Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Accommodations, the Holiday Spirit, and Care...

Hey gang,

I hope that this note finds you all happy, healthy, and not too crazed by the holiday spirit.

Our little ones are doing pretty well.   Logan has taken quite well to his feedings and is now topping 5 lbs. and Caroline has more than doubled her body mass in her short time on this earth and is now a whopping 2 lbs. and 4 oz.

Now some of you may remember reading that the 5 pound mark was a big milestone and it indicated that one was close to heading home with the folks... and you're not wrong.  But there is more to it.  The NICU has a firm set of criteria that all kids must meet before they are sent home and while we've passed the general weight requirement, little Logan has quite a bit to "learn" and develop before he's close to packing his bags and moving out.  I'll fill you in on all the milestones on a later posting and as we're closer to our checkout time.

All indications still point to a late January release date for Logan, and a bit later date for Caroline.  But it's all up in the air and the kids could surprise us!

Many of you have asked what our accommodations are like in the NICU and so I took an opportunity to snap a few photos for you.  As you can see, they're not to shabby and decked out with the Holiday Spirit.

Here's the door to our room.  The photos are from our delivery day.
I'll add more down the door as we progress.
Some Holiday Decorations above their whiteboard.
The whiteboard sits above the two nurses stations and has the name of our nurse
and all sorts of good information.
The decorations are from my dear Topeka High School friend Erin (Rooney) Doland.  She sent the kit to  Melissa when she was on bedrest to help her pass the time.  Well... we delivered a bit earlier than expected, but the decorations really help spice up the kids' room and the nurses and staff have all commented on it.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Erin is an accomplished blogger and author.
Find her site here:

Here's a perturbed Melissa.  I'm guessing she wasn't prepped to have her pic taken.  Oops!
You'll notice she's wearing a mask.  We do that if we feel like we have any hint of a cold/sniffles/cough.
The kids are so susceptible to any sort of infection, we try to be extra cautious.
Here's their tree.  It's a little bit Charlie Brownish, but does the trick.
The ornaments are small KC Chiefs helmets from my cousin Jen and jingle bell snowmen
with Logan and Caroline's names, which they got from Grandpa Chris and Grandma Linda.

So we've got a really cozy space.  We are there every morning for the doctor's rounds and Melissa stays after I head off to work.  We then head back after 5 and spend the evening helping with their cares and getting some good "Twin Time".

As you all know, Logan was able to sport some "Big boy" clothes in his new open-air "Big boy" bed.  Well the nurses didn't want Caroline to get jealous or complain to Mom and Dad about preferential treatment, so they let her try out some fancy duds.

I'm beginning to think that in some 15 years, I'm going to wish that my little fashionista wasn't introduced to such nice duds at an early age.

Logan's new open air bed has been great.  It means we have easy access to him and certainly makes changing his diaper and moving his wires much easier, as we don't have to navigate the tiny holes of the isolette.

It has, although, left him wide open to some drive-by-smooches from his Mom.

All swaddled up with no defenses, our hero is powerless to defend himself
from the onslaught.

But he's got a secret power!!!
He threatens Mom with a daily limit of 6, or he'll yank out all his hoses.  Again.

And we'll finish off this post with a couple of treats...

Santa visited the NICU and Caroline!  She was on the Nice list.

Santa had to have a chat with Logan.  After some of the Naughty presents
he's been leaving Mom, Dad, and the Nurses in his diaper he really had to
talk his way onto the fringes of the Nice list.  We're crossing our fingers that he
doesn't get any coal in his stocking.
And finally, I shot a little more video.

Here's Logan getting checked out by Megan, one of our fantastic nurses.  He's not fond of cold stethoscopes, but doesn't put up too much of a fuss.

So that's it for this update.

We'll have another update after the craziness of the Holidays passes.

Our very best wishes to all of you for a wonderful and safe holiday season with your loved ones.

