Annaleigh is breathing on her own. She’s on CPAP, which basically means she’s getting extra oxygen (just like her brother and sister). She does, however, have apnea, but the doctor (a great guy named Mark Hiatt) says that 95% of all premature babies have apnea… so not a huge worry there. But it’s somewhat impossible to not worry when I’ve actually seen my day-old daughter stop breathing three different times. But each time, all it takes is a very simple nudge on the foot or knee from a nurse and she starts breathing again.
Both Lily and Charlie have been on respirators all day. The Nurse Practitioner in charge of the NICU says that Charlie may be able to come off later tonight, and Lily can come off tomorrow—this is, of course, assuming that they both stay strong and on the same path as they are now.
All three babies have been given caffeine, which stimulates the breathing reflex. All three are under extra special lighting to help fight off jaundice, and they’re all getting “misted” to provide extra moisture for their very sensitive skin. They’re each being kept on soft bedding and surrounded by what looks like plastic wrap. The purpose of the wrap is to keep their heat in to help regulate their temperatures. To that end, they’re also being baked under some pretty serious lighting. A monitor attached to their skin tells the lights how hot it needs to get.
The doctor made it clear that our babies look good for their gestation, but we are by no means out of the woods. He said that it’s a complete myth that the first 24/48/72 hours are the hardest. He said that there is no “safe point” but if there were it isn’t for at least three weeks to a month from now. And he also made it clear that things could change for the worse at any minute. All the organs of the body are too small, but the babies are 15 weeks early so it’s to be expected. We just need to hope that the following days are all as positive as today, and they’ll pull through.
Brooke is doing well post c-section. She stayed in bed all and she’s been on fluids. Around 7:00 or so, she decided she was ready to try sitting up, but that experiment didn’t go so well. She got very light-headed and started to pass out. With the help of two nurses, we got her back into bed, where she’s currently soundly sleeping. She wanted to sit up because sitting up means she’d be strong enough to get into a wheelchair and go see the babies, but that hasn’t been in the cards just yet. Thankfully, the NICU welcomes the parents any time of day, so if she wakes up and feels stronger, maybe we can get her into a wheelchair to go for a visit. Right now, she’s projecting to go home sometime on Wednesday.
On the subject of going home, we expect it to be a long, long time before the babies can come home. The doctors say they have to be around five pounds and breathing and eating on their own before they’ll be discharged, and that will most likely be around the time of their actual due date, which is early October. That seems like a decade from now, but if it means that they’re healthy, we will gladly wait.
It’s going to be a long road (hopefully), and we’ve got a lot of battles ahead of us, but these babies are getting the best possible care at the best possible place, so we’re confident that we’ll have a big party in the fall for everyone to come and meet them when they get home!
PS: Sorry for only posting a few pictures but the internet connection is extremely slow here; it literally takes 20 minutes to upload each photo. I’ve got a few more on my facebook page for anyone that wants to see but isn’t already my friend (I’m “Joe A Dig”).