This is Abbey (Abigail Ellis), who has been having difficulty learning to eat (thus the tube for feeding). Marcie worked with her to feed her right after this picture, and she drank only 3ccs of the 8ccs they wanted her to have. (approx. 30ccs is one ounce!) She was first-born, and weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces at birth.
Since these pictures, she has begun regulating her own temperature-- which means that she is bundled up with blankets when she isn’t being fed or changed. She hasn’t required any medication, but she has had a couple of episodes of apnea, which means that she has stopped breathing briefly. (The second time was very minor, and she corrected herself without assistance.) But her feeding is getting better-- the tube is out now, and she is eating from a bottle, although it takes a lot of time, work, and patience. They bumped her up to 16ccs yesterday morning, and 22ccs last night.
Here is Caroline (Anna Caroline), who was born at 4 pounds 13 ounces. She is a champion eater, and usually finishes her bottles in a couple of minutes. This bottle (only 8ccs, like her sister) took her less than two minutes; when I fed her this morning, she had 20ccs in less than five minutes.
Caroline hasn’t had difficulty with breathing at all, and she hasn’t had to have any medication either. But she has struggled with keeping her temperature up, so they have kept her bed heated.
You can see from the second picture that they are very small. Caroline’s head is a little bigger than a baseball, but much smaller than a softball. Abbey is a little bigger, but neither has begun to gain weight since birth. They are healthy and doing well, and the nurses are usually more encouraging and affirming about their improvements. Still, they are going to be in the NICU for a while longer yet.
Here’s another picture of Abbey:
And here’s another picture of Caroline: