Wednesday, July 27, 2005

We have survived the first full week at home! But don't let the above picture fool you into thinking we have two docile daughters--by no means. Even after feeding the girls a bottle in the evening, one or both may just want to be awake and play--arching their backs, flipping themselves over onto their backs from a side lying position, and 'rooting' for more on their bearskin rugs, mattresses, or daddy's arm. I actually held Abigail through half of dinner last night to calm her down. Oh, believe me, it is one of the greatest feelings in the world to be near and hold these girls, and I would not give it up for anything. The constant motion at the house can be draining for those involved, though. Rebekah is definitely adjusting well and is learning the true meaning of patience and perseverance. Rebekah's mom, Nadine, has been on the clock 24/7, and I am dreading the day we receive that bill. Haha. Nadine, we could not do it without you! The best news--and I hope that it continues--is that the girls have been on a 4 hour schedule for the past two nights. Feeding at 11pm then 3am then 7am instead of 11pm, 2am, 5am and 8am. That gives the caretaker a few more minutes of sleep each shift. Not forgetting the minor incidents, of course, but I think that we are starting to enjoy this parenting thing! Taking a line from Mike Organ: continue to pray for the "Glisson family and the recent family explosion."

Friday, July 22, 2005

The girls pediatrician, Dr. Mallard (aka 'The Baby Whisperer'), saw the girls this morning--7:30 to be exact--argh. He was pleasantly surprised at the weight they had each gained and indicated that everything else looks good. In this corner, Abigail weighed in at 5 lbs. 3 ozs.--that's 6 ozs. more than Sunday night--and Sydney weighed in at 5 lbs. 1 oz.--that's 4 ozs. more. I think Abigail could have weighed about 7 lbs. or so if we had kept the diaper on that she loaded up on the way in this morning-- wow, that's a lot of poop. The nurse said that the circumference of their heads and their weights were something in the 3 percentile range--of course, the girls are only 37 weeks gestation and that scale is for a full term baby. The doc said that they will probably not be accurately measured as far as percentiles go until age 2 or so. Oh and the doc was called 'The Baby Whisperer' by some church friends--I would guess that has to do with his handling of the babies, his low but smooth voice, and the way that he talks to them in different voices. Some of his practices brought back memories of when I was his patient--especially the blowing on the stethoscope before applying to the babies skin and the signature bowtie. So, all is well in the land of the Glisson's. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Abigail and Sydney taking a much needed siesta at the casa. The girls are doing great and seem to be adjusting to their new surroundings and new caregivers. We may have some night owls on our hands--it seems that they are more fussy at night, so far. The days and nights are flying past--just as you all have said. Yes, I know--they will be teenagers before we know it--yadayadayada. It seems that Rebekah has little time during to day to do much away from the babies--it is a full-time job! As far as my full-time job--it hasn't suffered yet because of the help of Rebekah's mom, Nadine. I've been sleeping through the night while Nadine gets up with Rebekah and the babies. Thank you, Deannie! I know that it will not last, but I'll take full advantage while it does. Okay, back to work--just in case people from work are looking at this blog--Notice people from work, it is lunchtime--give me a break here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The 'first' diaper change at the house--not monumental, but still a first.
Abigail and Sydney dreaming...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Yes! Sydney and Abigail were discharged from the hospital at 7:30 last night. Here begins the list of firsts--first time without monitors, first time outside, first car ride, first time at home, first time reality of situation hits home, first night at home, et cetera and et cetera. Exciting times in the Glisson household! We have not thrown a party yet, but we will once we are able to get more than 1 hour of sleep in the night. The girls were getting used to their new surroundings without the nurses warm hands to calm them last night. It seemed to go by fairly quickly because of the schedule that they are on--change diaper, bottle/breast feed for 30 to 45 minutes, burp, hold, and do it all over again in two hours. They are even more precious now that they are with us at home--we are the parents of two beautiful daughters!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Day 17 of life for Abigail and you think they look alike? Eventhough they have had all of their tubes removed, we can't really tell yet--their skin tone looks different to me, but their facial features look similar. I hope that we find out someday so that we'll have an answer when people ask, "Are they identical or not?" As if not being identical makes them any less special! We've had some encouraging news over the weekend, but we don't want to get our hopes up--the girls could be going home this week. The doc let us know on Friday that we could be discharged Monday or Tuesday! Both girls weighed in at 4 pounds, 11 ounces last night. I cannot tell you the joy that wells up in my chest when I think of bringing them home. Coming home instead of shuffling to the hospital everyday after work will be very nice--and to have them here on the weekend when we can spend lots of time together. We have received plenty of encouragement from friends and family, two good meals from Mike and Michelle Organ and Walker and Michelle Schul this week, chauffeur from my wonderful Grandma and Grandpa for Rebekah, and good 'hang out' time with my Mom and Dad for dinners and with the girls--all of these things make the waiting more bearable--thank you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

These pictures are from our time with the girls last night--just precious.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

