Monday, April 22, 2013

April 22

Elsie's swallow study was done today. Here's some catch-up info in case you are just joining us and don't know what I'm talking about, or if you just need a refresher course on NBICU stuff :) Elsie's left vocal cord was paralyzed as a result of her PDA ligation (heart surgery), and so they needed to test her to see how the vocal cord would affect her swallowing. Your vocal cords close your airway when you swallow, so food/liquid goes down your esophagus instead of into your lungs. If one of your vocal cords is paralyzed or not working properly, then you might have trouble swallowing food/liquid, especially thin liquids like say, breast milk, and can potentially aspirate the food into your lungs.

Today, Elsie was wheeled down the hall, we took the elevator down to level 1, and went to Radiology. She was placed on the x-ray table and given her binky (pacifier). "Why do they need her binky to do x-rays?", you might ask. I'll tell you why. Elsie has not ever been given a bottle, so she might not know what to do with one yet. But she is getting pretty darn good at sucking on her binky. Sooo, while she sucked away happily on her binky, our wonderful Occupational Therapist (Vickie-so nice!) syringed small amounts of liquid barium into her mouth. And since Elsie was sucking her pacifier, the barium was sucked down her throat and we watched it go down on the x-ray. 

And the result? Success! She didn't get any liquid in her lungs, didn't cough, didn't choke, it all went merrily into her stomach. Hooray! If she hadn't been able to swallow the barium, then she would have to be fed thickened formula instead of milk. But since she didn't have any problems, then this means that we can start teaching Elsie how to breast feed or take a bottle by mouth. 

This is important to me, not only because I want my kid to have the best life ever, but for more selfish reasons. I have been pumping breast milk this whole time to keep my milk supply going, not only to feed her through her feeding tube now, but also in the hopes that I would be able to breast feed Elsie when she comes home. We have seriously gallons of milk stored in our freezer, and we've just barely started feeding Elsie milk that I pumped way back at the beginning of February. Pretty sure that we've got enough to last the rest of her feeding tube days and then some. But if they had done the test today and told me that I would not be able to successfully breast feed my kid, and I have been pumping every three hours for the last 3 & 1/2 months so that I could, I was seriously going to hurt someone. Every. Three. Hours. Every THREE hours!! So to say the least, I was thrilled that Elsie passed the swallow study with flying colors. All that pumping is not in vain!

I'm sorry to say that I forgot to take a single picture of this eventful day! Instead, please enjoy this picture of Elsie's cute sister. 


Thank you for your continued prayers and support! We love you and are blessed to have all of you in our lives!

9 comments:

  1. I knew she would pass!!! We're so excited, happy, thankful for you all!

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  2. Hooray! So happy for you and Elsie! Can't wait to play with Evje tomorrow too...what a cute girl (:

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  3. Great news! Has she been able to lower her oxygen level yet? Savannah prayed tonight that she would keep growing and be strong. It was super cute. Love you!!

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    1. Oh, I forgot to talk about the oxygen part! Yes, she is down to 1 liter per minute :) Cute Savannah, we love you!

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  4. Congrats on the swallow study -- passing with flying colors. Oh, and Evje is adorable.

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    1. I'm pretty sure that she gets her good looks from her mother ;)

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  5. Riley: I'm so glad that the swallow study went well, and that Elsie is continuing to make progress. I saw the picture my mom took with Elsie and her binkie, she keeps getting cuter each day! PS - Love that picture of Evje!!

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  6. What good news! Glad your pumping wasn't in vain. :)

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  7. Aw, Evs is such a cute little stinker! Great news little sis, love you bunches!

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