Mike, Melissa, Nice Caroline, and Maybe Naughty Logan.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Roids... big boy clothes...

Hey all,

I hope you all had a great weekend!

There's not too much news to update you on... our progress has been slow and steady.

Just the way we like it.

Caroline has reacted well to her steroids.  She's off of the ventilator now and is breathing with only the assistance of the oxygen through her nose.  The doc's have been careful to warn us that as the steroids move out of her system, the little ones can need to go back on the vent for a while (they just get too tired doing all the work on their own), but that it's normal for this to happen.

Judging by her latest photo though, I think she's plenty strong!

Just kidding folks...

But if you look at her arms here, she may have some definition going on...

She'll be beating up her brother sooner than we think!

As for Logan, he's been progressing well.  He's pushed past the 4lb. mark and has been growing pretty consistently.  He's beginning to be able to regulate his own body temperature, so we may be moving him to an open crib from his isolette soon.

This also means that Mom gets to dress him in clothes - something she's pretty stoked about.

Here he's wearing a preemie-sized onesie.  And he's still got A LOT of room in it.  Probably could smuggle his sister in there if he wanted to.

He's making good progress, but still has a bunch of growing and developing to do before we're talking about bringing him home.

Which reminds me...  I was riding down the elevator the other morning to head to work and a woman got on board carrying her carseat.  There was a HUGE baby in there.  I asked her how old the baby was... her response?  2 weeks!  They just got their 2 week post-delivery checkout.  

The kid was only 8lbs.  Just a normal sized baby.

It was a mild reality-check for me that all babies aren't tiny like mine.

But just wait until they cross paths in 6th Grade.  We'll see who's the tiny one then!!!

So that's the story from us here... slow and steady progress.  There haven't been any ups and downs lately (fingers-crossed) but we're still aware that we're riding the roller-coaster of the NICU.

Melissa and I are looking forward to the holidays - especially the chance to introduce Logan and Caroline to their Uncle Nick!  We have even decorated the NICU room with a tiny little tree so Santa won't accidentally miss the twins.

Thank you to everyone who has sent us notes and cards and such.  They help pass the time when we're in the NICU room in between diaper changings and kangaroo care.  We do love hearing from you!

All our very best to you and yours!

Mike, Melissa, Logan & Caroline

P.S. - I'd be remiss if I didn't share the fun photos of the kids rooting on our Chiefs against the Donkeys this weekend!

So it's not a real helmet- only an ornament -they're still rooting for the right team!

So it's not a real helmet- only an ornament -they're still rooting for the right team!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey Day, Get a grip, & GQ

Hey all-

I hope that everyone had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

For us it was a great chance to have relatives in for a visit, get some much-needed catchup sleep, and stuff ourselves with turkey and all the fixin's!!!

We cheated a bit this year, ordering in a pre-cooked meal from Hy-Vee instead of cooking our own from scratch, but that we were able to break bread with our loved ones (minus the two who are still doing their own "cooking from scratch") made it a joyous occasion.

As you can see from the photo, we had to adapt a little bit on the seating arrangements- opting for a two-tiered approach to dining together.

Clockwise from L to R - Grandma Linda, Grandpa Chris, Mom,
Grandpa Jim, Dad, Grandma Carol

The weekend also provided a great opportunity for Great Grandparents and Great Aunts to visit!

Great Grandpa Laverne, Great Grandma Theresa & Mom

Mom, Great Grandma Theresa, & Great Aunt Lori
Our schedule remained pretty much the same over the break- mornings and evenings in the NICU with the kids.

