Baby A and Baby B expected in early June 2004

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First Prenatal Doctor's Visit - 12/04/03

The first doctor's visit was on December 4th, 2003 at 8 weeks and 2 days. I didn't expect an ultrasound (u/s) because most doctors don't do it until weeks 16-20, when they can determine baby's sex, unless something is wrong (bleeding, spotting, etc.) Luckily, my doctor's practice is always do an early u/s. The doctor jokingly said "Let's do an u/s and make sure there is only one". In a minute a smile came off his face and he said "Julia, there are twins". I couldn't believe it, and I still can't believe it. I told him that twins don't run in my family or Joel's (well, except for Stephanie's Alex and Jacob, but I thought that her husband Matt has twins on his side). The doctor said "there is always a first".

I looked at the u/s screen and saw two little white spots, two dots pulsating (2 heartbeats) and one yolk sac. But I only saw 1 bubble/sac. I asked the doctor "I thought that with twins there are two sacs". He said that this is what he is concerned about. He told me that the fetuses are in the same sac and it looks like there is no separation between them. That means that they float freely around each other, twist their cords and risk suffocating each other. Basically, he said that the situation was rare (1% of all pregnancies are twins and 1-2% of all twins are in the same sac like this) and high-risk.

This condition is called monochorionic (one placenta) and monoamniotic (one sac). Needless to say that this is just 1 step before siamese or conjoined twins. It's common to have only one placenta with each baby in his own sac inside of the placenta. That's called monochorionic and diamniotic. In our case it's only one sac. This condition is also called MoMo twins, for short.

The only good news I got was that they were measuring on target for 9 weeks and the heartbeats were strong.

The doctor also broke the news to me that he was retiring at the end of the month. So I have to find a new doctor and a new specialist in complicated pregnancies - they are called perinatologists (peri).

Level II Ultrasound - 12/11/03

At that point the doctor directed me to an imaging lab for a level 2 u/s to confirm his findings and to get better images of the babies. I had that appointment on Dec. 11th. Joel came with me. A technician first tried doing an external u/s (I had to drink 48 ounces of water) but then realized that it was too early - fetuses at that point were only 23 mm long. So they did an internal u/s, like my doctor did. They confirmed his diagnosis but could not tell for sure if the babies were conjoined or not - they were very close to each other.

Second Doctor Appointment - 12/18/03

I went for the second appt. at my regular OBGYN on Dec. 18th, but he had to leave town on an emergency, so I saw a different doctor in his office - Frances Yuen. She did another ultrasound and it looked like they were moving all over the place (very active) and they didn't seem conjoined at all. They measured on target - one was 10w3d and the other 10w0d. I was at 10w2d yesterday. Their heartbeats are still strong. All the bloodwork and urine tests came back normal. I have an appt. with them again January 23rd.

Second Level II Ultrasound - 12/23/03

Today I had a Level II Ultrasound at the California Pacific Medical Center. I had both an external and vaginal ultrasound today. A technician and a doctor (Dr. James Goldberg) looked and didn't see a membrane. The babies measured on target - one was 11w and the other 11w2d. I am 11w today. They did see two small cists - one on each ovary, but they said it was ok. It looks like the implantation of the cords is in the same place or very close together. They also both said that Dr. Per Sandberg whom I will see next week is a very good doctor. The technician used to work with him at UCSF and she said that he is the best. I have an appointment with him 12/30/03, at 12 weeks.

First Perinatologist Appointment - 12/30/03

Joel and I met with Dr. Per Sandberg of California Pacific Medical Center. He is one of the doctors in this hospital's perinatology (high risk pregnancy) group. He talked to us for about an hour, told us about the risks and the steps that we will be going through.

At this point, he suggests that we see him every 2-4 weeks until babies become viable at 24 weeks. Before 24 weeks we'll do some testing (he suggests triple screen (AFP) but probably not Amnio, as risks of miscarriage due to that procedure are higher than the chance of the babies actually having the problems that this test may uncover. Amnio is usually done on older women. I will also have several more ultrasounds which will monitor the growth closely and probably uncover any physical abnormalities and other problems that the babies may have, including TTTS.

