Jon hit it in February. I’m rushing toward it in November. But today, it’s all about the twins. The big 3-0. Search and Destroy are 30 weeks along today. Even though they’re only two weeks old, they’re considered 30 weeks since preemies have an adjusted age based on their expected due date.
Both show extreme spirit, so if all continues along this path health-wise we hope to have them home in about six weeks. This morning Destroy was sleeping soundly on his tummy when the doctor came to examine him. Much to Destroy’s dismay, the doc put him back on his back. Destroy proceeded to squirm and fidget up the side of his bunting to return to his tummy. His half cries/squeaks clearly stated, “Put me back the way you found me!”
In contrast, his brother is working to perfect his little angel eyes. During Kangaroo time, Search likes to pull his head back and look up at us. It’s sweet, but it also correlates to a drop in his heart rate so we discourage it. Today when I went to turn his head, he looked up at me – eyes wide open and both tiny hands tucked under his chin – with a perfect “I could never do anything wrong” expression. Apparently, no one told our little inchworm Search (who decided to celebrate today by bringing his weight up to 1,030 grams) that he’s still too young to leave the NICU.
Search has also progressed from merely scootching his little tushy straight up in the air to adding an arched back and pressing himself forward. He is developing quite a repertoire, what with the previously acquired tube-ripping-out talent. Naturally, he still can’t crawl (though he’s sure trying) so he has turned himself into the Hungry Caterpillar. At this rate, I highly doubt he’ll be all that far behind his peers in the mobility category.
Both boys continue to tolerate their feedings extremely well. Out of all the wires they keep trying to rip out, the one they don’t seem to mind is the feeding tube. Instead of pouting and pulling at it, they simply lovely wrap their little fingers around the feeding tube and hold on tightly. I am envisioning many future trips to Costco with two growing boys in the house. Rumor has it bottle feeding may be as soon as two weeks away.
Luckily, we seem to be trending upward in size. We’ve been expecting their weight to start rising since they’re doing so well with their food. (Well, the nutrients they retain and don’t poop out.) As I mentioned, Search has plumped up to 1,030 grams and Destroy is up to 1,055 (about 2.3 pounds each).
All these feedings bring us right back around to pooping. The twins also excel at pottying. (Oh, are they going to love me for this blog when they’re older.) Regularity shows the nurses and doctors that their little gastrointestinal tracts are functioning properly. Both my little men are in big boy diapers. At first I worried that their gastrointestinal tracts were functioning too well – I thought they might never gain weight based on the not-so-little gifts wrapped so nicely in the aforementioned big boy diapers.
Yesterday, I changed Search’s diaper after I held him – he was quite wet. The nurse suggested we turn him onto his tummy to tuck him in for the night. (Both Search and Destroy love sleeping on their tummies and can do so because of the 24/7 monitoring in the NICU.) In the few seconds it took me to flip the little squirmer, his diaper was fully soiled. And I do mean that literally. His diaper was full – practically soaked through the outside. The nurse took one whiff, smiled and said, “That’s all you mom.”
Jon and I are getting quite good at diaper changing. But the boys are also getting more creative. When changing Destroy’s wet diaper yesterday, I put a new diaper under him and picked up the wipes. When I looked back, his bed bunting was soaked. Not just one small area – the entire bunting was a misty yellow. The fresh diaper, on the other hand, completely bone dry. Little Destroy had managed to pee out the side of his diaper. Medical professionals say they’re too young for emotions and that it’s likely just gas – but I still say Destroy smiled. He seemed pretty pleased with the mess he made.
It’s still rough – being in parenting limbo. But with each day, I’m starting to feel more like a parent. We’ve got our routine down and I’m learning the boys signs (like an apnea episode is a pretty clear sign that someone needs their diaper changed). Both are opening their eyes a lot more. And even if they can still only see hazy shapes, it’s heartwarming to think they’re looking to see that their parents are visiting.
Although, Search may also be looking to find the best escape route…