Caroline has just begun a round of steroids to help her with some lung development.  After a strong start, she has plateaued a bit and the docs want to keep her going strong.  I warned the nurses that she could be prone to fits of "Roid Rage", but they assured me this would not be the case.  She's grown to 1 lb 10 oz. and continues to go up on her feeding amounts and handles the digestion of such quite well  (Sidebar- I'm going to be off of any form of pesto for a while.  I suspect that this will just be the first of many poo-related aversions I'm going to develop)

Logan has grown well too.  He's up to 3 lbs. and 8 oz.  He's been getting milk supplemented with high-protein formula and aside from a few stoppages (he's related to his Grandpa Chris) he's been handling them like a champ.   Since he's on a regular vent, unlike his sis, he's been hogging all the kangaroo time lately as Mom and Dad have been alternating days with him for an hour or more each night.  He's strong too.  Didn't like lying on his side on Thursday morning and turned himself over onto his back.  Surprised the nurses that he was able to do that.

We continue to hear from the docs that the kids are moving along at a normal pace for the NICU world and their nurses continue to ask to be back taking care of them, so I assume that means that they've behaved themselves while Mom and Dad aren't there.

As we continue along this journey - just 3 weeks in - it's amazing how far we've already come.

And here are some photos from this weekend:

Miss Caroline was very alert and awake on Friday morning,
so we spent some time interacting with her before we
changed her diaper and such.
She has a killer grip - strong like a vice.
She always is hanging onto something, her bedding, a tube or wire,
or her bedding.  It's funny to think about now, but she would always
hold her umbilical cord in our ultrasound photos.  

Logan may be prepping for a career in modeling.
He's got the pose.  
But something tells me we're going to have to
work on getting him a better headshot.
His "Blue Steel" needs some work.
(Zoolander reference)
Well that's it for our update.

We hope that you all had a wonderful holiday and have made it back safely whence you came.

All our very best,

Mike and Melissa Vogel

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Goat, Kangaroo and a Ring

Hey all,

As we approach the 2 week birthday for the twins we wanted to give you a quick update on how they're doing and share some stories with you.

The twins have been doing pretty well and Melissa and I have worked our way into a bit of a routine for spending time with them, getting Melissa her rest and recovery, and allowing me to get back to work.

We've continued to have our ups and downs on the roller coaster.

Caroline's been fighting an infection and hasn't felt well, but appears to be responding to the antibiotics and will hopefully be back to her squirmy self by the end of the weekend.

Logan's been doing well, he's off of the ventilator altogether and only relies on some forced air for his breathing support.

That has let us begin to hear from the little guy.

He's not one to enjoy it when we or the nurses change his diaper, take his temperature, or move him around.  And he'll give us a little cry.

We took this video as he was coming down from a good fuss, just whining about having been messed with.

We present - Logan the goat.

We have also been spending as much time as possible as kangaroos.

The doctors and nurses have introduced us to and encouraged us to spend at least an hour a day as kangaroos for each of the children (when they're stable and feeling well).  This means we hold them, skin to skin - usually while they're getting a feeding, and provide them a warm comfortable environment.

There's been a lot of research that shows that this does a great deal of good for the kids and truly helps with their growth and development while in the NICU.

It also makes for some good photos.

Melissa with Caroline

Logan's fighting to stay awake with Dad

Caroline sleeping with Mom
She gets to wear a hat and a coat b/c she needs help staying warm.

And finally... we spend quite a bit of time up in the NICU.  It's actually quite nice - equipped with a couch and a barcolounger.  Free Wi-Fi.  And an especially great staff who works great with the kids and does a wonderful job keeping us informed of every little change, twist, turn, and simple update.

We keep ourselves busy up there, we're encouraged to help out with the little tasks - changing diapers, taking temperatures, moving monitor patches, helping with bath time... and so on.  

But it's also given us a bit of time to take some photos.

Here's a shot of each of the kids playing with my wedding ring.

Caroline could probably wear this on her arm...
if I could get it past her huge hands.

This would be a tight fit on Logan's wrist.

That's it for the update... we'll have another one for you after Thanksgiving.

The twins won't get to have turkey and stuffing this year, but we'll be able to share some great time with the grandparents as they're coming to town.

Our very best wishes for a safe and happy holiday for you and your families.  Thanks again for all your loving support and heartfelt prayers.

