My mom celebrated her birthday on Saturday. We love you mom and can't wait for you to be here to see the girls.
We've been maintaining our hectic schedule over the weekend. The only exciting news, besides no major setbacks, is the girls have tried to get their feeding through a bottle a couple of times now. Their last major hurdle before they are allowed to come home is learning to suck, breathe, and swallow. At 34 weeks is when they develop that reflex so Lisa has been allowing them to do some non-nutritive exploration for a while now...meaning they don't really get any milk, it's just practice. The last couple of days Lisa didn't pump right before we arrive to give them a chance to actually get some milk. The first couple of days didn't yield any results. The girls were too tired or not really interested or...just lazy like their dad.
So today we introduced the bottle. We figure we're going to have to bottle feed them, it's just a matter of how much they get from the bottle and how much they can get from breastfeeding. Lisa learned very quickly that it's not going to be easy and we are going to have to get out of our comfort zone again. Feeding them through the bottle is a little different from feeding a full term baby. With preemies, you have to have them on their side and rotate their body, head, and bottle together to let the milk gather in the nipple. Then, after a couple of good sucks, rotate them back so the milk isn't in the nipple to allow them to swallow and breath. Then, when they're ready, they'll start sucking and you rotate them again to allow the milk to fill up the nipple.
First try, the nurse was watching closely over Lisa's shoulders as Kaitlyn tried a couple of sucks. It was very hard to tell because she didn't choke or anything, she just stopped breathing and the first sign was her heart monitor dropped from her normal 150 range down to the 80s. She recovered almost immediately but it instantly brought back memories of those past episodes that gave us so much anxiety. She did okay after that and took in maybe 5 ml of her 44 ml lunch.
So this evening...we gave Alyssa the chance at the real nipple and I took Kaitlyn for another go at the bottle. She did GREAT!! I asked the nurse to pretty much stand over my shoulder and watch every move. After getting over that initial fear, I was pivoting and rotating and she was sucking and swallowing...and breathing. After 5 minutes or so, I held her up and tried to work out her first burp. It didn't happen. She went back to her side and took some more and when I sat her up again and gently patted her back, I got a big ole BBBBUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRPPPPPPPP!!!!! It was AWESOME!! Just like her dad. I was so proud!!
Lisa is on the couch pumping one more time before we go to bed. I looked over because it seems like she's been going for a while and she is asleep! Pretty funny. She is on the couch in her very comfy robe with suction cups attached to her breasts...and she's snoring!! Ha. I should probably wake her up before she gets some hickeys.
Anyway, Kaitlyn took almost half of her feeding by bottle tonight. It brought up some fears that they'll start taking more and more from the bottle and never really master the breast then they'll send us home and we'll have to figure it out on our own. Regardless, it was a very special moment tonight...Daddy burping his girl for the first time.
Alyssa is also just a few grams away from 5 pounds. She's 4 pounds, 15.75 ounces and Katy's 4 pounds, 14.5 ounces. They are really getting big.
Sorry no pics tonight.