Don't ya just love winter




The first snow fall came and I think the girls liked it. They couldn't tell me despite my insistance they "use their words". They are babbling like crazy though and it is very cute.
Unfortunately, winter also brings unwelcome things. Our girls have their first colds. Saoirse got it first, now Gwen and Rowan have it. Their isn't a much more pathetic sight in this world than a crying, stuffed up baby with a running nose. Saoirse way of dealing with this was to scream at the top of her lungs all night long for three nights in a row. I think Gwen and I got about 8 hours of sleep combined for three nights. Luckily, the cavalry arrived in the form of Gwen's mom, so tonight at least there is the promise of sleep.
Enjoy the pics. Cheers!

6 month checkup


The girls went to the pediatrician this week, it's considered their 6 month checkup even though they were more like 6.5 months. They loved playing with the crinkly paper on the table, which is good because the wait was kind of long. They got more shots, which was not fun. At least Rowan didn't get a fever after the shots this time, I was not looking forward to it after the last set. They have definitely grown, Saoirse weighed 14 lbs and Rowan is 14 lbs, 8 oz. They're the same length (24.25 inches), so Rowan is definitely our chubby girl. Love those cheeks...:)

Happy Thanksgiving!





Wow, a whole month. Time flies. Every day the girls seem to do new stuff these days. Rowan sits up on her own now, which makes us nervous thinking that crawling is coming soon. Saoirse can sit for a few seconds, but the brace does slow her down. She's still wearing it full time, but that will probably be reduced to sleeping hours only soon. She will love that, she gets so excited when her feet are free. Both of the girls seem to have really discovered the brace lately, they both untie the laces on the shoes. Rowan tends to be jealous of whatever Saoirse has (toys, attention, etc...) and sometimes she stares at the brace when we're putting it on like, "Why don't I have shoes?" If she only knew how good she has it...

Saoirse and Rowan have had kind of a big month since we last wrote. They stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Haack while Mom and Dad went to New Orleans for an ophthalmology conference (and some much needed rest). They had a great time getting spoiled. After a week at home with Mom and Dad, we're all back up North for Thanksgiving. The girls went to Clare for the first time, met some cousins they'd never seen before. Lunch at Aunt Loretta's was fun and crazy with four babies 12 months and under.

To answer a few frequently asked questions:
1. No, they still do not sleep through the night. Not even close. Someday we hope it will happen. Before they go to college.
2. They did not dress up for Halloween. No one trick or treats in our neighborhood, and they don't live close enough to anyone to visit. So...next year will be their first Halloween.
3. No, they're not eating solid food yet. The plan is to start next month, when they hit their corrected age of 6 months.

Enjoy the photos!!

Schedules and such





For the past few weeks, Gwen and I have really been working on gettting the girls on a schedule. So far, we have worked it out like this. Wake up time (between 7am and 7:30 am, although occasionally one of the girls decides they are going to get up at 6 am), morning routine of playing, then nap at 9am with a bottle. Up at about 11 am for more play, usually on the play mat with some practice rolling over. Saoirse, by the way, is rolling front to back and back to front both ways with and without her brace. She is very coordinated. Rowan still has yet to roll back to front, but that is mostly because she starts crying if you leave her on the ground for more than a minute, so she doesn't practice.

Back down for a nap at about 1 pm for an hour or so. Up for playing and more food. Nap at 4pm for Rowan and maybe Saoirse if she will allow. At around six, Saoirse gets her brace off and we all play a while. Bath time is at 7pm. They both love it, but really hate drying off. Then its bedtime around 7:30pm to 8pm. It is really easy to put them down, but they have been waking up at about 8:30 almost every night, and then fight going back down for almost an hour. At night they have been sleeping better for me, not so much for Gwen. They always wake up at least once during the night, sometimes more, but I think it is getting better. I have to give all of the credit for the schedule to Gwen. She is a great mom and is working really hard.

Other fun things we have done include taking the girls to BW's for their first Michigan game. They are very happy that the Wolverines have turned things around and are looking forward to seeing their first OSU game in a few weeks.

Big talkers....




