Friday, September 12, 2008

Thank You Thank You Thank You

We have received so many adorable gifts for the girls. Thank you all so much! I may not have the time to send each of you an individual thank you, but we are all so grateful!

What a Bad Mommy!

I didn't get to post a progress report yesterday! The girls are just wonderful. They are looking better and more comfortable every day. Their skin tone is less red, they are gaining some baby fat and they are breathing more comfortably. Emma has now surpassed her birth weight... she's very close to 3lbs and Mady is close to her birth weight. I learned how to pick up and flip over Emma to change her diaper and how to get her out of the isolette for K-care (kangaroo care). Christian learned last night as well! Mady still had her IV, which makes getting her out a little more complicated but she should have that out by the time we visit tonight. We get so many compliments on how gorgeous our girls are :)

I talked to the doctor about the cyst they found when doing Mady's brain scan. She assured me that a large percentage of the time when they re-do the scan, they find nothing. However, if they see this again, it may indicate scar tissues which could cause some developmental issues and worst case scenario would be cerebral palsey. I know she is fine! They will repeat the scan next week. I also talked to her about the results of the culture for infection that they found when they did the amnio on me right before labor. Emma's placenta was infected as well, but they were treated with antibiotics for 7 days and the doctor doesn't feel that infection had any effect on Emma.

I found out today that I do have an infection and they will have my cultures back Monday. They are putting me on an antibiotic. I'm hoping to feel better soon so that I can be released back to work. It will be so hard when I go back, as my days will be very, very, long, so I have to make sure I am better before I do. I almost feel worse now than I did a few days after delivery. I cut back my time spent at the NICU for the last few days and made sure I caught up on sleep yesterday. I know they are in very good hands there but it still makes it hard to leave them. If they are having an extra good day, they'll let us hold them as long as they can handle it.

Here's some more pictures of our lil' girls!


Emma blowing you all a kiss!

Emma and Grandma


So comfy!!

Neither one of us can seem to pull it together to make the decision about Giger. We know we are going to do it... it's just a matter of when. I want to do it tomorrow but I can't seem to pick up the phone to make the call. I see him slowly declining every day and he has no desire to be with us. He seems happy when we go upstairs to pet him in his new bed (the bathroom sink). He comes down for food on occasion and water, but runs right back to his spot. He is still using the upstairs hallway as his bathroom, so we have plastic down with old carpet on top. Needless to say, our house isn't smelling to well these days. I hope that I get the courage to help him find peace tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Baby Girl Mix

The girls have been listening to music via my iPod. They love it! I started the Mix while I was pregnant and played it for them quite often. They are happy to hear it again outside of the womb :) We're hoping continuing to play it will comfort them and help them sleep when they are home.

Here's the girls playlist:
Air on a G String
Fur Elise
Brahm's Lullaby
The Day (That you gave me a son) ... yes, we realize we have girls :)
Divertimento for 2 Horns and and Strings
Dream a Little Dream of Me
Love Me Tender
Lullaby (Goodnight, My Angel)
Minuet in G Major
Nemo Egg
The Rainbow Connection
Serenade in B-Flat
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
What a Wonderful World
When You Wish Upon a Star
A Whole New World
You Are My Sunshine
You Are the Sunshine of My Live

They love when mommy sings Love Me Tender to them (even if she's not in tune)
Love me tender, love me sweet
Never let me go.
You have made my life complete
And I love you so.
Love me tender, love me true
All my dreams fulfilled
For my Emma/Mady, I love you
And I always will.

Visiting Emma and Mady

These "rules" apply while Emma and Mady are in the NICU and when they come home. We will need to be strict about visitors to protect are precious girls. They will still be much more fragile than a full term baby.

Because our girls were early, they are more at risk to contract RSV which can, in some instances, be fatal to a preemie. The girls are coming home during RSV season which runs October - May. They will not be allowed in daycare during this time nor in crowded places.
Although full term babies can get the cold quite easily, they have a much better chance of fighting it off and staying relatively well while they're sick. If the girls get sick it may send them back to the hospital and we do not want to come back here again.

We and the girls love visitors and want to show them off to everyone. All we ask is that you please refrain from visiting if you have been exposed to a cold or virus, if you have a cold or virus, or are recovering from one (waiting 2 weeks after is ideal).

Just as you have to wash your hands when you come and go from the NICU, the same rules will apply at home... at least until the cold and flu season is over.

I just wanted to explain and hopefully you will all understand why we have no choice but to be extra cautious. Please don't let this deter you from visiting us unless you are sick, getting sick or just getting over being sick.

This is a link with more information about RSV


Oxygen is up a little to 30%, but she's doing well. She's up to 12 cc's of breast milk. They both had their IV's removed today that are going through their belly buttons. Mady had it placed in her hand instead. Hopefully she'll only need that for a couple of days. Mady's brain scan showed no signs of a brain bleed but did show a small cyst. We are told this is no cause for concern and that they will check it again before she goes home. Sometimes what looks like a cyst may end up being nothing.

Oxygen is at room air to and she's up to 18cc's of milk. They are both on caffeine to help with their breathing and heart rates. Emma is now back up to her birth weight.

Tonight they both LOVED kangaroo care and responded very well to being close to mommy.

I haven't been feeling to well the last couple of days, so I'll be calling the doctor again tomorrow. I may have a UTI. I'm sure it's due to me not resting as much as I should be. This week I've been here for about 8 hours each day. I'm going to have to cut back so that I can get back to 100% to be released back to work. I'm planning on stopping in tomorrow morning for rounds and bath time and then will head home to rest ALL day.

