Saturday, May 30, 2009

One Month Today

One month ago I looked like this. Apparently I was blogging after my water broke early in the morning, though the Ambien I took earlier the night before meant that I don't remember much from the time my water broke at 2 a.m. until they wheeled me into the surgery room at 4:30.

Now look at these two. Totally growing every day before our eyes it seems. We can't wait to see what is in store for them!

Three reasons why Emily's dance recital didn't go well...

1. At the beginning of the first dance the bright lights flipped on after the entire stage was dark. The brightness apparently hurt Emily's eyes and she pulled her dress up over her eyes and left it there for the entire song.

2. During the second song she got an itch on her bum and used the tule skirt on her fancy dance costume to scratch it.

3. When picking Em up from back stage after the "performance" her dance teacher told me the only way she got Emily to go back on stage after the first dance (because of the bright light issue) was to bribe her with a trip to Chucky Cheese.

Looks like we're having gross pizza for dinner on Monday night! On a better note, Scott and I are now more secure about our decision to skip out on dance next year and to try soccer instead! :)

And don't worry. We sprang for the $24 DVD (you can't record the show yourself) and we fully intend on sharing both #1 and #2 after we pick up the DVD on 6/22. I hope one day Emily will look back on today and laugh!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Big Girl

With the arrival to TWO new babies we were a little worried about how Emily would adjust. I had read everything from preschool-aged children shying away and becoming withdrawn, to the extreme of actually harming their new sibling. Needless to say there was concern.

I remember one day when a couple of weeks ago when I was running back and forth from home to the hospital. Mom was here, and she and I decided to take Emily to the indoor play area (see earlier post a few weeks ago) in-between the 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. feeding. I was exhausted and trying to be tough while our two precious babies were still in the Special Care Nursery, but I was at my limit. Then I watched Emily play. Of all things to cry about, I all of the sudden got teary as I watched her run around and have such a good time. I worried that she would get lost in the shuffle with two new babies. I worried that she wouldn't feel as loved as before. I worried that she would resent her new brother and sister. My mom asked me what was wrong and when I tried to explain how I was worried about not spending enough time with Emily, she responded, "Malisa, you and Scott dote on Emily. She'll be fine."

And I knew she was right. We do dote on Emily. She knows what a joy she is, and I know she always will know that.

Not to say we haven't had our disciplinary moments since the homecoming of the babies. Luckily the only issues involving the babies have been an over-eagerness to help, which is to be expected. But she has pushed her limits with me, specifically when I am nursing the babies. Emily is no dummy. She knows that I can't always get up to discipline her and put her in time-out when I am feeding Elsie and Eli. And she takes full advantage of the situation. I've had to really work on being consistent with disciplining her regardless of what I'm in the middle of doing. Thank goodness I'm stubborn. That has come in handy!

And slowly we are adding to the independence that Emily has around the house. Doing things for herself makes Emily feel older and bigger, and she likes it. I think its important for her to feel this way during this time in our family. She is a natural leader, much to the chagrin of her preschool teacher who sometimes struggled with getting Emily to understand who was boss. (same issue at home with me sometimes!)We are trying to use this personality trait to our benefit at home so that Emily can do more things for herself. So far she makes her own bed and dresses herself. She can buckle herself into her booster seat in the car. She brings her plate to the sink after meals, and helps unload the silverware from the dishwasher. She brushes her hair and teeth, though of course Scott always follows behind her to check for "cavity spots" as he calls them. I'm thinking of developing a check list of two or three things for her to do every morning before play time. The first couple will have the previous items on it, and I'll gradually add more.

While it takes more time to teach Em how to do these things at first, it certainly pays off in her self-confidence and my ability to get everybody out of the house on time. I'm wondering if anybody has any other "a-ha" tasks that you gradually put in your child's realm of responsibility at age four.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Our Growing Babies

Today I took the babies back to the pediatrician for a weight check. Last week Elsie weighed 4 lbs. 14 oz and today she weighed 5 lbs. 11 oz. At last week's weigh in Elias weighed 5 lbs. 11 oz and today he weighed 6 lbs. 2 oz.

