24th July: They would have been born by now

So the girls are almost at week 39 which means, since they are twins, they would have actually been born by now. And Lara would have been HUGE. Still got over a week to full 40-week term though: 1-Aug

Big news for the day is that Natasha passed phase 2 of her feeding regime and so moves on to phase 3 – she will be fed on demand and must take 75% of her volume over 4 shifts (2 days). She apparently celebrated by pulling out her feeding tube, and probably flinging it into the air like one of those graduation hats. And so that’s out and (hopefully) done with. She is 3.15kg now which is 6lb, 15.3oz….or just under 7lbs. This is what she looks like:

Tasha without feeding tube

Today’s bonus was that she also completed her first feeding shift – only just, but did it. I had to give the final feed and she needed 40mLs and she got 40mLs (we didn’t count the amount she drooled onto the wash cloth…). She sucked the first 25mLs down like a 21-year-old polishing off the bulb of a yard glass, then it fell apart and sleeping seemed like a more interesting prospect, but she rallied and sucked down just enough to pass. We’ll see if she can do it again on the night shift. I think the secret to getting her over the line was a great pep talk from me (http://youtu.be/-2gR5dyYTCU). Here she is afterward taking a well deserved rest, and looking completely stoned (hey, it’s OK, it’s legal here) http://youtu.be/zEKAxbzJqQs

Other news: Natasha has also tried to curry favor with dad by sending her hematocrit into the low 20s, thus necessitating a dose of EPO. I wish they would choose other ways of impressing me. Maybe they are planning for future Stuart-O’Grady-style-confessional-book-deals (“I took EPO in 2013 but it wasn’t my fault”). Katarina has been responding to EPO well, showing a healthy increase in amount of red blood cells – we are hoping this will translate into an increase in oxygen carrying capacity so that they can get rid of the cannula.  

Apart from that Katarina has had an OK week, is now up to 2.58kg (5lb, 11oz) but not tolerating her feeds all that well. She is still being fed through the tube, which looks like this:

Katarina scheming

and the tube is full when they start. Starts showing signs of distress around the halfway mark and we haven’t quite figured out why yet – likely nothing serious but we don’t want her getting distressed while eating, not the association we’re going for. After feeding she usually calms down and likes to look around – has a more penetrating/scheming look to her than her sister (http://youtu.be/wS9PMMbUx0Q). Mind you they do have similar poses, but even then Katarina (on the left) seems to be trying to read someone’s mind

Katarina trying to read minds Natasha hands up

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3 thoughts on “24th July: They would have been born by now

  1. I can’t believe how much they’ve changed!!! We miss you guys in the NICU & am so glad to still get updates! Ellie is fighting off NEC so it will probably be a few more weeks til we’re down there with you guys, but she’ll make it eventually! Room 2 is just not the same without you guys! Here is the link to Ellie’s fb page. 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/groups/Prayingforelliegrace/

  2. It looks like they’re doing the Wave! (albeit not with a TON of enthusiasm–they probably realize it’s sort of passe now)

  3. Lara and Neil. I can’t believe how much they have grown they are little dolls. It is great to see their progress. From Don and Brenda Dickson

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