Mike and Melissa

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sizes and Shoutout...

Hey all,

Well we've been cruising along lately and we're keeping with our "normal" pace.

The kids have both had their little scares and have both had their little successes too.

Currently Caroline is breathing on her own without the help of a ventilator.  She gets oxygen support from a CPAP machine that feeds it to her through her nose, but is doing all the breathing work on her own.  It's a big step and a lot of work for our little gal.  Her doctors said not to be surprised if she needs to go back on the ventilator again a couple more times, but they said it's very normal for preemies to go back and forth for a while as they get used to doing it on their own.

Logan has had some lung issues and remains on the vent for a while.  Apparently little girls develop their lungs 10-12 days earlier than little guys do.  (I'm sure there's a sexist remark here that I could make which would get me slapped by my wife and mother, but I'll resist)  He had a pneumothorax (partially collapsed lung) for a while and is recovering nicely since they got it all resolved.  He's also taken a bit longer to get the ol' Vogel bowels moving.  Of course, when they did get going... the docs and nurses were impressed!  A chip off the ol' block he is!!!

Ultimately, both are doing "normal", with no major setbacks so far (keeping fingers crossed).  Mom is recovering well... almost too well as we've had to scold her a couple of times about trying to do too much.


Some folks have mentioned that it's a little hard to tell how small our babies are.  In retrospect, you're right... without some perspective, you just can't tell from a photo or two what 1 lb. and 2 lbs. 14oz. really look like.

So here's some photos to help you get an idea...

Here's Caroline with Dad's iPhone 4.
The phone stretches from her mouth down to her mid thigh if she were stretched out.
(Her knees are curled up here - not laid out.)
Sorry bout the headgear... they've got her eyes protected and her vent straps doubled up but she's smiling.

Here's Logan with the same phone.  He's (as expected) about 3x her size.
The phone goes from his shoulder to the end of his torso, as opposed to her.

So, as you can tell, they're pretty tiny... but strong.


My mother often reminds me that if I ever had any question that I married the right gal, it should have been answered when her work at Hy-Vee partnered with my beloved Kansas City Chiefs.  Through her work and it's opportunities, I've had the great pleasure of getting to know some of the folks in the organization.

They are a fantastic group of people and a world class operation.  (Of course, my love for the team may make me just a tad bit biased)

Imagine my shock this weekend when we were watching the game as any true KC Chiefs fan does - with the TV sound off and the Chiefs Radio Network blasting through the speakers - and we heard this shoutout from Mitch "The Voice" Holthus :

A great shock, an unbelievable surprise, and a true honor to have the birth of my children announced to the Chiefs Kingdom by the very best play-by-play man in the business.

Thanks Mitch!

We head into the weekend hoping to continue on our normal pace.

Thanks again to everyone for the wonderful support, loving thoughts, and caring prayers.  I'm a firm believer that it all helps greatly!

All our best to you and your families,

Mike, Melissa, Logan and Caroline Vogel

Monday, November 8, 2010

Checkout, scale, and a thought about luck...

Hey all,

First off... THANK YOU!

Thanks to everyone for all that they've done for us so far!

From the replies to the email, the notes of congratulations, the flowers, food, and thoughtful gifts... it's overwhelming the amount of wonderful loving support you've all offered and continued to offer us.

What a fabulous family and group of friends we share!


Melissa has checked out of the hospital.  The doctors have been by and gave Mom the big "Thumbs up!"

She's back to hogging the bed at home after 2 weeks of hospital sheets.

She'll still be spending a lot of time here over the next few months as she'll be hanging out in the NICU with the babies, monitoring their progress, feeding, and cuddling them.

They've got a great setup in our NICU room, with a nice couch, recliner, and free WiFi!  Also, they provide the parents of NICU babies cafeteria cards which allow us breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Well we were on a rollercoaster while we were on bedrest.

Little did we know that we were on a tiny little one - the size of the old Boyles Joyland rollercoaster in Topeka.