Obviously they both grew more than expected, which is fabulous and a huge load off. At last check last week Elias only grew a half ounce per day, and I worried this past week since that appointment that maybe he wasn't getting enough when nursing. Every time he ate I second-guessed if I was able to give them both enough to grow adequately. Worrying about this may sound silly, but I quickly remembered the same concerns that I had while nursing Emily those first few weeks. Our pediatrician still wants me to continue the supplement of Neosure but doesn't think it will be necessary to continue past four weeks.

I've found that for the most part, people (outside the medical world) aren't too encouraging when I tell them I am breastfeeding my twins. Many people act as though it won't last, and maybe "reality" will set in at some point and I will realize I can't do this. Other people make comments about how I should not feel bad when I can't nurse any more because at least "I tried." True. I won't feel bad if I have to stop nursing. I wish that more moms of twins in the hospital's Special Care unit had the support that I did from my family to breastfeed. But I am pretty sure i was the only mom of twins out of the four other pair who nursed.

There are many things that have been explained to me in the past month regarding milk supply and twins. I've also learned about how a mom's body automatically produces certain amino acids to give to the babies in-utero during the final weeks of gestation, and how when a mom delivers a baby (or babies in my case) premature, the mom's milk supply automatically includes those amino acids so the babies don't miss out on the important amino acids.

All of this information and the new confirmation that YES my twins can thrive on what I supply them amazes me. I am amazed at how God created the entire process. It is so brilliant. It is encouraging. And when I get exhausted from the 8-19 feedings a day times two babies I remind myself that I CAN DO THIS. I was designed to do this. And God will give me strength to breastfeed two babies for as long as He wants me to.

And of course, those who know me know that with every nay-sayer comes a fresh attitude of "I'll show you!" I am stubborn and determined.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

First Bath

We took several pictures of Emily during her first bath. I reviewed them recently and it occurred to me that she hadn't yet lost her umbilical cord at the time of her first bath. We were told with the babies that we needed to wait until both had lost their cords, and until Elias' had healed after his circumcision.

So last night was the big first bath. Here are some pictures to highlight the momentous occasion:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

8 Things

Who knew I could find the time? :)
Here you go Katie... and have a great time at Ben's wedding today!

Eight things I'm looking forward to...

1. Giving the babies their first bath this afternoon

2. Homegrown tomatoes

3. Scott being out of school for the summer

4. Taking Emily and the babies on a walk across the dam in our new double jogging stroller (thanks Dad!)

5. Emily's dance recital

6. The end of our bi-weekly pediatrician appointments. We love Dr. Cope, but we've seen enough of him for now thanks!

7. Seeing relationships grow between my children

8. Fitting back into my swim suit so I can take Em to the pool at some point this summer

Eight things I did yesterday...
1. Nursed the babies (8 times yesterday X 2 )

2. Went to the lactation consultant

3. Painted my toenails and gave myself a pedicure. Gotta love the Ped Egg

4. Cried when I thought of how quickly the three weeks with my mom here flew by

5. Took a nap

6. Brought the babies to visit my kids in my classroom

7. Turned in my letter of resignation

8. Saw many great friends at work that I love so much

Eight things I wish I could do...

1. Discover oil in South Carolina so my parents could move here

2. Rip out my carpet and install hardwoods (I won't mention the kitchen wallpaper... the list could be endless!)

3. Sleep for more than three hours at a time

4. Slow down the time my little ones are little (Emily included!)

5. Reduce Scott's commute to work to only five minutes or less

6. Sew

7. Add five hours to each day

8. Find balance for all the aspects of my busy life

Eight shows I watch...

1. House Hunters

2. Devine Design

3. Law & Order (its all about the dun dun!)

4. Dateline

5. Diners Drive-ins and Dives

6. Chopped

7. Celebrity Apprentice

8. Desperate Housewives

I tag...

1. Scott (though he won't do it!)

2. Becky

3. Sarah

4. Sam

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This week's happenings

There has been a lot going on this week. There have been people who have left phone messages that I haven't returned, and there are many thank-you notes to be written. Please know that even though we haven't returned phone calls or sent notes with promptness, we do appreciate all the excitement and help from our family and friends!

Here are some of the many things this week has brought to the Johnson household:

1. My grandparents arrived Monday. Emily thinks her great-grandpa is her personal play toy, and great-grandma is another great help with everything around the house. We're so grateful!

