I woke up telling myself today would be a good day. 10 days old.. how far we have come in only 10 days..
I called this morning and the nurse gave me a good report. My boys were tolerating their feedings, had no issues with the PICC line and Peter only had one episode. An “episode” is when preemies forget to breathe and need to be stimulated usually with light touch to start up again. One episode is actually consider ok and “normal.” Maurice had none and was also doing well. I was even able to pump more today.. it’s a good day.
We went into the NICU unit and they were doing rounds. They started my babies right away so I could be included on their progress and plan for the next 8 hours until they round again at night. Rounds are my favorite part of the day. It makes me feel secure and safe. For me, the more knowledge I have .. every single number .. each lab value and calculation .. brings some kind of strange peace.
They started with Maurice. His kidney function is now 1.1 which is almost normal!! He weighs 1 lb 12 oz and lost about 5 grams yesterday. They are not concerned with his weight loss right now. They didn’t advance his feeding yesterday because he wasn’t tolerating it well, but today there are plans to go up. They are continuing to spread it over a few hours. His lights for high bilirubin are off again and his numbers are normal. Sodium level normal. His next echo is pending to check the status of his vsd and cardiology will see him next week. He’s doing so well.. my baby boy what incredible progress you have made.
Then Peter, kidney function normal.. sodium normal .. CBC normal.. I almost can’t believe what I’m hearing .. back on lights for high bilirubin but this should resolve again. We are still watching his breathing but he transitioned to a nasal cannula and is doing fairly well. His main issue is feeding and today again we are making a big jump but infusing slow to help him tolerate it. I still can’t believe it. I’m not asking if his heart will fail or when will his kidneys start working .. just asking about his feeding schedule. It’s a miracle.
I went in to see them.. Peter looks so big. He lost most of the fine hair that was covering his body. His skin is less translucent. I can see his face and he opens his eyes. I love being with him and watching him. I know he can’t see me but when he looks at me I feel like he can. He had his belly button iv or umbilical line taken out yesterday. Now there is less risk when I hold him. I didn’t want to do skin to skin while it was in because if he moved the wrong way there was a chance it could come out. My biggest fear is that I will hurt their fragile little bodies.
The nurse asked if I wanted to hold them today.. really hold them.. the way I did when I first gave birth to Mia and Juliet.. the way I dreamed of holding my boys since I knew they were inside of me. I immediately said yes. She started the process of disconnecting wires.. unplugging machines.. there were things beeping everywhere. All I kept thinking was is he ok. She kept reassuring me. I had a blanket ready and sat in the chair next to her as she picked him up and started to pass him to me. I could already feel the tears coming. I tried to stay as calm as I could.. She gently pressed him to my chest. He had nothing on but a tiny diaper and his oxygen. I could feel him breathing against me. I wrapped him inside my shirt and held him tight. I could smell him. I know he knows I am his mommy. I couldn’t stop looking up to make sure his heart rate and breathing was ok .. the nurse turned the monitor around so I couldn’t see it. She said said it’s just you and him right now.. I’m so thankful to her for this moment. Time stood still. She came back in and it felt like an eternity and a second all at once. He had to start his feeding. I had to give him back .. but it was ok. Every time I come now they said I could do this. I can hold my babies.
Next over to Maurice. He is still so small and only 1lb 12oz. His eyes have some swelling from the Cpap mask giving him oxygen. Even though his lungs are relatively ok he needs to continue it for the pressure. If there is no pressure his tiny lungs cold collapse on themselves causing something called atelectasis. His nurse repeated the process. The beeping, the wires, the tubes.. a little less scary this time. She joked with me and said soon I’ll be able to pick him up from his isolette myself. I can’t image ever getting to that point but I pray it comes soon. She passed him to me over around all the machines and wires and had to disconnect his breathing mask for a minute. Of course I panic when she takes it off and watch his oxygen but it stayed at 98%. I tuck him inside my shirt , something they call kangarooing. He feels so much smaller and more fragile than Peter. I opened his little hand and placed it on my chest so I could feel him. The Cpap machine was back on and making loud noises but I almost couldn’t even hear it. I just kept telling him how proud of him I was.. how strong he has been… we were told he was likely not going to make it from my very first visit with an MFM at 13 weeks. He said “I do not see you having two healthy babies.” And Maurice, being so tiny… in the less than 1% and his brother in the 90% made it even more scary. His umbilical cord had only two vessels ( when it should have three) and had a poor attachment to the placenta. Add to that ttts and it was not a good situation. He said I just want to prepare you but “at your next visit he might not be here.” I remember thinking I won’t let that happen… and praying .. lots of prayer. And here you are.. I can see you and feel you … it is the most beautiful dream I could ever have.
Any mother knows that feeling.. the first moments when you actually can feel your baby… their heart beat.. their smell.. every breath.. it’s the moment you truly become a mommy. For me that moment was today. Forever grateful for my boys, this moment, and this very good day.
“God knew my heart needed you.”