Sleep Over

Posted on 20th December 2011 in NICU, Week 6

Today (December 19th) was the most time we’ve spent at the hospital in a long time – but there’s great news behind that.

We’re in a full charge to get the kids home.  We started the morning by me bottle feeding both kids for the first time.  Tanya’s been doing the teaching so far, but now that they’re eating on their own (i.e. there’s no real work left), we needed to make sure they’d take food from me.  Cameron pretty much gets hungry on cue and starts eating as soon as he sees something to eat from…

Sophia’s still working up to round the clock feedings, but I was able to convince her to eat…

Cameron usually eats enough that he just needs a quick burp before falling asleep.  Both of the kids are really good at pooping right before they eat and again right after.  Just to make sure you’re in on the full experience, the fortifier they put in the milk makes poops happen often and very stinky.  We’re looking forward to getting them weened off of the fortifier.  Lots & lots of diaper changes…

FEEEEED MEEE!!!

YAWN!

I’m pretty sure Cameron knows the “talking camera” as well as he knows me.  He will usually look at the camera if I call his name…

We spent some time talking with the twins’ occupational therapist (because the twins have occupations and need therapy), nurses, and doctors.  Everyone’s thinking that at least Cameron will be going home within a few days.  So, they let us do a “room in” with Cameron.  In other words, they gave us a normal hospital room to stay the night in with Cameron.  Cameron still had to wear his monitor, but it was his first night out of the NICU!

We started things off with some grooming.  Here’s Tanya teaching Cameron how to trim his nails…

Apparently babies need their nails trimmed every few days.  If they don’t get clipped, the claws come out.  I hear that the claws are not kind…

Cameron smiles a lot when we are near him.  He knows both of our voices.  That’s both good and bad.  If Tanya & I are talking within earshot of the kids, they seem to wake up (especially Cameron).  Here’s Cameron getting ready for his first nap outside the NICU…

He was pretty excited about escaping the NICU…

Here’s Cameron enjoying his first nap outside of the NICU.  Hopefully his first nap outside the hospital will be soon…

Tummy time is said to be an important part of their infant upbringing.  Here’s Cameron leaning on a boppy pillow…

Cameron did a great job of keeping us up all night.  Tanya & I got to sleep about 6 am.  We woke up at 7:30 to meet with the twins’ doctor.  I think the real point of the “room in” is to give parents a real taste of the impending fun.

His doctor said Cameron would most likely go home on Wednesday.  If Cameron drags his feet a little and Sophia steps it up, there’s actually a chance they could both go home Thursday.  If I were a betting man, I’d say Cameron’s going home tomorrow & Sophia will be home maybe this weekend.

So close!

Don’t tell the kids, but we’re ditching out early today to decorate our Christmas tree and go out to dinner.

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Not So Fast

Posted on 18th December 2011 in NICU, Week 6

We definitely had our hopes up last night, but after talking with the twins’ nurse today, we knew there wasn’t a chance that Cameron would break out of the hospital today.  Still, the best info we can get is that we’re in the “could be any day” zone.

Sophia did better today with eating.  She had a couple great breast feeding meals, so things are looking up for her…


Cameron eats like crazy now.  He’s done great without his feeding tube.  Bottle or breast – he’s all about eating.  He’s also the master of the post-meal nap.  Lucky guy…

Cameron’s on a pretty good schedule.  He eats every 3 hours.  He gets about 15 minutes of diaper changing and play time, then about 15-30 minutes of eating.  He pretty much dives into a milk coma within a few minutes of finishing eating.  Except for when he does a mid-nap poop, he sleeps for about 2 hours.

Right now Sophia eats about 30 minutes after Cameron.  If all goes well when they both get home, we’ll be able to sneak in about an hour nap every 3 hours.  If we do that around the clock, we’ll amass 8 hours of sleep a day.  Hopefully we can get creative with sharing duties so that we can both get some real sleep.

We’ll soon be zombies…

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Launch Pad

Posted on 17th December 2011 in NICU, Week 6

(This is about December 17th, but I posted it on the 19th.)

 

Today was a big day for both kids.  They have a big pile of tests they have to pass before they can go home.  Today, they passed a few of those.

