The rest of the story… (Part 2)

After recovery for about 2 hours, we were all taken to the Family Unit room where we have stayed. We got report about the girls’ assessments, learned that not once did they need any assistance — no oxygen, no suctioning, no CPAP, nothing! We learned that Avery’s blood sugar was a bit lower than normal at first, but after her first feeding it came up and was perfect from there on. Elise’s was within normal limits both before and after eating. At about an hour of life, Elise took an ounce of formula by mouth and Avery took half an ounce. Regardless of plans for breastfeeding, pumping, whatever, preemies need supplemented early on for both calories and blood sugar maintenance (but mostly calories!). Since we don’t have strong feelings on the matter, we knew we’d be using a lot of formula anyway. We have lots of Enfamil samples at home, so we asked that they use that, and – thankfully for our wallets ๐Ÿ˜‰ – the girls seem to be doing really well with it!

Back in the room, the visitors started pouring in at about 1pm. The girls had a lot of stimulation that first day, and still did well… so we hoped we were looking at some pretty strong chicas! Because they are still pre-term, they are followed by the special care nursery team instead of just the post-partum nurses. They are also seen at least daily by the neonatologist (who this week, happens to be one of my favorite pediatricians in the city!). Rather than being fed ad lib as is the current suggestion for newborns, they were immediately put on a strict feeding schedule to monitor their intake since it is so crucial for small babies. Every 3 hours we have ‘orders’ to feed them, and we have to offer/encourage feeding for 20-30 minutes, even if they seem tired or uninterested. The first day, this was definitely necessary. They had a goal of 15mL per feed (1/2 ounce), but got tired very quickly. Still, after stimulating them, keeping them awake (read: cold and uncomfortable sometimes, sadly! ;)), they hit and exceeded their goal every feed. The first day they took an average of 20-22mL each time. Each day the “goal” increased by a few mL, but the girls appetite increased by several! Today, they are taking 30-40 per feed (at least an ounce), and keeping almost all (if not all) of it down. They still have some typical preemie confusion on coordinating sucking, swallowing, and breathing – which is hysterical to watch – but they can always self-resolve any of their issues and don’t ever have any serious problems with feeds…. they just don’t always look graceful ๐Ÿ™‚ Still, the end result is great — they eat like champs, enjoy doing so, sleep wonderfully between feeds and just start to get hungry right when they are “supposed to”. They are actually already gaining weight!

As for me, I’m feeling really good. I have been up and about since about 5 hours post-op, and have been showered and in regular clothes since less than 24 hours after! At times I feel good enough that I do something stupid and am reminded that I did just have surgery 2 days ago, but getting up moving around has been wonderful! At the moment, and at times on and off, the pain is a bit worse than other times…. but I honestly feel better now than I ever did pregnant, which I was looking forward to for quite some time!

Everyone has been by that needs to be (and then some!) — audiology, photographers, neonatologists and pediatricians, student nurses and medical students, etc. Hearing screenings are done, and all docs have signed off on a discharge early tomorrow morning! Because of her low birth weight (fewer than 2500g), Avery has to pass what is called a “carseat challenge”. This afternoon they will take her to the special care nursery, strap her in her carseat, and monitor her vitals and oxygen saturation for 45 minutes to be sure she can handle the ride home. She didn’t miss the cutoff by much and has been doing wonderfully, so we aren’t anticipating any trouble.

I’d say I’ve droned on enough for now. We have some great pictures if I do say so myself, but won’t post all of them on the blog. As always, the link in the sidebar will have all the pictures we upload. We’ll probably do so tomorrow or Friday, although I might add one or two here this afternoon. Looking at the pictures posted so far, we realized they look much bigger in them than they do in person, so it might be comical to post a few with carseats or something for a little perspective! Also, Miss Elise’s head is starting to round out a bit. (Side note: Sunday night, I half-joked with Kyle that at least we’ll have babies with nicely shaped heads since they were taken via section…. we should have realized “Baby A” would not escape the squished newborn look, considering she was crammed in a corner from 17 weeks on!)

Also, as they are demonstrating right now, I think Kyle has finally realized the bond I found so special between multiples that I so longed to watch with my own. They are lying together on my bed, nestled together as close as possible. No matter how far apart they start (you know, within reason — they aren’t crawling just yet ;)), or what direction they face, Avery always ends up snuggled right up to her ‘big’ sister and both sleep more peacefully than they ever do apart. They’re beautiful girls individually, and we think they are even more beautiful together. They don’t really cry yet, but instead opt for a quick little piglet squeal to make sure we know they are around. We have absolutely nothing to complain about thus far, and really can’t wait to get them home and start our lives together OUTSIDE of these four walls!

Comments

  1. Oh Jen – I feel all teary reading this – I am so happy for both of you – no hang on – all four of you!

    Thanks so much for continuing to post – it’s so good to read about the little princesses and how y’all are doing *hugs*

  2. Melissa Rose says:

    Hey Jen!
    I bet you can’t wait to take your little girls home. Hopefully it will be today. Reading your Blog (which I didn’t even know you had until they were born) sooo makes me want to have another one, to a point. lol. I have always wanted twins! It is such a miracle. I know twins sort of run in our family from way back but it so cool that you got them. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to meet your litte beauties! Take care!!

    Love,
    Melissa ๐Ÿ˜‰