It's time for a twin update! Well, there's great news because no news is good news in this case. The girls are both doing GREAT! I last updated a week ago Monday when Kaitlin got her right chest tube out, was off the Jet Ventilator and they let me hold her! On Tuesday we asked the nurse when we might get to hold the girls together, so when I showed up on Wednesday morning the nurse asked "Are we holding the twins together today?" and I think I gasped, which made the doctor who was rounding on the girls laugh. I said "If everyone with a medical degree is good with it, I'm good with it!" I couldn't wait to hold them together. And then I suddenly realized I was going to need at least four arms to take care of these girls, holding them together is HARD! The first day Abigail just cuddled into my chest and Kaitlin was a little less comfortable, and wiggled a lot and kept her eyes open the entire time. By Friday the girls were intertwined with their arms around each other, and today both girls just fell asleep as soon as they were on my chest. I love holding my girls together! I still need four arms when I'm holding them, I'll have one hand on each baby but then if one of them starts to cry I don't know how to comfort her while still holding the other one. I've told our nurses I'm taking them home with us when the girls come home!
So, here are the stats on the girls. Abby weighs about 2lbs 9oz. She is off the ventilator a little bit every day which means she has no cannula (no oxygen going in her nose). Sometimes she does great, other times she gets a little stressed out by it and needs it back. She has what they call "Brady" episodes every day, which means her heart suddenly slows down, which is related to her breathing. The nurses assure me this is just because her body and brain are immature and soon she will be able to remember to do all of it on her own without needing reminders. The episodes are a little scary to her Momma, but get shorter every time and she pulls herself out of them every time. She gets 24mL of breast milk every 3 hours and it's fortified with an extra 24 calories to help her gain weight. Her feeding tube is now through her nose, which she likes a LOT better than through her mouth.
Katie also weighs 2lb 9oz! One of our doctors was pretty excited that the girls weigh the same and are "behaving like twins!" Katie is on a pretty low ventilator setting and when I left the hospital this morning was on 5 liters of oxygen. (I'm not entirely sure what that means, I just know it's a good thing and the lower that gets the better it means she's doing.) She's had no problems with her lungs since her last chest tube came out! All other problems have been resolved and tests have come back negative. She got her PICC line out on Sunday which means any meds she's getting come with her feedings now. She is also getting 24mL of breast milk every 3 hours (that's new as of today!) and 24 calories to help her gain weight. Her feeding tube is still through her mouth, and she frequently tries to pull it out.
On Sunday we got to put the girls together in the same bed to take pictures. Kaitlin had had a hard day, getting her PICC line out and being put on a new cannula, so she was pretty exhausted and slept through the entire thing. Abby stole the show by smiling at us and showing off for the camera. We were bragging about it to one of the NICU doctors and he was amazed, he said babies our girls age just do not get to be in the bed together! Everyone is amazed by the girls!
So, basically the girls are both doing GREAT! Right now it's about gaining weight and soon it will be about learning how to breastfeed. We'll start that process in a week or two. The girls have to learn how to do three things in order to successfully breastfeed, suck, swallow, and breathe all at the same time. The nurses have explained the process to us a few times, and it is definitely a process! We can't believe the girls are already a month old! Time is flying and going slowly all at the same time. We've still got a lot of time to go, until around Thanksgiving, but we're so very grateful to be where we are now and to have a month under our belts.