Sunday, January 30, 2011
This post will serve as my regular Sunday post and I will be going back to Sunday updates as the boys aren't changing much from day to day! They continue to gain ounces at a time and with the weight gain, they up their feeding by about 4 ml a day. They continue getting a daily dose of vitamin D with one of their feedings and amoxicillin. The amoxicillin is precautionary to a kidney infection. When I was still pregnant, two of my last ultrasounds showed both babies had enlarged kidneys. We were going to wait and see if they corrected themselves... but then once the boys were born, they were put on the antibiotic for "just in case" they could get a kidney infection. Next week they will be old enough and should be big enough to do a couple more tests and see if we can discontinue the antibiotic and measure the flow of liquids in their kidneys with a dye. After doing some research online, this is quite common, and also more common in boys.
We continue to do Kangaroo time with the boys and the best days are when we have "time" to hold both of the boys together.
My first day or two with the boys, I was thinking how many books I would be able to read and how long the days will be at the hospital. That turns out to be the complete opposite! There are days I don't sit down (except to pump) we are so busy. We are very involved in their CARES before their feedings and I am holding and trying to breastfeed while they receive their feeding so they can start to make the Connection between me and their meals. The boys eat every three hours so basically once I do Aiden for an hour, then I do Ashton for an hour, I pump and use the restroom and we start all over... ALL DAY. I need to sometimes remove myself so I can remember to eat and stay strong for the boys.
Right now Adam and I are planning our weeks one week at a time. Adam is trying to work more so he can be available a bit more when they boys come home. He tries to make it for either a morning or an evening, but is also keeping things rolling at home with the nursery, new carpet, housework and Nizzer. I am getting home 1 to 2 nights a week to do laundry, spend some time with Izzie, and sleep in my own bed. The other nights I am staying in Afton, MN (about 20 minutes away) with some family friends to be closer to the boys and cut down on the driving after long days at the hospital. I am there in the morning for the doctor's update and to listen to rounds and we TRY to leave by 10pm. When I say try... it is usually later by the time we actually walk out of the hospital and it is SO hard leaving them each night! I have to remind myself each time we leave that they are in the best hands and they need us to be strong and healthy for them. We won't be able to walk away for lunch, supper and sleep once they come home... but the boys coming home cannot come soon enough for Adam and I. I think Izzie wants them home too, so we will be home more! ;)
Check back next Sunday for another post!
Adam, Amy, Ashton, and Aiden. Izzie too!
It's a special day! Today was the first day they boys could be held by others, besides getting all the lovin' from Mom and Dad!!! Gramma and Grandpa Wamboldt and Nana all got to hold their first grandsons... this makes their visits a little more special, as it is more fun to hold than to just look.
Gramma with Ashton
Grandpa with Aiden
This day was All About Aiden as I look back through the pictures and only had two of Aiden! I already feel torn about holding one and not the other, and I am trying to take equal amounts of pictures of both boys... but it doesn't always happen, nor will it continue!
Adam and I joke about being totally prepared and doing everything right. We have it all figured out... until we get the boys home and are into the first hour. Then all plans go straight out window! We are completely flexible but for those who know me, I am a planner!
Aiden is wearing a true Big Boy outfit. This is one Adam bought and was so proud to put on him... but like I said earlier, he didn't buy two so I had to go back and buy another one so Ashton could have one too! ;) It's a bit big, but size newborn!
It's hard to believe that the boys are already a week old! Where does the time go? The boys are changing each and every day as they are more and more alert and interacting with their surroundings .
He is back to his birth weight! The doctors say this is the goal by their second week... he is doing GREAT!
3 pounds 11 ounces
We try to make it home a night or two during the week to "regroup" and head back up (over). It is always hard leaving the boys, but we know they are in the best of hands and we need to get things ready at home too! We thought we had just a little more time to get the nursery ready! When we are not home our home-away-from-home has been at a family friend's house in Afton, Minnesota. It is about a 15-20 minute drive to and from the hospital. After being at the hospital all day, it is nice to have a comfortable bed to sleep in. Thanks Maureen and Coach!!! Adam is also trying to work right now so he can be a little more available when it is time for the boys to come home. He packed me up and dropped me off with the boys this morning to spend some time with them while he went to work.
Their very own Craftsman Tool Boxes!!! Is this saying they can't touch Daddy's tools? Now Adam is working on buying them Hot Wheel's, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles that they can use their tools on!
What's up Ashton? Are you shy about your clothes??? Maybe he's telling us he didn't want his picture taken. Adam thinks that it is the strips and he wanted to be in camouflage.
