Sunday, November 20, 2011

Everything Smells Like Spit-Up

I've always thought that babies had a very particular smell to them.  Having given a few baths now, the smell I had stored in my mind was baby shampoo.  Over the last month or so, all I can smell now is spit-up.  Whether it's spit-up, breast milk, or formula, they're all pretty much smell the same to me.  It seems to be everywhere.  You can find it on the girls' clothes, in their cribs, on the sides of their bouncy chairs, or on any one of a hundred burp cloths that litter our floor each day.  Let's not forget my clothes and skin.  The smell has taken over!  All right, so I'm probably being a little over the top, but it's top of mind today.

Meg and Jo Anne went to visit Izzy in the hospital today and I stayed home with Sophia and Madelyn.  If you've been reading for any length of time, you probably know that Maddy's been battling with reflux since she started eating.  Well, today was just one of those days.  Maddy was inconsolable.

On a side note, I'm constantly fighting this internal battle between deciding how much to hold her and how much to let her try and get comfortable.  I'm not going to make it sound easy, because I struggle with it daily.  I know you're not supposed to be able to spoil your baby for the first three months by holding her too much, but it feels like she's training us to pick her up.  Though, choosing not to is just as tough because I literally have a physiological reaction to her crying--she makes me sweat.

Well, I let her cry for a while today.  I put her in the room next to Sophia so she wouldn't wake her up.  After a while, it was apparent that she wasn't going to stop and calm herself down.  It was about feeding time, so I went ahead and gave her a bottle.  She seemed to take it just fine, but during the delicate burping process--more like extremely light rubbing on her back--she projectile vomited all over herself, my arm, and the chair.  I changed her clothes, washed my arm, and wiped down the chair.  I can still smell the spit-up and I don't think that's going to be changing any time soon.

It was a very difficult day for Maddy and me.  I felt bad.  Like I let her down.  She was just so upset and I couldn't find a way to make it better without holding her non-stop.  If she were our only child, it might be easier, but Sophia needs attention too.  In the end, we survived.  Tomorrow, is another day.

Right now, Meg is going with the "I'll hold them whenever I can" approach, as evidenced by the photo below.  Yes, those are little baby footprints from snuggling with mom for a very long time :)  Take a look at that hot belly from a mother who delivered triplets!

The girls are all growing, but Sophia is definitely jumping ahead a little.  As of Friday, Sophia weighed 7 lbs 2 oz, Madelyn weighed 6 lbs 6 oz, and Isabelle weighed 5 lbs 4 oz.  We're feeding Maddy a little bit less than Sophia at each feeding because that's all that she seems to be able to keep down.  When we feed her more, she seems to spit up more, so we're really just trying to find the perfect volume.  She's still growing, just not at the same pace as Sophie.  I'm hoping that as she matures, the reflux will get better and she'll be able to eat and keep down more food.

Isabelle is still progressing very well.  The doctors want to have a meeting with us to talk about when, and in what condition, she might come home.  There's a pretty high probability that she may come home with an NG tube.  She's only taking 11 ml at each feeding and they're only increasing it one ml per day.  She needs to be up in to the upper 30s before they'll take her off of the TPN.  So, coming home with the TPN is also an option.  Lastly, she may come home with oxygen, but she's on the micro-flow at .04 L and it seems like they'll be able to ween her off of that last bit before she would come home.  Other than that, her incision is looking better each day and she's making really good eye contact.  On Friday, she had a follow-up visit with Dr. Davis, her opthamologist, and her ROP doesn't seem to be progressing.  She's in stage 1 in one eye and in stage 1/2 in the other eye.  Both are in zone 2.

The only area where she really needs to improve is her eating.  With all of the surgeries and not being able to eat milk, she seems to be struggling with her sucking and swallowing.  Meg tried to bottle feed her the 11 oz of milk today and it didn't really go that well.  The speech therapist will be working with her to help her get better, she's just a little behind the other girls.  The one area where she's not behind is in the holding department.  Boy, does this little girl love to be held.  Even though we can't be with her all of the time in the NICU, the nurses ensure us they're cuddling with her as much as they possibly can.  NICU nurses, thank you for that.

