Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cheeks Dunlap wins the prize

We are so very proud of our Vivi! She officially has become the largest baby in the NICU (we're kidding)! Weighing in at a whopping 6lbs. 6 oz! She eats 100 ml (3.25 oz) now at her feedings which is shocking since we began with 5 ml just 3 weeks ago. We always knew she was a to enter her in pageants.

Rudy's parents are back visiting and we are crossing our fingers that she is released while they are here. She may want to stick around for the 7lb. mark - but we hope not! Here are some shots from the past two days....

sideline burping NICU style

eating groceries

relaxing with Opa


"you have to get me out of here..."


Back at the home front....Max is enjoying his last few days as an only child...

Oma and Opa

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to Aunt Emily & Aunt Rachel!

Max and Vivi asked us to pass along these birthday wishes.

Hope you each had a nice birthday Aunt Emily & Aunt Rachel.
Come visit soon!

Monday, October 25, 2010

And we were three....

YEAH! We brought Max home on 10-2o-10. The hospital NICU staff recommended a 'sleep-in' or a night where we stayed at the hospital with Max and they would monitor us taking care of him. They want all parents of preemies to do this if possible.

Max also went on his first trip to see the pediatrician, Dr. Norton. All went well and was complete with peeing on the attendant when we first arrived. Max weighed in at 5 lbs, 5 oz but we are pretty sure he's grown some even since Friday!

Our first feeding without wires and monitors. So nice...

Mr. Max (cheeks a bit chunkier)

DD and Max get their rest

First car ride (going home!)

The pacifier is as big as he is! my own bed....

Vivi is still working on breathing while she eats. She likes to chug, chug, chug and then cannot breathe. We hope soon she can join us three at home. The doctors say this is just an immaturity issue and will go away with age. Its been really hard to have her @ the hospital while he is here at home. We all miss her so much. We just knew she wasn't ready to come out. We'll give her the time she needs....we love you Vivi! She's up to 5lbs, 10 oz!

Rudy's co-worker, our great friend, Aunt Amanda and her boyfriend Joe came on Sunday to visit with Max. Amanda is in love.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Making Progress

After a long day in College Station, it was nice to be back with the kiddos today. We visited Max and Vivi for their 11am and 2pm feedings today with a short break in between for some work.

They both consumed 40 ml. from the bottle at 11am--way to go! They're now being fed via the feeding tube on every third feeding instead of every other, so we're making progress. Vivi is up to 4 lbs 13.6 oz and Max slid back a little to 4 lbs 11 oz, probably due to having to regulate more of his own temp.

Goofy shot of Vivi - note that is the tape from the feeding tube and not boogers.

Note that Mr. Max likes to sleep with his arms up, just like his Daddy.

Got some great pics today, including ones of the whole family and M & V together. Enjoy.

Rudy and Vivi

DD and Vivi

L-R: Max, Vivi

Max and Vivi - reunited and it feels so good. First shot ever together since womb.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

And he sleeps....Day 9

Today's my first day going alone to the NICU. I definitely missed Rudy there but understand he has to bring home the bacon. And I know he sorely misses the little monkeys.

After a night of missing them tremendously, it felt great to get up and go directly to them. Its a gorgeous Fall day in Austin. I realized I hadn't driven in almost 4 weeks and it felt good to be independent again.

When I walked in to the NICU to greet M&V, I peeked into Vivi's isolette to see her looking back at me. She never is awake it seems so it was nice to see her alert. Her eyes looked directly into mine and she opened her mouth wide open. It was probably due to hunger, but was adorable nonetheless.

Going over to peek into Max's isolette, I found him asleep and with his feeding tube out. Usually Max, around feeding time, is alert and waiting. Not today. It was as if the tube was out and he was happy and sleepy. Unfortunately, he had to have it put back in, something I am sure he had forgotten when he reached in to pull it out in the first place. He sleeps with his hands above his head, just like Rudy. Also, he sucks on his fingers which inevitably means he pulls the darn thing out. One day they won't have all these wires and tubes and velcro....

Stats - Vivi is now 4 lb, 13 oz. Max is catching up and weighs in at a whopping 4lb, 12 oz. They continue to have 4 feedings on the bottle and 4 via a feeding tube. They are learning to breathe, suck and swallow - slow but steady....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 7 NICU

Babies are doing well today. Both have their IVs out now and are on manual temperature regulation - basically, they are regulating their own temperatures with clothes on and being swaddled instead of having the isolette control the temperature for them. We will see how they do and hope they won't spend all their energy keeping their bodies warm.

They both are still on some lighting for a slight case of jaundice, but they are looking better each day. Max's skin is definitely more fair than his sisters. It definitely looks as if we have a redhead/strawberry blonde (Max) and a brunette (Vivi) on our hands!

Max has had several 'blowouts' when Rudy is feeding and/or handling him and it is quite funny. I fed him in our morning shift and he waited to 'blow it out' as soon as I handed him to Rudy.

We helped bathe him for the first time tonight - Max was not a huge fan of that. It was quick and over in about 4-5 mins but he made his opinion of it known. Max is fairly quiet and so I must say it was nice to hear him cry a bit (I am sure I will live to regret that statement).

Hard to believe its already been a week....

Monday, October 11, 2010

"You Wanna Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name."

Similar to a good bar, we've become regulars at the North Austin Medical Center's NICU. We typically get in to see and feed the kiddos twice a day. By now, the front desk staff and nurses know us on sight and we've settled into our routines. Fortunately, we have not been at the NICU as long as some families, and for that we are grateful.

Grandparents have been the featured attraction this week and below are a few pics of Oma & Opa Dunlap and Pop-pop Sarine. Nana Sarine was not allowed into to the NICU due to a cold--sorry, Nana.

