Thursday, October 25, 2007

Getting to Know You...

Manna & Dave have been getting to spend time with each of the babies. This photo is of Dave sharing some body heat and love with Thomas, which he did for 45 minutes on Tuesday and 1 hour on Wednesday!

A huge thanks to the group of ladies who volunteered time on Tuesday night to help make home a bit more homey for Dave & Manna.

Please continue to pray for each child as they grow and develop today, tomorrow, and this week.

If you would like to donate a meal sometime and haven't had a chance to sign up, please email Sharie Peterson at and she'll gladly fill you into the calendar.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Returning Home

Manna is going home from the hospital today! She and Dave are going to stop by and see the babies and then settle in to their home. Manna has been given strict orders regarding stairs and chores, so her mobility will be limited for the time being. More details will be forthcoming.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dave & Manna Spend Time with ... (names below!)

Manna has improved so much since Saturday morning, but recovery just takes a lot of time! On Sunday, she and Dave were able to go visit the babies at the NICU. It was a very exciting and emotional time for Manna. It was great for her to meet each nurse who is assigned to each baby and also the neonatalogists and respiratory therapist. A lot of great information was shared that helped them really understand the kinds of issues that preemies have. It became clear that each baby is going to have continual changes in health that will require a change of treatment, meaning a different breathing machine, a new medication, perhaps a blood transfusion, etc.
These changes do not necessarily indicate an emergency, just a need to change the plan.

With this understanding, it was much easier to feel good about Baby A's and Baby Boy E (D in utero)'s conditions today. There had been a concern that they were somewhat unstable. Please see prayer request updates below. The other three babies are all doing very well at the moment. Manna got to touch their little bodies, talk to them .... and decide on their NAMES!!!!

Here we go:

Baby Girl A: Anna Belle (she will go by both names together) 1st born
Baby Boy B: Thomas David 2nd born
Baby Girl C: Hanna Marie (she will go by her first name) 3rd born
Baby Boy E-D: Matthew Daniel 5th born
Baby Girl D-E: Lili Anne (she will go by her first name) 4th born

Aren't they beautiful?!!! They work both in English and Hungarian. Manna should find out this morning (Monday) if she is going to be released from the hospital.

Wasn't the video in church great? Big thanks to Jenny Brake for putting it together! We will try to get it on the blog in a couple of days.

This is a lot of detail, more than we will likely be able to maintain over the coming weeks, but wanted you to get a feel for the kind of information that Dave and Manna have to process and then turn over to the Lord!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Prayer Requests for Baby Girl A & Baby Boy D

As a brief preface, please remember that with preemies at this age, the babies' conditions can move from stable to unstable and back again very quickly. We'll keep you updated on each baby's condition so that you can pray specifically throughout the upcoming weeks.

For updated details, please scroll down to the "PRAYER REQUESTS" section, which will stay current starting today.

A huge praise is that Manna's getting to go visit with the babies for her first extended visit this afternoon. After getting to spend some time with them, names will be assigned and announced. What a blessed afternoon for mother, father, and babies!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Birth Measurements

Names will soon be assigned, but until then... here are the birth times and measurements for each precious one:

Girl A 4:25 pm 1 lb 4.8 oz 10.8 inches long
Boy B 4:26 pm 2 lb 9.6 oz 13 inches long
Girl C 4:28 pm 1 lb 15 oz 13.6 inches long
Girl E (D to NICU) 4:29 pm 2 lbs 2.7 oz 12.6 inches long
Boy D (E to NICU) 4:30 pm 1 lb 11.5 oz 13 inches long

Delivery Day Details from a Friend

According to Robin...
At 2:00 the doctor said that is was time to deliver the babies -- like, now! She had to assemble a team of 5 specialists per baby, plus a very large delivery crew. By 4:00 pm, Manna was in the operating room being prepped for surgery. They gave her an epidural so she could be awake. Dave sat at her head. The doctor said later that there were a total of 23 people in the operating room!

At 4:25 pm, Baby A was born. She looked so tiny yet so beautiful. And she made a little squeak of a cry that brought tears of joy to our eyes. She was quickly whisked away to the NICU. At 4:26, Baby Boy B was born, bigger than A and with another beautiful little whimper. At 4:28, Baby Girl C. At 4:29, Baby Girl E (which they call D because she was the fourth one born -- very confusing!!). At 4:30 pm, Baby Boy D (NICU's E). They all squeaked a little and were all beautifully perfect. They all have a lot of hair, mostly dark. They were all about 13" long or so.

Manna was great through the whole thing. She didn't get to see the babies from her vantage point, but she heard each of them cry. The rest of her surgery went very well. Dave's mother was out in the baby triage area where they were all being cared for, which was really fun for her. Everyone said how healthy the babies looked for 28 weeks. We still don't have the exact weights, but they were all fairly close to the ultrasound measurements last Monday.

