Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Update from Dad

First of all, I want to send a special thank you to my wonderful wife for our five beautiful children. I am so proud of her for the tremendous sacrifice and suffering she bore to get us here. Second, I want to thank all of you - our family and friends  - for your love, prayers, and support during this process. In particular, our parents have been tremendous - moving heaven and earth to get here when the doctors decided on an emergency C-section and taking care of our every need since then. Third, I need to thank the incredible medical team that have been taking care of Moggie and the kids. We will be forever grateful to our primary doctors - Dr. John Elliot, Dr. William Chavira, and Dr. Lexi Hill - we simply cannot say enough great things about them and their staffs. In addition, the entire staff of St. Joseph's Hospital has been incredible from start to finish. It would be impossible to thank each and every person who deserves our thanks. At some point we may try, but for now, I want to specially thank Moggie's nurse Jessie for taking care of her and getting her through the most difficult parts of the delivery and recovery. Also, Moggie and Jessie are the same person and I am convinced that they must have been separated at birth.

And now what you've all been waiting for - updates on the kids (plus pictures!).  While Moggie has been recovering from her surgery, I have been working with neonatal team on the care for our bundles of joy. I spoke with the children's neonatologist a short time ago. She told me that everyone is doing what they need to be and that she considered their overall progress to be "ahead of schedule."  They are still fragile, so their situation can change at any point, but that report was music to my ears. 

Ava: Our "first born" is just adorable - and temperamental! They let me change her diaper yesterday and she did NOT like that! She screamed her little head off. This morning the physical therapist was working on her motor skills and told me how mad Ava got at being disturbed and forced to do motor skill exercises. She is still on a little bit of breathing support, but is slowly being weaned, and should be breathing entirely on her own in the next few days. She also has a bit of jaundice, but nothing out-of-the-ordinary for a premature baby. They started feeding her last night but she could not keep it down. They re-evaluated her around lunchtime and everything looks good so they will try again tonight. Here's hoping that goes well!

Clara: Clara is our overachiever. She has been breathing without any support from the beginning and it continues to get stronger. She has been guzzling her food and is slowly getting increased amounts. They expect she will be entirely off the IV supplement fairly soon. She has some jaundice, but like her siblings, nothing out of the ordinary. I am scheduled to do our first skin-to-skin session with her later this afternoon. I am so excited!

Camille "Millie": Millie is our sweetheart. She is so calm, sweet and dainty. Unfortunately, she had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck at birth, so has been facing the most struggles. She was incubated and remains on the ventilator. But the doctors say, at this point, they are leaving it in only as a precautionary measure, as she is basically doing well. She also had fluid in her stomach and the nurses are still working to remove that, so they have not been able to feed her yet either. The good news is that she is the only child so far to avoid jaundice.

Luke: Luke has been competing with Clara to see who will the biggest overachiever. And he is incredibly popular with the NyICU nurses! They have had him on breathing support, but he keeps pulling it out and breathing on his own. The doctor told me they've decided to surrender to his wishes and take it out entirely during his next assessment. Like Clara, Luke has taken well to his food and continues to get increased amounts. He has jaundice, but is otherwise doing well.  He is doing well enough to get a skin-to-skin session with Mom this afternoon at the same time I take Clara. Moggie is stoked and is resting up to prepare.

Dad and Luke's nurse Kim taking his temperature. See how happy he is about it!

                                            Dad singing to Luke with backing vocals by Pop Pop
                                            and the NyICU nurses.

Isabelle: The nurses are unanimous: our "youngest" will be one day be ruling the roost. She is feisty, but at the same time, cooperative when they work with her. She is slowly being weaned off respiratory support. She has also started eating, although not as well as Clara and Luke. They will continue to feed her small amounts in the hope that she will be able to progress soon. Isabelle got some quality time with Mom yesterday, so that was good. 

Mom and Isabelle.

Isabelle and KK.
On the whole, we are so pleased with how they are doing. It's always hard to hear about the little setbacks, but the good news has outweighed the bad. The hardest thing is trying to divide my limited time among so many little angels who want daddy's attention. Right now, they all have to be in separate units for a variety of reasons, so we can only work with one at a time. We hope that we can start moving them all closer together soon.

That's all for now. We will provide updates again soon!

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