In addition to grandparents, Uncle Greg Sarine came to town for ACL and got a niece and nephew instead! Way to be a good sport, Uncle Greg!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Entertaining yourself at a hospital

Rudy having fun racing me around the hospital....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Almost Home

Hello from the Post-partem Unit in our new home, the North Austin Medical Center. This is no longer news for most people, but we welcomed the newest members of our family into the world yesterday. Max Sarine Dunlap (4 lbs. 8 oz., 17.5 inches) was born the 'old fashioned way' at 11:53am. Vivienne "Vivi" (pronounced "Viv-ee) Jewell Dunlap (4 lbs. 11 oz., 18.75 inches) was born via Cesaerian Section at 9:18pm.

Danielle's induction process began on 9:30am on Monday and progressed throughout the day, all night, and all morning Tuesday. Consistent with out goals, our OB allowed Danielle to return to our room after delivering Max in order to continue laboring with Vivi. Danielle rested for an hour and then began pushing with Vivi for three hours. Unfortunately, in the wake of her marathon effort, Danielle's uterus was simply too exhausted to assist in the pushing process. We also learned that when babies are premature, the women's body may or may not be 'ready' to labor despite the babies' water breaking. We all (DD, Rudy, nurses, and OB) decided that in our particular situation, at that moment it was safest to bring Vivi into the world via C-section, which she did.

Mom, babies, Dad and Dunlap grandparents all enjoyed a night of restful sleep. Today brought multiple visits to the NICU to see Max and Vivi, pictures below.

We appreciate everyone's concern and enthusiasm related to this experience. DD will be in North Austin Medical Center until Friday and the kiddos will be in the NICU for an undetermined amount of time, most likely 7-14 days. They're both breathing well on their own and as you can see below, have begun bottle feeding. Some folks have asked about the need for them to be in the NICU and essentially it is in case they were to develop any problems during the next couple weeks. We've been assured that they are very healthy for 34-week twins and that we have nothing to worry about. So, we're almost home, but not quite.

Vivi - a few mins after birth...

Max, also a few minutes after going into NICU
Max fresh from the oven!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Halfway Home

Hi Folks - As you've gathered, we've come a long way, but we're only 'halfway home.' Max Sarine Dunlap was born at 11:53am CST, weighed 4 lbs. 8 oz., and measured 17.5 inches long. It is a little difficult to tell, but the concensus is that he has red hair! I've just returned from visiting Max (just Max, not Maxwell or Maximilian) in the NICU and he's doing really well. He is not using supplemental oxygen and was sleeping soundly.

As you may have seen from the comments, Danielle has been napping for the last hour to gather her strength for the 'final push' which will bring our little girl into the world. It's been so fun to meet Max, but now we're ready for his sister to join us.

Related to the topic of laboring, I realize that many of you may have been frustrated with the sparse information received from us after ~10pm last night. All I can say is that my services were needed for a much more important task, that of helping Danielle through her labor. She began a Pitocin drip ay 930am yesterday and it continued until Max's birth this morning, save one hour. Danielle and I worked all yesterday and throughout the entire night to help her body bring these babies out. Obviously, Danielle did the real work, and I can honestly say that I have never seen any physical or athletic achievement to rival her labor and delivery.

So now, we're back in a holding pattern as we wait for Danielle's uterus to get 'back on board' with the birthing process. I'll do my best to provide you with info, but please be patient.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Gettin' Down To It

16:15 - Just had a check with the midwife: 3cm dilated, 90% effaced, and still a 1.5 on the pain scale! Way to go DD!

(sorry no more pics; paparazzi have been ejected by the mother from the birthing suite)

17:00 - The IV with antibiotics hurts a lot more than the contractions, which have intensified slightly. Still only a 2 out of 10. Oma & Opa headed out to grab some grub.

19:15 - First visit and check from the OB! 5cm dilated, 90% effaced, and zero station! Halfway home! Contractions still a 2 out of 10. Switched to the birthing ball for a little while. Dr. S predicts a 1am delivery.

20:00 - Birthing ball is the ticket. Danielle even allowed a picture--enjoy!

21:00 - Just truckin along here. Contractions a little more intense (2 out of 10), but still no pain to speak of. Side note, a little one was born in the suite next door about a half hour ago and boy did s/he have a pair of lungs!

22:15 - Our little girl is refusing to stay on the fetal heart rate monitor, which is a typical Dunlap response to authority. The contractions keep coming, but DD is unphased. Hooray for hypnobirthing.

Warming Up

07:30 - Please note the cheery disposition of the 'Before' picture above.

Those of you who are birthers know how important it is to 'get your mind right' and your body loose. So we (me & DD) started early this morning with some calisthenics and some cheers to get up pumped up.

09:30 - We've moved over into the Labor & Delivery Unit. Danielle is situated comfortably in bed and has begun a very slow drip of Pitocin. Apparently, Danielle has had a few contractions, even though she can't feel them. "Am I in labor?" she asked the nurse. "No," the nurse answered. "You can't be in labor and smiling."

10:30 - Arrival of Opa & Oma! Randy and Mary Helen are on the scene and have checked in with their respective brokers.

11:30 - D is having contractions, but still not feeling them (1 out of 10). Despite the fact that she's not feeling contractions, she's requested that the thermostat be turned down. It now reads 67 (Fahrenheit).

12:45 - Like a Pro! Look at DD as she experiences a contraction--cool, calm, collected.

15:00 - Not a whole lot goin' on here. Contractions still in the 1.5 (out of 10) range. Watching the Food Network (mmm...pork belly). Pitocin still dripping...any suggestions from the other birthers out there?