Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hitting Milestones

September 8:
Unfortunately, due to the way they calculate the boys “corrected age,” they lost 6 days. (Crystal was 31 6/7 when she delivered, so the boys were considered 31 and 0/7 weeks old when they were born). The neonatologists have specific corrected ages when they will let the babies attempt various things, including attempting to eat on their own. The boys have been very awake during their care times. This is one requirement for beginning to have them eat, rather than have them be fed through their feeding tube. They won’t let the boys even attempt to take a bottle until next week which really stinks, but Crystal was allowed to do non-nutritive nursing with the boys today. Crystal worked all day with the boys on this, but they are definitely still developing their sucking reflex.

September 9:
Today was Daddy’s birthday. The boys’ night nurse, Nurse Jillian, made a footprint card for daddy from the boys. It is great. We have been pushing to try to get Dane off the nasal cannula and today the nurse got the okay to attempt it. He was off it for about 30 minutes, but started to have oxygen saturation issues again and had to go back on it. We really can’t wait for him to get off of it.

Our nurse taught Crystal how to do kangaroo care today. Kangaroo care is something that has been proven to help babies grow and also helps with a mom’s milk supply. Basically, it is skin to skin contact with the boys in their diaper lying on mom. It was great for Crystal to get some good snuggle time with the boys and a nice nap in during the day.

September 10:
The lactation consultants came up today to see how Crystal was doing with the boys and all the fun that comes with breastfeeding preemies. She was amazed at how well they were doing for their age. She also gave Crystal some pointers on how to get more consecutive hours of sleep at night.

September 11:
Today was a long day because Kenny had to close. On these days, we still head up to the hospital at 8 a.m. so that Kenny can get some time with the boys. This allows him to be a part of each of their care times twice. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get back to the hospital to pick Crystal up until around 9:30 and we usually don’t leave until 10 by the time we pack up and get going.
Today was a monumental day for progress for the boys, though. Nyle’s cord fell off and Dane came off the nasal cannula and stayed off of it.
Here’s a picture of him without the nasal cannula.

With the nasal cannula off, Dane’s feeding tube can now be put into his nose to help him with learning to eat with his mouth.
The boys are slowly losing everything that is attached to them (temperature monitors, breathing assistance, oxygen saturation monitor, etc.). The more they can get rid of, the more quickly we should be able to head home!!!

September 12:
Today was another long day because Kenny closed. Crystal has been really tired for the past few days and not eating enough. Since she’s supposed to be eating more calories now than when she was pregnant, she is going to focus on herself a little more today. She’s going to try to get some sleep and make sure she is eating enough. To do this, she is going to attempt the non-nutritive nursing a little less frequently.

The boys are hitting some big milestones and getting us closer and closer to going home. We came into the boys room this morning to see Dane in an open air crib!!!!! How exciting.
Here’s a shot of what we saw first thing this morning.

We had other milestones too. Dane’s cord fell off during the night. Nyle finishes his feeding protocol today, so we will see how his feedings will change. Dane should finish his protocol tomorrow. Yeah!! Nyle’s IV is also coming out today. They will leave it in his foot still, in case his blood sugar goes out of whack, but will disconnect all the tubing, etc. Dane’s should do the same tomorrow. Nyle will begin getting his caffiene through his feeding tube instead of through his IV. If Dane continues to do well with his oxygen levels, his feeding tube will move to his nose tonight to make nursing much easier. Nyle’s feeding tube was moved today and he had a rough time of it. You’d fight having something, even that small, shoved down your nose into your belly. We are getting closer to home every day.

September 13th:
We came to the hospital today to discover that Nyle’s IV was completely removed overnight.
With the IV out, Nyle can finally wear some of the adorable sleepers that Grandpa Hardesty got for him.

Dane’s IV came out today. They took it out immediately because he had never had any issues with his blood sugar. Nyle hadn’t either, but many times, the boys get treated differently depending on which doctor is doing rounds that day.

September 14:
Today was quite eventful for the boys. Nurse Jan took the time today to teach Crystal how to give the boys a bath. Getting them in and out of their beds and doing their care times is much easier since they no longer have their IVs, but they still have their heart and breathing leads on. It is quite an event to do their baths because the tub has to be brought into the room as well as a heat lamp to keep them warm. This is especially important now that Dane is in an open air crib. Nyle is still in the isolette, so he gets some help with staying warm. Crystal and Jan gave Dane a bath first. Crystal made the mistake of getting Dane naked, then testing the water temperature and touching Dane’s naked bottom with her warm hand. He peed all over her. His bath went well and he enjoyed it. He didn’t like coming out and being cold, but warmed up pretty quickly after getting dressed again and covered up with a blanket. Crystal gave Nyle his first bath at his next care time. That went really well too and Nyle really liked the warm water. He handled the cold air pretty well, but definitely liked being wrapped up afterwards. Baths have to be done before they eat or they will get sick, and it really wears them out, so the nurses discouraged any nursing attempts. We just pushed the boys’ food through their tubes and Crystal held them while they ate. Because we had to work so quickly for these baths, we weren’t able to get any pictures, but we’ll have our memories.

September 15:
Nyle got moved to crib today, finally!!

Now the boys only have to be eating on their own to go home!!! We attempted nutritive nursing today, but didn’t have any luck. Any amount of milk the boys might get through nursing has to be taken into consideration, so before nursing them, Crystal has to weigh them, feed them, then weigh them again. The difference in weight in grams is then subtracted from the rest of their feeding. Neither boy was getting any milk today, but they are still getting the hang of things.