Monday, September 29, 2008

Continuing to Improve!

It seems like every time we go see the boys, we hear nothing but good news. And believe me, I'm not complaining!!!

Yesterday, when we went to see the boys in time for their 11:00 am feeding, their doctor was there. It was the first time I had seen him since the boys were born. He said that the twins are doing amazing. Their feedings are now being increased by 2 ml every 12 hours, instead of just 1 ml and they are currently receiving 18 ml total every 3 hours. A full feeding is 28 ml, which they should reach by their 11 pm feeding on Wednesday!

What is really exciting about that is it means that they can then be taken off of their IV that is providing them with a mixture to supplement their feedings. If they weren't handling their increased feedings as well as they are, they would have to have a pic line (a deeper IV that doesn't get infected as easily as a regular IV) put in, which is a lot more invasive. But as it is, they should be able to skip the pic line completely. Once they are off the IV, they will then only have their feeding tubes down their noses and the wires that are keeping track of heartbeats, oxygen levels, and respiratory rates.

According to the doctor, at that at point, the only thing keeping the boys in NICU will be gaining weight and learning how to feed. Right now they don't have the ability to suck, breathe, and swallow at the same time, which is necessary for being able to feed without drowning themselves. But that instinct should kick in somewhere around 34-35 weeks...the boys are now 31 weeks 4 days. By the way, in case that was confusing, preemies are still referred to by their gestational age instead of by the amount of time since they were born. So while they are 1 week 1 day old, all of their doctors and nurses refer to them as being 31 weeks.

Speaking of feeding, I think Levi is going to develop that instinct sooner than Asher. When I was holding Levi night before last, I felt him doing something really strange against my neck. When I looked in the mirror that they provide, I saw that he was opening his mouth, pressing his mouth against my skin, and then closing his mouth, over and over again. I showed the nurse and she said that it is his rooting instinct kicking in...he is able to smell me and was attempting to latch on to feed. Sorry kiddo, that's going to have to wait for a few weeks. But way to go!

Last night Nathan drove back to Baker so he could meet with his boss this morning to set up his computer and such for working from Boise. So this morning I walked to the hospital for the first time. It is only a block away from the Ronald McDonald house, and it felt great to get outside! I got there in time to give Asher a bath for the first time, which was a little nerve wracking, but a ton of fun. He didn't fuss as much as I expected him to. I'll be going back at 5:00 to give Levi his bath and then both Nathan and I will go in time for their 8:00 feeding and will get to hold the boys again.

Asher is continuing to have his Brady episodes, but he is also continuing to pull himself out of them without stimulation within about 3 seconds, which is really good. He'll eventually grow out of them, possibly in the next couple of weeks. Their nurse today said that Asher has gained around 2 oz since yesterday and Levi has gained about the same amount...the doctor had their charts, so she couldn't look up the exact amounts. But they're gaining weight!!! YAY!

The boys have started keeping their eyes open longer after being fed and having their diapers changed, which just makes me giddy! I can't get enough of looking directly into those tiny eyes and knowing that these are the most perfect boys ever! It takes my breath away and I fall more and more in love with them every day.

I did take a couple of photos of them this morning, but Nathan has our laptop so I can't edit them and upload them until he gets back. So you'll just have to be patient!

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