I spent my last two evenings with two little boys. These little boys weighed about 1 kilo each. One ate 6 mls every 3 hrs, the other 12 mls other 3 hours. To put things in perspective, a tall coffee [12 ounces] is 360 mls. These little boys were both about 28 weeks old. That's 28 weeks gestation; from conception. Normal gestation [aka: a term infant] is at the minimum 38 weeks. Both little boys, despite their small size, had heart beats that sounded like washing machines. Their little hearts were too immature. They didn't have enough time to close properly. And both little boys were hooked up to dragers [vents]; a 4 inch tube in their trachea breathing for them.
Baby A had soft, black, downy hair; his little eyebrows connecting to his hairline. Every time I lifted the isolette cover, his little eyes squeezed shut. At the same time though, when his eyes opened, I knew he wasn't seeing me. His little tummy was soft and full; he had just started feeds that morning. His mama was sick, and thus, this little guy had no visitors. I was his companion for the night; checking in on him and listening to him every four hours, and feeding him every three.
Baby B was smaller and younger than baby A, but had fewer complications. I would put this little guy on his tummy on a pony [a rolled blanket] and somehow he would find a way to unswaddle himself and sprawl out in his little nest; his arms stretched out over his head, despite the numerous lines holding him in place.
I look at these little micro preemies and am just amazed. These little ones should have been in the womb for about 3.5 more months. But instead, they're outside living and fighting. And keeping me company. I'm spending my day off thinking about them; and wishing I could spend another evening by their bedside [or isolette-side].