Since Sara left the NICU, we have started Adam on an "oral stimulation" routine. It is a set of about 7 exercises performed before each meal time, whether through his feeding tube or a bottle. You use your finger to stimulate his cheeks, his lips, his gums, and end with pressing on the roof of his mouth and his tongue, causing him to about suck your finger out of its socket. I think he has made great strides just over the past few days with it. I have noticed he is less sloppy and closes his lips around the nipple of the bottle better and he has stayed awake the entire time both nights I have tried this and then given him the bottle. Last night I got him to hit the 50% mark, drinking 21mL out of his 39mL feed! Hopefully this is the start of him getting the hang of it.
I am slightly frustrated that Dr. Clark takes weekends off, though! We had just talked to her Friday about Adam's head ultrasound results and she indicated his Level 3 bleed was regressing as expected. There has been no major increase to his head size, which indicates the brain is draining well of fluid rather than building up and swelling. She would consider another sono before he would be discharged. Yesterday a weekend doctor that has never seen Adam before ordered another one today as follow up and to keep him on that routine every few days. Are there any causes for concern? Has there been any change? Is he showing symptoms of a problem? The nurse couldn't answer any of those questions because he dropped in like a seagull (pooped all over and flew off). He left charge notices laying by bedsides and no one even saw him come and go to discuss orders with him. I understand a fresh set of eyes sometimes is very helpful but I would have at least liked to get feedback about it, or have the nurses relay the information to me. We will be discussing this plan with Dr. Clark today. Not every single experience we have can be a positive one.