A Great Saturday and How Ethan Gets Home
Happy Saturday! No really, it’s been a very happy Saturday!!! I say this because we have hated Saturdays in the NICU. We usually have something stressful happen, nurse issues, or something that makes us dread the weekends. But today was nothing but fantastic.
The doctors decided Ethan no longer needs the forced air, so that’s gone! And our nurse today (who is amazing) told us he took two FULL bottles during the night shift—one at 9pm and one at 6am. Those are his first full feeds from bottles!! Since Monday, he has taken more and more from a bottle, but he only wakes up for every other feeding since eating on his own takes a lot of energy. The older he gets, the more energy he will have to take more feedings on his own.
Weight today: 5 pounds 9 ounces
AND…not to get anyone TOO excited…our Attending said we need to make sure we are ready for him to come home because it will be happening soon. She can’t commit to anything, because of course this is all up to Ethan at this point, but she said she anticipates him coming home within the next couple weeks! This was the FIRST time any doctor has talked about him going home. We are ecstatic!!!!
HOW ETHAN GETS HOME
So, I thought I’d take this post to explain what has to happen for Ethan to come home. Lots of people have asked lately, and it’s a great question.
FIRST (and most importantly) he has to take all of his feeds on his own. These can come from breast or bottle, but they will not take out his feeding tube until Ethan is eating the full amount of calories he needs to grow. Right now this number is 45 ml (approx. 1.5 ounces) every three hours and this number continues to increase as he gets bigger. He takes a full bottle every three hours, feeding tube comes out, he’s ready to go home.
SECOND he cannot have any heart rate or O2 drops for a whole week. If he has one that is very tiny and directly related to reflux, the docs might let it slide because it’s pretty common for this to happen to even full term babies. We would like to go home free and clear of this issues though. He barely has any now, so this should not be a problem.
THIRD he has to pass the “Car Seat Test”. This is where the nurses place Ethan in his car seat (which we will be taking in very soon) for two hours. While in there, he can’t have any heart rate or O2 drops, and needs to be comfortable and not stressed or anxious. It sounds like a long time, but the babies usually just fall asleep.
FOURTH we have to do some work too. There are about four videos we need to watch on everything from car seat safety to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) prevention. We have already watched two of these…they are actually interesting! We also have to take a CPR class. We won’t be certified, but we will feel comfortable performing infant CPR if ever needed. These are requirements for EVERYONE who leaves the NICU and we think it is a great idea. (I still think we all need to be certified to have kids, ha ha)
So now we just need him to eat eat eat!! There is actually a light at the end of this tunnel. It was hard to imagine before, but now it seems so close.
And TRUST ME, when he comes home, it will be smathered all over this blog, Facebook, e-mail, and anything else I can get my hands on. So when he does, the world will know!!!