Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two Good Days

Milo and Madeline have had two good days in a row.

Milo is still doing well breathing off his vent, though he has assistance from pressurized oxygen. He has been having a little trouble with his mask fit, which causes is blood oxygen level to fluctuate at times, so the doctors are working on getting him a better device that should help. He can now get his fingers and a pacifier in his mouth with his breathing tube out and he absolutely LOVES his pacifier. It makes him very, very happy, which thrills us. Milo's skin is still very delicate and he has some areas of irritation, but it's doing pretty well overall. He has opened one eye a tiny bit, though not enough to really see much. Milo is getting 1cc of breast milk every 6 hours now, which he seems to be tolerating well. This is not to feed him per se but to get his digestion system going. He is passing merconium, too, which means things are working. When the breast milk hits his stomach, he reflexively sucks, which is just amazing. I have been able to "kangaroo" hold Milo outside his incubator for the last three days, directly on my chest, skin to skin. This helps with bonding and neurological development, and calms him down very nicely. I was able to hold him for over an hour yesterday without him getting overstimulated, and his oxygen levels overnight were very stable, perhaps as a result. Rob gets to hold Milo for the first time today.

Madeline developed an ugly staph infection on the inside of her left arm earlier this week, which we were all very worried about. Her skin is much more delicate than Milo's, and not thick enough to repel any bacteria. (Milo's is really only slightly better in that department.) Thankfully, we have a wonderful skin care clinical specialist and nurse who have got the infection under control and it is going down in both size and intensity. She also has trouble spots under her right arm and on her wrist, but they seem to be healing better. Her blood, thankfully, is clear, meaning that the infection has not spread to her entire system. Her tracheal secretions also are infected, but the targeted antibiotics for this type of staph are expected to clear it all up.

Madeline's PDA (see this link for more information) is still open, and originally the doctors thought they could get it closed with medicine. Unfortunately, the medicine didn't seem to be working, so they were planning to close it surgically. As it turns out, her infection may have been preventing the duct from closing, and it seems that it is getting smaller on its own as her infection clears. So we're hopeful she won't need the surgery. Milo's PDA closed after 3 rounds of medicine, so he was able to come off his vent and eat a bit to stimulate his system. Hopefully Madeline's will close soon and she can start eating a bit and in time be held outside her incubator.

Madeline opened both her eyes a bit yesterday, but is very sensitive to light, so keeps them shut unless she's really interested in what's happening around her. We're of course thrilled to get to see Milo and Madeline eye to eye, but since their nervous systems are so delicate, we don't want to overwhelm them too much.

More pictures soon!


Toni said...

Hey, guys,
thanks so much for keeping us in the loop! Needless to say, you are all very much in our thoughts, and we're thrilled to hear that M&M have had a couple of good days.
Lots of love,
Toni, Kevin, Leni & Zoe

Heather said...

I am so glad that you did this. It certainly must be the easiest and fastest way to keep everyone abreast of M&Ms progress. All of you are in my thoughts on a daily basis. I am so glad to hear that Maddie's infection is clearing up and that the PDA is starting to close. Also thrilled that ELaine is getting skin to skin contact with Milo! That is just awesome! What a feeling that must be after everything!!
Love to all,

Erica said...

Stay strong Rob & Elaine! You no doubt are sharing such a strong positive vibe with your babies, which is so important for babies born early. We struggled with that when our second child was born and in the NICU, trying to keep the brave face while having such moments of weakness as soon as we'd leave her side. Yet now in hindsight we can see so many sweet moments too--the amazing kindness and warmth of strangers who are instantly smitten with your little ones, the closeness a couple achieves when overcoming so many unknowns and scary obstacles, etc. It is just inspiring to say the least how positive you have been able to be while all this is happening. This blog is such a special gift that you can share with your kids too--a rare glimpse into these moments that are so defining. We are praying for you and your babies each and every day, for success and strength at every milestone. All our love to Maddy and Milo! Erica (Glanz), Erik, Avery & Grace Kachmarsky