Time flies when you’re having fun! The boys are already a week old now, and what a difference a week makes! We went from a scary birth at 30 weeks, 5 days to a confident group of boys who are growing each day.
Jacob: Jacob is doing the best of all the boys. When he was born he measured in at 2lbs, 14oz, and he slid backwards a bit in weight for a few days after, but now he’s progressing the fastest. He was the first to get off the CPAP machine, and now he’s the first to graduate from the vapor therapy machine. He has no breathing tubes in place – just a feeding tube through his nose and an IV in his foot. Today he graduated to 3lbs even, and he’s taking 15ml of breast milk every three hours. The quantity is going up by 3ml every 12 hours now. Today Kristen will attempt to start breastfeeding him. We reasonably expect all IV’s to be out of him by this weekend, and maybe even the feeding tube. So he’s doing fabulous for just under 32 weeks old. One thing the doctors are watching is a heart murmur. Essentially there’s an open vessel or valve that is used while in utero. It normally closes at birth, but it’s just not closed yet. They can hear it getting fainter the past few days, so everyone reasonably believes it will close. If necessary he can go on some medication and surgery would be the worst case option. I don’t think we’ll need to go there, though.
Charlie: It’s not a competition, but he’s in second place now. He graduated from the CPAP machine on Tuesday and we expect he may be off the vapor therapy machine (with nasal cannula) by this weekend. He started at 2lbs, 9oz and after sliding backwards a bit himself, he’s now gaining weight and is up to 2lbs, 11oz. He’s still in third place with his size, but he’s growing quickly. He’s getting about 3 ml of breast milk every three hours, and he’s going up 3ml per day. Charlie has also developed a heart murmur, just like Jacob. Same exact situation.
Samuel: Samuel’s doing just fine, but he’s not doing as well as the other two. He was slow to take some feedings because he had some sort of green gunk coming out of his lungs. The doctors think it was just his intestines maturing, but he wasn’t able to properly digest the feedings they were giving him. He’s now starting to digest better and the green gunk is all-but gone. So he’s advancing now.
They tried to put a PICC line – or central catheter – into him a few times, but have had a horrible time doing it. If he starts eating and digests normally, he won’t need the PICC line. Since they’ve poked him a lot with needles, they’re now pausing to see how things progress without it. Inserting a PICC is a specialized procedure done by a specialized nurse. It’s dangerous enough that we had to sign a consent to do it. Charlie has one, but his went in right away. Jacob has had at least two other attempts, and both failed. His veins are just really tiny!
When Samuel was born he weighed 2lbs, 12oz, and he went up right away, then down and he’s been slowing coming back in weight. We’ll see him gain good weight as his feedings grow. At the one-week mark, Samuel is 2lbs, 13oz. And today, like his brothers, doctors detected a heart murmur as well. Same situation, so we’ll just watch it over the next week or so. We expect it will go away.
Kristen: Kristen is doing really well. Her C-section is healing nicely and she’s almost off all her pain meds. It will still be a few days to a week before she can drive on her own, but she’s almost back to “normal”. She’s pumping breast milk furiously day and night – every two hours during the day and every four hours at night. It’s tiring, but she’s doing wonderful in trying to produce enough milk for the boys. She’s producing more and more each day, but I have to imagine we’re going to use some donor milk at some point.
I dropped her at the hospital early this morning so I could get a car seat inspection at the Danville Police Department, so she’ll spend the whole day with the boys. (Good news is I installed everything correctly!) I’ll work until mid-afternoon and then will go and visit, and finish up some work in the evening. If we leave early enough, we’ll stop at Whole Paycheck and get some steaks, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and fennel and onions for some good dinner on the grill.