I had a great visit with the boys today. Stephen stayed home to spend some quality time with Anna, and had a daddy/daughter date to see Winnie the Pooh :)
I held William last, but I'll start with his update. He is still slightly behind Aaron in the respiratory arena, but the big boy is our eating champ. The doctor approached our primary nurse today to discuss moving him onto the nasal cannula. While it would be a great step forward, and would allow us to see his beautiful face better, I don't think he's ready yet. It was good for me, as a parent, that the nurse echoed my opinion. It made me feel a bit more like I know what I'm doing here. He did have a better kangaroo hold today than yesterday, with few drops in his sats, so we'll see how tomorrow is going and perhaps switch him either tomorrow or Saturday. Also, he is also really loving his paci! His nurse yesterday altered his to work better with the CPAP, and he is really enjoying it.
William is now digesting all of his food. Before each new feeding, the contents of their tummies are gently pulled out with a syringe through their feeding tube, to check for residuals. If nothing is left, their food is being digested. If food remains, it will either be re-fed to them, or tossed out to begin a new feeding. William's digestive system appears to be back up and running since the surgery... he is also having good bowel movements, which helps. I suppose one positive aspect of the NICU is that we don't change most of their diapers :) He and Aaron are both moving up from 4 to 6ccs of milk today. They were both past this point prior to their PDA ligations, but they have to build back up gradually.
Aaron is still having residuals, but it's not uncommon. He is getting suppositories to assist with his bowel movements (poor guy). Once those are more frequent, he should be able to digest better. He and William are both having some reflux, which is fairly common with preemies. Stephen was the first recipient of Aaron spit up during his holding time yesterday. I'll let him have those firsts :)
Highlight of the day
Aaron had an excellent hold today, followed by a bath. I LOVE BATH TIME! This was my second time bathing him (we have not been allowed to bathe William yet). Everything is removed except for his nasal cannula and PICC line. The removal of the 3 leads and temperature probe makes a big difference in holding him without feeling restricted or unnatural. He goes into the warm bath swaddled, slowly, starting with his feet and lowered gently until most of his body is covered. The swaddle helps to keep him warm and more comfortable, and is lifted away in sections to wash him. He stayed calm the entire time and enjoyed the moment.
After drying him off, he was re-swaddled, still without the leads, and I held him while waiting for his nurse to get the isolette ready. Since the week after his birth, we've held him almost every day, by taking him and his accompanying myriad of wires awkwardly out of the bed, and holding him right to our chests. The kangaroo hold is awesome, and the skin to skin contact is incredibly beneficial for them, but we can't really look at them in this position. It's been over a month, and this was my first time actually cradling either of them in my arms and looking down at his little face, alert and wide-eyed, staring back at me. Such an amazing feeling. And then he opened his tiny mouth as if he was about to yawn, turned his head to the right, and started trying to find his food through my clothes! He's sooo tiny, I didn't know if the rooting reflex would be in place yet. Stephen seemed to think this was funny, but I think only a mom can truly appreciate the emotional effect of their baby trying (even in vain) to eat for the first time. We'll let him practice some tomorrow after I pump, as he's not ready yet for the real thing, but I'm really hopeful that both boys will latch on quickly when the time comes.
One day at a time ... I'm thankful to have more good days than bad, and let's pray for more days like today :)