Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 50 NICU Yum!

Little Ms. Claire Bear has started working pretty hard learning how to breastfeed over the last two days. The occupational therapist was impressed that she managed to get a few good sucks and swallows on her first attempt yesterday. We repeated the feat today with more confidence.  She's doing a fantastic job. She's at full feeds now (20ml/hr) through the g-tube and just today they started condensing them so they are no longer continuous. She has been receiving 60ml over 2 1/2 hours today then having 1/2 hour off. Tomorrow it will go to 60ml over 2 hours with an hour of rest and so on until she's getting her whole 2 oz. feed every three hours over the course of 30-45 minutes. Soon, we'll be starting that time by putting her to breast and then putting however much more she needs through the tube afterwards. (We'll determine how much she ate at the breast by weighing her before and after.)

She had her first thorough sponge bath since birth a couple days ago. She seemed to enjoy it and even fell asleep as I was massaging her scalp to get some of the cradle cap off. The shampoo plus letting it partially dry before I brushed it has left her with a pretty crazy fluffy hairstyle.

 Since we stopped continuous feeds today, this was the first time we've removed the feeding extension from her button. Here she is with it all closed up. It and her oxygen cannula are the last things she needs. Through her g-tube she still receives methadone and atavan (continuing to wean on those), sildenafil (for her pulmonary hypertension), and vitamin D. The last IV came out yesterday and everything else is just for monitoring.

When she's being played with and talked to, she rewards nurses and family members with a huge grin. I still haven't managed to catch a photo of it. Needless to say though, it wins her lots of friends.

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