Look at how much the girls have grown in the past week!
Ok, ok. These are clearly not our twins. Ours wouldn’t choke like these 2 did when asked to do their dancing trick live on the Today Show. Oooo!
Nora and Bryn ARE on their way to stardom in the bodyweight category, however! Check it out!
You read that right–Nora has officially joined the Kilo club! Both girls have gained about a half a pound in the last 3 weeks. Pretty significant, considering that’s almost half of Bryn’s birth weight. So let’s say you weigh 150lbs. Imagine packing on 75 L-Bs in 3 weeks! No wonder these little ladies sleep so much. You’d be tired, too, porky.
Our friend Carrie, who is a chef, and likes to think of weight in food terms, says that Bryn is about 3 porkchops. Do I feel a new nickname brewing?
Nora looks especially chubby in this picture, so we’re totally posting it! (Again, probably not the criteria she’ll use for choosing her Facebook photos in the future).
You might notice that Nora has a new accessory–a low flow nasal canula. Her milk feedings are up to 24mLs/3hrs and she is also getting little baby protein shakes, as well as some extra calories mixed in with her milk. All this chow fills up her little belly so much that sometimes it makes it hard for her to breathe. When the doc told us this, Nick and I looked at each other in confusion–“what? you’re not supposed to feel that way after meals? oh…” Nick asked if we could get hooked up with some oxygen after mauing on the awesome face-sized peanut butter cookies from the hospital cafeteria, but the doc didn’t seem amused.
Other than that, the girls don’t have any “sexy” medical stuff going on right now. Just beefin’ up one day at a time.
In other news, the girls’ walls are getting totally decked out with your awesomeness.
We haven’t put everything up yet, so if you sent something and it’s not there yet, cool your jets! Maybe we’re just saving the best for last. =)
Yesterday, the girls also received their first mix tapes! Thanks, Stephawie!
Eye exams and head ultrasounds on the agenda for this week. The doc is expecting nothing but awesomeness. So are we. (But throw a few extra prayers in anyway).
Sara & Nick
That’s right folks, I am dedicating this post to poop.
There is something about the word Poop that has always made me smile. I actually smiled when I wrote the word just now. Now that I think about it, poop and fart are both on the same level. Yep, now I am laughing. I always thought that this was just a boy thing and that boys or men had a strange relationship with poop, but let’s be honest—girls, women and all parents have their own unique relationship with it.
Although my relationship primarily exists on the 5-year-old level, and many women would say, “Oh that’s disgusting and childlike,” I can honestly say that women are more disgusting when it comes to talking about poop.
We all know those people on Facebook that discuss their child’s poop, their child eating poop, poop in the “big boy” toilet, poop throughout the night without the pull-ups, and then graduation to the real thing on an even more consistent basis. Exhibit A, my sister:
Seriously! I have never wanted to know about that, and neither do the rest of your 623 friends on Facebook, one of which is your mechanic. That being said, there is a weird shift about poop when you become a parent. Let me also say, that I will never post anything about Bryn and Nora’s poop on Facebook. But I AM going to make one good blog post about it!
When the girls were first born, there were multiple things to worry about. You know about those things already. The list was quite long. One thing that I didn’t think I would worry about was them pooping. My mom got me going on this worry, as she would immediately ask, “Have they pooped yet?” before asking more logical questions like, “How are they?” The tough part at first was that I was always saying, “No.” Next thing ya know, I’m rooting for them to poop like I do for my fantasy football players on Sunday afternoon. My “live scoring” became a peek into the diaper every 2-3 minutes (only fantasy players will get the wit in that).
Well, as the first few days passed and I saw nothing, I started to worry that maybe their intestines were on the IR. Okay, that’s the last fantasy football reference of this post. But seriously, I started thinking that maybe something was wrong. People need to poop, it’s a natural process. However, when Nora finally pooped, what I witnessed was completely unnatural. Her poop was totally black. If our babies had been at home and I had witnessed the black “tar-like” substance in her diaper, I would have been on webMD faster than stink on shit. Speaking of stink, Nora’s first baby poop was completely odorless. Oh relax—like you wouldn’t smell your child’s first dookie, too. Twenty-days-ago-Nick would have probably said, “No flipping way. You’re insane, and incredibly disgusting.” Today’s Nick is like, “Give ‘er hell girl! Nice push! Way to go!” I know that this infatuation will quickly fade as the diapers continue to mount. They say 140-150 a week, which seems absolutely insane. We have a closet full of diapers right now that will be gone in a month at that rate.