2. Elsie's big appt. was yesterday. Right after the pediatrician wrote orders for yet another blood work up to be done at the hospital on Elsie, the fax came in with her previous test results. So after he walked out of the room, he was back in shortly after to rip up the orders and to explain the great news that all of her infant blood screen results now showed normal levels in all areas. What an answer to prayer that was!

3. Emily has been so busy with dance and preschool. She's had dress rehearsal, pictures, and awards for dance. And Thursday was her last day of preschool. She dressed up as Mary Mary Quite Contrary for her Nursery Rhyme Celebration.

4. We dropped Mom off at the airport today. This is always so hard. I know that after three weeks away she was worn out and ready to be home... we are too after extended California trips and we understand the relief to be back at home. And she and my dad missed each other so much. However, Scott and I will never be able to explain how wonderful it was for her to be here. We wouldn't have made it through the last three weeks without her. And boy have three weeks flown by!

5. Tomorrow I plan on going to my school to visit my kids who I haven't seen in over a month. I can't wait! Since Elsie's blood work is normal I look forward to introducing them to class and visiting the people I work with that miss seeing every day. I will also deliver my official notice of resignation. That will be hard. I've been putting it off for a long time, but now that Scott signed his contract with his school district, we're comfortable with me putting it in writing.

6. Elsie and Eli are three weeks old today. I promise to send better pictures tomorrow, but these are some of them individually.

I'm sure you can imagine the many pediatrician, OB/GYN, and lactation appt's that we've been attending for the past two weeks. Team that up with the events above, and we really haven't had much time at home! I know that sounds crazy, but it is so true. I look forward to next week (only one pediatrician appt.) when we can hopefully hang out at home and develop some sort of a schedule.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Feeding babies, my big girl, and a glow-worm baby

Feeding the babies is quite the process. Each one nurses well, but when they are done they also are taking a supplement that I add to milk that adds calories and vitamins. They need this because they are so small. I've been bummed about this supplement because part of the benefit of nursing is not dealing with bottles, warming, and mixing. Now I still have to do that, but its okay.

A benefit of both nursing and supplement with a bottle is that others get to feed the babies. Emily is totally a help with this. She doesn't always want to sit still so long while they finish, but most of the time she sits still and very carefully holds the bottle until the baby is done. Another way she is such a big help is waking the babies. Now you are probably thinking that most moms would try to get their preschooler NOT to wake the babies, but sometimes getting them to eat is hard when they are so sleepy. Emily comes in very handy. She talks to the babies and rubs their arms and legs very gently until they wake enough to eat.

Today we had another doctor's appt. for Elsie. The thyroid results were still elevated, but our doctor doesn't seem to worry so much right now because the levels aren't very high above "normal." But her bili levels hadn't gone done, and so we have her on phototherapy. This isn't a blanket, or a bed, but rather is called a "Bilibee." It is like a soft plastic board that slides up her onsie on her back. It plugs in, and also has a battery pack. Elsie doesn't seem to mind it, and has taken great naps today with it. Hopefully this weekend on the lights will do the trick and her levels will be lowered when we return to the doctor's office on Monday. We won't go anywhere this weekend which is a welcome treat after returning to the doctor's office every morning. But I REALLY wanted to go to church since we've missed so many weeks in a row. Oh well.

Tomorrow my mom, Scott, and I are all looking forward to a relaxing morning at home. It will be the first day all week that Mom and I haven't had to run out and be at an appt. with the babies and Emily. We will celebrate with the morning paper and cups of coffee... one of Scott and my favorite Saturday morning routines.

P.S. Thanks to Grandma Sharon for sending the adorable baby clothes for Elsie and Eli, and the cute outfit Emily has on in the pictures. And also thanks for the strawberry jam you sent with mom. It is Scott's favorite, and he has just about finished off an entire jar since its arrival.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Two Weeks Old!

The past few days have been wonderful with our babies home. We have been back and forth to the pediatrician this week to make sure they are both growing, which they are. Eli now weighs 5 lbs 7 oz as of yesterday, and Elsie weighs 4 lbs. 13 oz. Both are above their birth weight.

We are also still monitoring Elsie's bili levels. We go back again tomorrow for a check. I keep telling myself that I won't get upset if we are told we need the special lights at home.

