Here's a picture of me and Brenna at the baby shower that Bridget hosted for me. It was very nice, and the babies got a lot of great presents. Thank you Aunt BB for the shower, and thank you everyone for the presents!
Here Daddy was changing Camdyn's diaper. I had him hold his hand up to her to show how little she still is, and I had him hold her tiny foot below. It is so cute!
Here are my two sweet peas sleeping together. They are so precious!
Camdyn hit the 5 lb. mark! She weighs 5 lbs. 1 oz. Cade hit the 7 lb. mark! He now weighs 7 lbs. 2 oz.
They had eye exams done last Wednesday. They both checked out great with no signs of retinopathy for which we are very thankful. The only problem was that Camdyn got really mad and had to go back on cannula for a while. Luckily she was weaned back off of it today. She really hates the eye exams. They don't have to get another one for 2 weeks.
They get hearing screens this week, and we are praying they both pass.
"Since they are getting big, do they get to come home soon?" I've been asked this a lot lately, so let me explain. It's not really about size as to when they get to come home; it has a lot more to do with functioning - i.e. breathing, eating, heart rate, etc. They are doing great breathing on their own, but they are still fed the majority of their feeds through a feeding tube. The "suck, swallow, breathe" pattern is very difficult for preemies (especially micro-preemies) to grasp. It will take some time for them to coordinate this pattern. They both are allowed to breast feed twice a day, and the attempts at breastfeeding have to be 6 hours apart as to not wear them out. That makes it very difficult for me because it means that if I want to breast feed them their allotted 2 times a day, I either have to stay at the NICU for 6-7 hours or go back at night. I want to be able to attempt it twice a day because I figure the more they practice, the better they will do (and hence come home sooner). Cade is getting two bottle attempts a day, and Camdyn is getting one. The last few days Camdyn has done much better both on breast and bottle feeding. I think it has "clicked" for her. I'm hoping Cade gets it soon. They have to take almost all of their bottle to get another one added. We are working up to 8 feeds per day orally, either by breast or bottle. So, it really is up to them as to when they get to come home. We've been asked a lot if the doctors give us any predictions for their home coming. The doctors really have no idea when the babies are going to be able to take all of their feeds by mouth and not desat or have brady/apnea episodes. Sometimes when they are eating, their oxygen saturation will go down, their heart rate will dip, or they will forget to breathe. Eating is a very difficult task for them. (I wish it were for me!) In order to go home, they have to be able to eat by mouth 8 times a day with no desats, bradys, or apnea.
The doctor told me that sometimes she thinks this is the hardest part of the NICU stay for parents because it can be very frustrating, and you are so ready to take your babies home. I told her that while it was indeed frustrating and hard to be patient, this is definitely not the hardest part. The hardest part, by far, were those first few hours, days, and weeks when our babies were on ventilators and had lines and tubes everywhere. During those days, I was sitting in the Ronald McDonald Family Room at the hospital and overheard another mom complaining about how difficult it was because her baby wasn't taking all of his bottles. I remember thinking, "When I get to that point, I won't complain about something so trivial. True worry is not knowing if and when your baby will be able to breathe." So here we are, weeks later, at that point, and yes, it is frustrating, but it is a much better place to be. I will work on being patient, and in the meantime, I will be thankful that my babies are breathing on their own and that we have made it this far. After all, I now get to hold my babies, rock my babies, and breastfeed my babies. I know the best part will be when they are home with me and Brenna and Daddy, but this is still the good part.