18th August: Parent Room

Short update today and no pictures (still or moving) because they are all stored on the home computer and I am writing this from a parent room in Swedish Hospital. These are the rooms where parents room-in with their kids as a final step to bringing them home. Last night Lara stayed with Katarina, handling all her feeds etc, and tonight (drum roll) I am rooming-in with Katarina! And we are going to party so hard we might stay up until 2am! In fact, we might not sleep at all!

So yes, this means that Katarina is in the final stretch before coming home 🙂

Katarina is completely off oxygen and still gaining weight appropriately (today was at 7lb 11oz) but has been having trouble feeding. She has a lot of reflux and does not appear to have as much energy as she should. So most of her feed volume has been delivered through her nasal-gastric tube (NG tube). At this stage it is difficult to know how to resolve this as there is no simple “one size fits all” solution. But everyone agrees (nurses, doctors, Lara, me) that it would be much better to have her at home rather than here in the hospital. Even if we have to bring her home with an NG tube or…there has even been talk of a surgically implanted gastric tube (G tube). So this weekend we are trying a bit of a “hail mary” pass – we have taken out the NG tube and are spending three days with her, giving all her feeds by bottle – she has no other option to feed, so if she get hungry she’s gotta learn to eat. Removing the NG tube could also help because these can be irritating (to say the least). So far she has an acceptable average but a very wide standard deviation. What this means to normal people is that she is doing ok but being inconsistent, sometimes takes, an enormous, 70mL and sometimes 15mL. And no, there is no obvious reason for the difference.

In other news, Katarina is no longer blonde, or rather the sides of her head are still blonde but the top is black. That should be an interesting style if it continues. Their eye color is starting to resolve and they both currently have dark blue eyes. Natasha uses them to flicker her glance all around the room and only occasionally meeting your gaze. Katarina just stares at you. Like, right into your eyes. And holds your gaze for a disconcertingly long time. Then sloooooooowly blinks. I’m starting to get the theme song from “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” stuck in my head (She’s Blondie, The Good, in case you were confused…)

Natasha has been at home now for a couple of weeks and we are starting to get into a rhythm. Sometimes Natasha lends her voice to the rhythm and it is a mighty voice, although needs training. Usually there is a reason for it although she does appear to have a “witching hour” which is late evening or early morning depending on what time we are expecting it. Yes, it’s always the opposite to what we expect. No, I don’t know how she knows. I’m sure this rhythm will not last with two of them, or at least will be a more, ummm, complex melody. I’m not even sure how we are going to feed them both at the same time. Natasha has broken the 8lb mark which means I can now carry her around in a backpack. Bruno is just about getting used to having her around. Poor thing. Doesn’t know what’s about to hit him.

Before I sign off: big thank you to the Diener grandparents. They flew in this week to help and it has been great having the extra hands around, especially since either me or Lara are in the hospital. While I’m at it, kudos to Meredith for the insane vegetable garden she grew – we have eaten zucchini and corn (!!) from the garden this week. Corn growing in Seattle. It’s been  a fertile year 😉


1 thought on “18th August: Parent Room

  1. Hi Guys. Hope little Katarina is doing better on the feeding side. When Lucy was born the nurses use to make me put a cold wet cloth to her to wake her up and keep her feeding. I cringe now. I just let the other two sleep and they woke up when they were hungry.

    I cannot wait to see a photo of Katarina’s new hair style, sounds very cool!

    Good to hear that Natasha is holding up the baby’s bargain end and not letting you get some sleep when you think you should. I think we will return your thoughtful book when your girls are about 1 when you really know what sleep deprivation is. It’s only the beginning. Enjoy.

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