Monday, February 13, 2012

Life in the NICU

The little guys are now a bit over 2 weeks old, and are scheduled to come home this Wednesday! It's been quite an experience having babies in the NICU. We are very blessed in that they are healthy, just the usual kind of premies that need to gain some weight and hit various milestones. The above photo was 1.5 weeks ago. Since they were 34 1/2 weeks when born, their sucking reflexes weren't quite developed, so they needed the little feeding tubes to finish the feeds when they wore themselves out. It amazes me that just sucking can make a baby burn too many calories!
The feeding tubes came out a few days ago, however, and both have gotten the hang of sucking. I've been pumping and having them take breastmilk from a bottle. So far, so good (fingers crossed :).

Here is Bentley. He is already the more excited & sensitive one. His heartrate goes way up (hitting 205 or so) whenever he gets disturbed and it also was dropping occasionally under 100 when he starts feeding. Thankfully, the Bradycardias have subsided, but he definitely reacts to stimuli. Currently weighs 5.1 pounds.

Little Sawyer. He has never had a Bradycardia. However, it took him longer than Bentley to pick up his sucking reflex. Otherwise, he's pretty uneventful. Very relaxed, doesn't cry much *yet* and slowly gaining weight. He's just under 5 pounds!

So, the NICU. The first week when Alex was off, we were there 4 to 5 hours a day, in order to do 2 feedings each. Sawyer ate first, then Bentley 45ish minutes after- we'd take the temperature and change the diapers. Our nurse then warmed up the milk and we'd sit there and feed them. It was nice to spend that time together, and eat lunch almost every day at The Habit- I'll miss that place!
Last week up until now, my mom and Lizzie have been going up with me most of the time. Since Lizzie doesn't last that long, I just stay for one feeding each. Then at night, I make my routine phone call to see how things are.
The nurses have been wonderful. They made adorable scrapbook pages for each of the boys, put them in cute onesies and accommodated my routine and anything I want to know. Although I'm excited to have them home, I will miss the quiet, restful nights and the comfort of knowing they're being watched by the pros.
Albeit a much shorter duration, Lizzie was also a NICU baby, so that's all we know! Nurses, you rock :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sawyer and Bentley's Big Entrance

I'm not quite sure where to begin, but I must get this written down before I start forgetting things!

The past week has been nothing short of a whirlwind. Alex has been on vacation all of January, and for the most part, we've just hung out at home. We decided to do a last-minute trip to Disneyland as our final hurrah before the twin boys were born. Lizzie loved it (that needs to be a post all on its own:). It was kinda crazy of me going at 33 weeks, but we had a blast.
Anyway, my due date was March 7, my most recent doctor appointment showed a nice, long cervix, so we went for it. I probably overdid it some walking around Disney, but overall I felt ok. We drove down last Sunday and returned Wednesday.
Thursday (as in 3 days ago), I had another check-up. VERY thinned out cervix and I was dilated 3 cm. The doc sent me to the hospital to get monitored, but at that point I wasn't really having contractions, so they sent me home on modified bed rest. On the way home, Lizzie vomited in the mini-van, and continued to the rest of the night. Lovely. Alex's dad also flew in for the weekend.
Friday, we hung out at home, except for a trip to Costco and a Brazilian restaurant in Richmond. It was fun, I felt pretty good, Lizzie was better- not a bad day at all!
Until 3:30 Saturday (yesterday) morning. I was super nauseous and vomiting-I thought I had what Lizzie got. The rest of the morning I was sick and flu-ish, but no fever. Around 12:30pm, I decided to shower, but began getting painful cramps really low. I wasn't sure what to do, but called L&D anyway. They said to come on in, but I was probably just dehydrated from being sick. SO not the case! Lizzie and Blair (Alex's dad) came with us. What a little trooper she is. The drive to the hospital was kinda rough- we made it around 1:30 I think. My contractions were getting strong and 2-3 minutes apart and I wasn't sure we'd make it to Walnut Creek (traffic was just so-so). I must admit, I was scared, sick and nervous!
Bentley was head down in my belly and Sawyer was breech, so I had decided to go with a C-Section. After being rushed through an insanely fast triage (I was already 6 cm dilated when we arrived), I went straight to the OR. Got the spinal, a million other meds for my falling blood pressure, and the babies were out. They were born at 2:54pm and 2:55pm. I was light-headed most of the time and I couldn't stop shivering/shaking before and after. Finally, things calmed down in recovery and I relaxed.
On my way from the recovery room to my actual room, the nurse pushed me into the NICU on the gurney. It was so sweet seeing Alex in there holding little Bentley! I'm SO grateful they offered to swing me by. I got to hold them together and we had our first family photo, just minus Lizzie.
So far, we're all doing well. Bentley was 4 lbs 14 oz & 18 inches and Sawyer 4 lbs 10 oz & 17.5 inches. They were 34 weeks 3 days gestation so it'll take at least a couple weeks 'til they come home. Sawyer kinda reminds me of Lizzie as a newborn and Bentley has a longer face. They both have brown fuzz for hair. I am doing fine. My wound is sore of course, but the pain meds make it tolerable. And I got to eat real food today- woohoo! Scrambled eggs and pancakes have never tasted so delicious.