During this period of time we will also meet with the neonatologist who will explain to us how babies develop and the risks of having premature babies. Based on this discussion, we will decide at what point we will be comfortable enough delivering. At 24 weeks the babies may survive, but they may not develop properly and may have many long-term health problems, including some that are incurable.

Dr. Sandberg recommended started daily monitoring (non-stress tests) about week 26 and then possibly check into the hospital for constant monitoring about week 28. He suggested delivery at 32 weeks. At that point the babies longs should be fully develop, so they should be able to breath and eat on their own. They would still have to stay at the intensive care unit for probably 4-6 weeks. We could possibly wait longer than 32 weeks and allow them to develop even further in the womb, however, chances of death rise at that point, as the babies grow and tighten the cords. We will decide on the exact dates later on. Of course, our plans may be interrupted at any time, as the babies may decide on their own if they want to come out early. Also, before delivery, the babies will be given a round of steroids which will help lung maturity.

After the conversation, the doctor performed a quick u/s just to make sure that the hearts were still beating. We don't have any printouts from this u/s, but we got to see the babies for a few moments. They looked bigger and their parts were more human-like than just a week ago.

The next u/s appointment will be January 16. The doctor will see me the same day. Then on the 23rd I will have an appt. with my regular OBGYN. Further meetings have not been scheduled yet, but they may be up to a month apart at that point.

Level II Ultrasound and 2nd Perinatologist Appt. - 1/16/04

We went for another u/s today at 14 weeks and 3 days. It went rather well. Both babies are measuring on target (baby A is at 14 weeks 6 days and baby B at 14 weeks 4 days), my cervix length is good (3.6 cm), spines and all the visible parts look good, and heartbeats are both 150. My urine was normal as well as blood pressure (118/70).

They were both kicking me pretty hard... I'm glad that they are still too small and I can't feel it.

Here comes the interesting part. The two doctors (my peri Dr. Sandberg and the prenatal diagnostics specialist Dr. Goldberg) both looked and they came up with the following: it looks like there is one cord that splits into two. One goes to baby A, the other to baby B. It looks like a V-shape sort of. Anyway, the way the cords are positioned right now, it does not look like there is entanglement. One cord goes to the right, the other to the left. The docs said that because of this configuration there is actually less of a chance for the cords to become entangled.

I'm thinking that maybe there are two cords, but the implantation of the cords is in the same place in the placenta. And maybe they are entagled at the base, so it looks like there is only one cord that splits.

Either way, there is no problem right now. I'm going to get Triple Screen (AFP) testing on the 30th. That's when I'll have a short appt. with Dr. Sandberg to check on the heartbeats. The next ultrasound will be at 18 weeks (probably Feb. 13) and then the next one at 22 weeks (March 12).

While doing the ultrasound, the technitian tried to figure out whether we had boys or girls. It's still too early to tell, but she said that she has a feeling that they are going to be girls.

I've gained 12 pounds so far since October, mostly around the middle, and I don't fit into any of my pants, except the ones with elastic waists. I'm supposed to be gaining 1.5 pounds per week!

Appt. with OB Dr. Amy, AFP Test, 3rd Perinatologist Appt. - 1/28/04 & 1/30/04

On Jan. 28th I went to meet my new OB since Dr. Brooks retired at the end of December. Dr. Amy Huibonoah is young and nice, but she hasn't done anything so far. The meeting lasted about 5 minutes. It went basically like this: "Hello - you are being seen by a peri - that's great - have a good pregnancy - send us baby pictures". :(

On Jan. 30 I gave blood for AFP (Triple Screen) test. The AFP test, sometimes called the MSAFP or maternal serum AFP, is where a blood sample is drawn from the mother to check the levels of AFP. AFP is a protein secreted by the fetal liver and excreted in the mother's blood. It is generally used for detecting neural tube defects, but it can also indicate: abdominal wall defects esophageal and duodenal atresia, some renal and urinary tract anomalies, turner syndrome, some low birth weight fetuses, and placental complications. A low level of AFP could also indicate Down Syndrome. Here are some links that go in-depth on what this test is about:
AFP Link1
AFP Link2

