Three out of our four quadlings are now in open cribs. When the babies first hit the NICU, they are kept in things called isolettes, which are temperature-controlled beds basically that are closed off to the outside world. It helps keep them warm and snug and almost gives them the privacy they need to adjust to life while such small, delicate little things. During any baby's stay in the NICU, they'll always have a temperature probe, respiratory, heart rate and SPO2 monitor attached to them. The first three are self explanatory, the SPO2 monitor uses a small red light taped to the bottom of their foot to measure the red blood cell count in their oxygen stream, which in turn relays how well they're breathing. This and the heart rate monitor become the most important numbers to watch with preemies, as they'll often experience "desats" when their oxygen level drops (could be that they're holding their breath because they're trying to poop, have dropped their chin or are simply very comfortable and sleepy) and bradys when their heart rate drops.
All three of our girls were given caffeine supplements for the past two weeks or so to help them have less of both of these common issues and Kailey has now been off her caffeine for nearly a week! She has a few desats now and then but has been doing very well. The other two, Logan and Trystan, will occasionally still have a brady but they are becoming fewer and further between so hopefully they can come off their caffeine in the near future. The goal for discharging babies is to reach the point where desats and bradys are no longer occurring, they are digesting all their food, they are feeding well on bottles around the clock, can maintain their temperatures and they've shown sufficient weight gain and growth.
So with the big moves to the cribs, three of our munchkins are doing very well out in the wide open and have been maintaing their temps like rock stars. Harrison, Kailey and Trystan are our crib babies and Logan probably won't be far behind. My little peanut is just a teeny thing so she needs a little more fat on her first! We were very excited, to say the least, to see these guys progress so rapidly yet again. They are only four weeks old today and have already come so far!
Currently, they are all working on bottle feeds. They start out with just one bottle per 24 hours (the rest of their feeds they still get through their feeding tube that's in their nose). It's purely exhausting for them starting out because they've never really used their chin and cheek muscles like this before and the swallowing action is completely new to them. It's common for it to take awhile for them to catch on, especially since they are so small and premature. Normally, bottle feedings are begun around 35 weeks gestational age but ours started a bit early at 34. They are all doing great! Trystan, Kailey and Logan have all managed to finish an entire bottle at least once and Trystan and Kailey now receive two bottle feedings per 24 hours. Harrison has consistently finished about 80% of his bottle feeding each time and I've no doubt he'll be chugging the rest down soon. Apparently he likes to eat with his eyes closed and you can try everything you can to "wake" him up but he simply can't be bothered. That boy is so laid back he cracks me up!
Here's a video of the little guy getting his first bottle feed from dad:
I know the spotlight has been on Harrison quite a bit with all he went through but now he's on an even keel with his sisters. Although it's a not-too-distant memory just yet, we can still quickly recall just how sick he was not long ago.
Our quads have also begun mastering the funniest faces and are pros at the scrunchy face. Here is Trystan (on the left) and Harrison giving it their best shot.
Well, it's time to get to the hospital and feed and love on my babies! Since they are four weeks today we are taking some adorable one month pictures and I can't wait to show y'all. It'll be the first one of all four together!