Two of the girls are on ventilators for now, and the other 3 are on C-PAP machines. This can change at any time as they assess their needs. Before they took them to the new hospital, they brought each one in his/her traveling incubator to see Manna. It was so special for her. Dave got to be with them all late tonight, touching their little hands and feet and marvelling at God's perfect creation.

They are absolutely elated, and so full of thanks to the Lord. They realize that this next week is very critical for the babies. They may have struggles as time goes along. It is a lot for 28 week old babies to learn how to live in the outside world. This is a reason to continue praying fervently.

Manna has asked for no visitors today(Saturday) as she continues to recover from surgery and transition into being a mom. Depending on her condition, she may be able to visit the babies late tomorrow. Please know that no visitors will be allowed to see the babies without prior permission from Dave and Manna. This is standard procedure in the NICU. Also, no children under 18 are allowed in there.

In case you're wondering, although they have names picked out for the babies, they haven't assigned them yet (can you imagine???).

Praise God for a great, awe-inspiring day full of life!

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Few Friendly Faces

Girls: A, C, & D
Boys: B & E

Top: Baby B with Dave's mom
Middle: Baby C
Bottom: Baby D

Names and measurements will be posted soon. Tonight's photos don't include everyone, obviously -- but rest assured, more are soon to come!

5 minutes... 5 babies!

Between 4:25 and 4:30 this afternoon, the 5 newest Manleys entered the world! Doctors say all the babies are doing great. Two are on ventilators, but are doing well. Manna is doing great, also. The upcoming week is the most critical for everyone.

There will be more specific details once everyone settles into their new hospital rooms and Robin's able to email me. For now, praise God! And keep praying!


Please pray for the 3 precious baby girls and 2 precious baby boys that are going to be delivered within the hour! Manna's blood pressure kept rising, and so the doctor felt it necessary to deliver the babies now. Pray for the doctor and all the hospital staff that will be involved in the delivery of the babies. Also pray for Manna during this time and during her soon-to-come recovery. Pray for Dave as he encourages and supports Manna. Pray. Pray. Pray.

We serve a good God who knows all and knows bets. Praise him that the babies made it to 28 weeks! Keep looking for updates.

28 Weeks and Counting! Praise God!

There was much rejoicing on Thursday as Manna and the babies reached the 28 week mark! The hospital staff threw a party and Dave and Manna had some great time together.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ultrasound -- It's Time to Weigh In!

This morning was the long-awaited ultrasound to take new measurements of the babies and see how they are progressing. The great news is that the 3 babies who have not had growth restriction issues have all gained very well in the last 2 weeks:

Baby B
went from 1 lb 11 oz to 2 lb 3 oz;
Baby C
from 1 lb 11 oz to 2 lb 1 oz;
and Baby E from 1 lb 11 oz to 2 lb 3 oz.
Little Baby A gained 4 oz -- from 1 lb 1 oz to 1 lb 5 oz!!!!
Baby D's measurements were a little disconcerting. According to today's estimate, he has lost 2 oz, going from 1 lb 14 oz to 1 lb 12 oz.

Of course, we must remember that these are estimates. Many moms have told stories of how their babies weighed either significantly more or less than their ultrasound estimates. It is very difficult to get accurate measurements in such a tight space. We can be very thankful for the trends for the four babies -- they are gaining! And we can pray that Baby D, and the rest, especially little Baby A, get all the nourishment they need, and that God will get the glory for the work He is doing in these babies.

They are continuing to keep a close eye on Manna's mild pre-eclampsia. She also has gained more weight this week. Thanks to those who have been providing high-protein meals for her! She will have another ultrasound on Wednesday to check on A and D when her doctor gets back into town.

Keep those prayers coming!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Please Pray

Dave & Manna asked for a few specific prayer items from you, their family and friends:
  • As of today, the doctors are now monitoring Manna closely due to a diagnosis of mild pre-eclampsia. This is a type of hypertension that can be life-threatening, so close monitoring is key. The two main indicators for this condition are elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine. So far, Manna's indicators are slightly abnormal. Manna's swelling, weight, water intake, blood count, vision, and urine protein will be monitored continuously in order to ensure that she is not in danger of the effects that pre-eclampsia can cause if left to run its course. If monitoring shows that Manna is in any danger, then the babies will be delivered. It is actually possible to go several weeks with this condition before needing to deliver. Dave & Manna continue to pray that the babies are able to grow and receive nourishment as long as possible in the womb. In four more days, Manna will be at 28 weeks! She is already receiving steroid shots to speed the development of the babies' lungs.
    Please also pray with thanksgiving that the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard Dave's & Manna's hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7) at this time.
  • Pray that things are uneventful while Manna's doctor is in San Francisco. She returns Tuesday evening.
  • Please pray that Manna would have the strength to glorify God and speak of His presence and His salvation to her nurses. She admitted that sometimes it is hard when she is tired and frustrated by the baby chasing. Manna wants to form relationships with her nurses so she can talk to them about Jesus.
As a testimony to the Lord working in Manna's life, this was a nurse's quote, as overheard by a visiting friend: "You don't complain about anything and you aren't miserable, like most other multiple moms." Praise God that Manna is choosing daily to allow Christ to shine through her!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Effective immediately: No visitors for Manna