Blair and Lizzie had a great time hanging out together! The babies are doing well- since they're just 34.5 weeks, the feeding process will probably take some time and they'll be in the NICU for most likely a couple weeks. They are definitely fraternal- Sawyer looks a lot like Lizzie as a newborn, but Bentley has a bit longer face. They both have darker fuzz as hair.
Kaiser Walnut Creek hospital is the best. Everyone has been great, and although we cut it a bit close in arriving, I wouldn't want to be at any other place right now :)

I'll get some photos up here as soon as I can!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

4th of July

We had a nice 4th this year here in the East Bay. The holiday is a great excuse to dress Lizzie up in her patriotic garb and take cute photos.

The morning of the 4th, we brought Lizzie over to our neighborhood park for a mini photo shoot. She had fun as always.Here she is standing by herself again! Still not walking alone yet.

In the early afternoon, we headed over to one of Alex's co-resident's home for a BBQ. It was wild and crazy with oysters and dogs.After a much-needed late 2nd nap, we ended the day at a park with church friends. No fireworks watching this year. We almost made it that late, but not quite. Maybe next year.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lizzie's Big Day(s)

A week ago, Lizzie had her first birthday! It was quite an exciting day, at least for Alex and me. We really cannot believe it's been a year since this little girl came into our lives.

This is the first birthday card she received. I cannot stop laughing at this photo. After taking so many pictures, Lizzie sees the camera and instantly starts squinting in preparation for the flash. Funny girl.
Alex has been on a pathology rotation this month over in SF. On Lizzie's bday, we dropped him off in the morning and just hung out until he was done. Then, we went to Serramonte Mall to let her play and gave her her first Happy Meal.

She used to love chicken nuggets, but now she's skeptical of most foods. So she didn't touch the nuggets or apples. All she ate/drank was milk, one of Alex's fries and a few bites of my tortilla. Currently, all she likes to eat is any bread product, peanut butter, mashed bananas and dairy.

The day before (Sunday) we had a little party at our place. The cake above I got at Sam's. It was supposed to be one with palm trees and flip flops, but they messed up. Oh well, it was cute. But, right after I took this photo, I ruined it :( Lizzie reached for it, so I held her back, grabbed the cake with one hand, and it slid off and tumbled over. I was bummed. At least it was still tasty.I saw this garland at a local bookshop and had to get it. Although, it came with only one Z! Thankfully, some talented friends were able to solve that dilemma.

We didn't do anything fancy (since my summery beach theme got foiled); just mini corn dogs, cookies and such, Lizze pops, pita chips, etc. It was fun to have a few of Lizzie's friends over. She had a couple overwhelming outbursts, but overall she had a blast.
She was so proud of herself here! Still not walking by herself, she just gets around pushing her toy and cruising, but can pull herself up from a squat just fine.

Babies in birthday hats are the cutest.

Monday night we gave her the smash cake Alex made. I'm glad we did it with just us 3 because she sat there and had no interest. Alex finally put her hand in the cake, she tried it, made a yuck face and tried to get that sticky stuff off her fingers. Oh well, we tried.

