Overall, it was a pretty upbeat day for Madison. She had a follow-up ultrasound after the surgery and our neurosurgeon feels the additional bleeding was small and contained. She won’t need any more ultrasounds until she has the permanent shunt put in, which will be about a week before she comes home.
She also continues to pave the way amongst the triplets towards early release. Not only was she the first in the group to ride in an ambulance and have brain surgery, she also became the first to leave her incubator for an open crib (she can regulate her own temperature), and she today became the first to drink from a bottle (as opposed to being fed through a tube). It was only 10cc, but our other kids are not expected to try bottle feeding until at least Saturday, when they are closer to the typical bottle feeding milestone of 34 weeks of age. A developmental specialist observed her during her awake period of her diaper change and her feeding and said she didn’t see any unusual or unexpected behaviors. She is doing so well, they will be moving her from the Level III (critical) NICU to the Level II (less critical) NICU as soon as they can tonight or tomorrow. Her first bath has been scheduled for this weekend. We’ll have the camera ready!
We also had our development progress meeting with the doctor about Noah and Chloe. Actually, the meeting was with the doctor, the occupational therapist, the social worker and the charge nurse. Essentially, it was a full recap of all of their developmental and medical histories with a look towards the path to their coming home. Neither of them has any significant issues, and the ride so far has been smooth. Since preemies are at higher risk of vision problems, they will both have eye tests later this week. This weekend we will try them at their first bottle feedings. Bottle feedings are a real challenge for preemies, and you only have them do it once or twice a day to start. They still need to learn the coordination of suck-swallow-breathe, and at first they can burn more energy sucking than they can swallow. So, it’s important not to force it and to supplement the bottle attempts with their more familiar feedings via the tube.
There is a room in the NICU at Swedish hospital that can hold two babies and typically they use it to hold twins. One of the twins in the room was sent home yesterday, so the other one was moved back out to the main room to free up the space for Noah and Chloe. It’s nice to have a little private space.