NICU Day 6

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Today was our first trial run of our "hoped for" NICU schedule. Peter's mom came and picked me up a little before 10am. I had pumped and showered and was ready by 9:30, which I'm happy about, because even though I am a little slower, I am able to do things in the time frame we set up to try. We made it to the hospital a little before 10:45am and she dropped me at the door to save me the walk from the parking lot. I went ahead up to the NICU while she parked and scrubbed in. Our favorite nurse, Barbara, was on duty. (It's amazing how quickly you fall in love with people... All of the nurses are great, but she just cares for the kids in such a way...) The first thing I noticed when I walked in was that Bobby's light was off and his isolette was covered (which means no lifting it up to peak in because the light would wake him up). So, I looked in a crack in the covering and confirmed it was still my son. (Barbara was on a call, so I couldnt ask at this point what was up). So, I walked to Maya's isolette (where the light was still shining) and peaked in and was taken aback: no CPAP. No canula either. Just a happy baby, sleeping (and breathing) peacefully, just like her brother. I took my pumped stash to the fridge and got that squared away and Barbara soon joined me.

Both babies are doing excellent. Bobby's bilirubin dropped into the 3's and now he is on a 12 hours on/12 hours off schedule. Since we kangaroo him at 9pm, his schedule on is 10pm-10am, which means he will be off 10am-10pm. When he is on, he is on low intensity. He has done outstanding off his CPAP so there is no plan to use the canula. He's had several bowel movements (although not an "explosion" as they would like to see since he had struggled for a few days without), but he is digesting better since. He still isnt digesting his entire feeding, so they are hopeful that soon that will change. He will be moved to his belly next week and they anticipate that helping in both the pooing and the eating departments. He has gained weight. He's up 30 grams! So, this is great news.

Maya's bilirubin was up yesterday but then dropped this morning to the point that she is now on low intensity lights (still all the time). They had dropped her CPAP to 4 yesterday but decided to give her a go without it and she's done wonderfully. They no longer hear the murmur and believe the neoprophen has done it's job (she gets her last dose tomorrow). This has probably helped with her breathing since the valve that hadnt closed completely impacts the lungs also. So, great news on that front. She is pooing regularly (I got to clean a dirty, dirty diaper this morning!) and digesting all of her food. She too has gained 30 grams.

Both babies are eating only breast milk. I am able to pump between 3/4-full preemie bottle at a 1/2 hour sitting (a full bottle is about 60cc's). I'm pumping every 3h except at night when I split the difference and do around 4.5-5h from my last nightly, and then get back on the 3h when I wake up. And, while we are talking about boobs, I have to say that the hands free pumping bra is the best darn invention I've seen in a while. I love it. It came yesterday and I am so sad that I didnt think of it earlier. If you pump and dont have one, GET ONE. It's great. I'm quite chesty and was concerned it wouldnt work well, but you stick it on, plug those bad boys in place, and then go about your business. Because it doesnt get tired and the bottles stay in place, it really increases your milk discharge because it is consistent. Not to mention it decreases your wrist pain and allows you to do a double pumping by yourself. One of the hardest things was that I had to wake Peter up in the middle of the night not just to fill the transport bottle and clean the bottles, but to help hold them on, etc, because I couldnt get them situated all the time. Now, no problem. It's great. I even fell asleep with them on this afternoon. Awesome investment.

A cute story... I held Maya tonight (Peter held Bobby) and as Peter was leaving to go to Bobby to do his nighttime care prior to holding, he let go of Maya's finger and she let out such a cry! We both laughed and she settled the second he put his finger back. Already spoiled... And got Daddy wrapped around her little finger...

And the dreaded c-section. Well... It still hurts. But, I've decided I'm not a martyr and I'm taking the pain meds, in spite of how they make me feel. I have a plan that I use that makes them work for me and that makes a difference. Instead of the "cocktail" of the ibuprophen and the percaset together, I take the ibu before I leave for the hospital in the morning, then on the way home from the hospital the perc, which knocks me out. I get home and pump, then to bed for a nap. Up for dinner and then take the ibu before leaving for the hospital. Visit the kids and pump. Take the perc before leaving. I took it an hour ago and I'm surprised I can still see straight to type. I feel so tired, so this is good. In the event I wake up to pump and am in pain, I will take something, but not sure what. As it is, I wait until I feel the pain and then take the meds. I dont like drugs at all, especially narcotics, so this is as much as I feel comfortable giving into the meds. And today, while I've hurt, I've stayed above the curve of intense pain. I use ice packs at home and that helps ALOT. Dr B called me today and said that he reviewed the radiology strips and feels like the z-pack will take care of the infection, and to come in tomorrow after seeing the kids to have my staples removed. I'm hoping that the staples out will help with some of the pain, too.

