And the saga of Charlie’s arm continues.
Today he grew a pimple on his arm, just above the bend of the elbow. A pimple is technically a small skin infection, and since there’s no such thing as a “small” infection in a two-pound baby, Dr. Hiatt called in a skin surgeon for a consult. The surgeon came in and “operated” by slicing the pimple open, draining it, and putting some balm over it. They sent the contents off for testing, but so far there’s no sign that it was anything to be worried about. Dr. Hiatt gave us the impression that it was (just like almost everything else) precautionary.
Charlie is still on the respirator and will remain so for at least another week. They want to take things slowly with him since he seems to be quite lazy and unwilling to breathe on his own. His feeding is up to 4 ml now, which is only going to help him grow. He’s weighing in now at 920 grams as of late last night.
Lily took a bit of a step backwards today and is now back on the respirator (you can see from this pic of her on the left that she's tired of all the drama). If you’ve been reading the blog recently, you know she’s been having a lot of trouble these last few days. She was struggling today, and Dr. Hiatt finally decided that she was too tired to continue on her own. She’s worked hard since pulling out her original respirator tubes and she’s just too small to be expected to breathe for long periods of time. So the goal now is to give her time to grow and then try again. To that end, they’ve upped her feedings to 3 ml every three hours, and that should help her put on the pounds (or grams). The good news for Lily today is that it sounds like her murmur is shrinking on its own. It’s not gone but it is definitely a change for the better.
Annaleigh has had fourth strong day in a row. She was the one we were the most concerned about for a long time, and now she is the most stable. The only issue with her is her digestion. She’s having a hard time processing her meals. Basically, each baby gets a small amount of breast milk injected into their feeding tube every three hours. Before they inject the new milk, the nurses “suck out” the contents of the belly from the previous meal by using a syringe on top of the feeding tube. If there’s anything in the syringe it means that the baby isn’t digesting as it should. In Annaleigh’s case, there have been a number of feedings in which some or all of the previous meal has come back up the syringe. So they skipped her six o’clock feeding tonight to give her some extra time to process everything, and fed her as scheduled (2 ml) at nine o’clock. We’ll know before the midnight feeding if she was able to digest her last meal.
Despite her digestion issues, there was a beautiful milestone for Annaleigh today. During our morning visit, we got to hold her for about 45 minutes. We’ve held Charlie twice and Annaleigh once before (not yet for Lily), so we were happy to get our hands on her today. But what made it even more special is that –finally—she opened her eyes! Well, I should say that she opened one eye, and only about half way. But she did it while she was in Brooke’s arms, so the first thing she saw was her mommy’s loving face smiling down at her. It was enough to make even me get a little emotional. As of 9:15 or so tonight, she still hasn’t opened that other eye. (You can see from the above picture that her left eye is still fused shut.) Hopefully tomorrow….
The other notable event today was our conversation with Dr. Hiatt. It’s been hard for us lately because we’re so run down and so concerned for our babies, and we are caught up in every little change. From Charlie’s arm to Lily’s breathing to Annaleigh’s belly, it seems like there is always something to be terrified about. But Dr. Hiatt put it all in perspective today. He said to us, “If I had a crystal ball on the day they were born and could see 18 days into their future, I would be very happy with where they all are today.” So despite all the worry, that made us feel pretty good. We’re always going to be concerned about every little thing, but that made us feel a lot better.