Ya'll may think the title is funny, but that's what I felt like singing Sunday (9/28) when they moved my last 2 in the NICUto the progressive ICU. Heath moved to neonatal progressive ICU on last Thursday (9/25) at shift change. Leah and Ricky were moved Sunday afternoon, between 5:30-6:00pm over to PICU. First they took Leah and then Ricky. As we followed Ricky in his isolette, the nurses down the other isles came to see; they were also all smiles and happy. Some said bye, yeah for the McLean's. I lifted my hands in victory, feeling like I had should be giving all of them high 5's because our team had won the battle! Yeah! Wahoo!! I wanted to do a happy dance! We had graduated all of them to progressive. So once again, even as I am typing this, I am filled with emotion, sweet joy! We arrived the underdogs, but we conquered! Our babies and how well they have done is a true testimony to what the power of prayer can do!! God bles all of you who have prayed daily for us for so many months. I'm blown away on a daily basis to what God has done in our lives. He is truly the Great Physician!
I've been trying to write this since Monday night, but always seem too tired to keep my eyes open or find something else that also needs to be done! I know this will only get worse! So here it goes...
Last Wednesday (9/24), all the baby's had their first eye exam to see how severe they may have retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The retina is made up of many small blood vessels at the back of the eye. When a baby is born prematurely, the normal blood vessel growth changes. The blood vessels become very large and easily break. This abnormal growth is called ROP. If the blood vessels bleed it causes scar tissue. As the scar tissue grows, it makes the retina pull away from the back of the eye (retinal detachment). Retinal detachment can lead to poor eyesight or even result in blindness. It's a given that all of them will have some ROP. But thank goodness all were only in Stage 1 (mild). So they will repeat in 2 weeks and see if there's any changes.
Also since last Thursday (9/25), physical and occupational therapy (PT & OT) has evaluated each baby to see where their strengths and weakness's are. the 2 main things they are looking at right now is their sucking reflex and for them to keep developing their physiological flexion (this is the scrunched up position they would be in the womb). They want them to have strong flexion by the time they go home. They also brought them these new hallo pillow's to help head shaping.
Randy has been working nights at Comanche Peak since Sunday. His days off last week were Friday and Saturday. So we went up Friday (9/26) evening to see the babies and see if we could get in on some bath time. I was able to give Heath and Ricky their baths as Dad taped the festivities. the little toots were both pretty squirmy, trying to wash them in their little buckets they give you at the hospital. They were both kicking and pushing with their little legs, but like getting their hair washed. It was so much fun! Randy held Ricky that evening too. On Saturday (9/27) we went up that afternoon and stayed late again. Its nice and quiet on the night shift. Randy held Leah and Heath that night. Then Sunday (9/28) afternoon, much to our surprise, they said they were moving Ricky and Leah to progressive before shift change. Jenna got to hold all 4. Nana held Ty and Heath and Pa held Heath. The kiddos had such an awesome week!
This week has been no different. Monday (9/29) all had head sonograms to look for bleeds. Steven and Leah's were clear which was expected. Since Ricky and Heath were the sickest when they were born, they both had a questionable spots. Ricky had one at the basal ganglia which Dr. Levy was surprised that it showed up. he said he's really not worried about this because the radiologist noted it as questionable. Heath had a questionable spot show up on the left frontal of the brain. this on the other hand is a place that's more worrisome. So we will repeat another head sono in 2-3 weeks to see if there's any changes. He said all the babies will get MRI's before they go home for one last check. All have been growing great this week and tolerating the increases in their feedings. Little Leah had pulled her feeding tube out of her mouth Saturday evening. When she did the tape attached to her cheeks to secure the tube also came off with a layer of skin with it. They put these little clear dressings called tegaderm over the area so they could re tape the tube to it. This Tuesday (9/30), we took the tegaderms off because it was getting moist under it. So they got all that off her cheeks, cleaned them and left them open to air so it could dry out. Bless her heart, her skin is so sensitive and thin! But within a day the areas were already dried up and looking better. Ty had his nasal cannula out of his nose alot today and was holding his Sats great on his own. We took it off of him for a trial run while I held him and didn't have any problems.
Wednesday (10/1) was another big day, I was able to try to nipple feed (try to see if they would take a bottle nipple) for the first time!! Right now they can try once a day for 30 minutes. Whatever they haven't eaten after 30 minutes then they put through their OG tube. they also turned Steven Tyler's O2 down to 1/2 Liter at room air and Heath's down to 1 liter at 25-30% oxygen.
Steven Tyler took his entire feed of 34ml with no problem! Leah took her 30ml with no problems, spit up once during and once after, but very little. Heath took 26ml of his 36ml feed. Ricky took 13ml of his 37ml feed. All did great for their first try!! We will also try to get them to latch on to breastfeed probably after a few more feeds.
MoMo (Randy's mom, Joyce) came for a visit that afternoon and got to hold Leah and Steven Tyler.
Today, Thursday (10/2) Heath took his entire feed of 36mls. Ty took his plus a little extra, 37mls in 30 minutes. Leah sucked her 30mls down in 15 minutes!-Little Piggy! Ricky didn't get to try this afternoon because he was breathing too fast (don't want to stress him out).
Their weights and lengths:
Ricky: 4lbs. 10 oz. length:16.93 inches (43cm)
Heath: 4lbs. 9oz. length: 16.53 inches (42cm)
Steven: 4lbs. 0oz. length: 15.35inches (39cm)
Leah: 3lbs. 11 1/2oz. length: 15.94inches (40.5cm)
Today is also Ashley's 13th birthday! Happy Happy Birthday!! We Love ya girl! Holy Guacamole she's now a teenager!!
I'll post pictures tomarrow from this past week.