Today was a big day for the boys to try on their first BIG BOY clothes. No more chilling in their diaper and having a machine keep you warm! To help regulate their body temperature, they need to put on clothes and slowly turn down the temperature in their isolettes. Once they can hold it on their own, the graduate to BIG BOY BEDS! We didn't have any clothes here with us, so Adam went out shopping and then headed home to do some laundry to bring some of their clothes back up. Several nurses commented how cute it was that Daddy was soo excited to go shopping for they boys and do their laundry! He is a keeper although I don't think he has this "shopping for twins" thing down. He only bought one of everything. Nothing matching or even coordinating! So, we had to go back and "finish" his shopping. That is the big question... will the boys dress identical or not? I prefer coordinating outfits, same style but different color but matching is cute too!
There's his cute little face! They are swimming in their clothes (size newborn) but they are almost too long to buy a lot of preemie clothes. We have a couple preemie things washed up and they just look sooo tiny. They will be growing into the newborn size before we know it!
Today was a BIG DAY! The boys were moved to a brand new unit in the NICU. It's grand opening is today and the boys were the first babies to be moved in. This is the Level 2 NICU and they are moving 6-10 babies who are less medically fragile and basically just working on getting bigger. They call them the "Feeder and Growers."
The unit is quiet and has recliners! I know this may sound pretty standard, but in their last little home you had to check out a chair for when you were going to hold them and it was busy with up to 50 babies getting care.
The boys are in separate rooms here (until they are out of their isolettes) which makes it hard. I feel guilty about sitting with one and not the other!!! Very soon they will be regulating their own body temperature and they will be moved to bassinets and then they can be in the same room. There just isn't room for two isolettes!
The boys being moved to their new "Home!"
No News is Great News. Everyday is a new day and it is a great day when we hear that the boys are doing well. I think that they are so small and fragile and it is crazy to hear the nurses call our boys "the big boys of the unit!" We are going to save a diaper and some of their preemie clothes to show the boys just how small they once were. I feel that they are growing and changing in looks every day. Their eyes get brighter and they get more and more control of their movements.
I love these pictures because it looks like he has a good start to little chubby cheekers!
The boys are still getting photo therapy. They expect their blood work to come back fine and get them off the lights.
Aiden still has the oxygen flow, but it is all room air and we expect him to come off that soon. It will give him one less thing to grab at!
The nurses continue to tell us that both of the boys are "SPIRITED." Aiden a little more so than Ashton. This makes me think we will have our hands full at home, but also their "spirit" is making them strong and grow faster?!?!
This is Ashton showing of his first pair of Oakleys. He learned really fast how to get them off, especially hitting them with the "board" on his arm that is to hold in his IV. He would get the goggles off and then squeak because the lights hurt his eyes... we had a long talk about cause and effect!
Aiden wasn't too crazy about his first pair of Oakleys either. Again, notice the mitt on his hand and he still found a way to get his goggles off!
Adam and I are beginning to be more involved in their care. Before each feeding, the nurses do CARES. They take their temperature, change their diaper, and do a full check up. Adam and I are now doing their temperatures (they do NOT like the cold thermometer in their arm pit) and changing their diapers. This is challenging with them in their isolettes and all the wires, but we just think of it as extra challenging practice and will only be easier as they get bigger and we don't have to work around the obstacle course!
With their feedings moving through their little systems and getting them to go to the bathroom more, this will help with the bilirubin breaking down as well. We were fist a bit concerned because it took Ashton a little longer than expected to pee and poop... but have no fear, both boys have healthy little systems and fill their diapers often! They are stinky boys ;)
While we are doing Kangaroo time with the boys, we play some light music that I played on my tummy while they were in the womb. One of my favorites is Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Lullaby's. I make the joke that with their little Oakley's, Tans, and Jimmy Buffett... they will feel right at home next time we go on a Caribbean Vacation.
They boys are changing each and every day. They are still loosing a little weight each day and especially being under these lights they are loosing a little more liquids, so hopefully they will start to chart in the positive gains!
Thank You everyone for the kind words, thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. We appreciate everything and look forward to bringing the boys home!
I organized the first week into days. Each day made such a difference in what to expect and how they boys were doing. They continue to do well and the main goal is to just get them to gain some weight and eventually learn to eat on their own, however both have lost a little weight since birth. This is normal with all babies, but we don't want them to lose more than 10% of their weight! They are getting all their nutrients through a feeding tube as they are too young and weak to suck, swallow, and breath and get it all down in a pattern. They tell us that it probably won't be for a couple weeks. Both are still on IV's providing them with a little more liquids, Vitamin D, and some caffeine to stimulate their little systems and remind them they need to breath on their own! The IV sites are very fragile with their little veins, so they are moved often. Both have had an IV in their head at one time for a site, and I'm not going to lie... it's hard to see our little boys like this!