Wow, time flies. Every time I sit down here to update, I'm shocked at how long it's been. Well...what can I tell you? The girls are growing like crazy. They have now gotten the hang of holding their own toys. They reach out for stuffed animals, us, their rattles, all sorts of stuff. And it goes in their mouths. Saoirse is a serious drooler, so this new ability to get everything in her mouth makes things pretty messy. Also, they are more aware of each other all the time, which is really adorable. This morning while I was playing with them both on their Baby Einstein gym, Saoirse flailed her hand close enough to Rowan's face to interest her. So Rowan grabbed Saoirse's fist with both of her own hands, pulled it into her mouth, and started sucking. It doesn't bother them at all to be handled like that, it's pretty funny to watch.


I would say that biggest change lately is how much they're trying to "talk." Of course, they always made noises (especially Rowan). But now you can tell that they're really trying to communicate. They'll lie in your lap, look in your eyes, and just "talk" away, working so hard to shape their mouths into new sounds. I love it, I can't imagine how entertaining it's going to be when it's real words.

Progress



It has been a great few weeks lately. The babies are growing into real people right before our eyes. They recognize each other now and smile when they see each other. Saoirse rolls over now and Rowan is rolling from her back to her front in either direction. They are starting to grab for things and can even hold things for a short time. I think Rowan is going to be a trouble maker when she gets older. She cries if we are giving too much attention to her sister. Poor Saoirse sits quietly and patiently for as long as she needs too. But when I pick her up and Rowan sees us, she stares and tries to get my attention. She even tried to steal a toy from Saoirse's hand the other day.


Saoirse is doing better with her brace. She isn't crazy about it, but seems to be handling it better.


They just had their 4 month check up and vaccinations and our doctor told us they are not considered premies anymore because they are totally on the normal chart and have caught up. Rowan weighs 12 pounds and Saoirse weighs 11 lbs. 11 oz.


It is blowing my mind how much they are starting to progress. Still, they aren't sleeping through the night yet, but they are gettting close, I think.


Daddy got to play his first soccer game since before the babies were born. The girls came for the first match. They didn't seem to like the bright sun that much though.


Can't wait to see what they do next!

So proud

This happened two weeks ago. After watching our friend Keith's blog and seeing his child roll over, I have been waiting for it to happen for us. When I put Rowan on the ground, she almost went right over. I ran and got the camera and it was suprising to me how much pride welled up in side of me. That's my girl.

video

Good sleeping!!

Okay, I'm not saying this is going to happen all the time or anything. (I don't want to jinx it). But Saoirse slept through the night for the last two nights!! 9.5 hours Monday night and 7.5 hours on Tuesday. What a miracle. And Rowan didn't do half bad herself, about 6-7 hours each night. Grandma and Grandpa Haack were visiting for a few days. I really think it makes a huge difference when the girls have more attention during the day, which is tough when they're alone with me. It's tough to get two babies down for naps throughout the day. Of course, they're also just getting to the age where they don't have to eat quite as often.

In other news, Rowan is hilarious, she smiles and laughs A LOT. She's super-active, like her dad, and wants to be in an upright position almost all day. She wants to sit up and stand with support, she's very strong. No laying back and chilling for her. Saoirse has discovered rattles, especially the kind with clear plastic and little tiny balls that rattle around inside. She'll stare at them for sometimes up to an hour. (Amazing how tired your arm can get holding up a 2 oz rattle for that long).

Hope all of you have a good Labor Day. We'll be at the beach!

video

Pool time



Hey everyone,


Last weekend we went to my parent's aparment for the first time. We wanted to see if the girls would like a pool as much as they seemed to like the lake. (Ok, maybe I wanted to swim a bit too) It was a good weekend overall. We found really cute swimsuits for the girls and took them to the kiddie pool. They were a little overwhelmed by the sun, but overall, I think they like water, which is good, because its one of my favorite things in the world.


Unfortunately, when we took Saoirse to her orthopedic appointment, her foot was turning too much, and she had to get the cast put back on, so no more swimming for her. It looks like she will probably need surgery in the future, but we'll see.


They still aren't sleeping more than a few hours at a time, but we are still getting help and hanging in there.

Swimming





We went to the cottage this weekend. It was the second time the girls have been there, but the last time they were too small to attempt going in the water. But on their 12 week "birthday," they went in. It was a little overcast, and not terribly hot. But they seemed to enjoy it. Saoirse had actually been having a fussy day, but she was calm in the lake. Chris is pretty happy, since he loves the water. I think he was afraid he was going to get kids like me, who don't like getting their face wet.

