August 11, 2010

1464 hours in the NICU

And 12 days since my last post.  Too long?  (and warning: this post was written 3 or 4 or 5 days ago but never posted.  rather than trying to make the dates make sense, I will let you figure it out :))
Took a nice little trip for our anniversary to an island called St. Jasper's.
Alright, we have Beauty and the Beast on our hands.  Miss Presley is doing her best to stay as dainty as possible.  She has had a bit of trouble eating and has stayed around 5 lbs 11 ounces for the past few days.  Unfortunately she has moved from 6 of 8 feeds orally back down to 4 of 8 feeds orally.  If you remember from a previous post, the only thing keeping them in the NICU is learning how to eat all 8 of 8 feeds orally.  So let’s pray that she gets an appetite and pray that she continues to gain and maintain weight.

Here she is in her little black dress.
Now the beast on the other hand has no problems eating.  Great Grandma will definitely appreciate this little man because he will eat everything she cooks (just like all 4 of her son’s).  Papa Joe is super proud.  This guy would appreciate it if you left a feeding tube in, gave him a bottle, and a breast simultaneously.  He is up to 6 lbs 4 ounces.  I know right... a normal sized baby!  I can’t imagine these kiddos still inside of Britt.  I am amazed that some mothers of multiples carry full term.  That is just nuts and if I were president, I would probably make it illegal.

 Mr. Cullen’s leg is healing.  It is back to being one bone again and that means it is not causing him any more pain.  They took him out of the brace several days ago. We will go visit the orthopedic pediatrician (downtown, yuck!) next week sometime.  Everyone is optimistic that there will be no long term problems resulting from this break so we are thankful.
He put up a sign reminding everyone to be very careful.
Cullen does have a small hernia protruding from his belly button.  It looks like an “outie” belly button but only really protrudes when he is screaming.  The doctors seem to think this will heal in time and additional treatment will not be needed.  If it is needed it wouldn’t happen until he is 1 year old at least.
Cool kid. He is so cool he throws I Love You's backwards.
Cullen has been super fussy for a while.  Originally we associated the fussiness with his broken leg but about a week after the break we could tell it didn’t really seem like a “my leg is broken cry” like we heard the first few days.  The general consensus is gas pains.  He’ll get real fussy for a minute and then calm down after a short game of musical diapers.  They tried a few different combinations (both 22 and 24 calorie fortifiers and then just plain breastmilk) to try and isolate what was causing the gas.  We think he is a little better than he has been, but still fussy.  Colic also can start around 2 months old and.. today they’re 2 months old!  Agh where has the time went??  And pray for no colic.  He also dislikes dirty and wet diapers.  And very much likes to be held at all times.  To call him high-maintenance is a bit of an understatement.  We are going to talk about all this in a few years.
My first shirt casualty. 
They both are getting some antibiotics (something-mycin) for an eye infection called stuffalotaeyeboogersaurus.  They have had “blocked ducts” causing lots of gross tears/eye boogers for a few weeks.  It started looking a little funkier so the ordered a culture and sure enough it was an infection.  We were informed it is nothing to worry about and should be cleared up in a few days.  So we will do just that and not worry.  Eye drops every 6 hours.
Nurse Elissa helping get him situated.
Mr. Cullen truly enjoyed his circumcision…. poor guy.  And that is all I will say about that.
Cullen doesn’t get to have all the painful fun.  Mom got a nasty case of mastitis (blocked milked duct).  It came on nice and slow like a downhill out-of-control freight train with no brakes.  She woke up to pump one morning at 3am and was fine.  She woke up again at 6am and asked me if I punched her in my sleep.  I hesitate to say my wife sweats, since she typically just ‘glistens’… but for the first time in my life I was secretly wishing we had a plastic mattress*.  She would go from freezing cold all bundled up to 103 degree fever and turning the tempurpedic into a waterbed in a matter of minutes.  Like the true trooper she is, she still made it to the hospital several times a day to try to feed these kiddos.  Her doctor told her if the fever was not under control in three days she would need to be admitted.  Thankfully the something-else-mycin cleared her up and she improved on day three.  She was still very tender for several more days and our dairy farm took a hit that we are still recovering from.  So pray for more milk. 

Kat got to come hold Presley and even got to feed.

Welcome Skylan Faith JohnsonSophia Lynn Abernathy and Shepherd Muhle into this world.  All three kiddos and mothers are doing great!  They would appreciate your prayers too.

Uncle Harry and Aunt Nancy drove all the way from Hong Kong to see these kiddos.  They actually arrived at the exact time of a delayed meeting with hospital case management... so we put them to work and they got to feed the kiddos.
 And I guess that is about everything going on… anything I am missing?

Hmm... Presley loves her daddy...

Oh.. ya.. Cullen graduated from the NICU (first in his class btw) and came home on Friday!
 “Care by parent” is a room/program the hospital offers preemie parents.  The room is attached to the NICU and gives parents the opportunity to take care of the babies on their own with a nurse right outside if you need them.  *FYI, it seriously does have a plastic mattress which isn’t very awesome but I obviously didn't mind much.

It was a little bittersweet thinking about bringing Cullen home but leaving Presley here.  We did not originally want to split them up, but he is ready and she is not.  She will remain in the NICU until she gets this whole eating thing under control.  The occupational therapist conducted an Early Childhood Intervention screening on her and Presley’s screening puts her at 34 weeks developmentally.  The OT will work with her every morning on her feeding and will also work on her developmentally throughout the rest of her stay in the NICU.  Pray for Presley’s feedings and continued weight gain as well as peace for us  - super sad to leave her by herself.

This has turned into a novel (1,133 words before photo captions).  I will have to tell you about Cullen’s first night at home some other time.  I will do my best not to wait 9 days.  FYI, his big sisters absolutely love him and we have video to prove it.

p.s. having your very own night nurse at home is truly a gift from the big man upstairs!

Papa Joe cheering Cullen up!

So much more has happened... and hopefully I won't wait another 12 days to post.  I'll do my best folks. 


Lissa Michelle said...

in one of the pictures, presley looks just like brittani and cullen looks just like corey! it's so cool to think that god made your mom a nurse for a reason (or lots of reasons), but in this case, it seems like she was made a nurse to help you guys in this season of your life. perfectly planned. they are sooooo cute. glad you got to bring cullen home. i don't even know y'all, but i love reading your story! you make me laugh and cry at the same time. and colic showed up at 2 months with my oldest (possibly my third kiddo, but she is yet to be two months), and even though it's hard for a little bit, it does get better.

kristin fulghum said...

they are adorable! so glad cullen is home. i feel certain presley's homecoming is just around the corner!

Elicia said...

Aww, I was wondering if they were home yet! So glad to see that Cullen is home. I hope Miss P joins him soon. I hope you guys are getting some sleep. If he insists on being held a sling is great if you don't have one. Phil is a fan! :)