Millie weighs 3 lbs 9 oz and Ruby is 3 lbs 2 oz! Both girls have gotten 3 hours of kangaroo care every day for the last 5 days thanks to my Mom, Scott's Mom, Step-Mom and Scott over the weekend. I try to alternate who I hold each day, so that I can spend time with each girl. Millie took her pacifier like a champ today, so I think she is getting close to trying a bottle. I talked to the neonatologist about when we would start bottles today. He said usually at 34 weeks gestation unless the baby shows good signs before 33 weeks (taking pacifier). He was going to have her try 1 bottle/day starting today, but since he had never seen her before, he wanted to wait a day or two. I think that makes sense. I have not seen Ruby take her paci as much as Millie, but I think she has taken it some as well.
Ohh...forgot to tell you. Millie is off the nasal cannula. They took her off yesterday, and she has done great with no major desats. I can't believe both girls are breathing room air. I feel incredibly blessed for their progress so far, and thankful for all the prayers, well wishes and amazing nurses and doctors taking care of them in the NICU. I had to do a phone interview with the social security office today. It took 45 minutes to answer 6 questions but one of the questions was "Are there any family and friends that have shown interest in the girls?" My response was "ummm, pretty much everyone we know." I thought that was such an odd question, but the interviewer's response to my response was "you can only pick one." I think she just needed a back up person to put on the form, but I had no idea that's what she meant. Ruby and Millie will get medicaid insurance as a back up to our insurance while they are in the hospital. They qualify for this based on their "extremely low birth weight." That is a category by the way - extremely low birth weight is obviously worse than "very low birth weight" which is the next category up. We are pretty much Cigna's worst nightmare as a family, so this will be helpful to have TennCare as a back up if only for 3 months. The last time I glanced at my hospital bill (before the girls were born) it was $60,000. Yikes!
Both girls have had low hematocrits (anemia) for the past week or so. They have been monitoring it every few days. This is a common problem with preemies because red blood cell production stops temporarily after birth. This happens with full term infants too, but it lasts longer and is more severe in preemies. The rule of thumb is to do a blood transfusion if the hematocrit is 25 or less. Today Millie was 25.3 and Ruby was 26. Last week Millie was 25, but she has not been symptomatic ("meaning more apnea spells or poor weight gain"). She has been thriving, so they have put off doing a transfusion with the hope that her hematocrit will go up. That is still the hope, but they'll check both girls again in 2 days.
Is anyone watching "The Bachelor?" I am half paying attention and half blogging, but Scott keeps commenting and asking me questions. He is paying more attention than I am. He likes to pretend that he is above watching any reality TV, but he's busted. I wish you could hear the back talk to the TV coming from
his corner of the room. He also just told me that Emily's face twitches like mine when she cries. Not sure how to take that, but at least she is the PhD student.