Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chunky Monkey

That's right, as of last night he was 3lb 8.2 oz.

We did a little decorating in Ciaran's isolette. We brought in a picture of Beckett. The nurses decided to tape it right over him so he could look up at his brother. Now a giant Beckett looms over his brother. I think Beckett's head in the picture is larger than Ciaran's right now.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Baby Sucks.

And yes, that's a good thing. Dude2 sucked down almost his entire feeding last night while I was visiting him. Dawnell blogged too soon!


There's a sucker born every minute

I did blog too soon. I guess Ciaran wanted to save his new trick for Daddy. Once Chris saw it last night it was okay to show me too. He ate almost his whole bottle for me today.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My baby doesn't suck

...and that's kind of a bad thing.

Ciaran had his first bottle feeding today. He really tried and it sure looked like he was chugging things down, but his suck actually wasn't that effective. He didn't get that much and he was getting tired so they ended up tube feeding him. We'll keep trying and see how it goes day to day. It is a step in the right direction that they let him try. He'll get more coordinated as time goes on. I was so used to him surpassing our expectations that I was a little sad at first, but he would have been 35 weeks today and 35 weeks is when babies start being able to coordinate the suck, swallow breathe mechanisms so he really is where he should be. His oxygen levels stayed good while he was trying to eat and that's great. He's doing well and gaining weight so we're pleased with his progress regardless.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So long IV!

Ciaran got his IV'S out today!!!

As of this afternoon Ciaran had his IV's taken out. This means all his nutrition is now going through his little tummy. He's still being fed with a tube, but hopefully in another week he'll be strong enough that they'll let him try a bottle. He's taking 27cc's of food, but they actually want him to be up to 30cc's which is an ounce. He should hit that mark tomorrow. He has continued to gain weight and is 3lb 3oz. (At least I think that's it. The nurse told me and then I had some other questions and the exact figure just flew out of my mind. I'll ask again tomorrow and correct to the right number.)

He's doing really well and we're so thrilled and grateful for all the miracles that his birth and life have exhibited so far.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ciaran Update

Ciaran continues to improve daily. He's over his birth weight at this point. (Over either one of the two birth weights they gave us. At first they said, 2lb 14oz, then they downgraded him to 2lb 12oz.) As of last night he weighed 2lb 14.6oz. He's tolerating his food well and is up to 9cc's at a time. He still gets the bulk of his nutrition through his IV, but as he gains an increased tolerance for food we'll work towards taking it out. A full feeding is about 24cc at a time. They said as long as he tolerates food well they'll up his food by 2cc's every 12 hours. So we'll hope things go well and maybe in a week he'll get the IV's out. His blood count is good: no anemia. His blood cultures are normal so no infection worries, and his respiration has been great. He's been breathing on his own with no intervention of any kind for a week now.

*******Update to the update*******
As of my midnight check up phone call Ciaran has hit the THREE POUND mark. He's also taking 13ccs of food. Woo hoo!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Saxon Woods Park

In an effort to help Beckett have fun and not feel abandoned we decided to take him to the fancy Saxon Woods Park. It looks so elaborate and fun from the road, plus I hear that their community swimming pool is one of the best so their park must be good too. It turns out this was a terrible idea. Beckett was all for going to the park but started to have a break down when we tried to put him in the car instead of just walking down the road. We tried and tried to explain that we were driving to a park but he was having none of it. Park means the park just down the road. He was finally happy when we pulled in the parking lot and he could see the park but I'm not sure it was worth all the trauma leading up to it. I guess the moral of the story is that kids are actually very easy to please, no elaborate park needed.

This park consisted of a lot of ramps, I guess it's a handicapped friendly park. They were also great for running frenetically up and down.

He is a twirly slide aficionado so even though this slide was posted for age 5 and up we couldn't keep him off it.

There was some school or summer group at the park at the same time. It looks like Beckett's giving the stink eye to one of the other kids.

This was our last fun family day. Chris went back to work today.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ciaran sans velcro mustache

Ciaran has been off any type of breathing help for a couple of days now. This means they removed his velcro mustache since it was no longer needed to help hold his cpap machine on. It also means he can start wearing the hats that I made him. But I need to make smaller ones that really fit his head. Any friends and family (Grandma Elaine and Aunt JuLee I'm looking in your direction) who want to help increase his wardrobe by making him fine hats and booties, etc we would not turn you away.

Here is a comparison in case you're having a hard time wrapping your head around Ciaran's size. His diaper is about the size of an iphone.

And here is his diaper compared to big brother's.
Big brother Beckett is very proud and happy to help when we go to the hospital. He carries the "baby milk" for us, a job he is very protective of, even though he's not quite sure who the baby is we're feeding all this milk to. He just looked at the above pictures of Ciaran and said, "Baby sleeping, shhh." with his finger up to his lips. He's a good brother.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Things they don't tell you about a c-section

In case some of you thought I died on the operating table I figured I better chime in and let you know I'm still around. Chris has been doing a good job on keeping you up to date but since I did have major surgery (the first in my life) I'll share with you how I'm doing. Mostly okay, but there are certainly some things about having a Cesarean section that I did not know and was not prepared for.

1. You can be sitting on the table with iodine dripping down your back and the anesthesiologist ready to stab a needle into your spine and they can postpone it. You'd think once you're sitting in the OR you're good to go, but evidently not.

