Big News: Annaleigh is breathing on her own! No respirators, no CPAP, no nasal cannulas... just Annaleigh!
We knew Annaleigh's time on the breathing aids was limited and when we arrived for our morning visit, her nurse told us that Dr. Hiatt wanted to try her with nothing but room air tomorrow. But while I was holding her, he came over for a chat and decided to give her a try right then. So the nurse unhooked everything, and as of 10:00 this evening she's still breathing perfectly with no help whatsoever! This is great that her lungs are strong enough to do the work on their own, but Brooke and I are even happier because we get to see her beautiful face all the time now. (The picture here was taken before the cannula came off.)
But the pooping... oh, the pooping! Annaleigh has managed to create a stink that has (until just yesterday) gone undiscovered by human olfactory senses. And the frequency with which she poops would make even the most regular of us look backed up. But the most amazing thing about Annaleigh's raunchy stink is the fact that today she managed to teach that stink to Lily! Brooke opened up the Bug's isolette to change her and BAM! she was punched in the face by the stink. It was like the opening of Pandora's Box-- the world now knows the meaning of evil smells. Who would have guessed the the boy was the least stinky of the bunch?
On a more serious note, Annanleigh actually lost weight today, which is somewhat worrisome. If Charlie or Lily had lost, it wouldn't have been such a big deal because they're much bigger and more consistently gaining; Annaleigh has had issues even maintaining her weight so now losing isn't a good thing. We were told that breathing independent of help is a lot of work for a baby so they burn a lot of calories, so we're hoping it's nothing more than that.
Lily, however, is up another 45 grams (to 1565, or 3 lb 7oz). She goes on the nasal cannula when she's out for visits but will be on the CPAP regularly for a few more days at least. She was wide awake during her time in Brooke's arms this morning and we were marveling about just how different she looks now then she did a month or so ago. I have been carrying Lily's first tiny purple hat from her first few weeks in my pocket with me since she outgrew it and we were looking at it this morning. She was all skin and bones for the first month or so and this last month she's put on so much weight that she looks like a different baby. If you go back and look at her pictures from early on and then look at her pictures now you would never guess she was the same baby. We couldn't be more proud of how she's fattening up!
And when it comes to being chubby, Charlie is no slouch. While he hasn't been weighed yet today as of this post, just looking at his face reveals how big he's getting. And since he's been doing so well with his four-hour rotation on/off the nasal cannula, Dr. Hiatt decided to let him try it more permanently... and so far, he's doing great! It's been since mid-afternoon that he last was on CPAP and since then he hasn't had a single episode. If this keeps up, he's going to challenge his sisters to be the first home.
During her evening visit (with her mom and Nana), Brooke learned how to give the babies their sponge baths! She practiced her first bath on Annaleigh, who was a fairly willing test subject. Tomorrow, the nurse promised to teach Brooke how to suction the babies noses-- the fun never stops at the NICU!
Outside the NICU it was another busy day. We spent some time test-driving some more cars and we may have found a surprise winner: the Honda Pilot! We had just driven a Town and Country and it was nice but not blowing us away. As we were leaving, the salesmen mentioned that they had an older Pilot that was in our price range. We had previously thought that it would be too small and not fit the three car seats, but after a careful re-examining, we think we may be wrong. We're planning on bringing the car seats to the dealer tomorrow and trying it out, and if it fits, we may have found our car.
After the car shopping, we rushed home and then right back out to Delaware Valley Pediatrics where we took a tour to see if we wanted to use them as our baby doctors. We've gotten some good recommendations about them and we liked what we saw at the office (and they're pretty close to home), so I think we'll be seeing a lot of them.
And that is that. It looks like another busy day tomorrow, but if it's as good as today was we won't have any complaints.
Just for kicks, I took a picture of our freezer today. These two-ounce bottles of breast milk have taken over our freezer. We now keep our meats salted and cured and hanging from a tether in the back yard.