Saturday, September 20, 2008
A Leap and a Bound
It seems like after several weeks of small, steady progress toward their goals, this week Milo and Maddy have suddenly sky rocketed. First there was Milo coming off his cannula on Tuesday and doing so well, and then yesterday it was Madeline's sudden and impressive progress on her feeding.
Yesterday morning, Maddy pulled out her NG tube, so her nurses decided to take her cue and try her on ad lib feedings (eating whenever she wants, as much as she wants) and taking every feed by bottle or breast. After agonizing weeks of carefully pacing Madeline with bottle and breast and helping her through bradys with each big gulp, this week the little lady finally had a few feedings with no episodes and no serious efforts to help her not get too much at once. Turns out the decision timing was just right. Madeline, who is used to having 50 or so ml every three hours, gulped down one 75 ml bottle, one 70 ml bottle, and a 20 ml bottle in one shift with no problems. Overnight she took down a 100 ml bottle in one sitting as well. I guess the girl likes to eat big! I don't know where she gets that from...
Maddy still has some eating restrictions: she has to take in at least 135 ml each shift and eat at least every four hours to ensure proper weight gain. It can take a lot of energy to go from eating half her feedings to all of them. Maddy did get a bit tired this morning and needed a little help pacing according to her nurse, but her progress is amazing nonetheless. And of course losing the feeding tube means one step closer to a wire free baby! You can finally see the little tyke's face in its natural state now.
Ultimately what all this means is that Maddy is not going to be in the NICU much longer. She needs to have a good solid 5-day stretch without any bradys, take all her feeds well, and gain weight. She may come home as early as late next week or early the following week. The babies' 40-week due date was next Friday, so that would be right on schedule. After three months, this seems so sudden, I admit I'm a little nervous! (What? Take care of a baby without round-the-clock nursing help? Can you do that?) Then, of course, I feel so happy I can hardly contain myself.
Our little Milo Camper is also doing better on his feeds. He has some heart rate slow downs with eating, but not many bradys anymore. Hopefully he isn't too far behind Maddy in the eating department. He's also been much more alert and awake the past few weeks, which has been a real treat. Guess we better get on putting the rest of their room together!