Anyway, I was glad to be among professionals when I witnessed The First Poop. I gave the nurse a barrage of questions. What is that? It can’t be poop! Trust me, I know. She calmed me and said, “Oh, don’t worry, that’s just meconium,” to which I replied, “Oh that makes me feel a lot better.” I had no idea what that was and then quickly hit up the place that holds all of the answers, Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meconium
Okay, so the poop is no longer black. It has changed to yellow, mustard-type poop, definitely more natural (I guess?).
My girls are growing and their poops are growing too. So much so, that they have blowouts on a more frequent basis, and the poopy linens are piling up fast. The nurses were starting to get tired of Nora’s blowouts and frequent linen changes, so they graduated her to the next diaper size, which nearly covers her entire body.
I don’t like it, but she’s gotta learn to keep her shit to herself. Bryn, keep up the good work!
Speaking of poop, we’d like to give a shout out to our friends Michelle and Chris, who just had their twin baby girls last Tuesday! At 8lbs 6oz and 8lbs 4oz, Josie and Calie are already taking poops bigger than Nora and Bryn. Oh, snap!
Finally on a more serious note, the doctors and nurses continue to be amazed by our girls… and that’s no bullshit. We had a new nurse yesterday and she was astounded by what each of them can do. Nobody can explain to us why they are doing so well, when others born at the same time, or even later, do not. We know that this is something that cannot be explained by science, just as science cannot explain why an egg, like our identical twin girls, splits.
God is the only one that can explain it. We know that they came to us in the shape that they are because of all of your prayers. We hope that you continue to pray for them as they reap the benefits. Please feel free to forward our blog to anyone else who might be willing to pray for them, too!
Nick and I are still trying to wrap our heads around the fact that we have babies. Daughters. Two of them. Actual human beings. We keep saying it’s going to feel more real when they actually come home, but everyday there are little things that make them more “official.”
1. They got mail. From the gub’ment.
2. They’re bigger than money.
In other news, Nora and Bryn continue to amaze the neonatologists and nurses, and all of them get a kick out of telling us what a “boring” night they had, and calling to tell us they have “nothing to report–they’re perfect.” Is it possible to have perfect little 2lb nuggets? We’re starting to believe it. =)
Both girls gained a little weight last night, putting them both above their birth weights! Bryn is at 1lb 9oz and Nora at 2lbs 2oz. We get so used to seeing them, we forget how tiny they really are until we type it here in this blog. Then we’re like, “Holy. Shit. We have a baby that’s less than 2lbs.” It kind of scares the crap out of us. But then we just remind ourselves how well they’re doing despite their tiny-ness and we breathe a little easier. (A little).
As teachers, Nick and I are very goal-oriented and we always like seeing the girls’ “daily plan” written up on their boards each day when we visit. It reminds us to take one day and one challenge at a time. Their little objective lists have gotten shorter each day with things like “increase feeds” and “decrease oxygen flow” getting booted off the lists as the girls kick butt and take names. Today, these were their goals:
Enjoy it now, ladies. That most likely won’t be on your bucket list in a couple decades.
As their to-do lists have shortened, large pieces of equipment have also been removed from their rooms. Without the big IV towers, bili-lights and breathing equipment, we have room to host large dance parties.
That’s right, folks. The girls are ready for visitors!! We can’t wait for them to meet you!
Now for the fine print:
- Get a sitter (and go out for happy hour after)! No kids are allowed in the NICU at Children’s.
- Take a number. The girls can only have a limited # of visitors per day and at a time
- No touchin’. Only mom and dad can hold/touch the babes still
- Fi-Fo. Foam in, foam out. Foam in at the welcome desk, wash your hands in the automatic hand-washer in the NICU (it feels pretty awesome), foam before you enter the girls’ rooms (and in between rooms), and foam out before you leave. Nick and I haven’t showered in 2 weeks. You probably won’t need one for at least a few days after.
