Gestational Age= 28 weeks 2 days
[Warning: no pictures to post for this one]
Astro and Slugger are 2 weeks old. Thank goodness, time isn't flying by but the days do go by without much restraint. The pressure of trying to pump breast milk (I'm so sorry, that's so TMI, won't mention it again I promise) every three hours, trying to clean and ready the house slow inch by inch, now trying to think of registering for baby items which means I have to sort through what people have already donated and figure out what we need, and spending a few hours at the least at the NICU every day. We're exhausted and the babies aren't even home yet. Hmmm, kind of thought I would be sleeping more considering our babies are in an expensive, 24 hour daycare of some sorts. Agh, well, today's agenda includes a trip to Baby's R Us.
She weighed in at 1 lb 15 oz yesterday.
Her birth weight was 1 lb 12 oz.
She now exceeds her birth weight and is almost 2 lb. We're so excited to see an upward trend in their weights. We were talking about weight gain and a friend asked "oh, they're gaining weight. How much? Like a pound?" We told that to the NICU nurses and they had a laugh. At this age, we're fighting for grams. 10-20 grams here and there. 30 grams equals an ounce. Allison has been doing pretty good since her blood transfusion this past weekend. She only had one episode of desat yesterday. Her oxygen saturation levels do dip down below the ideal range, but usually by just a few points and she slowly brings it up. The nurses assure us it's normal and that she's actually just on the edges usually so it's good for her to bring herself back into normal range on her own. But, my blood pressure must be 30 points higher.
She hadn't cried in a while, I think the anemia made her tired. With her fresh supply of red blood cells, she's more herself. Which means she cries. When other babies in the room cry, she'll cry. When she's being moved around, she cries. I love the sound because I know she's with us and she's voicing herself. Which is so awesome because her Hawaiian name comes from the scripture "He rejoices over me with singing." She's singing too. She also loves sucking on a pacifier although she can't coordinate keeping it in so she only sucks on it for a few seconds at a time and then she spits it out.
Casey is weighing in at 2 lb. 2 oz.
Her birth weight is around there...Sorry, bad mom, I'll have to look for it.
She's doing pretty amazing. They're on the Si-Pap which constantly blows air into their lungs and also blows at a higher pressure 20 times a minute to aid in inhaling. Casey is usually on 21% oxygen which is the same as the air we breathe. She just needs a little more oxygen when she's stressed and usually not for very long. They have also turned down the assistance from 20 times a minute to 15 times a minute to see if she can adjust to breathing with less assistance. She's been a trouper. Yesterday, she started acting up with more episodes of oxygen desaturation. They told me she was also looking a little paler so they suspected she might be low on red blood cells. She may have looked a little whiter than Astro, but hey, I'm white. I figure it's genetic.
They ran her blood samples yesterday and her red blood cells were very low. So, like her sister, Casey had her turn with a blood transfusion. My little twilight girls need blood. I'm amazed though, that with such a low count of oxygen-carrying blood cells, she was doing so good with breathing and oxygen levels. Basically, she was anemic and must have felt real sluggish but she still worked hard to get that oxygen flowing. So, the doctors say the blood transfusion will help her feel a lot better and she won't have to work quite so hard. I visited her last night and she already seemed stronger. She gripped my thumb so hard. And I think she made a sound, the first time I heard her. She still sleeps non-stop so haven't seen her eyes. All their nurses have all discovered the same thing, both girls like to sleep on their stomachs. They both do much better in breathing when they're on their tummies.
Thanks for letting us share and for supporting us in prayer and emails and phone calls. This week we had to start arrangements for Rory. It was tough but we got through it. It was somber to see her vitals record with "never been married" checked off. It just hit home that she never got to live a life, never got to go to prom, or graduate from high school, have sleepovers, fall in love, get married. I had to sign that sheet through a haze of tears. That was probably the hardest part for me. I have to remember that she gets to live a life in heaven that will far exceed anything I could have given her here on earth.
Someone read that the babies receive blood transfusions and asked if they could donate blood to the girls. The girls receive blood from the Blood Bank. In order to minimize risk, they'll only use one donor for each girl. So, although you can't donate blood directly to the girls, it would still be amazing if you donated blood to the Bank. I always knew it was important and that each donation saves three lives, but now that two of those lives are my daughters...I'm indebted to anyone who has ever walked into the blood bank and given such a gift. Both our girls are B+ but they're receiving O+ blood. Please make a donation in honor of our girls.
Yesterday, I noticed a rash on my arm. We suspect it's from the plastic wrist bands we have to wear, but we can't take chances. So, I'm not touching the babies and watching the bumps for the next few days. What a step back for me. We were making an effort to kangaroo every day with the babies because it's benefical for them. And bonding for us.
-Rash on my arm clears up FAST
-That Casey's blood transfusion makes everything easier
-MORE weight gain
-faster recovery for both girls when they have desats
-they've both reached or surpassed their birth weight
-they're taking larger feedings (Astro is at 6 mL of milk every 3 hrs, Slugger is at 8 mL every 3 hrs) and having no problem with the feedings
-today, their isolettes will no longer be humidity controlled because their skin is tough enough to not dry out
-I can finallly drive-Freedom!!!