Farmington, MN

The Stroud Family

Aspen and Arthur Stroud
Premature Birth

Aspen and Arthur were born premature at 24 weeks of gestation. After a routine growth scan showed mom was in preterm labor at 21 and a half weeks, she was immediately hospitalized and was able to keep the twins in until a uterine infection required delivery at exactly 24 weeks. Aspen was 1.5 lbs and Arthur was 1.8 lbs. The kiddos are currently 43 weeks gestation and have struggled with multiple infections but continue to grow. They both have some pretty severe lung disease and our daughter will need a tracheotomy in the upcoming weeks.  While we keep getting bigger and stronger daily, there are still many more days ahead of us on the road in the NICU. We pray every day for healing and growth so we can bring our babies home!

Arthur is home!!

It has been an exciting few weeks here at the Stroud’s! Aspen got her tracheotomy successfully completed on 1/21. She is a much happier baby and we are so happy to be able to see her whole face!! She is moving along in her vent progress as well as doing excellent using her gtube that was placed at the same time as her trach. We still have a hill to climb but she is strong! Arthur had a swallow study done because he wasn’t progressing in his feeds and they suspected some aspiration was happening. While he passed it was sloppy and so the recommendation to thicken feeds was given. Once he started those he took off like a rocket!! We continued to be amazed and we were able to take him home on Thursday 1/30. This was also the first time the twins had been able to be together since birth!!! 5 months of separation and we got this adorable snuggle pic. Arthur is on some oxygen at home still but we are loving having this little man home in his bed with his family. Ruben is a great big brother and really enjoys having him around. They took the proverbial sibling bath together already and he spent the night in Arthur’s room once. That experience quickly made him realize how noisy babies are so he’s going to wait till Arthur is bigger for any more “sleepovers”! We are keeping Arthur in a bubble since we are in the middle of flu and RSV season but are also excited for the world to meet him slowly. Now we just need Aspen to be able to complete our family and be able to come home as well. Their medical needs are overwhelming at times but we are so thankful for the miracles they are. Thank you everyone who supports us and is part of our village!!

Aspen's Turn

Aspen May will need a tracheotomy. We recently had a follow up care conference and it was decided that for the best overall outcomes for her quality of life she needs this step to support her lungs. We are sad and scared for what this change means for our family but happy that our little one will get that tube she hates so much out!! Her surgery date is 1/21. Please pray her health continues to stay stable so she can make that date happen! Arthur has really started to gain momentum. He is in very minimal oxygen support and bottling like a champ! Many days are filled with full feeds as he works up his stamina to be able to breathe and eat. Man does he like to though! He is almost 11 lbs!!! We are so excited to see his progress and know that we will take him home sooner than later. We continue to thrive by the grace of God and those who support us! Thank you!!

Go Arthur Go

Arthur has been doing so well!! He’s getting big -almost nine lbs- and tolerating high flow oxygen like a champ. We just received really great news that OT wants to start bottle therapy with him!! We know this process will be long because of his respiratory support needed but we are so excited!! One more step towards home and feeling like normal parents to a baby again! Aspen has shown much initiative in the breathing department which is really promising. We hope to be able to do another round of steroids and push her lungs a bit farther in about a week. Tracheotomy is still on the table and we are preparing for that but some small steps in the cpap direction have been taken! We are thankful for the miracles we have already received and ask for continued prayers so both may come home sooner than later!

Chances of coming home

On December 5th we had a care conference to start the conversation of steps needed to come home! While it was a lot of information it was a mix of positive and less positive. Arthur is doing markedly better than Aspen and such will be home much sooner than her. While I am sad the reality of them coming home together is not a truth I am happy he is progressing. The estimate is somewhere between 8-10 weeks for him. Aspen has pretty severe lung disease and as such is a good candidate for a tracheotomy. This was disheartening to hear and even harder to comprehend. This would mean 24 hour nurse care required and while in the long run a good prognosis the short run looks like a very wild ride! However if she shows signs of positive extubation prior to 43 weeks then we can avoid this. So far she has been good! Many prayers and needed for a Christmas miracle for our little girl. We would very much like to avoid a tracheotomy and instead head towards cpap. The time line for her would vary on her prognosis but looking like 4-6 months. Please pray for us as we enter the holidays. This is our first Christmas as a party of five and I wish we could all be under one roof the most! Thank you!!