Tuesday, June 29, 2010

He got a suite...

More positive news today! He was moved farther from the nurses station to a room technically on the same CICU unit, but housing spill-over patients in the next ward. Basically, in this sort of intensive care, the most serious cases are right next to the nurses station for extra monitoring, so the farther you get from it, the better off you are! The new room doesn't have as many connections different life-support devices, nor is it up to the level of sterility for impromptu surgeries (like putting the ECMO in or taking it out.) So by moving him, they're saying that they don't foresee needing to use those additional devices! I know it might seem like we're grasping at straws here, but every little milestone seems humongous!

One other perk of the new room is that it has somewhat more lax rules. It has a table in it that we had lunch on today (the unit technically doesn't allow food in the patient rooms, but the unit where the spill-over is does...we went with the lax rules. :)) It also has a full-size couch, which is marginally more comfortable than the floor, but should Kate decide to stay to help nurse the little guy, she'll actually be able to sleep in something more than a recliner. Also, being off the main corridor makes the room a bit quieter, and fewer people poke their heads in...all good signs!

Speaking of feeding the little guy, he ate 10 ml of breastmilk from a bottle today! This was great news! Newborns typically have a hard time learning how to eat after being fed through the IV or feeding tube for the majority of their lives. Also, being on ECMO stresses certain neck muscles (look where those canules are inserted, and you'll see how it messes with his neck/throat) so that makes it harder to remember how to suck. On the flip side, he had a week of nursing, so simply remembering how is easier than learning for the first time like those babies whisked directly from the delivery room the the ICU. So the fact that he ate from a bottle was awesome! A baby his size on full feeds gets about 18 ml/hour, so a baby that nurses every 4 hours would get roughly 72 ml per feeding. So it was a small portion: only 1/7 of the amount he needs before he can feed completely without the feeding tube, but it's a start. They'll work on stopping the feeds before he eats to help him get hungry and then offer more and more each time.

We're doing well...let's hope that it continues to improve!

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