My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

NICU progress reports

It was a few hours before I could see the girls.  We had to wait for my drugs to wear off enough that I could stand.  But I only needed to stand long enough to go from the bed to a wheelchair.  In that time, K was going back and forth between me and the girls, called my parents to go ahead and come on down, and brought me the pictures of the girls that you saw in the previous post.

During this time, K was calling Baby A Charlotte and Baby B was Christina.  For some reason, I kind of thought their names were the other way around.  No reason why, just that somehow I had kind of named them in utero.   I really tried to avoid doing that, but it was still kind of in my head that it was Christina dancing on my crotch and Charlotte chillen out by my ribs.  But Charlotte means "little one" so K was calling the itty bitty baby Charlotte.  We opted not to make any decisions until I could meet them.  I'm sure it will come as no shock that we ultimately decided I was right.  8 days later, I think we figured out why - today I've been calling her Teeny Tiny Tina.

Though it seems to defy all logic, Charlotte has needed far more medical intervention than Christina.  The theory is that Christina knew she was in distress and fought to get to term faster, whereas Charlotte was just happily relaxin, expecting to be born at 40 weeks, so she didn't speed up her development in anticipation of early delivery.  Thus, even though she's itty bitty, Christina was more prepared to be born than her sister.

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail for several reasons:
  • I'm not certain I've understood everything correctly
  • I'm exhausted and my memory is shot anyway
  • I only made cursory notes about their care while I was busy trying to figure out a pumping/sleeping/visiting schedule.
  • Medical stuff is unpleasant and I'm having an emotional day already
So, here's a few random odds and ends.

June 9 - We did kangaroo care with Christina on her second day.  She took bottles right away and never required a feeding tube, but wasn't up for breastfeeding.

Charlotte was still having breathing issues and needed to remain in her incubator.  Removing her would have caused stress which we didn't want to do.  But we did learn that she really likes to hold an adult finger and use it like a security blanket.  K provided his for an hour two at a time.  She took a pacifier and did some sucking for the first time.

June 10 - Was able to hold Charlotte for about a half hour.  Christina is opening her eyes and becoming more alert.

June 11 - They tried putting Charlotte on just the breathing tube but ultimately had to put the cpap back on.  Her eyes were open and she was looking around, a lot.  Just fascinated with everything around her.  Especially Daddy.  Oh did she have eyes for Daddy!

Blue lights make for crappy pictures
June 12 - Charlotte has a face!  An actual face!  Out of her incubator and in a crib like Christina.  The cpap was replaced with the breathing tube.  Christina had some success at breast feeding.  Only enough for a small snack but it still worked!  

June 13 - Christina is completely off everything, only hooked up to basic monitors now.  Still not real big on eating from the breast.  It's great as a pillow, but not so interesting as a food source.  Charlotte is off breathing assistance, but now under the billy lights for jaundice.  On the upside, she looks like a super hero with that mask on.  Attempted breastfeeding and she's interested but certainly no expert.  She looks around the room just spacing out, and intrigued by everything around her so she forgets she needs to actually eat.

June 14 - Christina still really annoyed when I try to feed her from the breast.  Takes a full bottle in just minutes but is just irritated at the whole breast concept.  Charlotte - tried to put her back in a crib but her temp dropped so she returns to the incubator.

June 15 - Charlotte is out of the incubator and did a feeding without needing extra from the tube.  Passed her hearing test.  Christina has all the doctors laughing because any baby born at her weight is automatically admitted to the NICU and yet she's progressing so fast, she's being discharged.  Failed the hearing test in one ear.

June 16 - Christina has everyone confused.  She again passed her hearing test in one ear but failed in the other.  But this time, the results were switched.  Will be doing follow-ups.  The big accomplishment - she's home!!!  The cats are not impressed.  

June 17 - Charlotte's feeding tube is finally out.  Her face is finally naked and fully viewable.

June 18 - Charlotte is preparing for discharge.  They have to keep her for observation for 5 complete days with no respiratory episodes and the last episode was the morning of June 16.  If no more, she will come home the day I would have made it to 37 weeks, Thursday, one day before my scheduled c-section was supposed to be.  Has passed her carseat test.

June 19 - Attempted to feed Christina at the breast today now that we have a scale and can see how much she actually takes in.  It took a little doing, but once she figured it out, she did well.  Got a full ounce in her.  Gave her the rest of her feeding by bottle.  Charlotte has passed her carseat test and we finally got foot and handprints for her.  We'll get Christina's when we take her to pick up Charlotte on Thursday.

How Mom spends her time in the NICU - 

What's going on here - K was feeding Charlotte out of view and I was snuggling Christina on the day bed.  Notice the feet in the air - my feet are still so horribly swollen that putting them up like this is seriously the only thing that reduces the swelling at all.  The baby - she just finished eating and I wanted some snuggle time.  The phone in my other hand - you aren't allowed to fall asleep while holding a baby, even in a secure position like this.  So I spent a lot of time with my phone facebooking and such, mostly so I wouldn't fall asleep.  Having the baby on my chest just floods me with the drowsies so I'm pissed that I'm not allowed to just drift off to sleep like this.  But safety first!  *grumble grumble*


  1. I'm so happy for you--they look so beautiful!
    Sounds like they are strict at your hospital--I slept with my babies on my chest the whole time I was in the hospital for each delivery. Maybe they're more cautious because of the NICU thing?


  2. Glad they seem to be doing well!!!!

  3. Love all the pictures! Thanks for the update, I'm thinking of you all lots! Glad you're making process with the breastfeeding, I've known some parents that it took a while to get their baby's on the breastfeeding routine, especially NICU babies. It sounds like you're got a great team :)

  4. They are just beautiful. Glad everyone is doing well.

  5. I don't know if you've tried this, but I found that a pedicure (mostly the massage I get at the place I go to) reduces swelling in my feet and ankles. If you have time, maybe give that a try.


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