Enjoy the pics...

TIMBER!!

Check out this video.It cracks me up.
video

Night time is not the right time



Sorry its been so long since we updated the website. Despite continued help from family, we are pretty busy. During the few moments we have free, Gwen and I are catching up on work around the house, or if we are lucky, getting out of the house. We went and saw Transformers on Friday and went to dinner at the Basil Leaf in Chicago on Saturday while my parent's watched the babies. Its funny watching them with the kids. They are wonderful. My mom and dad both get a gleam in their eyes when they see the kids. By the end of the weekend though, its easy to see they need a break. I guess that's the beauty of being a grandparent.

We always have grand ideas about getting work done when people come to help, but time is never long enough. We did finish all the laundry and dishes, but the basket is already full again.

The kids are starting to do new things. More smiling and interaction with the outside world.

We also discovered, thanks to some reading by Gwen, that really loud white noise is the best to soothe them. We bought the sound of waves on itunes, but, funny as it seems, the vacuum cleaner seems to really work well too.

The last two or three weeks has been the hardest yet in some ways. They have been really struggling to fall asleep at night. The last two nights my girl went to sleep at 1 am and 2 am respectively. They still aren't sleeping more than three hours, so when the scream from 7pm until 2 am, it makes you want to join them in a chorus. Tonight, so far, Rowan, who I have, seems to be doing well. I might just try to get some sleep myself here in a minute.

By the way, check out the video link I put up. It is of Saoirse and Rowan and it cracks me up.

Hope all is well out there and we'll try to put another post out sooner next time.

Cheers!

First overnight stay...


The Papp family made a trip to Michigan this past weekend. Rowan and Saoirse visited Grandma and Grandpa H. for the first time, staying overnight while Mom and Dad went to a wedding in Muskegon. It went pretty well, although the girls did get formula for the first time, due to Mom's miscalculation about how long they'd be apart. (sorry girls) They drank it alright, but the diapers have been a whole lot worse to change since then. It was definitely motivation to keep pumping. While we were there, the girls also met their first other baby, their cousin Lindsay (6 months). They didn't seem to notice all that much, but we look forward to when they're bigger and they can all play together. It made Chris and I a little sad, thinking that in a few months our babies will be so big. It's always so conflicted, wishing that they'd be bigger so that it would get easier and yet wanting them to stay so cute and small and cuddly for longer. They seem so perfect the way they are.

Two months old




So yesterday the girls were two months old. Rowan celebrated by sleeping through the night, although of course she did it on a night when her Grandma Haack was taking care of her. So Mom and Dad didn't get the full benefit. Last night she was back to her usual self, sleeping in 3 hour chunks and only while being held. Saoirse got her cast off last week, and we've been doing physical therapy exercises with her. Some of you may remember that we did this before, but her leg tightened right back up and the foot turned back in. It doesn't seem to be doing that this time, so we're hopeful that there will be no more casts.

The girls had their two month check-up today and each got 3 shots. Fun stuff. They're doing fine, though. And Mom survived too, even though I had to take two infants to the doctor at the same time. I'd have rather gotten three shots...;)

Enjoy the photos, taken on their two month birthday.

Sorry its been so long





Well, things here have been very busy lately, as you can imagine. The girls are still doing well and growing quickly. They are both over 7 pounds now. They are sleeping for longer stretches, but still not near through the night. We have spent a few more days and nights where it was just Gwen and I and it is tough, but I don't feel like it is something that we won't be able to handle anymore. It will just be the hardest thing we have ever had to do.


Both girls are starting to hold their heads up. They are only able to do it for a little while, but we are very proud of them. Also, they have both been able to roll over once. Its not consistent but we were very impressed.


Here are some pictures I hope you enjoy. The top picture shows the girls resting together, which rarely happens. Almost always, one of them is unhappy about something. And nothing disturbs them more than hearing their sister cry. It is endearing but it also is frustrating when you get one of them down and she is woken up by her crying sibling. At this very moment I am typing with one hand shile Rowan sleeps in her baby bjorn and Saoirse rests in my hand. Neither of them will sleep without beimg held.
The bottom picture is more normal with them messing with each other.
On the right you see my brother with them before he left for Washington DC.

