At 5:30 this morning, Ann-Marie called the hospital to see the results of the hemoglobin test (the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues in the body and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs). The nurse said the results were low and that the neonatologist recommended Annie and Gracie get a blood transfusion. The transfusion quickly gets the hemoglobin levels where they should be and usually helps the babies with their oxygen saturation (all three bounce high and low throughout the day with their oxygen saturation). So we gave our permission and they went ahead. Tomorrow they will draw blood from the girls and test the levels. Tonight when we saw them they looked fine.
In time the babies will be able to make more of their own hemoglobin and they won't have their blood drawn as much so the need of transfusions will be less.
The last couple of days Annie has seemed a little congested. Normally the nurse uses a BBG (baby booger grabber) and that clears out the nose just fine. Well tonight Annie was really working hard to breathe and I talked to the nurse about it. She tried the BBG, but nothing came out. The nurse then went to a respiratory specialist (available 24/7 at the NICU thank goodness) and he came over with a special tool for the BBG and reached way back into the nose. He pulled out a lot of "stuff" and Annie started breathing much better. Because the "stuff" was quite thick he asked to have a culture taken to see if Annie may have a virus. Tomorrow we'll find out the results of the culture, but for now we're glad that Annie isn't showing any other signs of a virus (no fever at all). The thickness may be related to several days worth of congestion that was not removed.
Tonight Ann-Marie met with an Occupational Therapist named Annie (what a great name!) that helped her get started on non-nutritive breast feeding. Ruthie and Gracie both tried and showed some interest, but they were tired and that was completely expected. I held Annie and she didn't try the non-nutritive breast feeding after all she went through earlier in just trying to breathe.
So our experience goes in the NICU, some days are up and some days are down. We've been told to expect that by many people so we just try to keep a smile on our face and plug onward.