Just eat it! (First, our apologies for using not one but TWO Weird Al Yankovich songs in recent posts - We promise that we'll never use "Amish Paradise" in any future entries. But really, can you think of a song besides "Eat it" that relates to eating, baby food, or milk?)
So our big hurdle now is getting Jay to eat well before we can leave the hospital. After all he's been through, there are several challenges to getting him to eat. The first, and probably biggest, is that he attempted to eat twice during his first day with us at Rex, but ever since, he's been fed through an IV. His tummy isn't used to food, and it's taking some time to learn how to suck and swallow. He's had a breathing tube put in not once but twice, and that is probably hurting his throat. They warned us that many babies have issues with reflux after heart surgery, so that's something we'll have to watch for.
Jay did really well today with his feeding, showing off his nursing skills for the lactation consultant. Then, while she was off writing a glowing report to give to his doctors, he puked up everything that he had just eaten. The vomiting got him a little choked up and he started breathing really fast and wheezing from some goo stuck in his throat. Scared me to death. They have given us some good advice to keep it from happening again, including burping more often, stopping him from eating periodically so he won't eat too fast, sitting him upright after a feeding and making sure the nurses do all their poking, prodding, bloodletting, etc. BEFORE he eats so he won't get agitated after a meal.
I have no idea what I would have done if I had been at home alone with him during this puking/choking incident - probably would have called 911. Those of you with kids are thinking, "Big deal, your baby spit up." But as scary as it is to take home a newborn, it's a million times scarier to take home one who has been monitored by pros and machines around the clock for his entire life.
Just now, for example, his heart rate dropped from around 130 where it's been all day to 80. Alarms went off and nurses came running. It's creeped back up to about 110, but how in the world would I know that if it happened at home? He was sleeping peacefully, and didn't move a muscle through the entire episode. He never even woke up when we all rushed to the bassinet. It's terrifying to watch, and now we're expected to just say "Whew, glad that's over!"
I may never sleep at night again.