Sunday, August 30, 2009

Charlie's Turn in the Bath Tub

What a surprise! We arrived at the NICU for our morning visit to find that Charlie’s girlfriend Carolyn was waiting for us to get there so she could give him a tub bath! This was surprising because baths are usually reserved for night nurses but Carolyn knew how much we loved seeing Lily’s tub time last night so she decided that Charlie and his roommate Ethan would get baths today.

And the shock of all shocks: he didn’t hate it! We were told that most boys hate their first bathtub experience but Charlie’s reaction was more shocked than anything else. Carolyn lowered him into the tub and by the time his legs and his butt were submerged he had his arms out to his sides and a confused look in his eyes—and he stayed just like that without moving for about three full minutes! He had no idea what was happening!

Carolyn added an extra touch to the bath. She filled the tub with warm water and then added a little soap. She then ran a tube from the oxygen pump into the water so the bath got very bubbly, just like a hot tub! I don’t know how Charlie felt, but we both thought it looked very relaxing.

Just like with Lily, Brooke got to help soap Charlie up and rinse him off. We each got the chance to prop him up and rub his back and give him lots of kisses. I can’t put into words how nice it is to feel our babies flesh like that and be able to do these “normal” parental things with them. It makes us almost able to forget how tiny they still are.

Not to be outdone, Lily’s nurse Amelia decided that we would handle her bath time tonight. Since she just had a full bath yesterday, today was more of a sponge bath, which is more normal. This sort of bath is usually done while still in the isolette, but Amelia brought Lily out and put her on a normal bed under a heating lamp. This enabled us to more freely access The Bug.

And once again, Lil’ put on a show for us. This time I got to pat her down with the wash cloths and rub lotion all over her body. My parents got to see her performance and were quite excited to see tonight’s Lily Show.

What’s been extra nice for us these last two days has been how much we’ve handled Lily and Charlie ourselves. Amelia showed us where to hold Lily and how to pick her up and cuddle her and then we did it ourselves. And we lifted and moved Charlie during his bath time and while cuddling him. We’re by no means independent, but we’re slowly learning how to do more of their care on our own. This is something that’s especially important for us to do because I’ve realized lately how timid we’ve been about lifting them and handling them without supervision.

Dr. Hiatt talked to us briefly today both a couple big steps for Charlie. First, he’s going to be starting a course of diuretics tomorrow. The idea is that, for whatever reason, diuretics can help lung development and help a baby ween off the nasal cannula. He’ll either be able to take the next step in his breathing by changing from the high-humidity nasal cannula or he’ll be able to breathe without the help of a nasal cannula at all. Annaleigh went right from the HHNC to room air so there’s a chance Charlie can do the same.

The second big step for Charlie is his bottle-feeding. Charlie’s nurse Sue (she’s sort of the tough big sister of the nursing staff) decided to try him on the bottle a few nights back. He took a mouthful of milk and then sat there with it in his mouth until Sue rubbed his throat and he swallowed it, thus showing that he wasn’t ready. Dr. Hiatt decided that he can start trying the bottle more regularly sometime this week. It will be a slow process once it starts though; they will give him one feeding each day with the bottle until he gets the hang of it, which could take a while. But the thought of Charlie taking a bottle is really, really exciting for us. We can’t wait to be able to feed one of our babies!

Tomorrow will be a bittersweet day at the NICU. I’ve been very fortunate in that the babies were born two days after school let out, so I’ve had the last two months to spend all my time with them. (Let me add an addendum to this and note that I would obviously rather the babies still be happily in the womb right now—they’d be 35 weeks tomorrow—but since that didn’t happen, at least I’ve been off from work for all this time.) School starts up again for me on Tuesday, so tomorrow will be the last time I’ll be able to visit in the morning and again at night. I’m going to enjoy the day and get in some extra cuddling. With a little bit of luck, this reduced visitation schedule will only last for a few weeks because the babies will be home!



Charlie and his girlfriend Carolyn as she brings him to his bath tub


This is how Charlie sat for about three full minutes as he was trying to figure out what was happening. We all spent that time laughing uncontrollably.


Seriously, could he look any happier? He's got two women giving him a bath. 'Nuff said.


