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…

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Nuzzle, food, and little fingers

Posted on 14th November 2011 in NICU, Week 1

Today was another great day with the twins. They’re getting stronger every day.  Today marked what would have been 32 weeks into the pregnancy.  It looks like they’ve both started the upswing in weight.  Cameron now weights a mighty ounce more than when he was born, bringing him to 3 lbs 4 oz.  Sophia’s still slightly under her birth weight at 2 lbs 13 oz, but she’s working on it.  At only 5 days old, this seems like great progress to us.

I really can’t say enough about how incredible the nurses and doctors have been at the Summerlin Hospital NICU.  I’m completely impressed every single time we visit.  Almost as soon as we walk in the door, the doctors brief us on our kids’ overall health status (procedures, expected outcomes vs reality, etc).  The nurses are truly amazing.  Their patience with our kids, mastery of preemie care, and excitement about helping bring our kids into the world is completely inspiring.  They’re the true heroes of the NICU and we’re honored to have them on our side.

Today Tanya got to spend lots of time nuzzling with the twins.  The closer Sophia got to Tanya, the more Sophia wanted to suck her thumb.  Right idea, but Sophia’s execution needs some work.

They’re each getting fed 3mL of milk every few hours.  The milk gets put in a syringe held above the kid by a foot or so.  The milk then drains through the feed tube into their stomachs.   Sweet glorious breast milk…

Nom, nom, nom!  Even though Sophia isn’t using her mouth to consume the milk, she somehow manages to get stuff all over her face.  Somebody wants us to buy stock in a wet wipes company…

Cameron was up next for nuzzle time.  When you point the camera in his face, his eyes typically open wide.  When you put his face next to Tanya’s skin, he gets a drunken teenager look.  It sort of reminds me of Bill Cosby from 1983 (take a quick 20 second intermission here).

Since they’re just warming up to food in their stomachs, the twins are still getting food through their PIC lines.  Remember lipids, protein & dextrose from my earlier post?  Here’s the lipid machine of justice (LMOJ, for short)…

Some of the scary monsters in the NICU…

Cameron kept trying to do a pull up on his cannula.  He pretty much constantly tries to rip out all of his tubes, sensors & wires.  Good boy…

Dinner time, Cameron!

Nom, nom, nom!

After dinner is siesta time.  If you’re going to nap, you might as well get comfy…

Cameron’s hands are not even close to big enough to wrap around my index finger.  Everything about them is small right now (except for their awesomeness, of course).

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Hearts, Hats, and Food

Posted on 13th November 2011 in NICU, Week 1

We got to spend some great time with the twins today.  I got to hold the kids for the first time.  All together, we had them out of their playpens for about an hour each.  Thanks to a 3-day round of medicine, their PDA heart issues are now gone.  What that means to you & me is that they now have more oxygen in the blood.  Next up: hiking trip!  Awesome.

They also both got their first round of breast milk today.  They’ve been “fed” protein, dextrose & lipids through PIC lines until around dinner tonight.  They each got a massive 3mL of home-grown milk from Tanya through those little orange feeding tubes in their mouths.  Not a bad first meal!  More awesome.

Cameron hasn’t seen himself in a mirror yet, but he’s already hoping his hairline is better than mine…

We put on his cool new blue hat from Grandma.  Nope, he didn’t start crying.  YAWN!!

Fighting through the evil tape all over his face, Cameron kept smiling at Tanya…

It was finally time for me to hold the kids.  Tanya, step aside!  I even got a smile out of the little guy…

What are you lookin’ at!?!

One day, Sophia will be mortified that we took all these pictures of her with tape all over her face and tubes running everywhere.  Enjoy them before she makes us take them down…

When Tanya talks, Sophia looks.  Every single time.  It’s like a tractor beam.  Or a homing pigeon.  Or maybe a kid looking at her mom.  One of those.

Here’s my first cuddle with Sophia.  When I talk to her, she either cries or sleeps.  Apparently Tanya has more magic than I do.  We knew that already though.

After her marathon cuddle fest, Sophia racked out in a perfect little pose with her new hat from Grandma…

 

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Cuddle time and light therapy

Posted on 13th November 2011 in NICU, Week 1

Yesterday was footprint & handprint day for Cameron.  Tanya brought in baby books and some canvases.  Cameron didn’t appreciate it.  At all.

Handprints are pretty much the worst thing in the world…

Cameron calmed down pretty quickly though.  I’m not sure if he likes the camera, recognizes my voice, or something else.  He seems to look a lot though…

They put up Sophia’s sign…

Sophia taking a nap…

The kids started some light therapy today to knock out a little bit of jaundice.  Here’s Sophia soaking up some rays…

Tanya got dismissed from the hospital.  Goodbye hospital room!

Cameron: “TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!”

Tanya getting some rays with Sophia…

Sophia DOES NOT like getting her temperature taken.  Here’s Tanya taking Sophia’s temperature under her arm.

They both know how to let you know when they’re not happy, but they don’t seem to hold a grudge.  Here’s Sophia posing for the camera…

Sophia got to spend more time cuddled with Tanya.  Sophia really likes Tanya…

Tanya really likes Sophia…

Cameron was pretty upset about the latest drop in the stock market.  Here I am trying to calm him down…

More of me with Cameron…

 

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Holding Sophia

Posted on 11th November 2011 in NICU, Week 1

Tanya got to hold Sophia for the first time today.  Here are the two of them just after their first cuddle:

Here’s Sophia looking up at Tanya (cute little nose!):

Sophia likes her “binky.”

Cameron’s primary nurse was out, so we left him in his “playpen.”  Here’s me with him:

Here’s Cameron checking out the camera:

 

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Tanya’s first visit to the NICU

Posted on 11th November 2011 in NICU, Week 1

After the C-section, the doctor’s orders were for Tanya to stay in bed for 24 hours.  Since the kids can’t leave the NICU, that meant Tanya couldn’t see the kids for 24 hours after they were delivered.  So, 24 hours and zero seconds after her surgery, Tanya leapt from the bed (not really) and ran to the NICU (not even close).

She got to hold Cameron (kangaroo style) for a few minutes – the first time either of us got to hold our kids.  She then spent some time with each of our kids. Cameron was wide awake and Sophia was sound asleep.

Here’s Tanya with Cameron:

Here’s Tanya with Sophia:

Here’s Cameron looking at Tanya:

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Handshake with Cameron

Posted on 9th November 2011 in NICU, Week 1

Cameron, locked away in the evil land of NICU, reaches for the only hand that hasn’t tortured him.  A hand of hope.  A hand of justice.  One hand to rule them all.

 

Ok, not really.  It’s a really great NICU.  The hand is just mine.  Still, he has a great handshake.

comments: 3 »

Hello, world!

Posted on 9th November 2011 in NICU, Week 1

They’re here!  We’re ecstatic to announce the arrival of Cameron David and Sophia Lynn!  Cameron was born at 10:37am and weighed 3 lbs 3 oz.  Sophia was born at 10:38am and weighed 2 lbs 15 oz.

A few minutes after their birth, they brought over Sophia for Tanya to meet her.  Cameron followed a few minutes later.  Here’s Tanya meeting Sophia for the first time:

Here’s Tanya meeting Cameron:

While Tanya was finishing up in the OR and getting back to her labor & delivery room, I went to the NICU to spend some more time with the twins.  They definitely have some growing to do before they can go home, but they look very healthy and they both cried as soon as they met the air.

Here’s a picture of Cameron just after getting to the NICU:

Here’s Sophia just after getting to the NICU:

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