Today was another good day! Whitlee is doing really well in her open bassinet and starting to take more and more of her feedings. When I got there for my daytime visit, in 24 hours she’d taken all but her 11 pm and 11 am feedings by mouth, so that was a great improvement! She breastfed great for me and then we just rocked for a while like usual. She’s always wide awake this time of the time day unless we’re rocking and I’m holding her. As soon as I go to put her back in the crib, she’s awake. This is becoming her normal schedule though, she’s done it three days in a row. So I got her settled, even though she was awake, and let the nurse know she was back in her crib and awake, but seemed content and would probably eat good for her at 5 if she stayed awake.
Here’s the good part – when we went back for the evening, our favorite night nurse, Wendy, was back. She said she’d gotten there early and picked her favorite babies for the next few nights, which of course includes Whitlee. Then she said she’d been there for the 5 pm feeding and she’d sucked down her 40ml bottle in 8 minutes! I think she’s got this eating thing down! So Wendy was able to get a jump on her assessments for the night, and get all of her weighing and baths done. Whitlee is up to 4lbs 9oz now. Our girl is growing! Then she told us Whitlee had pulled her feeding tube out again… and that she was going to leave it out for as long as she takes her feedings by mouth! Her theory is (and I’ve personally witnessed it happen) is that babies that are on the verge of eating all feedings by mouth will normally go ahead and do it if you’ll take their tube out. There was a baby boy in there recently that was at the same point as Whitlee and kept gagging every time he’d eat, then he’d fight the bottle, so they’d drop the rest down his tube. Wendy let him keep his tube out after he pulled it out, thinking it was the tube irritating him, and she was right – he went home like two days later! Unfortunately, Whitlee’s doctor is out for the weekend so even if she does amazing, the replacement doctor doesn’t like to discharge babies that aren’t her admits, so we’d have to beg and really make her case, but it’s possible. Or it could end up being a situation where her doctor comes back Monday and the nurses are like, “Look how good Whitlee did while you were gone. Can she go home now?” I’m hoping, praying, wishing on shooting stars (I saw one on the way to the hospital tonight), wishing on 11:11, and crossing my fingers and toes that it’s soon!!
Update – I called the NICU this morning while pumping (which is actually Day 18) to find out how she did through the night and she’s still going strong without her tube!! She has taken all of her feedings by mouth since 2pm yesterday. She just needs to keep it up and she can leave the tube out and come home very very soon!