One Million Dollars

Posted on 14th December 2011 in NICU, Week 6

(This post is about December 14th, but I wrote it on December 18th.)

 

The twins are 5 weeks old today, so this starts their 6th week in the hospital.  They now weigh about 50% more than when they were born.  They look like giants compared to their old selves.  They’re still decidedly not giants though.

Cameron’s doing better each day on his feedings.  He doesn’t have much left to tackle before he can go home.  The hospital hinted at a huge pile of tests that he has to pass, so I’ve been quizzing him on calculus & physics.  He’s more interested in making cute poses though.  Here he is working on his Doctor Evil “One Million Dollars” pose…

Sophia’s working on her poses too.  All I know is this IS NOT a “hook ‘em horns” sign she’s making…

Sophia’s still playing with feeding.  For now, she’s tied to her feeding tube to get the calories she needs.  I came up with the idea of bribing her with candy, but I haven’t yet figured out how to put Jelly Bellies into a bottle.  I’ll figure it out before too long, but I’m guessing by then she’ll have the feeding thing down pat.

The two photos actually show a pretty typical pattern for the twins.  Cameron loves his pacifier.  Sophia doesn’t really care for hers.  I’m not sure if that’s tied to their current love of feeding, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was.  Things may change.

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Tiny Playpens

Posted on 13th December 2011 in NICU, Week 5

(This post is about December 13th, but I wrote it on December 18th.)

 

NOPE!  I WAS NOOOTTT PICKING MY NOSE!  I WAS SCRATCHING MY CHEEK!!

Cameron spent some time trying to make shadow puppets.  So far, he can make shadow puppets of a hand…

Sophia’s hat modeling job is going well…

The room has a much different look than it used to.  Their little suitcases are filled with their clothes.  Their new playpens are much lighter, but not really any more homey than the old ones.  The rocking chair is actually much less comfortable.  The twins now each have their own red stethoscope.  They haven’t seemed to want to play with them yet though…

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First Family Photo

Posted on 12th December 2011 in NICU, Week 5

(This is about December 12th, but I wrote it on December 18th.)

 

Amazing, amazing day.  Sophia got her PICC line out today.  The twins’ wires & tubes were finally long enough and their playpens were finally close enough that we could get our first real family photo today!  Go ahead, skip all my writing…find the family photo.

Sophia was really laying on the charm today.  She’s inherited some of Tanya’s magic.  (For now,) she’s an angel…

You are not yet at the family photo.  Keep going.

Apparently sleeping makes Cameron mad.  I’m not sure why he sleeps for 20 hours a day…maybe neither does he.  Here he is, fast asleep, looking frumpy…


You still aren’t at the family photo.  Keep.  Going.

Here’s Sophia with me.  She almost looks happy.  Magic, I tell ya…


Nope, still not the family photo.  Keep on, keepin’ on.

Because of some insane law or hospital policy that nobody seems to be able to actually quote, the twins can’t actually touch.  Rumor has it that the sky will fall or some other fire and brimstone event will happen if the kids so much as touch clothes.  I don’t get it.  Sounds like stupid bureaucracy to me.  However, we can get them close to each other.  Here they are almost, but not-quite hanging out together…

Yippee!  You made it to the family photo.  Without further ado…

EDIT: Some people have asked for the full-sized version of this photo.  You can click on the photo above to get a half-sized version.  If you want the full-sized version, you can download it here (17MB).

Tanya was bouncing off the walls at the family photo opportunities today.  I don’t remember a time that Tanya has ever smiled this hard.  Cameron was just looking at the walls…

Sophia couldn’t care less about the family photos.  I apparently didn’t care enough to shave or dress up for the event…

The angel…

You’ve gone to far!  The family photo is back a few.  Go back!

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Sunday Feedings

Posted on 11th December 2011 in NICU, Week 5

(This is about December 11th, but I wrote it on December 18th.)

