Monday, January 30, 2006
Today was Adam and Eleanor's four month visit to the pediatrician. The main reason for the visit was for their immunizations, but they also received a physical. Eleanor weighs 8 pounds 7 ounces and (drum roll please....) Adam weighs 9 pounds! That means he has gained three pounds in 25 days. They are growing so quickly that their growth on the charts is almost vertical. They are still far below what a four month old baby born at term would be, but I am quite confident they will catch up as soon as they can. Other than the four shots each, the visit was great. Bad news is that the home visit nurse had to come and give them their Synagis shot, too. Synagis helps reduce the severity of RSV, should they catch it. Talk about adding insult to injury. So one of their little thighs got two shots today and the other got three. I held them while they got the Synagis and Eleanor cried her very first real tears. On the bright side, her cries are sounding less and less like a little lamb's and more and more like baby bellows. Adam just does the "Silent Scream". Wide open mouth for seconds before he breathes and any sound comes out. The rest of the day? I spent it holding both of them on the couch.
Tomorrow we have a visit with the pediatric surgeon at the hospital. The visit is just for Adam who may or may not have little hernias. Hernias are a common side effect in preemie boys especially, from the pressure the ventilators put on their lower abdomen. We will find out what the doctor says and schedule the surgery, if necessary. I really dread having to spend more nights in the hospital, but this is all really small stuff compared to what we could be dealing with right now. We are truly blessed to have such healthy babies, considering all they have been through.
We have had lots of grandparents visit in the last week. Thank you to everyone else for being patient until the summer to see our not-so-little-anymore) ones. Until then, there will be lots of pictures!
For those of you who remember seeing this picture of Eleanor with my ring when she was less than a month old, I wanted to show a comparison. On the bottom is Eleanor three months later--you barely notice my ring by her elbow.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I know we should have probably written the details of Adam and Eleanor's stay at the NICU at St. Joseph Mercy as it went along, but I just couldn't bring myself to do that for the longest time. Then, when they were doing better, I was still at the hospital all day and couldn't find the time. Now that Adam and Eleanor are home, I am hoping, perhaps naively, that we will be able to keep up with a website. Lofty goal, I know, but we're going to give it a shot.
Yesterday, Adam and Eleanor had an appointment with the pulmonologist. For as long as they remain on oxygen and apnea monitors, they will have to see him. Loading both kids up with all their attachments takes some work, but I'm getting it down! After being tested by the doctor, we found out that Eleanor is getting very close to coming off her oxygen. Yeah! Adam will have to be on it for at least eight more weeks. Oh well, we aren't leaving the house anyway. In three weeks we will probably have an overnight stay at the hospital to monitor Eleanor with a sleep study to make sure she is ready.
Right now, they are both on the same schedule , eating every three hours. They are on 22 calorie preemie formula to boost their growth. The pediatrician would like to see them "double gain." That means they should gain enough weight to eventually catch up with their actual age. Preemies are measured by their adjusted age until they are about two. This means that as of their due date, January 22, 2006, they are considered one day old. So for newborns, their weights are great: Adam weighs 8 pounds 4 ounces, and Eleanor weighs 7 pounds 12 ounces. For four month olds, their weight is far behind. The higher calorie formula should help them gain faster. Right now they eat about 24 ounces of formula a day each.
During our days, Adam loves to sit in his Boppy. Eleanor would prefer to be held the entire day, which doesn't bother me at all! It was so long before we got to hold them that we have to make up for lost time.
If you are interested in reading the details of Eleanor and Adam's story from the beginning, read the archives from September.