When we first joined the NICU family we knew there would be ups and downs in their progress. At the time, I didn’t realize they meant that literally. In Pod B, the Stream boys are known as “The Swing Boys” and “The Dueling Desatters.”
Their oxygen saturation levels continue to bounce up and down. Sometimes we think it may just be to keep their nurses on their toes. The monitors track their heart rate, breathing rate and the aforementioned saturation levels – when levels fall below a set number, an alarm starts beeping. (We may have to find a recording of obnoxious beeping to soothe the boys once they come home.)
Time seems to stretch out as their corrected gestational age closes in on the point where they would no longer need an extended NICU stay. And since Search and Destroy are doing well, we are breathlessly awaiting the time when they come home. (Medical opinion is still placing bets on Search to precede his brother.)
Today, we saw what the light at the end of the tunnel looks like. M, the little girl across the pod, went home today. Born in March at a tiny two pounds, she proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was a fighter. On several occasions her mother reminded us to never lose hope – if her little girl could make it, so would ours. And no matter how far away the time seems, someday soon they’d all be home.
M would often sit near the boys crib, charting with the nurses. Sometimes she’d eat her bottle while our boys attempted the new technique of sucking and swallowing. Being the great flirts that they are, the nurses referred to her as the boys’ girlfriend. In that sense, we were sad to see her go. But in the grander scheme – we’re thrilled she’s gone. There will be plenty of older women in their lives…
Seeing our friend depart reminds me that our family is not too far off from being together. Search and Destroy have grown so much already. They’ve doubled their birth weight and are now a giant four pounds each.
This evening the doctor decided they were growing so well, that their calories have been decreased. (We want chubby babies, but the doctor is concerned about the potential for not-as-cute fat toddlers.) Although the boys are on a steady diet of mom’s milk, it’s mixed with human milk fortifier to fatten up babies. It also makes them constipated. So they spend a majority of their days trying to poop.
We’re hoping that the slow decrease of sludge will help relieve their tummies and as a consequence release pressure from their diaphragm, allowing them to maintain a steady oxygen saturation level. This will make for a very much less paranoid mommy.
As a start, Search was relieved of his nasal cannula today. He is no longer receiving any oxygen assistance; breathing is all up to him. So far, so good – here’s hoping he keeps it up! It’s amazing how much cuter he is without giant tubes in his nose.
Keep your eyes peeled – sometime, not too long from now – there should be a post that someone’s coming home.