In fact here I am, a slightly crazed pre-op Dawnell wondering why we can't just get the show on the road and get things over with.

2. Betadyne is no longer brown. The disinfecting goo they painted my stomach with was a light blue. My belly looked like it was an Easter egg, or I was a big, but messy fan of blue Popsicles.

3. You can smell the burning meat smell of your stomach when they cut/cauterize you. It's not nice to point this out to your queasy spouse, even if you feel justified doing it because you're the one experiencing it.

A happy, paper pants wearin', pre burning meat stomach smellin' Chris.

4. OR lights are reflective. I actually watched my own c-section, drape be damned! I saw them pull Ciaran out and I watched them poking around and sewing me back up. Then it got boring because putting you back together takes a lot longer than getting the baby out, and the horrible effects of the morphine started to hit me so I stopped looking.

5. It is normal to have weird pains in your shoulder or breastbone or ribs or something. Evidently your body fills up with air when they break that seal and cut you open. So you get strange pains from air trapped in various parts inside you.

6. I guess this explains why the key to healing seems to be farting. I don't know how many times I was asked post operation if I'd, "passed gas." And for some reason the nurses always said this with a lowered voice and down cast eyes. I just found that odd. I mean, they're nurses. They helped me move my dead meat slab legs and all sorts of other gross care, yet you really feel embarrassed to ask about flatulence? Once you have declared your gasiness you are allowed to eat real food which made me pine for a whoopee cushion in a way I never imagined possible.

7. Days afterward your stomach feels like it's asleep. This is normal, and it can last for months. Really? I shouldn't be worried that I'm numb for months? That nerves got severed or something and they're not going back together? I guess not.

A wiser, but not altogether happier, post-op Dawnell

These random thoughts aside I'm healing and the incision seems to be closing as it should. I'm scaling back the percocet's a bit so that's also an improvement. In two weeks I'll be able to drive and can be a little more active. Chris is doing a great job taking care of me and of Beckett and making sure to lift Beckett up to me so we can have our own special love time too. It's great to be home with the boys and I look forward to the day when I'm outnumbered around the house by one more.

Friday, June 12, 2009

More Ciaran

Over on the left is a pronunciation guide to our new dude's name from someone who has had such a cool name his whole life. Not much of a problem if you hear it once. I was a big fan of the original Gaelic spelling that we went with, so I hope everyone gets to enjoy the name as much as we do.

Ciaran continues improve from day to day. We weren't expecting to be able to hold him for another week or so but he was doing so well that they let us both hold him today. He's so incredibly tiny it's almost inconceivable that he's human, but he's precious. Here are some pictures and a video. Dawnell is just radiant here with joy at getting to hold Ciaran. And yea, I know, a video of a baby sucking a binky isn't that exciting, but on the other hand, actually it is considering he's due in two months.

Finally, don't be worried, Beckett may not quite understand what's going on, but he's remarkably resilient, acting just as goofy as ever. As Beckett would say, "here go, glasses!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ciaran Gio Moon

Ciaran Moon was born on June 9, 2009 at 4:46 p.m. He weighs 2 lbs. 12 oz. and is 14.5 inches long. He has joined us earlier than expected, but he has already brought incredible amounts of joy to our family. He'll be sticking around in the NICU for awhile, but he's doing very well considering his size (tiny even for his age) and the age at which he was born (32.5 weeks).

In reviewing the evidence, which I hadn't had the chance to do before now, it looks as though he may be blonde, just like Beckett. Here he is at the age of 2 minutes. Those are not my hands, but they should give you a good idea of how tiny a dude he is:

He has a lot of monitors hooked up to him, but he really is doing great, relatively speaking. And he looks so precious sleeping on his side. Here he is a day later:

Dawnell is recovering well from surgery. Thanks to all for your thoughts, prayers, and assistance during this difficult pregnancy and thanks in advance for the same in the upcoming months.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New York Botanical Garden

Wednesday is free day at the Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. Beckett and I, as well as several of our buddies, spent the day looking at flowers, climbing on rocks, and learning why you shouldn't eat fruit snacks dropped in wet dirt.

The lesson about pollination was lost on Beckett who grabbed the stamen (or pistil, I guess the lesson was lost on me as well) and started banging it on the pedistal saying, "Drum, drum."

The seed lesson was also a lost cause. He didn't actually look in the drawers filled with seeds. He just kept opening and slamming them shut as fast as he could while yelling, "Oh cool!"

He did like poking the giant botanical caterpillar in the eye, but that takes a lot out of a person so he had to stop and rest.

These rocks were a great source of fun for all the kids. Why walk on the path when you can climb over and around it?

Beckett was feeling the nature vibe and thus got a little closer to au naturale with both buttons undone.

Thankfully my nice friends help me corral Beckett when I just can't run after him anymore. I'm not quite as much of a fan of rock climbing as Beckett is.

This is not from the garden, but the Saturday before. My new stroller finally arrived. It was just in time for the Botanical Gardens where it turned out to be a little useless since the kids just wanted to run and touch everything. I LOVE it. Why don't more companies make double strollers like this? I won't belabour how much I love Phil & Ted's, but I do. The double decker stroller is genius.