35 Weeks & 5 lbs 10 oz!

The girls have done it!  We’ve reached 35 weeks.  In fact, they are six weeks old today.  Last night they weighed in at 5 lbs 10 oz.  Their weight is only 8 grams different.  It’s pretty extraordinary and I am overjoyed that they have kept up good growth.  We are now too big for preemie clothes and diapers and have moved up.  I tell the girls that I am so proud of them that they have “big girl panties” since they wear newborn sized diapers instead of preemie.  Celeste is 18.75” in length and Vivien is 18.25”. 

They are both taking feedings from a bottle and from the breast.  They are still getting fed half of their meals via a gavage tube that goes from their nose into their tummy.  I pump breast milk 6-7 times per day and get around 7-10 oz (~250-300 ml) each time.  I make wwwaaaayyyyy more milk than what they currently need.  I have filled the freezer in their NICU suite 3 times!  They always get fresh milk and I am saving the freezer stuff for when they come home and my husband or in-laws can feed them a bottle while I get some extra sleep.  I mention this because I was really worried that having a premature baby would mean that I couldn’t make adequate milk.  Luckily for me, thank goodness, this is not a problem.  I drink a ton of water to help my supply (about 2-3 liters per day), I pump every 3-4 hours for 30+ minutes and I hand express any extra milk to ensure that my breasts are as empty as possible.  I really think that early and often hand expression (this was encouraged by the lactation consultants in the NICU) has really made a difference.

Unfortunately, my sweetie girls still have apnea of prematurity episodes a few times per day, but they are steadily growing out of it.  They no longer have nasal cannulas to give them airflow to remind them to breathe and are only on extra doses of caffeine (very Seattle). We expect that we will be able to take them home in 2-3 weeks.  They will have to stop having apnea episodes, take all of their feeds from either breast or bottle (they do about half now), continue to gain weight and maintain their body temperature in their open cribs (they’ve been out of their isolettes for about 2 weeks now).

I spend most of my day in the NICU.  I wake up in the morning around 6:30 am to pump breast milk for them, then I take a nap until about 9:30 to drive to the hospital where I try to feed at the breast by 10:30.  I stay with them all day in our private room at the hospital.  I change their diapers, feed them and also help the nurse with little tasks.  I give them a bath once or twice per week.  My favorite part of the day when I get to hold them kangaroo style (skin-to-skin) quietly sing songs and love them up.  My mother and father in law show up around 6:00 pm to give me a break.  I go home and spend 3-4 hours with MrBeep, then we both head back to the hospital and hang out with the girls until about 1:00 to 2:00 am.  When either girl has a bad day, then I spend the night and sleep on a foam bed in their room.  Luckily, they have been doing well for several weeks and I haven’t had to sleep over for a while. 

Thank you all so much for checking on me.  I try to steal time away during the day to read your blogs. I comment when I can.  To tell the truth, there has been much fear and many tears shed on my part, but we are steadily getting through this.  I find it hard to write about it, I can’t seem to get back the same quiet time to reflect on my feelings and I don’t think that dwelling on the negative is useful for me right now.  I would rather spend my energy holding them next to my skin (they love skin-to-skin contact).  I would rather spend my energy quietly singing songs and telling them how much they are loved and how proud we are of them. They are both very hearty and healthy and (in my humble opinion) are beyond adorable.  I am so in love.  My heart is full. 



16 comments on "35 Weeks & 5 lbs 10 oz!"

Mrs. Gamgee on May 25, 2010 at 6:41 AM said...

Praise God that they are doing so well! They are beautiful, I don't think you're biassed at all.

Praying that the apnea goes away quickly and that you are soon able to bring them home!

((hugs to you and yours))

WiseGuy on May 25, 2010 at 6:44 AM said...

Hi there IFOptimist!!!

I am so glad that the girls are getting stronger by the day...I quite understand that this must be a very emotional time for you.

When my time comes, I would also love to be skin-to-skin with the baby.

I hope to see the girls coming home soon. Love the names, and the pictures!

Pie on May 25, 2010 at 6:54 AM said...

The cheeks! The chubby cheeks! They are doing so well, and growing like weeds! Great news, I'm so happy for you all you gals!

It is so good to hear from you again! Take care of yourself!

kimbosue on May 25, 2010 at 6:54 AM said...

I am so glad they are getting bigger and stronger every day! They are precious. The monster jammies are perfect!

sprogblogger on May 25, 2010 at 7:48 AM said...

So happy that they're doing so well! Can't tell you how thrilled I am that they're gaining so steadily and will be coming home with you soon! Thinking of you all!

JJ on May 25, 2010 at 8:21 AM said...

SO glad to hear they are doing well--and they are beautiful girls!!

Sunny on May 25, 2010 at 8:35 AM said...

I am so glad you posted... I have been thinking about you and the girls all the time. They are indeed strong, just like their mama. So glad to hear they are thriving, I pray you'll be taking them home as quickly as possible.

mekate on May 25, 2010 at 11:11 AM said...

Sweetie Pie!
so so so good to hear you here!
I was 5lbs 11oz when I was born, so happy your girls are growing so beautifully-- they look just adorable.
I cannot imagine the fear and worry and can only imagine the love and wonder-- I wish on you great big healing love
and baby girls home and healthy and READY in a few weeks.

Such big love to you always.
take the best possible care of your wonderful self, you and the kiddos are the most important things.


Rotten on May 25, 2010 at 12:09 PM said...

So happy to hear the girls are doing so well and that HELLO... you are producing a boat load of milk. That is just awesome! Hopefully they will be home soon and your arms all the time. Big hugs and kisses to both of them... and you too of course.

meinsideout on May 25, 2010 at 12:21 PM said...

YOU ARE AWESOME. INCREDIBLE. AMAZING. I got goosebumps reading your post.

The girls are beautiful.

Photogrl on May 25, 2010 at 12:31 PM said...

They are just adorable!

Hope that they keep growing and can come home soon!

K77 on May 26, 2010 at 2:41 AM said...

Lovely, and way to go on the milk production, that is awesome!

Kate on May 26, 2010 at 5:41 AM said...

So glad the monsters are doing well. I'm way jealous of your breast milk supply - mine's not anywhere near as good.

Beautiful Mess on May 27, 2010 at 10:06 AM said...

I am so glad to hear things are going so well! Way to go rockstar girls! Of course who would expect anything less from YOUR girls?!

There will be plenty of time to process your feelings, right now just bask in the beauty that they are! They are so beautiful, truly.

Suzy on May 28, 2010 at 7:30 AM said...

What great news! They are just beautiful.

I hope the time flies by and you get to have them at home with you soon.


Amanda on June 14, 2010 at 8:58 AM said...

I just want you to know I'm thinking of you and your girls. I hope all is well!


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