Nora and Bryn seem to be intent on making up for the the 7 weeks I spent on bed rest by defying the odds of 27 week old micro-preemies and being tiny little bundles of health. Thanks, kids. You da bomb.
Within a couple hours of birth, Nora had pulled out her breathing tube in an act of strength and defiance and was breathing unassisted. The care team said, “Ok, then!” and yanked Bryn’s too. Both went on CPAP machines (just like Grampa Greg) that would give them oxygen if they “forgot” to breathe. We told them to just elbow them in the ribs if this happened, because Greg always starts breathing again in the middle of the night when Wanda does that, but the next day both were off the CPAPs and were put on nasal canulas with just room air.
As of yesterday, the doc also stopped their antibiotics, and in addition to the IVs they have in their umbilical cords for nutrition, they got gavages (feeding tubes through their noses down to their stomachs so they could begin milk feedings (1/5tsp per feeding 5x day…you do the math… that’s 1tsp per day!).
We got to help with their first feeding yesterday, giving them each a little milk on a qtip by mouth before they got the rest through their feeding tubes. Once the qtip touched their tiny lips they quickly learned to stick out their little tongues for more. It was pretty amazing.
We also help daily with their “cares,” which include taking their temperature and blood pressure and changing their diapers every 4 hours or so. Nick is quite the diapering pro, winning himself the job of full-time diaper changer when they get home. Congrats, my love! Whenever I try, I get protests like this:
Both took their first pacifiers yesterday, too, and are excellent suckers.
We’re constantly amazed at all the “real baby things” they can do considering they’re both still under 2lbs. Whenever we walk by the “regular” nursery and see the sumo babies, we can’t help but think about how they could probably eat Nora and Bryn for breakfast. They are doing miniature versions of all their little life functions unassisted–breathing, swallowing, peeing (Nick can’t wait for their first poops–opening their diapers with the giddy excitement of a kid at Christmas every time he changes them), crying, hiccuping, sneezing, sucking. It’s just crazy.
The best part of the last 4 days has been the kangaroo care. Starting yesterday, we were both able to take Nora out of her isolette and hold her skin-to-skin. The main function they still need total assistance with is regulating their body temperature (which is why they’re in the isolettes), so holding them requires lots of skin contact, warm blankets and hats. They have a body temperature sensor that shows us if they’re losing too much heat while we’re holding them. Nora is a constant mover, a little micro-preemie version of Richard Simmons. But yesterday when I held her and today when Nick held her, she turned into a little stick of baby butter and just melted onto our chests. Nick was able to keep her body temperature warm enough for longer than I was, bragging that his chest hair makes him the superior parent.
Bryn had a busy day today (a procedure to put in a central line to replace her umbilical cord line), so she wasn’t up for a lot of temperature change. Hopefully tomorrow will be Bryn’s kangaroo day!
So far the only visitors they’ve had are the grandparents. Per doc’s recommendations, we’ll probably keep it this way for the next week or 2, since their immune systems are still very fragile. Only mom and dad are allowed to have contact with them; gramas and grampas just get to look (we sometimes have to call in security to restrain my mom. She tries to dive into the isolettes with them at times).
When we start allowing other visitors, it will be kind of limited as far as how many can visit per week and how long they can stay. This is hard for us, because there is nothing more we want than to introduce these little creatures to all our favorite people! But we know it’s for the best, and it will happen in due time. Until then, we’ll try to keep up with the blog pics for ya.
Sara & Nick