Sunday, August 31, 2008

3-Week Vitals

Happy 3-Week birthday to my sweet, sweet boys!

Thanks to Grandma Dort for these cute sleepers!

Max, snuggling with mama for some kangaroo care
current weight: 5lbs, 10oz (birth weight: 3lbs, 15oz)

Shoghi seems to be trending towards taking all of his food by mouth!
Here he is without his gavage (feeding tube)
Current weight: 4lbs, 9oz (birth weight: 3lbs, 7oz)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

too long

Sorry about the lack of posts - it's been a busy and tiring week for the mama!

The boys are both still in the hospital, but they hit 35 weeks gestational age on Thursday, so hopefully we'll see all the necessary neurological changes in the next week (growing out of apnea for Max, eating all food by mouth for Shoghi) and they will get to come home soon. I've been trying to get ready for them, which has meant driving myself a little nutty in the mornings with chores and errands, and then spending time into the night with the boys in the hospital. I'll get some stats today and try to post again tonight!

There are new photos on my flickr page as of this morning! Enjoy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

last night

I don't often bring clothes to the hospital for the boys - the staff have warned me that leaving clothes there can lead to losing them to the hospital laundry - but birthdays are the exception. Yesterday was their 2-week birthday, so I brought along some hand knits to make the occasion special. My dear friend knittah sent these diaper covers for us while I was still on bedrest, and Korin's husband's Aunt Mary whipped up 2 matching sweater sets in preemie size after the boys were born. What could be better than babies bundled up in knits? Not much, I tell you!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

34 weeks

Shoghi on left, Maxwell on right

Gestational age, that is. Today marks 34 weeks of life, and tomorrow marks two weeks since my beautiful boys were born.

Today, they are both at least a half a pound heavier than their birth weight, and continue to thrive as expected. They're heartbreakingly dear to me, and it just kills me to leave them every day. After speaking with the doctor today, it's clear that the plan remains the same as it was when they were first born: they will probably stay in the hospital until about 36 weeks gestational age. A terrible thought for their poor mama.

You might think that after all I went through to keep the boys on board for 4 extra weeks, combined with their exceptional health status, I'd just be filled with gratitude and patience, and happily go along with this plan... but honestly, though I am of course very, very grateful for this set of circumstances, it is one of the most painful things I've endured to leave my sweet boys in the hospital day after day. I worry about them when I'm not there, and worry about whether our separation during this sacred time that's supposed to be our time to bond with each other will impact our relationship long term. It might not be the most rational thought, but it haunts me and fills me with deep sadness.

Here, in lieu of photos of my own, are some blog posts that will melt your heart, featuring of course, dear Shoghi and darling Maxwell. (if you're the weepy type, make sure to grab a tissue or two)

And since I'm finishing this post on their second week birth day, I send my most profoundly loving and tender thoughts their way on this clear, bright morning. Love doesn't even describe how I feel for you, my sweet, beautiful boys.

Laurie's blog: back to work

Korin's blog: dear universe

Laurie's blog: nice to meet you

Maxwell, last Friday, celebrating one week

Saturday, August 16, 2008

more progress

First there was Max, who graduated into a crib 3 days ago, after being able to maintain his temperature:

Max, 7 days old

Then, today Korin and I arrived at the NICU to discover something that reduced us both to weeping - Maxwell got a new bunkmate overnight...

I love you, brother!

holding hands

here's their first photo of them in the same crib

Here's where we stand:

Both boys are off of all interventions except the feeding tube. This is used when they wear out from drinking their bottles, or "nippling" as they call it.

Maxwell and Shoghi have both successfully latched on and nursed for 10-minute periods.

Criteria for coming home: 1) the ability to drink all the required volume of breastmilk or formula - that is, about 35ccs every three hours. 2) graduate from having any apnea "spells." Both of them are still having them, Maxwell with more frequency than Shoghi, but they bring their heartrates up themselves in just a few seconds. This is normal for their gestational age.

I'm thinking it's going to be about a week. Honestly, I'm getting pretty weary of this set-up, so I can't wait.