The problem with AFP testing is that it has a high rate of false positive (bad) results, especially with twins. This causes extra worries to the parents and sometimes leads to termination of pregnancy, when there is actually nothing wrong. Therefore, if the test comes back abnormal, there will be other tests done, such as amniocentecis (when a sample of amniotic fluid is taken and tested) and detailed ultrasounds. Test results should be available in a couple of weeks.

I also had a short appointment with Dr. Sandberg. He briefly looked at the u/s and said that he saw two strong heartbeats. We will be looking in detail again on Feb. 13th. At that time we should know whether they are boys or girls. :) We'll keep you posted.

Level II Ultrasound - 2/13/04 - Friday the 13th

This Friday the 13th worked out well for us. The 13th is usually a lucky number for me since I was born on the 13th.

We found out babies' sex today: we are having GIRLS! Some people are excited about it and some are disappointed. We didn't really care as long as the babies are healthy. And they are - so far.

All their measurements were very good today. Baby A is still ahead of Baby B by 2 days, but they are both ahead of the average sizes. Baby A measures at 19w1d and Baby B at 18w6d. I am only 18w3d today.

Today was also the first time we saw what they weigh. They are both about 10 oz - Baby A is 293 gm and Baby B is 283 gm. They are 1.25 pounds together already! No wonder I've been gaining weight. The heartbeats measured at 153 and 160.

I will scan some of the ultrasound pictures and will post them soon. We got about 20 pictures today!

The ultrasound also confirmed negative (good) AFP results that came in last week. There are no signs of any abnormalities so far. No club feet, sandal toe, missing third joint of the pinky, spina bifida, brain malformations, or any other alarming things. All the organs were in place. The bladders were a good size on both (which is an indicator that there is no evidence of TTTS yet).

One weird thing that happened was that in the middle of the session (it was about 1.5 hours long) I had a contraction. I didn't feel it. Also they could not find cord implantations and could not tell us whether there was entanglement at this point or not.

Appt. with Dr. Sandberg - 2/23/04

At this appointment my AFP numbers were confirmed. I am at 1/1690 risk of Down's which is good - the "normal" results are 1/200 or more. Neural tube defect came back negative. They could not test for Trisomy 18 (a scary chromosomal disorder) because they don't have statistics for twins.

Otherwise the appointment was uneventful. He looked at the ultrasound briefly and said that there are still heartbeats and growth seems fine. He saw both bladders and didn't notice anything wrong.

We are meeting with a neonatologist March 1st and with Dr. Sandberg again on March 2nd to discuss management plan in further detail. We are leaning towards starting to monitor around week 28 as smaller babies have so many health problems. Week 28 is around April 20th, but they will be technically viable at week 24, which is March 23rd - less than a month away. We are also scheduled for ultrasounds on March 1st and March 15th.

Appt. with Dr. Kathleen Lewis (Neonatologist) and another Level II Ultrasound - 3/01/04

We met with the neonatologist and had a short tour of the NICU. The doctor didn't say anything new to us - she recommends monitoring around week 28. She says that outcomes for 30+ weekers are very good. In NICU we talked to a new father who was feeding one of his newborn twin daughters who were born at 34 weeks and were about 3 days old. They looked so tiny!

Then we went for Level II ultrasound. We got a new technitian (not Rati or Shawn) - her name was Hong. She was a Sr. technitian there and seemed to be very good. She looked for about 15 minutes for the membrane, but couldn't find one. She said that she is surprized not to see the membrane because she can't see any cord entanglement. She said that she can usually see one or the other with monoamniotic twins. In our case she can't see either. Everything else looked good - measurements, etc. She ever was able to print us out a few 3D pictures, including one color one. They are pretty amazing!

