Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Thing One and Thing Two

As I mentioned in my last blog, while Tom and I were in Lusaka we were told about twins that had been born in the local hospital and how their mother had died just afterward. Born to a mother who had already had six children in the last 10 years. These twins made eight. Her elective cesarean surgery was just too much for her body to handle.

Troy and Sarah with the twins on the way home from the hospital

Meet Impundu Humphrey and Kapya Maggie. 

Impundu means twin #1 and Kapya means twin #2. Since we already have a Maggie we are calling the twins Humphrey and Kapya.* 

We still haven’t been able to figure out if these babies were born early or are simply tiny. Humphrey at the time of discharge from the hospital at six days old weighed only 2.2 kg (4lbs12oz) and his sister, Kapya 1.9 kg (4lbs3oz).  They are not only skinny, but tiny too in an almost unbelievable way.

Despite being so small, they seemed to be healthy. Their mother tested negative for HIV, so we could breathe a sigh of relief that they wouldn't be battling a depressed immune system due to HIV exposure. However, their low weight carried its own concerns. They would have very little natural cushion in case they got sick at all. When we brought them home we were encouraged to see them eating so well.

A few days after we brought them home Humphrey started looking peaky and weak. The next morning when I checked on them (they were staying in a room with a nanny), his eyes were sunken in and he’d lost the will to eat. It was very scary! We jumped into action right away with mixing ReSoMal (like Pedialyte, but for malnourished babies) and changing his bottle to a softer nipple. Kapya also had very little appetite, but at least she was eating—20-25 ml (about an ounce) at a time.

Humphrey was not eating at all and we had to drip the milk carefully into his mouth. Sarah took over his care which meant giving him either ReSoMal or formula every hour around the clock. Since he couldn’t suck on the bottle, it could take 30-45 minutes each time.

I looked after Kapya who was doing OK, but still not eating much. Her feedings also took 45 minutes to accomplish. Both babies had dropped weight and we were really concerned.

Thanks be to God, after only a day Humphrey looked much better, the day after that he was drinking faster (though not sucking), and on the third day he was sucking properly.
We are happy to report that both Humphrey and Kapya are drinking like champs now. Over the last two days they gained 140 and 150 grams each (about 5 oz). 

Please continue to pray for their growth. We can hardly wait until they are chubby and real baby sized.

*Tom's a little disappointed with the names because when we heard there were twins we first said simultaneously "We can name them Jack and Jill!" But we already have a Jack and a Jackson, so we decided on Mark and Mindy......When we got to the hospital we found they were already named [which is unusual for newborns here] so there you have it. Oh well, there's always next time. LOL

Exactly Five Years Ago: Mr. Tom's (and Amy's Wild Ride)
Exactly Three Years Ago: Kute Kids

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