Just for the record....




Evidently the last post touched a nerve with some people, so let me set the record straight. We're all fine. Venting over a rough night with two needy babies in no way means we don't love them to death, or want them. Although so many of you who are parents have expressed understanding and empathy over how difficult those long nights can be, I think it's worth saying to the rest that having newborn twins at home is a challenge that few have faced. I might add the cliched but true "until you've walked a mile in someone else's shoes...." Enough said.


As of today we've been home, the four of us, for two weeks. It's already hard to remember a time when the babies weren't here. They had kind of a big week. Saoirse had to get her leg recasted, unfortunately the foot was turning in again. At her appointment with Dr. Brown (her orthopedist) this week, she was very good, even though the air conditioning was out and it was about 90 degrees in there, and we didn't get seen until an hour late. Both of the girls went on their first outing to the lake, which they seemed to enjoy. They did really well on the car ride, too. They got some visitors, which they always like. More people to hold them, which is their favorite way to sleep. And they got weighed on Monday. Rowan weighed in at 5 lbs, 11 oz. Saoirse weighed 5 lbs, 15.5 oz with her cast, which means they're probably about the same size. Getting big...:) They'll be grown out of their preemie stuff soon, which makes Chris and I a little sad, even though it's a triumph. Before you know it, they'll be off to college. (University of Michigan, of course...)

This is so scary.


So, Gwen, Rowan, Saoirse and I have been home now for a week. In that time we have only spent two nights where Gwen and I were alone with the kids. Friday and Monday night. So we have had help. I have also been off of work for the last week. Despite those facts, I feel exhausted. And a grinding nausea fills my stomach. The kind sprung from fear. Can we really do this? It feels so hard and I keep thinking about what is going to happen in two weeks or so when the kids are still just as needy and still not sleeping very much and I am back at work. After our help has gone back to their normal lives, how can we possibly do this? It seems almost hopeless. The only thing that keeps me from completely panicking is that I know people who have done this. Somehow they survived, so we will too, right?

Last night, I found myself freaking out. Gwen has been doing a greater share of the late night duties, and I could see it getting to her, so I decided I would take the kids the whole night with some help from my dad. He was pretty tired though and crashed out by midnight. I didn't get to bed at all until about 2:30 am. At one point, I got so mad at Rowan for waking up her sister, I felt an urge to hurl her against the wall. Of course, all I did was pick her up and take her out of the room to try to soothe her, but still, the impulse disturbed me. I believe that other parents have had the same desire at one point or another, but if that thought occured to me now, how bad is it going to get?

They tag team us. One sleeps while the other one keeps us awake, so that they rest while we suffer. I know it is not intentional, but you get weird ideas in your head when you are starved for sleep.

Anyway, I don't want people out there thinking I am going to hurt my kids. Also, I am doing ok, really. I just needed to vent. I will tell you that any planning we had is completely shot to hell. I didn't think the kids sleeping in the bed was such a great idea, but now, anything that gets them to sleep for more than a few minutes is cool with me. I will worry about their being spoiled a few months from now. And, as time goes on, we do notice patterns that make it easier to handle them and find ways for us to get what we need to do done. It just is all on their terms, at least for now.

Rare moment...


No real new updates, I just wanted to post to show you one of the rare times when they are both asleep, and how ridiculously cute it is. I know, I should have been sleeping rather than taking photos.

Mom went home again this morning, so Chris and I are on our own for the rest of the week. We're terrified....this does get easier when babies are not newborns anymore, right?....

