Today (well, yesterday at this point) was a BIG day! When Will arrived at the NICU this morning (8:30), this is what he saw:
When I arrived at noon, here’s what I saw:
Did you have to do a double take? Here it is again in case you missed it:
Sophie moved to a bassinet! It turns out that her isolette was colder than the room air, and she was doing just fine in there wearing just her little diaper, so here she is! Out and about! As a result, we’ve got a meeting next week about getting ready to BRING HER HOME. Yes, that’s right. Little Sophie is on the road to her homecoming. For now we’re excited. Don’t get me started on what life will be like with one baby at E 73rd and two at E 16th. Not ideal. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
If you’re thinking the boys are happy to let Sophie take the lead, you’re wrong. Jack and Henry are making progress as well, eagerly attempting to get themselves into those bassinets ASAP.
Above, both are working on getting their fingers (ultimately thumbs) into their mouths for sucking. That’s Jack on the top and Henry on the bottom. In case you forgot, they are identical.
Henry is also working on 1) getting the CPAP out of his nose and 2) literally getting himself out of the isolette. Here you see him climbing over the edge of his nest of blankets. I wish I had videotaped it, because he was working really hard to get out of there. Practically crawling! For your reference, only minutes before these photos were snapped, he was placed on his belly, arms and legs tucked in, inside that nest of blankets.
Henry is still on continuous CPAP, but he spent much of the day on room air (21% oxygen) and they have decreased his feed time from over an hour to over half an hour. Jack is cycling on and off CPAP (at room air) for 12 hours because they were worried he’d get tired. His feed was also moved over a half an hour, and he is tolerating it well. Marie tried this trick with him on Tuesday, and he wasn’t having it, so it’s a big step!
More Parenting Practice
Can you guess who this is?
It’s Henry. In the bath and then warming up with Mom afterwards. Pat yourself on the back if you got that one right!
Will also got some practice with Sophie: he gave her a bolus feed while holding her — no small feat! If only I’d had a free hand to take a photo. Sophie is now alternating pump feeds over 30 minutes and bolus feeds. Bolus feeds are much faster than the pump (gravity is doing the work), but there is still no sucking involved. We had Sophie practice with her pacifier during the feed, but with Will’s two hands busy (one holding Sophie and one holding the syringe of milk high in the air), there was no one but Sophie to try and keep that pacifier in her mouth. She made a noble attempt, but those little hands are still awfully small and uncoordinated!
While all this was going on, Jack was SUPPOSED to be sleeping. We couldn’t quite see what he was doing at the time, but he did cry out about every 10 minutes or so. Just one quick wail, but it was a wail nonetheless. I’m not sure if splitting two parents between these three munchkins is ever going to be easy. But just so you don’t all cry neglectful mother at me, know that Jack and I spent over an hour together earlier that afternoon, as we attempted to convince him that the tube feeding wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Jack, however, was quite content to continue receiving his food via “room service” — directly into the tummy with no sucking or swallowing involved! 34 weeks is when infants in utero just begin to develop the sucking/swallowing reflex, so we’re right on track. It’s hard for that brain to remember that one has to suck, swallow, and breathe all at the same time! The things we grownups take for granted…