Sunday, August 10, 2008

The 8-Week Retrospective

Over the past few days the babies have really made some amazing strides. Before too long, they'll be in the group affectionately referred to around the NICU as "feeders and growers." As we talked about earlier, there are several levels of care for a baby in the NICU -- basically Levels 1-4. The babies started out at Level 4 and are now closing in on Level 2. The more tubing and medical devices they shed, the closer they get. As you'll see below, Madeline is pretty much down to just a nasal cannula and Milo is still on CPAP, but is sprinting on a cannula. Of course, they still have the sensors attached to them, but those will be around until discharge. Over the course of the last 8 weeks, they've done the following:

MILO...
1. Started out at 2 pounds and now weighs 4 lbs. 6 ozs. -- more than double his birth weight.
2. Needed one of those obnoxious a bilirubin lights for the first week or two of life.
3. Needed an oscillating ventilator and now uses a cannula and CPAP
4. Went from IV only feedings to breast milk/Prolacta only feedings, with some real breast feeding.
5. Can open eyes, lift himself up and rotate his head from one side to the other (really!), can cry, and poop.
6. Now has nipples.
7. Can talk and read a little (just kidding).
8. No longer has an IV tube for feedings, picc line, or the bandages that were all present for the first several weeks of his life.
9. Has two little clips at the top of his heart to close off his PDA.

MADELINE...
1. Started out at 1 lb. 14 ozs and now weighs 3 lbs. 11 ozs. -- about double!
2. Needed one of those obnoxious a bilirubin lights for the first week or two of life.
3. Needed an oscillating ventilator and now uses a cannula pretty much exclusively.
4. Went from IV only feedings to breast milk/Prolacta only feedings, with some real breast feeding.
5. Can open eyes and make smiling gestures (though she's just faking), can cry, and poop, and squirm out of just about any swaddle you put her in.
6. Was born with almost gelatinous skin and now has a very nice little baby pelt covering her (and she has nipples too finally).
7. Recovered fairly quickly from a bad staph infection on her arms that appeared during her second week of life -- no trace scarring either (see #6).
8. Kinda has a little pig schnoz from the CPAP, but it will go away over the next few weeks (and anyone who makes fun will get a knuckle sandwich).
9. No longer has an IV tube for feedings, picc line, or the bandages that were all present for the first several weeks of her life.
10. Has a little clip at the top of her heart to close off her PDA.

In other exciting news, as many of you have already seen, the kids can wear clothing and use blankets that we bring in for them. Today Maddy placed her stamp of approval on the pretty little outfit given to her by Melita and Derek by peeing all over it. Below, you see the little sprouts modeling their new blankets, hats, and clothes. (Thanks Felicia & Tom, Aunt Vera, Jim, Michelle & Tony, John & Beth, Anthea, Daria & Jason, John & Lisa, and Jan & Bruce.) Madeline has also impressed us by managing to pull out her nasal feeding tube, while her feeding was underway. That meant that about 25 mls of breast milk saturated her isolette and that Cheryl (one of her great primary nurses) got to completely change her bedding.

Milo has just been plugging along and gettin' big. Sometimes I think the boy must be hitting the gym. At less than 5 pounds, he still manages to rip out hand fulls of my chest hair while I'm kangaroo holding him. It's something to grab onto after all. Time was he could only manage to tug on it, so I guess that represents progress too.

Madeline resting. Notice she has a birth mark on her forehead. This little mark will fade over time and be entirely gone when she reaches her early childhood. It isn't related to prematurity, it's just a part of her.

One of the great benefits of moving to the cannula is that we can actually see all of Milo's little face again. If you look back at some of the earlier pictures with my hand in the shot, you'll see how much he's grown.

Dad with Milo. Notice the protective undershirt. He frequently buries his face in my chest searching for a nipple.

Milo sporting his new duds.

Maddy also sporting her nice new clothes. Notice her feeding tube is now routed through her nose. This allows her to try to breast feed more easily. Once Milo is completely off CPAP his tube will also be routed through his nose.

Now it's time for more Cinema Stiles
video

Maddy's poor little up-turned nose. It will go away, so no wise cracks! The sound is the real key to this cinematic masterpiece.

video

Milo workin' his pacifier a little.

Until next time...

3 comments:

Heather said...

So exciting to read about their progress! Little troopers they are! Love the pics and little video clips!
Love to All,
Heath

Krista said...

The progress is really exciting! It's amazing they doubled their weight (Molly doubled her weight last week, too, on her due date). I think Maddy's turned up nose is super cute.

Krista

Sarah V said...

How exciting! What tremendous progress they have made-- they are rather accomplished for 8 weeks and not even due to be here for a long while!! Hmmm... I wonder what we can expect of them in the future? I am sure you both will be thrilled with just happy and healthy, two amazing accomplishments. Thanks for sharing the pics and video. Such beautiful babies who look more like "fat babies" and less like "micro-preemies" every day.

Love and best wishes,
Sarah