35 Weeks & 5 lbs 10 oz!


The girls have done it!  We’ve reached 35 weeks.  In fact, they are six weeks old today.  Last night they weighed in at 5 lbs 10 oz.  Their weight is only 8 grams different.  It’s pretty extraordinary and I am overjoyed that they have kept up good growth.  We are now too big for preemie clothes and diapers and have moved up.  I tell the girls that I am so proud of them that they have “big girl panties” since they wear newborn sized diapers instead of preemie.  Celeste is 18.75” in length and Vivien is 18.25”. 

They are both taking feedings from a bottle and from the breast.  They are still getting fed half of their meals via a gavage tube that goes from their nose into their tummy.  I pump breast milk 6-7 times per day and get around 7-10 oz (~250-300 ml) each time.  I make wwwaaaayyyyy more milk than what they currently need.  I have filled the freezer in their NICU suite 3 times!  They always get fresh milk and I am saving the freezer stuff for when they come home and my husband or in-laws can feed them a bottle while I get some extra sleep.  I mention this because I was really worried that having a premature baby would mean that I couldn’t make adequate milk.  Luckily for me, thank goodness, this is not a problem.  I drink a ton of water to help my supply (about 2-3 liters per day), I pump every 3-4 hours for 30+ minutes and I hand express any extra milk to ensure that my breasts are as empty as possible.  I really think that early and often hand expression (this was encouraged by the lactation consultants in the NICU) has really made a difference.

Unfortunately, my sweetie girls still have apnea of prematurity episodes a few times per day, but they are steadily growing out of it.  They no longer have nasal cannulas to give them airflow to remind them to breathe and are only on extra doses of caffeine (very Seattle). We expect that we will be able to take them home in 2-3 weeks.  They will have to stop having apnea episodes, take all of their feeds from either breast or bottle (they do about half now), continue to gain weight and maintain their body temperature in their open cribs (they’ve been out of their isolettes for about 2 weeks now).

I spend most of my day in the NICU.  I wake up in the morning around 6:30 am to pump breast milk for them, then I take a nap until about 9:30 to drive to the hospital where I try to feed at the breast by 10:30.  I stay with them all day in our private room at the hospital.  I change their diapers, feed them and also help the nurse with little tasks.  I give them a bath once or twice per week.  My favorite part of the day when I get to hold them kangaroo style (skin-to-skin) quietly sing songs and love them up.  My mother and father in law show up around 6:00 pm to give me a break.  I go home and spend 3-4 hours with MrBeep, then we both head back to the hospital and hang out with the girls until about 1:00 to 2:00 am.  When either girl has a bad day, then I spend the night and sleep on a foam bed in their room.  Luckily, they have been doing well for several weeks and I haven’t had to sleep over for a while. 

Thank you all so much for checking on me.  I try to steal time away during the day to read your blogs. I comment when I can.  To tell the truth, there has been much fear and many tears shed on my part, but we are steadily getting through this.  I find it hard to write about it, I can’t seem to get back the same quiet time to reflect on my feelings and I don’t think that dwelling on the negative is useful for me right now.  I would rather spend my energy holding them next to my skin (they love skin-to-skin contact).  I would rather spend my energy quietly singing songs and telling them how much they are loved and how proud we are of them. They are both very hearty and healthy and (in my humble opinion) are beyond adorable.  I am so in love.  My heart is full. 



32 weeks, names & our first 2 weeks in the NICU


IMG_0382We’ve reached 32 weeks!  The grrls are doing well and growing every day.  They are still preemies and have some issues and minor scares but we are getting through each day as best we can.  I get to take care of their diapers and help the nurses with little things and every day I take out one or both babies and we have some skin-to-skin kangaroo care.

♥♥  I call it “snuggly time” and I love it.  ♥♥

I want to do another positive post to mark our 32 week milestone.  It’s not where I had hoped I would be, it’s not what I expected.  I’ll write more about a day in the life for a mom with babies in the NICU next week, but today I celebrate.  I celebrate life and love and happiness.  There are many frets and worries, handwringing and quiet tears shed in the night but they are getting bigger and stronger every day.  With each day the heavy burden on my heart lifts just a little.  Each little one opens her eyes and gazes at Mommy, sometimes I get a delightful gummy grin.  I am overcome.