Also, don’t be offended by the intense security at Children’s. It’s not just you–they treat everyone like a baby snatcher. =) You’ll need to check in at the main desk, show them your license, get your photo taken, get a badge, phone-in when you arrive at the NICU, check in at the NICU desk, and then undergo a polygraph, retina scan and body cavity check. I kid! I kid! There’s no retina scan. =)
So give Nick or me a call if you’re still interested after all that. =)
Nick & Sara
Yesterday, the Twinschitl sisters got to hang out in the same room together for the first time (well, except for the 26 weeks they were wombmates)!
With Nora off her nasal canula air flow and all IVs, it was no big deal to unhook her few remaining monitor wires for awhile and stroll her over to Bryn’s room (yes, I did consider tucking her in my pocket and making a run for it). Miss Bryn told the neonatologist that enough was enough and it was really uncool how far ahead of her Nora was in the breathing department. She demanded that she be extubated, and now sister is on just the nasal canula with room air–no extra oxygen–and is also IV-free! Big strides for our tiny girls yesterday. =)
Ok, I might have forced their tiny little hands together in this photo, but after awhile Nora was grabbing for Bryn on her own!
In addition to being CDC (chief diaper changer) when the girls get home, Nick will also be handling all breastfeeding duties.
Aaaaand, my favorite shot of the day:
Bryn missed Nick’s luscious chest curls these last few days. Gimme a fistful, big papa! Aahhhhhhhhhh…
Nick and I decided to venture out to church last night. It was the outdoor service–our favorite of the year. We were overwhelmed by the number of people–many we had never met!–who came up to tell us how excited they are about our little girls’ progress and that they’ve been keeping them in their prayers. It’s just amazing to us how much these little 2lb nuggets are loved by all these people who have never even met them. We love you, Upper Room!
It’s been a great week. Lots of big leaps for our little ones. We know they have a long road ahead and not every day will be a good day, but we will always find something good in every day (and hopefully get it posted on here =).
Thank you so much to all of you for your continued support of our family; the emails, prayers, meals… we appreciate it all more than you’ll ever know.
Sara & Nick
**Sorry–seemed to be some issues with the pics in this post, so going to try making it it’s own post and see if that works. Will also add a few new things!**
Quick progress update:
Nora is officially off ALL her IVs, and has transitioned to only milk feedings! She’s also totally over the nasal canula. Patience, girlfriend.
When we arrived to visit today, monkey child had not only pulled her nasal canula completely out along with the super-strength tape on her face that was holding it on, but she also had it in her mouth and was gnawing on it like a 2lb 1 year old cutting teeth. She had also pulled off her Ray-Bans and was basking unprotected under the glow of her bili-lights. Oh, and her diaper was half way off. She was quite a sight.
I tried to distract her with a pacifier, and hulk child finally loosened her grip on the tubes and went to town on the nook.
Mom–seriously–I can hold it myself. I AM negative 11 weeks old. Geez.
The doc took one look at this feisty little nugget and decided to let her have a go without the nasal canula. So the only stuff attached to our girl is a nasal gavage (feeding tube in her nose), a temperature sensor, and 2 little respiratory sensors (the green, black and white wires in the pic). Folks, this little fully-functioning human is 2lbs. Two. Dos. Omg.
**Original post resumes here:
At 12 days old, Nora is already showing her bilingual skills, choosing to use ASL until her feeding tube is out and it’s easier to speak clearly. For those of you not as smart as our girl, she is signing the number 8 in this picture, letting you know how proud she is that her little sister Bryn is up to 1lb 8 OUNCES today! YEAH, BRYN!
Bryn got to jump out for some kangaroo care yesterday, for the first time since last weekend when she was reintubated. We had a long overdue cuddlefest. I don’t have a picture of it, but she also conveyed a message to me in ASL–“Get this thing outta my trachea–I’m good now. For real.” After discussing Bryn’s request with the neonatologist, we were able to negotiate an approximate removal date of “later next week.” Bryn accepted.
Bryn is also IV-free now, with just her PICC line left. She is back up to 7mL of milk every 3 hours and is tolerating it well. Every 12 hours her milk feedings will increase by 1mL. When she catches up to Nora at 17mL, she will also transition to only milk feedings and will lose the PICC line, too.
