Thursday, September 12, 2013

Week 1

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.




20 comments:

  1. Yay for nursing babies! Also, you are amazing for tandem feeding them- I was only able to do it a couple of times, it was just way too much for me! Such an amazing bonding experience for the three of you. Don't be fooled by any well meaning nurses, if you decide tandem feeding is too much when you get home, you can still be successful breastfeeding them seperately... It's just a bit more time consuming :) You look like you are rocking twin parenting so far! You have many, many amazingly fantastic days ahead of you getting to know your girls- ENJOY!!!

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  2. OMG Liz..they are beautiful! And you go girl tandem feeding. That is just amazing! I feel for ya as leaving the hospital and leaving Sam behind was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do! I cried SO hard. Life in the nicu can be hard, but they are in the best place for them right now until the get stronger :)

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  3. They are just BEAUTIFUL Liz. That last picture -- just awesome. I'm so glad that they are doing pretty well, and I pray that they are strong enough to go home with you soon. What a whirlwind!

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  4. Awww. . . it sounds like they are doing well.

    I totally understood what you meant when you talked about how you felt going home without them. I cried when that happened to me, too, and I am generally not a crier. Such a hard thing.

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  5. Wow...tandem feeding...you go!!!! Ollie was in the NICU for 2 weeks, and I swear came out sooner because of the breast milk...keep up the good work!!!! I know leaving everytime gets harder and harder, but before you know they will be home with you. Once they're home they are going to blossom!!!!

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  6. Oh my goodness! These girls are so beautiful already. And you are doing so incredibly fantastic girl! Wow, I am soooo impressed (even if it seems like you are out of control, it sounds like you are doing everything as "right" as you possibly can). I sat here with tears streaming down my face as I read your post. I am so happy for you. Keep up the great work!

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  7. LOVE the pictures! They are absolutely beautiful! I hope to be able to tandem feed too. Lol, I don't mind the boob pictures, it's just a matter of if YOU are comfortable with them :) I love the last one with them reaching toward each other. Amazing!

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  8. Real beauties:)

    Sara-ff

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  9. Love these pictures! Congrats on beautiful baby girls!!! And you are amazing for nursing them!!!

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  10. Thank you for the update! They are just wonderful. Soon this whole NICU phase will be in your past and the girls will be healthy and at home. I wonder if you'll get a lot of 'are they identical?' questions as they get older. Their features look really similar (at least in these photos), but I love how they came out with such different heads of hair! Total cuties.

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  11. Very cool nursing photos! They seem really alert and are oh, so beautiful. Congrats again! Hope they get out of NICU soon and you can all go home as a family. You look great!

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  12. Awww Liz, they are so beautiful!! I love the photos, especially the last one with them reaching towards each other. How great that you have the LC there to help you and of course all the nurses to get you on a schedule. I am so happy for your family :)

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  13. Beautiful baby girls !! You are doing such an awesome job. I look forward to all future updates <3<3

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  14. I cried looking at those pictures. I am so excited for you. Your girls are so beautiful. Congratulations.

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  15. I had flat nipples too. I had my twins at 33 weeks and have succesfully been nursing for 13 months. These nipple shells are amazing! I wore them all day and night when I wasn't nursing or pumping for about a month. They worked TREMENDOUSLY!! I HIGHLY recommend you use them.

    http://www.albeebaby.com/medela-thera-shells.html?cmp=googleproducts&kw=medela-thera-shells&utm_source=googleproducts&utm_medium=cse&utm_campaign=googleproducts&utm_content=89930&gclid=CIGsgoSfybkCFSJqMgod6k8Asw

    Love the pics! So precious. Reminds me of my NICU days. :-)

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  16. They are so so beautiful. I am incredibly happy for you all and it seems that those little ones are doing really great. You are already a great mommy - tandem feeding sounds difficult but should save you a lot of time. Good luck!

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  17. That last picture is SO sweet!!!

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  18. They are beautiful :)
    I am impressed you are tandem feeding already. We aren't there yet, but working on it.

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