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!