I was at lunch yesterday, after my morning visit with the muppets, when the restaurant suddenly became as warm as the arctic circle during a cold spell. By the time I shivered my way home I had a fever of 101. Teeth chattering, I called the NICU to let them know I wouldn’t be in for the boys evening bath. (Destroy – this does not mean you’re off the hook for your soggy bottom photo.)
The nurses told me the boys were doing great and that I should get some rest and take care of myself to get all better. So I crawled/fell into bed – highly amused at the latest speed bump on this motherhood ride (which may have been slightly influenced by the fever).
But like the nurses told me, the boys were both doing great. The boys have been competitive with one another since birth. With both developments and setbacks, they tend to follow each other closely. During our care conference (meeting with the NICU doctor, nurses and social worker), the doctor began by reminding us that twins mature at different rates and not to expect them to follow the same timeline. With that, our nurses shared that Search and Destroy both weighed exactly 1,200 grams today. (Yay for chubby cheeked kids!)
During my pregnancy, Destroy was labeled Baby A because he was expected to arrive first. At the last minute (literally), Search debuted before his brother. The two were even born during the same minute; they’re 30 seconds apart in age. Both received the same Apgar score of 5/8. (The Apgar test occurs right after a baby’s birth at 1 and 5 minutes. It’s meant to evaluate their initial condition.)
As their first few days passed, the two traded off between who needed oxygen or assistance breathing. At first, Search got extra aid because he was working to hard to breathe. Three days later, Destroy started having recurring apnea episodes. Not to be outdone, Search followed suit that weekend with both apnea and bradycardia episodes.
Search figured out how to rip his nasal cannula out several weeks ago. And when he’s not doing that, he’s got a death grip on his feeding tube. Destroy apparently watched his brother; he has now learned the same skill. As Search practiced his army crawl tactics in his effort to inchworm out of the NICU, Destroy discovered how to turn his head. Yesterday, when I went to visit with Destroy, I discovered his nasal cannula firmly ensconced in his mouth. Nice try dude. Today, Jon asked the nurse why Search no longer had his feeding tube in. “Ask him. He’s the one who took it out,” replied the nurse. Both of them now smile when a nurse has to get up to turn off a false monitor alarm.
As I shared in the Momma Bear post, Search needed a blood transfusion because his hematocrit levels tanked. Quick reminder – a drop in such levels isn’t abnormal for premature babes. In fact, we were expecting the possibility of a transfusion since both boys were slowly dropping. Search just wanted to be a showoff. Search got his blood last Wednesday. Demanding the same VIP treatment as his brother, Destroy received his transfusion on Sunday. Although his levels didn’t drop as quickly, Destroy planned ahead and received Dad’s blood. (You know, with all this talk about blood, perhaps I was subconsciously foreshadowing their needs with my Little Shop of Horrors reference.)
Both love their food. Search reached his full-feed levels before Destroy. But Destroy started taking an extra mL than his brother shortly thereafter. (Full-feed for their current size is 20mL and 24 calories per serving.) For added measure, Destroy also upped his caloric intake to 26 calories. Search matched his brother at 26 calories, but he hasn’t needed that extra mL yet.
All the eating is key to growing big and strong. One of the first questions we ask every morning is “How is their weight today?” Both have reached the upward trend we’ve been waiting for. Yet, there have still been a couple drops – usually of around 10-15 grams. Interestingly enough, the gains and losses seem to continuously equal each other out. Current score: 1,200 g all.
I bought them “The Hungry Caterpillar” today. Besides the fact that is precisely what Search looks like when he’s on the move, I feel it’s an appropriate theme for our muppets. The caterpillar eats and eats and eats and sleeps and emerges as a beautiful butterfly. Our boys will eat and eat and eat and sleep and emerge from the NICU. From their start as our little men to their lives as our big boys. Thank goodness Costco (and corresponding diapers, snack food, etc.) is on my way home from work.
And let’s play a new game. Who can be the healthiest? Winner gets to not be sick.