This morning, Blaise bumped up to 32cc/hr of formula. That's a new high-water mark for her and it's also the last number we heard bandied about as her "goal" amount for feeding. Chances are that she's grown a bit since then, so 33 or 34 might be the "real" number we'll aim for, but the big deal is this: Blaise won't be on PN tonight. No Omegaven, no IV nutrition. Just formula and milk.
When her nurse for today told us that this was the plan, I was dumb enough to ask when that would happen. See, the thing is, it already has. Blaise has been coming off the IV for 12 hours at a go for a few days now and all that happens tonight is that they don't hook her back up. It just seemed like such a big deal that I guess I felt like there had to be some moment when we'd actually do something. Personally, I think we should have a big mad-scientist switch that just says "ON" and "OFF." Like one of these guys:
Admit it, that would be pretty cool. Anyway, even though there's no big moment when we turn off the IV this is still a big day. We're giving Blaise her first shot at growing without using the central line for nutrition. The plan right now is to see if she can keep gaining weight when it's up to her intestines to do all the work. How long do we wait? Kinda hard to say...our nutritionist tells us most kids lose weight the first day or two. She also tells us that surgeons always freak out about this even though nutritionists always tell them to expect it. We're expecting her surgeon to freak out in, oh...let's say 20 hours or so. After that first day or so though, we may see Blaise put on a few grams (~30g would be nice) which would be good evidence that she can come off PN.
Neither one of us is putting all our hopes on this all working out the first time. We're willing to take home a line. Honestly, it's a bit amazing to me that we're even talking about the possibility of removing it. Erin and I have talked a lot about how radically goal posts have been shifted over the past 5 months and I guess it's still hard for me to believe this last one stands where it does. Regardless of what happens it's great that we can try.
So we wait on pins and needles here on 10East. Of course, we also have a lot of fun. :)
Note that Blaise is really into chewing on her fingers lately (as well as chewing on her pacifier, her friend Atka the polar bear, us, etc.). She's also been a little extra drooly and occasionally fussier than normal. What could cause all those things? Possibly the same thing that's causing a bit of a swollen bump on her lower gum.
Yup. A tooth.
Early for a tooth, you say? Yes, but not for a baby on Omegaven! Turns out that it's not uncommon for Omegaven babies to get their first teeth early. Omega-3's promote growth and so Blaise may have some choppers to work with before too long. The fish oil is really something else, folks. I hold out hope that she may end up being telepathic and/or have X-ray vision. Now that I write that, I realize both of those traits would be awesome, but pose serious parenting challenges. Hm.