Ups and downs




Holy S"*t!! I was optomistic about what it would be like having Rowan home, since for the most part, having Saoirse at home by herself wasn't that bad. Between Gwen, her mom and I we had it covered and were managing to get 6 hours of sleep per night. I thought having Rowan home would make it harder, but not exponentially so, which turned out to be the case. The first night Rowan was here, Gwen's mom had to leave, but my brother was here so I thought we could handle it. The first night he and I stayed up until 5 am and then slept for about six thanks to some excellent work by Gwen. However, that's when reality set in. The second night, Evan went to bed because he was leaving early the next morning and I had to try to put the girls to sleep. They eat and sleep on different schedules and there's not a whole lot you can do about it. They both do fine when you are holding them, but how can you hold both of them and do what each one needs (get breast milk ready, change them, clean them. It doesn't work. And if Gwen and I both stay up, no one ever sleeps. It takes an hour to get them up, get the bottle, feed them, change them and then put them down, and you can only do one at a time. I got up at 7 am Friday to work and was exhausted. The worst was Friday night though. I had a bad day at work, was exhausted and it was just Gwen and I. Gwen had been taking care of the babies for 12 hours straight by herself if you count my sleep and work. Then we took them to the doctors appointment and came home. I told Gwen to go get some sleep and took care of them for their next two feeding times and I thought I was going to die, and it wasn't even night time yet. Luckily, somehow, almost as if the girls sensed I needed a break, they had a rather quite night and slept for 3 hours and then 4 hours, giving Gwen and I two chunks of sleep. When they were in the NICU, they were fed every 3 hours, but it seems they would rather eat every 1.5-2, which is almost impossible for us. Gratefully, Gwen's mom is back here tonight ahead of schedule because we put out and SOS and it is already less stressful. It was just in time too, because last night I forgot which was which when Gwen came to relieve me at 2 am.

Saoirse got her cast off on Thursday, which is great. Unfortunately, I have to do physical therapy on her twice a day. It consists of twisting her foot up and out for five minutes at a time. I think I have discovered a way to manipulate time and space after doing this a few times. The clock almost goes backwards, making it the longest five minutes I have ever experienced, over and over again. I also just about leave my body as she screams at the top of her lungs and looks up at me. I consider myself pretty tough when it comes to these things. I am a doctor and have treated many people. As part of training you learn to separate your emotions in these situations so that you can do what is necessary and in the best interest of the patient. Still, it kills me.

On the bright side, they are beautiful and getting big. Their checkup with their doctor went well and they seem to be doing great in general. We have given them their first baths in their tub and both seemed to like it. We also used their stroller for the first time today taking them around for a little walk earlier today.

Finally, I didn't realize how much having the kids would impact my interaction with the outside world. The first time I took Saoirse to the store, 4 people stopped me and commented on how small and cute she was and started asking all these questions about them. When we went to the doctor with both of them, we parked in two spots because the cars previously had parked just outside their lines. Since I had to get them both out of their carseats and there were plenty of spaces in the lot, I took up two spaces. When we came out of the office, a big red pickup was parked 1 inch from the drivers side. I sat their, dumbstruck, when this dude comes running out of the office saying he wouldn't have done that if he had known, ie I had two babies with me. I was so tired and pissed I was speechless. It was kind of funny watching the guy trip over himself trying to apologize and move his car when he realized I had two kids.

Anyway, the journey has just begun and I am already humbled by the prospect of doing this for years and years. I also know that as they grow, certain things will get easier and other problems will arise. Let the adventure continue.

Finally....


Good news. Rowan got to join us at home tonight. They warned us a couple of days ago that she may be coming, but the nurses always warned us that you don't really know they're leaving until you're walking out the door with them, so we weren't sure. But she's been doing really well on her feedings the last several days, and she's gaining weight. They said at discharge tonight that she weighs 4 lbs, 6.5 oz now, and that she has grown 1 inch since she was born. She seems pretty content so far, having been home 2 hours. She drank a bottle, went to sleep, and is now in her very own crib. The picture here is of her in her carseat in the apartment, before I got her out. What a face...:)
Saoirse has been doing pretty well her first few days home. We're getting to know her schedule, as opposed to the schedule she came home from the NICU with. She doesn't really like eating every three hours, as it turns out. She wants to eat smaller amounts more often, so we're adjusting to her needs. She also really likes being held A LOT and sleeping in bed next to her mom. What do you know?...she's making up for lost attention while she was in the hospital.
More soon...

Finally...


Well, at least we have one baby at home. Last night we brought Saoirse home with us from the hospital. That made three weeks and one day that she was there. We now have a ton of medical appointments to go to. Pediatrician, orthopedic surgeon, ultrasound, ophthalmology (although I am going to do this exam myself. There's nothing wrong. She just needs a routine screening.) and physical therapy.

