Thursday, October 23, 2014

Brody: Home Sweet Home!

 I’m happy to report we are home. Wow what a whirlwind. On our quiet drive home, with Brody sleeping peacefully in the backseat, I told Bret “I can’t believe all that just happened.” Not only a very scary thing to go through but everything being unexpected and all of a sudden makes it hit a little harder. As I mentioned before, when we took Brody into the first ER, Bret and I both expected to be told he had a little something viral going on and that he would be fine. My heart fell to my feet when the doctor told us he needed to be transported right away. Each year at Brody’s annual check up, Dr. Honeycutt always reminds us it’s not a matter of if the shunt malfunctions, it’s a matter of when shunt malfunctions. Low and behold, with no warning, here we were.

The scariest part of the entire thing for Brody was the dreaded IV. He and Kylee have had their fair share and h a t e them. Once that was in and we were ready to transport, the thought of being in an ambulance scared him. Once we were in (I rode with him and Bret followed) he was LIVING it up! He quickly stole the hearts of the EMTs with his thick southern accent and had them laughing hysterically the entire ride. “What’s that there on yall’s wall? Where’d yall get all these doctor tools? Why we drivin’ backwards? What kinda phone you got?” No doubt that crew will remember Brody for a while!

Brody Surgery - Ambulance

This is the picture of Brody just before going into surgery the next morning. You can see the fear in his little face :( His nurses were wonderful and Dr. Honeycutt prayed over Brody, just like he did 5 years ago, before he took our baby away from us. Nothing makes kissing your baby goodbye before a risky surgery easy, but having a doctor like ours makes it a little more bearable.


The catheter in Brody’s brain that helps drain the CSF was completely blocked causing the fluid to build up (see previous blog for further details). The new catheter that Dr. Honeycutt placed relieved pressure immediately. The doctors told us that in *most* cases, shunt patients show the same symptoms each time their shunt malfunctions, so now we know what to look for in Brody. The hard part is knowing that his symptoms could have been overlooked SO easily, especially for people who don’t know Brody very well. I’m so thankful, even after doubting our first instincts, that we took Brody in.

Here are a few pictures of Day 1. He was out of the OR by 10am and was very lethargic ALL day long and was only awake for maybe a total of 1.5 hours for next 20 hours or so. He would open his eyes and we would excitedly greet him only to have him drift off again within a minute or two. Although he had several visitors, I’m not sure he remembers any of them being there. Most of them left evidence, which helped ;) Love the picture of Brody & his little cousin Riley!

Brody Surgery Day 1

The below pictures are from Day 2, today. HUGE difference! It took him a while but once he ate a little breakfast he ventured out of his room. He had a great time in the awesome playroom and walked the halls for a good while before heading back to his bed. Luckily he isn’t in too much pain and his incision looks great (I’ll spare you the pictures!). They discharged us this afternoon and after a good long nap, Brody was in a great mood to meet his brothers and sisters!

Brody Surgery Day 2 

Brody has to take it easy but will return to school next week. No recess, PE or strenuous activity until just after Thanksgiving, when he goes back for follow up scans to check his ventricles. We’re watching him closely for signs of infection or a back to back malfunction, which they say happens sometimes. As for now, our brave little boy is tucked away in his own bed and doing well, which we are so thankful for!

Thanks again to all of you for the unending support. The prayers, words of encouragement and the many people stepping forward offering to help are so appreciated. A special thanks to everyone who helped with the other kiddos at home. It’s because of YOU that Bret and I BOTH were able to be by Brody’s side and we feel so blessed to have so many selfless friends and family members there when we need them!

Now to take a breather before both Korbin and Kylee go in for surgeries of their own in the coming weeks… ay yi yi! Will keep everyone posted as we get closer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Brody Update

Brody out of surgery - thank you all for your prayers and support!!

We've had a lot of questions regarding what a shunt is. Brody's body doesn't drain the CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) like most people's does. His shunt drains the csf from his brain, through a small tube that empties into his stomach where it is absorbed. There are 3 main parts to the shunt and all three were checked. The valve (that is attached to the outside of his skull) and the tubing (that runs down his tummy into his abdomen) looked perfect. The catheter that goes into the ventricle of the brain (that is attached to the valve) was COMPLETELY blocked allowing no cerebral spinal fluid to be drained like it is supposed to. The build up of the fluid was the cause of the enlarged ventricles. Dr. Honeycutt removed the blocked catheter and replaced it with a new one.

