So I've been thinking about starting a blog for quite awhile, and having my twin girls two days ago has finally catapulted me into doing it. I have been in the hospital for two weeks now on bed rest, and thought I might start it during the bed rest process, but I ended up feeling so bad I couldn't manage getting any clear thoughts out. I did; however, read many many blogs that others had written about what I was going through including Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM), hospital bed rest and prematurity. I found it really helpful to read about other's journeys, and I feel compelled to chronicle our experience, so that it too can be a resource for others who may have to go through what we have been through. In some ways I have already had a blog since our oldest son has a caringbridge site: www.caringbridge.org/jakedoolittle. More on that later, but now that I have so many other things to write about it it seemed like we needed a family blog. It's also a good way for us to keep everyone updated on the girls without having to send a million different emails!
On Friday, December 9th we welcomed to the world Millie Durand Doolittle and Ruby Margaret Doolittle. Millie weighed 2 lbs 2 oz and was 13 3/4 inches long. Ruby weighed 1 lb 15 oz and was 14 inches long. The girls were born at 27 weeks and 1 day gestation, so they are 13 weeks premature. I will do more updating in future posts about their history and reason for early arrival.
Today is day three of their lives and they are doing really well. They are both on CPAPS which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This helps to keep the air sacs in their lungs open. The girls are breathing well enough on their own that they do not need mechanical ventilation. Ruby has been on the CPAP with room air level of oxygen since day 1. Millie has required a higher level of oxygen, but as of this morning she has been able to get by with room air level of oxygen as well. Millie has struggled more with her breathing since it was Millie's amniotic sac that ruptured two weeks ago. The lungs develop better when surrounded by amniotic fluid. I did receive steroid shots when I came into the hospital two weeks ago after my water broke, so this has helped the girls as well. The neonatologist commented yesterday that Ruby's lungs are acting more mature than her age. That sounds funny, but he just means that her lungs are performing better than your average 27 weeker. Both girls have started having some apnea spells which means that they forget to breathe and their heart rate drops. This is a common problem for preemies, and they have started them on caffeine which helps prevent apnea spells. Scott wanted to know if they get Starbucks. They are also getting TPN for nutrition. This stands for Total Parenteral Nutrition and it basically means they are getting nutrition through their IV's. Their stomachs/intestines etc are too immature to handle real food yet. I do not know the plan here, but the nurse did mention that they might start giving the girls a tiny amount of breast milk in a day or two since I am pumping, and the colostrum is starting to come in. Colostrum is the first milk that comes in and it is full of antibodies to help protect newborns and most Mom's know that it is considered "liquid gold."
I have not seen the girls yet today, but Scott just got here and we'll be going up soon. I will try and get some pictures to share. I just took my first real shower and even shaved my legs, so the girls might not recognize me. Ha. I have taken showers since I got here two weeks ago, but always with IV lines etc attached so it was nice to get in the shower without being attached to a pole.
We are continuously amazed at the level of support we have received from family and friends throughout this entire process. Words cannot express our gratitude for this and how much peace it has given me. I will continue to ask for prayers for our little girls. They are doing really well, but they have a long way to go and many hurdles to overcome. With love, Elizabeth