I think for a first night we did pretty well. She feeds every 3 hours. I stayed up with her to do the 1 am feeding. Gwen got up for the 4 am. I did the 7, Gwen the 10 and so forth. It takes about an hour to get the baby up, get the bottle ready, change her (sometimes once before and once after), feed her, then put her back to bed. I am hoping this routine gets shorter once we have it down better (and when they are strong enough to get all their food from the breast). We'll die trying to feed two children if it doesn't. It is amazing having her here. It is a lot more worrisome too, of course. When I put her down after the 1 am feeding, I tried to sleep. The crib is in our bedroom, and every time Saoirse made a sound, I got nervous, thinking something was wrong, and got up to check her. Obviously, I didn't get a lot of sleep but Gwen and I both managed to get some, as opposed to some horror stories I have heard where babies refuse to sleep and parents stay up non-stop for the first few days. Luckily, Gwen's mom is coming to save the day tomorrow, because once the week starts, it is going to be hard to go to work after these nights of little sleep.

As a policy, the hospital sends all premies home on a monitor. These monitors are not as nice as the ones in the NICU. It is a strap around her chest that checks for breaths and heart rate. If the strap moves, for instance every time you feed her, the alarm goes off all the damn time. It is really a pain and Gwen and I were told that they should be on the monitor for a few months. We'll see about that.

Right now Gwen and Saoirse are napping and it may be the cutest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Warm fuzzies popping everywhere.

Rowan is still in the NICU but she is doing well. She weighs 4lbs4oz. Her nurse is going to pull her NG tube (tube used to supplement her feedings) tonight. As long as she can gain weight by feeding on her own, and maintain her temp., she should be coming home soon. Which sounds great, but right now having one home while its the weekend seems like a ton of work, so we'll see what happens when they are both here.

I must admit, I really enjoyed having Saoirse all to myself earlier today when Gwen went to visit Rowan. After my initial panic of course. Even still, its hard to imagine one person taking care of two at once.

Thanks for reading. We'll keep you posted.

Progress...



Both girls have now progressed to wearing clothes. They have lots of cute, tiny clothes, and we were starting to think they'd never get to wear them. But both are totally unhooked from all tubes and lines now, Rowan got her IV out last night. Also the temperatures in their incubators are being turned down gradually, so that we can see if they can regulate their body temperatures. Up until now, they have been, as Chris puts it "cold blooded little creatures..." We think they look more like babies, rather than preemies, every day. And the clothes definitely help. In the photos, Rowan is on the left, Saoirse is on the right. You'll also notice that there are no white patches on Saoirse's head anymore. Those were velcro stickers that her little cloth glasses stuck to. She had to wear the glasses when she was in her bed, because of the bilirubin lights. But now she's free! No velcro stickers anymore.

Both girls are working valiantly on eating. Who knew getting babies to eat could be so difficult? Each girl is now getting 40 ml per feeding, every 3 hours around the clock. Saoirse has been drinking her bottles on her own for more than a week now. Rowan, on the other hand, finds eating to be quite a challenge. She sucks pretty intermittently, tires easily, and spits a lot out. All of this is normal for a preemie, but it means she needs some work before she gets to come home. So she still has an NG tube (the little tube in her nose) so that when she can't finish her meal they can put the breastmilk in her belly directly.

Freedom


Last night, Saoirse finally got rid of her bililights (UV light to remove excess bilirubin from her blood. Bilirubin is normal biproduct of the liver which accumulates in excess in newborns and premies leading to jaundice) and shades that go along with them. She also finally got rid of her nasal canula. The only thing she is attached to now is her pulse oximeter (a device to measure her oxygen and pulse) It was weird to hold her without her being attached to stuff. Rowan just has an IV and her pulse ox. At this point they both really just need to eat better and grow and then they are coming home. Yeah!!!

A good night


Last night, Saoirse was crying a lot. She wouldn't eat and we couldn't seem to figure out why. Tonight was totally different. Saoirse ate her whole bottle and took some breast milk straight from the source. She seemed happier too. Dad worked with Rowan and she ate 15 whole ml. Way to go kiddo! They both seemed very alert and comfortable. Dad even got to whole them both at the same time for the first time. It was great fun.

Rowan and Saoirse together at last


This was the first time the babies have been together since they left mama's womb. Rowan is in front. Poor sleepy Saoirse.

