Sunday, June 28, 2009

One of the Differences

One of the differences between NICU and home is feeding on a schedule (NICU) or on demand (home). This translates into a difference of a half-ounce weight gain per day (NICU) and a one 1/2 to two-ounce weight gain per day (home). Bridget has quite a bit of weight to make up. But as of last night she's moved from 4 lbs 9 oz on Wednesday to 4 lbs 15 oz on Satuday night.

It also means the difference between a fine poop in a diaper and a blow out that leaves a spray pattern 3 feet along the wall and the ceiling. Yeah. We nearly called in CSI to get an analysis of the poopie crime.

You can imagine with that sort of force going out that we're having some gas pains going in. We're recognizing the differences in cries: I'm hungry! I really need to burp!! You people are idiots!!! We recognize the last one from Conor's days as a newborn.

It's going well, altogether. And we're looking forward to Christopher coming home tomorrow. And no, we're not going to be feeding both twins separately on demand. Whoever is hungriest gets to start the dual feeding session. And we already know Christopher is still hungry in NICU. We cannot wait to get him home and introduce him to the two-for-one daily special at the milk bar.

Soon, we think they are going to both be on the "typical" growth charts soon.

I hear squeaks. It's time to go give Bridget the nummies she wants and needs.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bridget is Home

So I wrote the title of this blog about 12 hours ago. I am now hoping to write the rest of the entry.

Hooray! Bridget is home! She came home on Wednesday and it was a hell worse than you can imagine leaving Christopher there. However, as we left, we saw one of Christopher's neighbor's moms. Her son had been in NICU for 2 1/2 months already and is likely to stay there for another 2 1/2 months. So our complaining about leaving Christopher for 4 more days seemed very trivial in comparison to the 5 months her son is staying in NICU.

Nonetheless, it sucks. And it's wonderful because Bridet is home. And it's stunningly tiring now that she's home, too. I haven't been sleeping because I've been pumping. But now I'm getting even less sleep and I'm not sure I can even focus on the words on this page.

Yes, I am fully aware that it's going to get tougher when Christopher comes home. But at least then, I won't have to shower or get dressed. I can stay in my pajamas all day and nurse and pump and give them supplements until they get strong enough to fully breastfeed.

As far as that goes, Bridget does well, and then, not so much. But I'm still having to pump to provide enough food for Christopher, too, and work around his schedule at the hospital.

Must go. She's crying. This is probably as good as it will get any time soon.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Whole NICU Thing

NICU. Yuck. And then not as bad as it was.

That's the summary of our twins' stay in NICU. The first part of them being there, with all their alien looking tubes and wires was not fun at all. And then they got off the tubes and most of the wires and we got to hold them and breastfeed them and it wasn't so bad.

But it is still sort of bad. The NICU is very noisy. There are alarms going off all the time. Some to let you know that the babies' monitors have come unattached. Some to let you know they have too little or too much oxygen in their bloodstream. And the worst of all, the brady monitors, which tell you that they've stopped breathing and their heart rate is going down below 80. This monitor's alarm is 3 very loud, very short beeps. You can hear them all over the NICU. The sound is so pervasive that I hear them in the house sometime. (Ghost bradys). A police car with its light and siren on came up behind us the other day and I thought it was a brady alarm.

Any time one of these alarms goes off, parents freak out to check whether it's their child and the nurses all stop what they are doing and run over to the child whose alarm is going off. If it's a "good" brady, the baby will recover on his or her own. If it's a moderate brady, a nurse provides gentle stimulation by patting the baby to get the baby to start breathing again. A bad brady requres a dose of caffeine to start the breathing process again. They actually have an espresso coffee machine going to feed them a shot of coffee. (Just kidding! That espresso is for us!) :-)

So NICU is noisy and alarming, in every sense of the word. And the worst is the brady alarms. The reason this has more meaning for us today than it did yesterday is that Christopher has started having a few more bradys again. Last week, during the doctor's rounds, they said Christopher's last "moderate" brady was June 13. Because he was eating so well, they and we thought we could bring him home on Sunday, seven days after his last brady requiring stimulation. Then on Friday, the 18th, he had a brady while breastfeeding in which I had to remove him from my breast so he would start breathing again. (He didn't remember to start breathing on his own). That meant he would stay in longer and we thought this Wednesday the 24th. Then yesterday, he had another brady while breastfeeding. And last night he had a brady that required gentle stimulation while he was sleeping. (That one is the worst)

Now, we don't know what is going on. Bridget is coming home on Wednesday. She has had very very few bradys to begin with and her last one requiring gentle stimulation was June 13th. And she is going through an amazing growth spurt right now and eating like a wild baby and putting on weight.

