Today by far to me is the most monumental day- we tried breastfeeding- my baby, who I thought I may never get to hold, fed from me. It was beautiful and overwhelming at the same time.
When I went in this morning, at rounds, I was told surgery told that he can be fed ‘ad-lib’ which means, they can give him how much milk he wants. Well that is too aggressive per the neonatologists. Dr. Fairchild told me that we need to take it slow, so they decided to go up 5 mls every other feed as long as he can tolerate the increased feeds. She said it was good news that surgery okay-ed the feeds, it means they expect him to do well. Then I was also told they said we can try oral feeds- as I was asked to chose breast or bottle. I chose both, since I know bottle is the sure way to get him home sooner.
We tried the 12 pm feed with me and he latched on and fed for about 5 minutes and then just got tired. At 3 pm he took his bottle with his nurse Jane, I was told ” He was messy but good”. This is awesome news, as he has interest in sucking and drinking and not totally averse to oral feeds. We tried breast again at 6pm, he just got very tired very soon. The goal is to keep doing oral feeds as long as he can tolerate and can keep taking in more. If they feel it is straining him too much and he is losing weight they will put him back on the feeding tube to give him some rest.
Just to put this into perspective, he gets about 10 ml every feed (every three hours), which takes him more than 20 minutes to drink. A full feed is about 70mls (2 oz). So you can imagine how much we have to go still. He needs to be able to take 2 oz in about 30 minutes, and he gets tired even trying to take 10ml. So this is why they say it is a slow progress from now on, as he just needs to get strength to drink it all up. I do have hope it will happen soon, at his own pace. For the first day of oral feed I think I am happy. The sheer distance we still have to cover overwhelms me , but one day at a time.
In other news, he got moved to the intermediate care unit- he is no longer considered ‘critical’. Yayy!!! However, he gets much less attention here, 1 nurse for three babies, so I do miss all the attention and it is harder to leave him. I do hope soon we can bring him home where he will get all the attention.
Also, he got grandma love today. Grandma (my mom) got to hold him today. He was mad at first but settled down. They have completely stopped his versed, so he is a little mad, hopefully he can get over the hump. They had to give him a extra dose of fentanyl to calm him down, hopefully he does not suffer as he did last time.
Now that his sedation is reduced he is like a normal baby, active and alert most of the day. I took books and read it to him and he just kept staring. He is starting to track things and is just so curious.
I am hoping he has a good night with both his feedings and his medication weaning. It has been an overwhelming day and I hope some rest and a good night’s sleep will help us both.