Kenley: 3 pounds and is maintaining her own temperature, but is still in the isolette. Takes 2 bottles a day (25 CCs) like a pro.
Kamryn: 4.5 pounds and is maintaining her own temperature, but moved to a bassinet early this week. Takes 2-3 bottles a day (35 CCs) and does a very good job with them.
Both: Moved to nursery C last Wednesday night (7/29) and are doing extremely well.
Me: Ankles swelled up again (on my feet too much because of the move [even though I did very little] or on my feet too much because the house is much bigger than the apartment?). Still tired and trying to catch up on sleep. Sick of pumping.
Tom: Amazing but tired (from my point of view).
Both: Married 4 years yesterday and very happy to be in our new house. Anxious for the girls to come home.
You: Very supportive friend, reader, family member, packer, unpacker, and/or gift giver. Thank you!
By the way, if you live in the area and want to see the girls, just let me know so we can figure out a time. They’re going to be in the NICU for a few more weeks.
Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. With the girls still in the hospital and with the upcoming move (tomorrow!) I haven’t had time to sit down and write. I don’t have much time now, but thought I’d take a few minutes to post an update and some pictures.
The news with the girls is very very good. They are about to move (hopefully today) into nursery C, a.k.a. “the fat farm.” It’s the lowest level of care in the NICU and it’s where the babies go to fatten up so they can go home. Actually, they have to be more than fat to go home, but being in nursery C means they’re very stable and on their way out. In order to go home, they need to be able to suck, swallow and breathe at the same time, maintain their own body temperatures, not have any breathing apneas or bradys, take all of their feedings through bottle or breast, and be over 4 pounds. I’m so excited that they are getting closer to going home, though it’s going to be at least another 2-4 weeks (that’s just my guess).
They’re both gaining weight and Kenley is really starting to look a lot bigger. She is now 2 lbs, 7.5 oz and Kamryn is 3 lbs, 12.5 oz–a full pound and one ounce bigger than when she was born. They both are taking one bottle a day, though it wears them out and they often fall asleep before they finish. But they’re getting the hang of it, which is what counts.
As for us, we have been consumed by the move. We’ve been unbelievably blessed to have family and friends come over to help us pack. I’ve been amazed at the random acts of kindness that have come our way–the packing and the lifting and loading, as well as the package that arrived on our doorstep from someone we’ve never met (but more on that later). We’re so excited to be moving into a house and I can’t wait to post pictures of our new place. Meanwhile, here are some recent photos of the girls (can you believe they’re now 1 month old?)….
I love how their little personalities are starting to shine through. More next week…
Over the past few months, many of you have asked us if there is anything we need. Well, now we could use some help getting ready to move because I still can’t lift anything and have to stay off of my feet as much as possible. I hate to see Tom do everything by himself.
Don’t worry! We’ve hired movers to move all of our boxes and furniture, but we need to get those boxes packed. So, if…
*you’re inclined to help us pack a box or two
*you enjoy using a power drill (our bookshelves and curtain rods need to be taken down)
*you’re handy with spackle (we have lots of holes to fill)
…you will be rewarded with food, drink and forever have our deepest appreciation. You might also win a ride to the hospital to see the girls. 🙂
If you can help, we’d be forever grateful. And if you can’t or don’t want to, then don’t even respond to this. We promise (crossing our hearts as I type) we won’t be mad.
I walked into the NICU today and was told that both girls had their first bottle feedings this morning! Then the nurse gave me these:
The bottle on the left reads: “11:30 am 7-16-2009
I took my first bottle today and did very well. I ate it all in 20 minutes. I love you Mommie and Daddy. ~Kamryn”
Kamryn was a rock star with her first bottle feeding–she had no problem coordinating sucking, swallowing and breathing. She will get to try it again tonight and I’m excited that I will get to give her the bottle. Also, the doctor is going to try giving her breast milk while slowly taking her off the Elecare. Let’s hope it works!
And the bottle on the right reads: “12:00 pm 7-16-2009
Today I tried to nipple my first bottle. I ate a few MLs. My doctor wants me to try everyday, so I look forward to the next. I love you Mommie and Daddy. ~Kenley”
Kenley did not take to the bottle like her sister. It seemed to stress her out, though she did take a little bit of milk. The doctor wants her to keep practicing, though, so she will try again tomorrow.
If I was still pregnant, the babies would be exactly 34 weeks today. Instead, they’re nearly 3 weeks old and before long, they’ll be sucking with the best of them!
I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have only good news to report about my girls. Kamryn topped 3 pounds the night before last and Kenley hit 2 pounds exactly last night!! I also love watching the doctors walk away from Kenley after an examination and tell me how wonderful she is doing. They shake their heads and say with a smile, “She is so tiny, but she is strong.” And they always tell me Kamryn is progressing well, too. And it’s true–Kamryn is getting about 20CCs of Elecare and seems to be digesting it well. Kenley is still getting 16CCs of breast milk, but it’s being fortified up to 24 calories today.
As for me, I was cleared to drive back and forth to the hospital. Yesterday was my first day to drive there all by myself and I just loved being able to do it. My incision is healing and my swelling is limited to my ankles. I graduated from flip flops to Crocs a few days ago–I’m looking forward to fit back into my regular shoes soon! The doctor told me to keep taking it easy, to get get lots of rest, to keep off my feet as much as possible and not lift anything heavy. Oh, and that at my next appointment in 4 weeks we will have to talk about birth control. I think the chances of my getting pregnant are next to nil (remember IVF??), but the thought of an accidental pregnancy freaks me out.
I’m feeling a lot better emotionally, too. The pregnancy is becoming a part of the past. Traumatic though it was, it is turning out to have a good ending. The girls are getting strong and healthy, and I’m healing, so it’s a lot easier to feel hopeful and optimistic about the future. We have a beautiful house to move into in a couple of weeks and the girls will come home soon, so there is a lot to look forward to. It also helps that I’m more mobile and am more self-reliant again. I’m not stuck inside, in a bed or on a couch, I’m not nauseous, or in serious discomfort. I’m feeling more like myself again, but now with two beautiful little girls.
Kamryn’s nose cannula was removed during last night’s shift. We can finally see her whole beautiful face!! Here’s a picture of her while Tom did Cuddle Care with her:
He’s been kind enough to let me hog the girls, but today asked if he could have some time with them. Kamryn seemed very content with him and I got some great pictures of her sweet face.
She continues to improve with her digestion. She started a very easy to digest formula yesterday and is getting 10CCs every 3 hours. They’ll evaluate tomorrow and decide whether to increase the amount. Also, her weight is now 1309 grams (2lbs, 14.2oz)–lower than it was two days before, but higher than it was a week ago.
Kenley is still the wonder of the NICU. She’s getting 17CCs of breast milk and they are going to add some enrichment to it to increase her caloric intake. (Breast milk has 20 calories per ounce, they can enrich it up to 30 calories an ounce). For now she will get an extra 2 calories per ounce during two of her feedings each day. They want to introduce it slowly so that it doesn’t overwhelm her tiny little digestive system. She weighed in tonight at 855 grams (1lb, 14.2oz). Here she is in her new micro preemie sized outfit: