Monday, March 12, 2012

Suck Swallow Study

I know many of you are wondering how Wendy's test went today. It wasn't all great, but we did receive some good news. When Wendy swallows, most of the time, it goes down the right way. At one time during the study some formula went up to the back of her nose because her palate didn't properly block her airway. The positive thing about this is, that when this happened, she coughed, letting up know that something wasn't right. Most babies don't do that. So they were pretty impressed with her. They said we could try PO feeds once a day but only do really small amounts like 5-10ml. If she starts drinking like crazy then we take her back and she's reevaluated. The problem with aspiration is the fluid is going into your lungs. Fluid being in your lungs can cause respiratory infections. They said Wendy has a poor suck swallow breath coordination. She breaths for a bit, then takes a quick sip, swallows, then starts breathing again. That's too much work to get enough formula in her to sustain her. They said they feel she will do better with baby food. We can start trying baby food when her adjusted age is 4 months, which it will be March 20. She is going back to have them repeat this study and this time they'll do it with formula and baby food in April. If Wendy can't coordinate sucking swallowing and breathing all at the same time, she is going to have to have a pump to keep fluids in her. We are going to take it one day at a time and consider today a success. It's exciting to be able to sit and try to bottle feed Wendy. I am going to have to work extra hard on her oral touch skills because her tongue doesn't curve around the nipple like it should. Eh, we'll figure it out sooner or later. What works for others may not work with Wendy, so for now it's just trial and error. But we are moving forward now and that's the important thing.

Oh the doctor at Vanderbilt told us it was great to put small amounts of food/liquid on our finger and let her taste them. She we need her used to having different tastes in her mouth because since she is tube fed, she doesn't get to taste different things like baby food yet, so until she's big enough to try baby food they said it was totally fine to let her suck chocolate off our fingers.

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