Thankfully we caught the malfunction early so there was not a dangerous amount of pressure on his brain nor did we see BIG, OBVIOUS symptoms jumping out at us. Rather than being severely lethargic, excessive vomiting, loss of mobility...etc., we instead saw an "off" Brody. Friday morning he randomly threw up twice but acted totally fine. Throughout the weekend he had several small spells of wanting to sit and not join in regular activities that he normally would have. He was less talkative than normal, didn't eat as much...he was just "off". Bret and I went back and forth for several days about whether or not to take him in and i'm SO glad we ended up bringing him. The signs could have very easily been overlooked.

Brody is currently still intubated and in recovery but we should get to see him in another hour or so. Assuming all goes well today/tonight, he should be able to go home tomorrow. He will be seen again in a month for another CT scan to check the size of his ventricles. In the meantime we are to watch him and the way he acts very closely.

Again thank you all SO much for your support. Please continue to pray recovery goes well and he is back to himself soon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Emergency Surgery - Please Pray for Brody!

We are at Cook Children's in Fort Worth and doctors are confident Brody's VP shunt has malfunctioned and his spinal fluid isn't draining properly. They're not sure exactly where the problem is and will see once they're in whether it's in the brain, along his tubing or in his abdominal cavity. Surgery will be in the morning, not sure what time.

Bret and I are doing ok, just shocked at the news. Up until now, we have been fortunate enough to have no issues with Brody's shunt which was placed at 32 weeks gestation (4 weeks old). Many feelings rushing back from our NICU days and we're worried as any parents would be.

Brody doesn't know exactly what's going on. He feels fine, not sick at all. He came into the ER earlier to "see the doctor" and we've thrown the poor guy for a loop with an unexpected ambulance ride, an admittance to another hospital, IVs, tests and now learning he's going to spend the night here. He hasn't eaten since his 10:45am lunch at school and is very hungry. We have not told him that he will have surgery, just that the doctor wants to see him in the morning to make sure everything is alright. He's confused and afraid and we are trying to comfort him and explain things in a way a five year old can understand.

Pray specifically for Brody's little body. We've all seen what this little boy has overcome and we know he'll continue to be strong despite his fear. Pray for the doctors and nurses caring for him. We are very confident in Dr. Honeycut and know Brody is in great hands. Pray for Bret and I that we can be strong for Brody. Lastly, pray for Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin. They don't know exactly what is going on and are also confused as to why we are not home with Brody.

Thanks to all of you who have called, text and showed your support through facebook, we appreciate knowing so many people are praying for Brody!

We will update tomorrow!

Urgent Prayer Request: Pray for Brody

Brody had been showing symptoms of shunt failure since Friday morning. We brought him to Children's ER today expecting to be told everything was ok. CT showed his shunt is fine and in place but the ventricles in his brain are enlarged. He is being transferred by ambulance to Cook Children's ASAP to see his neurosurgeon.

Please please pray. He's terrified and doesn't understand what's going on and we are having a hard time explaining things without scaring him further.

Will update when I can.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

He’s kind of a big deal…

Yep, it’s kind of a big deal around here when short people make steps closer to being diaper-free! With his siblings, Bethany and I there as witnesses, Blade successfully peed on the potty {at home} for the first time tonight! Can’t believe this sweet boy will be TWO on Saturday!!

blade pees

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Macy’s & March of Dimes

We were asked by the March of Dimes if our family would like to partner together to thank Macy’s for their support to the March of Dimes. Each year, Macy’s has an all-day sale in which people can purchase $5 shopping passes that allow them great discounts throughout the store. March of Dimes is the single national  non-profit organization recipient of the proceeds from the $5 passes sold. Just last year, Macy’s donated over NINE MILLION DOLLARS from this sale to the March of Dimes which then funded research being done to help more babies be born full term and healthy!

