Happy one week birthday, babies! We’ve made it seven full days without any major setbacks (please go knock on wood), so this is truly something to celebrate!
Brooke and I started our first post-hospital day with breakfast at IHoP and a trip to the NICU. Then we went to a cookout at my aunt’s house for a few hours, followed by another trip to the NICU. As you can tell, it’s not easy to stay away.
On to the updates:
All three babies are now on respirators. Annaleigh was put on late last night because she was just having too much trouble. Charlie was put on this evening because the doctors were concerned about the number and frequency of his “episodes” in which he stopped breathing. Lily has been on a respirator since she was born. Also, all three babies have stopped eating. The hope is that putting them on the respirators will enable them to get a bit stronger, at which point they can start getting some of mommy’s breastmilk.
Charlie’s central line is in, hopefully more firmly than last time. This will lessen the number of times they have to poke him with a new IV, which he will appreciate, I’m sure. He is on medication to help reduce the ductus valve on his heart. If the medication works like it should, the ductus won’t be a problem. I should also note that we can now see a lot more of Charlie’s face because he doesn’t need to be under the phototherapy lights and the respirator isn’t as concealing as the oxygen tubes he was on. We’ve gotten a really good look at him and Brooke can’t stop talking about his eyelashes and eyebrows. I find it rather strange, but she brings it up in conversation about every ten minutes. Want to get her to smile? Ask her about Charlie’s eyelashes.
Lily Bug’s respirator settings are actually the lowest of the three babies, meaning she’s getting the least amount of help from the machines. She’s also on medication for the extra ductus valve, and she’s gotten platelets and a blood transfusion today. They are watching her for any sorts of infection but so far there’s nothing. She’s back under the phototherapy lights and needs to be completely naked all the time so the lights can do their thing. She doesn’t seem too happy about being so exposed and she keeps her little hands down low between her legs—it’s very endearing!
Annaleigh is, as usual, the biggest concern. She had lots of blood work today and the results won’t be finalized for 72 hours, but they’re worried that she has some sort of infection in her GI tract. Her white blood cell count is elevated and they’ve given her platelets and blood today to help. They’ve already started her on antibiotics, just in case the tests show an infection. They put a thick tube down her throat and into her stomach to help vent it some more because apparently she has too much air in there and it’s causing swelling and “loopiness.” The doctors got tired of waiting for her so they gave her a glycerin suppository to help her poop today, and she happily complied. The pooping and the tube and the antibiotics and the extra blood and platelets all should (hopefully) help her have an easier time of it. They can’t give her the medication for the ductus valve though, despite the fact that her valve is bigger and more of a worry than Charlie’s or Lily’s because of the concern for her potential infection. With any luck, her valve will reduce on its own anyway. The one good piece of Annaleigh news is-- she's got my giant nose!!!!
Brooke and I can’t begin to describe the roller coaster ride this past week has been. We’re thrilled that our babies are here, we’re sad that they’re having such a hard time, we’re grateful to the NICU doctors and nurses, we’re overwhelmed by all the support we’ve gotten, we’re terrified of something serious going wrong… we’re basically full of every possible human emotion right now. But we’re getting by and we’re with each other all day and night and we’re not giving up hope that all three of our children will become the “big fat babies” we’ve always wanted.