The twins are two weeks old today! That also means they have been in the NICU two weeks. It has been an emotional day hitting that two week milestone here.
The neonatologist backed off Ainsley's feedings to 5 or 6 attempts at bottling per day to allow her to get some more rest and build up more strength. This was definitely a step backward on the trail to getting home which was very hard for us. We understand that there will be setbacks but it doesn't make it any easier when all we want is for our babies to be healthy and come home with us. Hopefully this will allow her to conserve more energy and gain more weight. As of last night she weighed 5lbs 1.4oz so she is back up to her birth weight.
The speech therapist came today to watch Benson eat. He really did a good job of showing her how he usually eats. He will be hungry so he'll take the bottle but then will only take about 5ml to 7ml, of which he seems to spit out about half. Then he'll stop swallowing and start to gag or cough. She also observed him sucking his pacifier which he does VERY well. She said his technique with that is great and if he took his bottle that some way he would be eating well. The question is why is he not wanting to take the bottle. At this point there is the possibility of reflux. Preemies have an increased likelihood of having reflux and the feeding tube holds open the sphincter at the top of his stomach which makes it easier to reflux. So he could be protecting himself from the pain of the reflux. Another possibility is that he is guarding his airway and for some reason is having trouble "getting it down the right tube." So he is going to have a swallow study either tomorrow or Thursday to try to learn more about what exactly he has going on. In the mean time we are doing mostly gavage feedings to avoid making him so uncomfortable. This will also allow him to get more rest and burn fewer calories. As of last night he was up to 5lbs 3.4oz (birth weight was 4lbs 15oz)!
We appreciate all thoughts and prayers as it is becoming harder to deal with having the babies in the NICU. We absolutely cannot wait to have them home. People comment that it will be harder when they're home as we won't have help to care for them. I have to disagree. To me it will be such a relief emotionally to have them at home. It is so draining to worry about them when we leave at night. It will be so much easier to rest during the day when they are resting and we are comfortable at home and not sitting on hard chairs or a bench and there aren't people coming in and out of the room every hour or more. I don't mean to complain but we are wearing out and I guess one of life's lessons is to ask for help when you need it. There isn't much you all can physically do but if you are inclined to pray for us or keep us in your thoughts we would very much appreciate it! Specifically we are praying that Ainsley will continue to grow and gain weight and that will help her to be able to eat better so she can come home. We pray the Benson will do the same and that the staff here will be able to learn from his swallow study so that we can help him to eat more comfortably. And lastly we pray for strength for Mom and Dad that we can be strong for the babies and take care of them the best we can!
After bath time tonight we had a little photo shoot. We HAD to get a couple pictures with the babies in their pumpkin outfits!
We love our little pumpkin butts!