After last night's brady, I am doubtful that he'll get to come home Wednesday, too. We are hoping he can come home on Friday, and I will have taken the infant CPR class on Thursday night. If he does come home this week, he is going to be on an apnea monitor. This is a little belt that goes around his chest to measure breathing and heart rate and sounds an AMAZINGLY LOUD alarm should his breathing or heart rate get too low. When/if the alarm goes off, after we all pry ourselves off the ceiling, we run over to him and do something. (I'm assuming that training from the hospital will tell us what we are supposed to do)

The good news is that preemies outgrow bradys. In fact, term babies have bradies all the time, they are just not monitored as closely as preemies, and they likely recover on their own. Usually, preemies outgrow bradies by term. (3 more weeks for us). A very few children continue to have bradys for the first 6 months. (I hope that's not our guy!) And best of all, there is not a relationship between bradys and SIDS.

We're just playing the waiting game with Christopher for his brain to mature enough to remember to breathe all the time. It's really not an uncommon problem, it's just a pain and very worrisome to his parents. And I don't know how long we will go until we don't hear brady alarms all over the place. That's the weirdest part about NICU. It's really pervasive, beyond just the hospital.

Now for some cuteness:

This is Christopher last week.

This is Bridget last week.

I may be short on words in the next few days, but I'm going to be posting more pictures. They are getting cuter and cuter every day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Whole Breastfeeding Thing

Long time readers may recall that I breastfed my son. Forever. It was a relatively easy experience and definitely rewarding. I expected that breastfeedingt twins would be different. But breastfeeding twins in the NICU is a whole other experience.

The first thing to note is that I'm pumping almost exclusively. And I know that many people who pump exclusively have a hard time getting and maintaining an adequate milk supply. I have a good idea why: the pumping schedule given to me by the NICU lactation consultants is (sort of) appropriate for singletons and not even close to appropriate for twins. At one point, someone said "This is what you need to pump for twins, but you need to make double what this schedule says."

I'm not economist, but I think I have a better idea of that following a guide to make supply equal demand for singltetons and just "hoping" it doubles for twins is not appropriate.

So the first thing I did was based on my experience nursing Conor: I pretended I was actually feeding the twins and pumped as often as they thought they would want to eat. Lactation Consultant Caustic (LCC) immediately called me irresponsible on day 2 of pumping for not following her directions, saying I would mess up my nipps before I really needed to use them. I, still being a bit hormonal, was pretty annoyed.

I then checked the NICU chapter of my Mothering Multiples Book, one of the best books I've found on this journey. Instead of the 8 pumping times as recommended by LCC, the author recommends pumping 10 times in 24 hours, with 1 to 2 more sessions if you want your body to know you're serious about breastfeeding your twins. I did pump 12 times for a couple of days, but for the most part, I'm pumping 11 times per day. I'm currently right on schedule to have enough milk at the end of two weeks to support to good sized babies.

Let's review that: I am pumping 3 times more per day than recommended and I'm right on schedule. I can tell you right now, those 3 extra pumpings make all the difference. All the nurses in NICU are amazed at my supply....and I keep pointing out that the schedule women are given is not adequate to produce enough milk. It's even more important because the easiest time to increase supply is the first two weeks. After that it gets more difficult. So I'm willing to do this pumping schedule for two weeks and then figure out how I can maintain it until the babies are breastfeeding fulltime.

So, yes. The goal is not for me to pump for the twins. the goal is for me to breastfeed (mostly exclusively) the twins. The good news is that both children "get it". The bad news, or actually the typical preemie news, is that it's going to be a while before they are strong enough to breastfeed for most of their feedings. And you know what? That's absolutely ok. My perspective on what is "normal" and the "right path" for preemies is evolving and is not even close to the same for what happens for term babies.

