Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I can be positive.

They told me that only about one baby per year goes home with a feeding tube (an NG tube--in through his little nose, down his throat, and into his stomach). The Kid is one of the only kids who didn't learn how to eat by his due date. Stinks. However, there are some nice things about having an NG tube. They are as follows.

1) When you can't get him to burp like all of the other babies, you can use a syringe to pull the air out. Keeps him from throwing up. Nice.

2) You can feed him when he's asleep. Last night, for instance, he needed to be "topped off" to make up for not getting enough to eat during the day. He went to bed at 11:30. I went to bed at 12:45 (late, I know). I put an extra ounce down the tube while he slept, and he was full enough to make it to 7:30 in the AM. Nice. Really nice.

3) You can check residuals. One of the OTs thinks he has a slow-emptying stomach. I don't. How do I know? Before every feeding I check to see if he has any undigested food in his little tummy (by pulling it out with a syringe, then putting it right back in). If it's been a full three hours, he's completely empty.

4) You can know how much he gets when breast feeding. His record before was 8ML. This morning he was on a roll (of course, he was hungry after sleeping for 8 hours) and he got 30 whole ML! I had to use a huge syringe to pull that much out.

5) Instead of being hospitalized because of not getting enough to eat, I can put a little tube down his little nosey (ok, it's not that easy...he really hates it, and so do I) and voila! He gets food just...like...that. No hospital. That's the best part.

6) I can tell something's up. His stomach is irritated. Once or twice a day I pull up little tiny specks of blood. Yep. I wanna see a specialist.

So, what does this mean for my diaper bag? Well. We have a 60ML syringe, a 10ML syringe, extra duoderm and tagaderm (used to tape the tube to The Kid's face), an extra NG tube, and a stethoscope. Yep. Plus all of the normal baby stuff. It's nice, though. Twice now we've tube fed him in the car. What a time saver!

Having an NG tube has its perks, but it's also a little scary. If I don't check that the placement is right, I could put food into his lungs. That would be very, very bad news. Very bad indeed. But it's easy to check the placement, and I'm so used to it by now that I've got the routine down. I'm just glad that we're going through this at home, not still in the hospital. 100 days was enough for us.

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