When we got there, Cameron let Tanya know that he was ready for some loving.  His eating has been getting steadily better.  Yesterday, he got done eating and got put back in his crib.  While Tanya was feeding Sophia, Cameron was watching & was getting more & more restless.  In a little fit of “hold me,” he ripped out his feeding tube.  His nurse decided to leave it out until after the next feeding.  He did so much better without the tube in his nose, that he hasn’t needed it.  So, it looks like Cameron’s done with his feeding tube!

He’s really starting to look like a kid instead of like a patient…

The first test they threw at Cameron was his car seat test.  To pass this hurdle, Cameron had to hang out in his car seat for 90 minutes without having any problems.  Here’s the start of the test.  It looks pretty rough, huh?

While Cameron was in his recliner, Tanya fed Sophia.  She’s still doing better with her feedings, but she still has a way to go.  Whether or not she eats, she really loves the time with Tanya…

This is either Cameron’s “happy face” or his “pooping face.”  I’ll never tell…

Towards the end of Cameron’s car seat test, the hearing test technician showed up.  She booted up this contraption and connected a pile of wires to Cameron.  Since the kids are too young to click a little button when they hear a sound, the machine actually measures their brain waves while different sounds are playing.  Pure magic…

Here’s Cameron with his headphones and brain scanner connected…

Pass!

A few minutes after his hearing test was over, the time was up on his car seat test.  He passed both…two thumbs up!

Needless to say, we didn’t want to subject Cameron to any additional stress (because car seats are evil, so we hear).  So, the second his car seat test was over, Tanya scooped him up and dished out the love…

Except for the sand paper “soft” wash cloth he resting his face on (to catch any spit up), he was in heaven…

Sophia was next for the hearing test.  She almost looks like she’s wearing one of those World War II pilot head gear things…  “Pilot to bombardier…pilot to bombardier…”

As fun as this looks, Sophia didn’t actually mind it too much.  She pretty much slept through her hearing test.  That’s my kind of hearing test…

Pass!

The hospital staff is remarkably noncommittal when giving us info on when the kids might go home.  I understand that they don’t want to get our hopes up over something they can’t directly control, but it sure is frustrating.  We do know that there’s extremely little for Cameron left to do before he’s released.  One of the doctors called this Cameron’s “launch pad” day.  It could be any day now.

When we got home, we finished up the last few things around the house to make it ready for kids.  This included me exercising my construction skills on these two bouncers…

We’re really starting to get sick of the hospital.  I think since we’re in sight of the end, we want it to be over that much more.  He could go home as early as tomorrow!

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Sophia’s First Bath

Posted on 15th December 2011 in NICU, Week 6

(This is about December 15th, but I’m writing this on December 18th)

Today was a big day for the twins.  Cameron got his second bath.  I got to give my first bath.  AND…Sophia got her first bath.

Here’s Cameron pondering the world after his morning coffee…

Tanya is by far the most interesting thing in the world for both kids.  If I ever want the kids to look a certain direction for a photo, I just ask Tanya to stand there…

After his morning feeding, Cameron sat up (with help) in his favorite burping position.  It looked freakishly odd to me, but he really loves laying his neck & chin on a hand while he’s sitting up…

Because of some “technical difficulties,” I don’t have any pictures of Cameron’s bath.  He really loves baths…even when I give them.

When it was time for her bath, Sophia was wide awake.  She thought she might be in for some feeding, so she was on the lookout for Tanya…

You can tell by all the “extras” on her face that she was really ready for a good cleaning…

Sophia knew something was up…

We took our time getting her in the bath because I kept taking photos.  She got bored.  YAWN!

Before her bath, Sophia took her first karate lesson.  Wax on…wax off…

During her naked trip to the bathtub, Sophia was convinced the world was ending.  Much like Cameron, as soon as she hit the water, the world was a happy place again…

Warm water is awesome…

“I see angels…”

So let’s tally this up.  Tanya gives Sophia food.  Tanya gives Sophia baths.  Tanya cuddles with Sophia.  Sophia loves Tanya.

Sophia was literally glowing.  This is a completely unretouched photo.  She really looked like this…

…and this is what she looks like drunk…

I WANT MORE BATH TIME!!!

This is her “feed me” face…

She settled down pretty quickly.  Hopefully she remembered how awesome bath time was…

Sophia looked amazing after her bath.  Once she was all cleaned up, I snapped this photo with my iPhone & shared it with the world…

Here she is a little more up close & personal.  Cute!

After her bath, Sophia had her first real latched on breast feeding.  The same thing happened with Cameron too.  There’s something to these baths, I tell ya.

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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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