Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Charlie's First Pimple

And the saga of Charlie’s arm continues.

Today he grew a pimple on his arm, just above the bend of the elbow. A pimple is technically a small skin infection, and since there’s no such thing as a “small” infection in a two-pound baby, Dr. Hiatt called in a skin surgeon for a consult. The surgeon came in and “operated” by slicing the pimple open, draining it, and putting some balm over it. They sent the contents off for testing, but so far there’s no sign that it was anything to be worried about. Dr. Hiatt gave us the impression that it was (just like almost everything else) precautionary.

Charlie is still on the respirator and will remain so for at least another week. They want to take things slowly with him since he seems to be quite lazy and unwilling to breathe on his own. His feeding is up to 4 ml now, which is only going to help him grow. He’s weighing in now at 920 grams as of late last night.

Lily took a bit of a step backwards today and is now back on the respirator (you can see from this pic of her on the left that she's tired of all the drama). If you’ve been reading the blog recently, you know she’s been having a lot of trouble these last few days. She was struggling today, and Dr. Hiatt finally decided that she was too tired to continue on her own. She’s worked hard since pulling out her original respirator tubes and she’s just too small to be expected to breathe for long periods of time. So the goal now is to give her time to grow and then try again. To that end, they’ve upped her feedings to 3 ml every three hours, and that should help her put on the pounds (or grams). The good news for Lily today is that it sounds like her murmur is shrinking on its own. It’s not gone but it is definitely a change for the better.

Annaleigh has had fourth strong day in a row. She was the one we were the most concerned about for a long time, and now she is the most stable. The only issue with her is her digestion. She’s having a hard time processing her meals. Basically, each baby gets a small amount of breast milk injected into their feeding tube every three hours. Before they inject the new milk, the nurses “suck out” the contents of the belly from the previous meal by using a syringe on top of the feeding tube. If there’s anything in the syringe it means that the baby isn’t digesting as it should. In Annaleigh’s case, there have been a number of feedings in which some or all of the previous meal has come back up the syringe. So they skipped her six o’clock feeding tonight to give her some extra time to process everything, and fed her as scheduled (2 ml) at nine o’clock. We’ll know before the midnight feeding if she was able to digest her last meal.

Despite her digestion issues, there was a beautiful milestone for Annaleigh today. During our morning visit, we got to hold her for about 45 minutes. We’ve held Charlie twice and Annaleigh once before (not yet for Lily), so we were happy to get our hands on her today. But what made it even more special is that –finally—she opened her eyes! Well, I should say that she opened one eye, and only about half way. But she did it while she was in Brooke’s arms, so the first thing she saw was her mommy’s loving face smiling down at her. It was enough to make even me get a little emotional. As of 9:15 or so tonight, she still hasn’t opened that other eye. (You can see from the above picture that her left eye is still fused shut.) Hopefully tomorrow….

The other notable event today was our conversation with Dr. Hiatt. It’s been hard for us lately because we’re so run down and so concerned for our babies, and we are caught up in every little change. From Charlie’s arm to Lily’s breathing to Annaleigh’s belly, it seems like there is always something to be terrified about. But Dr. Hiatt put it all in perspective today. He said to us, “If I had a crystal ball on the day they were born and could see 18 days into their future, I would be very happy with where they all are today.” So despite all the worry, that made us feel pretty good. We’re always going to be concerned about every little thing, but that made us feel a lot better.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear everyone is doing well...:) I'm thinking of you guys everyday. Just remember, no matter how small, frail, or weak they seem right now, they WANT to be well and strong. That energy alone is going to keep them going more than most things. I pray for you both asnd that your minds are comforted and you have a chance to relax a little bit.

Michele from FTHS said...

Another eventful day for the 5 of you. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Keep on amazing us, Little D's!!!!

Stacie said...

Yeah for holding Annaleigh! That is what makes it all worthwhile...holding your little ones and staring into those adorable faces. :-)

Your babies are doing amazingly well, which I am sure means they got their incredible strength from the two of you. What you are going through is one of the most stressful things a family can EVER go through, and yet you continue to face each day with grace and optimism. You two are wonderful parents!

There will come a day in the not too distant future when you will hear an alarm ring and not have your heart stop, when meeting with the doctors or getting calls from the nurses won't make you break out in a cold sweat with nervous anticipation for that other shoe to drop. It will be here before you know it. Until then, be kind to yourselves and love each other with all you've got. You'll get there!

Hugs to all of you,
Stacie
(mom to twins born at 28w3d)

Lani said...

Just think, as hard as they are, every passing day brings them closer to being home. That is great what their doctor said about being happy with their progress. Keep hanging in there- you guys are all doing amazing!

Marcie said...

