I know I'm a little late, but it's hard to find the time to update these days. To be completely honest, the past 9 days have been a bit of a blur. It's hard to keep what happened on what day straight. It feels like I'm on a roller coaster ride with post-partum hormones mixed into all of the emotions of having the girls in the NICU and having to leave them there. I've had a couple cry-fests and it hasn't been easy. Leaving the hospital was really hard because it meant leaving them behind. There was another night that I totally lost it and bawled on W's chest.
The day after the girls were born Clara needed some help with her breathing. Her little chest would rise and fall so fast so they put a nasal cannula with oxygen on her. It was so hard to visit with her because even touching her would agitate her and make her respiratory rates increase. There was one night where she had a horrible nurse who scared me when she talked about intubation and chest tubes. I was so scared to visit her the next morning for fear of finding her in worse shape, but to my surprise the next morning her settings were reduced.
At the same time Lucy was doing great. I was able to hold her quite a bit and at some point we started working with the lactation consultant. Lucy started in the most intensive part of the NICU (nursery A) because her IV was through her umbilical cord, but she quickly moved to the least intensive part (nursery G).
After I think 4 days Clara come off the oxygen. It was so nice to see her little face without everything on it and to be able to hold her and start to bond with her. I was feeling guilty at first because I felt so much more bonded to Lucy. After about 5 days she was also moved to nursery G right next to her sister.
After a few days both girls were put under the lights to reduce billi levels. Since then they have come out of the lights, but their levels are still a bit elevated. They are planning to check again tomorrow, so they may end up back under the lights.
Yesterday I tandem fed the girls for the first time. Each feeding since I've tandem fed. The lactation consultant in the NICU is just so amazing. She is super knowledgeable and so helpful. I'm using a shield on both sides because my nipples are flat, but the girls do great with them. I'm hoping at some point I won't need them, but it's fine for now with W helping. It is so amazing to see them looking at each other and to be holding them at the same time. I honestly have no idea how I fit that much baby in my belly. They are both nursing really well and I couldn't be prouder of them. I'm also pumping after each feeding and building up a bit of a stash in the NICU.
The nurses do "care times" every 3 hours. This is when they get their vital signs checked, get their diapers changed, and get fed. These times fall at 7, 10, 1, and 4 for both AM and PM. We typically are there for the 10 AM, 1 PM, 4 PM, and 10 PM times. At the other times the nurses bottle feed the girls and I pump. We are staying at my in-law's house because it is about 10 minutes away. I haven't been home since the morning of the accident. I miss being at my house and sleeping in my bed so badly, but it's worth it to be close.
The girls are both still in isolettes. In order to go home they need to move into open cribs and then have no issues for 48 hours. To move to the open cribs they both need to increase their feedings a bit and maintain their temperatures. Last night we each gave a girl a sponge bath and they weighed them. Lucy stayed the same and Clara gained a little bit. Lucy has had a few episodes of bradycardia the past few days where her heart rate drops. Most are self resolved, but she has needed some stimulation a few times. Unfortunately last night she also had an apnea episode and need stimulation to recover. The nurse said this guarantees her 5 more days in the NICU.
That's what I have for now. I'll leave you with some more pictures.
|Wearing the hats grandma made them. Lucy on the left, Clara on the right.|
First days with Lucy. Love this photo of us.
|First days of Clara|
|kisses for Clara|
|Fist time holding the girls at the same time.|
|W holding the girls for the first time.|
|First family photo.|
If you don't want to see my boobs, you may want to stop look at pictures here.
|First time tandem feeding. Hope my boobs don't offend you.|
|Working with the LC.|
|Yup, my boobs are well documented these days.|
|Reaching their hands towards each other.|