(Disclaimer: Despite the current surge in bloodsucker popularity, I do not have vampire children. I just thought the “Little Shop of Horrors” 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 – 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 they’ve reached the top level (20ml) – and continue to tolerate it – 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 – just like mom). But there really is no decent debate to legitimately argue they’re big. Let’s face it – two pounds is just tiny. (Even if you are reading this at 6’5” boys.)
I’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. They’ll get a real crib to share – 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 – right after Search gets in another kick to his brother’s head…
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 – 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. Cooper’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 we’ve just heard as we head home for a few brief hours. Sometimes we try and analyze the non-verbal cues from the day’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 they’re processing their food and their insides are working. A typical dinner conversation will, in fact, include the question, “Did he poop today?” For those inquiring minds, both boys are pooping well – Destroy is doing so well, he’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 they’re growing every day. Search is already up over his birth weight and Destroy isn’t far off from his. Today, I kissed Destroy’s little nose and noticed tiny little freckles I haven’t seen before – 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. That’s right boys, you can do it! Grow up big and strong.