It’s been two weeks since the twins arrived. The time has passed by in the blink of an eye and taken forever at the same time. No, you’re not experiencing déjà vu – this is just how the One Week post began. It still holds true.
Search and Destroy have now been residents of the NICU for the same length of time as my final hospital stay with them. Overall, they are doing really well. There continue to be some of the ups and downs we were warned about, but they don’t get any easier.
Search is very ready to be a big boy. He remains our little mover – scooting around his isolette and practicing pushups. He has taken to arching his back to take a good look at us when we hold him. As Dr. Yuri pointed out, “he has a genetic disposition to make sure everyone is clear about how he feels.” Stubborn and spirited, his brother may be taking cues from him. Unfortunately, this week that meant breathing issues.
Destroy has been dealing with a lot of apnea of prematurity this week. This is the medical term that means our baby has stopped breathing. Based on my vast quantities of medical knowledge – gleaned entirely from seasons of ER, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice – I know that after they make their grand world entrance, babies must breathe continuously to get oxygen. But in our little dudes (since they’re younger than 34 weeks) the part of the brain that controls breathing is not mature enough to remember nonstop breathing is required.
Neither the doctors nor any of the nurses seem to think this is a big deal. Every day they reassure us that he’ll grow out of it. I am beginning to believe them based on his behavior when he is not thoroughly chilling out. In order to give him a little extra oomph, he gets a bit of extra air encouragement. This week, due to an increase in episodes, Destroy got socked with the CPAP.
As noted in the NICU 101 post, the CPAP uses small tubes fitted into Destroy’s nostrils to push a continuous flow of air to help keep tiny air passages in his lungs open. It is usually secured to his head by a ridiculous looking sock hood. Destroy does not like the CPAP. At all. Even a little. In fact, I would venture to state that Destroy hates the CPAP.
Yesterday, it took two nurses to hold the little two-pounder down while the respiratory therapist fitted Destroy with the contraption. According to his nurse, with wax-on wax-off karate kid-like strength, Destroy fought with all of his being to keep the blasted thing off. Yes little man, you are indeed your mother’s son (see Missing: My Sense of Humor post).
Today, he’s back on the nasal cannula. The doctor pointed out he just seems much happier. And by happier, I’m pretty sure she means “not ripping tubes from his nose while howling at the nurses.” When I held him this afternoon, he seemed very content. We have also begun noticing a pattern that many of the apnic episodes occur as Destroy poops. A multi-tasker he is not – of course, given the size of said poops, I suppose his forgetfulness is understandable.
Since they’re now tolerating full feedings and consuming a whopping 127 calories per day, they are expected to start gaining weight soon (provided they don’t poop out all potential gain). I am more than ready for my little muppets to get bigger. As hard as it is to picture, they’ll allegedly gain more than three pounds over the next month. How funny that we’re excited to see chubby five-pound babies.
In any case, I know there will be many more frustrating phases to deal with. Both now in the NICU and throughout their lives. Gramma J – you got your wish. I have two sons just like me. And I couldn’t be more in love with the stubborn and spirited little men.