Seems daunting when you're 4!

Little did we know that we'd be graduating up to Kansas City's World's of Fun once we moved to the NICU

A bit wilder ride!

I'd like to share some advice we received from a very helpful NICU nurse...  "We hope for normal here. Steady is good.  If it's good or bad, there are overcorrections.  We hope for normal.  Normal is the best."

As our little ones begin to grow and develop outside of Mom, there will be some hurdles and some scares and lots of varying degrees of support that they'll need from medicines and machines.  The ultimate goal is to have them free from support altogether.  Getting there is the rough road.

The process of weaning them from support will take some time and often will follow the pattern of "one step forward, two steps back."

It's not going to be uncommon for us to have great days and setbacks and days of worry and days of joy.

All along though, Melissa and I are very comfortable that Caroline and Logan are receiving the very best care that they could get from a fantastic group of doctors, nurses, and technicians.


As I rode up to the NICU the other day, I chatted with another father taking the same trip.  Both our wives were recovering on the "Mother-Baby" unit as our children were up in the NICU unit.

He shared with me that his wife didn't like a particular route to the NICU from their room because it took them by the nursery and she was reminded about all the other "lucky" mothers who didn't have their children in the NICU.

I didn't say much to him at the time, other than a "I hear ya." dismissal... but his words stuck with me a little bit and gave me cause to think.

As I stood looking over the Isolette which held my daughter, on a ventilator, with a feeding tube and hooked into a set of wires that monitor everything from her heart rate, her blood pressure, and her oxygen level, it struck me.  We're the lucky ones.

We're the ones who are blessed to have a place where our kids are given the best chance to survive.

We're the ones who get to meet the incredible people who care for our children, guiding them through this early development and on to healthy full lives.

We are the ones whose family and friends have already given us such an incredible amount of support and who have included us and our children in their thoughts and prayers.

Then again, maybe he's right... they are lucky.

We're blessed.

All of our very best to you and your families!

Michael, Melissa, Caroline & Logan

Friday, November 5, 2010

Welcome Logan and Caroline

So after an ultrasound early this morning that showed our little gal was still having a problem with negative flow, the doctors came to us and shared their opinion that it was time to move the babies from inside to outside.

We reached the point that the best outcome for both, but especially her, was going to be by getting good nutrition and oxygen in the NICU.

Once again, we thanked our lucky stars that we have such a talented and experienced group of caregivers and that they have been so wonderfully proactive with their care.

So we made some phone calls to some excited grandparents, got prepped for the surgery, and hung out for a while.

At 12:15, we headed into the operating room and at 12:47 and 12:49 Logan David and Caroline Alice were delivered via C-section.

Mom did GREAT during the whole process and as they got her all finished up, I went up with the babies into the NICU as they did their weights and measurements

Logan weighed in at 2 lbs. 14 oz. and stretched out to 18 inches.

Caroline weighed in at 1 lb. and stretched out to 11 inches.

Both gave great big cries as they were born - much to the delight of the nurses, doctors, and their parents.

They're resting comfortably in the NICU right now... under around-the-clock care.

Mom's resting comfortably in the hospital as well.  She'll be recovering for a couple of days, but has already been up to see the babies.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and loving support!

The Vogels

Melissa visits the NICU to meet Logan for the first time since he came
kicking and screaming into the world.

Little Caroline bundled up for her first night asleep in the NICU

Logan after being weighed!
Hands up by his face... much like the way he was on every ultrasound.

Logan getting his first set of prints.
He'd better plan on waiting until he can front his own bail money
when he gets his next set of prints.

Caroline - our little scrapper - all stretched out and kicking.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The ride continues...

Hey all,

Just wanted to drop you a quick update!

Hang on for the ride!!!

It's been a bit of a roller-coaster of a week here for us - from the initial rush into the hospital and onto bedrest to the wonderful outpouring of love and support from all our friends and family and their well-wishes.