They are now monitoring 3 babies at a time, 3 times a day, and Manna is exhausted. Each session like this takes at least 1.5 hours as the babies squirm and resist being monitored. Yesterday she started having some contractions. So, for the health of the babies, Dave and Manna have suspended ALL hospital visits until further notice. The babies are all doing well, but they do not want to take any chances. Entertaining guests, although enjoyable, is exhausting.

Please continue to lift them up in prayer. One thing that would encourage Manna is having some encouraging scriptures on posters to put on the walls. If you would like to send something like this or an encouraging note to the hospital, please contact Robin Miyakawa by phone or email ( and she can get them to Manna. Please contact Robin rather than Dave, as his plate is obviously very full.

Lift these dear ones up to the Father!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Huge Praise for Babies!

Today they conducted the Bio-physical profile for each of the babies, which measures four categories: breathing in the womb, movement, amniotic fluid, and blood flow. Each category has a possible high score of 2, for a possible total score of 8. ALL FIVE BABIES SCORED 8!!!!
This means that they are all practicing breathing, which is VERY unusual at less than 27 weeks. Baby D's blood flow now looks normal, and Baby A's blood flow has improved a little. We must praise our God for such wonderful developments! Manna is so thankful and all the more motivated to eat well and take good care of them! Spread the word! God is at work!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Prayer Requests

Manna's new prayer request is that the sessions on the monitor will go quickly. Each time they try to monitor the babies' heart rates, the babies kick and move, and it sometimes takes up to one hour and a half to complete a 20 minute heart rate strip. This, of course, is very exhausting, especially late at night. Also pray for Dave, as he has many things he is trying to accomplish and yet be there for Manna as much as possible.

Manna now has her internet connection working, Christian music stations to listen to, and Skype is fixed so that she should be able to communicate more freely with her friends and family overseas.

Manna is daily putting her hope and trust in God and using every opportunity to witness to those around her, especially the nurses who have to stand there holding the monitors on her belly for long stretches of time. Please pray that the gospel goes out from the Manley room!

One Year Anniversary & Baby Updates

Sunday night Manna and Dave had a wonderful time celebrating their one-year anniversary. Just imagine everything that has happened in the last year and a half!

Monday's ultrasound showed great heartbeats, continued restricted growth for A and D (no change), but she also got to see A and D practice breathing! Shelby showed Manna how their little tummies were going up and down. Praise God! Also, Manna's protein intake has increased significantly in the last few days, and she now has eating goals and a chart to keep track of them. Her weight gain this last week was pretty small, but now that she is eating more and settled into a routine, we expect to see a positive change.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Baby Treasure Hunt

Thursday night was rough because those little rascals keep moving around! The nurses couldn't find the babies they wanted to monitor, so for about 90 minutes in the middle of the night the hospital staff went on a baby hunt! Friday they made drawings on Manna's belly so the nurses can keep track of everyone.

We have a new prayer request: Friday's ultrasound shows that Baby D is also experiencing the restricted blood flow. This is called Inter-Uterine Growth Restriction, and is the same problem that Baby A has. Of course, Baby D is the big bruiser who weighed in at 1 lb 14 oz on Monday, so at least he is ahead of everyone.

Dave will be spending the evening at the hospital with his growing family. Thanks for the prayers!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Babies' Update

Manna was told yesterday that there seems to be no reason at this point that she would have to deliver before 28 weeks -- Praise the Lord! All of the babies' heart rates look great, and the few contractions she's having are not really noticeable. So, we just need to keep praying for Baby A to get what she needs.

Visiting & Calling Update

Manna is still doing very well at the hospital. She has realized that with doctors' rounds and trying to stay well rested, visits and phone calls would be most welcomed after 2 pm. In fact, if you can go visit her, she says it really helps the time to go by quickly. And, there is no need to call ahead for now. If you are unable to go to the hospital and would like to talk to Manna, please call her cell phone. Everyone's done such a great job loving on her that she has to be able to turn off the ringer at times in order to get some sleep each day!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Manna & Babies Enter the Hospital

Manna went for her checkup yesterday and was admitted to the hospital, mainly due to Baby A's continued low weight (1 lb, 1 oz) and questionable blood supply. Baby A's heart rate is being monitored every 8 hours and blood supply will be checked by an ultrasound every 3 days. Babies B-E are doing well, ranging from 1 lb, 11 oz to 1 lb, 14 oz.

Manna is in great spirits, although without Internet access at the moment. Please encourage her by calling and visiting as you can, and of course, please keep praying for the 7 Manleys.