When we went to visit them this morning, the nurses asked us if we wanted to come back later when they changed out their isolettes ("houses"). They need their house changed every 7 days and didn't get to it last night so it needed to be done today. They weren't making any firm promises, but were hoping that if the boys were still stable and no other admissions came in at the same time, we could not only hold the boys while they made the switch, but they would also use the opportunity to move Asher next to Nolan instead of at the opposite end of the 6 bed room.
We returned this afternoon and everything was a go. We started with Nolan who had to move the lesser of the two distances, but his move was slightly more complicated because of the ventilator. Each of us could only hold one baby so I decided Jordan should hold Nolan as likely a lot of alarms would go off during the move and I would panic. The move went well, Nolan was not remotely bothered (he normally doesn't like handling) and Jordan got in a quick snuggle while they made the transfer and hooked up the monitors. When he was back in his house after the move he was very alert with eyes more open than we have seen before so we felt really good that he not only tolerated, but seemed to enjoy, the interaction with his Dad.
Next up was Asher and it was my turn to do the holding. They got everything set up for him and then quickly brought him to me, sitting next to his new bedside. Because he is so stable on CPAP they were actually able to remove the mask for a few minutes while they did the move. I got a much longer cuddle than Jordan as they were far less concerned with getting him back on the monitors. I probably sat with him for 15 minutes, but it felt like only a heartbeat. The best part of it all was that we got to hear him cry. A tiny little quiet cry, but a cry nonetheless. The best sound I have heard in a very long time. Sitting with him so close was very emotional and brought up a lot of worries about what his future holds, but it was definitely worth the tears and I can't wait till I can do it again.
When both boys were safely settled I got to do some oral care and take their temperatures. We also got sent home with their dirty laundry, which sadly, was just thrilling! The simple ways they try to involve the parents are really helpful. Who knew that mouth care, crying and laundry would be so exciting, but these are the things you take for granted when you have a healthy baby. Additionally, one of the nurses made us some clay casts and paper molds of each of their handprints so that is a really special keepsake.
The only other development of the day is that Asher needs a blood transfusion. His hemoglobin is very low, likely because of the bleed. He will get 14 ml (less than 1 tbsp) tonight over three hours through IV and that will help supplement him as at this age they are not replenishing their own red blood cells. We were assured this is not abnormal for preemies, and Nolan will likely also need one at some point.
Tomorrow Jordan goes back to work so I am alone with Rio for the first time since pre-bedrest. I am not sure that physically I am quite ready, but thankfully I have a friend taking her for a few hours in the morning so I can go to the hospital by myself. There is a new neonatologist on this week so I will meet with her and go over everything that has happened so far, and discuss plans for the coming days. It will be good to hear everything from another doctor's perspective.
Until next time...