Cameron’s always been out for attention.  It’s really amazing how much he loves Tanya & wants to be with her.  When he gives us looks like this, it’s nearly impossible not to pick him up…

After some serious cuddle time with Tanya, she sat him up so he could see the world a bit.  I’m not quite sure how his long distance vision is, but he seems to be able to recognize both of us…and the camera…from a several feet away.  Here he is practicing his 3-point throw…  (south paw?)

Sophia still has some of her water weight/swelling from her heart medicine, but she’s definitely on the way towards better.  For now, her face is definitely a little rounder than Cameron’s.  Yet another thing she’ll one day be mortified about…

Both the kids still have their feeding tubes, but Cameron’s really getting good at bottle & breast feeding.  He’s feeding on his own a couple times a day now.  Sophia’s playing a bit with feeding, but still not all that interested.  Soon!

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Cute Naps

Posted on 10th December 2011 in NICU, Week 5

(This post is about December 10th…I wrote it on December 15th.)

 

I spent most the day catching up around the house.  Tanya spent most of the day at the hospital with the kids.  She snapped a few photos of each of them.

Here’s Sophia trying to hide the crusty stuff on her mouth from the camera…

Cameron wasn’t hiding anything, but did spend some serious time getting to know his binky…

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1 Month Birthday

Posted on 9th December 2011 in Monthly Birthdays, NICU, Week 5

(I wrote this on Dec 15th, but it’s about the events of December 9th.)

 

The twins are one month old today!  It’s tough to explain the last month – it seems like it’s been forever.  At the same time, if feels like it’s flown by.  In reality, it’s been a month.

The twins didn’t really feel like putting on their 1 month outfits, but they did tolerate Tanya laying them blanket-style for quick photos.  Here’s Sophia in her 1 month celebratory evening gown…

Here’s Cameron in his 1 month tuxedo…

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Cameron’s First Bath

Posted on 8th December 2011 in NICU, Week 5

(I wrote this on Dec 15th, but it’s about the events of December 8th.)

 

The kids are now starting their 5th week in the NICU.  Today, Cameron got chosen for the bath baby of the day.  He’s doing great at maintaining his temperature, so he finally earned the privilege of getting the stink cleaned off of him.  Normally when we take clothes off him, he knows it’s to change his diaper.

NOOO!  STAY AWAY! I LIKE MY POOPIE DIAPER!!

Wearing his birthday suit (without a diaper) was a rare treat.

MOM THIS IS THE COOLEST THING EVER!  I LOVE YOU!

The trip to the tub wasn’t well liked…

Instantly upon touching the water, Cameron silenced his wail.  It’s almost as if he’d spent many months in a lovely 98.6° bath…

Clean feet!

OOOOO!!!  THIS IS AWESOMMMMEEE!!!!

Having warm water run over your head as a preemie is apparently some sort of nirvana experience…

If you can’t tell, Cameron absolutely loved his bath.  Tanya loved it too…

Smug…

After his bath, Cameron figured out the whole latching on thing & fed for long enough to call it a win.  This is not a picture of him breast feeding…

Sophia didn’t get near the attention today that Cameron did.  She’s doing better each day though…AND she looks great in pink…

What are you lookin’ at!?

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Tilted Bed & Smiles

Posted on 5th December 2011 in NICU, Week 4

I’m back at work now, so I’m not getting to spend much time at all with the kids.  Tanya’s spending tons of time with them and is teaching them all the great things they need to know so that they can come home.  She’s taking pictures of the kids when she can, but her priority is being a great mom.

