Our baby boys aren’t so little anymore. Today’s NICU update revealed that the muppets are six pounds.
I shall repeat that.
Our tubby little muppets are six pounds. I actually asked one of their doctors if they were getting a bit swollen – water retention perhaps. “No,” came the reply. “They’re just fat.”
Two and a half months ago, I was lying in a hospital bed praying for chubby babies. Two pounds sounded huge for 27-weekers. Search and Destroy have tripled in size. Instead of purple little aliens, we have the cutest babies in the NICU. (I may be biased.) Even the nurses and doctors continuously stop by the boys crib to comment on how big they’ve grown.
Today also marks 37 weeks as the twins’ corrected gestational age. They are officially full term babies. And that means they could possibly be home soon. We’re getting close – so very close.
Our oh-so-talented muppets are also just about three for three on NICU graduation criteria.
Regulate your own temperature.
Easy-peasy. They’ve been chillin’ at a brilliantly self-regulated 98.6 (give or take a degree) since the end of June when they hit a mere three pounds.
Breathe all by yourself.
Neither muppet has a nasal cannula any longer – or any other breathing assistance apparatus. They still swing a bit when it comes to their oxygen saturation levels, but those swings are at much higher percentages. There are no more real apnea or bradycardia episodes occurring; the only issues take place occasionally during feedings. The doctor noted that they are not as concerned with minor de-saturations that occur during meals because we know precisely why they’re happening – a large nipple is stuck in the boys mouths. (Plus, they’re still breathing. Current episodes just involve shallow breathing.)
Today we were told they just want to watch for a couple more days. We’re talking homecoming dates in days now!
Eat all your food.
This requirement sounds like something I’ll be dealing with for many years as a parent. “Eat the rest of your dinner, Search.” “Just a few more bites please, Destroy.”
Destroy is a rock star in this arena. Both kids are now on the “discharge diet.” This consists of straight breast milk with two servings of higher calorie formula per day. Yesterday, Destroy woke up at 9:30 a.m. for his 10 a.m. breakfast date. A nurse in our pod let the boys nurse know that I’d be in soon to give Destroy his bottle. By 9:45 a.m., Destroy was screaming so loud that the nurses were begging someone to just hurry up and feed the child. Today, Destroy drank his milk so quickly and expressed great displeasure with me when I took the bottle away. Since he was still making overt mouthing motions, I tried giving him his pluggie. That was spit out right quick with a look that clearly stated, “There is no milk in that piece of plastic, Mom.”
Search is doing well too, he’s just not quite as interested as his brother. His culinary disinterest is what puts him a couple days behind his brother in terms of release dates.
Our next step is “rooming in.” We’ll spend a day or night in a hospital hotel room (yay, spending more time in the hospital). The boys will not have any monitors or medical staff hovering around. It will be just up to us to parent them – but that non-hovering medical staff will be right there should we need them (or panic and think we need them).
We’re hoping that we’ll have a baby home by the end of the week. Eat, breathe and stay regulated boys!