After his bath, Brooke dressed Charlie in his "I'm Bananas Over Mommy" outfit. She just loves it and I think he does too.


Lily doesn't know why we keep bothering her.


My dad took this picture and I nearly cried when I saw it. It was so nice to be able to hold her and feel her warm baby skin against mine, but when I saw this pic and saw that she seemed happy... well, I like it.


Lily seems somewhat board with all of us admiring her. We stare at her lovingly and are fascinating by every movement she makes; she yawns at us.


Here's Lily!

39 comments:

Midwest Mommy said...

So cute! So glad they are liking their baths.

Ivory said...

I think one of the best "turning points" in the NICU is when you start to get comforable handling the babies and begin to feel more like a parent. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Wow... they are getting so big! I think they get cuter by the day! How exciting that they are doing so well... I can't wait for the day that you announce their homecoming!

Anonymous said...

They are getting so big and they are absolutely beautiful. It was one year ago this weekend that our trio came home from the hospital. They spent 11 weeks in the NICU/ISCU. Your precious babies will be home before you know it!!!

Stacey
(gbb)

Stephanie said...

Another beautiful post. I was thinking about you returning to school (I actually went to Howell High School back in the day- part of the same district you teach in!) so I figured it must be approaching. Good luck!

britta said...

This is so cute!! The babies look thrilled :-)

Lani said...

I know they are little- but they look downright chubby to me! Chubby, and beautiful, and happy and loved:)

Tamara said...

LOL! In the last picture Lily is looking like 'whatda ya want from me'. ;) Oh and the expression on Charlies face says 'this is the life'. They are too cute.

Keep the faith. You guys are so strong. Soon the babies will be home. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Your babies are just beautiful. :)I hope Lily and Charlie continue to do great and they get home very soon!
(I didn't ever express my condolences to you, but wanted to say how sorry I am for the loss of your beautiful Annaleigh. I was heartbroken for your family.)

Laura

Ashley Millward said...

Your story and strength has captured and inspired me. I had a micro preemie born at 24 weeks. He has had many struggles but is now a very active healthy(for the most part) almost 3 year old. I pray that your two earthy babies will grow to be so healthy and strong. Your family is so strong. May more better days be upon you.

Shannon said...

I am new to your blog and I just wanted to tell you how beautiful all three of your babies are. I am so sorry, about the loss of your beautiful Annaleigh.

You are both amazingly strong people, and I admire you so much. I am glad that Charlie and Lily, are hitting such amazing milesstones.

Thank you for reminding me how lucky I am to have a healthy 3 1/2 month old son. Thank you so much.

Cate said...

I love that Charlie is already a little ladie's man! GREAT pictures!

Newman Family said...

My baby, Brandon, was put on dieretics and they helped him come off the cannula. I am keeping my fingers crossed for Charlie. I am so happy to hear how well both Charlie and Lily are doing. I loved giving Brandon baths in the NICU.

Momma said...

they look better and better with each post!

*hugs*
Sarah/Copzy

Anonymous said...

More beautiful pictures. When I saw Charlie in the tub. That did my in I just sobbed tears of happines. He's getting really chubby................ I absolutely love the picture of Joe and Lily that Ferdie took (great job bro) Again Miss Lil with the arms. I love the one with the three of you. They are absolutely gorgeous. But how can they miss... :) Keep it up angels - Annaleigh's watching over you and you will have a tough one to answer to... She'll set you straight.

All My Love, Auntie :) xooxxoxo

everafterinmi said...

WOW!!!! They really look AMAZING!!
Have they given any idea when they might be ready to come home? How long?

Marcie said...

Beautiful photos-glad to see you enjoying these beauties so much...

Jo Ann at FTHS said...

Nice family photos!! And bathtime photos always make great bribe-shots when they are teenagers.

See you in the "hallowed halls"...it is that time, isn't it?

JoLynn said...

It's amazing how full their faces look when the picture is close up but then when you see the shot of their full body, you realize just how tiny they still are! Making awesome progress...soon they will be home and you will be swarmed with the attention of having multiples when you go out in public!

Colleen said...

So glad you are both getting to hold the babies more and give them their baths. Hopefully the nurses will continue to give them baths at night when you are both there!
Love all the pics :)

Lucy M said...

The latest pictures are great!

Lauren said...

