Grace is such a strong little girl! At barely 2lbs, she was the first baby to be completely removed from oxygen and as of today is breathing on her very own! For the past week she has been doing so well that her doctor decided to remove her canula today (the little tubes going into her nostrils) to let her try breathing all by herself - and she's doing great! I did kangaroo care with her for almost two hours today, and while the doctor came in to talk to me Grace opened both of her eyes and lifted her entire head up to turn it to the other side! The doctor couldn't believe that such a tiny little baby could do that ... I think we should start calling her "little muscles" :)
Oliver has had a pretty rough week. He started having a lot of apnea spells (when he forgets to breathe) and bradycardia (when his heartbeat slows too much), so the doctors did an ultrasound of his heart and discovered that his open ductus was causing a section of his heart to become enlarged as well as contributing to his other symptoms. His PDA (open ductus) is very common in premature babies, because the ductus normally closes right before babies are born (when their blood needs to start circulating internally rather than being supplied by the placenta). Because our babies were born so early, the ductus did not close on its own. The doctors have given him two rounds of Ibuprofen to try to close it, but since that didn't seem to work, they decided to start him on a round of Indomethacin. Unfortunately, the medication can cause very serious tummy / bowel problems, so Oliver cannot eat during his treatment and has to be back on IV nutrition and fluids. But because he has now been eating for the past 3 weeks, he now knows what it's like to have a full belly, and is going to be very hungry for the next 5-7 days! Thankfully, when the doctor listened to his heart this morning, she couldn't even hear a murmur! So another echo will be performed tomorrow morning, and if all is well (and his ductus has closed), they will be able to stop the medication and let him start eating again!
Audrey is doing really well this week! She has had less episodes of apnea and bradycardia (both of which are very common in premature babies of her gestational age). She has actually had the easiest week of all three babies and is only a few grams away from weighing 3 whole pounds! On Saturday night we stopped by the NICU to check on the babies and I was able to hold my daughter like a real baby for the very first time! Rather than holding her "skin to skin" on my chest like we do in kangaroo care, her sweet nurse Jen swaddled her in a blanket and placed her in my arms - it was a feeling I've been waiting to experience since they were born 24 days ago! Both of her eyes were wide open so for the very first time I was able to hold her in my arms and just stare at her beautiful little face. We gazed at each other for about 15 minutes and then she made a weird face... and spit up all over me! Milk came shooting out of both nostrils and her mouth, soaked her entire blanket and managed to shoot all the way into my hair! It was so wonderful to be spit up on by my very own baby... such a special mommy moment.