This is another post where I started and restarted because progress has been made so rapidly over the last 3 to 4 days.
Isabelle started feeding only orally a few days ago. The first day was tough. We would feed her, she would only nurse for 5 minutes and then they would top her up through her NG tube. Then they would try to get us to feed her every 3 hours. Because she was fed through the NG tube she wasn’t particularly hungry three hours later and therefore wouldn’t eat. It was really frustrating. I also think that my supply and flow rate is pretty overwhelming for Izzy because before that day I would pump before I fed her. I can pump 100mL per breast in 5 minutes. I can only imagine that to little Izzy it’s like getting shot in the mouth with a fire hose.
The next day the neonatologist suggested we try feeding her on demand. So instead of topping her up, we let her feed for as long as she wanted and left her alone. She would feed for a short period of time and fall asleep, but then she would wake up every hour and a half or so. I think that little miss just gets tired quicker because she has to work harder to breathe so she eats smaller meals. With a bottle she will eat a solid 75mL. When we went in at night, her NG tube was gone! It took me 15 minutes even to notice it, but when I did I was so excited. It means that the doctors are happy with her progress enough to let her do it on her own. She has lost a bit of weight over the last couple of days but I honestly think that it’s not that big of a deal and over the next few days she will get the hang of this whole eating business.
Yesterday we went to the hospital in high spirits. The night nurse had told me that they were going to start the process of discharging us soon, so I was hoping to get a plan of when we will be discharged. I was not disappointed! The doctors decided they would take Isabelle off oxygen! So now the only thing attached to my baby girl are things that monitor her – nothing intrusive anymore, nothing that is helping her with regular baby functions such as breathing and eating. The doctor told us at rounds they will monitor her for a few more days to ensure she is feeding well and breathing well before discharging us.
In the meantime they will start preparing us to go home with Isabelle. They will be making a request into the surgical nurses to come and teach us how to care for the omph, and how to put the car seat belts on Izzy. We also want to talk to physical therapists about how to somehow do modified tummy time with Isabelle. We need to be set up with a paediatrician and also find out what our weekly visits to the hospital will be like. The nurses have started our discharge papers already. This is so exciting I can hardly contain myself! We went home and realized that because we haven’t anticipated her coming home early we may need to get some things out of storage. It was so exciting to see all the baby furniture set up in our room. I really can’t wait.