After all the crashing and burning and status quo the kid has been doing, the thought of him coming home was pretty dim. I was worried that he'd learn how to walk and talk in that nicu. I started preparing myself for the idea of an institution even though I know that was absurd. I was thinking about planning a trip to the local shrine of miracles here to pray for his improvement on my drive home from work and going to the hospital Thursday night.
Then I showed up at the hospital.
It was 45 minutes before his scheduled feed and he was wide awake and chomping on his nook. He was one hungry little boy. I figured instead of wasting the energy on his nook that we should get the bottle going. That was a wise choice. We assumed the preemie eating position and popped the bottle in his mouth. He gobble that thing. He paced himself remembering to swallow and breath when he needed to. Actually, the kid's oxygen sats didn't drop below 91 the whole feed! That has never happened! He finished his whole bottle and was still wide awake and wanted something to suck. We refilled the bottle with another half a feed and he went to town on that one. He maintained his sats and gobbled that one down without blinking an eye. With his reflux we figured better cut him off before it ended poorly. He chomped on his nook for awhile longer before crashing out asleep. Wow. Just wow. When putting him to bed he spit up big time but his oxygen sats only dropped to 76 and he brought himself right back up. Usually something like that would drop him into the 50s and he'd need some sort of stimulation to breath again. I was beaming to say the least. He had taken all of his feedings minus 1 at that point by mouth. He's never done that either. I had to know how the last feeding went. I stayed up and called in. He ate all but what he had extra at the feeding before. I call that a wash! My boy took all of his feeds by mouth for a full 24 hours!!!
Friday night I was excited to see him again. He was wide awake when I got there again and the nurse had much to report. He was sleepy during the night and didn't make much progress with eating. They turned his oxygen down some more and he was doing great. Then at noon he woke up hungry as hell and it was still a half hour before his scheduled feed so they gave it to him early. He gobbled that down and fell asleep. He woke up and hour later just as hungry. They figured what the heck and gave him another bottle to see what he'd do. He ate the whole feed! All of his progress earned him a new feeding schedule. He gets to eat what he wants when he wants as long as long as it is at least every 3 hours. He has a minimum amount that he has to eat in 8 hours and if he doesn't meet those requirements two shifts in a row he's back on a scheduled feeding. He may have a rough go of it to start but I'm sure he'll adjust quickly.
My boy is growing up! I'm hesitant to say his lightbulb turned on in his brain and he's acting like a normal baby but it appears it may have happened! I pray it has! That'll make home coming happen even faster!