Babies are measuring at 13 and 14 oz right now at 20 weeks 6 days.

Then Dr. Musci came in and also looked for the entaglement and couldn't see it. He said that it's good news as well, although they can't guarantee that there is no entanglement just because they can't find it.

The next appointment is going to be on Friday March 5th with Dr. Sandberg and then another ultrasound on the 15th.

Appt. with Dr. Sandberg - 3/05/04

We met with Dr. Sandberg and tried to discuss the monitoring plan. First of all, everything is still going fine. At 23-24 weeks babies can survive, so if we were to terminate, it would be now. It doesn't look like we are terminating. They haven't found anything wrong with the babies so far. They are growing and there is no defects that they can see. So at this point we'll just keep watching them hoping that they continue at this rate.

At week 28 or so (end of April) I will start going to the hospital and monitor them every day. If they see something wrong, then we'll go ahead and deliver then. We'll keep monitoring until about week 30-32 and depending on how things go at that point I'll check in to the hospital.

If everything goes as planned, we'll deliver by scheduled c-section between weeks 32 and 34. My doctor recommends 32. We lean toward 34. We are not sure what to do. We don't want to take them out too early if there is no reason to, however, it's hard to evaluate the risk of them staying inside, so we'll probably decide on that later.

Either way, the very latest they will be delivered is June 8th and the earliest will be April 20th. And no matter when they will be delivered, the earliest they will come home will be at the very end of May (34 weeks gestational age). The earlier they are delivered, the longer they will have to stay in intensive care unit (NICU, pronounced "nik-yu"). If they stay at the hospital for a long time, they will probably give us a room at the hospital to stay at so that we can participate in feedings, baths, etc. I will start pumping milk with a breast pump and freezing it until they are able to eat.

Next ultrasound appointments are on the 15th and on the 29th of March. On the 29th we are also meeting with Dr. Sandberg again.

Level II Ultrasound - 3/15/04

Another Ultrasound! I've already had about 6 Level II and several quick Level I ultrasounds. We had a new tech yesterday - Nicole, but we didn't like her. The other three that we had before - Rati, Shawn and Hong were very good. This one didn't even know what momo pregnancy was.

The measurements came out further apart this time around - a week apart in fact. Dr. Main who came in to look at the end of the u/s session said that both babies are within normal range, so it's ok for them to measure differently because they are different individuals. Baby A is now 1 pound 5 ounces (582 grams) which puts her into 51%. Baby B is 1 pound 1 ounce (475 grams), and she is in 29%. The ideal weight chart (located on Images page) says 501 grams at 23 weeks.

Baby A measured at 23 weeks and 4 days and Baby B - 22 weeks and 4 days. Since our GA (gestational age) is 22 weeks 6 days at the time of the test, Baby A appears to be 5 days ahead of schedule and Baby B 2 days behind, so it's nothing to worry about at this time.

There is a human error factor involved in this types of measurements as well. Usually they measure everything 3 times and then take an average of the measurements. Yesterday they only measured once. Maybe the results would have been closer (more accurate) if she measured again.

So overall things are going well so far. Babies are kicking away, but Joel still cannot feel it on the outside.

Next ultrasound appointment is March 29th. I will probably schedule one more u/s for April and then around April 20th we are going to start daily monitoring. Not sure at this point how the schedule is going to work out with that.

Yesterday we also signed up for a few classes at CPMC's newborn connections. We are going to take Twins and Triplets Class on 3/26, Newborn Parenting on 4/18, Ask the Anesthesiologist on 4/26, Breastfeeding on 4/22 and will take the tour of the hospital on 3/29.

