The boys are most likely going to spend four weeks in the NICU. We learned that parents get to participate in their care, more than just watching all the doctors and machines do all of the work.
We can change diapers, take temperatures, bring blankets and toys from home for their isolettes and even put up pictures of us and other family members for them to stare at.
I have been pumping and supplying them with my breast milk – which I’ve learned is liquid gold for premies. They receive my milk through a tube that goes down their nose and actually stimulates the swallowing reflex as a way to teach them to swallow on their own. Once they gain more weight, we will be allowed to bottle feed them breast milk once a day.
Right now, the most beneficial thing Jon and I can do for them is Kangaroo Care or Skin-to-Skin. Holding them against our chests regulates their temperature, breathing, heartbeat and they even say it affects their brain waves. There’s also the added bonus of bonding.
For the next month, we gladly accept our duties 🙂