The babies are two weeks old today (and technically are 26 weeks gestational age) which omg, I can't BELIEVE it's been that long! Since now you now how they got here, let's see how the are...
-Can I just say again that our NICU is so so so wonderful?!? Really, I am SO pleased with 99.7% of it. There's like, two nurses that aren't my favorite people in the world but really it's more of a personality thing, they ALL take fantastic care of my babies and THAT is what matters. The respitory team we've been working with is SO good, they really take time to explain everything to me and I am SO appreciative of that. NICU stuff is scary and overwhelming and having doctors that help me know what's going on really makes a difference. Seriously, they rock so much.
-Both babies have lots of tubes and stuff that are kind of scary but I'm getting used to them. They both have two tubes in their mouths, one that is a respirator that goes into their lungs and helps them breathe, and a feeding tube that goes into their bellies. They both had artery lines in their belly buttons at first, but those had to be removed after 7 days and then they each got an artery line in their foot. Those freak me out more than anything because if they get pulled out they will bleed really fast buuuut they have them pretty secure so I just try not to think about it lol, those are used for blood transfusions and when the nurses need to take blood for tests or whatever so the babies don't have to be stuck a million times. Audrey had to have ehrs removed though (it was turning her toes blue) so now she has lots of wires attached to her with little stickies, I like that she doesn't have the line anymore but they have to prick her heel anytime they need blood now, poor baby :( They also have an IV in their arm where any medicine they get goes. On top of all that, they have a pulse monitor that is just a little wire they keep attached with a sticker and a pulse ox monitor (that measures the level of oxygen in their blood)/blood pressure monitor that either wraps around their arm or their foot and looks like the teeniest blood pressure cuff EVAR lol it's so cute. Lots and lots of tubes and stuff, they look like little bowls of spaghetti lol.
-They're both getting little bits of breastmilk in their feeding tubes! They're not getting their nutrition from it yet (they have this stuff called TNP that they get all of their calories/eletcrolites/fat from) but the breastmilk primes their digestive system for when they DO start getting real feeds plus they get all the immune system benefits and all that from it. They get 1.2CCs an hour continuously through their feeding tubes, which is way up from the .3CCs an hour they started with, so yay!
-They have specific "touch times" in the NICU when the nurses go into their beds to give meds or feed or whatever, and if I'm there they let me check their temps and change their diapers. It's so fun and it makes me feel like a real mommy for minute.
-I've gotten to Kangaroo Care (skin-to-skin) with both babies TWICE now! It's seriously a HUGE hassle to get the babies AND their vents AND all their tubes out of the beds and into my arms but it is so so SO worth it! There's all sorts of research that says it's super good for the babies and the nurses really encourage it. They have me take everything off on top and put on a hospital gown and they stick the baby down in there so we're full skin-to-skin. The babies respond really well to it and it seriously is some of the best moments of my life so far, I bawled the first time, like serious huge crocodile tears!
-He is going to be such a good baby, seriously he is SO chill! The nurses poke at him and it doesn't even phase him, the only thing he really doesn't like is getting bathed. They can't cry because of the tubes in their throats but they scrunch up their little faces and it's SO pitiful lol, he makes the saddest faces when they bathe him!
-He looks SO much like Chris already, he has Chris's nose for sure and he has really dark hair but he has tiny ears like me.
-He makes the same big moves now that he did when he was in my belly, it's so funny. He's a big stretcher and will arch his back and kick his legs all the way out and he fans his toes out and it is SO cute.
-He's peed on me TWICE!
-His "bumps" have been pretty standard preemie stuff so far (knock on wood). He's had to go under the bili lights (the blue lights they use for jaundiced babies) a couple times. The lights caused him to lose moisture too fast though, which made his sodium levels go up which gave him some blood pressure issues for a little bit, but everything has leveled out now. He was having a hard time digesting his breastmilk at first but he starting pooping lol and they gave him a medicine called Reglan to help and he's doing AWESOME with it now!
-The only other major bump he's had is that his belly button line started to mess with his circulation a little bit, and some of the toes on his left foot turned really purple. They caught it pretty quick and actually had to move his line a day early, and they have been putting some Nitrogen something cream on it and it looks SO much better.
