First time trying a bottle! So far so good. No 'mechanical' swallowing issues -- just have to get him to enjoy drinking something that tastes awful and smells nasty.
Look at this! We're finally getting wheeled out of here after 6 weeks of being in the same PCICU room!
In a new bed. In a new room. In the Children's Hospital now. Next stop ... HOME!
It is now Friday -- today Martin is 6 weeks old. Since the last post, there have been a number of big steps -- strides, really. He had his swallow study on Wednesday and (barely!) passed it. But passed it he did and so they gave the green light to try bottle-feeding. And so, they did that on Wednesday as well and he did -- not bad. Wasn't great in the sense that he didn't drink a lot -- but he also didn't gag or choke. Since then, Martin has been bottle-feeding twice a day and he definitely can drink without any "mechanical" problems -- but he doesn't seem to drink very much. In fact, you get the impression that he simply doesn't LIKE what he is drinking -- either the taste or the smell of it. And who can blame him? I'm not sure I could guzzle it down either. The OT (occupational therapist) actually recommended trying to add a bit of vanilla or other flavor to help him "enjoy" it more. Still saying no to breastmilk by the way. Martin will need to drink his full feed amount before they will release us -- or if it's taking too long, they may insert a G-Tube directly into his stomach. Let's pray he won't have to go that route. We'd really not like for him to go that route.
But the other big news is that Martin finally got released from the PCICU! He has been there ever since he was born (6 weeks now) and it was a great moment to have him FINALLY wheeled out of there! It was actually a bit of a surprise to us because we thought it might be next week when that would happen. We now have our own small room in the Children's Hospital in the Pediatric Cardiac unit on the 8th floor. It has its own bathroom and shower so Jamie and I are pretty much trying to stay with Martin as much as possible -- 24x7. It's been tough though because the room is pretty small and there's only one couch where an adult could possibly sleep. I slept on the floor last night and it was do-able, but not very comfortable. I wonder how long we can keep that up? But when we arrived in the room last night, one of our nurses was a Christian girl who already knew all about Martin and she told us that her church was praying for him regularly! That was such a pleasant surprise and encouragement to us. What a small world this is!
Final prayer requests for Martin. Please pray that he will do spectacularly with his bottle-feedings. Pray that he can get up to the full feeds with the bottle and that he will NOT have to have a G-Tube put in. Pray that our stay here in the hospital will be very brief and that we'll be able to return back home quickly. We have made a lot of progress this week. Sometimes it's hard for us to remember that (or be adequately thankful) simply because we find ourselves much more tired now than before. But we have to remember how far we've come. It's amazing really how far we've come. Lord, keep giving us grace and strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. It seems every new day shows us our need for fresh new manna and help from heaven -- as yesterday's supply is inadequate for today's needs.
Steven and Jamie, these pictures brought tears of joy to my eyes; and, I lifted my voice in mighty praise unto Our Lord--thanking Him for turning around baby Martin's situation. I'm praying that by this time next week that you, Steven, will be blogging from Greenville and sharing pictures of Martin with family from there. May it please Our Lord to make it so. It is NOT to hard for Him to accomplish.