Baby Emmett, breastfeeding, NICU

NICU day 74

Today we had a major breakthrough on feeding, and they are suddenly talking about sending us HOME soon. I can’t believe I’m typing those words.

This morning, I woke up to one of my favorite nurses bringing us some intersting news. He said he and the rest of the team huddled and we have a new plan: instead of giving a bottle 1-2 times per day and breastfeeding 1-2 times like we discussed yesterday, we’re going to either nurse or bottle feed at every feeding. They think E can handle it and don’t want to lose momentum. So when I’m there, I’ll breastfeed. When D is there, he’ll give a bottle. And if neither of us is there (which is rare), one of the nurses will give a bottle. They subtract whatever he gets from breast or bottle and push the remainder via his NG tube.

So this morning, we started up the weighted feeds again (weighing E before and after nursing to figure out how much he got). At our first feed he took in 14 ml (his normal feed is 57 ml). Second feed was 22 ml. Third feed was 54 ml, and fourth was 56! He took 22 ml via his bottle tonight. Everyone is shocked at how quickly we’ve turned the corner. To think we were talking g-tube surgery just two days ago. If he goes 24 hours taking 80 percent of his feeds by breast or bottle, they’ll remove his NG tube. If he keeps this up for 48 hours, we can start feeding on demand. If he goes 5 days without a major event, we can go home. We hadn’t had anything since Thursday, as far as I know, so I need to clarify when the clock starts, exactly — now or since last event?! He’s still on oxygen, but they are going to trial him off of it again tomorrow. I have everything crossed he handles it this time (third time’s a charm?), but even if he doesn’t, he’s on a low enough level that he can come home with an oygen tank, if needed.

I think we’ve been here longer than any other baby in the NICU currently, and news spread quickly that E may be going home soon. This afternoon, several nurses who have taken care of Emmett over the past 10+ weeks stopped by our room to see us and a couple of them teared up. Of course, so did I. It’s really bittersweet to be thinking about leaving these amazing people who are responsible for my baby’s life. I don’t know how I can ever thank them.