The boys are 8 weeks old today :) Stephen and I both had good visits with the boys, although William did have a little spell while Stephen was there. Aaron took a full feeding from his bottle with Stephen! The little guy seems to be doing better than William on all fronts except weight now, but William will get there too.
There were a few new developments today. William is now being treated with albuterol to help keep his airway open and hopefully prevent any major spells like those he has been having, where he is completely out for at least a minute or two. Apnea spells are common in preemies, but his have been significant. The nurses do assure me that he will outgrow it. The doctor considered re-starting the caffeine, but decided to try this route instead as caffeine can irritate reflux. William also had albuterol, in a nebulizer form, after his PDA ligation, but that form made his heart rate too high. Hopefully the extended release elixir will not have the same effect.
Stephen texted me this morning that the doctor wanted to start alternating formula with the breast milk...my initial internal response to that was "No Way!". I know that they will each have two formula feeds per day when they come home, and I've accepted that. Right now they get one feeding fortified with extra vitamins and minerals, but mommy milk is the best nutrition for all babies, especially preemies. Do I want them to have 4 formula feeds a day each? No. Unfortunately, breast milk is also lacking in calcium and phosphate, which can lead to brittle bones. Formula can help make up the difference. Our primary nurse knew that I would not be on board with this suggestion, so she and the doctor opted decided to increase the amount of milk they are eating at each feed. They had been holding back on the feed increases due to the reflux, but more milk should provide the same benefits of the formula. Their mineral levels will be monitored to make sure this helps, and if it doesn't, then formula would be suggested again.
In the last development for the day, both now have jaundice. This is not the newborn type that can be fixed with phototherapy lights and bowel movements. At this point, we don't know what's causing it. It could be the breast milk, as it can sometimes decrease the body's ability to excrete bilirubin; it could be CMV virus (probably not, as I'm not suspected to have it, but they're still being tested); it could be something different. Their bilirubin levels will be watched, and hopefully it will clear up on its own.
Please continue the prayers that they will be healthy enough to come home some time in the next few weeks!