If you know us at all, you know we are supporters of the March of Dimes and their mission to fight for babies like our own. Bret and I love giving back and being a very small piece of the puzzle in the fight against prematurity. We think it’s important our kids know their history and how important it is to give back as well. It was an honor to be asked to be a part of such an event! We were provided with a basket of goody bags that said “On behalf of the March of Dimes & The Cox Family, THANK YOU!”. We were assigned one local Macy’s store and walked the store, handing out the goody bags and thanking the employees for selling the $5 passes.



 Brody, Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin were a little unsure about what was going on at first but quickly got the hang of it. It wasn’t long before they were racing to find more employees to tell “we are quadwuplets, thank YOU!” Bret and I were of course right behind them to explain :)


You could see the employees light up when we explained that the giggly, loud kids they were looking at were born at just 28w5d gestation and as if suddenly these little “passes” they had been selling suddenly meant something. It became more than just a special offer to their customers it became personal and many sat in disbelief as we shared our story and what the March of Dimes does to help tiny, sick babies like our own survive.

IMG_8743 IMG_8745 IMG_8747

Despite trying to slow them down and wait patiently, the quads ran quickly up to each check out to thank the employee. Luckily neither the employees OR the customers minded and all enjoyed asking them questions. We even saw customers purchase the savings pass after the heard our story!

IMG_8749 IMG_8752  IMG_8756 IMG_8757


Thanks again to the March of Dimes Dallas office for letting us participate and a HUGE thank you to Macy’s and all of the customers who purchased the shopping passes! Because of YOU, all babies have a better chance at starting a healthier life!

Saturday, October 4, 2014


 Our fab four have been in Kindergarten for just over a month now and are LOVING it! They’ve adjusted so well to their new no-nap schedule and are learning new things each day. They look forward to going each day and love their teacher – what more could I ask for?!  Brody Kinder 2014Baxlyn Kinder 2014Korbin Kinder 2014Kylee Kinder 2014I wake them at 6:30am and after a full day of school, therapy (twice a week) and horseback riding lessons (once a week) they are all more than ready for bed by 7pm. After lots of discussion with their previous teachers and our school principal (who has triplets!) we opted to keep all four of them together this year, in the same class. So far, just like last year, their teacher says they’re doing great, sibling-wise, and are having no issues in class. (For those of you wondering, it is a state law in Texas that multiples can not be forced to separate in school.) They are all meeting friends within their classrooms and on the playground, which they share with other classes at the same time. Each day when I pick them up, they’re talking a mile a minute before they even climb up into the van. “Mom, today I met another girl at the park” “Mrs. So&So caught a TOAD-FROG!” “So&So said she would be my BEST friend!” “I drew you a picture!”…on and on! I LOVE that they LOVE it! Academically, we have a few that are still adjusting but they’re in such a great school there’s no doubt in my mind they’ll each thrive :) I’ve heard so many good things from different teachers and staff about how well behaved they are and how they adore their sweet personalities, especially Brody’s southern drawl. Either they’re stealing the hearts of those who work with them or the staff is just really nice to us parents…either way, I’ll take it ;)

They were asked by their school to come and lead the city in the Pledge of Allegiance at this year’s first school board meeting. It was such an honor to have our babes be a part of the night. The building that they now use for the board meetings is the same building that was both the computer lab and library when Bret and I were in in Jr. High. It was surreal to sit in that tiny building remembering what it was like back then and then watching our kids stand there today. Here they are below L-R Korbin, Brody, B & Kylee. You’d never know by the picture that Baxlyn had been diagnosed with strep throat an hour earlier. I assumed it would be a matter of days before they were all down and out with strep, but to my surprise it didn’t spread! B was home for two days per doc’s orders and then was good as new. Let’s just hope we can be that lucky as we continue through RSV season :/

quads say pledge

I’ve been asked by many what I am doing now that they are in school. Let me say, Kinder could not have come at a better time. I didn’t realize just how hard it was to stay at home with them 24/7 until I didn’t any longer. Blade and I, along with a sweet 3 month old baby boy named Luke, play and enjoy our (somewhat) quiet house. Because I wake Blade so early to take them to school, he goes back down for nap at 11:30 and sleeps until it’s time to go get them. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me :) As you can imagine, it’s been much easier keeping up with laundry and housework too! I’ve also been able to commit more time to our local Moms of Multiples group as well as take on the roll as Room Mom in the quads’ class.

I can only hope they continue to love school as much as they do now and continue to thrive!

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