Everyone warned me that the NICU is two steps forward and one step back. The doctors say that the NICU stay is filled with speed bumps. And we have hit a couple.
The great news is that all of the babies are doing really well. They have normal preemie issues such as dropping their heart rates and oxygen saturation levels every now and then. BUT they are all gaining weight and all but Briellen are off oxygen! (Briellen is only on room air nasal cannula.) Yesterday, the doctors ordered that they start trying to take a bottle. (They call it "nipple", but I get the giggles saying nipple.) They boys and Sidney did really well, Ivy is still thinking about if it's worth the effort, Briellen can't try until she gets her breathing rate down. They all smile at us everytime we hold them. Every day they fight to get bigger and stronger and we are so proud of them!
Now for the speed bumps...
The first is that Luke, Mitchell and Briellen have large PDA's. (Patent (open) Ductus Ateriosus) This is a blood vessel near the heart and lungs that was necessary for circulation when the babies were in utero. It is meant to close within a few days after birth and then disappear. In 40-50% of preemies born under 34 weeks the vessel stays open. Large PDA's can burden the lungs with too much blood and make it hard for the babies to breath and overload the heart. The PDA's can still close on their own or if they don't and they are not causing breathing or heart issues, we just watch them closely. If they are causing issues, then we have to think about surgery. Luke, Mitchell and Briellen have been asymptomatic so far, so we are just watching them. I am worried that Briellen being still on the oxygen is because of her PDA. I am praying that all of them will close on their own soon.
The next speed bump is that we found out that all of the babies have fragile bones. This is because of all of the magnesium that I had to take. It depleted the calcium in both me and the babies. They x-rayed Briellen for her PDA and found 3 fractured ribs and a fracture in each arm. The bones were not displaced and the fractures were tiny... The good news is she was/is not showing any signs of discomfort. The doctors are increasing the babies nutrition and giving them a vitamin D supplement to build strong bones. In the meantime, we have to handle them carefully and we can't hold them skin-to skin. They have to stay tightly wrapped. It will take a few weeks to resolve.
On a lighter note, another bump that I would like to go away is my belly bump. I finally have the cute belly bump that I never had and look adorable in maternity clothes. The thing that is not so adorable is that there is no baby! A MILLION strangers have made comments on it. Now I know why the guys at work didn't say a word when I first started showing!!
Here are the 3 week pics of the babies... We just love them to death!!
Ivy - 2 lbs. 13 oz.Mitchell - 3lbs. 6 oz.
Wild Hair After Bath Luke - 3 lbs. 8 oz.
Briellen - 2 lbs. 15 oz.
Sidney - 3 lbs. 4 oz.