Friday, October 25, 2013

the eating machine

Calder has been making some awesome strides. We haven't yet heard when he will get to come home, but one of the last major hurdles for him is feeding. Preemies, who struggle to simply breathe, apparently have trouble coordinating the sucking, swallowing, and breathing required to drink from a bottle or breast. Due to the vortex caused by the air flow coming through the cannula, the doctors were waiting for the flow to drop below 1.5 liters. Calder is at 1.5 and he is ready to eat!

As you can see from the video the boy is an eating machine...granted, he does get so excited that he forgets to breathe, but when you've never tasted ANYTHING in your life before, milk has to be a party for your taste buds. The nurses call slowing him down so that he does remember to breathe "pacing," and to further the analogy, Calder is clearly a sprinter. The first few feedings the nurses use a number of tricks to get him to slow down. They don't tip the bottle all the way so that there isn't as much milk flowing at once, and when he goes too long without a breath they tip the bottle so it's just the nipple without any milk. This is supposed to teach the baby that when you don't get milk, you stop sucking. It did not work for Calder the first time; in his mind if sucking produced food, it should do so again, and thus Calder didn't stop sucking even with the bottle completely removed from his mouth.  He's clearly not afraid to put a bit of effort into acquiring what he likes.

As I'm writing this he's up to his fourth bottle feed (he gets two every 24 hours), and he has finally started to take small breaks in-between sips. Knowing his mother, I have never been very worried that Calder would struggle with eating. Even when he was barely two pounds, and we would dab a Q-tip in some milk to rub around his mouth, he would smile and lick the cotton.

In other news, he's up to 6 lbs 10 oz and we're starting to do physical therapy with him.  I've yet to get any video but I definitely grab a laugh every time we have a workout session.


  1. Ahhh, to be a baby and have everyone cheering about how much you can eat! :) Go Calder go!