Liveblogging the NICU

This has been a very wonderful, very hard week. I suppose every new parent can say that, though. It’s 5:38 a.m., and I just finished pumping a little while ago. I need to rinse out the pump collection kit. I might try to grab another little bit of sleep, then I have to eat some breakfast. In less than two hours, I have to go back to the hospital, where I will spend the best, most surreal part of my day until about 7 p.m. Then home to eat, pump, and sleep. Then back again.

Little Boy is doing really well. He spent a while (I’ve lost track of time, so everything is “a while”) with oxygen via CPAP, then went to a nasal cannula, then off altogether. He had some digestive challenges – apparently he hadn’t realized that he couldn’t both be born and keep his umbilical cord – but he’s absorbing food well now and nursing like he was born to do it. Which, y’know, he was. At one point he had a positive Staph culture, and that freaked me the hell out, but the doctor is 99% sure it was a contaminated sample, as there have been no other indicators of infection and no word on the follow-up test (apparently they only tell you if it’s bad?). He was a little yellow yesterday, so they’ll be checking his bilirubin this morning, but I’m hoping his excellent milk-sucking skills are enough to stave off the jaundice. He is a mellow, philosophical fellow, and has taken everything completely in stride. As much as one who can’t yet walk can take things in stride, at any rate.

Little Girl is also doing well, though she is smaller and has her own set of issues. She is also off the oxygen, but still has a nasal cannula blowing pressurized air up her (tiny!) little nose. She has had some jaundice, and is spending some time in the infant tanning booth (I guess she’s a real L.A. baby, after all). She started out with a really good latch and an enthusiastic suck, but her blood-oxygen levels were dropping when she nursed, so now the only time she gets supplemental oxygen is when she’s put to the breast. Over the last 18 hours or so, she has started refusing to nurse at all, and I think it’s because her nasal membranes are irritated from the cannula, and she’s trying to breathe through her mouth, which of course she can’t do very well when that mouth is full of nipple. I just figured this out last night, and I’m going to run it by her doctor this morning. Little Girl is a woman of strong opinions, and has declared herself very peeved about the whole thing.

I’m too exhausted, both physically and emotionally, to link to explanations of all of these terms, so please do your own Googling.

The babies are both absolutely beautiful. Little Boy looks like a real baby now, while Little Girl still has the skinny-monkey preemie look about her – she was born nearly a pound lighter but half an inch longer than her brother. No definite word on when we’ll have them home, but the doctors and nurses have been very reassuring that all of these breathing/feeding/tanning issues are common with 36-weekers, and they are not worried about their long term well-being.

As for me, I am very sore, very emotional, very tired, and my feet and ankles are swollen to the size of tree trunks. I didn’t manage to have my homebirth, or my vaginal birth, and my babies are maybe a little undercooked, but I am happier than I can ever express to have them. Now I just can’t wait to get them home.

Whoops. So much for getting more sleep. Off to scarf down some eggs now.

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14 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Annika said,

    I am so insanely proud of you and the babies. You are all doing SO WELL. Little Girl will figure things out soon, especially now that you’ve figured out what is (probably) going on.

    Am I reading right that you are sleeping at home now? Let me know when I can drop off some food. I promise not to breath on it or you in case I have Sam’s cold.

  2. 2

    desiknitter said,

    Am late to the party, but congratulations, Uccellina! My best wishes and love to your babies, and a big hug to you! Here’s hoping you are all at home together as soon as possible. Take care.

  3. 3

    Jen said,

    A mellow philosophical fellow and a woman of strong opinions…yep, that sounds about right.

    Looking forward to giving them kisses.

  4. 4

    Nan said,

    This is so great, you are a mommy now!! Welcome to the club. (Annika’s mum, if case you didn’t remember)

  5. 5

    kathy a. said,

    yay, baboos! and yay, you!

  6. 6

    Laurie Ann said,

    Little Girl is my idol. I believe I have told you from the beginning that I love her, right? Go on with your preemie-monkey, I’ll-show-you bad self.

  7. 7

    ((U)) Take care of yourself. I know it’s so hard to do, with having to run in different directions and barely getting enough sleep.

    But take care of yourself.

    I’m so proud of you and the babies. Soon they’ll be running around after each other and yelling like banshees.

    Or maybe that’s just my kid.

    Can I ask- are you going to be posting photos of them? I’d love to see them, but fully understand the need to keep some things private, or rather, safe.

  8. 8

    uccellina said,

    We’ll probably post some newborn photos, but as they grow older and start to be more identifiable, I think we’ll stop. My kids are super cute, and I don’t think anyone should have to deal with internet stalkers until they are much older and have learned Tae Kwon Do.

    Also, thank you everyone. I can’t tell you how much your support means to us.

  9. 9

    esperanza said,

    oh, things are sounding pretty good. Take good care of yourself, too. I am impressed with the nursing of twins! And the skinny monkey preemie look is in this year (and you just made me snort my 1000th glass of water this morning).

  10. 10

    Pam said,

    Hey ladyface, my mom dropped off some baby clothing for you and I’d love to know when you would like them. After all, to be real LA babies, they must come home in style.

    Also, if you need any food (especially more cookies) just give me a heads up.
    ~P

  11. 11

    Red Diabla said,

    It’s mind-blowingly cool to read about the arrival of the babies! May they continue to thrive and come home soooooooon!!!!

  12. 12

    Hihankara said,

    Ok so, all your blogging has made me teary-eyed at my desk and feeling like maybe, after nine years of marriage, my hubby and I should get around to making a rugrat, (instead of all that practicing…)

    So uhm. Maybe it would be helpful if you posted a pic of your post-baby belly, to serve as proof of pain and stretchiness and why I should channel my maternal urges into buying more cute outfits for my kitty.

    I’m just sayin’.

  13. 13

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    aw, skinny monkey is how WMG looked, and she was neither a twin nor premmie (preemie?). That’s actually how she got her nickname, to be honest. They (and you) sound like they are progressing just accordingly, which is fantastic. 🙂 I cannot believe you are keeping us updated. I cannot believe you have the strength to get out of the house. Of course, I can’t believe that they kick moms out so quickly after birthing, but that’s a whole ‘nuther issue altogether. You and the Sacs are an inspiration. Oh, and Husband, too, but you and the Sacs are much cuter (sorry, Husband).

  14. 14

    dp said,

    so great to hear everyone is so happy and doing so well! your babies are strong and tough, like their mama. all will pull through just fine. i love you lots and can’t wait to see photos =)

    (i’ve been out of town and away from a computer, so please accept my apologies for the lack of comment-love)


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