Thursday, August 12, 2010

Changes in Feeding & Visiting Friends

We were having some better successes with feeding the boys until Cameron got sick last week. Now he's really frustrating to feed when he used to be more joyful. It's okay, I know that he'll be back on track eventually and it's because he was so sick (he had a raging fever up to 104 for a couple of days) and that once he's been better for a while he'll get back on track. They are starting to get better at consuming volume and the best meal of the day is usually dinner with lunch being a close second. And they are exploring and experimenting more with solids and flavors too.

But our biggest issue is still behavioral, getting them to open their mouths wide enough and not use their lips to smooch the food of the back of the spoon and getting them to lean forward to take the spoon instead of just shoving it into their mouths. We really have to be sticklers for compliance and they only get about 5 seconds of opportunity to comply or we remove the toy/pause the DVD. I've also found that if we have the DVD elevated higher it raises their line of sight so that it prevents them from dipping their chin low preventing more of the spoon from getting in their mouth. I raised the portable DVD player up on a stack of DVDs and this has helped quite a bit.

Evan does have a new food that he loves and will wolf down in addition to green beans puree. BeachNut stage 3 squash & zuccini puree. It's only 70 calories per serving since it's mostly water and is a thin soup like puree, but he likes it so much that I can get up to 3 or more ounces in him, which compliance and volume wise is wonderful. Cameron doesn't seem to have any one favorite food exactly but he's very interested in Pepperidge Farm Goldfish cheddar crackers. But I have to be careful to break each fish into tiny pieces or he will choke and gag on one whole fish since he does not know how to chew anything yet. Cameron also has been asking for hot dogs and hamburgers though he doesn't eat any measurable quantity, it really is just a matter of a few crumbs. It's a start.

The boys still puke at least one to two times a day, usually about one to three ounces at a time. And always only when they are on their feeding pumps and laying down asleep. The new formula (BKE1.5cal) is less in volume but much heavier formula, so they are still having the exact same vomiting issues as when we have been on any other formula. But we had our first post-feeding clinic GI doctor follow up and the results are that Cameron is exactly on the 50th percentile for weight to height and Evan is up from the 5th percentile to the 10th percentile for weight to height. Not fabulous growth, but pretty much where we want them to be for their age and height. Cameron now weighs 28.3bls and Evan 25.4lbs. Not sure how tall they are since it's incredibly difficult to talk to doctors while there are two screaming toddlers causing chaos at your knees and running to touch everything they shouldn't.

And have I vented about that lately? Moms taking one baby to the doctor have it so damn easy! OMG! I don't think I've ever had a conversation with any doctor where I could actually hear anything they were telling me, or be able to ask all the questions I wanted to, or even read the boys growth charts with my own eyes because the boys are so rambunctious, demanding, loud, scared, grumpy, bored, tired, angry, and or feel like crap. Even if I have help, my attention has to be divided literally 6 ways for just two kids. One for the doctor who's asking questions and telling me things, one for one nurse doing something to one boy, one for the second nurse who's doing something to the other boy (because even though I get/pay for two back to back visits with the same doc in the same room they still try to slam us out the door as fast as possible and so they like to do everything to both boys at the same time as much as possible), one for my helper (my husband or mother) who is also asking questions or struggling with a boy, and one for Cameron, one for Evan who are both getting into some kind of very noisy mischievous trouble or having a meltdown or vomiting. My ears ring from the noise and my head swims with information for hours afterward and it always feels like I can never remember any of what was discussed in great detail. We are THAT family in the examination room next to the one you are waiting in for the doc to get to you your kid, the ones that are so loud and obnoxious and take forever to finish up. And why must all doctors offices all have such TINY stifling hot or freezing cold examination rooms? I know that people bring all their kids in at once usually, so you would think they'd make the rooms a little bigger and more comfortable. Sorry for the digression...

Back to what the GI wants us to do. She feels that we need to try to make the boys hungrier and typically would make us put them on only overnight continuous feeding pump sessions and only feed them by mouth during the day. But since the boys throw up at least once for every 4 hours they are on the pump, and we'd have to wake up in the middle of the night to refill/top off the bags with more milk, we would still be up every three hours and dealing with twice as much potential vomit every night than we already do.

So now the plan is to go from giving the boys 600mls/day of formula (that's 900calories/day) to about 500mls/day of formula. We have to make sure that they consume the missing calories and fluids by mouth, which is stressful beyond words. And since Cameron has been sick we have really struggled with it. And now as of tonight, a full week after Cameron's sick ended, Evan is sporting a fever of 103. But cutting the volume of formula must be working. Evan is eating more than he's ever eaten in his entire life and doing so more and more frequently.  Here's his very first completed 4oz jar of green beans.

Our social calendar has been jam packed and my new camera was in the shop for a busted zoom so I don't have many pictures. We took the boys to the baptism of our friend Baby Maggie and the boys had their first slightly successful visit to a church.

We spent time celebrating baby cousin Dillan's first birthday which was nice, especially because we got to see some friends of ours that we don't get to spend much time with now that we all have busy families. And also because the boys got to spend a weekend hanging out with their paternal grandparents and have really started to warm up to them in ways that are just precious.
Birthday Boy Dillan

But over the weekend we were able to have some fun with some preemie friends and their parents in our first ever national Preemie Board Get Together. We all met up for some fun, sights and food and it was nice to just hang out. The weather could not have been more perfect for our outings. It was so much fun to see everyone and the best part is to look at these pictures and know that all these kiddos have come so far, and so have their parents.

And getting seven toddlers to sit still for a photo op is just impossible.

It takes all 14 parents and in the end the only sure fire way to get the picture is to get in there and pin the little stinkers down, or pick them up and have the dads take the shots.

And to wrap up this week here's a special shout out to my friend Sweater.

What's that you say? It's your birthday?

Oh no, how scary!

But since you're Super MoM it's a piece of cake!


tbonegrl said...

Laura, I want you to know I think about you literally every day. I never get over here to post as much as I want to, but you are always in my thoughts. I was just talking about you to my OT today...

Congrats on the weight gain! We are hoping that Jack will hit 25.5 lbs when we go for a 3.5 year weight check!

Trish said...

Love the pictures!

Will the docs okay you adding fats to their purees for more calories? I don't feed Robbie anything w/o butter on it.
1/2 tbsp of butter per 4oz jar of baby food adds another 50 calories. And ya know.. tastes good!
(Not that he seems to notice either way, of course. But when he throws it at me and I lick it off my arm, it's tasty!)

Jennifer said...

Honestly. Those blue eyes are ridiculous. So it that awesome pizza playmat. Hope frustrating times will someday be far in the past for you. Well, not in th doc's office. That will never happen with twins.