After a week of being at home, awaiting the news from Eli’s doctors on when when he might be released from the hospital, we decided to just head down to Louisiana. Both Angie and I were very excited to meet our son, and were indecisive on when to leave, to be with him. A great resource to us has been another adoptive mother, named Jamie, who also is a NICU nurse in Baton Rouge. She instructed us to come down and begin the bonding process as quickly as possible. So we left on Monday morning and the trip went very smoothly.
Another reason Jamie thought it would be best to come down was that Eli’s doctors have been delaying his release from the NICU. The reason for this was due to some regression in Eli’s eating habits and ability to self-sooth. After his birth, Eli showed great signs of preemie progression, and little sign of withdrawal. Over the last week, however, he become fussy at feeding times, and is not eating at a pace they nurses are hoping they would.
Basically, we need to take 50 cc’s of formula within a half hour. What Eli has been doing is instead of taking quality sucks off the bottle, he is sometimes gumming the bottle instead. The nurses have expressed that he is wound up and frustrated a bit, which has lead to his fussiness and also a lack of attention to sucking the bottle consistently.
When Eli does not eat the full amount within the time frame allowed, nurses in the NICU have to take note of this and score him. The scoring system is essential to the NICU’s decision to release Eli and our eventual trip back to Granger. With that in mind, here comes so positive news …
Eli was receiving some high scores before we got here, so his release was delayed, and his medical treatment was increase. The meds they NICU has him on is being administered to combat the drugs his birthmother used during he relapse. The Meconium test we were waiting for came back incomplete, due to a lack of quality test material. This is not as important as his current treatment going on now. His meds need to be reduced / weened, however, before we can expect a final release. To get the weening process started, Eli’s eating and fussiness has to improve.
The good news is that ever since we have been down here, and have had one on one contact with Eli, his demeanor has shown improvement. He not completely fuss-free, but we can tell that he is much happier when he is being loved on, rather than just fed, bumped and then put back to bed. By no means do we believe the nurses are not loving on our boy. We know for a fact that all of the nurses love Eli, and that have been doing all that they can to help correct his unfortunate regression. You should see these people work!
I’m now gonna quickly brag about my wife. She’s a natural! As soon as we enteredthe NICU, and became a mom right in front of my eyes. They let Angie feed Eli on our second visit yesterday, during lunchtime. She bumped him, rocked him and chatted with him for easily thirty minutes. Wile Eli did not eat as well as we wanted, and a nurse had to finish his feeding, Angie did sooth him to sleep after his feeding. It was amazing how well he responded to our first constant with him. Seeing her with Eli made me fall even more in love with her! It changed me, and our relationship, for sure.
Eli did have issues sleeping later that afternoon, and was pretty tuckered out when we visited him later that afternoon. I got to hold him a bit, but did not feed him during that visit. Both the nurses and I thought it would be best to get his feeding issues moving in the right direction before we try feeing him again. There may be some cramping going on for Eli, so if you feel led, please consider praying about this and his improvement. Other than that though, Eli’s very healthy and gaining weight. Once the regression turn to a progression again, weening him off his meds can happen, and eventually we can head back.
Thanks for coming along with us on this journey. Your prayers are appreciated and are evident in our lives. There will be more to come … I promise.