Thursday, August 24, 2006

Our next trick

As Woody keeps getting bigger and stronger and able to handle the life off the tube, we're starting to consider what sorts of things are necessary to get him out of the hospital. Lungs are obviously our biggest concern yet, but there's also the little matter of feeding that is a big worry, too. Kids that get to as old as Woody was while extubated often develop oral aversions that prevent 'normal' feeding; they just hate stuff in their mouth and can't be really taught how to suck and swallow, which means that most kids that have a trach also have a feeding tube surgically installed at the same time. Yuck.

Woody has no signs of these oral aversions, though, as he totally loves his pacifier and has an intact sucking reflex. The speech therapist came by today to examine him, as she is the one that evaluates the babies for when they can try real feedings, and said that his sucking reflex is good but not too strong, which in a sense could be good. I'll explain.

Maggie has been pumping like a trooper this entire time of Woody's life, even though the nipple nazis are mean to her (repeated quote: "I think they'd be nicer if I just didn't pump at all!") and the La Leche League meetings aren't very helpful (one woman said "there's nothing more natural than breastfeeding!" which is pretty laughable, considering that Maggie only has nursed the yellow metal and plastic baby, hence her retort "there's nothing less natural than breastfeeding, in my experience.") Anyway, the one thing that has kept Maggie pumping six to eight times a day through every inconvenience that you can imagine, despite low supply, is the idea that one day Woody could actually be able to breastfeed himself. After months of abuse by the mechanical breast pumps, I'm thinking that Woody might be a kinder, gentler way to express, and it could be a lot easier for her too, because of all the touchy-feely woman stuff* that goes along with breastfeeding.

Jeff goes home tomorrow, and then more people come in; Krista comes back from the Bay area temporarily on Tuesday, and my dad and Sherri come in for a visit next Friday. We're really glad to see everyone.

*I would like to say, for the record, that I am 100% in favor of touchy-feely woman stuff.


At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Aunt Susan said...

I really loved this posting, about how natural breast-feeding is....NOT. You would THINK that SOMEONE (in the lactation field) could get this irony and be of some support to Maggie. It is anything BUT natural. All I can say is, I am so impressed with your hard work Maggie. What a MOM.


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