Friday, August 15, 2008

week one in photos

"O Thou by whose Name the sea of joy moveth and the fragrance of happiness is wafted. I ask Thee to show me from the wonders of Thy favor, that which shall brighten my eyes and shall gladden my heart. Verily, Thou art the Giver, the Generous."

Happy One Week Birthday to my two sweet boys. You have melted my heart within me.

Some photos from Week One

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

my little joey

((First, let me just thank all of you for your loving comments and wishes. I've loved reading them over the past days, and feel surrounded by the most amazing and powerful support. I have very little computer time, especially now that I'm not in the hospital, so I hope you'll bear with me when it takes a while to respond to your emails and calls... I have received all of them with love.))

Shoghi's gorgeous hand

Today I spent about 7 hours at the NICU with Shoghi and Maxwell, and for most of that time, we practiced Kangaroo Care. All this means is that I open my shirt, unswaddle or undress the baby (I do this one baby at a time) and we snuggle skin-to-skin. Some of that time may be spent practicing nursing, but mostly, the boys just sleep. Here are some photos of Shoghi, who looks beyond content, don't you think? I was trying to get his whole body, with his teeny legs curled up underneath him, but didn't quite capture it.

And because I can't leave him out, here's Max, snuggled up in his isolette this afternoon.

My goal for tomorrow is to give the low-down on all of the amazing progress my beautiful sons are making. Assuming they keep going as they have been, they'll be home before we know it. (well, maybe not before I know it, because every day of separation from them is torture, but you know what I mean!)

See you tomorrow!

heavenly day

Yesterday gave us cause for celebration: Maxwell and Shoghi graduated from their previous beds into isolettes, their IVs were removed, and all of this made it possible for us to get them close enough together for a reunion. It was a 3-step process...

Mon was holding Shoghi and I was feeding Maxwell, so we brought the chairs closer...

Shoghi sensed something was going on and started crying... meanwhile Max stopped sucking and opened his eyes wide to find his brother. He was looking to his right and trying to turn his head until they were finally beside each other...

Peace at last - brothers side-by-side; both of my sons in my arms.
I don't even have words for this kind of elation.

As soon as they progress from their isolettes, they'll be co-bedded in an open crib. I can hardly wait.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

three days old

my two little heart breakers, taken today. notice they are breathing on their own!!

some questions that have come up:

can they cry? YES, and how! Shoghi cried to my deepest delight as soon as he was born, and while Max took a little extra time, he's been making his voice heard ever since.

dear little Shoghi with me for a little kangaroo care
(skin-to-skin holding)

sweet Maxwell, being held by his grandma


My sons have arrived!

Shoghi (rhymes with yogi), Baby A
born 8/8/08, 12:15am
3 pounds, 7 ounces
16 inches long

Maxwell, Baby B
born 8/8/08, 12:16am
3 pounds, 15 ounces
17 inches long

Details to come as things settle down - we're all well! I'm completely in love. These have been the best three days of my life.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

a week for my papa

My mom is arriving today and will be here until Friday, so I figure some sort of daily posting is in order. Dad couldn't come along this time, so this will serve to keep him included.

Actually, I'm just hanging around for now, waiting to be called down for my NST (non stress test) and waiting for the call that her plane has arrived, even though I probably won't see her until about 4pm (it's 12:30 now). So far, it's been a pretty uneventful day.

I'm 31w3d today. I have not shared before that reaching that third day after turning over a new week is a big deal for me - it always makes me feel like the next week marker is most definitely attainable (unless there's an emergency). So today, 32 weeks is feeling close... something I can hardly believe.

Last night I got the idea that I should take a couple of pictures with a tape measure, so that's how we'll start.

Measuring around: 47"! Who ever thought I'd be proud of such a number,
nevermind post a photo of it! Ha!! That's my view of my belly, of course.

The red string is something some of my friends and I did at the beginning of this
pregnancy, to bind the babies to me until their healthy birth.

Fundus measurement: 47cm??? Ok, this is totally inaccurate because I'm standing up,
but this is a measurement from the bottom of my uterus to the top. In a singleton
pregnancy, after 20w, this generally measures 1cm for each week of pregnancy.
47cm at 31w? Probably not. ;o) I should be measuring somewhere around 36cm.