Dad's been working very hard lately at work and is also in need of rest. He stops here to see his girls and spend time with them no matter what time of night. Unfortunately the weekend doesn't give him much time to rest either, as we slowly get the nursery in order. We do have plenty of time, but we don't have much free time to get things done.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Angels

One week old today!

I just talked to my doctor and I am released to drive with caution. He just told me to listen to my body and know when I should be driving and when I shouldn't. I'm also having a little pain and he suggested some Cranberry juice and if I feel any worse, to call him and he'll prescribe an antibiotic. I think I've been up and around a little too long the last few days so I'm trying to get naps in as much as possible when I'm home.

I found out yesterday that our girls will not be allowed to attend day care until May. October through May is RSV and cold and flu season and preemies are at a great risk. We will have to figure out a plan for the one day per week we were going to put them in day care. During the winter they will also not be allowed in crowded places and those with colds will not be allowed to spend time with them. There are some nurses in the NICU that watch babies as well, so we will be looking into that. Thank god I am able to take one day per week of at work. I HATE the thought off only having 3 full days with my girls a week... especially after all they have been through.

I had the girls both out for about 1.5 hours today for kangaroo care! LOVE it! Mady is doing very well with the nasal canula. They are both now on caffeine and had their brain scans today.

Kangaroo Time!

Monday, September 8, 2008

We had kangaroo care with our girls yesterday! It brought us both to tears. There is NOTHING like holding your baby against your skin. They loved it. Neither of them had any desaturations. Emma had a couple B's, which is when the heart rate drops, but we are told that is okay. We had them both out for about 2 hours and alternated holding each one. The nurse yesterday says we should be doing this at least twice a day. Once they get their IV's removed, which may be today for Emma, we will be able to take them out and hold them ourselves!

The benefits of Kangaroo care:
Researchers have found that the close physical contact with the parent can help to stabilize the preterm infant's heartbeat, temperature, and breathing. Preterm infants often have difficulty coordinating their breathing and heart rate. Researchers also have found that mothers who use kangaroo care often have more success with breastfeeding and improve their milk supply. Further, researchers have found that preterm infants who experience kangaroo care have longer periods of sleep, gain more weight, decrease their crying, have longer periods of alertness, and earlier hospital discharge.

Mady was taken off of her CPAP today. We are so proud of her and the strides she is taking to catch up to Emma. She is on a nasal canula like her sister. She is still a little assisted on this and may be for a day or so as she adjusts.

Emma may be moved to the E pod soon which is known as the growing and feeding pod. We are hoping they will wait to move her until Mady can be moved with her as well. At that point they will be reunited and will co-bed! Emma is also maintaining her own body temperature.

I had a little trouble today as I downloaded the photos trying to determine who's who! Now that they are both on nasal canulas, it's all the more difficult! It does seem though that Emma has a little lighter hair than Mady. Mady has 2 birth marks... one on her shoulder and one on her thigh.

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's time to let him go

I can't believe I just typed that. Our lil' Giger is getting worse. He doesn't even want to be cuddled anymore which he always LOVED. He's been sleeping in the bathroom sink for 2 days and has only been eating a tiny bit once a day. He's only 8 years old. At least we got a few months with him after his renal failure and heart murmur diagnosis.

This on top of our kids in the NICU, me worried about my job and all this time off and my hormones make for a lot of tears.

Please pray that our lil' guy finds peace and that this is the best thing for him. I have no idea how I'm going to say goodbye to him. Every time I think about it I end up bawling. It's awful that we had to make a decision like this. I know Emma and Mady would have loved him as much as we do.

We'll probably take him in before the weekend. To anyone that has had to put an animal down, you are all so brave and strong!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Great day with the girls

We got in just in time today for the doctors rounds as they discussed the girls. They are doing very well and Mady made lots of improvements over night and throughout the day today. Tomorrow we get to have Kangaroo care. This means we'll get to hold them against our skin. Another great milestone!


Daddy and Mady

Mommy and Mady

Daddy's First Diaper Change

Mady is now feeding and tolerated the first and second feeding very well. She's taking 3cc's every 3 hours. She went down to a non-cycled CPAP today, so she is basically breathing on her own with a tiny bit of assistance. She will hopefully be off of that tomorrow and on the nasal tubing like her big sister. We got to hold her today! She did so well. We brought in an iPod today and played her some music that mommy listened to while they were comfy in the womb. We just missed bath time but we hope to help with their baths on Thursday. We both got to change there diapers today! Never really thought we'd look so forward to something like that but we were so happy! We are so proud of her catching up to her sister. We know she is doing everything she can in hopes that they'll get to come home at the same time.


Mommy's First Diaper Change

Mommy and Emma

Daddy and Emma - Daddy I Love You!

Emma is doing great! She is now taking 9cc's of milk every 3 hours. She loves mommy's milk. She was making some pretty cute faces today and kept her little mouth wide open. I know that babies don't really have their first real smile until about 3-6 weeks, but I'm telling you, that little girl was smiling at us while we held her today. It was impossible to catch a photo of though!

I'm doing good. The last few days I've had a fever and aches and chills. We think this is due to my milk coming in. I was nervous about mastitis, but it my fever wasn't very high and I'm doing better. The doctor was also concerned about the uterine infection that I had when the girls were born, but my fever seems to have gone away. I think it has helped that when I'm home, I try to nap in between pumping.

Proud papa is an understatement for Christian. He, like myself, is over the moon with joy and loves these little girls more than we can even explain. I had to beg him to let me change the girls wants to do everything!