Today was one of those two steps forward, one step back kind of days. Here’s the bottom line: Sol is no longer coming home on Monday. The really sucky thing is that it isn’t his fault at all. In fact, he is still kicking ass and smashing all expectations.
Sol has to be eating 100% of his meals by mouth before he comes home. But, here’s the thing: he gets fed every 3 hours, on the hour. If he stayed awake too long during one feeding, and can’t wake up for the next one, they give it to him via his nasal feeding tube. This goes against his record of bottle feedings. See the issue?
Over the last 3 days, he’s had 70 – 80% of feeds by mouth. Pretty darn good, considering a week ago he hadn’t had a full bottle. When feeding him, it’s clear that he could handle the volume of 480ml in a 24 hour period. In fact, after his noon bottle today, he was still hungry and sat for two hours rooting at anything resembling a bottle. At 2pm (an hour before his feeding time), we told the nurse what was going on and she gave us a 20ml bottle to see if our hunch was correct. We were spot on: he gobbled it down and still ate a full bottle at 3pm.
Seeing this, after the doctor mentioned that he was falling short of 100% of feedings by mouth, his nurse stuck up for Sol and convinced the doctor to give him a daily minimum and allow him to eat when he’s hungry. (Another huge win for the NICU nurses. Seriously, they are awesome.)
So, we’re going to try this for the next day or so and see if it helps him get to 100%. Once he gets there, they’ll need 48 hours to finish up his remaining tests and then he can come home.
At this point, we’re looking at a Wednesday discharge as the best case scenario. (This whole NICU thing is starting to feel like a nightmare that won’t end.)
On a more positive note, Sol rocked his bottles and tummy time today! Here’s some cuteness:
Sol refusing to burp, but being awfully cute:
Checking out his mobile:
Working on the neck muscles:
Sol’s “I’m hungry” face: