Friday, January 22nd was a good day for the Mazza family. Jacob Todd Mazza came home today.
Jacob is just 37-weeks-old, gestationally, so he’s still three weeks premature. It’s been 6.5 weeks since he was born. He’s advanced really quickly with his breathing and his feeding, and now he takes bottles like a champion. He came home at 5 pounds, 7 ounces. He had an eye test Friday morning and his eyes are fine. We need to go back in two weeks for another test. Dr. Nash, our pediatrician, will make a house call to visit Jacob on Tuesday at 12:45p. A nurse from John Muir hospital will come see him on Sunday sometime.
On Wednesday he passed his car seat test. This is a test where they place him in the car seat for 90 minutes to ensure he doesn’t have any of the A’s, B’s or D’s (Apnea, Bradycardia’s or Desaturations). He was a little upset at first, but the minute I took out my camera to take some video of all the screaming, he fell asleep. It was funny as it took about 30 seconds flat to go from screaming baby to out cold.
We believe we’re prepared at home. The boys’ room has been done for quite some time. This week we got some formula and Dr. Brown’s bottles (special thanks to fellow triplet parents Laura and Charles for the recommendation) and then fellow triplet father Paul Kahalewai, from Petaluma, CA, shipped us 48 bottles of formula that he got from his Similac rep, and about 100 slow-flow nipples. (Thanks Paul!!)
I’m pretty sure Kristen is going to move into the boys room to be with Jacob, or she’ll move one of the Rock’n Plays into the guest room, and she’ll stay in there with him. Or she’ll stay downstairs on the sofa while he’s in the Pack’n Play. We both have to get comfortable with him being home, and being new parents we’re going to be a little over-the-top for a while. Better to do this with one and then add a second in a few weeks, and then a third a few weeks later.
When we walked in the door on Friday, Finley and Sophie were very happy to see their new brothers. Finley has been going crazy the entire evening. She was able to come see him and give him a few “kisses”. Sophie’s just excited because Finley is. It will be tough giving the the same attention level they’ve gotten in the past, especially from Kristen.
While Jacob is home, Charlie’s likely a week or two away. This week he took his first full bottle. That’s 60mL of fluid, or 2oz. He’s still on Pathway A and he has to get to Pathway E before he can go home.
The Pathway system at John Muir is a steady acceleration of taking bottles and relying less and less on the feeding tubes. Pathway A is trying the bottle out when they show cues, and they graduate to Pathway B when they’ve taken at least 75% of two bottles over a 24-hour period. They graduate Pathway E when the feeding tube is out and they can reliably take all their feedings on bottles or breastfeeding.
Charlie has been on Pathway A for almost 3 weeks now. He’s still breathing a bit fast, and a baby really can’t take a bottle well when he’s breathing really fast. So his lungs just have a bit more maturing to do and we’ll try him on the bottle here and there. Once he gets the hang of the feeding and his breathing is more in order, he can go from Pathway A to Pathway E in about a week. My prediction is it will be another two weeks before Charlie comes home.
Otherwise he’s doing pretty well. On Friday he weighed 5 pounds, 2 ounces, so he’s gaining weight quickly. He had an eye exam on Friday too, and all is good.
Samuel continues to make good progress. He’s crossed the 5 pound mark too, coming in right there. He definitely looks healthier and we’re optimistically seeing signs that his lungs are developing. His challenge isn’t so much breathing, but it’s getting quality oxygen to saturate his blood supply. This is why he gets these “desats”. The Vapotherm machine pumps somewhere between 21% and 35% pure oxygen into him to help ensure he remains saturated. As his lungs develop, he’ll be able to do this on his own.
This week Sammy’s Vapotherm needs have steadily declined. When we called on Thursday morning to check on the boys, he had spent most of the night between 23% and 28%, and the nurse kept lowering it. I held him for almost 90 minutes on Thursday and he had slight desats, but overall he was doing well and seemed comfortable. The nurse actually took the monitor off his foot and put it on his arm, and his stats shot up even better.
When he’s laying in his incubator (Isolette, as I’m now told) he seems to do better on his left side or on his belly. His PDA isn’t believed to be an issue anymore. He opens his eyes a lot more and he’s constantly looking around at what’s going on. There’s almost no crying at all. We’re not sure if this is because he’s getting so much oxygen and the feeding tube is down his throat, or if he’s just even-keeled. Time will tell!
It’s not really a decision, but we’ve all but stopped the breastfeeding. Instead Kristen will focus on pumping and giving breastmilk through a bottle. It’s just too difficult to try and breastfeed all three babies.