38 weeks, 4 days :)
Cadence, Aria, and Jude turned 12 weeks old on Thursday and are now on day 86 of life! I am so amazed of how far they have come from being under 2 pounds to Cadence and Jude being a little over 6 now and Aria being 4 pounds 10 ounces. It has been interesting since the last time I posted because Aria is now in the "lead" to go home! I can't believe it- a month ago, one of the neonatologist was examining her and said to me "I can't figure out why she is not growing like her siblings and why she needs more respiratory support. I thought perhaps she may have a chromosome problem but I look at her and she looks fine." So, I guess we just have to chalk it up to her being petite. She had earned the title "sassy" and "Ms. Attitude." See, I guess I did get it right from the beginning because I specifically named her Aria because I couldn't sleep at night because she was always moving and Aria is a diva-like name :) Aria graduated to a regular canulla a week ago today which gave her the green light to start nursing (the doc team was not sure how she'd handle being off high flow oxygen but I insisted she was ready- glad I was right because she is doing very well off and has even been weaned since she was put on low flow 1Liter to .5L. She is always right around 21% so the docs are now thinking she will be completely off in a few days!) Aria gets very excited about nursing and we started bottles yesterday and she is very excited about that too. She took almost her entire bottle for me three times yesterday and she took a few full ones for the night nurse last night! She must really want to blow that pop stand!
Cadence is doing pretty well too. We did a "room air trial" last week to see how she would do without oxygen and unfortunately she just wasn't ready yet. Her oxygen saturations would get into the teens where they should be in the 90s. We also really started to work with her on eating last week so I think it was too much thrown at her all at once. Cadence is so funny - she gets to the bottle or breast, acts all hungry, and then falls asleep (she's a deceptive Cadence- lol, my music peeps will understand). I don't think the lightbulb has turned on yet for Cadence like it has for Aria. Cadence looked like she would be the first one home but now she is too relaxed and chill to eat and she has to be able to eat 80% of her feeds being offered to her to go home. Her oxygen should be off next week as well though so that's good!
Mr. Jude is not eating yet :( he has horrible reflux. He still gets fed through the tube with a pump to regulate how long it takes to go in. Right now it takes an hour and a half to go in and he still has reflux even with it going in that slowly. We are fortifying his breast milk with a fortifier specifically for babies with a milk protein allergy even though we are not sure that's what's going on. I am also on day 2 of no dairy in my diet. I hope it helps because I don't want to leave Jude too far behind his sisters. He is still on high flow nasal canulla to 2Liters. The nurses are still hearing a murmur in his heart so maybe his heart not closing up as it should is giving him problems too. The doctors are trying to figure stuff out so he can start eating too. He keeps getting "spells" and the big red button has been pushed a few times and all the doctors come storming in to resuscitate him. He also gets bagged at least once a week. That's how bad his digestion is. It causes the milk to come up and get stuck in his airway so he can't breathe. Poor little guy. I have 100% confidence that he will be okay though and he will make it out just fine. He just needs time for his systems to mature. Noah had really bad reflux and he was a full term baby and if just took him about six months to outgrow it.
I prayed that the babies would have an easy nicu stay and I can honestly say that's what they have had. Thank God! All three had no head bleeds which I hear is HUGE. All three have no major issues with their eyes (Cadee has a very minor form of ROP- stage 1, zone 2- which I hear is nothing). All three have made it almost three months surgery-free. It's truly amazing. They have all had ups and downs but they are doing remarkable well collectively. I think it is interesting that Jude was the front runner first, then Cadence became the front runner and now Aria is. I'm so proud of my babies and how far they have come! The girls may be 3-4 weeks away from coming home. It's hard to gauge Jude. His lightbulb may come on soon and we are praying that it does because I do not want to leave him behind too long after the girls come home.
Noah is hanging in there and looking forward to the babies coming home but he doesn't really know what he is in for! He comes to see them a couple times a week and gives them kisses. He is such a good boy and he is already a great big brother but I worry that he won't get as much attention though and he will act out. Praying he adjusts well!
Tim and I feel very nervous about caring for the babies at home. We need lots of prayer regarding our confidence in our ability to be able to take care of three micropreemies and a toddler. We are particularly nervous about cold and flu season and them getting sick and ending up back in the hospital. I guess the first year is the biggest on making sure they stay well. We have to quarantine ourselves from the outside world until March or April. The babies are going to receive Synagis once a month which will minimize the symptoms of RSV in case they do get it. Please, Lord, keep our preemies healthy! We are also nervous about night time feedings and we are currently trying to find a night nanny a few times a week so we can be well-rested to be able to take great care of the babies during the day. Praying that The Lord shows us the right person/people soon. Tim and I just have a lot to worry about and so much on our plate right now so we are asking for prayers for strength and courage as we face everything.
Joshua 1:9 ESV
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”