Smidge and Smudge: No News Is Good News

Just a quick update as Gary hasn’t done one for a while.

I think that the main reason for no updates is that the twins have been fairly stable, with no major changes for a while. They’ve been a bit up and down, as previously, but nothing too worrying or critical.

They didn’t have such a great day yesterday; they were both struggling a little bit, but we think they’re just getting tired again. Not surprising, considering all of the things they are doing that they shouldn’t have to do at all yet!

Smidge

Smidge was not having good results from his bloods when I called yesterday morning for an update, so they were going to put his mask on (instead of the prongs for his CPAP) as he preferred that, pop him on his back as this is his preferred position, and give him a blood transfusion later in the day to see if that perked him up enough. Unfortunately it didn’t, so he’s back on the ventilator as of last night, but it’s what he needs to give his body a bit of a break. They told me when I was there last night that they will try to wean him back off it today and see if he tolerates that. If not he’ll probably be on it for a couple of days to have a nice rest.

It’s not as bad as it might seem, as all preemies will end up back on the ventilator at some point when they are this early – we were well prepared for it, so I’m not worried until I’m told to be. Plus, I’d rather Smidge was given a break before he gets too tired and it causes other issues, and as long as the machines fix the issues he’s been having it’s all good as far as I am concerned.

When I saw him last night he did seem considerably bigger, though – he’s now 910 grams, and looks it! I didn’t spend as much time with him on Wednesday, so it’s amazing the difference you can see!

Smudge

Pack of tiny nappy wraps

Pack of tiny nappy wraps

Smudge is still very fragile, put plodding along fine. Her oxygen levels have been steadily increasing over the past few days, so they’re just keeping an eye on that. She’s currently on 40% oxygen, when air is nearly 21%. Her feeds have been increased to 1.5ml every hour, so that’s good, though her brother is currently on 2.5ml an hour, I think! It’s good that they are both feeding, though.

Smudge was nicely settled when I arrived at the hospital last night – tucked on her tummy, with her hands where *she* wanted them to be, and all snuggly. That was, until about 11.30 when we turned her over to do her cares, then she was all wiggly! She definitely prefers it on her tummy, whereas Smidge prefers his back. Once I’d fed and cleaned her, I just stood for ages with her holding my finger, which was lovely. Then I had to head off, but she didn’t want me to go, as she kept tight hold of my finger!

Cares

On the subject of cares, it’s amazing how quickly I’ve got to grips with changing nappies and wiping little tiny mouths! Especially considering that I had *never* changed a nappy until we had the twins. They are both now out of the teeniest tiniest nappies, and into the size 0 that you can buy in the shops. The funny thing is that there’s a massive difference in the two sizes, so they re a bit drowned by the new ones. When I changed Smudge last night, the new nappy came up to her armpits!

Expressing

The expressing is still going well; at the rate they are taking it, they have enough to keep them going for months! I’m sure it won’t be long before they are taking a lot more, though. It is a bit of a faff trying to fit in the “feeding” around various things I have to do, especially when those things are outside the house, but I’m doing okay so far. Today could be more difficult, as I’m at my works Christmas lunch for most of the afternoon, but we’ll see what happens. Then I’m off to see them tonight, but I’m not sure if Gary is coming or not. We’ll see how it goes later on.

Thanks

Thanks to everyone for your comments, cards, support and wishes – they are very welcome and gratefully received. It’s good to know about others who have been in similar situations – I didn’t realise quite how many babies came through “Customs”! The twins are doing well, and long may they continue to do so 🙂

Posted in

Gary Jones

Gary Jones is a UK-based WordPress Engineer, code consultant, and father of extremely premature twins. Driven by a passion for excellence, he creates elegant WordPress plugins and theme solutions for clients, and provides services, including code audits, for other designers and developers. Gary is a key contributor to the Genesis Framework and has contributed to all except one major branch of WordPress Core since 3.3. He has contributed to many open source projects in the community, and is a co-host on the UK Genesis podcast. A former teacher in schools and prisons, Gary's goal is to educate WordPress professionals on how they can improve their code. His motto is knowledge is power.

  1. Jo Meyer on 2011-12-16 at 15:45

    Katie I find it so interesting that Smudge is behind Smidge! Usually girls do better that boys. Go figure! Glad they are growing and improving. (Who would have thought that breathing was so much work?) Still keeping you all in my prayers. Love to you all!

    Jo in Nashville (HGP)



    • Katie on 2011-12-16 at 17:12

      They mix and match a bit! One day Smidge has a better day, another day Smudge is doing better. Her lungs seem to be stronger, but his tummy is more robust. They are not too different, generally. So proud of both of them, though.



  2. darcy on 2011-12-16 at 19:50

    I’m rooting for you all!

    I’m so glad you all are getting photos. I didn’t think I’d ever want to look at those scary days again, but I’m so so grateful for the photos now that my preemie is older. It’s fascinating for him to see how far he’s come as well.

    Darcy



  3. Alison on 2011-12-16 at 21:35

    So good to hear from you. Glad they’re doing okay, and I guess the ups and downs are all part of it … I tell you, that’s all being a parent is really, coping with ups and downs, and it never really gets any easier, just different!!! Anyway, all the best to you all.
    Alison (Chelseagirl on BC)



  4. Sarah on 2011-12-17 at 23:38

    Can’t wait to catch up Thursday and hear all about smidge and smudge. Love to you all xxx



  5. Alison on 2011-12-20 at 10:36

    I loved what you said about smidge eating more than smudge, watch out you will have a fridge raider when he’s
    older! All my boys are. Glad they are both doing well.

    Alison (HGP)



    • Katie on 2011-12-20 at 11:01

      He has reduced his feed a bit now, as he was struggling with it a bit. So now he is on the same amount as his sister. Guess his eyes were bigger than his teeny tiny tummy!
      Both doing pretty well today, and feeds will be increasing later as they are both tolerating it well again.



      • ALison on 2011-12-20 at 17:35

        That’s really good news! Love reading the updates.



        • Alison on 2011-12-27 at 21:34

          That is great news!

          Alison (HGP)



  6. Becky on 2011-12-20 at 21:19

    Expressing is a real faff, but you will soon realise its near impossible to fit the other stuff around babies once they are a few months old… and you end up begging shop assistants to allow you to use a fitting room to do a tandem feed, like I did today!
    Are you planning on using real nappies when they are home from hospital? We had trouble getting the wraps to fit for a long time.. and Beth has only just grown out of XS wraps at 7 1/2 months!



    • Gary on 2011-12-23 at 01:13

      I think we’ll be using disposable for a while until there’s a bit more of a routine of some sorts – once things a a bit mo sorted, then I’d like to use reusable nappies, as it should be cheaper in the long run, even with the extra washing costs; even if it’s similar, there’s the environmental benefit.

      A changing room is a really good idea!



      • Becky on 2011-12-23 at 09:44

        You can also get nappies ‘pre-loved’ for a good price or even just washed and never used on ebay – lots of people start with good intentions then don’t use them!



  7. Karen P on 2011-12-22 at 22:47

    Hi Katie

    Watching your blog with interest – I did ask the other day on the Christmas countdown group if I could share your news with the APG girls – but I guess you didn’t see that. Is it alright if I point them in the direction of this blog?

    Hugs
    Karen xx



    • Gary on 2011-12-23 at 01:09

      Hi Karen,

      It’s absolutely fine to point whoever you want towards this blog – if there was anything we didn’t want people to know then it wouldn’t be on this public website 🙂