Our poor little Gabby-girl has just not been coping well with her responsibilities of eating. She Bradys at nearly every feeding, even when I’m feeding her and watching her monitor like a hawk for any signs of it dipping. Yesterday I was able to “catch” her a couple of times before her alarm went off and get her to snap out of it by gently blowing on her face. It makes her gasp and then she’s breathing again and the heart rate comes back up. Not so today. I could tell that she’s just worn out, poor lil gal! She wasn’t “excited” at all about ANY of her feeds. It was major work for both of us. She’s supposed to be “ad lib” with her feeds, but they still have a shift minimum that she HAS to eat each 12 hours. Plus the nurses aren’t letting her go up to 4 hours like I was told she could do. So every 3 hours she’s being force fed more than she wants to eat, and all the work that it takes for her to actually “take” everything she needs to is wearing her out and she’s having Brady episodes nearly every time.
So today when the resident came in to examine her we had a little chat about putting her NG tube back in so that she could take a break. I was all for that! While it seems like going back to every other feed is a step back, I know my baby just needs a break! It was wearing us BOTH out, and I was becoming increasingly stressed about her feedings. Now I feel like we can both relax a little bit more. Maybe in a couple of days she’ll be ready to up her feeds again! I told our nurse that just because she CAN take all her feeds doesn’t mean that she is ready to, and she agreed too.
The NG tube was put back in, thankfully while I was out of the room eating lunch) and she had a gavage feeding. Funny thing, she was wide awake and alert during that feed when she didn’t have to work for it. 🙂 I introduced her to the passi again (she’s not been wild about it) and she took it for awhile and practiced sucking without having to worry about coordinating her swallowing and breathing. Then this evening I gave her the bottle feed and she was SO ready for it! Much more enthusiastic than she had been for the last few days!! She took the entire feed, I didn’t have to coax AT ALL and she did NOT have a Brady!! Maybe all coincidence, but it felt like a little victory to me!
One of the hardest things about this time for me is not being able to be “in charge” of my babies care. When Claire woke up early this afternoon with a rotten diaper and was acting super-duper hungry, it was really difficult for me to only be able to offer her the passi and not just feed her early. And this whole thing with Gabby has been hard because I know the poor lass just wants to sleep and maybe if they would LET her sleep till her hungry tummy woke her up, she’d be more interested in taking that bottle. So it’s been difficult to work on that part of my patience, as my mommy instincts just want to take over and take care of MY babies. Oh, and it really irked me every time I’d hear the nurse say the phrase “my babies” because they do not belong to the nurses, and they are NOT property of the NICU either! (Just needed to get that little bee out of my bonnet!) 🙂
All in all it’s a positive day! I know that it seems like a step back, but for me it’s actually relief. Relief that Gabby is going to get a chance to take a break and come back again stronger! Relief that I don’t feel like I have to be at every feeding to make sure that someone is watching the monitor and trying to keep her from having a Brady. And a renewed sense that ONE DAY we will get out of here!
Claire, by the way, did fantastic today! She took every feed by bottle, and did a superb job! She was alert through her feeds and finished every last bit! The difference between her and Gabby is that she absolutely REFUSED to be rushed and is now doing very well pacing herself. Gabby was super enthusiastic at the beginning and the peetered out when she was pushed too much. Silly little girls! 🙂 Love em!