Saturday, February 7, 2009

Evening Update (Saturday 2/7)

The campaign to improve Max's oral competence continued last night, with B. reporting that Max sucked on a pacifier for an hour--B. tried one with the "Nuk" style nipple. Max sucked on the Nuk again this morning; when Carolyn arrived, however, he switched to sucking on her little finger. (I remember that Felix enjoyed sucking on our fingers too.) Speech therapist S. pointed out that Max isn't a drooler, so he's at least swallowing his own saliva. In addition, Max swallowed most of his Maalox dose.

The NICU team compressed Max's feeds to 90 minutes starting at noon. On his second or third feed, he spat up about 12 ccs. Carolyn made sure the nurses recorded the cause as "her fault" -- she thought she might have jostled him a little too much. But she's also concerned that the NICU team will decompress his feeds in response. Carolyn didn't leave the NICU this evening until she had settled Max down--she used the secret nursing sleep-fu that she has come to understand after 100 days in the NICU. Want an infant to sleep? Put him on his stomach, establish barriers such as rolled up towels to keep his arms near his sides, and pat his butt firmly. (Warning: don't do this unless the kid is on a monitor.)

With his new compressed feeding schedule, Carolyn has more time to play with Max. They read books (the very hungry caterpillar continues to be a favorite), did some light physical therapy and watched the bustle of the step-down NICU.