Monday, November 23, 2015

A Miracle in Slow Motion

Happy 2 month birthday Jaxson & Cadence!



Today the twins are two months old (32 weeks 4 days adjusted, gestational age.) We are still 7.5 weeks away from their due date and our approximate discharge date. According to statistics for 23 weekers, there was only a 21% chance they'd survive. We stood confident in our faith believing they were destined to be, yet for weeks I struggled to share photos of the underdeveloped fetuses before me. I feared touching or breathing on them. Two months later I can't stop taking photos of their adorable features and I can't wait to hold them, touch them, or even just change a diaper every time the opportunity becomes available.

Recently they have both begun sucking on pacifiers, they have both outgrown the smallest size diapers & blood pressure cuffs,  and have more than doubled their birth weights! The PDA in Cadence's heart is still open and will need to close eventually on its own or with surgery. So far she is not symptomatic of if causing her distress so we are in the "wait and see" stage. They have both survived their first eye exams and will be retested in two weeks. They are both IV/picc line free and have graduated from 2, to 3 hour feeds. Jaxson has been making small fussing noises and an occasional soft cry for weeks. We started to become concerned about sweet silent Cadence. Matt and I had both heard mouse sized squeaks come from her on rare occasions but Saturday, 59 days after birth, was the first time we heard her cry. Jaxson's cry has grown and he is now fiercely opinionated. Someday I'll be begging for the screaming to silence but for now I love every noise they make simply because they are strong enough to make it. 

Both babies have been on various types of respiratory support including intubation, NIPPV, CPAP, and high flow nasal cannula. Both babies required (re)intubation on three occasions each totaling 19 days for Jaxson and 28 days for Cadence on the vent. All nutrition is still given by feeding tubes and we look forward to introducing the bottle when they get a little stronger. 

After 60 days apart, Jaxson and Cadence met for the first time outside of the womb yesterday! On one hand, it could be questioned if they are capable of comprehending who the other is at this time. On the other hand, I personally believe they reached out to feel each other's bodies and thought, "Oh there you are! I've been wondering for 60 days if you made it out alive!" Half asleep they reached out to touch each other's faces, chests and hands. It was a truly joyous moment for Matt and I to experience together. 

The NICU is an open space. We all give each other privacy but it's impossible not to notice and covet joy when you see another baby in a car seat about to head home. It's impossible not to weep in mourning for another parent as they loose a precious infant. I have faith that my babies will come home but I'm also fully aware of the extreme fragility of their lives. Every day is a cherished gift. Statistically they should not be here today. However, here we are, watching an astonishing miracle unfold in slow motion right before our eyes. The marvelous development that takes place in the dark secrecy of the womb has been made transparent for us to observe. It's not ideal but it is all part of God's plan for their lives and we choose to trust the process and enjoy this extra bonding time together. It's an honor to witness. 

Jaxson Brave 
Born 620 grams (1lb 6oz) 12 inches
Now 1370 grams (THREE 3 pounds!!!) 
39 cm / 15.5 inches long 
He is slightly above the 3rd percentile

Cadence Grace 
Born 500 grams (1lb 1oz) 12 inches
Now 1200 grams (2lb 10oz) 
36 cm / 14.25 inches long
She is slightly below 3rd percentile 

This post was written with one thumb, on my phone, in the NICU with a baby on my chest. 
Please forgive typos. 




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6 comments:

  1. So awesome. I still love all of it. Thank you for sharing your journey. Your growing little family rocks.
    Love you guys.

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  2. I'm extremely happy for all of you & glad to see the babies are doing so well! Couldn't help but to tear up a few times but, they were tears of joy & hope. Thank you for sharing your journey ❤

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