OK, we both know that title is a lie. There's no way I could possible go an entire week and only post about Ruthe once. There's just not enough other things going on in my life right now to not blog about my baby girl more than is really socially acceptable.
But, Ruthe is quite the little lump on a log. I just don't have that much exciting, or even remotely interesting, information about her anymore.
She gets 65cc's of breast milk or formula or some combination every three hours. They give it to her through the feeding tube over 45 minutes. They've also been trying to feed her with a bottle once every shift [so twice ever 24-hours]. Sometimes she would do really well, and sometimes she would aspirate [get some of the fluid in her lungs] and let her heart rate drop really low. That made the doctors and speech therapist wonder if there was something going on with her swallowing, causing those things to happen. They ordered a swallow study to get a better look at what's going on in that little mouth of hers.
It sounded like, to me at least, that the swallow study was kind of unpleasant, and a little stressful for Ruthe. They fed her formula with barium in it, of varying consistencies, and watched her swallow it with a fancy kind of x-ray. They found that when the liquids were very thin and runny, some of it would get into Ruthe's trachea, causing the aspiration. That would make her cough and choke and stop trying to swallow her food. The thicker liquids were easier for her to manage getting down the right tubes. So the speech therapist and NICU doctors decided that for her bottle-feeds they'd thicken the milk with rice-cereal. It's only been a day, so we'll see how things go. She did take 9cc's this morning. That's not a lot, but it's better than nothing. I really hope she gets the hang of eating now so she can get rid of that dang feeding tube! And the oxygen. And then come HOME.