Today is day 4 without caffeine and we are noticing it. After weeks of no real alarms, last night we had a spate of alarms. Previously the oxygen saturation (sats) was always the reason for the alarms, but last night they were all apnoea alarms, the sats were always above 96% (i.e. normal). So the question arises should I believe the alarms were real? I find it too much of a coincidence that this has happened 4 days after we stopped the caffeine. I believe that Enya now has enough reserves that she doesn't immediately desat when she has a pause in her breathing (previously her sats used to nosedive to 50-60%). We are going to bath her tonight so we will renew all her electrodes and sensors and then see how tonight goes.
On the feeding front, I spoke with a friend that works as a dietician specializing in preemies and newborns. She was very surprised (dare I say shocked) to hear Enya wasn't on a high calorie preemie formula and that she hadn't been assessed by a speech therapist. She suggested if we can't get a special preemis formula prescribed that we concentrate the formula a little bit just to increase the calories/100mls. She did however second my doctor's advice to start them on solids. In Ireland preemies start solids 5-7 months after birth and our girls are going to be 7 months old on Friday (doesn't time fly!).
So last night we started with rice cereal mixed with formula and Enya ate TEN SPOONFULS!!! Ciara wasn't that impressed and only ate two spoons before she started spitting it back at me. Even so it was a very successful start and hopefully it continues like this. In the next few days I'll start adding veg to the rice cereal, one veg at a time every few days and see how they like it. I'm hoping with them eating some solids Operation Sleep will show more progress. We are back to waking up 5 hours after their last feed again (4am this morning and both at the same time!).
On my side I'm feeling a lot less stressed after the weekend, Z sent me out on Saturday while he looked after both girls. I managed to get quite a bit done shopping wise including a footstool for my rocker and the stuff (cereal, jars of baby food, soft spoons etc.) to start feeding. He even cooked dinner when I came home, he is such a sweetheart and enjoys cooking to boot. He also wants me to get out the house one night a week, so I'm starting yoga with a friend this week. Having a baby (or two) in the NICU is great for losing the baby pounds (not that I'd wish it on anyone) but now that they are both home the kilos are piling on.