Sunday, July 28, 2013

Curried Lentil Stew with Vegetables (Page 288)

  • Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012 -- 7pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Dave, and Karen H
  • Recipe Rating: B-

This recipe was part of the Indian feast we prepared when my in-laws came to visit last fall. I started by cooking some onion in oil, then adding pureed ginger and garlic. I then added various spices (cumin, curry powder, turmeric), lentils and water. At various stages through the cooking process I added vegetables (carrots, spinach, peas), and finally cilantro and seasoning. The stew was topped with cumin seeds and red pepper flakes, cooked in vegetable oil. This stew was OK. Of our big Indian feast that day, this was one of the dishes I liked less. The flavor was fine, but not great, and I didn't like the texture of the spinach in it. I also found that the flavored oil on top made the dish seem greasy. It certainly wasn't bad, but it isn't a dish that I would make again. 

The recipe is here.

46 recipes down,  1060 to go!

I have a rare moment right now when the girls are both asleep and I am not. I talked about the birth of our twins in the last post. They went straight from the operating room up to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for some assistance breathing. I went to recovery, where I had to be on magnesium for 15 hours, due to the preeclampsia. This meant that I could not go see the girls in the NICU on Friday night. But my special gentleman went up there several times and took lots of pictures so that I could see them. Here I am, recovering and missing my babies:

Here's a picture of Emmy that first night, screaming. She has been feisty from the start! I would probably be screaming too. That bandage around her IV connection is almost as big as her arm! 

Here's Eloise that first night. She was struggling a bit more than Emmy. So while Emmy was just getting a little oxygen through a cannula, Eloise was on CPAP. It was hard to be away from them that first night, but at the time I believed that they were basically both fine, which I found very comforting. I didn't realize then what a hard time Eloise would have. 

The next afternoon I got to make my first trip up to the NICU. Here I am meeting Emmy for the first time since the operating room!

And meeting Eloise:

Late Saturday night they decided that Emmy was stable enough for me to hold her! Emmy was doing well from the start. As you can see, by Saturday night, less than 24 hours after she was born, she was already off all breathing support. She was what they call a feeder/grower, meaning that they kept her there to get bigger and stronger before discharging her. 

Here's my special gentleman holding Emmy:

In no time she had even graduated to wearing clothes!

While we were celebrating Emmy's good health and rapid improvement, we were meanwhile extremely worried about Eloise. Instead of improving, she was getting worse. She was having a horrible time trying to breath, and the CPAP was not enough support. So they had to intubate her to give her more breathing support, and to give her doses of a drug directly into her lungs. They first diagnosed her with Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Late one night when I was still in the hospital myself recovering from the surgery I googled respiratory distress syndrome. Big mistake. Wikipedia informed me that it is the leading cause of death in preterm infants. Great. That made me so worried that I woke up my special gentleman at 3am to wheel me up to the NICU to visit the babies. I sobbed next to Eloise's isolette for a while and a very nice NICU nurse gave me a lot of encouragement (thanks Michelle!). 

There were a couple very scary days during which Eloise felt so bad that she barely moved or opened her eyes at all. Here she is, not feeling well:

Eventually they figured out that she had an infection: either pneumonia or meningitis. The next day it was confirmed: pneumonia. Of the two choices, pneumonia was a much better outcome, so we cheered when we found out. Never would I have thought I could be so excited to hear that my baby has pneumonia. 

Eventually I was released from the hospital, with both babies still in the NICU. It was hard going home without them, but I came back to the hospital and spent all day every day in the NICU with them. And I pumped milk for them 8 times a day. That was about all I could do for them at that point. 

After about 3 or 4 days, Eloise started to improve, and eventually we were able to hold her! Here's my special gentleman holding Eloise: 

And the first time the girls were reunited since the operating room:

After 8 days in the NICU, Emmy was able to come home! It was bittersweet taking her home. I was so, so happy to have her coming home with us, but it was devastating leaving Eloise behind. In fact, I was much more upset the day we left with Emmy but without Eloise than I was the day I was discharged from the hospital without either of them. I took great comfort in knowing they were together, and I worried a lot about Eloise being in the NICU all alone. But Emmy was definitely well enough to come home and we were anxious to have her home with us. Here she is, ready to leave the hospital:

This post is getting long so I will write more about our second NICU week in my next post. Right now, I should go get some sleep!


1 comment:

Rosiecat said...

Wow, what a journey it's been for all of you. I'm on the edge of my seat for the next post! I have friends who had twins in the NICU for several weeks; it was heartbreaking, but their babies are four years old now and doing great. Best wishes for you and your girls.