Oliver and mommy holding hands
Kangaroo care with Oliver
Daddy's little Vulcan (Oliver) - "Live long and prosper!"
Mommy touching Grace
Daddy changing Gracie's diaper - so tiny!
Little Miss Audrey
Tomorrow our babies will be 3 weeks old! Well, technically they'll be 30 weeks... let me explain:) Even though Audrey, Oliver, and Grace decided to make their appearance 3 weeks ago, they technically should still be developing in my womb. And my gestation tomorrow would be 30 weeks, so developmentally, they're still like a baby at 30 weeks in the womb. This little confusing phenomenon is known as their "adjusted age". Developmentally, their age will be based on their due date (August 14th) when they'll be true "newborns". So even though our babies will be 3 months old by then, they'll really be 0 months developmentally. And in November when they're 6 months old, they'll really be 3 months developmentally. This "adjusted age" will continue until they're 2 years old when everything usually evens out and they catch up to their peers.
Robert and I are very excited about their "graduation" into the 30 week bracket. Exciting things should start to happen (like they would have in the womb). Over the next few weeks our babies should begin to develop their breathe-suck-swallow reflex which will allow them to begin nuzzle nursing and learning how to feed at the breast rather than through a tube down their nose into their stomachs. Mommy is really looking forward to that! The physical therapist says it usually starts to happen around 34 weeks, but if the babies show signs that they're ready earlier than that (maybe around 32 weeks) they'll let them start practicing!
More exciting news: Audrey and Oliver are both very close to hitting the 3 lb mark and Grace is nearing 2 lbs! They are all at "full feeds" meaning they're eating enough breast milk every three hours to support their weights, so Audrey and Oliver have been able to get their IV's out and are just being nourished by my milk (with some added calories mixed in to help fatten them up!). Grace still has her line in because she was having some low blood sugar issues, but hopefully that will come out in the next few days. The doctors would like to see them gain about an ounce each day (or a pound every 16 days or so).
Right now our babies' biggest threat is infection. Even true newborns have very minimal immune systems, but babies in the womb have nearly no immune system, which is where our babies should technically be! So what would be a minimal infection in a grown up would become a serious condition for our babies that would either go to their blood (sepsis) or their spinal fluid (meningitis). The nurses wash their hands all the time, but it is still a huge concern as even their own bacteria on their skin can infect them. Please pray specifically that the Lord will protect them from infection, and that the doctors and nurses will be very aware of any first signs of infection should one occur.
Thank you so much for keeping our babies in your prayers. We know that prayer is the most powerful medicine, and we are so thankful that God, the great physician, is taking care of our precious little ones.