I find it no coincidence that Annaleigh just happened to open her one eye when her mom was looking down at her. They know their parents presence and love. That's wonderful news, just wonderful. I'm so happy to hear once again that there have been no major setbacks. Take Care

Anonymous said...

Good job my precious angels!!! Keep at it - it's going to happen.

Joe and Brooke - You're hanging in great but relax - take some time for yourselves and each other. You seriously need it so that you will be able to take care of those precious little bundles when they get home. And please be extremely careful driving...

All My Love Always, Auntie :) xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Becca said...

Thats so great that you got to hold your baby again! So sweet. I ove how 'tired of the drama' Lily looks :)

I can't believe some of the comments that people are leaving and i'm sorry about that. The babies look great. Someday you'll look back on this and laugh over teh fact that Charlie's first pimple was so dangerous.

On a good note....my babysitter's daughter was born at 25 weeks just like your little one's, and she is a bright and bubbly 2 yr old girl now that is as cute and smart as ever. Miracles happen, as i'm sure you are aware since you have 3 of your own :)

That's so cool that you got to capture Annaleigh's first eye opening and that he first thing she was able to see was her mommy. What a special experience!!

Mom said...

I love the little thumbs up that Lily is giving you! Thinking of you each day and saying lots of prayers for you all.
-jen

Bec said...

That's so exciting that Annaleigh opened her eyes today!! What a pretty face!

Keep going strong, guys. You're doing great.

Krystal said...

That is fantastic news! So glad the little ones are doing so well! And thanks for the daily updates!

Andrea said...

So glad that Annaleigh opened her eye while you were holding her!!! They sound like they are doing amazing!! Please remember to get some rest yourselves. We were in the NICU for 65 and 74 days. You will have your ups and downs, but you will have those precious babies home before you know it.

Andrea
edasmommy from the private board
Twins born at 27w6d

Anonymous said...

It's great to hear that the babies are doing so well! I love reading about their daily progress.

Mom2Be said...

sorry to hear that Lily is still having issues and that Charlie is having issues too. I'm glad that Annaleigh is doing well though. Her one eye is beautiful! : ) That's neat that it was while she was in Brooke's arms...thanks for the (happy) teary eyes. : ) FX for all your babies!

Anonymous said...

i just want to mirror what stacie ended with, there is no doubt that there will be a day that you will become used to the beeps and noises...and before you know it you will have all three home!!! our trips were in the nicu for 35, 37 and 78 days respectively...they are now happy and healthy 4 1/2 year olds!!! our thoughts and prayers are with you
mike and missy (fths)
triplets born 30w/5d '05

Anonymous said...

I am so happy you finally got to hold them. I remember like it was yesterday what it felt like the first time I got to hold mine especially my littlest which took a little longer. I can honestly say that was the first moment I felt like a true mommy. I know the NICU is not easy, it feels like every step you take is 2 steps backwards, but the end result is bringing home 3 beautiful babies. Hang in there. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Jill (mom to 9 month old triplets born at 29 weeks)

Anonymous said...

I check in everyday, to see how everyone is doing and get so excited to read all the little milestones and seeing all of the pictures.
Many hugs and prayers for you both and for your little angels.

Lori

Denise said...

Brooke & Joe, Just remember everyday it get's closer to you bringing those little angel's home. Stay positive and keep the faith. Everybody is praying for them.. (Travis's mom)

Kelly said...

I don't know exactly what other blog led me to your blog (i'm a twin mom), but I am on pins and needles every day to check in on your family and see how everyone is doing. Your updates are incredible. My thoughts go out for a smooth journey to all of you!

Jo Ann at FTHS said...

Brooke and Joe, you guys are the best! And, PS, Joe, do you ever look like your grandfather! Well, now we know where you and Charlie get your good looks from. OK, so while I was on a flight back from CA last weekend, they did that whole pre-flight emergency scenario, you know, seats as flotation devices, etc. (like that makes sense, because we're flying across the United States, for crying out loud!) But one point they made was that, in an emergency, before you can put the emergency air mask on your child, before you can help them, you must first put on your own mask. My point: you 2 parents have to be sure you are also taking care of yourselves, OK? Love to you and the babies, and to your families. You know you are all daily in my thoughts and prayers!

Anonymous said...

Hi again!

Chris and I are going on a mini vacation for our anniversary for 2 days, but I will TRY to log on and see what you're up to. Keep hanging in there. I'll call you two when I get back just to check in. You know I am thinking of you both and your beautiful babies and if there is ANYTHING that you need that I can help you with in ANY way, please let me know. Praying for you all.

Cheryl

The Madeira Triplets said...

Wow...Dr. Hiatt sounds wonderful. Couldn't agree more--what a wonderful comment to put everything in perspective. That's so hard now to do...everything seems so minute to minute or visit to visit.

Annaleigh's photo is adorable...I love the "wink"! They are all so beautiful. And I had no idea that babies could get pimples...