Hernia, 6-Month Checkups, Fun with Friends

Hey y’all.  Time for another blog update.  It’s been a fun few days with the boys – one of whom is screaming right now as I write this!  Guess who?  Yep, it’s Jacob and his nightly meltdown, as I like to call it.

Jacob went to John Muir at Walnut Creek last Monday for his bi-lateral hernia surgery.  Kristen got him going early, and we had a few appointments for Samuel across the street at almost the same time.  So Stevie escorted Sammy to his appointments while Kristen stayed with Jacob.  I had to work, but took the afternoon off so I could get Stevie and Sammy home, and then I ran back to be with Jacob when he came out of surgery.

Jacob was all smiles before his surgery, in just his diaper and a hospital gown.

Jacob was all smiles before the surgery, despite not eating anything since 4am.  And the surgery was pushed back twice, to start at noon.  So the poor kid went a long time without anything in his tummy.

I managed to get to the hospital in time for him to come out of surgery, and we went back to see him a short-time later.  He was still pretty woozy and knocked out from the anesthesia, but the doctors and nurses said he did great.

After a couple hours, he was able to open his eyes well enough to be transferred back to the Pediatrics area and his own room.  This was just around the corner from the NICU where the boys spent so much time, but we didn’t really get to see our NICU friends.

Kristen stayed with him all afternoon and all night, and the poor kid was pretty uncomfortable for the duration.  Kristen ended up standing a good chunk of the night, holding him to comfort him.  What a great mom she is!

Jacob rests in his “jail cell” crib, as I called it, at John Muir.

Jacob was released the next morning, and it took a few days for him to get back to his normal eating schedule.  And he’s just now getting back to his normal sleeping schedule.  His belly button scab fell off this morning so we know he’s getting better.

Sammy’s checkups went well.  We now need to take him on Friday to see a Ear, Nose and Throat doctor so they can evaluate his vocal chord status, before the Occupational Therapist will work with him on his bottle feeding.  He’s still only getting “dips and tastes” from us once or twice per day.  We think he’s really craving food by mouth, but we don’t want him aspirating into his stomach.

Overall Samuel’s getting to be more smiley and his eye contact is improving.  We’re also seeing some signs that he’s wanting to try and figure out how to roll over.  That won’t be for a while though, since he’s just not strong enough yet.

We also learned his G-Port, or his button as we call it, is too small for him now.  He’s growing like a weed, so they’ve ordered him a new one and will install it in six weeks.  I hope we can get it installed sooner since, if it’s too small now, its only going to get far worse.  He does get pretty cranky when you are hooking up his feedings and you turn or bump the button.  So sooner is better.

This past Sunday we went over to visit with Charles and Laura Seidel, our friends in Walnut Creek who also had triplets.  Their tri-bundle (Xander, Heidi and Luke) came just 9 days before our guys did.  They were also at John Muir for a while.  Anyway, we took the boys over to visit and we traded notes on how things are done, what’s working, what’s not, etc. We also spent part of the time letting Heidi figure out if she’s going to marry Jacob or Samuel.  She’s not sure yet.

Starting in the lower left and working clockwise: Samuel, Jacob, Heidi, Xander and Luke. A fun play date!

Today, Kristen took the boys for their six-month checkup.  Jacob got his 6-month vaccines, while Samuel got his 4-month vaccines.  He’s a few months behind because some of the vaccines couldn’t be given in the hospital, and they need to be properly spaced.  So he needs to get his 6-month shots soon so he’s ready for the flu/RSV season.

Kristen said that Dr. Nash was impressed with both boys’ growth.  Jacob is at an advanced stage for his motor skills.  He’s doing an awesome job rolling over, sitting up on his own for a few seconds, and of course he’s able to stand, with support.  He has strong legs!  Jacob is now 6 months, 19 days old and he weighed 13.75 pounds.  That puts him at the 0.81 percentile for boys his weight and age.  He measured 24.5 inches, which is at the 0.17 percentile, and his head circumference is 16.5 inches, which is well into the normal range at the 7.04 percentile mark.

Samuel impressed in that he’s catching up to a “normal” baby on the growth chart.  Dr. Nash said the fact he’s showing signs with his shoulders of wanting to roll over means he’s not that far behind, considering he was in the hospital all that time.  That’s great news that he’s catching up quickly.  Samuel weighed 14.25 pounds, which puts him at the 1.79 percentile mark for weight to age.  He’s 26 inches long now, which is ate the 12.11 percentile mark and his head is 16.5 inches around, which is the same as Jacob.

Jacob and Sammy hang out at Dr. Nash’s office for their 6-month checkup.

I thought for sure that Jacob’s head was smaller than normal and Samuels’ was bigger than normal.  But they’re the same!