My children are doing great in learning how to breastfeed and I am so proud of them. (As an aside: how is it possible to fall so hard in love with two people that I have just met? I honestly get overwhelmed with how wonderful and amazing they are. I think knowing how much I love Dave and Conor makes me see how much love I can feel and it's really damn easy to feel it for these two children) So back to being proud of my twins.

Christopher actually got off to a slower start than Bridget did. And I just figured out today that it just may be his style: he likes to take his time and enjoy his fresh from the breast gourmet milk. He does not like to be rushed as he indicated by grabbing my boob with both hands when I tried to remove him thought he had fallen asleep. So he takes a while.

Bridget, on the other hand, well...cue to the 70's music by Heart Barracuda. (I love YouTube) The girl likes to eat. Her first time breastfeeding was like she had never eaten before. Guess what? At 7 days old, that was the truth. And she ate like she meant it. I've been underestimating how much she's been getting because she's on and off so quickly compared to Christopher. But then I realized that she nurses so strongly that she loosens my toenails.

Plus, yesterday I felt so guilty about trying to push her into nursing. She started off really well on Sunday. Monday was good but not great. And then on Tuesday and Wednesday, she just sort of pooped out. This is all part of that two steps forward, one step back issue with preemies. They had to start gavaging her (feeding her through a tube in her nose) because she was too pooped to even bottle feed. This is a problem because she doesn't get her get of jail free card until she can eat for 3 days from either a bottle or from me and still gain weight. And here I was really trying to push her to nurse and she just really needed to get her strength about her.

The whole preemie thing is really humbling. Even more than with term babies, you have to wait and let them set the pace. And the advice one gets for term babies? It's not appropriate for preemies. It just doesn't work.

So, as I have multiple times over the last 12 days, I take another step back and see where they are on this journey. The good news is that we're now approaching 48 hours since Christopher's last brady (a brady occurs when they forget to breathe and their heartrate drops down). He has to go one week with no bradys to get his get out of jail free card. They are thinking he will be ready to leave in one week. I would really prefer that this issue resolves before we go home. And how will it resolve? His brain will mature and breathing will be automatic for him like it is for you.

Bridget needs to figure out how to eat. She will. It is highly unlikely that she is going to enter kindergarten still being fed by a nasal gavage. We just have to wait until she develops enough strength and stamina to eat her food. She has the skills; she just needs the energy. I can wait happily and patiently for that, too. I'm also learning how to bottle feed her. They won't let her go home with us until both Dave and I can demonstrate bottle feeding skills. Dave gets a pass on the breastfeeding.

It will probably take until they are 40 weeks or past until they can fully breastfeed. They just hit 36 weeks yesterday. It may take 4 to 8 more weeks before we have an easy time with the breastfeeding around here. No problem. I can wait. And we will figure it out together.


Bonus track: the Jesus Jones song for Right Here Right Now. Loves it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

So What Happened?

I should be getting my final nap of the day, but I also feel the real need to get this out. So writing wins over napping, at least in this instance.

So why on earth did we have the babies last week? I had been in the hospital for 5 days for the pre-eclampsia. It wasn't getting better, but it wasn't getting worse. I was still hitting blood pressure highs of greater than 160/100. But the numbers stayed in the 160's and in the low 100's, so even though those numbers were bad, the doctors were willing to wait awhile as long as they could watch me closely in the hospital. In fact, Friday's doctor went ahead and scheduled my c-section in two more weeks: June 19th. I would have been term for twins and it was only 14 more days. I was honestly so excited to have a concrete goal to work towards. And I figured that, really, once I had 7 more days under my (enormous) belt, the next 7 days would be gravy.


At exactly 2:00 am, I suddenly awoke and heard and felt a pop. And immediately afterwards, I was soaked. I hit the nurse call button and told them my water had broke. I called up Dave and told him my water had broken and he came to the hospital immediately. (Honestly, it wasn't 10 minutes until he was there). The nurses arrived and it was absolutely clear to everyone that not only had my water broken, it had completely broken. This was no leak that we could watch and wait. I started having real contractions and there was more and more water until there wasn't.

