This town (kid) needs an enema

Posted on 16th November 2011 in NICU, Week 1

Things are good in the NICU when all you care about is the finer things in life: eat, sleep, & poop. We’re not quite to only caring about those fine things, but there’s visible progress every day.  Or at least I can imagine visible progress…

Before we went to the hospital today, Tanya asked me to take a shot of the twin’s new collection of cloth diapers.  The cloth diapers I remember from my childhood (at least a few years ago) were barely even poop catchers.  Cloth diapers these days are unrivaled feats of technology and craftsmanship.  These things have scores of buttons on them so they can adjust to babies from 7lbs all the way to kids ready to get their drivers licenses.  The ones we got are called “Bum Genius.”  I think “Pooptastic” would have been a better name, but they didn’t ask me.

Our kids won’t wear these for several more months (7lbs is a ways off yet), but we’re getting them ready for poop catching none the less.  Tanya didn’t like my photo of them.  I guess I was trying to be more artsy than documentary.  Despite the photo veto, here it is…  (more on these later)

When we got to the hospital, both the kids were sleeping off killer hangovers.  We decided to punish them for their out-of-line behavior, so we woke them up.  Before that, I stole this shot of Cameron trying to suck his thumb through his cheek.  Silly drunks…

We opened up his Pit of Despair and administered foot torture.  Some friends recommended that we take some pictures with other things of “known size” so that we (and you) can keep track of how big (small) they are and how they’re growing.  Here’s Tanya’s hand dealing out the punishment…

WHYYY MEEEEE?!?!?!?!?!

Cameron fought back with his Paralyzing Grasp of Good.  His parry left Tanya frozen in her tracks…

Two eye blinks later, Cameron was back asleep.  He wins this round…

Cameron had been holding back all day (poop, that is), so his nurse gave him a little baby enema.  We didn’t see it happen, but we imagine it was something like a water gun fight.  As you might imagine, Cameron wasn’t in the sleeping mood after that…

PLEAASSSEEE MAKE THE POOP HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!

Tanya literally couldn’t stand to watch Cameron be in discomfort.  Her time holding him for the day was up (a measly 30 minutes!?), so she had to console him through his playpen walls.  Neither of them were the least bit happy.

The kids are now almost a week old.  Cameron weighed 3 lbs 3 oz way back then.  He’s up to 3 lbs 7 oz now.  Bulking up!!

It was then time to torture Sophia.  We had to call off the torture though because she saw us coming and turned on her charm…

With the kiddie torture thwarted, I had nothing left to do but take pictures of the equipment.  Whatever this is, it’s critical that it get changed on Wednesday…

Apparently, the NICU team had a conversation about how awesome Sophia’s hat was.  So, we one-upped them with a new super power flower hat…

Tanya was able to hold Sophia for almost an hour and a half today.    Truth be told, despite her light weight, Sophia’s doing a little better overall than Cameron.  She did really well at maintaining her temperature outside of her playpen.  She’s down to 21% oxygen in her cannula now (same percentage as the air you & I breathe).

My understanding is that the cannula is there to give her some air flow to help her to remember to breathe.  See, preemie brains aren’t quite done connecting all the dots.  So, sometimes, they “forget” to do those involuntary things like breathing.  It seems crazy, but we’re definitely still in the “baby steps” stage of life here.

Speaking of, here are Sophia’s footprints…

And her hand prints…

While Tanya was holding Sophia, I did a lot of watching Cameron.  I’m generally a “go, go, go” kind of guy, but I can sit and watch him breathe for hours.  I can’t explain it…

Tanya eventually had to put Sophia back in her playpen.  They really had an amazing time together.  To test if Sophia was really asleep, we asked the audience if anyone knew the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.  Of course, Sophia raised her hand…


All kidding aside, the NICU is a scary, scary place.  When you first start spending time there, the non-stop beeps, boops, and alarms all sound like annoying background noise.  After a while, you realize that each one of those means something extremely important.  Some of those beeps and boops are warnings to the NICU staff that a no-kidding life or death event is going on.  It’s fairly easy to learn which ones are most important.  When they go off, all the doctors and nurses in the NICU raise their heads to make sure proper and urgent care is given where it’s needed.

Those important beeps and boops now make both Tanya and me twitch.  No…twitch isn’t the right word.  Our kids are separated by 20 feet or so.  It’s just far enough that if we’re sitting holding one kid we usually can’t see the monitors of the other kid.  When one of those important beeps happens, we literally go into a fight-or-flight response to make sure both our kids are ok.  It’s a shocking reminder that our kids are still in a knock down drag out fight for their lives.  They’re strong, but it’s a long way out of the woods.

It’s hard to even let yourself think that there’s an outside world…

Ok, back to cute.  If you remember back to the beginning of this post, you’ll recall that Tanya vetoed my diaper photo.  Here’s hers.  It’s much better…

comments: 4 »
  • Kristinlduke

    I can’t thank you guys enough for the blog postings. Jonathan and I have been reading them every day, and I’m showing the pictures to Parker. I’m showing Katherine too, but she really doesn’t get it yet;-) You will cherish the blog in the coming years.

  • Kristie Myers

    Such a beautiful post. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. Congratulations on the babies. They are truly precious. I am glad to read they are improving. Hugs, Kristie :-)

  • Mary Ann Harness

    Thanks so much for sharing as always. I am right there with you both – — Life is an amazing thing! Love and hugs!!

  • Cindy Dinsmore

    Thank you so much for the constant updates. I love the comments and humor but have not stopped praying for ya’ll. Along with me…I have added the babies and you guys to the church prayer list. The blog helps keep me updated and to update the prayer team.