Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Monday, February 14, 2011

Life in the NICU

Happy Valentine's day to everyone!  Today, the girls are 10 days old, and 36 weeks gestational age.  They are still in the NICU, so we are putting a lot of highway miles on the old Trailblazer running back and forth every  day.  Wade has gone back to work, so he tries to come up every other day to see them.  I have been coming up every day after I drop the kids off for school and coming back home for dinner every night.  It's pretty tiring, but I can't imagine skipping a day at this point.  I am feeling really good.  I had a couple of rough days right after the delivery, but I came home from the hospital on Feb. 8th and have felt fine since then.  My biggest gripe is that I still have a lot of swelling.  My feet and ankles are way more swollen now than they ever were during the pregnancy.  I'm going to see the doctor tomorrow for a quick blood pressure check so I'll have to see if this is normal or not.

For the most part, the girls are doing wonderful.  They have all regained their birth weights now and are starting to gain.  They all moved into open cribs several days ago when they were able to maintain their body temperatures outside of the isolettes.  The best thing about that is that we can now hold them whenever we want, and guests are able to hold them also now.  Mya and Ava have both had their IVs removed also because they are now receiving their full feeding amounts through a combination of bottle and tube feedings, so they no longer have to receive any of their nutrition through IVs.  They have both been moved from Level 3 to Level 2 status, which basically means that they are now "growers/feeders".  So, as soon as they are able to take all 8 of their daily feedings by bottle, they should be able to head home.  Ava just took her first bottle yesterday, but she finished the whole thing and also finished today's bottle.  Hopefully they will move her up to 2 bottles a day starting tomorrow.  Mya is starting to do really well with her feedings.  She has moved up to taking every other feeding by bottle starting today.  She has finished both of today's bottles....I think she is putting in her bid to be the first baby home!

And, then there is our big girl Lia.  Lia started out doing amazingly well.  She is an extremely aggressive eater and was taking 4 bottles a day in less than a week after birth.  As it turns out, she may have been taking on more than her little tummy could handle.  We got a phone call shortly after midnight last Thursday morning stating that they found blood in her stool and that they ran labs that shows some immature white blood cells which is a sign of infection.  They told us that they were stopping her feeds completely, putting her back on her IV for her nutritional needs and starting antibiotics.  In addition, they did some X-rays that showed some thickening of her intestines.  As a result, they decided to treat her for NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis) which is a condition that happens in preemie babies where the intestines become infected.  The bacteria that lives in the intestines naturally and aids in digestion begins to attack the intestinal wall in NEC cases.  While this can be extemely serious, the neonatologist believes that we caught Lia's case extremely early and we may not ever be sure if she actually has NEC or not, which is a good thing.  She is not showing any of the normal symtoms of NEC except for the instances of the blood in her stool.  So, they are treating it extremely aggressively in order to make sure they are not taking any chances.

So, this is day 5 for Lia without food.  While the IVs provide her everything she needs nutritionally, it does not fill her stomach and does not prevent her from feeling hungry.  So, needless to say, the poor baby is not happy at all.  The first couple of days were very rough.  We had to take turns holding her all day with a pacifier in her mouth to keep her content.  While the doctors say that her hunger is a good sign, it is still hard for us to watch.  Over the days, her stomach has shrunk back down some so she doesn't seem to be quite as hungry as she was a few days ago.  She is currently on some heavy duty antibiotics for 10 days and they will be checking on Thursday for improvements in her X-rays so hopefully we will be able to start back up on her feedings again later this week.

We are thrilled that Ava and Mya are doing so well and that we may be bringing babies home in the near future.  However, we are not looking forward to the inevitability of having some babies at home and some still up here in the NICU.  Dividing our time will become very difficult at that point, so hopefully it won't be very long before we have all three of them at home with us.

I will update soon when we know more about Lia's condition, but keep her in your thoughts and prayers while she is going through this rough time.

Ava Munai

Mya Anne

Lia Rose

Simone, Noa and Lia

Grandma wih Mya and Ava

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