We have hopefully said goodbye to the oxygen. Joe hasn't needed at all for around a week now, not even when feeding or at night. The freedom of not being attached to the saturation monitor or lugging oxygen equipment around is wonderful. At first, I was so excited and happy to have the babies home that a bit of extra effort involved with the oxygen was a small price worth paying, but it quickly became an absolute pain and put me off going out anywhere. There is always a chance that they will take a step backwards when they get their first illnesses so the oxygen tanks will be left here for a while as a back-up if needed.
Both babies were seen at the hospital on Tuesday. I was expecting a big appointment with a consultant but we only saw a nurse who weighed the babies, said how great they are looking and sent us on our way. Joe is now 8lbs 5oz and Harry is 8lbs 14oz. I think there is a discrepancy in the scales somewhere as the end of last week there was only 2oz seperating them.
Harry has been taken off three of the drugs he was which is nice. Two diuretics and a sodium supplement have stopped. The drugs are another of those things I was a bit blase about at first. I thought it would be a small inconvenience but after a few days of doing it, it becomes a really big nuisance and is actually quite a big responsibility because of the dire consequences of getting it wrong. Harry is still taking ranitidine, domperidone gaviscon and sytron, and Joe is still taking domperidone, gaviscon and sytron.
On Monday we have our cardiologist appointment where I am expecting both babies to have heart scans to check the status of their murmors. I'm not anticipating any problems showing up but the actual appointment will probably be quite stressful, trying to keep both babies happy and settled is nearly impossible when I only have one pair of hands.
This week I have stumbled across a couple of other micro-premie blogs, of babies also born at 23/24 weeks. They really make me realise how incredibly lucky we have been so far, but also how far we still have to go. The chances that one or both babies has a degree of cerebral palsy is incredibly high and I am constantly looking for signs and trying to prepare myself for when/if they are diagnosed. The trouble is no-one has really told me what to look for, and we seem to have much less early intervention than the babies in, for example, America, who from the blogs I have read are followed much more intensively than we have been. I mentioned to the nurse who visited us this morning that Harry handles very stiffly - when you sit him up his hips, legs and back seem to go poker straight and it's very difficult to get him to sit in a natural 'baby' position for burping etc. She didn't seem concerned and said he probably is just 'windy'. I hope she's right and there isn't something I should be doing to help his muscles relax.
The babies continue to sleep all night, taking their last feed at around nine, give or take an hour, and sleeping through til around 6 when one baby starts stirring so I wake them both.