Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 4

Nothing like starting your day in a cold panic!

Brooke woke up around 5:15 with a fever and chills and pain in her abdomen. This was the third time it’s happened since the babies were born, but it was the worst. The nurses all came in (five at one time), and they gave her oxygen and Percocet and it passed within a half an hour. But it was a long, long half hour, during which I pictured numerous horrible scenarios in which Brooke was seriously sick. Luckily, it seems like the fever was brought on by phlebitis, which is an infection brought on from the IV needle irritating the skin. And that most likely irritated the uterine infection she was already fighting. So she’s been on more antibiotics and is doing just fine now.

In a way it was a good thing that Brooke got sick again because we’ve been dreading the thought of going home and leaving the babies here at the hospital without us. It’s going to be really, really hard to leave here without them (tomorrow or Friday).

The first visit to the NICU allowed me to witness a seminal moment in Charlie’s life: his first poop! I just happened to be there to see it happening, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Lily also pooped today but we’re still waiting on Annaleigh.

Charlie’s central line that was inserted yesterday has held, and today Lily had one put in. They tried to put one in Annaleigh, but she didn’t respond too well. Apparently, she doesn’t like to be touched. She fidgeted a lot and flailed her arms and legs so much that they decided that it wasn’t worth forcing today. They’ll try again tomorrow. Tomorrow also will bring their brain ultrasounds. We were told that it’s very common for premies to have bleeds in their brains when they’re born; usually those bleeds are trivial and nothing to worry about. So tomorrow is a big day for them.

Dr. Hiatt explained to us today that Annaleigh looks like she has an extra “duct” thing on her heart. He explained it to us and we both understood it completely at the time, but now as I try to type it up I’m finding holes in my memory. Basically, while babies are in the womb, they breathe oxygen through the blood which is filtered through an extra valve on the heart. That valve, called a “ductus,” usually disappears on its own within 12 hours after a baby is born—but that’s a normal, 40-week baby. Premies ductus thingys don’t always go away on their own at the same rate as others. It’s not usually a problem but occasionally it causes a few complications, like heart murmurs, which Annaleigh definitely has. The doctor didn’t seem concerned at all though. They will do a test tomorrow to confirm, and then start her on medication next week some time (babies have to be over a week old before they can get the medication), and it will most likely take care of it. So it’s not ideal, but it’s also not a major problem.

The best part of the day came during our late-afternoon visit. Brooke got to hold Annaleigh! She could only lift her a few inches off the bed but Annaleigh was in Brooke’s hands! And when Brooke put her down, the nurse let her change Annaleigh’s diaper!!! And then, as a final thrill, I got to rub lotion all over my Annaleigh’s stomach, arms, and legs! Feeling her skin like that was both exhilarating and terrifying; she was so fragile and thin, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was about to break a rib or bend a finger too far. But getting to do that with our daughter, especially Annaleigh, who looks like the smallest and most breakable… it’s a moment that we will probably remember for the rest of our lives.

So 96 hours in, and so far so good. Three cheers for babies!!!

19 comments:

John said...

Awesome update Joe! I think Annaleigh just didn't want to poop without a diaper, maybe now that she's got one on, it'll happen. Ya know, I didn't poop without a diaper til I was 4...

Mrs.OL said...

Three cheers for babies!!!

Lauren said...

YAY for poop!

The picture of Brooke finally holding her daughter is just about the sweetest thing...

I'm so sorry you have to leave them. I can't imagine how heartbreaking that will be. :(

Continued love and prayers your way!

Greg said...

Pulling for you and your wonderful family Joe.

E. Merritt said...

Our smallest had the same PDA/ductus thing you mentioned. After the initial scan he was put on indocin and then the second scan a few days later showed that it had closed.

Anonymous said...

What amazing pictures! I will keep saying prayers that your babies don't have any brain bleeds, that is always the scariest and most serious result to wait to hear in the NICU. Thinking of you all!

Michelle said...

I'm so glad the babies are doing well! That was very interesting about the extra valve in the heart, thank you for taking the time to share that:)

God Bless,
Michelle

Kellyn said...

Three cheers for babies indeed! I have followed Brooke's story through WC and I have been praying for you guys since the beginning of the pregnancy! I hope and pray that your PRECIOUS kiddos continue to stay strong! You two (FIVE!) are truly an inspiration!

Kristi said...

2 out of our 3 had PDA's as well. The meds took care of it for them, thank goodness. (If the meds don't work, then it's surgery)

Sounds like you guys had a great day! Well, aside from the fever and scare with all that!

Isn't it amazing when you get to "hold" them for the first time?? A feeling I'll never forget. ^_^

Kristi from TC
Mommy to triplets born at 26w2d

Michele said...

You two are amazing! The pic of Brooke and Annaleigh was so moving. You all are in my thoughts and thanks for the updates.
~Michele from FTHS

Newman Family said...

Congratulations on the birth of your babies. I found out about their birth from thenestbaby.com. My son Brandon was born at 26 weeks, 1 day weighing 1 pound, 14 ounces and 13 inches long.. He will be one on Sunday and is doing great. He is 18 pounds, 28 1/2 inches. He had a PDA as well which closed after 24 hours on the medicine. I have a blog for him http://karenandstu.blogspot.com
I also live in NJ. I had him at Monmouth Medical Center. My thoughts are with you and your babies.

Anonymous said...

OMG - Hang in there guys... Another tear jerker - Brooke and Annaleigh and Joe and Annaleigh.
Congrats Charlie and Lily on another milestone. We can wait for your poop Annaleigh - just get strong. All of you are doing great.
xoxoxoxoxox :) Auntie

The Home Cook said...

I'm continually amazed by how fantastic they're doing...it's a real testament to just how strong you are as a family. Yay for poop! Yay for Brooke getting to hold Annaleigh and yay for you getting to rub lotion on her. It was a big day for the D clan. :)

Colleen said...

A MILLION cheers for babies!! Praying that today's complications clear up soon and the next 24 hours bring good things.

Stephanie said...

Three cheers for babies for sure! Such miracles!

Valerie said...

I am so happy to come here this morning and read the good updates.

Keeping you all in my prayers.
~Val
gymrat (from the multiples boards)

P.S. We spent our last summer in the NICU - our twins were born 13 wks early.

Anonymous said...

I can't read your blog without crying...I really shouldn't logg on during work. I am so happy for you guys =) Daniela

mrsolsenk12 said...

Those small milestones are so important and it is great that you were there to witness them. I am sure leaving them is going to be really hard but at the same time you know they are getting the awesome care that they need.

Anonymous said...

Cheering for good brain scans, healthy hearts and poop :