Jacob is ready to start eating solid foods.  Kristen has been getting brave for this step, and I think we may try something this weekend.  We’re going to start with mashed veggies and stay away from sweet stuff for now.  I’m excited for this next phase.  Sammy will get to try some once his doctors clear him to start taking some tastes by mouth.

Some other random things:

  • We’ve learned – the hard way – that Costco #2 diapers just aren’t cutting it.  Jacob has had some blowouts lately, and today he got it all over his bumbo chair, and all over Stevie.  I feel bad she had to go home with Jacob’s poop all over her shirt.  And Kristen says it was covered!  Kristen ran out to Target and picked up Honest company diapers, so we’re back to the more expensive – but reliable – diapers.
  • Jacob is showing signs of crawling now.  He’s definitely shown he can scoot along.  Monday night he was scooting on his play pad, and doing quite well.
  • Sammy has Excema, it seems.  His face is really dry and he’s doing a lot of scratching – especially at night.  We’re using Aquaphor to treat things for now, and Dr. Nash said keep doing that, or if we want to get a hydrocortisone cream we could do that.
  • We’re going through a large Costco-sized can of formula every three days now.  Jacob’s drinking about 180 mL, or about 6-ounces, every feeding.  It won’t be long before we bump that up to 190 or 200 mL.  Sammy’s still drinking 85 mL at 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 6pm, and then he does a continuous feed from 9pm – 6am.


Picture Time!

Hey everyone… A week and a half ago we did a picture day with a wonderful photographer named Shelley DeJager.  Shelley was introduced to us by Brian and Amber Smith.  They gave us the gift of a photography session following the loss of Charlie.

Shelley finished the pictures today and sent them over, along with a great video montage (embedded below).  Here are some of my favorite pictures from the session.  Click on a picture to make it larger.


Oiga, Oiga, Oiga!

Howdy everyone.  It’s June 15th and it’s been a few weeks since my last update.  Things are busy and I’m finding I just don’t have the time to do updates as I’d like to.  Between work keeping me swamped, plus the boys keeping me busy as soon as the clock strikes 5pm, I’m finding little time to post updates.

First, the title of this post is the sound that Jacob makes when he’s got his pacifier in his mouth while we’re trying to get to sleep.  He’s trying to say something but we’re not sure what it is.  All we get is “oygah, oiga, oyga”, however that may be spelled.  It’s pretty darn cute.

This week, Jacob officially learned how to rollover.  He’s a champion now, even rolling over in his Rock ‘n Play!  He has no problems getting from his back to his tummy and he’s slowly mastering the roll back.  It won’t be long before he’s rolling all over the place.

His legs are getting pretty strong too.  He’s able to stand as long as I’m holding him, but the minute I let go, he just tips over.  I think that’s pretty funny.  Mind you, I’ve never let him drop to the ground – I catch him after just a few inches of falling.  Kristen doesn’t think it’s all that funny that I do that.

I also stood him up in his crib, with his arms holding on to the side.  Again, he’s able to do it without much problem, though I was concerned he’d fall right into the side of the crib.  And once again, Kristen didn’t find it funny, giving me the evil eye.

This past Saturday we had the boys’ 6-month pictures using a photographer that our friends Amber and Brian got for us.  It was a very generous gift and we’re looking forward to seeing the photos that she did for us.  The boys participated pretty good, though it’s clear that they were tuckered out after things were done.  They started getting fussy about half way through, but we did a few changes and we hope to have some nice photos soon.  We’ll share the best ones, as you’d expect.

The boys turned six months old on June 9th, and on an adjusted basis they turned 4 months old on June 12th.  It was good time to reflect on the past six months, and the highs and lows we had.  We continue to miss Charlie immensely and we think about “what if” quite a bit.  I’m not sure that will ever go away.

We’ve started taking the boys on a walk at night.  It seems like most of the time they like it.  Jacob sleeps through it and Sammy does a lot of looking around.  But sometimes Jacob is alert and likes to look around.

I also carved just enough time to go to the gym, investing in a personal trainer to kick my butt and force me to workout hard.  So far it’s paying dividends, as I feel strong and have lost a few pounds.  Let’s see how things look when my trainer Alex is done with me in 10 weeks.

Anyway, that’s all I can really think of to share right now.  I’m sure there’s more and if I think about it, I’ll put it in another update.

Samuel really is mommy’s little superhero. He’s relaxing with his many toys.
The many faces of Jacob. In the lower left photo, Jacob has his swim gear on. He was all smiles before, but let’s just say he’s not quite fond of the water yet.
Jacob gives Samuel a pep talk on how to get that thing out of his nose. Some fun playtime before bed.
Samuel gets the better view because he has more gear to carry, including his pulse-ox monitor and his oxygen tank.
Grandpa Bordewyk visited last weekend and did a fine job in helping to keep Jacob under control. Meanwhile, Sophie kept a watchful eye to make sure he was doing it right.