Nick and I get really giddy when a tube is removed (and I’m sure the babes don’t mind it either). It’s like one more little piece of cute baby is revealed every time.
Thanks again for your love and prayers–the 4 of us are pretty lucky to have you all in our corner.
Sara & Nick
Nora and Bryn have been so humbled by all of your messages (yes, they have already mastered such complex emotions as humility–huge strides this week)! Your masterpieces are just too good not to share with the interweb.
Thanks so much for taking the time to show our girls how much they’re loved!
So, we kind of have a lot going on, the four of us. It would be easy to dwell on all the medical stuff and the day to day ups and downs of preemie-land. Instead, during our long hours in the NICU, I find myself fantasizing about fatherhood. It’s starting to sink in a little more each day. I read a number of books on being an expectant father, and let me tell you, none of them prepared me for this. I am now a lot more reflective of my own childhood because it will probably be more relevant than any book I will read.
When I am not completely stressed about my two beautiful babies, I start thinking about events from my childhood and how I would respond to these same situations as a father. One very clear event happened after my father said “out of my chair” for what seemed like the 1 millionth time. Now, all I think about is, will I say that to my girls? I have a chair that I am slightly protective of. I like the way it feels. No Sara, I don’t want you to put a blanket on the head of the chair. No, I don’t want you to move it to the sun room because it looks better. I really like it how it is and where it is. Yes I have thought about asking Sara to move from the chair I like to sit in, but let’s be honest–we all know how that conversation would end. Anyway, I remember at 14 saying to my dad, “When I have kids I will never make them get up out of a chair.” I also distinctly remember him saying, “Yes you will” and me saying “No I will not!” I also remember him saying, “Do you wanna bet?” and me saying, “Duh, yes!” 35 year-old Nick is screaming “Don’t do it!” Luckily for me I have forgotten how much the bet was for. Also luckily for me, my Dad has almost certainly forgotten as well. I know this because my dad frequently forgets things with any significance. My dad has an amazing memory for random trivia. He’s honestly one of the smartest people I know. But somehow my dad called most of my childhood friends by the name of Brett Bujgan. I played on the same baseball team with Brett for a couple of seasons. Nice guy, but he wasn’t a close friend at all. I never spent a night at his house. No movies, no trading of baseball cards, nothing. Yet, anytime I spoke of a friend as a child or reminisce about a childhood friend as an adult, my father repeatedly says, “Oh yeah, Brett Bujgan.” Oddly enough, my brother Phil, who was two grades younger than me, had the same problem. He called all of my brother’s friends Brett Bujgan, too. Anyway, I love you dad, but I was never talking about Brett Bujgan.
Wow. I kind of got off on a tangent, but it was good therapy. I feel so much better. The take away from this therapy session? Learn the names of my children’s friends. This is easy, as they haven’t had any NICU mixers yet. Apparently that happens next week. I will be watching the breast milk bowl as little Noah, a few rooms down the hall, lives on the wild side. He’s a red head and is showing early signs of ADHD. Looks like trouble, and he will not be escorting either one of my girls. This is a warning to all of my other friends’ children, too. Tucker, Charlie, Will, Joe, Lucian, Ben… not gonna happen, so don’t even think about it.
Speaking of ADHD, this post is showing signs that I may also need some meds. Back to my main point. What should I do about my chair? My dad always said, “When you pay the bills you can have your own chair.” So now that I do pay the bills, does that justify saying, “Out of my chair?” Should this cycle continue? Wow, this post got ridiculous really fast. It’s obvious that I have at least 7 years before Bryn and Nora will even want to sit down. Whew, problem averted for now.
Okay, somehow I need to pull all of this together. I am beginning to learn that nothing is completely easy about being a dad. I must be ahead of the curve after figuring that out after only a week?? My girls are not always going to say, “Yes, daddy.” I will need to try and stay reasonable and listen to them, even when this cute girl with a bow in her hair is 16 and raging with hormones.
I pray to God that when I see her sitting in my chair, that I don’t immediately say, “Out of my chair.” I will first explain why she needs to get out of my chair, listen to her tell me why she doesn’t want to get out of my chair, and then say, “I’m sorry, but out of my chair.” Well done Dad. You win! I think I owe you 50 cents.