Today has been another productive day for Matthew. My mom and the kids came up to see the baby this morning as they were taking off for South Dakota. My mom has to go back to work, but the kids are going to stay with my parents in the evening and my aunt Delores is going to watch them for us during the day. She is a teacher and has the summer off. Steve had headed back home last evening with my mom so he could have the suburban and be able to leave me a car, so he came up at the same time too to see us.
The kids were able to see Matthew for a little bit and then Steve took them over to the Rainbow house to play on the playground and then he took them out-to-eat for lunch. That freed mom and I up to visit and for mom to get some snuggle time in with Matthew before she left. Dr Siedl (the neonatologist) was in and visited with us about what he thought the next week would hold. He scheduled a CAT scan for tomorrow (I can't remember the significance, but know that Dr Puccioni-the doctor who placed his shunt-wanted this test done) and then he also scheduled a test on Wednesday that the urologist wanted. This test is called a VCUG (for those who want to know what that stands for- its voiding cystourethrogram). This test will show if he has any problems with "reflux" in his kidneys. Since his kidneys are fused and both on one side, they want to make sure that they are both working properly. Both these tests will not take very long and the worst part of the VCUG is that they will temporarily place a catheter in him while they do the test.
Next Dr. Siedl talked about his feedings. At that point, he was only breastfeeding for 3-5 minutes typically. That isn't enough to get the nutrition he needs, so that is why he was also getting feedings in the NG tube. He said we would be patient and try to get him to eat more, but if we were unable to after another week, we had a couple options. He could send him home with the tube in his nose, but there were some risks to that. Or, we could put in what is called a G-tube. This is a tube that is placed straight into the belly by and incision and then he would get his feeding through that. Now, I don't want to have a G tube unless absolutely necessary!!!!! It's another surgical procedure AND another thing to take care of. I visited with the nurse practitioner and she changed his tube feeding schedule to every 4 hours instead of every 3 hours to give him a chance to get hungry. She still wanted him to get the same amount of milk in 24 hours so she upped the amount he got per feeding.
THEN Matthew and I had a talk. I told him he heard what the doctor said and that it wouldn't be very fun to have a G-tube, so we needed to work on this eating business. Well at 1:30, he woke up right before daddy was going to leave and acted hungry. So I tried to breastfeed him. He ate for a couple minutes and then went to sleep. I told him that that wouldn't cut it. I woke him up again and tried again. This time he stayed on for 13 minutes, yeah!!!! I even made the nurse come in and see. He fell asleep till 4pm and woke up hungry. This time he nursed 14 minutes! Yeah Matthew! The nurses consider a "full feeding" when they breastfeed at least 10 minutes, so he had gotten 2 full feedings! It was time for his tube feeding, so I asked the nurse if we still had to give him his tube feeding since he had just eaten so well. She didn't know, so she called the nurse practitioner and she said that as long as he feeds for at least 10 minutes, he doesn't need his tube feedings. Yeah again!!! At 7 pm he woke up and ate very heartily for 15 minutes, so I do believe we're making some good strides! Now, he just has to keep this up for a couple of days and we can GO HOME!!! I'm not holding my breath though yet, as we've just begun; but this is wonderful progress!