There is a sound a swallowing child makes somewhere between a gulp, a grunt and a moan. Lizzie makes it when she's mainlining a cup of milk, or a glass of water before bed. At midnight last night, I got to hear Katie make it too. I cannot explain how incredibly satisfying it is to hear and feel your child nursing at the breast, knowing you are providing all the sustenance she needs for daily life. I think it feels especially significant now, since she's been in ICU. I no longer feel like a bystander, but instead have become an integral part of her care.
Her nurse and I were working hard to figure out exactly why she wouldn't latch on and one random pinch of the tissue worked miracles. Suddenly she was ON and nursing enthusiastically. There I sat, with my girl at the breast... and the world felt different suddenly. It normalized somehow. Even NICU suddenly became a less artificial and sterile place. All her cords and tubes receded, and we were just a mother and child, going through the motions of normal life.
So far, they're only letting me feed her once a shift. I'm hoping the Doc will allow us to feed on demand after his rounds today. She's still recieving all the nutrients and fluids she needs for daily life via IV, and anything she gets from nursing is just extra. All of her stats are looking very good. The GBS culture's preliminary results are back-and negative of course, though they will continue to watch it incase something grows slowly. There is no electrocardigram ordered for today unfortunately (this would help determine tension levels of the capillaries/veins next to the aveoli.) I guess this is a good thing, as it indicates they have a lot of faith she's healing well and doesn't require such close monitoring, but I'm now a stat junkie, and I want to see exactly HOW MUCH she's improving!