Tag Archives: NICU

Quickie update

Hi bloggies! Thank you so much for the beautiful messages on my last post. 🙂 I started a birth story post while I was in the hospital, so that’s coming soon. In the meantime, here’s a quick update filled with tons of randomness….

  • I did a vaginal birth for both babies. It was fast and furious (details to come). I always wondered which was harder/more painful, labor or a marathon. The answer? LABOR!
  • The babies were born teenie tiny (4 pounds 11 ounces and 4 pounds 10 ounces)—despite my intense efforts to eat tons of protein, milkshakes, burgers, Sheperd’s Pie, etc etc etc, throughout pregnancy—but super healthy. From birth, their breathing and suck/swallow reflexes = perfect.
  • Because they are tiny champs and we are insanely lucky, they never had to go to the NICU! We spent Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday cuddling them, staring at them, taking pictures of them, and feeding them in our hospital room.
  • I am in love, love, LOVE with these sweet little babies. Just thinking about them makes my heart almost burst with love. We are so blessed!
  • Char.lie developed borderline jaundice on our last day in the hospital. His levels stabilized with some phototherapy so he was cleared to go home with at-home bili blanket. We soooo miss cuddling with him and getting skin-to-skin QT whenever we feel like it, but it’s for his own good!
  • I never ever imagined we’d get to bring both babies home with us. But the four of us left the hospital on Wednesday evening. I was shaking I was so happy. It makes me teary thinking about it now!
  • We had our first pediatrician appointment yesterday morning. We loooove our doctor, she had awesome feeding tips for us and was very efficient and thorough.
  • Unfort, Char.lie’s bili levels went up a bit. So hubs is taking him back for another blood test today. If his bilirubin level rises again, he’ll probably have to be readmitted to the hospital for more intense phototherapy. We would miss him so much! But we really want to nix this jaundice thing, so whatever is best for him.
  • I think my milk is starting to come in (yay body!!!!!), and I am so happy that I can start giving them breast milk in lieu of formula for some feeds. The babies haven’t been able to breast feed more than 5 minutes at a time. Because it, a) burns too many calories to eat that way, and, b) because tiny amounts of colostrum/early breast milk won’t do them any weight gain favors at this point—they’re so little that they cannot tolerate losing weight like most term babies can.
  • Lu.cy sleeps like a rock in between feeds during the day. Because she is seriously NOCTURNAL! Come nighttime (her witching hour is about 10pm), she is inconsolable unless she’s in our arms. It’s absolutely adorable and wonderful to placate her with serious snuggle time, but it means we haven’t had much luck catching Zzzs.
  • I’ve only slept a few hours since we got home on Wednesday. I’m going on pure love and adrenaline. I have never ever ever been happier than I am right now. We love our sweet little babies so so so much!
Advertisements

26 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Mantra: One more day

Thank you all so much for the words of love and support and prayer yesterday. They all warmed my heart and continue to give me strength!

Now I’m going to go all runner-analogy on you. Whenever I do a marathon, I begin training with an A goal, B goal and C goal. A is my secret goal that I only tell hubs…..like PR and qualify for Boston. B is a legit goal I tell the outside world, like “I really hope I can break X time.” C is a sub-par goal that I keep to myself, but a result I can live with, like, “finish in under 4 hours.”

With this pregnancy, I have had A, B and C goals. To hubs, I would openly hope for 5 pound babies and to make it to 36 weeks. I knew those were pretty sky-high hopes, but with feeling so good and so strong this entire time, I didn’t think it was totally impossible. Goal B has been, “We want to make it as loooong as possible, but hopefully til 34 weeks.” Goal C has been 32 weeks.

Sometimes, in marathons, I’ve had to change my goals mid-race. There was the year of the New York City Marathon when my running partner became delirious with dehydration at mile 23 and I waited with her in Central Park while the medics arrived and took her to an ambulence. It added about forty-five minutes to my race time—but whatever!—of course I never ever ever once thought twice about not leaving her side! When she was safely being taking care of and I began running again, I quickly mapped out a new C goal in my head to get me through the final through miles.

Now, I find that my C goal, 32-weeks, is fading. I have a new C goal…one more day. One more day. One more day. One more day.

I oscillate right now between hope that this medicine has chilled out my uterus enough to buy us a day (or more, if I dare to share my honest and outrageous hope)….and fear that once my 11am dose wears off—the last one I will take, my hospital doesn’t use any other anti-contrax meds because their studies show they don’t work—my ute will begin contracting again and I will be in labor and delivering these babies at 30w5d.