At 4:05, Bridget was born and they rushed her literally straight into the neonatologist's and NICU nursing staff's arms. I don't think I got to see her before they took her to NICU. Dave said that he saw them break Christopher's water which "gushed like a fountain." Then Dave saw Christopher stick a hand out of my belly, check out what was going on and then scurry back inside the warm part of my belly. He was also so jammed up in my ute that they had to fish around for him and stand on top of my stomach to force him out. It was such an ordeal to get him out of me that Dave got a little lightheaded and had to sit down. He arrived at 4:08 and I did get to see him before he was rushed down to NICU.

Then they started closing me up which took FOREVER. The doctor said something about the "layers" he had to sew through and I asked him if he just called me fat and we decided, No, it was more like I was Shrek, an ogre with lots of layers.

They took me down to recovey to stabilize. And they kindly refrained from giving me the incapacitating magnesium sulfate for about 5 hours. During that time, they wheeled me down to NICU so I could at least see my babies for the first and only time for the next 24 hours. They were obviously adorable, but they were also covered in tubes and wires and big space alien hats to help them breathe. And that just about killed me. I felt like such a failure that I had not been able to keep them inside me to term. Everyone kept congratulating me and telling me how big they were, and all I kept thinking was just that one more week would have made a tremendous difference and I couldn't do it.

I went back to recovery and got the mag. They waited to see if I had any reactions. I had none out of the ordinary and I went back to my room.

After the required 24 hours, I got off the mag and the first thing I did was go to see the babies. Actually, no. The first thing I tried to do was to get out of my bed to go see the babies. Oh. My. God. For those of you who have only had c-sections, bless your little hearts. Vaginal births are so much easier and less painful. Yes, they are messier because the doc doesn't vacuum out your ute after you give birth, but they are far, far less painful than c-sections. Even now, more than a week later, I'm in far more pain with the c-section than I was with Conor's birth.

So I finally got to see Bridget and Christopher again. Not much had changed. They were still looking like alien babies with all their tubes and wiring and I was still crying and feeling like a shit that they weren't still inside me.

I also noted the new sound track in my head. I always have background music playing in my head that often lets me know what is going on for me emotionally. I have no doubt that is some sign of weirdness, but I like it, especially when it's a new song and it's tells me something about myself. In this case, I heard two songs: "I want my baby back, baby back, baby back. I want my baby back, baby back, baby back, baby back, baby back." That one is no surprise. It's a little too literal to be that insightful.

The other song was more of a surprise and much more moving. I'm not sure why my psyche chose this song and I can see that Jesus Jones originally sang it in the past tense, but I hear it in the present tense, but here is what keeps playing in my head:
In my head, the babies are singing the first part and I answer to them that there is no place I'd rather be than right beside them as they wake up to be in this world.

Yes, well, it feels emotional to me and makes me want to be by their side pretty much every waking moment. Something I was hoping to be doing with them at home and not in NICU.

So when another doctor asked me wasn't I relieved to not be pregnant any more? Wasn't I relieved to have everything resolved? I could only answer incredulously that No, I was not relieved. I wanted them to still be in my belly and I didn't want them to be in NICU. Wow. He was shocked. When I told one of my nurses, she said yes, I was unlike 90 to 95% of the other women in the special maternity ward at the hospital. Every other one of them, except me, wanted their baby or babies out of them as soon as possible. Maybe their children wouldn't end up in NICU like mine, but why take that risk? My discomfort for two more weeks felt like very little in comparison to keeping them healthy.

Of course, Bridget had other ideas and that's why we're here. The choices were made and we had our babies.

So an update on the twins: Briget is a fiesty little firecracker. She knows what she likes and what she doesn't. And she doesn't like the CPAP breathing assistance on her head. She came off for a while and then went back on. I actually saw her levitate in anger about having to be back on it and she has an open prescription to have "kiddie valium" should she need it. However, now that they've kept her off of it, she has calmed down. She was diagnosed with PDA, a not uncommon problem in preemies in which their heart doesn't completely switch over from being in utero to the outside world. She's been on special medicine (essentially, ibuprofen) for the last three days and we find out today whether it has cured her. So far, the signs are good: the murmur that let them know it was there has not been heard since the first treatment. Should the echo cardiogram show it's gone, she gets to start eating again and I think she'll start on a quick recovery, just like her brother.

