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  • Renee Burns

January, 2020- Dealing with the separation of the twins...

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

Wow- its Friday.

Friday updates mark time passing. It has been one of the few consistent things that have been a part of this journey. Today, on this Friday, we celebrate our Viv and El turning “2 months” or “60 days” depending on who you ask.

Yesterday morning, my parents “Nana” and “Papa,” Renee and I went to visit our little ladies and as we entered the NICU space we saw that all of Eloise’s things were packed up. With concern and curiosity, we were quickly updated that Eloise was moving up to the 11th floor NICU because of the impressive progress she has been making. The 11th floor provides families individual rooms to practice breastfeeding, monitor vitals, and transition of care. Ultimately the 11th floor equals being one step closer to being discharged. Warrior Princess.

Eloise’s progress is much to celebrate, and simultaneously our heart strings are pulled as our girls are not together for the first time since inception, and their care teams are now different. How we are able to spend time with them has changed as well, as we are splitting our time independently, or spending twice the amount of time at the hospital.

None of this is to say Vivian is not doing awesome. We have to remind ourselves that Vivian did have surgery not that long ago. She continues to impress us all with her mischievous abilities. Vivian is still wearing gloves because she tries to pull out here feeding tube, Ram Cam (oxygen support), and NAVA tube (supports respiratory effort). On more than one occasion this Warrior Princess has been swaddle straight-jacket-style, mittens on, and somehow been able to “self-ween,” meaning she removes tube to defy medical advice on her own. And let’s not forget that Vivvy –Lou is also the mischievous one that hooked Mom up with an ambulance from Duluth to Minneapolis.

Both girls have doubled in weight since birth. Eloise has now entered into the land of 4 pounds with Vivian a few ounces lighter. It is incredible to feel the strength of our girls. We got a 1st hand experience this week holding their tiny hands as they got their 1st immunizations shots…Eloise passed her hearing test this week as well, and Vivian will be tested when off CPAP. 80% of preemie babies have some sort of eye issue, and currently both girls eye are appropriately developing.

Vivian’s belly scar is fading as it the fact that a month ago she had surgery to fix her plumbing (connecting stomach and intestines). Each day is filled with so much newness, connection and learning that much feels like it has drifted by.

Eloise and Renee are doing serious work on the breast feeding front. El’s feeding is being adjusted because she is latching and sucking so well! We’re anxious for Viv to join soon. It is remarkable to witness mom and baby connect in this way and as a few people have teased me about crying while looking at boobs.

With girls in different locations, Renee and I adjust to a new rhythm of life, honoring both girls process and one another. This week has had its peaks and valleys, as the ones before and the ones in the future will have. We have had a smattering of scares, x-rays, echo-cardiogram, blood tests, suppositories….and a few other things this week.

We continue to feel blessed with the medical care here at the U of M Children’s Hospital and the unbelievable love and support that continues flow in from our community near and far.

We love you and have deep gratitude for all of you.





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