I think the best I can do right now is to make peace with this situation. The fact is that our babies may be arriving very very very soon. I need to sack up and summon the strength for labor and for the days that follow and for the weeks and months of NICU-ness. (Babies born this early tend to stay in the NICU til their 40 week due date, or April 23 in my case.)

I am thinking about our plans for if the babies arrive imminently. I’m thinking, after I recover from labor, that perhaps I can continue working so I don’t eat up all of my maternity leave time while the babies are being cared for in the NICU. Unfortunately, my job isn’t at all the type where I can work reduced hours or a part-time sked….but I don’t know, this is a pretty humongous deal and maybe they will have some sympathy for my situation and allow some special treatment so that I can be with the babies during feeding times and doctors rounds and post-work in the evenings.

Even typing all of this breaks my heart, but having a plan always helps me deal, and that’s what needs to be done right now.

Hubs and I also need to finalize our baby names. We have a short but unfinalized list. No more dilly-dallying!

And I need to come to terms that my pregnancy is quickly nearing its end. I have savored every moment of it. Of course, it has been fraught with an IF- and multiple-pregnancy anxiety, but it has been the biggest joy of my entire life. I love feeling the babies move. I love seeing my stomach grow. I love feeling hubs touch my belly and knowing our growing family is inside me. I am not ready to be done with this miraculous experience, but I need to prepare for that reality because otherwise I’m going to be one sad Mama!!! 🙂

Of course, a piece of my heart has hope that I can get through this a bit longer. That my poor uterus and cervie—which think they’re 38 weeks pregnant and so have contracted, effaced and dilated as so many singleton pregnancies do at that point—can just hang on for all of us. I know it’s highly unlikely, but I also know it’s possible.

I would like to end on a very positive note! The babies look great and seem oblivious to all of the drama around them. We got a growth scan ultrasound yesterday—obviously this is just a guesstimate based on body part measurements, but still—and they weighed in at 3 pounds 9 ounces and 3 pounds 7 ounces. I had a cheeseburger and milkshake (haha, of course) last night for dinner and hope that is ekeing them closer to four pounds. 🙂 Grow babies, grow! We love you so so so much our sweet little Baby A and Baby B.

26 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen

Greetings from Ante Partum. I was sent to Labor & Delivery at 8:30am yesterday morning, because my routine biweekly checkup with Dr. Zen turned out to be not so routine. All was going well until the cervie check. She pulled her hand out and said, “Well, my dear, your cervix has changed considerably since I last saw you. You’re 100% effaced [no length left] and 1.5cm dilated.” Then she hugged me and told me she was sending me to L&D for steroids for the babies’ lungs and to monitor my cervix and contractions (which I could not feel AT ALL) and to determine if I was in active labor.

Fast-forward through the scariest day of my entire life. I don’t even want to get into it the dark places I have been mentally and emotionally. On the upside, the care here is absolutely awesome: I have been ultrasound-ed, my cervix has been checked so many times that I’m leaking blood, I’ve gotten one steroid injection for the babies’ lungs, I’m on an IV for hydration, I’ve taken multiple rounds of blood pressure meds to relax my uterus, I’ve met the NICU doctor to learn about the potential issues in 30-week babies (shudder), I’ve signed the paperwork for an epidural, I’ve met with seven nurses, a triage doc, the anesthesiologist, a couple of residents and one of Dr. Zen’s partners…..and on and on and on. Today will hold more of the same!

The (really really really) good news is that last night I was cleared to eat (yip!) and got moved up to Ante Partum from L&D. My cervix has not worsened since I got here (please please please no jinxies) and also the contractions (which, yes, I now know what they feel like) have mellowed from every 90 seconds to every 5 to 7 minutes. They have taken me off the fetal and contraction monitors so it’s up to me to alert someone if the contrax become more frequent or painful.

I haven’t been able to sleep more than maybe an hour or two hour total, even though I’m no longer on the uncomfie fetal and contraction monitors. It is so hard to quiet my whirring mind. And I find myself crying every couple of hours…with overwhelming fear and love for our sweet little babies. I know that’s not good for me or them so I try hard to breathe through the tough spells. Hubs had to go home last night after our romantic V-day dinner (haha)—he has a major academic deadline this week so the timing is pretty much the worst for him—but he will be back here at some point today (working away) and I know that just having in my room will help. He is definitely my rock. I miss him!

So now we watch and wait and hope and pray and hope and pray and hope and pray that the contrax continue to chillax, and that my cervie stays strong. (It can’t stay long, there’s nothing left of it!)

Please pray for our sweet little babies. It is too early for them to come out into the world, they are so tiny and have so much left to do before we meet them. I am so grateful they were able to at least get an extra day inside of me and that they are getting these amazing steroids. Every day is so very important to their survival and health in the real world.

Zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen.

36 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized