We took a hiatus from housework yesterday!
The oldest nine walked next door to Grandma’s house, and Verity and I went to see our friend Dr. Chowdhury.
Dr. Chowdhury thinks that Verity is looking healthy!
She can now hear a slight murmur in Verity’s heart, which was not present when she listened on Saturday afternoon before discharge. And Verity’s echocardiogram showed a slight bit more leakage through one valve, which is not uncommon. We had been told that valve leakage nearly always increases in the first few weeks after this type of surgery. That’s why it is so desirable for the surgeon to start the valves out at the point of very little to no leakage. Which is what Dr. Clark did. This leaky valve is not a problem right now. The doctors will just watch it over time, and as always, I should report any changes for the worse in Verity’s eating or breathing. Or anything else that seems “off.”
I appealed to Dr. Chowdhury that we drop one of Verity’s night feedings and increase the amount she takes in during the other seven feedings. She readily agreed, and suggested that if Verity wakes during the night, that I try to nurse her, rather than going through the usual rigmarole of bottle and tube, for the sake of my sleep. If she gets anything from that nursing, it will be a happy little extra.
So at 2 am, when she woke and fussed over a messy diaper, I tried nursing her.
She rooted around hungrily, but as soon as she was latched on, she struggled and flailed and grimaced and spit it out over and over. I finally put the nursing shield on, and that worked a bit better, but she kept falling asleep, so I eventually took the point and pumped instead. While I was pumping, she woke up again and fussed and gnawed on her fist! She swallowed an ounce from her bottle, then I tucked her back into her carseat and washed up the bottles and pump parts. All this took an hour and a half, so no improvement there. But I still have high hopes for her nursing future! Yesterday Dr. Chowdhury encouraged those hopes by stating that there was absolutely no reason Verity could not eventually learn to breastfeed, if I am determined and patient enough to work at it with her.
Here she is, with the new taping job I gave her last night. That flesh-colored bottom layer is called Duo-derm, and we brought it home from our first hospital stay, along with lots of other feeding tube/taping supplies. It is non-irritating to the skin and can stay there long term, unlike the tape the nurse put on her Saturday, thinking the tube would only be there a day or so. Verity’s skin is very sensitive, and the other taping job was making her increasingly cranky. Now she’s back to her usual sweetly mellow self!