Stats: 20 lbs 12 oz. 29 inches

So what's life like with a 1 year old? Lively! Lizzie is super active- a speedy crawler who loves stair climbing. She'll sit by the door and beg like a dog to go out and down the hall in our apts, then up the stairs. Speaking of dogs, that's the only word ("da") she says so far that associates correctly. She loves going to the park, especially the swings!
She still takes 2 good naps each day. Goes to bed around 8:30 after bath, story, milk and teeth brushing. Wakes up around 7am. Only has 4 teeth so far. Loves her Leaptop computer, stacking buckets and animal puzzle. Likes to cuddle and get kisses :) Her giggles are adorable and she sucks her thumb like a champ.... Lately she's been inspecting my mouth and checking out my teeth, we'll see where that leads.
Like I mentioned, she's gotten quite picky with food (takes after me I suppose). Used to love meatballs and cheese. Now she eats a couple bites and loses interest. Just wants cookies, crackers, etc and loves her sippy with milk.
She makes us laugh constantly, is pretty darn cute and we couldn't be more grateful for our Lizzie-pop.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

April 2011 Vacay

Alex got April off this year and it was spent in Vegas. By far, the longest time we've spent there as "visitors" and we had a fantastic time. This one month off each year makes residency tolerable and is one of the few things I'll miss about it when it's over (2ish years to go!!).

We went to The Wicked Spoon buffet at the Cosmopolitan with the fam and it was AMAZING. Everything was laid out so fancily and a lot of the items came in mini pots, fry baskets, take-out boxes, skillets, etc. The dessert bar was crazy. A huge gelato bar, chocolate covered what- have-you's and cobbler, among others.

Lizzie even had a blast! She ate polenta with gorgonzola and truffle mashed potatoes. Although, on the way home, she threw it all up:( Poor girl, I felt so bad for her. And then there was her skin- she was as dry as an elephant.

Easter was wonderful. We had dinner and an Easter egg hunt at the Stratton's.

Back at the Isom's, we attempted a quick photo session....

Lizzie had the best time with her cousins. Tristan especially got some good belly laughs out of this girl!
And DOGS! A major hit. Obsessed.
Andrea drove down from SoCal for a weekend. This was one of her *many* adventures.
Kelly and I got to see each other a couple times. Oh how I miss her. And not just because she knows my hair perfectly ;).Alex and I even got to go out together! We headed to the Wynn and admired all of its elegance. One day I will stay there.

Andrea and I discovered this fun little frog show at the Wynn, so I had to show Alex. Garth performs there, so this was in honor of him. It is awesome. If you get a chance, it's by the parasols- check it out.
Lizzie did amazingly well on our drives. We were smarter on the way back and left early in the morning. MUCH better than leaving at 8pm and almost not making it awake 8.5 hrs later.
I'm ready to go back.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Disneyland Test-Run

This past weekend, we decided to be spontaneous. Alex got home Friday afternoon and asked what we should do. As usual, I said something to the effect of "I don't know, it doesn't matter to me". Since living in the Bay Area we had never driven to SoCal. So we did. I called Andrea to make a few arrangements, we gave Lizzie her necessary bath and pjs, loaded up and took off. She slept the whole 5.5 hrs, it was perfect.

Andrea was the most hospitable host. Saturday we did Disneyland for as long as Lizzie allowed. It was fun, and it taught us we're not ready for Orlando quite yet.

This face seemed to be what we got most of the day. Lizzie seemed interested in what was going on, but a bit confused. Maybe in a year or so, we'll get more smiles *fingers crossed* :) We made it on 2 rides- It's a Small World and Winnie the Pooh.

Since Andrea lives in Burbank, we just had to get a pic on front of this. And, it smelled so delicious here, I could've stood there all day.

At California Adventure, there used to be the "CALIFORNIA" blocks sign out front. It's gone, and apparently not returning :( This temporary structure is here instead. It's cute, but I want the letters back!
Lizzie did get her 2 naps of the day in one way or another...

And then we ran into some familiar faces, just in time to head on home. We came back Sunday late morning. Lizzie definitely prefers bedtime road trips over middle of the day.

Bye, bye Aunt Andrea- we miss you!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Churrascaria

Last night we went with Jeff and Shao to Pikanha's in Richmond. None of us were quite sure what to expect, being in Richmond especially, but it was delicious and fun! Lizzie was quite excited to discover what the next tasty item would be on the skewer (is that what they're called?).

Roasted pineapple with cinnamon. This was a favorite. Along with the chicken breast wrapped in bacon, juicy pork sausage, tri tip, parmesan sirloin. Oh, all right, it was all good.

Lizzie stuck with mashed beans. She seemed to approve!

Guarana was the drink of choice, naturally. Unless you're me, the most typical American with her Diet Coke :) Lizzie was a bit distracted by that Brazilian bottle.
Getting out some of her wiggles.
2nd try at the family shot. Much cuter! This was actually our first venture out to a full-on restaurant with the babe. Yeah, we don't get out much. Here's to dining out!