The babies will be 4 weeks old tomorrow! Wow, amazing how time has flown! Right now feels like the middle of a long race. The kids are not at the beginning of their NICU experience with lots of uncertains and new obstacles ahead, but we are not at the point where we can see the end in sight, either. Each day I go in to the NICU room, the babies seem to be "status quo". We just keep "running the race"...
|Lauren saying "hi"|
|Hannah snoozing when she was off CPAP. Pretty face!|
Unfortunately, all are back on CPAP. Boo! Tyler and Hannah went back on it a few days after my last posting. They are all mostly breathing room air (21% oxygen) and all are "close" to going off CPAP, but not quite there yet. They still have too many "alarms" and bradycardia's right now (a slow heart rate, usually after a short time of not breathing). While this is normal for preemies, it is not safe to take them off CPAP too soon. All are tolerating good sized feeds & growing well. They are 32 weeks gestation now, which means that once they are off CPAP we can start introducing bottles and breast. I have heard this next phase will be somewhat frustrating as kids often go 4 steps forward one day and 5 steps back the next. Good to know...! (but can't wait to be there, either!!)
|Such tiny little precious babies...|
|Tanner getting some serious zzzzz's|
|Tyler throwing up his hands in frustration of having to get the CPAP contraption on his face & in his nostrils again|
This is why it takes so long: it takes about 45 minutes to go from my home to inside the hospital room. Each baby is on a 3-hour care schedule, the girls and the boys an hour different (boys 8, 11, 2, & 5 o'clock; girls 9, 12, 3, & 6 o'clock). Because their little bodies and sensory systems are so underdeveloped, I need to plan a holding time around the care times to make as little fuss for their bodies as possible. Then, once I have the nurse help me get the baby untangled from all the wires and in a holding position in one of the NICU recliners, I hold skin-to-skin for at least an hour (recommended time by NICU & loved by mom). Then, I need help from the nurse to put the baby back (really to hold the CPAP tubes so it doesn't jam up their nose!). We share a room with 2 other babies, and if they are caring for another baby I need to wait patiently until my nurse is available. I also like to care for the other babies if I can (I love changing their diapers and tending to their needs!). With 4 babies, it just takes way more time! Finally, I like to say "good bye" to the babies before I leave. So this whole process typically takes at least 3 hours. Jenna can't sustain being there that long (can't blame her!) and the babies are too fragile to allow her to hold them yet, so it is a balance act. One I don't feel too good at yet!
|Daddy checking in on Tanner|
|Daddy saying "hi" to Lauren. See her tiny little hand? All kids are still in covered isolettes until they can regulate their body temperature.|
To end this post, I have something that just makes me laugh. It is a drawing I made when I was 8 years old and my mom saved in my baby book. It must have been from school, the topic being what you want to be when you grow up. Apparently when I grow up I will have lovely long yellow hair. I list many potential future occupations, some very interesting (labeled #1, 2, 3 & 4). Look at my #1 choice---"First I want to be a mommy."
Look carefully at the picture I drew: is that a 5-child bunk bed, with an older child at the top and 4 babies below? I think so!!!!!!
God knows the desires of our hearts... LOL!