Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2 Weeks of tWinns

Our beautiful little boys amaze us with the strength and resilience they've exhibited in the 11 days since their arrival.

Sullivan was born uncomplicated, and was placed on my chest shortly after being born. He was beautiful and perfect in every way.
Then we waited to see if Benjamin would flip head-down to arrive in equally uneventful fashion. Unfortunately, he did not. They went in for a manual breech extraction (um, most painful experience ever).  His head was stuck, and 3 different doctors took turns trying to dislodge him. The worst 15ish minutes of my life later... they shouted something about a section, and I was out like a light.
In addition to being stuck, his cord had pinched. My poor little Benjmain, they'd later discover, suffered a stroke during this process.
While unconscious, they sectioned me and dislodged his head, and then guided him out. So, technically, they were both born vaginally... with a "C-section assist".
What a unique way to be born, right?

Meeting Benjamin for the first time.
For several days, Benny was in a private room. I was still heavily medicated, and getting me wheeled into his tiny quarters was tricky.  My sweet boys face was hidden under a cooling cap; they had put his head into an induced hypothermic state to prevent further brain damage and allow him time to heal. Poor Benji-butt had suffered a stroke during delivery. :-( 

Kangaroo care with Sullivan.
He was only on the CPAP mask for a few days, but I didn't like that thing. It made him look far more frail and ill than he was, and it hid his beautiful face.

At some point on the day they were born, Donald made a trip from my recovery room to deliver colostrum to the NICU. While there, he held our Sully (who was not on the CPAP mask at the time, thankfully).

Sullivan, under the lights to zap that jaundice! 

Benjamin's cooling cap:

Sullivan doing Kangaroo Care with mommy, with that yucky CPAP mask on

Benjamin, a few days after birth, free from the cooling cap

Sullivan, momentarily out from under his oxygen hood.
His beautiful eyes!
The pressure from the CPAP mask caused a pressure pneumothorax, so they had to place a tube in his chest to relieve pressure. They then put him under an oxygen hood, but his nurse was kind enough to free him from the hood long enough for us to enjoy a few moments with him.

More kangaroo care with Sullivan

Daddy and Benny
(Do you see his little hand up in the air? That's one of the first movements we saw from him. Each tiny stir was a miracle to us, as we had been warned that his brain damage was extensive and to set our expectations low. Now, 2 weeks later, our little Benny is keeping pace with his brother, only a day or two behind. He is our miracle.)

Happy Memorial Day from Sullivan!

Benjamin, fresh off the vent for the holiday! The best Memorial Day EVER!

Holding Benjamin for the first time.

Daddy holding Benjamin for the first time

Benjamin smiling up at his papa

My little Sullivan

Their first presents from daddy. Hairy Benjamin received Chewy:

And Sullivan, with his prominent ears, got Yoda:

Daddy and Benjamin

 Sullivan got daddy's ears!

Milk drunk Ben:

They each look so different, and already have such adorable personalities, completely independent of one another.

We're so in love!

They are now completely off all supplemental oxygen and IVs, and are working through some minor feeding issues. They also continue to Brady (Bradycardia); they suddenly stop breathing and their heartrates drop. This typically now only happens when they eat (particularly Sullivan), which makes it fairly easy to catch. If they can stop Bradying and tolerate their feeds well, they should *hopefully* be home in another week or two.

They're so squishy and snuggable. I can't wait to go visit them again today! Squee!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy

Happy Birthday, my sweet Fletcher. 

In the 13 days since Sullivan and Benjamin were born, I've experienced joy and fulfillment like I never thought possible.

However, a small piece of my heart will always be missing. It belongs to you, sweet boy. 
I wish things could have been different.

Maybe one day you'll know how much you were loved by a random woman across the ocean.
I hope Ukraine appreciates your presence; you're a blessing, and they're lucky to have you.
Happy 5th Birthday, Arthur.

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