Saturday, July 7, 2012

NICU: week 1

My progress was that I was able to get up and walk, rather than using a wheelchair.  I went down to the NICU a few times, and tried to rest.  I had the same nurse for Thursday and Friday: Sara.  She was my favorite out of my personal nurses.


I got pretty weepy in the evening--which would happen regardless of the situation since it's just the usual post-partum hormone shift.  It's happened every time I've had a baby, and thankfully I know that so I didn't get too worried about it, but of course it's still not fun.  I was mostly worried about my milk supply.  I would do my best to get something out, but my milk wasn't in yet and the best I could do was a few meager drops of colostrum, which the nurses would suck up into a small syringe.  I was pressured to supplement with formula because the IV's were hard on the babies.  After having pretty much NO choice about things thus far, I didn't want to give up the one choice that I had to keep things natural.  D had been fed formula without my consent, but they respected my choice and didn't feed any formula to E.

E was taken off the oxygen during the night, so she looked a lot better...but D's veins kept collapsing and her IV was put in her forehead, so she looked worse.



The ladies were moved to a new room (226) and had a new nurse this time-- Jennie.  She put the breastfeeding/formula/bottles all into a context that I could understand:  the sooner they gain weight and learn to eat, the sooner they go home.  She also predicted that they would be exclusively breastfeeding by 3 months, but they weren't going to progress on IV's, and it'd take a while to get my milk going.  I really liked Jennie, and though I was still super weepy, I chose to take her advice and allow formula and bottlefeeding.  By the end of the day they both had their IV's out and feeding tubes in.

This picture was taken before Judy's visit, so her flowers aren't shown, but they were very appreciated as well : )

I was feeling even better in the morning.   I had a lot of visitors.  My nephew and his new bride were having an open house that day, so people were down in the area for that and were able to stop by to see me and the babies as well.  Visitors were: Mike N., Laura & Randy, Judy with Kate & Emily, My parents, Dave, & the kids  all came by.  I looked very loved with lots of flowers on my table : )  It was really great to chat with everyone and show off my cute girls, but I got really worn out from going down to the NICU so many times and standing so much.  The last trip down I had to go back to using the wheelchair.  I was less weepy by the end of the day...though I would have liked to not ever use formula for any of my kids, I felt at peace with the decision.  Plus at the end of the day it felt like my milk was  beginning to come in a little.

Kangaroo Care
HH taking a picture : )

By Sunday I was spending most of my time down in the NICU.  I was discharged and moved my things down to the NICU room cupboard.  HH and I hung out in the NICU for a few hours and then went home in the evening.  It was weird to be home in a quiet, empty house.  I missed my kids, and it was strange to leave the hospital without any babies.  It was actually a hard evening to not have any kids home.  Plus my milk was in and I didn't have a pump for the night...I did my best to hand express, but by morning I was quite uncomfortable.

My wonderful Aunt Diana drove me to the hospital in the mornings, since I wasn't able to drive yet.

Both babies had been borderline jaundiced, but by Monday they'd leveled out and the nurse said they didn't need to be checked again until Wednesday.  I ordered a breast pump rental to have at home, but there was a mixup in the delivery.  I found a hand pump in my kit from the hospital, and that made it better than Sunday night...but still not good.

I found a difference between them!  E has a little hole (my sister called it a "dimple" and maybe that's a more accurate term) in front of her ear on one side.  It looks like a little piercing.  I have it too.  It's a pretty small difference, but it's something.  Before I got this posted, I discovered that D has it as well, just not as deep.  bummer.
No cell phone reception started driving me crazy.
Nighttime pumping was dreamy...I was soooooo grateful for a double electric pump!

D & E's first 4th of July!
HH and I went to breakfast at the ward 4th of July social.  It was so nice to be out in public & doing something non-baby for a few minutes.  Then we headed over to the hospital.  HH went home to finish laying the carpet in the nursery : )  and I resumed my regular schedule: breastfeed, pump, Kangaroo Care, repeat.  Somewhere in there are potty breaks and snacks for me....
I had a great visit with Christine, one of Charlotte's associates, and she gave some great advice on pumping/increasing milk supply. 

D getting weighed before a meal. 
We've since stopped weighing before and after meals because the scale was too fickle.

D getting patriotic in the NICU.

sleepy E

The pinwheels were the centerpieces at the ward breakfast that morning.

HH and I finished out the day by going up to the 4th floor of the hospital to watch the fireworks on in the Sound.  It was a really great view, and certainly a unique way to celebrate the 4th during this unusual period of time.


My kids had spent all week at Grandma N's house (which I'm sure took a few years off of her's not easy to keep up with three active little stinkers!) with a fun overnight at Aunt Judy's house.  They took it all in stride and didn't seem too bothered by the shuffling around.  Moose was a little homesick at times and missed his Mama & Daddy, but he did pretty well for a two year old.  It was fun that they got to be with cousins and such for the 4th of July.  Sounds like they loved getting to do sparklers : )

At the end of the first complete week:
My favorite NICU nurses were Jennie and Rebekah, who thankfully have been our nurses for a lot of the time.  I'll have to take a picture of them...I haven't done that yet.

I'm not noticing the smallness of the babies so much anymore.  They ARE small, but I'm used to it.  I change their diapers (they have NO bums) and dress them, and love to hold them.  My favorite part of the day is Kangaroo Care when I get to cuddle with them.


E.  Both girls like to eat their fingers and fists.

I was finally starting to see the swelling in my ankles and feet going away (it was from all of the saline that they pumped into me because of the c-section), and HOORAY, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight!  I had gained 20 pounds total, which is a miracle in and of itself (and 10 of that was baby, and probably the other 10 was placenta and fluids).


Heidi said...

DANG GIRL!!!! DANG!!! Back to your pre-pregnancy weight at ONE WEEK!??? That's got to be a record!! And your twins are looking gorgeous!! I love the pictures, it makes me want a new baby so badly. I'll just have to visit yours a lot. ; )

Anonymous said...

I love the little dimples! It is so cool to see it in the same place on each girl. They are amazing...what an adventure. Too bad that the kids won't be nearby next week, it was fun to have them close to visit with.

Annalia said...

It's so hard when decisions for your kids seem out of your control, but things have a way of working themselves out. So sad that your baby snuggle time is limited. I think I'd cry all night...esp. if I needed to nurse, ya poor thing!

nikko said...

Yay for great nurses! They can make or break your hospital experience, really!

I can't believe that you are already at your pre pg weight? What is up with that??? I'm lucky if I get to my pre pg weight after I'm done nursing at 14 or 16 months. NOT. FAIR.

Can you tell a little more about why they're in the NICU? Are we just waiting for them to eat and grow or is there more going on? Look how nosy I am...