The day the boys were born, they were both brought straight into the NICU. They were both hooked up to IV's (which gives them fluids like electrolytes, vitamins, amino acids, fat etc), oxygen saturation sensors, and HR/ breathing rate monitors. Scott was also hooked up to the CPAP at first, which just helped keep his lungs open. It doesn't actually provide any oxygen, it's just a little bit of help breathing. He was only on it for about a day and a half though. We were told that the boys would be on the IV's until they reach 'full feeds'. They calculate the full feed amount based off of their birth weights. They started off primarily on the TPN (IV fluids) and slowly, day by day they increased the amount of breast milk they took in (through a nose tube) and decreased the amount of TPN they received. I think we started off at like 5ml of milk, and every 6 hours it would be increased by 1cc until we reached the full feeds of 34ml for Adam and 33ml for Scott. We were thinking both boys would be off the IV's around Tuesday the 2nd based off of the calculations. We were super excited about that, because both of the boys are 'hard IV starts' meaning it usually takes several attempts to get one secured, and way too many pokes for my little guys. I absolutely hate the IV!!! Sometimes it seems like it's moved 3 times a day :(
|Jamie holding Scott|
|Me holding Adam|
|Scott before he got sick|
|My sweet sick boy Scott getting cuddles|
The next morning we got there and learned that the chest X-ray was clear, and that we didn't know what it was yet, but that the antibiotics seemed to be helping. The Dr came by again and mentioned doing the lumbar probe (taking fluid from the spine to check for meningitis) but that we'd wait for the bloodwork to come back. Later that day, we learned that he had a staph infection. Basically bacteria was growing in his blood. It can be introduced from IV pokes etc, and preemies just have such weak immune systems that they get sick sooo easily. It's actually not as scary as we were expecting and he was looking much better. He was on CPAP for about an extra day, and the next morning they took him off of it. They re-ran his bloodwork after 48 hours on the antibiotics and it came back clean 48 hours after that which means he needs only 7 days of antibiotics from when the first repeat culture was drawn. He should be done in 3 days. He was off of his feedings for about 1.5 days, and so he was dropped from about 24ml to 10ml.
|Scott - on the mend and feeling better!!|
While this was all happening, the same thing happened to Adam shortly after. The nurse noticed he was extremely lethargic, high HR (although not as high as Scott's was) the whole nine yards. We half expected this to happen, so we were glad they started the antibiotics right away. Adam's blood culture came back with a positive for a staph infection as well, like we were expecting. It took him a little while longer to get better with the antibiotics and he continued having the Brady episodes the first day, which was pretty scary. The nurse said usually they start to really turn around after the third round of antibiotics and that was the case for him. I felt awful for him though, he just looked so SICK. He's normally so bright eyed, always looking around and making faces, but he just had this pained expression. Broke my heart. They ran the repeat bloodwork 48 hours after the positive culture and unfortunately his came back positive again. He is acting great, and looking great, but I guess it wasn't high enough of a dose to kick the infection first try. They are running a repeat culture tomorrow morning and as long as that's clear (we'll know after 48 hours) he should be off of the IV on July 14th. I have every single finger and toe crossed. I'm thinking he'll have to have another one go in his head, which I'm fine with. He seemed pretty comfy with it up there actually. REALLY hoping his blood draw tomorrow is negative though, ahhh! He also had his feedings suspended for a little bit, but he's resumed as well. They are both increasing much faster now, 2ml every 6 hours. They'll both be up to full feeds in no time! Granted their new 'full feed' amounts are higher than they were before, but that's a good thing. The Dr today said they're gaining weight perfectly and chunking up nicely. They both have super long legs (not as wrinkly anymore either) and adorable double chins!
|My little unicorn Adam having a bath before getting sick|
|Breaks my heart- my poor little sick guy Adam|
|Adam is feeling much better with antibiotics!|
Overall, the NICU itself isn't that awful. I hate the constant blood work and pokes, and there is always a fear that something will go wrong. I always let all of the nurses know to call me ANYTIME something changes at all, I want to know instantly. I'm still worried that they'll forget to though. I wish I could be there 24/7 to cuddle with the boys, they seem sooo happy when they're snuggled up to Jamie or I. And I just can't wait for them to be together! They must be missing each other so much.
So let's see. Scott should be off the IV in a few days, Adam in 8 days. Both boys are very close to their 'full feed' amounts (although they will withhold Adam's by 1ml to keep something in the IV to keep the vein open (which will also be easier on his poor little arms and legs) and pretty soon both boys should be able to start breast/bottle feeding! After they're both off IV's, they can move into the twin crib, and out of the incubator! Can't wait :) That's a pretty big milestone... I think after that, they just need to be able to stay warm on their own, tolerate all of their feeds on their own, keep gaining weight, and not have any 'episodes' on the monitors for at least a week. It seems so far away, but maybe once we get over this whole 'infection' hiccup (which I think threw us back about a week or so) we should start to really see some progress. I hear different things about when they can come home. Sometimes I hear '36 weeks gestation', and other times 'your original due date', which would be August 15th. I'm thinking (and hoping) it will be somewhere in between, and am aiming for sometime in July. That would be amazing. I can handle that!!!
Now I think I'm caught up (although I know I've missed so much, it's been such a blur!!!) and it should be easier to update on a more regular basis. As far as the boys current weights - Adam was born at 1790 grams (3 lbs, 15 oz) and he now weighs (as of last night) 1960 grams (4 lbs, 5 oz). Scott was born at 1620 grams (3 lbs, 9 oz) and now weighs 1835 grams (4 lbs, 1 oz). My little porkers! This was as of last night too, so I'm sure they've gained weight today!
|Adam getting weighed about a week ago|
|Scott getting weighed about a week ago|