The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a place where newborns go when they need special attention. Simon and Amelia were born in good health, but because they were so small, they needed a little help adjusting to their new world. These pictures were taken just four hours after delivery.
You can see Simon here. As the bigger of the twins, he was a little stronger and the nurses really had few concerns other than just keeping him warm. The NICU is a great facility where they encourage parental interaction, and we’re glad to be there for the tigers. Fortunately, Wiola is able to actually live at the hospital for a little while.
Simon’s little sister, Amelia, had some problems breathing. At first, she was given the nasal cannula you see here, but was later strapped into some headgear that made her look like a cross between Hannibal Lecter and a very small bionic elephant. Fortunately, the machine to which the gear was attached allowed her lungs to strengthen about 24 hours when she was returned to the cannula, and shortly thereafter removed from breathing support altogether. She’s still a little smaller than Simon and isn’t quite eating yet, so she gets a little more medical attention. We appreciate all the hard work of the NICU nurses who are constantly tending to her and Simon.
As a last note of thanks, I would like to thank our families, friends, and co-workers who have been so supportive; and also Dr. Francis, who got us in with Dr. Lucidi, who made this whole wonderful ordeal possible for us.