All in all, we're doing well and so are the babies.

We've also had a couple of reminders as to the reasons why we're here in the hospital on bedrest and why the wonderful monitoring, attention, and experience of our great doctors, nurses, and technicians is necessary for our babies.

They are doing well and get checked by ultrasound every morning and are spend an hour out of every 8 on the fetal heart monitors.  A couple of days, they've shown some warning signs and needed further checking, but all issues have resolved themselves and we're back to "Waiting and Incubating".

As we've known all along, the longer they're able to stay and incubate, the better.  So we're taking great care of Melissa, making sure that she's staying relaxed, getting rest, and is well-fed!

We want to say thank you to all who have sent their well-wishes, goodies, and flowers, and most importantly have kept us in their thoughts and prayers!

Feel free to stay in touch by email or Facebook!

All our very best to you and your families,

Mike and Melissa

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Here to stay...

... and we're not leaving until we've got 2 babies!!!

We got confirmation this morning that Melissa will be staying here in the hospital for the duration of her bedrest.

They want to keep a close eye on both of the babies, but a very careful eye on our little gal.

To make sure that they can do ultrasounds and monitoring whenever they want- and also to make sure that their definition of bedrest matches up with Melissa's definition of bedrest- they decided that it was best for everyone to keep her here until delivery.

"When's that?" you ask...

Well a lot of that is dependent on our babies and how they keep going, but we are sure hoping that it's a good long time.  6-8 weeks would have us dancin' a jig!!!

So Melissa's going to hunker down here and soak up all the pampering possible to guarantee that she's the best incubator as possible.

She's got 3 meals a day, Mike bringing her treats, a flat screen TV, a DVD player, her laptop, free Wi-Fi, her iPod, her iPhone, a couple of books, and several wonderful nurses who check up on her all day and night.

Some of you, in your wonderfully generous ways, have asked if there is anything you can do or send to help her pass the time and make the next weeks tolerable.

If you'd like to send Melissa a note, you can drop them in the mail to our address:

Mike and Melissa Vogel
2000 50th Place
Des Moines, IA 50310

If you're sending something larger or that can't handle the winter-like weather, send it to my office:

Professional Video, Inc.
C/O Mike Vogel
10190 Hickman Court Suite B
Clive, IA 50325

And if you'd like to send her flowers or a stripper-gram:

Mercy Hospital
Melissa Vogel
East Tower
MTT Unit - 3rd Floor
Room 3110

And here is where I get to be the over-protective hubby...

The point of her being here is rest and inactivity, so unfortunately while we'd love to see you all and give you big hugs of thanks for all your support, we can't have visitors.  We'll have to plan to meet up sometime after the babies come home (in between feedings and diaper changes, of course).  Also probably shouldn't call or text.

Thank you all for your love and support from the bottoms of our hearts!  Keep sending your thoughts and prayers!

All our Best,

The Vogels

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Well Poop... Bedrest.

Not a great update today folks...

We went for our regular ultrasound this morning and found out that our little gal has been slacking off in her development over the last two weeks.

She's been slacking (taking after her Dad) and only measured 1 week of growth this time.

Since she was behind the curve anyway, the docs want to give her the best opportunity to grow inside Mom as long as possible.

So... Melissa's in the hospital on bedrest while they keep daily tabs on our little scrapper and her brother.

The hope is that we can put off delivery as long as possible - over a month if we can.

And we'll happily wait.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers,

The Vogels

P.S. - Yes there is an omission of details here regarding her location and contact info... that's by design.  You see the "rest" part of bedrest means no visitors and a lot of long boring days for Melissa.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Keep on truckin'

Hey all!

We went to the Neonatal Center again today for another ultrasound and also met with our OB's...

The news is another 2 weeks... another 2 weeks growth.

We gotta Keep on truckin'!!!

In other news... the babies got to go to their first night game at Kinnick to see the Hawks pound the holy heck out of Penn State!!!