And one last item that we are still a bit concerned about is a couple of blood tests they did on Elsie (standard newborn tests) that came back elevated. We had both tests repeated yesterday, and the results of one came back today still slightly elevated. It is her thyroid, however our pediatrician told us the number was only slightly abnormal, and not anything to worry about or cause action right now. But he will monitor it. The other abnormality is her amino acids that show an abnormally high level of protein. This retest results won't be back until next week.

Our pediatrician tells us that it isn't uncommon of preemie blood work to come back with abnormalities that are actually false. And he says he sees a "very healthy baby" and isn't too concerned. We're praying that everything works itself out and looks "normal" in the coming weeks. Until then I'm thankful for a doctor who is wonderful and kind, and who explains everything patiently to a mom who has a tendency to freak out. (Same doctor who dealt with me during Emily's ear tubes/tonsil/adenoid stuff)

Right now we're just enjoying this time when they mostly eat, sleep, and yuck their pants. Between the tasks of putting milk in, and cleaning what comes out we are left with some great opportunities to snuggle up on both.

It is so fun to see them interact with each other as we co-sleep them in the same crib. Elias did manage to knock Elsie in the head today which didn't please her. But over all they really comfort each other when I place them beside the other. I can't wait to see their bond grow!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Update

Today was a bit frustrating. Not at all because the babies have had set backs, but because I really didn't care for a nurse that Elias had for most of the day. Let me start by saying that EVERY nurse we've had during the entire process has been fabulous. For this I'm grateful. However, today Elias' nurse refused to take his isolette down even a degree. His body temperature was 98.1, and like I said yesterday, the orders said to take the isolette temp down 1/2 degree as long as the body temp remained above 97.5. Last time I checked 98.1 was well above 97.5. But when I asked her about this, she said acknowledged the orders, but said she wasn't comfortable with taking the isolette temp down until he was 98.6. I wanted to shout, "BUT YOU ARE NOT THE NEONATOLGIST!?!?" But I didn't.

So, now Elsie is farther along in her 48 observation that Elias. The good news is that I called in this evening after I knew the nurse shift changed, and spoke with the nurse now on shift for Eli. She basically said she didn't understand why he stayed at the same temp all day, and that she would be turning his isolette down 1/2 degree within the hour. Mind you, he only needed 1/2 degree to be even with room temp, and come out of the isolette all together! We were so close, and yet he stayed the same all day. Not because he couldn't do it, but because he was never given the opportunity to try. Grrrr.

The good news about today is that our Emily is fabulous. She comes with us once a day to the 8 am feeding so she can also see "her babies." Though she gets a bit rambunctious towards the end (every feeding takes 1 1/2 hours with the diaper changing, clothes, swaddling, and loving) she loves her babies, and does a great job helping. She actually gets whatever I need while I try to nurse both at the same time. She helps me keep them awake to ensure they are eating enough food. She gives them their 30 CC bottle supplement after they finish nursing. And today we tried out putting a baby in her arms. She ended up (sort of) holding both at the same time. She was so excited!

While I went back and forth this morning to make the 11 am feeding, Emily and mom were at this great place down the road called "Monkey Joes." They have over ten HUGE inflatables with slides that are a couple stories tall. As you can see from the pictures, Emily isn't afraid of much! Grammy only had to scale one inflatable wall to save her when she got scared. I sort of have a picture of this, but Grammy says she'll kill me if I post it. Sorry.

Emily got rid of some energy and by noon was ready for lunch. After lunch Mom dropped me off back at the hospital for the 2 pm and 5 pm feedings while they went home to get Emily in her bed for a much needed nap. Then Scott met me at the hospital for the 5 pm feeding, and to take me home. When he comes for this feeding he bottle feeds both babies their supplements.

So that is pretty much how today went. The back and forth between feedings and transportation is pretty much like that every day. We will be so glad when we get to take them home. When I start to feel sorry for myself or get teary I just think of the first time mom of twin boys who are also in the Special Care nursery, and have been since April 6. They still have a long way to go before her boys are discharged.

Between blogging my day's frustration, and being reminded of how lucky we are, and how much God has given us, I will make an exit from my pitty party and get over it. Tomorrow will be a better day! (And with a better nurse, because I overheard the frustrating nurse say she has the weekend off! WOO HOO!)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

5-7-09 Update

Yesterday Mom and I were shopping for a few more preemie clothes for the babies. Fed up and a bit impatient Emily sighed and said, "why are we buying more clothes for the babies? They stay naked all the time!"

