Maximus and I had our first "skin-to-skin" or Kangaroo care time today. Studies have shown that the familiarity of our voices, heart beat, respiratory rhythm and even our smell are all very comforting to the kids. The comfort leads to deep sleep (not something they get a lot of with all the lights, people, other babies, alarms, etc.), and deep sleep is when most of the growth and development of the brain takes place. We were told this long ago, but recently watched a video on it at a NICU parent meeting and have recommitted ourselves to doing it whenever possible. It is a little more of a hassle than just swaddling them, but we will do whatever we can to give these boys the best shot possible. Needless to say, it works. Max and I took a nap for the better part of 2-hours, and I can only hope and pray that it was as special and healing for him as it was for me.
Here is a picture of Max staring at my hair. I have been getting a lot of people staring at my hair lately. In an act of desperation I cheated on my two normal stylists (sorry Heidi and Jordan) because I wanted it cut that day. All was going well until the lady asked if I had any kids, then she stopped paying attention to what she was doing, I think. She would be very successful in a military barbershop. Anyways...the picture:
Just to give an idea about how far these little stinkers have come, and how gracious and powerful our Abba Father is, here is a picture from the first time I held our son Max:
What a mighty God we serve.
Wesley has not really had a bad weekend, but they did end up putting him back on the CPAP. His oxygen needs had crept into the mid-50% range, and his breathing was getting a bit labored. The decision was made on Friday morning to put him back on, and since then his oxygen needs have dropped to about 30-35% range, so it has clearly made a difference. The docs thought that maybe parts of his lungs had collapsed, leading to the increased oxygen need and labored breathing, but "before and after CPAP" chest x-rays showed no change. This led them to think maybe he has some fluid building up in his lungs, so they started him on a diuretic called Aldactazide. Wes was on this drug once before, and it really stalled out his weight gain for about 10-14 days. In fact Kate and I feel that is why the boys' weights differ so much (Max weighs 6 pounds 13 ounces, Wesley weighs 5 pounds 14 ounces). We are praying that God will work through this drug and clear any fluid from his lungs, but not let it affect Wes' weight gain. Putting on the pounds is very critical for every aspect of their development right now. Weight gain means bigger lungs, bigger muscles, bigger brains, etc., so we hope we don't lose a few weeks of consistent gains like we did last time.
Wes is still incredibly feisty, but we don't think that reintroducing the CPAP has had a profound effect on his attitude. What does seem to have a profound affect on his attitude is his desire to move his bowels and his body's decision not to comply. His body will allow him to pass copious amounts of gas, however, and most of the people in the room are convinced that he needs to be changed...but no, his diaper is clean as a whistle.
Here is a picture from before they put Wes back on the CPAP...but he heard the docs talking about it and was assuming the position to ward off any attempts: