Last week we packed everyone up and headed back to the University of Maryland for the girls' NICU follow up appointment. It was an emotional day to say the least. It brought back so many memories, some good and some not so good. The many trips to Baltimore in the car with a brown bag for mommy who could not stop getting sick, the nerves each trip about what the doctors would see in the sonograms, the constant worrying if everything would be ok in the end. This trip to Baltimore was different because everything is ok and this trip involved lots of crying. The crying is ok because we have three beautiful babies who beat the odds and are happy and healthy.
At the appointment the girls saw a neonatalogist, a developmental pediatrician and a physical therapist. They are almost five months but they evaluate them based on their adjusted age of three months. (this is because they were seven weeks early). Any appointment with three babies is not easy; it is loud and usually exhausting. We ended up being there over four hours which was a really long time for the three of them. Brooke, Lexi and Brynn each have some small problems to overcome which is somewhat overwhelming because each small problem means more appointments and more time. But I try to remind myself that each problem is small and can be fixed.
Brynn: 13 pounds (she still likes to eat!!) Brynn is still struggling with problems with torticollis, which is tightening of the muscles on one side of her neck. This pulls the head toward one shoulder, limiting neck mobility. As a result of this, she has developed a flat spot on one side of her head. This probably started in the womb with limited space to move. The doctors in the NICU are recommending a DOC band which is like a helmet for her head. She is also getting physical therapy at home one time per week and we are looking into outpatient physical therapy as well. Brynn also has some tightening in her feet and ankles which she is getting therapy for and may need to have splints made to wear at night. Developmentally she is doing great. She passed all the three month tests.
Lexi- 11 pounds 8 ounces (she is still the smallest). Lexi seems to be the one who always gets by with the least amount of issues. She had the most at birth and I guess decided she was not going to let that happen again. She is still the strongest and also is becoming the most strong willed. She still only has two moods - really happy or really unhappy. They were pleased with her progress in the NICU. She is the only one still anemic and has to stay on her iron and vitamins, but other than that she is great.
Brooke- 12 pounds 10 ounces. Brooke has the same problems with the torticollis as Brynn but I think is a little bit worse than Brynn. The doctors also recommended a DOC band for her head. She is also getting weekly in home physical therapy and we are looking into outpatient therapy. Brooke has some tightening in her hands which may require splints made to wear at night. Otherwise she is perfect, which mommy already knew!
For babies born seven weeks early, they are doing well and growing, growing, growing. Mommy and Daddy just need about 10 more hours in each day to get everything done.
Brynn and Brooke have started to sleep through the night here and there. Lexi is still up and loves to wake everyone else up including Hannah. One night last week all four girls were screaming at 1am! What is still to come...
The start of RSV shots each month until March
A visit to the pulmonologist to hopefully discontinue using the monitors
Monthly appointments with their GI doctor
Weekly in home physical therapy
Hopefully outpatient physical therapy
A visit to cranial technology for a DOC band assessment
Hopefully more sleepy nights!!