And Melissa travelled back to Topeka for her first baby shower while I stayed at home and painted the nursery!

(But since I took apart the computer when I changed the office to the nursery... you'll just have to imagine what the shower and the painting looked like.  Here's a hint... one was rather messy.)

So we push on into the pregnancy... keeping Melissa well-rested, well-fed, and well-hydrated (which can be a challenge given the amount she goes pee these days!).

We're just in Week 24 and we're pushing for Week 36 (or later) delivery, so she gets as pampered as much as she can!

Thanks so much for all the love and support!

We'll let you know anything as soon as we know it.

All my best,


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Two weeks later... 2 weeks growth

Hey all -

Quick update here.

We were back at the OB today for an ultrasound and checkup on the twins.

The good news is that over 2 weeks, both kids have shown 2 weeks worth of growth.

As they said... that's the best news we could have hoped to hear.

Our little scrapper is still a couple weeks behind the curve... she's showing development at 19 weeks and we're in Week 22.

But again, the good news is that 2 weeks ago she showed 17 weeks development.

While I may have a BA in Journalism from Drake, even I can figure out THAT math problem!

So where do we go from here???

Well, we wait and incubate another 2 weeks.

We'll go back for another checkup and ultrasound and progress report.

When we go back the docs are also going to give her her first of 2 steroid treatments to help our incubate-ees with their lung development.  Apparently they do very well if they have these treatments and they are delivered early.  The docs are being very proactively cautious and we're very happy about that.  They're expecting we will still be doing an earlier delivery... shooting to make it to 36 weeks if possible, but planning ahead in case it is necessary to make it happen earlier.

The other positive to having my wife on the Juice is that I may be able to get Sammy Sosa to sign my jersey when she has to testify before Congress about her performance enhancing drug use.

That's the story about the twins so far!  We're cautiously optimistic about our good news from today and hope that our 2 little ones keep moving along at a normal pace!

Thanks to everyone for all the thoughts and prayers!  Keep them coming!

One special bit of thanks needs to go out to Melissa's work - HyVee.  They've been great working with her on this, allowing her to telecommute via email and phone for a couple hours in the morning and afternoon so she can get the rest she and the babies need.  It's been great having their support and knowing that they really care for their employees!

I hope this note finds you all in good health and great spirits.

All our best to you and your families,

Mike and Melissa Vogel

P.S. -  Given the news a couple of weeks ago, I didn't get to show this off... but I wanted to share with you the twins' first Monday Night Football experience!

P.P.S. - In case you were wondering...  Whenever there's a football game on, The Hawkeye Fight song, or AC/DC's Hell's Bells... they kick and squirm like crazy.  It's the coolest thing!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Boy, One Girl, Both Healthy but...

Hey everyone!

We went to the doctors yesterday and had our 20 week ultrasound.

Got some great news - 1 boy, 1 girl, both healthy.

We did find out that we're on a different path than most and we're likely going to have to be more careful and more checked-on by our medical professionals.

Here's the scoop:

The boy has developed to a 21 week stage (a bit ahead of the curve).

The girl has only developed to 17 weeks or so (behind the curve).

Obviously this raised an alarm with the doctors and so they did some more checking around.

It seems our gal (our little scrapper) has some small issues with her placenta.  She's getting stuff from it, but not at an ideal rate.

She's developing, healthy, and has all her parts (arms, toes, etc.) but is just growing at a slower rate than normal.

What does it mean?

Right now, it means we wait, we watch, and we incubate.

The doctors have told us to continue to live a normal life, with a little more rest and less stress in Melissa's life.  That means always taking a break when she's tired.   Lying down for a rest over lunch.  Lying down for a rest after work.  Afternoon naps on the weekends... and so on.

Down the road it means we will likely have an earlier delivery than the normal 40 weeks.

The goal is 32 weeks.  12 weeks from now.

We'll be checked and monitored by the medical professionals as we go.