Level II Ultrasound, Dr. Sandberg, Gestational Diabetes Test and Hospital Tour - 3/29/04

We had another u/s. This time they did not take any measurements, except they looked at the size of bladders and ventricals in the brain. Everything seemed fine. We asked if they could do measurements for us, but they were stubborn about it and said no. We were mad at the technician, but found out later that it was Dr. Sandberg who told the tech that detailed measurements were not necessary this time. Dr. Denise Main again came in and looked at the u/s and said that everything looked fine. My cervix is still closed and is 4 cm long - just as it should be. :)

Then we met with Dr. Sandberg. He talked to us for a long time and answered our questions. Preliminary dates right now are: start daily NST's at 28 weeks on April 20th, check into the hospital for constant monitoring at 31 weeks on May 11th and stay there until delivery. Delivery will take place between 32 and 34 weeks - May 18 to June 1.

My weight was at 172 (up from 135 pre-pregnacy) and blood pressure at 130/76. They also made me drink something took my blood to check for gestational diabetes. The results are already in and I don't have any problem with that.

Then we went on a hospital tour - we saw labor and delivery rooms, postpartum rooms and check in/check out locations. They also showed us where the nursery and NICU are located.

The next u/s appointments are April 14th and April 26th.

Level II Ultrasound - 04/14/04

At this appointment we had a new technician - Sue. She measured the babies and gave us a few pictures. We didn't get the measurement printout this time, but they were both measuring well and both ahead of "schedule" - 27 weeks and a few days (I was 27 weeks and 1 day at the appointment). They were very close together in weight - 2 lbs 7 oz and 2 lbs 8 oz. Last time when they were measured on March 1st, they seemed to be 4 oz apart in weight and we were worried. Overall the babies are looking good. My cervix is still closed and is 4 cm long, which is also good news - no signs of preterm labor. I also don't have high blood pressure or swelling, which are signs of preeclampsia, common late in pregnancy.

Then we went to meet with Dr. Sandberg, but he wasn't around - some kind of emergency at labor & delivery. So they took my phone # and he called me later on at night. We talked about the plan of action and it stands as follows, at least for the next couple of weeks:

- starting April 20 (next Tuesday) I will be going into the hospital for daily non-stress tests (NST or monitoring). I will have to modify my work schedule because the place is only open 8:30 - 3:30. So I have to have a "talk" at work and figure this thing out.

- on weekends the testing place is closed so I will have to go to a different place at the hospital to do the NST. It will be in Labor & Delivery, which is open 24 hrs.

- this will go on for 2-3 weeks and then I'll be checking into the hospital for constant monitoring.

- on weekends the testing place is closed so I will have to go to a different place at the hospital to do the NST. It will be in Labor & Delivery, which is open 24 hrs.

I have an appointment with Dr. Sandberg next Wednesday, April 21st, and an ultrasound scheduled on the 26th.

I also measured my Fundal Height the other day. Fundal Height is the distance from the pubic bone up to the top of the uterus. Before ultrasound, this distance used to be a method of predicting how far along the woman was in her pregnancy. This distance is measured in centimeters and roughly equals the number of weeks of gestation. For example, if the woman is 23 weeks pregnant, her fundal height would be approximately 23 cm, at 30 weeks it would be about 30 cm, and at full term it would be about 40. That's with a singleton pregnancy. Well, in my case with two babies I'm measuring 41 cm, which is bigger than full term. I'm also 45 inches around. That's bigger than Joel's waist ever was before he lost weight a couple of years ago.

First NST - 04/20/04

We went for the first Non-Stress Test (NST). They did a quick ultrasound to measure amniotic fluid levels. The nurse at this place (Holly) paused several times over the babies to see what they are doing. One baby was playing with its lips and tongue - it was very cute. Neither baby was moving too much, so they made me drink juice to make them move more, which they did.

Then they put probes on my stomach - two for the babies heartbeats and one to monitor my contractions. I didn't have any contractions while I was there, so the line was flat on the printout. The babies heartrates were both close to 150 - one a little more and the other a little less. They moved well and I "passed" the test. I was hooked up to the machine for about 20 minutes. I will have to do this every day. I'm also supposed to monitor my contractions and fetal movements. If I have too many regular contractions (4 pre hour or more) or too little movement, I'm supposed to call the doctor. Here are a couple of pictures from this morning:

NST

NST Machine

Tomorrow Joel is coming with me again and we are going in for NST and then meeting with Dr. Sandberg.

