I got to hold our girls for the very first time today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! D had visited them that morning while I was waiting to see various people and they told him they were waiting for me to visit and they would give them a break from the c-pap and I could hold them. I held them one at a time for about 20 minutes each. Occasionally their heart rates would fall and we would have to rub their backs or their feet to stimulate them -- it happens when they get lazy with their breathing. They also can't hold their body temperature so we had them bundled and they had little hats but when they got too cold or their heart rates dropped more than a few times, it was time to go back in the isolette. They both were awake and alert and were following our voices with their eyes. I know they can't focus on us yet, but with either D or I would talk to them, they would shift their eyes toward our voices.
Here's how they're doing today:
Sofia continues to be the smaller of the 2 and they keep starting and stopping her feeding to let her digestion keep up. They also thought they heard a heart murmur today so they did an ultrasound on her heart. Apparently there is a piece of tissue in the heart that closes when a baby is full term and before it's born so with premies it's not always closed. It's a common issue and they would first treat it with a medicine which usually works and they don't have to resort to surgery. We found out this evening that it's not quite the issue they initially thought so they were just going to keep an eye on it and treatment, for the moment, is not necessary. There's also another part of her heart that's a little leaky but they also expect it to fully close without intervention. Overall she's a little behind Olivia but still doing well.
Olivia has been doing well with her feedings and they've started to increase her feeding rate. The hope is that they gradually increase their intake each day. Both Olivia and Sofia experienced a few episodes of their heart rates dropping today (bradycardia) so they've started giving both of them caffeine to stimulate them to stay on top of their breathing. Again this issue is normal with premies.
The doctor with whom we spoke this evening is fantastic. All the doctors and nurses are wonderful. They're not only concerned about the girls but they're also concerned about my health and D and I as a couple. When we returned tonight to visit, they gave them both a break from the c-pap so we could see their faces. The respiratory therapist told me I could hold them again, but we decided we'd hold them once a day so we don't wear them out. The nurse today said as long as they're stable, there's no reason why we can't hold them. Tomorrow we're going to try what they call "Kangaroo Care" which is where I hold the babies skin to skin. It's great for both me and the girls.
Here are pictures of the girls with me and D as we held them. Sofia is in the white hat and Olivia is in the pink hat. I still think they look a lot alike - Sofia's features overall are a little smaller than Olivia, but to me they look similar.
Until next time!