Should I be worried?

No, not right now.

Both of the doctors we met with yesterday stressed to us that while this is a rare situation, nothing indicates that both babies are anything but healthy and normal (with the exception of our little scrapper's growth rate).

Is there anything can I do?

Wait with us.

Shoot up a little prayer that our little scrapper keeps growing and getting the all the good stuff she needs to continue for another 12 weeks.

Understand that our schedule may get a little zany here in the next few weeks as we continue to prep for our guy and gal and try to give Melissa the best opportunities to have them keep growing well.  We may be flying by the seats of our pants even more than we normally do!!!

Have you named them yet?

Maybe.  But no one gets to find out until after they are born.

Not a single person.

Just Melissa and I.

Well that's the good news!

A boy and a girl.  Barbie dolls and baseball bats.  Army toys and tiaras.

We're still stoked and excited and can't wait until the little poop-machines get here!

Well... we can wait for 12 weeks or so.

We hope all is well with you and your families!

All our best,

Mike and Melissa

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Health, Home, Sitting, and a little fun...

Hey everybody,

Wanted to give you all an update right after we got back from vacation but both Melissa and I were swamped with work...  She, prepping for the next big season of Hy-Vee sponsorship of the Kansas City Chiefs and myself working for NBC News, The Weather Channel and the Today Show to cover the flooding that hit Central Iowa.

So here's what we've got going on...


We've had several checkups already and continue to hear that all is progressing normally.  We're blessed by this and hope it's a trend that keeps going forward.

We will find out the sexes in mid-to-late September and YES we will be finding out and telling everyone.  But don't worry... there will be some surprise for you because we're not telling anyone their names until they are born.


Our house is still on the market... at least for another week or so.  

We've given our realtor and ourselves a deadline of Labor Day Weekend to have an offer for the house.  If we don't have some serious interest at that point, we're going to pull it off the market and switch to "Baby Prep Mode"- converting the office into a nursery, baby-proofing, and so on.  

Once we've got the very basics of our feet underneath us after the twins arrive, we'll look at putting it back on the market (although I'm quite sure our perspective of a "showing-ready" house will have changed a bit by then).  

We love this house and will be good with it as a start to our family, but would love to move to a bigger space especially when the twins are mobile.

So... if anyone in the Des Moines area knows of anyone who is looking for a GREAT starter home, please point them in our direction.  Here's a link to the listing:


Did you know that there is no "Buy one, get one FREE" deal for daycare???

I had hoped...  but no avail...

Melissa and I have begun our search for daycare and are asking for any assistance you all (especially the Des Moines folks) can provide.

Now I know that everyone has some strong opinions on daycare - what works, what doesn't, and so on...  we're soliciting ALL opinions, but mainly we're soliciting recommendations for a daycare opportunity that is both wonderful AND within our budget.

We currently are open to either a Center or an In-Home or even to someone (retired/stay-at-home) coming into our home.

So... if you have any ideas please please PLEASE send them to us - or


While on vacation at our family reunion up in Michigan, we poked a little fun at the expected size of Melissa's belly with a giant beach ball and beach towel as "improptu MuMu"... have a look!

That's it for another FLoA update!

Hope everybody's enjoying the rest of summer as we creep towards the best season of the year...



Our best wishes to you and your families!

- The Vogels

Friday, July 23, 2010

The outpouring...


Just WOW!!!

Thanks to everyone for their congratulations and heartfelt offerings of blessings and support.

Melissa and I are simply overwhelmed at the outpouring.

Our very best wishes to all of you and your families.

We were also extremely surprised at the great suggestions we received for names for the Vogel Twins!

Some examples are below:

Ronde and Tiki
Mary Kate and Ashley
Tiger and Elin
Brent and Matt

Jake and Gabe
Thunder and Lightning
Hawk and Animal

Clearly some are going to be better received than others by my darling wife!

Thanks for the suggestions!  Keep them coming!

The Vogels