I thought I'd give you a little preview of my first attempt at taking baby Christmas pictures.  I'll be sure to share the finished products later, but here are a few outtakes.

It's amazing to think this is the same quiet girl asleep in the first photo, above.  Though, I would say it's par for the course when you try to move her at all.


Meg had to stand right out of the frame so she could pull out the pacifier when I was ready to take the shot.  I had microseconds before that innocent face turned sad.


Sophia had been planning her getaway ever since she heard I was going to be posing her with her butt up in the air.  I have no idea how all of these baby photographers get the kids to "pass out" for the pictures.  If the wind blows in China, my girls wake up.

I know this has been a pretty long post, but it seems like I'm only able to take time about once a week right now to put something together.  About a week and a half ago, I captured a priceless moment when both girls were on Meg's chest.  It's priceless because they're very cute, but also because they're almost too big already to both lay on her chest comfortably any longer.  Enjoy!

Snoring Like Grandpa


  1. i'm guessing you are doing everything for the reflux that you can...elevated mattress, propped up for at least 30 minutes after eating, etc. it may just be in her nature to want to be held more. our new son is exactly like that. he is NOT a self soother yet and he is about 3.5 months old. it's tough having one like that. you feel like you are neglecting both children at the same time. i know they are too little at the moment but have you looked into the nap nanny? it's been a god send for many people, including us.

  2. Few quick thoughts - my photographer used a space heater next to the photoshoot to keep our baby warm and sleepy during naked pictures. Worked like a charm (though, I kinda worried that she might get dehydrated, but she didn't show any signs of it). Second, have you tried wearing Maddie? We have a Moby wrap and LOVE it. Plus, would allow you to snuggle Maddie and still have hands free for one (or two!) other babies. Here's a video:

    Our baby wanted to be held a lot at first, and the Moby and a ring sling were my salvation! Give them a go - it is an incredible, endorphin-filled feeling to have that baby strapped to your chest and snuggled close :)

  3. Hi Meg and Jeremy,
    I have been peeking at your blog ever since Sue Harris had it on her facebook page. My daughter, Meredith Barber, went to Waynewood when Meg taught 3rd grade there. Your story is so intriguing to me particularly because I had another daughter, Dana, last year (July 30, 2010) at 25 weeks weighing 1lb 4oz. She has miraculously overcome so many preemie issues and just took her first steps last week.
    I am finally contacting you because you mentioned reflux, which was a big problem of Dana's. I found that it really helped if she slept in the bouncy seat. We would put it in the crib for naps and at night. This helped her breathing as well. She was also on prevacid which helped a lot with the reflux - and therefore the feedings went more smoothly.
    There is a great preemie group online - Preemies Today - which is worth joining. You two have done a remarkable job keeping up with the girls and the blog. You have a beautiful family and soon all 3 will all be home with you!

  4. @Maggie, we're definitely doing everything we can to keep her elevated/upright after eating. We try to hold her on our chest for at least 30 minutes after a feeding, then put her in the bouncy chair in the upright position. The Nap Nanny looks interesting, but I can't tell how it's different than a bouncy chair. Am I missing something?

    @Jessica, YES, we just got our first Moby a couple of weeks ago. Maddy loves it. Sophia, well she doesn't need it as much. Sometimes, it's the only thing that can calm Maddy down.

    @Melissa, so glad to hear your daughter has progressed to where she is today. We'll definitely have to check out the Preemies Today group.


  5. the bouncy chair always bunched rachel's stomach area up and made her reflux worse. the nap nanny held her in the 30 degree position that they are supposed to be in without crunching her middle as much. it also made it easier for her to breath because she could turn her head and upper body more than she could in the bouncy seat. i also avoided pants on her. the tightness around the middle made things worse too. i noticed someone mentioned prevacid. i don't know if your girls are on it, but spit up can become worse while they are taking it. it reduces the acid in the stomach which means that food won't digests as fast and it comes up easier. the only plus side is that it doesn't hurt when it does! so, you kind of have to pick your battles.

  6. OMG, the footprints on the belly are beyond precious!!!