Highs and lows. That's what I've been experiencing as a post-partum mom. I really don't have much to complain about, I suppose, but I'm just so anxious for Lincoln to progress (even though he's ahead of the game). Yesterday Lincoln had some great success with bottle feeding! His night nurse fed him two full bottles (40ml each) at two of his feedings. So, when I got there and tried to do the same.....he was tired. I had never given him a bottle before, so I was super excited. He took a bit of my bottle, but mostly was just tired and had a hard time swallowing so he coughed a lot. At his gestational age, it's really hard to suck-swallow-breathe, so you have to lay them on their sides to take a bottle and point the nipple to the side of his mouth so any milk pools in the side and doesn't choke him. It's complicated and doesn't feel terribly natural. I was sad that it didn't really work very well for me and left for the afternoon pretty bummed. Later last night I returned to the hospital with Brent and was able to give Link more than half of a bottle without any trouble! We always first give him the option of nursing. When he gets annoyed with that, we move to the bottle and whatever he hasn't eaten of his 40 ml, they give him through his tube. It's a slow and frustrating process.
Today we focused on nursing. I was frustrated and sad because he just sat there while I tried, and I really want to make that our primary source for feedings. The nurse called in a lactation specialist, and she worked wonders (as always). She showed us how to stimulate him so he'd be more alert and gave us both a pep talk and tips. Sooner than later, he latched on and fed (on and off) for about 20 minutes! It must have been exhausting for him, because when I tried again at his next care time, he wouldn't even wake up. Naturally, that left me frustrated again. I wish I wasn't so emotional about it all, but it's all I can think about right now and the most important thing to me. Poor Brent must be wondering when he's going to get his sane wife back.
On a happier note, Link is up to 4 lbs. 11 1/2 ounces! His nurses are now preparing us for discharge. We have several videos and trainings to participate in before he's able to come home (plus the other obvious milestones he has to reach). Sometime this week he should be taken off the caffiene that keeps him from forgetting to breathe or his heartrate going down significantly. Many babies have these all the time even with the caffeine, but Link doesn't have a single one recorded. He has 7 days for the caffiene to wear off and then has to go 5 straight days without significant dips in either of the aforementioned. He also has to be able to take all his feedings by bottle and/or nursing. Other than that, we're home free. They're predicting about three weeks from now. I bought his carseat yesterday and his bedroom is pretty much ready. What a change it will be to have him home!!! I can't wait.