Monday, April 30, 2012

Everything But The Plate

I know it's been a little while since my last post, but we've been having so much fun with our babies, I just haven't had time to write.  Two weeks is a long time in baby land.  Especially, with everyone growing so quickly!

I'll go ahead and warn you now.  There are A LOT OF PHOTOS in this post.  Truth be told, editing all of these photos is the primary reason why it took so long to post again.  These are just my favorite ones from the last two weeks.  Can you imagine how many I started with?

Where to begin?  Let's start with the abbreviated version for those of you with short attention spans.  Over the last two weeks:

- Izzy's been healing very well (gets her Mic-Key button this Wednesday)
- We've discovered that Sophie's appetite has no bounds
- Our nanny quit (another one bites the dust)
- Izzy pulled off her oxygen and we left it off!
- Maddy's been jumping like crazy and looking cuter than ever
- Izzy needed to have her oxygen turned back on (but not before we took some great pics!)
- No one needed to go to the hospital!
- I heard Izzy laugh harder than I've heard from any of these girls

Sophie weighs 18 lbs 1 oz
Maddy weighs 16 lbs 12 oz
Izzy weighs 14 lbs 3 oz

Let's begin with Sophie.  Wow, does this girl love to smile.  She also loves to get messy with her solids.  For some reason, the end result is so different when I'm feeding her than when Meg feeds her.  I think Meg is averse to trying to scoop up the food on her face while she's eating, instead, she insists on waiting until the end.  By that time, it looks like Sophie face-planted into a bowl full of squash.

Also, this girl's appetite never ceases to amaze me.  I don't know if she would stop eating if we kept feeding her.  Very rarely do her actions ever speak, "I'm full!"  One day, she decided that lunch wasn't over just because there wasn't any food left on the plate.  I can imagine her baby brain saying, "Hey, that plate looks colorful, it must taste good.  Let's give it a try."  And she did for a while before we cleaned her up, but not before I created a memory of it :)

Those eyes scream, "I just got busted with my hand in the cookie jar!"

I'll have to remind her one day that licking the plate is uncouth, unless you're at home. Then it's completely acceptable.

I don't even know what to say

Still speechless

The girls also just had their six-month adjusted evals.  Sophie was pretty much on target for everything, so she's done with official evals, obviously unless we notice something strange moving forward.

She also taught mom a valuable lesson, "Don't leave your drink within my reach," which was better learned with water, instead of wine.

Here are some other random pics of Sophia.

When Izzy first returned home from surgery, she had a lot of gas in her belly.  As part of the laparoscopic procedure, they had to pump air in to her belly to give Dr. Liu room to work his magic.  Unfortunately, when the surgery is complete, all of the air doesn't come back out before being closed up.  Instead, it has to find its way out of your body over the next week or two.  It can be EXTREMELY painful at times, as I know firsthand from my appendectomy last year.  At least I had the ability to control and move my body in positions to make it less painful.  Izzy, well, not so much.  We had to try to control her pain with Tylenol, which worked for the most part.

Now, she's pretty much gas free from the surgery.

The only real negative from the surgery has been her reluctance to take food orally.  It's definitely something we were concerned about going in to the surgery.  It's a little difficult to figure out though.  We were told that if she was going to be come averted, then it would probably happen right away.  Instead, she actually ate her bottles as soon as they allowed her to, but now, we're lucky if she'll take 20 mls in a day!  She's up to 108 cal/kilo and it's my opinion that she's just always full and doesn't want to eat.  She still will take her pacifier if she's cranky, which also makes me think she's not averted, but only time will tell.

So, even though she's taking way less formula orally than before the surgery, she can handle higher volumes without throwing up and is putting on some good catch-up weight!

We pretty much have had to keep her vented since she's been home, which means tying the syringe up to something higher than she is unless we want to hold it 24 hours a day. We set up this contraption with our ladder golf kit, which worked for the first few days.

Above, I mentioned that she pulled her cannula off of her face about a week ago.  We've always wondered how long she was going to need oxygen.  She didn't desat and her breathing didn't look labored.  I've never seen this girl smile so much.  I think she was just ecstatic to not have any tape or tubes on her face--and so were we.  We did check with Dr. Andrews to make sure we weren't putting her in danger and for a little peace of mind.

She lasted for a few days and then we noticed her breathing a little deeper, so we decide to put her back on oxygen and she seems to be more comfortable.  During that short window, we took so many pics of our little miss Isabelle.  I've never seen her smile so much as long as she's been with us.

There is nothing better than watching and listening to this little girl laugh. It makes my heart warm and makes me crack up at the same time.

Very interested in the camera

Getting a sponge bath. No real baths until the Mic-Key button is in.

Her serious face

I love this face!

Izzy's eval was pretty much what you would expect considering everything she's been through.  Think about it.  117 days in the NICU, three major surgeries, and a bout with RSV.  She's spent a lot of time on her back resting and just hasn't had the developmental time that Sophie and Maddy have had.