Their growth is good and steady.  Wiggles now weighs 3 lbs 12 oz and Pip weighs 3 lbs 14 oz (they are well past their birthweights of 3 lbs 3 oz and 3 lbs 5 oz).  I think they may hit 4 pounds tonight or tomorrow.  YAY!  They are fed mommy’s milk with a little fortifier added for extra calories, vitamins and protein (this is typical for preemies).  They aren’t on any type of formula.  I have surpassed them with my pumping 7-8 times per day and the freezer in our NICU fridge is getting pretty full.  Each one takes about 10 oz of milk per day, so I need to produce at least 20 oz/day.  I am typically doing between 4-6 ounces each time I pump and I pump 7-8 times per day.  As their weight increases, the milk needs will increase.  I am doing my best to stay on target.

Our biggest problem and concern is with Apnea of Prematurity.  Basically they have occasions when they forget to breathe or are breathing so shallow that it causes their oxygen levels to fall.  They have little probes on their chests and a special NICU pulse oximeter on a foot to keep track of their heart rate, breathing and blood oxygen levels.  If anything gets out of the desired range, little alarms will sound in the room, their NICU nurse is paged and an emergency light illuminates outside their room.  Our girls have their own room in the NICU and their own nurse.  Sometimes we share a nurse with 1 other baby, but the ratio is typically 2:1 or 3:1.  I stay here most of the day and on some nights when they are having a day with lots of episodes of apnea.  They will eventually grow out of the apnea as their brains and nervous systems finish developing.  In the meantime, it is really hard to leave them alone, even though they have excellent care.  Most of their episodes of apnea they recover within seconds on their own, other times a nurse comes to stimulate them a bit by changing their position, rubbing their back or tummy or feet.  We have had to put them on a nasal cannula with 3-4 liters of high-flow room air to help reduce the number of episodes per day.  It has dramatically reduced the number and severity of the apnea episodes.  Luckily room air is good enough and they do not require supplemental oxygen.  I will be a very happy person in about 3-4 more weeks when brain development at 34-36 weeks typically eliminates this problem.

Having fun with “The Name Game”

We had a lot of fun coming up with names for our kiddos.  We made a big list and since many of the names were unusual, we sent out the list to many friends and family to get feedback.  It helped to eliminate a few names we were on the fence about and we had a great time discussing with a few folks.  In the end we pared the list down and picked our favorites.  Then we called our parents and discussed which one of the twins should get each name.  Celeste looks like MrBeep, she has his nose and eyes, so we decided if he was a girl Celeste would fit him well.  Vivien looks like me in my baby pictures and has my nose and eyes.  I think that I could look like a Vivien.  For pet names, we will call them CeCe (pronounced see-see) and Vivie. 


The girl's name Celeste \ce-les-te, is pronounced seh-LEST. It is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "heavenly".

The girl's name Astrid \a-st-rid, is pronounced AS-trid. It is of Old Norse origin, and its meaning is "fair, beautiful goddess" from the elements 'as', which relates to the Aesir [a group of gods formed around Odin] and 'trud', 'fair' or 'beautiful'. It was the name of one of the Valkyries.


The girl's name Vivien \v(i)-vien\, is pronounced VIV-ee-en. It is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "lively". An ancient personal name. The name has been common only since the 19th century. In Malory's "Morte d'Arthur", Vivien was the Lady of the Lake and also the enchantress of Merlin.

The girl's name Fay \fay\, is pronounced fay. Fay is derived from Middle English faie meaning "fairy", such as in the popular Arthurian figure of Morgan Le Fay. Faye is also the English form of the old French Foy, meaning "faith" (from the Latin 'fides').

Thanks to those who have been checking up on me and thank you so much for the congrats and well wishes.  I have been trying my best to establish some type of schedule and get back to reading and writing blog posts.  I purchased this hands-free pumping bra.  I think this will give me back a few extra hours a day and I really like that.  I’ve been sneaking a peak at various blogs from time to time on my phone or laptop when I get a few minutes.  I hope to be back to commenting very soon too.  I miss you all and wish you well.


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