Friday, June 29, 2012

Benjamin's Life: Back to Back

This morning Benjamin nursed and when he finished he had a test weight of +72 grams! When we went in to feed him this afternoon the nurse practitioner was there and she poked her head into our "room" and said, "Have we talked about doing a back-to-back feeding? Because if we haven't, we should. How about...if Benjamin eats really well right now you just come in for the next feeding and we'll try him on a back-to-back. Does that work for you?" We said we could make it work and then talked about how to arrange babysitters and things while I fed Benjamin. Then we did his test weight and it was +66 grams!

We made a few calls, sent a few texts, and made it so we could just stick around the hospital until his next feeding. He usually rests for six hours between feedings. I feed him at 10 AM and 4 PM and 10 AM and he gets a bottle at 4 AM. At 1 PM 7 PM 1 AM and 7 AM he gets fed via NG tube/gavage.

Today, however, I fed him at 10 AM, 4 PM and 7 PM. It's a "back-to-back" feeding because he had to nurse two feedings in a row. And he rocked it! His test weight was +53 grams.

We don't know what the plan is for the next few days but we do know that our days will be full of getting Benjamin ready to come home! I could cry tears of joy (but I've spent so many days this month crying that I think I'll pass).

Benjamin's NG tube—they only put 16 cm down his throat to his stomach

Benjamin had also pulled out his NG tube by the time we came back in at 7:00. He's been clawing at his face since the moment he realized he had hands (okay, so probably before then since I don't think it's quite dawned on him what those appendages are for). With all the tubes and tape and stickers they've stuck to his face (and down his throat) I can't say I blame him. He mastered removing his nasal cannula a long time ago and the last time he went off it (this week, actually) the nurse practitioner opened his little bed-tent to check on him and said, "Oh! Someone decided it was time for a room-air test and it looks like they're doing maybe we'll do an official room-air test later today."

He had pulled the cannula right off his face and was holding it down under his chin.

Anyway, today he managed to pull his NG (nasogastric = nose-to-stomach) tube completely out of his stomach, even though it was still taped to his cheek. Instead of putting it in right away the nurse left it out so that we could see his sweet face.

"It's picture time!" she sang when we walked in. "He pulled his NG tube right out and I'm not putting it back in until after you feed him so his face is completely naked!"

"Oh, no! I don't think we brought the camera today!" I said. And then I realized that (duh!) we have an iPhone. "But we have our iPhone so it will be okay."

"Good," she said. "I was going to say that I have my iPhone and I would gladly take some pictures and email them to you. But if you have your phone then that will work, too."

She was a nice nurse.

And a trusting one. She left Benjamin with no other option but to eat. We told him so.

"Benjamin, my boy!" I said. "You don't have an NG tube in so you have to get in your full feeding or you'll just have to go hungry."

He obediently ate more than a full feeding and fell asleep completely satisfied. And looking like a beautiful, tubeless baby boy. Not that babies with tubes aren't's just nice to see his whole face. (He's naked in these pictures because we were doing a little skin-to-skin while we were nursing. He usually wears clothes. Just in case you're wondering.)

Tomorrow when we see him he'll have his tube back in. But hopefully not for long. He looks so comfortable without it in, doesn't he?

I am so in love with his sweet little face. And everything else about him.


  1. He is such a lovely and beautiful baby! I love his hair! Looks like you'll be having him home pretty soon now! Great news!

  2. I LOVE seeing tube-free faces. I remember the first time I saw Martin's like that. He looked completely different to me (probably because he was like 8 months old lol)

    And WAY TO GO on the back to back feedings!! That's awesome!! That light at the end of the tunnel is just getting brighter and brighter. :)

  3. Hi...I know you don't know me...but I had an LDS friend send me a link to an article about Mormon Mommy Blogs. I clicked over and found a link to your blog in the comment section of the article. The original link that a friend sent me is I'm not sure how my friend came across the article... any rate...I clicked on your link and I have read some posts on your blog and LOVE them. Our youngest son was born prematurely and I found myself nodding knowingly as I read. Having a preemie changed our lives forever...I agree...the world just kept on going...but ours stopped in its tracks.

    I think you are an incredible writer!...I just wanted to tell you that. I love your powers of when you described you and your husband, "like sharks in a feeding frenzy" as you frantically prepared to go to the hospital for Benjamin's birth. Such incredible description...I can just see the scene in my mind's eye.
    Benjamin is a gorgeous baby! I love his hair and that sweet little chin. ☺

    I get what you mean about NICU culture. I wish I had documented better while our baby John was in the hospital...I admire how well you keep up on your blog. So...It was nice to, "meet" you in the blogsphere. ☺