This picture melts my heart. Ashton fell asleep while looking up at Daddy. Yes, that is blonde hair on his shoulders. I call him my little Monkey and I had the same thing when I was born.
Aiden often has a worried look on his face and is a little more of a spit fire. When he gets mad, he gets MAD!!! He loves his pacifier and needs to be touched or cuddled to calm down.
Volunteers make the hats the babies wear in the NICU. The teal one is Ashton's and the blue on is Aiden's. Adam had a good idea of comparing the size to a quarter... they are tiny too!
It's amazing how with just a blink of the eye, what you do is no longer about yourself. These little boys have me wrapped around their finger more than I could ever have imagined, and they are only a day old in these pictures. I could not get up early enough to get to their room to see them. It was a tough night for me, trying to sleep in my recovery room while the boys were in a different unit (NICU). It was my first time away from them and not being able to be with them or feel them kicking inside of me left me not being able to sleep.
Adam and I cannot get enough time with them. The Kangaroo time is the best part of our days.
We usually see the boys' eyes during the Kangaroo time as they are more alert. This is Ashton right after some Kangaroo time. He definitely has the lighter features of the two boys! One nurse thinks they may both be blonde, but for now Ashton is the Blondie!
Aiden has booties on his hands. He was still receiving a little "Room Air Flow" just to help him out a bit. He is a stinker and keeps pulling at everything. Many of the nurses describe him as "Spirited". We might have our hands full with him! Ashton is a bit more laid back and chill right now, but they both have their moments!
The boys continue to do well, and just need to get stronger and gain weight!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Around 4:30 am I woke up to thinking I had to go to the bathroom and to my surprise, I just thought that the pressure from the boys were causing me to lose control of my bladder a bit (sorry for this concerned about TMI - too much information). I called the OR and they said to keep an eye on it and didn't tell me to come in at all soooo, I got up and ready for work. I was going to do my sub plans and get everything checked out. BUT I made it to the front office of my school and walked past the secretary and said, "go open the door for my kids, I need a sub!" Not too long later I was on the phone with Adam telling him I was getting a ride to the hospital.
At this time, I felt a bit stupid going to the hospital because I wasn't feeling anything unusual. Then me feeling stupid went all out the window and I felt scared, anxiety, and panic. A test was done and indicated it was indeed my water that had broke. Then the nurses and my doctor started moving quite fast! They didn't want to check me right away as the more times you get checked there is more of a chance for infection. After a call to the cities, they wanted me checked to see if I could make the transfer to the cities. I will NEVER forget the look on the faces in the room when I was checked and what they thought I was measuring 6 cm dilated. At this point I was NOT feeling any contractions, but they were about 2-4 minutes apart. At 6 cm I was not going anywhere and they were going to fly a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to Menomonie to assist with the delivery and care of the boys. Once they were born I would have stayed in Menomonie and they would have taken to boys to the cities.
Then, after a second opinion and check, they determined I was really only 1 cm dilated and could make it to the cities. This made me very nervous but glad I could be with the boys. The trip was the longest, bumpiest, and most anxious trip I had ever had to the cities. I could help but just watch the two nurses and paramedics faces to see if they were nervous and how they were reacting to the situation. I'm sure I was quite annoying by asking "Where are we?" It helped me knowing how much further I needed to make it. When we arrived at the hospital I was having contraction every two to three minutes and just by being able to relax knowing we made it, the contractions were STRONG. I was not even in my room for a half hour and they had me checked. I went from 1 cm to 10 cm in about 20 minutes. This was just long enough to get the epidural and head off to the OR for delivery.
The delivery room was quite a sight. There was a team (10 or so people) for Baby A, a team for Baby B, and a team for me. I pushed for about an hour and a half with Ashton. He came out crying and all I could say was "keep crying little buddy!" By me being able to hear his cry, I knew he was breathing! Ashton got to visit with me for a couple seconds and then they took him to check him out. In a matter of a minutes they did an ultrasound and Baby B was still head down so I asked how long before we start pushing. The doctor looked at me and said, "right now!" I said something to the sort of, "OK... but I'm hungry, tired, and sore from the first one." He said push and in two pushes Aiden James followed his brother by three minutes! He was crying as well, music to our ears.