As you can see, our little women are now co-bedding in a crib . We've planned to co-bed Sydney and Abigail all along at home, so the nurses are making it possible at the hospital--now. The second picture from the top is Abigail with her finger in her mouth--I think she was hungry at that time--and the third picture from the top is Sydney being playful. Both girls have had increased feedings today and are maintaining their temperature. Sydney has had her PICC line in for more than a week--it has been delivering the IV fluids, which has supplemented Mama's milk. Today, the PICC line was removed and Sydney is one step closer to coming home. Oh yea, the stay at the hospital was pretty bad--I had about 4 to 5 hours of sleep and Rebekah probably had 2 to 3. We crashed pretty hard last night but are still feeling the effects.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Yes, I know that it has been awhile since the last post, but the Glisson family has been awfully busy. Abigail and Sydney are still residing in Pod A of the VCH and are doing great! Rebekah is feeling better every day and should be able to keep up with our offspring when they are able to come home. The girls are eating well--alternating between PO and NG feedings with an occasional breastfeed with Mama (PO is bottle feed and NG is tube feed). Abigail has been 'spelling'--no not language and grammar--and may have a common preemie issue, reflux. They are a few weeks early and some of their internal parts have not developed yet like a full-term baby. Her spells have been a common occurrence over the past 4 or 5 days, but the nurses don't seem to be too worried. Her O2 levels drop fairly low during bottle feedings and burping, and we have to stimulate her by rubbing her back and head or flicking the pad of her foot. We have said over and over that this kind of stuff needs to happen in the hospital, and that we are glad that we are here at Vandy. Sydney continues to improve as well and has just stepped down from lipids and TPN (total parenteral nutrition) to clear IV fluids plus breast milk. We've asked for estimates on when we might expect to be bound for home from many of our nurses (Mary Beth, Tamara, Christy, Candice, Cassandra, Ruth, Stephanie, Layla, Connie--and the list goes on...) and have heard anywhere from a week to two weeks from now. Obviously, we'd like to have them at home, but we don't want to rush anything. Please keep the girls and their continued growth and development in your prayers. Tonight, Rebekah and I will be staying in the room with our sweet girls--the couch transforms into a full size--I'll go on to work tomorrow, and Rebekah will spend the day with them. I'm sure that I get some sleep in between the beeping monitors, baby care and feedings every three hours, the whir of the breast pump every three hours, and Vandy Life Flight flying by...we'll see how it goes--welcome to fatherhood!!!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I cannot believe that it has been seven days since we first laid our eyes on our beautiful girls...these are a couple of my favorite pictures, so far. Abigail with her CPAP on Day 1 and Sydney on Day 5.

I can truly say that we have experienced one of the greatest joys of life--to be able to hold and feed our baby girls. What amazing and fun little creatures they are!

Just as I say that they 'may' be transferred again...they have been transferred again. To Pod A this time. Also, I know that I said they would move to Pod A when they start living independently of the machines, but apparently they moved because they are so cute. They still have the nasal cannula with forced air and are still being force fed, so the only thing that has really changed is that everyone is realizing their extreme cuteness and want to be near them. Seriously though, Pod A is the Cadillac, Hilton, da Bomb, [insert descriptive] of the VCH (Vanderbilt Children's Hospital). Big room, big couch, TV, DVD, private bathroom with shower, and a window view--what is all of this costing? I don't know--ask Blue Cross Blue Shield. This is a time to thank the Lord for what He has provided--one item being the safety net called insurance. Whatever it takes for my beautiful baby girls, Abigail and Sydney.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Our little ladies were transfered to a private, twin room in the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital on Monday night. The new multi-million dollar facilty is quite nice and is comfortable for the parents, too. They are situated in Pod G of the 4th floor NICU and could be moved again (to Pod A) once they grow independently of the machines.

We were encouraged yesterday--both Sydney and Abigail were fed from a bottle. Abigail has been able to digest more milk all along and is receiving 25 mLs now; I was able to feed Sydney about 9mLs last night. Both girls are growing accustomed to the regular 3 hour feeding schedule that the nurses have them on. The routine: take temperature, check pulse in many different areas, switch O2 monitor from one foot to the other, clean cord stump, check air and IV lines, take off diaper, weigh baby, put clean diaper on, weigh dirty diaper, feed, and position to sleep a couple of hours--plus a bunch of other stuff that the nurses do without us knowing.

The nurses have indicated that if Sydney is squealling it is most likely a wet diaper that she is protesting. They said that she can't stand the wet diaper. Abigail loves to be swaddled and to be layed on her tummy after a feeding. I'll have to say--all of this still blows my mind.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My heart breaks forth into joyous celebration every time that I see Sydney and Abigail. Thursday, June 30th, the girls were ready to make their grand entrance into this world. Water breaks, head to hospital, contractions, anticipation as we wait, operating room--the stresses of life and the day melt away as we hear the first little cries of our beautiful babies. Abigail and Sydney weighed in at 4 lbs. 7 oz. and an even 4 lbs., respectively, and were taken directly to the Newborn [Neo-natal] Intesive Care Unit (NICU) in Vanderbilt. Isolets, CPAP, bolus feedings, IVs everywhere, a PICC line, and all of the details that go into premies--again, all melt away when Rebekah and I gaze into their beautiful little eyes.
Rebekah held Sydney and I held Abigail for over an hour yesterday afternoon. What a special time! Both girls are progressing well and show improvements every day. The doctors and nurses at Vanderbilt have been wonderful and are giving the best care. They have indicated that once the girls are able to breath and eat on their own, without the help of the machines and nurses, that they will be on the road to home. We probably will know a couple of days before the big day but will be in the hospital until then. I'll keep you updated.
The above pictures are in the delivery room at 3:30 pm on Thursday, June 30th. More pictures to come in the future posts.