I'm renovating my blog (again). You will see a few changes in the coming week. So please bear with me :)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back to Square One

So, after surviving the night with Nael we woke up the next day in the hopes of bringing Ryad home. I got up around 9:00 AM and scrambled to call Reston Hospital NICU. The nurse cheerfully reported that he was doing well and it would be OK for us to take him home. Finally, both my boys at home!!  No more NICU visits, our family would soon be complete, at least that's what I thought.

When the nurse told me the morning before that they had both been circumcised, a cloud  of concern engulfed me. We had planned to get them circumcised before they left the hospital but I had wanted to be there for the procedure. The Neonatologist assured be that the procedure was simple and the boys were doing fine.

Comforted by her words I carried on planning for their homecoming. In no way was I ready to face what would soon happen.

We got Ryad home at 7:00 later that evening. We rushed him back to the hospital aroundng 11:00 pm that same night. When at home he had refused to eat (that's a big alarm when it comes to newborns) and looked very pale. He hadn't wet his daiper either. At that time we assumed that it was becuase he didn't feed well, it was only later that we would find out why.

He didn't move or respond when we tried playing with him. Although no one expects a week old baby to giggle back when tickled, in Ryad's case he would be almost statuesque. He just wasn't the same fiesty baby we had seen earlier. There was something amiss in his personality.

The Doc was more surprized than concerned to see us back. She had it all figured out in her mind the moment she saw us walking through the door; new parents, over-read, over-concerened, over-reacting. But at our insistence they readmitted him. It felt like walking backwards when you should been moving ahead. Putting the h wrist hospital bands back on after we had finally cut them earlier that evening, Ryad going back into the isolette, his temprature check, his weigth check, his re-examination, all seemed to have happened in a haze.

In the wee hours of the morning we got news that the doctors had finally figured out what was wrong. Apparently, Ryad had excessive bleeding during his circumsicion (we weren't informed about that). They used sutures to stop the bleeding and the Dr performing the procedure accidently inserted a suture in the uretheral track. This made him incapable of passing urine.

Can you imagine? The poor little guy went 2 days without peeing! No wonder he was so pale.
Reston Hospital realized the case was beyond their reach. Ryad was transferred to Children's Hospital located in Washington DC.

A helicopter crew made their way into the NICU to take him away. They unhooked him from all the machines took him out of the warm incubator and put him in theirs (a portable one, I have'nt seen those anywhere else) before securing his ears with cutest little infant ear plugs.

We made our way by road, it was a 40 minute drive and we caught the worst part of the morning traffic. We had barely parked our car when the Neonatologist called us saying that they were about to perform a procedure to attach a super pubic catheder onto Ryad's abdomen (a super duper what??) Neither me nor my husband had any idea what that was but by the time we made our way to the NICU the procedure had been done with and Ryad was in the recovery section. Mind you, it took us over 35 minutes to reach the NICU from the parking.
Children's in DC is huge huge huge.

The first thing I noticed when I saw Ryad there was how much better he looked. Turned out that what the Urological Surgeon did was make an incision right over his swollen bladder and sucked out the accumulation (which was lot even according to him)  then connected his bladder with a thin tube that went all the way into daiper. From over the skin it looked like a tube protruded out of his lower abdomen. So basically he peed through that tube instead of his usual track. How long would he have to stay like this? Was my main concern. Until the suture blocking the Urethra disolved on its own.
Ryad was discharged after 3 days in the hospital and we kept him in double daipers (one for his pee tube and one for his stool) for the next 1 month.
He was a strong little baby to go through so much in his first week of life and we love him for that (and more:))!

Ryad at Children's Hospital NICU, Washington DC

More needles, probes and monitors

My brave little Man!!
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

All Sales Are Final. No Excahnges, No Returns

In way it was OK with us just to have one baby at home (you know exercise can be bad for you without 
warm ups). So we got a chance to see how it was like with one baby at home and we could get the other one when we were ready (yeah like they are sale at Macy's, next to the hand bags)

It was the first time we had to take care of a baby on our own. The nurses and doctors were all left behind and all we had were the heaps of advices and suggestions all packed and compressed in our new parent brains. I had reading materials from the hospital and my own researched print outs compiled into overstuffed files that lay on my night stand. They included topics on breastfeeding, pumping, colic, preparing formula, keeping logs, burping, dressing, changing, bathing and even tummy time! Besides all that we were ready with the power of internet to take on whatever this first night with the new baby threw at us.

But wait, we also had two cool grand parents who raised 6 awesome kids! Phew, that meant we were covered.


Nael in his crib. The crocheted blue blanket was a parting gift from the hospital.

Finally @ home and in his own outfits

I like to call this Nael's paparazzi shot. No Pictures Please.