As the doctor said it, Christopher is taking the easy way out. He's cruising his way out of NICU, while his sister plays the drama queen. He's up to full feeding and last night lustily ate all of his first bottles. I am thrilled because I have been breastfeeding him and using kangaroo care for the last two days. He has a wonderful latch and is doing quite well getting his nummies. Of course, yesterday we had a bit of a setback with Nurse Control A Lot not wanting me to either breastfeed him nor hold him. So Dave informed the Charge Nurse of our problems with Nurse CAL and we had her moved off of our case. Hopefully, this morning's nurse and I will not yell at each other. Their primary nurse comes back tomorrow and not a moment too soon to be quite honest.

I'm hoping that by tomorrow, we can let Bridget try a little breastfeeding. Even if she's just playing around, I want her to know her mommy is here. Actually, I don't think she's going to play around. I think she's going to come at me like a tribble and we're going to be off and running with breastfeeding.

It's two steps forward, one step back with babies in NICU. But the ultimate movement is always forward. And that's what counts.

And here is a picture of me holding them in Kangaroo for the first time. Bridget is on the left and Chrisopher is on the left. They definitley recognized each other. And it felt like a reunion for the three of us.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two Steps Forward

The lactation consultant said we might be able to start breastfeeding this weekend. I think that would be absolutely amazing. She also said not to get discouraged because breastfeeding might be a two steps forward, one step back thing. Sort of like NICU. That really rang a bell with what feels like has been going on. We definitely see progress, but there's also been times which have felt discouraging. In any case, today was definitely a two steps forward day:


Bridget got to have her first air trial (3 hours without the CPAP) and Christopher got to continue his trials. (He didn't have one yesterday afternoon because he had had an episode of apnea--he forgot to breathe, which is not uncommon. But still bothersome) In any case, Bridget started off in kangaroo care on my chest and Christopher started on Dave's chest.

We have been asking for Kangaroo care since they were born. Kangaroo care is basically skin to skin contact between a caregiver and a baby. It has been linked to less time in the NICU, more breastmilk, and greater bonding between the caregivers and the babies. We have waited until they have been off the CPAP since that is supposed to be a bit easier.

For me, when they put Bridget on my chest, it was amazing. She snuggled up under my chin and all of a sudden, I felt a bolt of oxytocin run throughout my body as much as if I had received an IV. Oxytocin is that feel good hormone that women get while breastfeeding. This was the first time I've felt oxytocin without breastfeeding and it was obvious and amazing.

And I got to see, smell and interact with my daughter!! She has hair too!! And she is so cute. Her face is so, so pretty. No curly hair for her. She's got Dave's hair. And I got to smell her beautiful baby head. Baby's heads smell so good and it was the first time I got to smell hers.

Then Dave and Christopher settled in beside Bridget and me. I got to see Christopher's hair, too! It's just like Bridget's. They are going to have thick, dark hair like Dave's side of the family. After a while, I realized I really wanted to hold Christopher, too. So our NICU nurse moved all Christopher's wires and snuggled him on my chest alongside Bridget.

Oh. My. Lord. They immediately snuggled their heads together so that their eyes, noses, and mouths were nearly touching. My oxytocin increased even more and I might as well have been stoned. I also felt like the three of us were reunited. Bridget, Christopher and Mommy together again for the first time in 5 days. And I'm telling you that having them both on my chest, I have absolutely no idea how they both fit in my ute. Yes, that was a big ass belly. I just didn't realize it until they were free and on my chest. (Yes, there are pictures, but Dave has the camera at home taking pictures of the amazing work that is going on at the old house. Lots of stuff is happening around here)

Christopher and Bridget stayed on my chest for another 30 minutes and then they got back under their billi lights. I came back up to my room and pumped double the amount I've been pumping today. So I vouch for the increase in amount during kangaroo care.

And yes, I'm still in the hospital. My blood pressure remains really, really high and they want to work on the dosage. Depending on what happens tonight, I could be in for another night.

This was by far the best day we've had since the babies have been born. I, of course, have more to debrief on including people's expectations that I must be really happy to have them out of my belly already and also pumping instead of breastfeeding. However, I'm starting to snore and I'm still awake. I think I need to go take a break.

