Saturday, February 14, 2004

Megan & Maribeth - Day #12

Breaking news! Megan tried nursing today! We arrived at the hospital at 2:30pm after wading through backed up traffic from an accident on the highway near our neighbourhood. Cheryl pumped for a bit while I unloaded approximately 50 bottles of frozen breastmilk. Then we went to the nursery to see our girls. They were just waking as we arrived, so our timing worked out anyway.

Cheryl had Megan on her chest for about 20 minutes. Megan managed to latch on, but tuckered out pretty quick trying to stay latched and deal with the milk coming out. I got to hold Megan next and the nurse set up a tube feed. Cheryl shifted over to Maribeth then got up and went to pump some more. All in all, I got to hold Megan for almost 90 minutes straight. She's doing very well.

Megan was 1895g as of morning weigh in. She is taking EBM + HmF, 39 cc's every 3 hours or so. Nurses note she is voiding and stooling regularly. Megan got a tub bath on Friday too..

Maribeth was 1345g as of morning weigh in. She is taking EBM + Hmf, 18 cc's every 2 hours or so. Maribeth is also voiding and stooling well. Her left eye was crusting, but is doing well now. Maribeth also got a tub bath on Friday..

Friday, February 13, 2004

Megan & Maribeth - Day #11

Hi! Cheryl decided to go into Vancouver yesterday after all. A friend from MOPS took her down to the Skytrain at noon and Cheryl spent the afternoon cuddling the girls. I got a call from the hospital mid-afternoon to let me know to come pick her up there so the middle M's and I went down after work. It took us almost 90 minutes to get there from Langley because of the evening rush-hour.

Good news on the twins! Megan is really getting close to nursing. She seemed very interested in the milk supplier yesterday when Cheryl was cuddling her. Megan is taking 38 cc's of EBM (expressed breast milk) every 3 hours and her total for the day as of last night's visit was 228 cc's. Megan's weight was up 45g to 1860g -- not quite her birth-weight. She is getting big enough that she can regulate her own temperature and the nurse said that she would be moving very soon from the incubator to a regular bassinet.

Maribeth has broken the 1300 gram barrier! As of yesterday she was 1330g: gaining 50g over the previous day and 40g over her birth-weight. She is now taking 18 cc's per feed (though she started the day with one 17 cc feed) and her total for the day as of my visit was 161 cc's. I got to hold Maribeth for her 7 o'clock feed while Cheryl and the M's peeked into the nursery from a window on the hallway.

Cheryl is going into the hospital again today to visit. They are going to see if Megan will progress further towards nursing. At this point everyone should be aware, as Cheryl and I have recently discovered, that we are only just coming to the real work with these twins. The facts are: (1) Each twin is feeding on a 3 hour schedule. (2) Each feeding is taking about 20-30 minutes. (3) The twins feeds are currently staggered as they won't be able to nurse simultaneously for many months. Taken all together, these add up to the fact that Cheryl may only be getting an hour respite between twin feedings for many weeks. Consequently, she won't be a contributing factor to keeping the house running for a long time. Finally, this vision of Cheryl in full milk production mode 24/7 does not include any complications like daily commuting, a twin getting sick, or Cheryl herself falling ill. On that note, I leave you to enjoy the pictures!

Friday, February 06, 2004

Megan & Maribeth - Day # 4

Yes, I know, Friday - Monday is 5 days, but it's really Day 4 because they were born in the afternoon.

Good news and much gratitude to you all for the prayers for Cheryl's spinal headache. This morning the blood patch seems to have taken hold and Cheryl's headache has subsided from the mind-bending torture test to a more managable dull ache.

They are going to keep her there tonight to make sure she's alright for an additional 12 hours beyond the normal 24 and then I am going to bring her home in the morning.

I brought her a 4-pack of those little Starbucks frappucino bottles when I went to visit her this morning, so you needn't worry that she isn't getting enough caffeine

The ebbing of the headache means that Cheryl can now sit up more easily for pumping. She has expressed enough vials that she is a day ahead of the girls feeding-wise, so this should provide us with enough cushion that Cheryl can come home here, pump here, and I can drive her supplies into the hospital. As mentioned before, the nurses there are quite pleased with Cheryl's production, but all nod knowingly when we explain that the 3 previous M's were all breastfed.

The girls slept all the while that I was visiting. Maribeth is off the bili light and is sleeping soundly. She has a lot of catching up to do, so it is just as well. Megan is back under the light with her spa mask firmly in place and her diaper off for maximum coverage (and no bikini tan lines).

They haven't quite turned the corner yet on the post-partum weight loss, but the nurses weren't too concerned. They said that most of the little ones they see only start gaining 7-10 days after birth.

As a final thought: the silver lining here is that Cheryl is now willing to 'rest up' in this post-partum period so as to avoid a possible recurrence of the spinal headaches. She seems to recognize that the fastest way for her to see the girls regularly is to accept the return to bedrest and heal properly.

Thank-you again everyone for your prayers, support, and e-mails.