Nael in his crib

Friday, January 29, 2010

Coming Home Now

Nael was discharged after six days in the NICU because he was doing wonderfully well at all the tests. He was attached to several monitors that measured heart and breathing rate, blood pressure (how hard the heart needs to work), and apnea (some preemies actually forget to breathe). He was eating well and didn't require a feeding tube. Infact, the first time I tried to feed him on my own the nurse taking care of him said, "watch out, he's a greedy one." And boy was she right, he just gorged in all he could get!

They stuck him there because he was unable to control his body temperature due to the lack enough fat. But other than that both boys were remarkably tall. Thin but tall.

My recollection of the NICU is a blur of soft lights, intermittent alarms and the drowning machinery hum. Walking into the NICU reminded me of walking into a library, silence was to be respected.

My husband and I recall the extensive washing up ritual before entering the baby isolettes. It was like a sacred chamber where our babies slept, were fed, changed and burped.

The sad part was that we had to leave Ryad behind. From the day that they were born till today (they are 14 months now) that was the only day they had spent without each other. I'm sure that meant nothing to them then or now but as new mom (I had crazy hormones remember?) it was heart breaking. But anyway, we packed his clothes, including inner wear, mittens, socks, 2 blankets and a cap (It was almost the end of November, it can get cold for a preemie who had just learned to control body temperature). 

We also shopped for a special car seat that could accommodate a baby under 5lbs (see, shopping early doesn't always pay). Nael was had lost weight in  the first week (which babies usually do) and was under 5 lbs

We chose the Chicco keyfit 30. One of my husband's Aunt bought it for us as a gift for the babies. Awesome carseat, really light and stable. I'll recommend it to any new parent.    


Nael's nurse, Sue Anne, escorting him on his way home. One of sweetest nurses in the NICU


Nael all dressed up for home. The NICU outfits were cute as ever but his fit him better


Almost there. Taking the Zealous Aunt Chariot.

Then the Proud Gran dad Chariot 


Doesn't this always happen? Everyone wanted to hold the baby


Finally we have a touch down


Nael, the sole receiver of all the attention and adoration. Little must he have realized he wouldn't get that opportunity in a long time to come.

Slurp! All that socializing sure gets you tiered.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Oh My Fur and Whiskers! We're Late!!

So the babies arrived. WOOHOO! But were we prepared? Not really.
Unlike y'all we did most of the shopping after the babies were born. Lucky for us we got some down time when the kids were in the NICU for a week.

Here are a few pictures of the chaos before they came home. I simply loved the frenzied hurry, made it so much more exciting. I had taken them when I was discharged on the 5th day after delivery. I must have been sore from the surgey, but I clearly don't remember that part...must be the pain meds, don't you just love modern medicine:)

I didn't have a real baby shower during pregnancy. That's because it isn't something I do. So, I didn't have lots of stuff hoarded up for them in my closet. I think the concept of not doing extravagant baby showers comes from the myth of opening doors to bad luck that could possibly harm the unborn by doing so. I don't really believe in that but baby showers are something novel to me. Although I would love to try them out. Next time maybe (hint, hint ;))

Daddy shoped for daipers. Loads and loads of 'em.

Clothing was one of the few things I bought before they arrived

May I just scream out loud? Bouncers saved our lives. Our kids practically lived off 'em

That is supposed to be my bedroom.
Um..I think. It somewhere there alright, I just know it.

Assembling the crib

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

From the NICU, with love

Mr R, barely an hour old. We joked that he wanted to really stretch after the cramped space he had to share with his brother

Mr R,  we found it amusing how he slept sideways for most of his stay in the NICU

Only at the hospital where they were born  does the Dad get to feed the babies before the Mother. Note Mr Daddy's Blackberry with the diapers. A sign of the things to follow in the next few months.

Poor Mr N had to be on the oxygen tube the first hour after birth.

Sleepy Nael in my arms. This picture was taken after I was discharged and the babies were still in the hospital. Although it was difficult to go home without them, I now reckon them as the luxury days, sleep wise at least.

Nael being burped in his incubator after his feed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Let’s Start From the Start

The start of new life, or lives I should say.

Mr R was born into this world on November 22nd 2008. He weighed 4 lbs and came four weeks before he was supposed to.

Mr N followed his brother into the world a minute later. He weighed 4 lbs and 14 oz

That is the hospital building they spent the first week of their lives in. They spent their days being fed, changed, monitored and basking in their toasty incubators.

We got lots of comments on their small size. But they were the most beautiful things that I had ever seen! And honestly they didn't look that small to me (although now I realize that they were *sheepish grin*)
Below is a picture of them in their incubators. Mr R is on the left and Mr N on the right.


My photo
I started blogging only after my twin boys turned a year old. Here I am recapturing the special moments and attempting to create new ones that make my life even more amazing. Why I didn't start before this? Well, I was busy traveling and discovering the fun life with twins and also catching up on my sleep when I got the time.


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