There are a number of things a preemie baby has to accomplish before he can be discharged home.
1. Respiratory – the baby has to be able to breath. CHECK! Calvin was on room air by 6 hours old.
2. Heart – the baby’s heart has to be stable. CHECK! Calvin has had a few bradys (heart slowing down), but has always been able to recover on his own.
3. Temperature – the baby has to be able to maintain his own temperature. CHECK! This morning it was determined that Calvin can now maintain his own temperature and he was moved from the warmer to a big boy bed!
Checking out his new surroundings!
Calling all of his friends to tell them about his new big boy bed!
The last benchmark for going home is the baby has to be able to eat on his own.
This is what we are now working on and what’s holding us up in the NICU.
Right now, this is what feeding Calvin looks like:
Step 1 – change diaper (to ensure accurate weights)
Step 2 – disconnect Calvin from the monitor, zero the baby scale, weigh Calvin
Step 3 – connect Calvin back to monitor, hand Calvin to mommy
Step 4 – allow Calvin to eat for 25-30 minutes, taking care to wake him up every time he falls asleep by pumping his arms to ‘Calvin’s Eating Playlist’
Step 5 – disconnect Calvin from monitor and weigh him
Step 6 – rejoice or cry, depending on how the weigh-in went
Step 7 – Subtract how much he ate from 40 ml (his diet) and warm that amount of pumped breasts milk up in the warmer
Step 8 – Connect Calvin’s feeding tube to the B-D pump and set rate – infuse milk
Step 9 – Pump
Calvin eats every 3 hours, and this whole process usually takes an hour and a half to 2 hours. So by the time it’s over, it’s about time to start again.
Add in cathing, wound care, Dr.s rounds, nursing assessments, and visitors, our days go by pretty quickly!
Calvin during his weigh-in
Sucking on his bink while the rest of the milk goes in. We are only allowed to let him eat on his own for 25-30 minutes, because after that he is burning more calories than he is getting. So after his time is up we have him suck on his bink, so he still has to “suck” to get his food. Tricky. He doesn’t seem to mind.