So, now, we're adding an occupational therapist to the mix.  Don't be too concerned.  She's as sharp as a tack, or at least I think so.  Cognitively, she's right there with the other girls.  In some ways, more so.  What's she's been lacking in physical ability to date, she's made up for in alertness and awareness.  It just may take her a little more time to catch up physically with her larger sisters.

Maddy must have just hit a growth spurt.  She's been eating about 10-15% more per day for the last few days.  She's also spitting up a little more because of it, but that's what she does.  She's probably the most low-maintenance of the three right now with regards to whining and crying.  We practically have to chase her around with a burp cloth though.

Like her sisters, she's just plain happy.  Don't be fooled though.  Feed her too late or let her sleep too little and she'll make you pay!  Besides that, she gives out smiles on demand and boy does she love her mama.

She's very interested in faces.

Those cheeks are irresistible!

And so is mommy's nose apparently!

Talk about a happy baby. This one definitely gives the other two a run for their money.

Sooooo, happy.

Moments later...blaaaah. She was still smiling afterwards.

Maddy's results from the eval were also what we expected.  She's a little behind Sophia in a couple of areas, but ahead of her in some, too!  She doesn't need any therapy for now, but they do want to perform another eval in three months.

Let me go ahead and try to wrap this up.  The weather's been getting warmer and now that RSV season has passed, we're getting out of the house more.  Getting out of the house more means a more normal feeling life, but it also means tired babies.  It's kind of like when you fly or take a long car ride.  Even though you're not really doing anything, you just get tired. Well, so do they.

Here are some pics of daily life in the DeBauche household.

Before jumping

After jumping

"What? You want me to pose for every photo?"

Good morning!

Maddy testing out the pack-n-play and also sleeping flat on her back

Everyone out for a trip to Target


We also managed to hit Lowe's

The girls love going for walks

Did I mention the girls love going for walks?

Sweet Sophie

Someone's not sleeping. Guess who?

Have I ever told you that I hate leaving the house every morning for work?

Who else understands how much you like playing with your feet more than your sister?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Another Surgery, Another Success

Maybe I'm being a little too ambitious by calling her surgery a "success" at this point, but all signs are looking positive, with no noticeable setbacks.  We're now two days post-surgery and she's doing great.

As it's been in the past, it was tough to let the doctors take her out of our arms.  She is, and always has been, our smallest baby.  For someone who's only been breathing air for eight months, she's incredibly strong and calm when we take her to the hospital.  You may be saying, "She's too young to really know where she is."  Well, I disagree.  I think she knows exactly where she is, but she does her best to keep her parents calm and in check.  In fact, I think the only time she started crying was right around feeding time, 7:00am, but it also could've been because we woke her up before 5:00am!  Meg has the girls on a schedule and they know when the food train is supposed to arrive.  Obviously, we couldn't feed her anything since she was about to go under anesthesia, but of course, in true Izzy fashion, she got over it with some kisses and cuddles from mom and dad.

As content as can be

Meg, giving some pre-surgery love


More love and hand-holding

Izzy and Sophie both love the lady on the Starbucks cups

Nothing better than a trusty Wubbanub

A few moments of frustration

Yes, those are my initials on her belly, but I didn't write them

It's something that one of the pre-op folks do to make sure the surgeon remembers the part of the body on which to operate

The surgery began right on time.  We distracted ourselves from our worrying by playing Swordigo and Reckless Racing 2 on our iPads.   Time seemed to fly by and it didn't hurt that Dr. Liu's nurse, Chris, came out frequently to give us updates.  The surgery took a little more time than planned as Dr. Liu had to cut through some of the adhesions that formed from her previous abdominal surgeries, but nothing is ever too tough for him.  Overall, I think the surgery only took about an hour and 15 minutes.

Our brave girl

After sitting with her in the post-op waiting/recovery area, they brought us up to the PICU--Meg and Izzy's home for the next 24 hours.  They controlled her pain with Tylenol and morphine, when necessary.  One of our major concerns with this procedure was how long she was going to be intubated.  I don't know if they set any records with her, but I think the breathing tube came out almost immediately after the surgery was over--another positive for us!  In fact, they've weened her oxygen back down to what it was before the surgery.  So, it doesn't appear that we'll have any additional hurdles to face with her breathing because of the procedure, which is a HUGE positive!

Getting some well-deserved sleep

Mom, checking out her baby

In case ya don't know, now ya know

Rare photo of dad in front of the camera with one of his daughters.

As of now, she's supposed to come home tomorrow, Sunday, barring any setbacks.  The docs/nurses began her regimen of Pedialyte on Thursday afternoon, began bolus feeds on Friday, and began PO (oral) feeds today.  They're going to continue to increase the volume throughout the day.  If she can show them that she can handle the increased volume, then it looks like we'll have all three girls back together again before the weekend's over!

In case you're wondering, Sophie, Maddy, and I are doing fine here.  We're missing the rest of our family, but we're surviving.  No one's starving, everyone's had baths, and we even got out of the house so dad (me) could try on some golf shoes.  It's that season ya know ;-)

Please keep us all in your prayers.  You have no idea how much they've meant to us this past year.  Where so many things could have gone wrong, they didn't.  There's no way to ever truly know why we've been so fortunate, but I think I have a good guess.