Thursday, August 30, 2012

Day 23: The Comeback Kid

I am over the moon today! I feel like I'm walking 10 feet above the ground. It was a spectacular day. I though maybe next week bottle feeding would start, but they started today. Vivek decided to start off the morning showing up his sister since he was upset about yesterday.

I've decided to nickname my son Hoover for the week! He bottle fed like a pro with no desats at all and stayed at almost 100% the entire time when I witnessed the nurse feeding him! Pretty amazing. He was sucking and breathing and swallowing like the little multitasker he was born to be. I was stunned and so happy I was trying not to cry. I thought it would take weeks, and I've read how there can be considerable difficultly overcoming this particular hurdle. I got to feed him myself for the first time later that night, and he did desat at the end but that probably had more to do with my ineptitude than anything else. It won't go perfectly of course, but it is a surprisingly strong start.

Words cannot describe the joy I got from feeding my tiny boy and watching him suck away, or the overwhelming sense of triumph when I got my first burp out of him. I was pleased that earlier in the day I hadn't realized his feeding had come late and my instincts that he was hungry and frustrated were right, because I'd been operating on the assumption he had just been fed but he was acting more than just hungry. It's easy to worry so much that you won't be able to sense what's going on with your babies, but every day I trust myself more.

But the kicker was earlier in the afternoon the nurse said she though Tara would need more time and wasn't quite ready to bottlefeed. She thought she would take longer. Tara must have heard that because that evening not only did she bottle feed perfectly while I fed Vivek, but I heard the nurse yell out "first prize!" and hold up her empty bottle while Vivek still had half left! The best part was after she finished the bottle and they took it out of her mouth, she was still sucking away like it was still there. It was so incredibly cute I almost overdosed on adorable, but unfortunately my camera was in the other room.

Tara exhausted from the "bottle races"
When I hold them now I'm so much more relaxed and the alarm of any desat surprises me rather that being something I expect. They typically do a very slight de-sat now and pull themselves right out,  and if any stimulation occurs it is early in the game and mild on my part and maybe not even necessary. My only worry right now is that Vivek is so alert and moving that I worry he is not sleeping enough like his sister.

I went out to lunch to celebrate at Decent Restaurant for some more bartha. It was a yummy meal, but ended on a humorous note. I ordered a mango milkshake as a little dessert treat to celebrate the morning events, and ordered it while I had them box up my leftover bartha. I waited. Then I waited some more. How long does it take to make a milkshake? Finally I called over the waiter, and it turns out they had put my milkshake in a baggie with the leftovers. Language barrier 1, Emily 0.

On the way back I did witness something disturbing. One of the stray street dogs was trapped in between the security grates of one of the businesses, and I got the sense that it was done on purpose because it was acting aggressive. Then a man came out and began beating it with a bamboo stick. It was upsetting, but I didn't stick around to see how far it went.

Tonight the family members arrived for the baby that had been on the ventilator next to my son, but is now graduated to a CPAP though he is having some seizures. The mother speaks perfect English and sounds American though she appears to be and speak Japanese. She was full of questions for me because she could tell I was the veteran around the place, so I answered as much as I could. Unfortunately her baby is full term and a lot of my recent knowledge base relates to prematurity specifically. I invited her out to lunch tomorrow after the 11am visitation, and hopefully I can help in some way. She is staying at Madhuban, so I may follow them back to their hotel so I can try the food there because it is probably the best in town.

I got my hubby's paperwork printed out for FMLA, and I'll have Dr. Kothiala sign it tomorrow since she is easier to hunt down than Dr. Patel by far! I did speak with Dr. Kothiala today for the first time about general time frame for discharge. She asked me "how soon do you want to be caregiver?" I was confused by the question, but maybe some folks are more timid than I am and want their babies to be bigger and a little more developed or feeding more than 2 hrs apart before they take them home from the NICU. I told her that while we would have apnea monitors being brought on the 7th with my mother in law, that I wanted to take them home when she felt it was safe and the risk of apnea and bradycardias have reasonably passed. However, the sooner that happens the happier I am. She said two weeks at the earliest, so around the 13-14th of September. That means about two weeks and my husband and mother will be here!!! My husband has a fire lit under him and he is rushing around getting everything done on his to do list. Between getting the car seats installed, getting extra apnea alarm batteries, adjusting the stroller to the car seats, contacting the DNA lab, buying formula, getting proof of residency documents, and packing....he has his work cut out for him!

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