Caffeine Addicts and Disappearing Coneheads

I guess it's been about a week now since I last updated this website. So, let's see...

As of yesterday (or the day before, maybe???), Chloe weighed 2 lb 7 oz. Owen weighed 3 lb 1 oz. We'll be back up at the hospital sometime tonight, and we'll get an updated weight. Then maybe I'll post it here in a couple of days.

Owen is eating 29 CC's of milk every 3 hours (no surprises here), and Chloe is up to 22 CC's (hooray!!!). She's finally catching up to her brother (feeding-wise anyhow).

Both kids have recovered well from their pneumonia. They're completely off of their antibiotics, and they have had their IV lines (mostly) removed. Chloe had a really disturbing IV stuck into a vein in her scalp (because it was the best vein to stick on the day she got that IV), but it has finally been removed. Much to my relief. She also had an IV in her foot, but that's been taken out as well (as Julie just informed me 1 second ago).

She's been on Phenobarbital since the first weekend (nearly 4 weeks ago now). It's a medication to keep seizures under control. On that first Saturday, when the bleeding in her ventricles started, she had seizures periodically throughout the day. So they gave her Phenobarb (that's how the doctors say it), and her seizures stopped. She hasn't had any since then. The doctors say that its a good sign, and that often it takes a combination of several different drugs to stop the seizures (and sometimes even that doesn't work). So, its a good sign that she's not showing any symptoms. Of course, nothing is still certain, and we just have to pray for the best.

Yesterday, when we went to the hospital, Chloe and Owen were dressed in little sleeper gowns. Like big t-shirts for babies. They had to roll the sleeves up on the outfits so that their arms wouldn't get lost in the fabric. Very cute.

Julie's parents were here for the last 4 or 5 days, and they got to hold Chloe and Owen for the first time. The children were well behaved for their grandparents, sleeping throughout most of the cuddle time, leaving us (once again) with no reason to punish them.

The bedsides are starting to look pretty bare, with the gradual disappearance of all the life-support contraptions. Both kids are breathing through nasal cannulas (little plastic tubes in their noses) now. They get 1 Liter of air flow each minute, which helps to inflate their airways. Yesterday the doctors reduced the pressure for both kids to .75 Liters, to the utter dismay of both of them. They had spells of apnea (where they stop breathing for a few moments) throughout the day, and, consequently, their air pressure was brought back up to 1 Liter. Also, the doctors gave them some caffeine (jolt cola, anyone?) to help stimulate their respiratory systems. Owen responded well to it, and his apnea has stopped. Chloe still has a few episodes here and there when she forgets to breathe, so they're checking the level of caffeine in her bloodstream to see if it needs to be adjusted to take better control of the apnea.

Last night when we were visiting the kids, as they were taking the IV out of Chloe's head, she was crying (of course), and I was struck by how much these kids have changed in the month since they arrived. As my daughter was wailing her head off, it struck me that I had never heard her make so much noise. They couldn't make any crying sounds when they had the ventilator tubes down their throats. And when they first got the tubes out, they still just made feeble little whining noises. Now they can cry like champs.

Also, they aren't so wrinkly any more. When they were first born, they looked like 90 year-old raisin skeletons, what with all that extra skin. But now that they're filling out, they look just like babies. Another nice change is that Chloe had a very pronounced cone-head when she was born. She spent a month with her head plugging up the birth canal, and it got squashed all out of shape. She was a total alien baby. But now, she has a pleasantly-shaped round baby-shaped head, and I am no longer afraid that her people will come down from flying saucers to rule us all.

Owen, apparently, takes after his old man. You have to understand that I (Benji) have a very bizarre tendency to sneeze over and over and over and over again. Well, the other day, Julie was visiting Owen and he sneezed nine times in a row. Julie laughed until she almost wet her pants. That's my boy.

That's all I've got for today. Thanks for all of your e-mails. It's good to hear from you. Happy New Year.


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