Ah, the joys of motherhood...pumping milk for my babies. Loads of fun BUT the reward is priceless. My girls suck down their bottles when it is my milk as compared to the formula which they end up burping more & spitting up too. Very weird how nature works.
I never really thought much about breastfeeding since I had a lumpectomy 6 yrs ago & reconstructive surgery which meant that I would only have a 50/50 chance of later breastfeeding. I knew I would eventually have children but didn't feel strongly either way about breastfeeding or not so I didn't see the chance as a loss. Well, let me tell you how much my opinion has changed! Breastfeeding is the most awesome experience in the world. Sofia was the first to try & did ok, latching on w/ a nipple shield for about 6 minutes. When we tried yesterday, we failed miserably but that doesn't mean I am giving up on her. I'm going to ask that a lactation consultant come & help us again. Now, on the other hand, Gabriella was a CHAMP at the boob! She latched on for 15 minutes, 5 longer than they normally allow the 1st time w/ preemies but she was doing so well that the LC was comfortable letting her go longer. It was INSANE how well she took to it & the changes in her eating. Normally, w/ a bottle, there is no rhythm to her eating but w/ the boob, she was totally opposite, having found this perfect rhythm. It went something like this...suck, suck, suck, suck, suck...breathe, breathe...suck, suck, suck, suck, suck...breathe, breathe. Not only did she have this perfect rhythm for 15 minutes straight, she was completely relaxed in my arm as I held her. There was this connection between us that was just too much for words to describe. Seriously...I love breastfeeding! Now if I can get Sofia & Ian on board, we will all be very happy as will our checkbooks. Formula is EXPENSIVE! I will continue to pump no matter what.
Ok, as for the babies...they are all doing very well. Right now, the 3 of them are being weaned from their isolettes. What that means is the temperature inside the isolette is lowered until it reaches room temperature. In order to be dropped down which is a gradual process, the babies have to keep their body temp at 98.3 for 6 straight hours. Then it is dropped 1/2 a degree Celcius. Sofi & Ian are 1 degree away from being put in an open crib. Gabi is 1 & 1/2 degrees away. After they hit the open crib for 24 hours while holding their body temp, then they get to come home. If there are still other issues such as feedings, then they can remain in the open crib BUT they have to stay, no coming home. This is the case w/ Ian since he is still fighting the bottle. Who can blame him? No effort needed to get a full tummy...why bother trying? Personally, I think they should let him get hungry enough & he will suck that bottle dry!
There is a high likelihood the girls will be coming home either Friday or Saturday. If they can get in to an open crib by tomorrow night, we are looking at Friday. If not, then it will probably be Saturday. Ian is still struggling w/ the bottle & has to take all 8 feedings for 2 days straight before he can come home so we are still looking at Monday as a possibility which is still about a week earlier than what we thought. We are totally not prepared for this! We thought we would have the weekend to get the house ready & organized. HA! I guess this is the 1st surprise of many to come.
Otherwise, everyone is doing well. Mommy & Daddy are holding up, even w/ the 2 pumping sessions in the middle of the night. I am trying to stay on the babies' feeding schedule so it won't be so bad when they come home. We aren't too tired as of yet but I am sure that will change when the girls come home. I think it is actually more tiring to have to go to the hospital, spend time w/ them there & then come home just to repeat the schedule the next day. Life in the NICU...it is all worth it.