I will start with Max. He had been hanging out with no real changes over the last few days. They have weened his INO down to 1 part per million, and his oxygen needs had been in the 45% range. Still at a pressure of 28 at the vent. Notice I am writing all of this in the past tense. Kate held him for a while to day and he started to get a little agitated, which almost always means he needs to be suctioned out (tube down the throat into the lungs = no ability to cough, clear throat, etc. to get rid of secretions in the lungs) or he needs his diaper changed. His diaper was clean, so we asked nurse Mandy to suction him. She wasn't assigned to the boys today, but our nurse was at dinner, so Mandy was nice enough to help. We ended up having a repeat of the "incident" that happened a few weeks ago when the suction hose did not work, meaning Max got a shot of saline into his lungs. Apparently some time while Max was moved in and out of his incubator, the suction tube came disconnected from the wall. I personally reconnected the tube this time...and it will require the strength of 10 men if they think that hose is ever coming off again. This all happened at about 6:00 tonight. Max has recovered much better than he did last time (I hope it is not because he is getting used to it), but only his blood gas will show the real level of his recovery. His gas last night and then again this morning were both great...but no vent changes were made. The last time Max got a shot of saline in the lungs, his vent needs went up by quite a bit, so we are praying that is not the case this time. Max tipped the scales at 7 pounds 15 ounces last night (don't have tonight's weight yet).
Wes has had an okay couple of days. No real changes, but he does seem to be working a little harder than usual with his breathing. There is a technical term for it, but it escapes me right now. They did start both boys on a multi-vitamin a few days ago. I hope it has some good medical benefits because the side effects include terrible gas and a backed up intestinal tract. This has been particularly true for Wes. He has been trying very very hard to go poop and has not been successful. He does send up plenty signals that would lead you to believe he has finally "done the deed"...but no. We are hoping that a very full belly and intestines are keeping his lungs from fully expanding...because his breathing is very labored. This was the reason he was taken off nasal cannula and put back on CPAP. A step back from here is a ventilator. I think I can speak for both Kate and myself when I say that would just be too much to handle right now. Wes weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces tonight.
Kate's Mom purchased two outfits for the boys to wear home from the hospital. It was something that she really wanted to do when it became clear that she would likely be watching from Heaven that day. It looks like the boys will be in the NICU for much longer than we originally thought, and will certainly be too big to fit into these outfits, so Kate and I got them dressed up for a little "due day photo shoot" yesterday. Here are the results:
Max and Mom (the outfit is not very visible here, but it matches the blanket he is wrapped in)
Super Wes (This picture was taken through a very coordinated effort where I held Wes' pacifier in his mouth until Kate was ready to take a picture...then we did a "1-2-3 go!" type of maneuver where I jumped out of the picture and Kate snapped a shot. As you can see, a millisecond is all Wes needs to spit out his pacifier and get his hands over his head!!)