(Disclaimer: Despite the current surge in bloodsucker popularity, I do not have vampire children. I just thought the â€œLittle Shop of Horrorsâ€ theme fit this post.)
The boys are tolerating increased amounts of milk very well. Fingers crossed that they continue to do so well. I just knew my children were perfect! Now that they are at the ripe old age of over one week old, their doctors are increasing the amount of milk they eat by 2ml every three hours. Tonight, they receive their last dose of IV nutrients â€“ TPN and lipids. Yum, fat!
I know that feeding is the next hurdle our little preemies are challenged with. The nurses again noted the two steps forward, one step back concept. It all depends on the strength of their tummies and performance of their insides.
Rumor has it, once theyâ€™ve reached the top level (20ml) â€“ and continue to tolerate it â€“ that is when they start to get big and strong, fast! Naturally, both Search and Destroy already proved how strong and determined they are (stubborn â€“ just like mom). But there really is no decent debate to legitimately argue theyâ€™re big. Letâ€™s face it â€“ two pounds is just tiny. (Even if you are reading this at 6â€™5â€ boys.)
Iâ€™m really looking forward to the getting chubby phase of development. Ideally, increase in weight and size correlates directly with outgrowing apnea and bradycardia. At that time, Search and Destroy will start co-bedding as well. Theyâ€™ll get a real crib to share â€“ instead of their current incubators. I can only imagine they miss each other. Born so early, they were rudely ripped away from both mommy and each other. I have no doubt being together again will make them thrive â€“ right after Search gets in another kick to his brotherâ€™s headâ€¦
Until then, we visit the boys every day. We indulge in Kangaroo Kare, which both of the boys seem to truly love. We talk to them, telling them about daily events and occurrences outside the NICU bubble. Today it was a gorgeous 85 degree spring day â€“ I described a future where I can see Jon and me playing catch with the boys in our backyard while the dogs run amuck on just such a day. (Well, maybe not with the dogs. Cooperâ€™s likely faster than Search or Destroy will be at a young toddler age and he fancies himself the catch champion in the Stream household.)
And Jon and I talk to each other. Often we just repeat what weâ€™ve just heard as we head home for a few brief hours. Sometimes we try and analyze the non-verbal cues from the dayâ€™s debrief (yes, just like a pair of teenage girls). And when only one of us can make it to a particular visit, obviously we pass along the updates.
The hot topic du jour is pooping. Pooping means theyâ€™re processing their food and their insides are working. A typical dinner conversation will, in fact, include the question, â€œDid he poop today?â€ For those inquiring minds, both boys are pooping well â€“ Destroy is doing so well, heâ€™s been upgraded to size 2 diapers. They are about the same size as Destroy, but they hold more poop.
Even if they are still so so tiny, I can tell theyâ€™re growing every day. Search is already up over his birth weight and Destroy isnâ€™t far off from his. Today, I kissed Destroyâ€™s little nose and noticed tiny little freckles I havenâ€™t seen before â€“ freckles just like his daddy has.
So, for now, I am proud to be the Dairy Queen. Every three hours for the sticky licky sweets they crave. Thatâ€™s right boys, you can do it! Grow up big and strong.