. They are truly un-sung heroes. Here's to hoping we can bring these bundles of joy home long before the next 39 days... -J.J.

Monday, April 16, 2012's expensive!

Hey Moms of children who are no longer being fed formula: If you still get coupons in the mail for formula and aren't using them, Michelle and I sure could! As you know, we have twins, and their feedings will be supplemented with formula when they come home. I am sure you know how costly formula can be-especially with multiples.! Please do not feel obligated, but If you would like to share some of your coupons with us you can send them to:

C/O: J.J.
3012 Highwoods Blvd.
Suite #201
Raleigh, NC 27604



Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Twins Keep Growing!

Wow! The last nearly 4 weeks have been a whirlwind. Our twins were born unexpectedly on St. Patrick's Day. They were just 29 weeks gestation. Thanks to a team of highly skilled nurses, and a fully prepped OR complete with an as equally skilled team of DRs. they were born with little complication. Sure, they needed breathing support and other help that 29 weekers need, but it could have been much worse. Saturday, they will be 4 weeks old. Amazing. It's been incredible to watch them grow, yet hard at the same time to watch them endure their "growing pains". Thanks to an amazing staff of highly skilled NICU nurses(in no particular order): Denise, Alaina, Amy, Meg, Mary J, Mary, Shannon, Kelly, Lori, Gigi, Holly, Liz, and so many more who have cared for Grace and Lily on a regular basis. We are so lucky to have any one of them at the girl's bedside on a rotating basis 24hrs a day. Thanks to all of you for your thoughts, prayers, and words of encouragement. Now, if we can just get them home (and figure out how to fit all their "stuff" into our small cars)! -J.J.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

St. Baldrick's Day at Nappertandy's!

This Saturday 3/3/12 it's St. Baldrick's Day at Nappertandy's! It's a cause that is very close to my heart. A good friend, Rebecca Simpson, lost her battle with cancer on February 23rd 2007. She spent many late nights with us over the years pleading for donations to the North Carolina Children' Hospital during our NC Children's Promise Radiothon. She was a huge reason for the incredible success of the event. I will be emceeing from 3p-5p and would love to see you in the crowd, or get your head shaved. I will be volunteering in Rebecca's honor. Please read more here: St. Baldrick's Foundation

Nappertandy's Irish Pub. 126 N. West St. Downtown Raleigh in the Powerhouse District. ALL day!