Anthony holding his binky on his own
Jared getting a warm bath...and enjoying it
Anthony sleeping like a baby
The boys are still going strong these days. They are both eating 30 cc of breast milk every 3 hours now and are still gaining weight nicely. As of last night, Jared weighs 3 lbs. 9 oz. and Anthony weighs 3 lbs. 11 oz. Dr Kamran is happy that they have almost doubled their birth weight.
Both boys had follow up head ultrasounds yesterday to monitor the IVH (brain bleeds). We are still awaiting the results of these, but all we want to hear is that they have not gotten any worse.
They also both had complete blood workup done yesterday and all levels are within normal ranges. Anthony's hematocrit and hemoglobin (red blood cell) levels were low, but were higher than his last blood test, which means that his body is making is own blood at an adequate rate. The doctors have chosen not to give a transfusion at this time because he is not showing any signs that the low blood level is bothering him or his breathing. Dr. Kamran suspects that the same will happen with Jared. Although his hematocrit and hemoglobin levels are not low yet, they will continue to fall before his body will increase it on his own. This does not mean that both boys are out of the woods in regards to another transfusion, it just means that their body is taking over the production.
Their brady and apnic spells have continued to decrease in severity and occurrence. Even when their oxygen levels decrease, they are learning to bring it back on their own. With that said, last night Jared wanted to show Momma and Daddy that he is still capable of scaring us by bradying and needing stimulation and "blow by" oxygen to help him return to normal baby color.
Medical news out of the way, I am happy to say that Jason and I were able to be present for Jared's bath last night. After almost a week of trying to schedule it, nurse Maria was able to help us out. Both boys get bathed every two days or so (more often if there is a diaper blow out...only one so far!) but it never seems to be when we are visiting.
Most parents are able to give their babies their first bath but since we weren't able to do that this was a bigger deal for Momma and Daddy than for Jared. We (well, I) was so anxious to see one of them get a bath that it didn't matter to me if it was their first or their twentieth. And Jared did not disappoint. He was so cute and "nakey" and squirmy and cute that I could hardly stand it. I just wanted to squeeze him! We will get a proper bath demo before they come home, but this was just a quick one that the nurse did.
The boys don't have the same nurses day after day the way that they did when they were on the "more sick" side of the room. They have either nurses from other departments (pediatric or Labor and Delivery) or registry nurses. Registry nurses are from an outside staffing company that hospitals can call when they need additional help. The rotating door of nurses can become (and has) quite frustrating for parents. We feel that there is no communication between the nurses. There is no problem with the care that they give, it is just that we never know what we are going to experience when we walk in the door to visit. Some nurses like us to hold the boys during feedings, others won't allow us to get them out of the isolettes on our own while some leave everything up to us.
I brought our frustrations to the NICU Clinical Coordinator, Nurse Imelda, and she came up with a form that will be used for each shift and will let the next nurse know what we normally do and what we are comfortable doing for each of the boys. This seems to be a good tool and hopefully it will help not only us, but other NICU parents that may encounter the same situation in the future.
Thank you all, again, for your continued support through everything. We deeply appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers throughout our journey.
Fight On! Little Fighters!! - Love Momma