I am overwhelmed by how much people love the babies. We've gotten so many cards and gifts from blog friends (and real friends and family members, too). I had so many emails asking for our address and if it is okay to send stuff. You guys are so sweet. The support we've received emotionally has been touching; but this is over the top. I dont even know what to say. Thank you seems too small. Our kitchen is full of boxes of handmade baby clothes, knitted preemie hats, blankets... Each one made with love. I am tearing up just writing this. Thank you. Thank you for the prayers and thoughts, which have brought us this far and have given us great days in our NICU journey. Thank you for these gifts which our children are grateful for and which we cherish. I dont know how to ever begin to repay you all for everything you've done for us, except to say that I hold you all in my heart, hold your babies in my heart, and pray prayers of thanksgiving for you. One day, I hope that I can somehow return your generosity in some way.

I'm really late in posting pics... I know. I'm sorry. :( I'm going to post them to the photo blog as soon as I post this. But I'll leave you with some pictures from today. (And yes, Maya's hair is strawberry blond... It is insane. But so beautiful.)

Bobby, sleeping and loving the lack of a mask and CPAP (and the ability to kick his legs over his boundaries!)

Maya, laying gently against Mommy's chest

A special thank you to ML, a friend I met right after losing Nicholas and Sophia, who joined her sweet Julia in heaven. In addition to some beautiful preemie knits she made with love (and which will be going to the hospital with me this week!), she sent these gorgeous name cards that I hung in their isolettes this morning.



17 comments:

Busted Tube said...

So glad to hear things are going well and the babies are gaining weight and making progress! It's great that you're finding ways to manage your pain too. I think of you often and send good wishes your way every day.

Just Breathe said...

Michele and Peter,
Your son & daughter are so precious, I just love them. Oh how I wish I was there with you. I pray for them all the time. I am so happy that they are doing so well. OMG they are a week old already, I can't believe it. It hardly seems real. Thank you for the great news. I just love the pictures and will spend time tomorrow opening each one and looking at them closely. Michele you are looking better, I'm glad about that. You have been through so much. God has blessed you and I couldn't be happier for both of you. Your a family of 4 and you will be so busy. Rest, rest, rest!
I know that from my point of view you don't need to thank everyone, we know how much the gifts mean to you. Thanking everyone on your blog is great. You have way to much to do with your time. I just love waiting for your post each day. Take care and God bless. I am just so HAPPY for you! Love, Debby

Michelle said...

Yay!! more photos!! How good they're already gaining weight! I don't know much about premmies but a full term baby is supposed to lose a bit of weight right after birth, and then steadily gain again. So for your babies to have gained already is remarkable. Bobby's fingers are so long! They both look so precious, I'm so happy for you.

Anonymous said...

They are tiny but they are healthy. I just praise the Lord for them. Anne

B said...

Beautiful. A strawberry blonde - just like me!

Sending more love and prayers and a big hug to your family. Grow babies. Grow big and strong like your mama.

Jessica said...

Michele, your babies are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us. They are a precious gift from god. Your blog gives some if not all of us hope that we will have our own precious gifts from God. I am glad to hear all is well with your babies. Try to rest yourself if you can.

MrsG182 said...

The babies look beautiful and I am so glad to hear they are doing so well. Its great to see their little faces with out the CPAP tubes :) I hope your staple removal goes well and the infection clears up. Keep posting pictures for us, my 7 year old daughter and I just love them!

Happy 19 month birthday Sophia :)

A n T said...

So glad to hear that all is going so well! Hope that your c-section starts to heal a lot quicker after the staples are removed!

Alisha said...

I've been living under a rock with no internet! I was so shocked to log on today and see your babies were here.... for a week! I am so happy to hear that all is going so well. I will pray for a speedy recovery for you. Ouchie! Much love being sent your way. Congrats!!

sonja said...

Is it possible that the babies get more beautiful everyday? =)

I am glad to hear you've worked out a routine and that Bobby and Maya continue to improve.

Hope you start feeling less pain from your c-section soon ...

gwinne said...

I'm so glad the babies are doing well. The c-section? Sucks. I didn't have an infection but did have significant draining from the incision and substantial scar tissue (it went away by 4-mo, or I would have needed another surgery to remove it!!). Can't understand why anyone would choose c-section, but to each her own I suppose. I hope you're feeling better soon.

Muriel said...

What fabulous news that Maya and Bobby are doing so well. Their pix I'm sure don't do them justice but they are gorgeous. Maya's hair is beautiful. You are all in my prayers. May you soon be able to have them home with you.

AKD said...

They are so precious and beautiful. I am so happy for you that they're doing so well.

Michelle said...

YAY I love reading that they are doing well. They are getting stronger and stronger and soon you will be a family at home. :) HUGS!

djsmom@live.com said...

sounds like the babies are doing well! My cerclage journey began today, so I am in bed now.

addingtothepack said...

How great to hear that those beautiful babies are doing so well. I am glad you were able to make the NICU schedule work for you today. Hopefully it will only get easier from here as you heal.

Thinking of Sophia today as well.

bankshot said...

YAY! and YAY~ness!!! It is so wonderful to hear how great your babies are doing... progressing so quickly, and growing so fast... won't be long til you can take them home... what a blessed event to look forward to! I am so happy for you and your family! Always in our thoughts and prayers! ~Michelle n twins (who measured via u/s 2# 14oz and 2# 15 oz.YAY... :)