I'm cracking up at Charlie being bathed by two women. What a stud!

I know I say this every day, but these pics are gorgeous. I know your NICU visit has certainly been a roller coaster, but what a treasure these photos are.

Kristine McKowen said...

Look at that little man looking all chubby in the second picture! Way to grow Charlie!

Love the 3rd one - just adorable!

Miss Lily looks like she's packing the ounces on too - lol!

Awesome update!

OMG Triplets said...

Absolutely adorable!!

Doug H. said...

Bath time can be a lot of fun. Just wait until they start splashing.

Great pictures.

Courtney in CT said...

So precious! I'm sending great, encouraging vibes Charlie's way; he's got some big milestones coming up!

I absolutely love the picture of Joe cradling Lily to his face. I'm so happy that you got to experience that closeness! And Charlie's outfit is too funny; I can see why Brooke loves it.

Good luck returning to work, Joe! We think of you guys everyday.

Courtney

Mom2Be said...

Glad that Charlie and Lily are doing well. I'm happy that you two are able to do some normal "parent" stuff, I'm sure that helps with things. Good luck with school, I'm sure you'll do great!

Anonymous said...

Congrats!!!! They look SOOO healthy!!! I'm SOOO happy for all of you!!!

emiannie said...

They are looking sooooo good and so happy! I love the smiling picture of Charlie...so stinkin' adorable! I love all the smiles from you guys. (Oh and all of Lily's pictures look like she should be saying "Ta Da!" With her arms all spread out. haha. So cute!

Alison said...

I love your blog! You have an amazing family. I can relate to a lot of your experiences. Yesterday I was at a birthday party and there was a 2 month old baby that was bigger than my (former preemie) 7 month old! They get there when they are ready. Your babies will be home soon and I can tell that they are going to be soooooo loved. Has anyone called Oprah, yet?! You should share your story with her, or at least publish your blog into a book!! Take care and congratulations on your beatiful family. I'm not sure if you have already said this, but do you all need anything for the babies?

Whitney said...

Awe Charlie and Lily look amazing! They are sooooo cute! I love the picture of Charlie getting his bath. What a handsome baby!!! Can't wait to see you at school!

Margot said...

While I know the babies are still little, it's amazing to see how big they are getting. They are so beautiful and adorable. I hope they're home with you soon so Joe's visits aren't so limited. Hugs and love to all of you.
Margot

Anonymous said...

They are getting sooooooo chubby!!

Jayme (from T-TTC) said...

My goodness, your babies melt my heart! They are just so precious and the moments you have captured with them are priceless. I pray for each of you often!

Tanna's Triplets said...

I remember our days in the NICU. They were some of the best days but some of the worst days of my life. There were scary moments but then wonderful moments like changing a diaper or giving a bath. Some new parents argue over who HAD to change the next dirty diaper. My Hubby and I jokingly argued who GOT to change the dirty diaper. Isn’t it funny how you can sit in a NICU for hours upon hours starting at a sleeping baby and enjoy every moment?
I pray that you get your babies home soon!!

Much Love,
Tanna (From TC)

clstar said...

I love Charlie's expression in that second picture! He is too cute! And I love how Lily looks like she wants to give someone a hug. They're such cuties!

Anonymous said...

The latest pictures are wonderful as usual!!!! Keep going, babies-- you get better every day. See you tomorrow, Joe!

Cheryl

Rebecca, from CT said...

They are "Oh so Cute"!!! It is so important that you and Brooke are getting the opportunity to help care for your children!!! I hope that you are able to see your children every day after school until they come home!!!

On a side note, what about trying a "finger feed" (feeding tube connected to a syringe, feeding tube on top of finger and infant sucks on finger and pulls milk from feeding tube (smaller hole size, less bolus of fluid for baby to swallow)) before the bottle if Charlie is having some difficulty handling the flow from a bottle nipple? It's a technique I use in my place of employment for infants who are breastfeeding but whose parents do not want them to have a bottle nipple for the supplement.

Both are looking so good!! Absolutely love the pic of Daddy and Lily face to face.

The Paro Family said...

So sweet! Glad he likes his baths...my preemie hated his for the first 3 months!

And oh my goodness, Charlie is starting to look JUST like you, Joe!