Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My first oral feed

Yep that's right I did Binky training (pacifier hooked to a tube, syringe and milk) today and the occupational therapist even let mommy hold me and walked her thru how to do it. Our nurse Sarah took some pictures too. (Daddy will post later this week). I got tired but boy did I fool her. She thought I would stop at 1 teaspoon oh no I took the whole 10 cc (1 tablespoon). I did have a fast respiratory rate and I even had low oxygen at the end when the syringe was taken off (caused a fast flow) so I am not 100% ready for larger amounts. I am just so happy to get finally taste the milk my mommy works so hard to make for me. I might get to do a "dry nursing" from my mom soon. This means that she pumps the breast milk then the occupational therapist checks my ability to breastfeed. There goes mommy's sense of modesty however she is willing to compromise on my behalf. I get to try Binky training again tomorrow. Sarah has been my nurse for the past 3 days and everyday mommy verbalized how upset she is about using the pregestimil with the breast milk so Sarah arranged for the the dietitian spoke with her. They tested her breast milk and wow it was 27.6 calories per ounce (typical is 20 calories per ounce). Since my mommy is petite and not too overweight I think they were very surprised. However mommy enjoys eating chips, chicken strips, cookies and ice cream sandwiches. She is checking into a creamatocrit (device that measures fat and calories in breast milk) for use. I have never heard of this until I read a Medela book that the lactation consultant at Madigan gave me. I am not sure if this is considered DME (durable medical equipment) that Tricare would cover for rental. Most NICUs would rather just add formula to breast milk because it's easier however I am really advocating not to use it. They are going to test the breast milk for 24 hours to see the differences in calorie content. They sampled one at 3PM today. I am curious myself since the myth is that all breast milk is 20 calories per ounce. I read that breast milk from mothers of premature babies is typically higher in fat and calories to compensate for the demands of being outside the womb. He is close to graduating from the NICU however not ready to be discharged home. He is still in an isolette for body temperature control so he would need to be tolerating feeds which might include breast, bottle and tube feedings, breathing well and maintaining his body temperature. They are checking to see if he can stay at Children's Hospital on a regular medical unit rather than being transported back to Madigan. It depends on what Tricare says. I would assume back transport would be costly any ways. Also he still might need neurosurgery and the army hospital can not provide this. I am going to tour the medical unit sometime this week. I am so nervous about him progressing so quickly. Our house is not ready for him to come home. Re-modeling has not taken place yet. Also we never really unpacked too much because we knew that we would remodel. Since he is on high flow oxygen he is not ready to be transfered to the regular unit yet. They can't take care of babies on high flow oxygen in the regular units. He would have to be on 2 liters or less, non-high flow. He is currently on 3 liters however sometimes he is bumped back to 4 liters. It's getting late and I should get some sleep.


  1. I read the same thing about the milk of mothers with premature babies. Great job advocating for what your gut told you was right. They really pushed boosting calories in my milk for Micah, but did not test the calories in my milk-although they talked about it they never did. He is sure making a lot of changes lately. I can't wait to get over there and see you guys again!

  2. Karen,

    I am so glad to hear that you were able to do the binky training, I know how important that was for you. I am also happy to hear that you have high calorie breastmilk and that it was tested. You are an amazing advocate for Abraham!