This was true up until today! Emily was thrilled today, as you also will be, that both Elias and Elsie got to wear their first clothes this morning! Their jaundice levels were low enough that they were taken off the phototherapy lights. They are eating well enough that Elsie's feeding tube (in her nose) was finally removed for good. They don't have IV fluids anymore.

Now they are in the process of being weaned off their isolettes to see if they can maintain body temperature in regular room air with no assistance from the warmers. I was at the hospital for the 8 am feeding through their 5 pm feeding, and when I checked back by phone at 8 pm tonight, both babies had temperatures of 98.5. They will continue to decrease their isolette temp. by 1/2 degree every three hours as long as their under arm temp. doesn't drop below 97.5. They get to be clothed and swaddled. (And you better bet I chose the thickest clothing and socked their feet with booties on top stitched to their onsies, and swaddled them with care! )

Of course I will post an update tomorrow. Hopefully it will say that they are both out of their isolettes and in normal room air. (And in cute baby clothes, of course! :) The next step is to have a 48 hour watch to see if they can maintain or grow their body weight. If that happens, they get to come home! One step at a time! I will probably stay at the hospital much more during the 48 observation time, just because now they are getting half feedings from me, and half feedings of pumped milk by bottle when I can't be there over night. But I feel like they get SO MUCH MORE food when I nurse, rather than the pre-measured amount by bottle. And I want them to eat as much as possible so we can bring them home!!!

And I won't go too much into detail, but I will say that nursing two babies is HARD! I knew it would be, but SHEESH! There is no way that I am quitting because we've come so far. The babies nurse very easily... its me who is having the difficulty! Thank goodness for a supportive nursing staff, husband and mom to encourage me! :)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wed. Update

Yesterday was a loooooooong day. However, both babies did exceptionally well, and their visit with the neonatologist this morning was great! He decided to remove all tube feedings for both babies. They now take all of their feedings by nursing or by bottle when I am not able to be there. So now I just have to figure out how to balance being at home, and going in feed them. Today I went in for the 8 am and 11 am feeding, they are being fed by bottle for the 2 pm and 5 pm feeding, and then I return for them to nurse again for the 8 and 11 pm feedings, and they get bottles for their 2 and 5 am feedings. While I would love for them to nurse all the time, it just isn't feasible for me to hang around the hospital for 24 hrs at a time. Nor do we live close enough to come home between feedings. And since I am pumping anyhow, they aren't getting any formula. WHen Emily was a wee one she took a bottle or two to allow Scott to feed her (and allowed me to sleep!) and this was a great thing. Luckily, Eli and Elsie have no problem going back and forth between bottles and nursing. Not much holds them back from feeding! :)

ALso, the doctor is taking them both off IV fluids tomorrow, and they will also be done with their photo-therapy lights for the jaundice tomorrow morning. They will also be weened off the isolettes, which until now have maintained their body temperature so they don't have to waste precious calories keeping themselves warm. We don't think they ever had a problem maintaining them temperature, but just didn't want them to lose weight in the process. Now they are at a steady weight and this hopefully won't be a problem.

So all of those things above will be done on Thursday from 8 am to 8 am on Friday. Beginning 8 am on Friday they will be off of everything! They will then start at 48 hour observation time where their weight will be monitored. As long as they remain the same or gain, they will be sent home either Sunday or Monday. If they lose any weight we will have to talk about a bottle supplementation and they may have to stay another couple of days.

Please pray specifically that these two precious ones gain weight over the next three days... especially over the Friday and Saturday observation time. Elsie was born at 4 lbs 7 oz and has steadily gained slowly to 4 lbs 11 oz which is fabulous, and rare. Hopefully her pattern continues. Eli was born at 5 lbs 5 oz and has steadily dropped to 4 lbs 15 oz. While it is normal for babies to lose 10-15% of their birth weight, the doctor just wants to make sure he is gaining and not continuing to lose. The nurses tell me not to worry because he is such fabulous eater, and normally babies will go through a spurt where they will gain quite a bit in a short time after they have lost. Let's hope this is true in Eli's case!