-When he was born he weighed 1lb8oz and was 12.5 inches long. Now he weighs 1lb 15.9 oz (I MEAN WE COULDN'T ROUND THAT UP GUYS?!?) and is 13.25 inches long. He has gained EIGHT OUNCES which is HALF A POUND and grown three-quarters of an inch in TWO WEEKS! My big boy!
-She is affectionatly known as "Sassy" around the NICU lol. When the nurses do her touch time she HATES it and she lets them know... she'll scrunch up her face and kick and wave her arms around and when she gets really mad she'll desat (short for "desaturation", when the amount of oxygen in her blood drops) and then she'll bring herself right back up... desats aren't funny but it IS kind of funny when she does it to the nurses.
-She looks a lot like my mom's side of the family. She has exact copies of my feet and she has my nose, but her hair looks pretty light for now.
-Girl is a wiggle worm! even when she is sound asleep she never stops moving. And she's gotten the hiccups a couple times which is funny to me because she was always the one that got them in my belly.
-Her eyes are open!!! Both babies had fused eyelids when they were born, and she opened hers on the 3rd. They're still kind of squinty and she's still so immature that the lights bother her, but she is SO CUTE omg.
-Her bumps have all been standard preemie stuff too... She needed the bili lights like Grayson, she had some trouble digesting breastmilk at first but got the Reglan and it helped.
-She had one bump though that, although everyone assured me it was a totally normal thing that happens, was TERRIFYING to watch... I had been holding her, and when the nurses took her from me to put her back in the bed all of a sudden all her vitals went wonky and all these alarms started going off. She started turning gray (WHICH OMG YOU GUYS) so they unhooked the ventilator tube and used the bag which helped but she still wasn't where she needed to be, so they called in the respitory therapist (there's always one on call there) and she said it looked like a problem with her tube so they had to pull out her breathing tube and reintubate her AND OMG IT WAS SO SCARY. Apparently what happened was they all have some junk in their lungs (because all they do is lay flat, and they can't cough or anything) and when the nurses moved her, some of the junk got knocked loose and got lodged in her breathing tube, which blocked it and made it hard for her to breathe. They all assured me it happens to almost every baby (as I'm standing there sobbing, in jeans and a hospital gown with my boobs leaking everywhere... I'm sure it was a sight to see) but seriously? One of the scariest moments OF MY LIFE. Once she got her new tube in though she was totally fine, slept the rest of the afternoon and didn't even desat. Like I said, Sassy!
-She was born at 1lb5oz and 12.25 inches. Now she weighs 1lb12oz and is right at 13 inches long. She's gained SEVEN OUNCES and three-quarters of an inch in TWO WEEKS! She's tinier than her brother but she's holding her own!
-Can I start by saying that I am so so SO thankful I didn't get the epidural? And even MORE thankful I didn't have to have a c-section? My recovery has seriously been SO easy. I was up and walking like, 30 minutes after giving birth. I didn't have any tearing or anything (um, bright side of having super tiny babies?) and my bleeding has almost completely stopped already.
-Im only 5 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight already. I guess everyone was right when they told me I was "all baby"? Things have kind of rearranged though, I definitley have more of a pooch on my belly than before. I can get in my pre-preg fat jeans already but not all my pants. I'm ready for the next four weeks to go by so I can get back in the gym!
-Obviously I can't breastfeed at the moment (which is kind of sad for me because I was REALLY looking forward to it) BUT like I mentioned, they do have me pumping. And pump I do, I'm like a freaking machine lol. I have a love/hate relationship with it... I LOVE that it's something I can do for my babies, it makes me feel not so helpless but OMG pumping itself suuuuuucks lol. For the first month I have to do it EVERY. TWO. HOURS. All day. All night. And I know I'd be waking up like that with newborns too but, uh, my pump is not near as cute as my babies. I feel very farm animal-ish. BUT like I said, it's FOR my babies and I would seriously walk barefoot to the moon for them, pumping is the least I can do.
-I got the baby blues pretty bad for a couple days, but I don't know if it was all hormones or a combination of that and just the stress of everything. I feel a lot better now for the most part, I still have moments where it all gets really overwhelming but I don't think that's going to go away.
Whew, that was a LOT. I'm so proud of my babies!