Unfortunately, the posts covering the next few weeks will have much less real insight into the twins’ lives than my previous posts.  I’ll do what I can.  Also, this post is for Dec 5th, but I’m writing it on Dec 15th.  If they were still in the womb, Dec 5th (“today”) would mark week 35.  I’m using some publishing magic to back date this post.  Hang on…

 

Cameron’s styling in his new bed today.  The new bed is pretty much just a well-formed clear bucket.  No heater, no fancy hydraulics, and no enclosure.  It has two positions: flat & tilted.  For now, Cameron’s typically in the tilted position.  That keeps the food he eats flowing down hill & probably some other really important stuff…

One convenient thing about his new tilted bed is that we get to take fun up-the-nose shots like this…

Sophia’s losing her water weight slowly & seems to be happy about life.  She’s now also wearing clothes.  Because of her PICC line, they have to “toga” one arm.  One day 10 or 15 years from now, she’ll once again wear clothes that are draped loosely off of one shoulder.  She’ll think they’re cute.  I’ll think they’re inappropriate.  Great.

Don’t EVER tell her that I think her smile in this photo looks kinda like Yoda’s smile…

Sophia can yawn with the best of ‘em.  Yoda does not look like this…

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Aerobics and New Hats

Posted on 4th December 2011 in NICU, Week 4

The twins are doing great today.  The jogging we did with Cameron yesterday was a bit much, so he lost a little weight.  We cut way back on his aerobics (and cuddle time) today to help him not burn as many calories.

I think Sophia’s water swelling is down a little bit from yesterday.  If nothing else, her new hat from “Auntie” Kymberly helps her maintain her super cuteness while she’s fighting through the puffiness…

Cameron sported his new hat too…along with a swaddle blanket, bib and a cute little clothes thing buried somewhere in there…

We spend lots of time each day trying to figure out when they might be coming home.  They still have a ways to go (like mastering eating), but there might be a light at the end of this tunnel.

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Level Up!

Posted on 3rd December 2011 in NICU, Week 4

Yesterday the twins moved to the Level 1 NICU!  If you recall from previous posts (or other references), Level 3 is the “scary NICU” and Level 1 is pretty much just a nursery.  Level 1 (also called the Special Care Nursery) is where the stable kids go to get bigger.  It’s another great step forward for the twins!

Sophia’s still recovering from her PDA heart problem and round of medicine to fix it.  She’s getting going on feeding again, but she’s only eating 4mL of milk at each meal.  Her PICC line is still feeding her the rest of the nutrients she needs direct to her bloodstream.

Cameron is now completely off supplemental heat, but he’s kept pretty well bundled up.  He’s doing well with his feedings and is now up to 38mL a meal (30mL is an ounce).

Here’s a view of their new room.  Their room is about the same size as typical home’s bedroom.  It’s much more private than the rest of the NICU and is set up for families to spend time with their kids.  Sophia’s on the left & Cameron’s on the right…

Despite his extremely strong desire to always be spread eagle, Cameron was fairly happy being swaddled.  Of course, he threw up all over this cute swaddle blanket and his clothes right after I got done holding him…

Cameron was somehow still surprised that I stuck a camera in his face…

The indomethacin that Sophia was on is designed to constrict blood vessels.  That’s how it works to close the PDA problem she had.  It doesn’t just close one blood vessel though; it tightens them all down.  A minor complication of that medicine is that it slows down the blood flow to the kidneys.  So…Sophia’s a little slow at getting rid of the fluids in her body.  While she was on the indomethacin, she gained (or retained, really) about 10 oz of water weight.  Ten ounces (same as 300g or a little over 1/2 lb) of extra “bloat” on a preemie looks about the same as about 30 lbs on a 170lb man.  That’d be like me sticking nearly 4 gallons of water somewhere on my body.  That would not be pretty.

Back to Sophia…that 10 oz of extra water weight makes her look, ummm, a little puffy…

Sophia really looks uncomfortable, but she seems to be in pretty good spirits.  Hopefully that whole “you don’t need heart surgery” is keeping her happy.  As the medicine gets out of her system over the next couple days, the extra water weight should go away too.  I’m guessing that in 4 days or so, she’ll be back to her normal self weighing in around 4 lbs.

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