Anyhow, I am very excited to be home for dinner tonight with my family. I miss that so much! But of course there is still part of me that really feels bad about not being with them right now. No matter where I am (home or hospital) it feels like I'm split and missing the other part of my precious family who isn't with me. Thank goodness we're looking towards the end, and how horrible for the mom across the hospital nursery who has already been doing this for almost three weeks, and has a couple more weeks to go. She lives almost an hour away. I don't know how families do it, but somehow they do!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Baby Update

Both Elsie and Elias are doing very well. There billiruben levels were high as of Sunday, and the doctor decided to put both under the special lights yesterday before the levels got any higher. I called this morning at 2 am and they said both babies' blood work came back with lower levels. :)

I was sent home on Sunday, and though the soreness is MUCH worse than when I had Emily I am trying to keep on the 800 mg Motrin three times a day and the pain is very manageable. This is good because yesterday they upped both babies' nursing to three times a day, and today it will probably be upped again to four. This means three or four trips back and forth to the hospital because of course the nursings can't be back to back, they have to be spread out as much as possible.

So right now the deal is that both babies just need to continue eating and growing. They both have the suck, swallow, breathe reflex down just great and are nursing very well. Eli for sure is the champ here. He surprised everybody with how well he does eating. Elsie is a little more finicky, and is already showing us that she can be quite the princess. As they eat more and grow, they will increase nursings. Until then the rest of their feedings are still done through a feeding tube in their poor little noses. The nurses explained that at this early gestational age and weight they just don't have the strength to nurse enough to get all the calories they need... hence the feeding tube. Once they grow and can eat more on their own without expending too many calories in the process, they will get to come home.

Until then we are making several trips back and forth to the hospital. Emily comes about once per day. She is very excited about her new additions and wants to help do everything! Of course Grammy is a tremendous help. While in the hospital she was carrying Emily's baby doll, as per Emily's request. Of course Grammy was going all out, and shhhhing the baby and rocking the baby. When we got on the elevator, the nurses at the nurses station just about jumped over the counter, as did everybody coming off the elevator. They all thought mom was trying to steal a baby! :) This made me laugh so hard I thought I was about to bust my stitches! For sure a laugh we all needed to lift our spirits and provide a story we will never forget!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

My Mom is here.... and other great things

The top ten reasons I woke up thankful this morning (In no particular order)

1. I slept so much better knowing that my mom is here and anxious to take care of my family. Emily Grace couldn't have been more excited for her arrival and I know Scott finally was able to get the great night of sleep he needed now that my mom was here to help out with Emily.

2. When I went in to visit the babies at 2 am this morning the nurse had lowered Elias' oxygen level gradually until he no longer needed it. As of six this morning he still needed the CPAP, but didn't require any oxygen.

3. Elsie may potentially have jaundice, and while this sounds like a set back, it really isn't because it probably was going to happen anyway. Having it now means getting her under the lights now, not having to bring her in later, and also jaundice makes babies very lathargic which will allow her little body to hold on to those calories and gain more weight.

4. My friend Meesh is bringing me in a Maui Wowie smoothie from Tropical Smoothie this morning, causing instant grins from my hospital bed!

5. One of the nursery nurses is a parent of my fourth graders who also lives down the street from us. She is not in the Special Care Nursery, but it is still great to know she is here.

6. Emily got to show Grammy all around the nursery last night. She was very excited to point out all of the items for the babies, and where they were located. Scott and I tried to include Emily in most of the choices for baby items, and I'm thrilled she has taken such ownership of "her babies."

7. Last night Emily put her hand in the isolotte and was talking to baby Eli. He literally turned towards her and made a noise that Emily decided was him saying hello. She began talking to him, telling him her name, and he flung his little arm out towards her and when she touched it, he grabbed a hold of her finger, wrapping his tiny fingers around it. So precious. Mom has pictures, I'll post them later. I have never seen Emily so full of pride.

8. The cardiologist phoned the nurses station and said my blood levels finally looked how he wanted them. I still need to take the mag sulfate, but by pill which means I can get rid of this IV needle that I've had in my hand since Tuesday night.

9. Room service meals. Seriously. I just order from a menu what I want and they bring it within thirty minutes. And it is good too! Scott and I had biscuits and gravy yesterday with our breakfast and we both thought it was great! Who would have thought?

