Hannah held her brothers for the first time today. She continues to be a big help, keeping an eye on the boys, talking to them and making sure they have their pacifiers. Hannah also has the very important job of folding-closed and throwing away the dirty diapers.
1/15/06 - Austin and Henry's Due Date
With changing tables upstairs and down loaded with diapers and supplies, Donna and Kristo are recommending the purchase of Pampers stock.
Although their weights and lengths were different on the day they were born, both measured the same length today, 18 inches. Since they were measured by different people in the delivery room on 11/8, we're thinking they were probably the same length or closer to it then too.
1/6/06 - SPRUNG!
They still choke from time to time while feeding, but Donna has become expert at helping them through those episodes and extreme choking cases were covered in the CPR class. The boys will both sleep in "danny slings" and need their mattress elevated to a 30 degree angle to help reduce their acid reflux. Kristo rigged up one crib that the boys will share until they're out of the slings.
Two of their 8 daily feedings are from a bottle so we can give mix various supplements, extra calories and Henry's medication with breast milk. We've also been instructed to add thickener to help the boys learn better swallowing.
We left the hospital with Austin and Henry today a little after 4:00pm!
Then there was the study to see how he's swallowing. There was some concern that he was aspirating milk while he's nursing. The nurse administering the test said he wasn't aspirating any milk, but another nurse who read the chart later said he was. We'll get to the bottom of this today.
Both boys had a routine eye test and neither showed any signs of eye disease. The doctor indicated that their eyes are immature, so they'll test again in a couple weeks.
Henry continues to frequently "desat" (his blood oxygen level drops). The boys have been doing this since day one (all premies do this) but Henry does it more frequently. It may be due to acid reflux. It's common among all babies to varying degrees. Henry's is severe and he's now on Prevacid for it. The medication doesn't reduce the reflux, but it makes it more tolerable. He'll outgrow this.
Austin had his hearing checked last week and it was fine. They did a carseat test on him last week as well. He desatted right away and failed the test. (Donna told them it was too early for him!) Austin has his swallow study today. More details to come.
Now known as "the big boys" in the NICU, Austin weighs 6lbs 1.7oz and Henry weighs 6lbs 0.5oz.
After nursing all day yesterday, no tube feeds until after Donna left for the day, Henry weighs 5 lbs 13oz this morning and Austin weighs 5 lbs 14oz.
The nurses are trying bottle feeding for the times when Donna isn't there to nurse in an effort to get them off their feeding tubes and more ready to come home.
Austin was moved to a crib on Thursday and his isolette was taken away.
Another step toward normalcy: the boys have begun wearing street clothes.
The nurses are working out the strategy for moving them to cribs and they've both begun to breastfeed.
Life is good!
They still have one or two apnea spells per day. Austin is a little better at resolving his on his own. Henry needs a little more help.
Kristo talked last night with one of the neonatalogists who oversaw the boys care early on. Although he doesn't work with them anymore because they're no longer "sick," he was pleased to see their progress.
"Their job now is to eat and grow," he said.
For the past couple weeks, the boys have been receiving a drug (from the same chemical family as caffeine-- woo hoo!) to stimulate their breathing and help reduce their apnea spells. They are now off that drug and the team is monitoring how they're doing without it.
Both boys now weigh 3lbs 7oz.
The doctors are talking about moving them to the "less intensive" convalescent care of the Green Team. When this happens, they'll be out of their isolettes and will be moved to the same room.
Sunday we were able to get our first pictures of the two of them together. Donna changed Henry's diaper for the first time yesterday.
Donna and Kristo held each of them today and while it upsets them a little to be moved from their isolettes, it's good for them and for mom and dad and the boys do really well with it.
Both are being fed breast milk and both are gaining weight. Henry is tracking about a day behind his brother.
Hannah visited her brothers for the first time today and thought they were pretty cute.
Donna has held both boys now and all are enjoying it.
The boys are using CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines, typically used for apnea patients, to aid in their breathing. Austin is breathing room air and Henry has a little oxygen in his mix. The nurses and doctors tell us they're typical "30-weekers" and their conditions are great.
If all continues to go well, they'll come home mid to late December.
Donna is feeling better and was up and around at the end of the day. She's coming home Friday.
Stay tuned. More details to come!
January 19, 2006
January 15, 2006
January 14, 2006
January 6, 2006
January 5, 2006
December 22, 2005
December 21, 2005
December 17, 2005
December 10, 2005
December 8, 2005 - One month old!
November 30, 2005
November 20, 2005
November 14, 2005
November 12, 2005
November 9, 2005
November 8, 2005
Austin (born first) weighed 2lbs 11oz