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Let's start with the ugly. That would be me as a finalist in the "Show us your Guts" contest. Indeedy, I may be a winner by the time you read this. (If it's still Monday, go vote on for the freaky woman with the ginormous belly. The main competition is She-ripped who is pretty and her abs are rock hard!) And yes, I am un-anonymizing (a word?) myself and I am not usually this unattractive. It is actually the last picture of the babies inside me. Dave took it Monday night while I was resting in the hospital. I knew after he took it that I looked freakily enormous and apparently, quite a few TMZ readers agree with my assessment. (One of my nurses just stopped by and said that everyone on this shift is voting for me. Awwww!) Updated: Voting still going on Tuesday.

So that's the ugly. Let's move on to the bad. Although I am feeling a thousand times better today than I did yesterday, having our babies in the NICU is hard. Folks, it is just hard. I had my children 3 days ago and I have yet to hold them. I haven't even seen Christopher's hair, which I've heard is dark brown. His CPAP is covering his head and there are tubes coming out of his nose and there is tape all over his face. Today, I did get to hold a pacifier in for him while he was waiting for his food. I have held Bridget's hand and foot, but she is quite the firecracker (according to the nurses) and will get angry if she is disturbed too much. So I can't really interact with her yet because it hurts her breathing, her oxygen intake and her heart rate. That sort of sucks, in case you were wondering. I know (hope, believe) that I will be able to hold and bond and parent my children, but at this point, I feel like a visitor to my own children's bedsides. And not everything is to my liking. They are in separate isolettes. My understanding is that twins do much better when they are healing together. Another problem is that a friend who works here was so excited to tell me that they'll be on a schedule when they leave her. I looked at her and had to explain, that's not really my parenting style. I fully understand that twins cannot be "on demand" like singletons, but I've got to learn more about this whole scheduling thing. Surely, they aren't "Baby Wise" in the NICU.

In any case, having one's children in the NICU is hard. It is not fun. It is not "oh, everything will be fine in just a few weeks." It is tough now and it will be tough for a while, especially since our little ones are going to be there for a couple of weeks.

So, now, let's turn to the Good. Bridget has finally picked up some speed on her recovery. And my output from pumping has picked up considerably. Since the only thing that I can do for my babies is pump milk, it's taken on some serious importance to me. But first, the progress of Christopher and Bridget. (Holy cow! I have two new people in my family! I can't wait to get to meet them and know them!!!) Christopher is a giant among preemies. And despite my predictions of his very active self from all his kicking, he follows in his father's and his brother's mellow styles of being. He is eating well--so well, they've increased his feeding schedule. He has had at least 2 if not 3 trials of breathing of his own and has done well. He is really doing great.

Bridget is taking a little longer than him to hit the NICU milestones--"not progressing as well" as one nurse said. Usually they have problems with the Wimpy White Boys in NICU. She was showing signs of being a Whimpy White Girl. Last night, when we went to bed, we were told that if she didn't start breathing with less than 25% (30%?) oxygen, they were going to have to do a chest x-ray to look for fluid on her lungs or other problems. This morning, when I called at 5 am, I found out that she had stayed below the required oxygen all night long and didn't need the chest x-ray. I was thrilled. She even got to start eating today and we came down for her first feeding. It was pretty exciting to watch the food go down her tube while she sucked on a pacifier. Yes, let's wander back to the bad since that is not how anyone envisions their child's first meal.

Folks, I am thrilled about these beautiful little babies that have completed our family. And I am heartbroken sitting in my hospital room by myself without them. And I feel guilty as hell that I had all these health problems and I couldn't carry them to term. I am proud of myself that they were as big as they were. But I still feel sort of like a failure that I couldn't make it any longer. And I feel a little bit angry at the doctor's for not giving them steroids for lung development earlier. I know that their delivery caught everyone by surprise, but still. And Kate/Ema did ask why they didn't do that. Have I even told their birth story yet?

In any case, I have more to write about. But I do need to get some sleep. I'm pumping in another hour, but still, those naps help me rest up.

I know everyone reacts differently. And I'm glad to have these premature babies in this day and age. But I would really rather that they never spent an hour in NICU, much less two to three weeks. I wish they were in my room and in my arms practicing their nursies right now.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Quick update from the hospital. The babies decide that their birthday should be June 6. We like it because they can both have a 6: 6/6.