10. Tomorrow is Sunday. I should get to go home! :) And while it is never fun to be "that mom" who is discharged without her babies, I'm trying to view this as time God has given me to heal so that when Eli and Elsie do come home Scott and I will be able to take on the challenge of infant twins to the best of our abilities!

Friday, May 01, 2009

The babies are doing well this morning. Eli is at 25% oxygen, and they will try this afternoon to move it down again this afternoon. This is great progress! :) Elsie nursed this morning. Not too much, but was able to get her total amount of food which was beyond expectation.

Both are still in the isolletes so that their little bodies don't waste calories maintaining temperature. They both have IV fluids to help maintain weight, and they are both on antibiotics so that the fluid in their lungs don't develop an infection. That is why there are so many wires and are hooked up to monitors. And of course Eli has his CPAP machine that makes it impossible to see his face well.

Lori brought Emily in this morning and we went in to see the babies together. Emily has seen pictures of herself when she was in NICU and we've recently discussed with her the need for babies to sometimes have monitors and IVs when they are so little. I was worried that she would be upset by the wires, but she seemed to understand, and was just so excited to see her little brother and sister! I really loved snuggling with Emily this morning as we watched cartoons together. She is handling this all in stride! She even helped me brush my hair this morning.

Grammy flies in this evening. My mom is such a help, and we haven't seen her since Christmas. It means so much to me that Scott is just excited for my mom to come as I am. He's no dummy, and he totally is looking forward to her help, but he also misses my mom just as much as I do. Emily Grace keeps talking about how the pool in our neighborhood opens today, and she can't wait to go swimming with Grammy! :)

Baby update

This evening my nurse decided that it was a good idea to "detach" me from all my cords. Thank goodness! Between the EKG monitor, foot swelling machine, catheter, IV, and finger oxygen monitor, I was tied up beyond belief! I am so thankful to move around, and even though there has been much more pain associated with this c-section than when we had Emily and some complications, I can tell that moving around is already helping to get things where they should be.

Scott and I went into the special care nursery tonight to visit the babies. The nurses are really awesome, and we got to hold Elsie for about a half hour. She is doing really well... not really requiring anything special. We are praying that Elsie will be able to nurse tomorrow and master the suck reflex to eat. Prayer for that specifically would be awesome!

We still aren't able to hold Elias because he is attached to the CPAP machine to keep his lungs going. The nurse tells us that the process for Eli is that he first needs to breathe without the assistance of oxygen. Right now he is still requiring 28% oxidation. Room level oxygen is 21% and so he isn't that far off. After he is off the oxygen, he will need to breathe on his own without the CPAP machine. He may go right off the machine to breathing normally, or he may need to have an oxygen nose thingy (sorry... I forgot the term the nurse used!) to "remind" him to breathe, as the nurse explained. Then, when he is able to breathe w/o oxygen and w/o the CPAP he will next need to master the suck reflex to breastfeed.

So obviously Elias has more that he needs to do before being released than Elsie. The nurses here all call this "whimpy white boy syndrome." Apparently, statistics show that girls always breathe better than boys, and out of just the boys, white boys have the most breathing problems at birth out of all other ethnicities. I think this is fascinating. I have a room-mom at school this year who is a NICU nurse, and she explained this phenomonon to me a few months ago.

Even though we don't have a "potential release date" set, we are confident in the care and growth our precious little ones are getting in the special care nursery. I am not nearly as emotionally wrecked as I was when Emily was born, probably because with twins it was to be expected that they need special care. Scott is thankful I'm not such a mess! :) I'm trying to see this time as a time for me to repair from a painful section. I diffenately hurt more, and hopefully will be over the pain before our babies are released to go home with us.

So Scott and I are in the hospital together for the night, while Emily is with our friend Lori. Emily will get to visit her new baby brother and sister in the morning, and then Scott will take her home. My mom gets here tomorrow via plane. Scott and I can't wait! She is such a help, and Emily will be in great hands with Mom, which will allow us to focus on the babies.

I'm sure I'll have an update tomorrow. We all know how well I do being still, so being in a position where I am sitting or laying all day is dreadful! I am spending my time reading one of the five books I now have on parenting twins, blogging, walking to the nursery, or watching HGTV.

Thanks for all your prayers for baby Elias and Elsie! Hopefully we'll have pictures to post for everybody soon!