More NST's and hospital stay - 04/21/04 - 04/25/04

The first 3 NST's were with no problems. We met with Dr. Sandberg on 4/21 and everything was looking good. On 4/22 we met with a pediatrician Dr. Saffa whom we liked and then we had a breastfeeding class.

On 4/23 Joel took BART to work and I went to the 8:30 NST appointment, planning to head over to work afterwards. Well, it didn't quite turn out that way. There was a decelaration on the NST, they paged the Dr. and then put me into the hospital for observation/continuous 24/7 monitoring.

I ended up in Labor & Delivery getting my vital signs checked, being hooked up to a monitoring machine 24 hrs/day and getting steroid shots for babies' lungs. Joel's cousin Loretta came over, got my car keys and moved my car which was parked in the 2-hour parking zone. I laid on my back all day, talked on the phone and watched TV. Joel came over after work and brought me all kinds of things - computer, books, etc.

Joel got a free meal, a bed a little too short but pretty comfortable, and spent the night with me at the hospital. The next day, on Saturday, the Dr. came in to tell me that they were keeping me at least another 24 hrs. He came in again on Sunday and said that he still didn't feel comfortable releasing me and wanted to wait until Monday to talk to other doctors and make the decision about my monitoring plan. So I will be here until at least Monday, and they may keep me here for the rest of the pregnancy.

The Rest of the Hospital Story and Further NST's- 04/26/04 - 05/07/04

After 4.5 days and 4 nights at the hospital, on April 27 they let me go home because there were no further decels noticed on the babies. I was to start twice daily monitoring the next day, instead of once a day prior to my hospital stay. So I made appointments for 8:30 and 3:30 every day in Antepartum Testing and on weekends I have to go to Triage area - basically their emergency room. I don't like it over there, but have no choice.

On May 6th Joel came with me and we had another level II ultrasound. The babies were measuring a week ahead and very close in size. They are over 3 lbs each right now at 30 weeks and 3 days. I'm getting stretch marks on my belly :( but otherwise I'm feeling fine. The blood pressure is fine and cervix is long and closed.

On May 6th we also met with Dr. Sandberg. He said that he is surprized that I have not been readmitted yet - he expected to get me back into the hospital a day or two after they released me. So now he wants me to check in for good on May 11th, when I'm going to be 31 weeks. At that point I'll stay on 24/7 monitoring and they will deliver me right around week 32, which is May 18th. Today, May 7th, I am exactly 7 months pregnant.

At the hospital for good- 05/11/04 - ???

At 31 weeks on May 11, 2004 I was readmitted to the hospital for 24/7 monitoring. I am here to stay until delivery, which is right now is tentatively scheduled for May 18 at 32 weeks. I am hooked up to the monitor all day long and so I have to stay in bed. My temperature and blood pressure are constantly taken. I was gived a second round of steroids for babies' lungs. An IV hookup was put in into my arm ready for the time of c-section. We are hoping that there will be no emergency c-section but you just never know.

C-Section, Delivery and Birth Story- 05/18/04

After a week at the hospital and a couple of decels, we made it to 32 weeks. We were scheduled for a c-section at 5 pm on May 18. I was ready to do - IV in my left arm, shaved, dressed, etc. I also had to stop eating and drinking 8 hrs prior to the surgery. Joel had to take his clothes off and put on clothes appropriate for the OR, including a hat and a mask. Unfortunately our anesthesiologist was delaid, so I was not taken into the OR until 6 pm. They sat me down on the edge of the table and I got a spinal. Once that was done, they laid me down on the table in shape of a cross. I had blood pressure monitor on my right arm and heartbeat monitor on my left hand. My blood pressure started to drop and was down to 80 and I was feeling dizzy. They got the blood pressure under control pretty quickly. Then the urine catheter was inserted and I was ready to go. They covered me up with blue cloths and Joel and the rest of the doctors and nurses came in. There was Dr. Sandberg, an assisting OB, a scrub nurse, circulating nurse, 2 nurses and 2 neonatologists for the babies, an anesthesiologist, Joel and I. A lot of people!