Bridget Ann is 4 lbs 8 oz and has her father's and brother's feet and toes. Christopher Robert (aka Chunky Monkey) is 6 lbs 1 oz and is FAT for a preemie baby.

They are doing well for 34 week 3 day babies. They are in NICU and are both on a CPAP. The good news is that both are breathing room air---air with no added oxygen. We are hoping that tomorrow they can start eating through a syringe. I've been pumping a lot of colostrum, and we're hoping my milk comes in on Monday. They are likley to stay in NICU for about 2 to 3 weeks.

I will update more when I can. I am exhausted and very, very happy to meet our wonderful new children. NICU isn't great, but they are doing well in there.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Felled by Gonzaga

We took this picture the first night in the hospital not knowing if this would be our last one. I'm nearly 34 weeks here. And if you do not think I am enormous, you are not paying attention.

Honestly, my belly is so big, I am bruising my thighs. When I get out of bed, my enormous rock hard belly squeezes/pinches my thighs down onto the bed as I stand up. As a result, my inner thighs are injured by my big, fat belly.

I can also barely waddle. My pubic bone joint is injured and I cannot take full steps any more. So I walk/waddle in tiny little steps to get from the bed to the toilet, my main exercise for the day. I am a vision of super model loveliness, let me tell you.

So what's the reference to Gonzaga? Well, I came up with what I think is an apt analogy of what we're doing right now. In this analogy, I am Chapel Hill/Carolina and this is the NCAA tournament. My focus is and has always been on defeating Duke (DOOK!) in the finals, essentially going to 37 weeks or before. However, any good basketball fan knows that you focus on the game at hand and not the ultimate game. Otherwise, your current opponent will whip your ass, and you'll show up on the sports shows as the Big Upset of the tournament.

Week 34 is Gonzaga. I want to beat Gonzaga. I could beat Gonzaga on most days. But Gonzaga can be a formidable underdog and have beaten better teams than I. So yes, Gonzaga has a real chance of winning this game. As of today, the game has started. By the weekend, we'll be in half-time and we can see how things are going. Or Gonzaga may kick my ass so bad in the next couple of days, they call the game in Gonzaga's favor. Or my body commits so technical foul and we get thrown out of the game. Either one of these options is possible.

Should we be so fortunate to beat Gonzaga this week, we can move forward in the tournie. Any suggestions who Week 35 should be? I was thinking an ACC team (besides DOOK) but I can expand my mind.

So far today, my BP has been reasonable. I didn't gain any weight over night (that's been 2 days now that I haven't gained weight---very good for the edema). I think that we should be able to get the game started against Gonazaga and then we can figure out our strategy for the rest of the first half.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The More Things Change.....

Well, I'm back in the hospital.

The urine dip stick thingy at the doctor's came back at +3 and they just sent me stright to the hospital. Once here, my blood pressure has been elevated but stable. I'm on another 24 hour urine collection thingy to see how much protein I'm dropping. The good news is that the urine dips have all been +1 today instead of the +3 yesterday. Hopefully, the 24 count is not too crazy.

I would have written a happier blog because my regular OB has been thinking I can be in here for a while--that is, delivery is not imminent. But then I just saw the high risk dude who thinks that 34 weeks is "good enough" and that my blood pressure is high and he wants to deliver sooner rather than later. I do not want to be "good enough." I want best for my babies and for me.

His daughter was delivered at 34 1/2 weeks and everything was just fine for them, so there shouldn't be a problem for us, either. It annoys me. We'll see what my OB says.

The good news is that Peanut (the girl) is now over 5 lbs and Squiggle (the boy) is 6 lbs 5 oz. I think that's an overestimate for him. He has not gained one pound in one week. I just don't believe it. But I bet he is over 6 lbs. 11 lbs of babies in my belly feels about right. I hope I can get last night's belly shots uploaded tonight. I am ENORMOUS.

On a weirder, but cooler note, I have interacted with 3 other Anita's today. My nurse is Anita. My dietician is Anita. The ultra-sonographer is Anita. And here we have me. 4 Anitas in one place. The world will explode!!!

I'll wait and see what the protein results are and what my regular OB says. I am NOT going to let them delivery me tomorrow just because the babies are in a "good enough" place.