Another day, another NICU adventure

Hello all,
Yesterday night at about 7pm when we went back to the hospital, things started off great. Rowan got her nasal canula and UAC (umbilical arterial catheter) removed, so she is more free and is easier to hold. She is breathing well and I was able to feed her (only 5 ml. but it was still nice). Saoirse was still having desaturations, but seemed to be ok. The caffeine probably hadn't taken effect yet and the NICU attending decided to add back a nasal canula to give her a little boost. Backtracking is never fun but nothing to worry about at this point really, since her oxygen was going down when she was moving. In other words, she was holding her breath, rather than having apnea(which is when the brain forgets to tell the body to breath). Then we went back at 10pm and it was rougher. Rowan was still ok, but Saoirse was having a rough night. She had her cast changed. (Her right ankle turns 90 degrees inward. An orthopedic surgeon put a plaster cast on it last week to begin straightening it. Every week, the cast is changed and straightened a bit more. Saoirse does not seem to like it at all.) She wasn't eating and would begin screaming like crazy every few minutes. Gwen took it hard. Neither of the babies have been crying much, and that has made it easier to leave them each night, but the thought of them screaming in pain for hours over the night without someone to soothe them was torture (The nurses do a good job but they have babies who are in much worse shape than ours that often require their attention. Crying is not always a big priority.) We are both hoping when we see them later today, that Saoirse is doing better.

12 days old....



Too much has happened since they were born to go into everything, but here's a brief overview:
Rowan was on a CPAP machine to help her breathe for quite a while it turned out that she had a PDA (a duct in her heart that failed to close at birth). It was making it harder for her to breathe. The doctors gave her a 3 day course of Indomethicin (an NSAID) and as of yesterday it was closed. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it stays, because worst case scenario could be surgery to repair it. Since it's closed, she's been much more comfortable, breathing pretty well, and her little personality is really coming out. It's the same as I knew inside..she's a wiggle worm. She's definitely going to keep us busy when they're at home. Chris and I finally got to hold her last night for the first time, and she did seem to like getting out of her bed. Any day now we're going to try to start feeding her, and if the way she attacks her pacifier is any indicator, I should be very afraid...;)
Saoirse got off the CPAP machine within a couple of days, and the nasal cannula followed soon after. She's been breathing on her own for a week or so, although in the last few days she's had a few spells where she slows down. We think she's getting too comfortable, and her doctors are starting her on caffeine to keep her a little more alert. She's been sucking down bottles every three hours for several days now, she's at just under 1 oz per feeding now. Last night we got to try breastfeeding for the first time, and she took to it like a pro. Of course, she's so small that she tires easily, the bottles are still necessary to keep her gaining weight. We're hoping to be able to switch over entirely by the end of June (when she should have been born).
Mom's doing okay, (although she may have an infection from the surgery, it turns out). We're adjusting to the schedule of work, chores, and hospital visits. We're starting to feel like veterans at the NICU, when new people come in now we're glad we're further along than that. We've already put in 12 days there. We're anxious for them to be home with us, though.
The pictures at the top are from the last few days. Saoirse is on the top, Rowan on the bottom.
More soon....

They're heeeerrreeee

Born on May 11th, Saoirse and Rowan immediately melted our hearts.
Gwen was 34 weeks pregnant and had been on bedrest with contractions for 60 days. Earlier in the day, Gwen said she felt different, and that they were coming soon. At 1:15 am, she woke me up to say her water broke. I fell back asleep. At 2:30am, she said her contractions were getting painful. After some coaxing, I got up, showered and dressed. We had packed a hospital bag weeks earlier, expecting them to come early. I actually predicted 34 weeks. We got to the hospital at about 4am. Gwen was progressing very quickly, especially since this was her first birth. She wasn't able to get the epidural until she was about 9 cm dilated. What a trooper! I was amazed at her strength and courage. She said the experience gave her a whole new pain scale. When she started to push, Rowan's (baby B) heart rate dropped, so we had to go to c-section. The babies were delivered while "Isn't she lovely" by Stevie Wonder played in the background (a happy coincidence). Saoirse had a ton of hair. Her right foot was turned in, but I couldn't care less right then. She was here and breathing and that's all I cared about. Rowan came shortly after. I left Gwen and went with the babies to the NICU. I felt like I never wanted to leave their sides. Something that would later prove difficult.