The doctors started working on my layers and got to the babies in about 10 minutes. Joel was taking pictures of the whole thing - I'm glad he has a strong stomach. They took out the babies and the placenta. Babies were cleaned up, wrapped, shown to me quickly and then taken to the NICU. Joel stayed with me while they stiched me back up. He took pictures of the placenta and the wrapped cords and then came with me as they wheeled me into the recovery room. They continously were taking my blood pressure and making sure that I was ok. Sheri came into the recovery room and was helping out with cord blood and othere things. They waited for me to start wiggling my toes and then took me to postpartum room 250. The nurses Tina Qi and Sharon Kaplan arranged for us to have the best and biggest room because they liked us - they also stayed and worked overtime just to do our surgery. They are the best!

In the recovery room I was tranfered into the bed to recover. Joel and Sheri went to the NICU and took some pictures. Then they had some food and Sheri left around 11:30 pm. She helped a lot and it was nice of her to come. Joel and I fell asleep shortly after that.

The next day there was a lot of activity. We started pumping milk every 3 hours and taking it to NICU. The babies are not eating yet so by the time they are ready for it, we may have enough for a few feedings. We also talked to 3 different doctors come in and talk to us, some nurses visited, a lactation consultant, social worker, my dad came for a few hours, my coworker Marti came, cleaning ladies were in and out, more nurses, etc. etc. I was able to eat breakfast and lunch because I passed gas overnight. Later in the day they removed the urine catheter and I started peeing on my own.

We went to visit the babies several times that day as well. On Thursday we went a few times as well. The first time I almost fainted while I was there. I didn't have enough food in me yet that morning. The next time I was able to walk all the way over there and back. I also took a shower and my heplock was taken out. So right now the only thing that remains is staples and they should be removed on Saturday.

Loretta came to visit us today. We also met Beth Katz, her husband Marti and her parents who are friends with Joel's father. Beth gave birth to boy/girl twins the day before me and is staying down the hall from us.

Other updates: pumping is going well - I've been getting milk ever since the first time we pumped and the volume is increasing. The most exciting thing that happened today was the fact that we got to change diapers on both babies. I changed 2 wet diapers on Jenna and Joel had the pleasure of finding meconium (first black stool) on Jessie and wiping her cute little butt.

NICU Update- 05/24/04

Jenna and Jessie are now 6 days old and here is an update on their NICU stay:

They were both on CPAP at first. Jenna came off of it in 2 days and Jessie was a day behind her sister. They are both on nasal cannula right now, breating close to room air (I think that 2 rounds of steroids that I received at 28 and 31 weeks helped).

They were both under the lights for jaundice for a few days, but I think that they are done with those. They are both being gavage fed my milk and digesting it fine. Jenna is receiving 12 cc's every 3 hours and Jessie is up to 11 and their dozes are being increased.

Jenna has been having a lot of A&B's so they are thinking about putting her on caffeine. Both girls still have IV's for vitamins until their feeds get up to the maximum (I think 22 cc's per feeding). Jenna is running out of veins for IV's so she had to have one in her scalp, but that one wasn't working well either. I think that she has it in her foot now.

Although they are being fed, they are both still losing weight, but we were told that it's normal to lose 10% of body weight in the first week.

I got to kangaroo hold both babies for 45 minutes yesterday. That went very well - they seemed happy and were able to maintain their body temperatures. We have been helping with taking their temperature and changing diapers. Jessie was wearing regular clothes for the first time yesterday.

I have been healing well and milk has come in. We are working on increasing supply for the time when the babies are going to need more. Right now I'm getting about 75 cc's every 3 hrs.

The hospital provided us with a room where we can stay for free as long as they don't need it for actual patients. We may be kicked out at any time, so we appreciate every extra day that we are allowed to stay.


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