August 6, 2009
It was an exhausting, emotional day. We had just welcomed our two tiny babies from heaven to our family and here we were, unable to hold them, and just watching their fragile little bodies working so hard just to breath. Ella was kept intubated most of the day and around 3 p.m. the RT thought we could try to take her off the vent. Emmie remained stable most of today. We hadn't slept much since the night before they were born, so we were completely exhausted. We headed home from the NICU that night, so full of emotion. When we got home, I still had to call and make sure they were doing o.k. before I could go to sleep. The nurse said they hadn't changed since we left the hospital and we knew we'd be back again bright and early the next morning. Just after 11 p.m. that night, the phone rang. It was one of those calls where you just know something is wrong. Dr. Gerday called to let me know that they had to put a chest tube in Emmie because she had developed a pneumothorax (a pocket of air inside her chest but outside of her lungs) and that was they only way to release the pocket of air. Both of my girls also had to be re-intubated that night and put back on ventilators. I cried myself back to sleep that night.
August 7, 2009
The chest tube that Emmie required the night before had taken care of the pneumothorax and they were able to remove it today. She will forever have a tiny scar on the side of her chest telling this part of her story. Our wonderful home teacher, Sam P., came to the hospital today to help Ezra give the girls a blessing. We cannot express how grateful we are for Sam & Holly P. They know better than anyone what this experience is like having had a 1 lb 12 oz premie themselves. Sam also brought us lunch today which was heaven since I seem to forget that I need to eat these days. The girls remained stable throughout the day, but still required a lot of respiratory assistance. Believe it or not, the girls still haven't had their first bath yet. Most moms get see that the day their babies are born...not us. So tonight, we attempted to give Emmie her first "half bath." I call it a half bath, because we pretty much were only able to wash her head/face with cotton balls before she worked herself up and ended up on C-PAP that night because of the respiratory distress it caused her. But here she is, half cleaned up today. The big wrap/gauze on her side is where the chest tube was inserted. Two days old, and I still have been able to see Ella's face or hold her. My heart literally breaks everytime I leave the NICU without holding that sweet little angel.
August 8, 2009
Today was a good day. I was finally able to see my sweet little Ella...like this:
She was still on a ventilator which prohibited us from being able to hold her. Emmie and Ella both also required phototherapy for jaundice, so they were sporting some face masks that kept them concealed too. This also meant that they couldn't be out from under the lights for more than 20 minutes/day. So during the course of the 8-10 hours we would spend in the NICU, there was only a 20 minutes window of opportunity that we could hold them. Today, we finally got that chance with both girls. Later in the day, the RT again felt we could try to take Ella off the vent. With that out, we were allowed to hold her for the first time today for 20 mnutes. I was in heaven.
August 9, 2009
Ezra was able to hold Emmie not long after we got to the hospital today. She is just on a high-flow nasal cannula today. They are hopeful to be able to attempt to bottle feed her in the next day or two. She is on a good regular schedule for changings and feedings. Ella is doing so much better today too. She has had a central line inther umbilical cord and that was taken out today. That takes us one step closer to the girls being able to co-crib while they are in the NICU. I was able to hold Ella throughher 5 p.m. feeding today (both are being tube feed). She is also on a high-flow nasal cannula but with minimal support. The doctors are still planning to keep them for at least 7-10 days. Both will need a 7-day antbiotic regimen. After they were born, the girls' placentas were sent for a study and they both came back with evidence of a bacterial growth which was making them sick while I carried them at the very end of the pregnancy. Dr. Townsend also came into see how they were doing today which was so nice of her. All of the nurses were surpised to see a perinatologist in the NICU, because they said they hardly ever come in to see how the babies were doing. She explained to us the results of the placental study and also said that she believes the bacteria that infected the placenta was the same that caused my sinus infection the week before we delivered the girls. How crazy to think that a sinus infection would cause my babies to get so sick and need to be delivered 3 weeks early!
August 10. 2009
My mom came to the NICU today with me. Emmie and Ella were sleeping when we got there. Our nurse, Chris, said that Emmie was a little diva this morning. She was wide awake at 7 a.m. and wanted to be held and see what was going on. Both girls were able to be taken off of phototherapy today which was so great because this meant we could actually see their sweet faces with out the billibands. We also tried to bottle feed Ella today for the first time. She did so good and took 3/4 of her feeding through a bottle. Emmie's respiratory rate was still too high to be able to try to bottle feed today. Because they were off the billilights, we were able to hold both girls for almost an hour each. It feels so good to hold them in my arms. Something I completely took for granted with my first two kids. I was also sent home from the hospital by the girls' nurse today because my legs, ankles and feet looked like the stay puff marshmallow man. I was so swollen!!! I could care less about how swollen I was, I just wanted to be with my girls.
August 11-19, 2009
Ezra and I came in today and our sweet little darlings were in a big girl crib together.
So cute! Our sweet nurse, Debbie, took pictures of the girls for us since they were both dressed and sharing a crib. Emmie and Ella's RR were too up and down to try bottle feeding again today. So frustrating because we know we cannot take them home until they are taking every feeding by bottle, but they are struggling to be weaned off of their cannulas. Patience is a hard lesson sometimes! This is how the days passed for the next week. It was slow, daily progress to wean them down on the oxygen they were getting and slowly try to bottle feed as they could handle it. We were finally able to get them on room air on the 14th. Emmie was eating like a champ! She would take every feeding, and take a full feeding, by bottle. Ella, however, was not quite so eager to bottle feed. This would keep us in Nursery B for several more days while she tried to catch up to her little sister.
August 20, 2009
After 15 days of seeing this, we were ready to bring our babies home! Today was the day and we were to excited to fill their little car seats. Well, as much as these tiny babies could fill them...
We are so grateful for all of the nurses and doctors at the NICU who cared for our little girls. And while it seemed like an eternal 15 days, we are so thankful they were coming home, where they belonged. To finally have babies sleeping in the crib that had been waiting for them to fill it with their cries and baby smells.
Welcome home little angels.