Sent:  September 3, 2001 8:53 PM
Subject:  Jack and Cate -- The Never Ending Saga
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It’s been another week at the NICU, and it’s beginning to feel like we’re getting into a rut. While Jack continues to thrive with us at home, Cate continues to struggle with her bottle feedings in the hospital.

Like a week ago, Cate is only taking three feedings by bottle each day. Lisa and I do two of these bottle feedings — one at 11 AM and one at 8 PM each day. She doesn’t seem particularly interested in feeding from the bottle, and she consistently gives up once she’s finished only about half. Maybe she’s not so dumb since we immediately give her the rest of the bottle by gavage tube, and she doesn’t need to work so hard.

Her Physical Therapist did a swallow test this week to confirm that nothing is physically wrong with Cate. To do this, the therapist fed her with milk which was mixed with Barium — the Barium appeared as a dark fluid on the Fluoroscope which we could watch on a video monitor as Cate ate. Cate looked so funny sitting in this huge machine, just looking around like nothing special was happening! They watched her try several bottles to see if she “aspirated” any milk into her windpipe. Although a tiny amount of milk appeared to pause near the top of the trachea, nothing actually went in. They also tested her for acid reflux by watching to see if any milk went back up her esophagus from her stomach (which it clearly did). This confirmed our theory that Cate’s feeding problems are at least partially related to acid reflux.

Despite all of this, Cate continues to rapidly grow. She now weighs more than six pounds ten ounces! As she did a couple of weeks ago, Cate’s doctor is thinking about sending her home with us sometime this week. While we’re hopeful that this will happen, we’re trying not to get too excited until it actually happens. If she goes home, we’ll have to continue to use the gavage tube for most of her feedings, but that doesn’t bother us in the least (we just want her to come home)!

Jack too is growing like a weed. We went to the pediatrician on Friday for his two-month oil-and-lube. He now weighs seven pounds one ounce (he’d gained 17 ounces in 14 days) and he’s got the double-chin to prove it! They gave him four different vaccinations and drew blood for some routine tests. He was really upset from all of the needle sticks, but he quickly calmed down for us.

Grandma Irene and Grandpa Dick arrived yesterday from Minneapolis, and they’ll be helping us all week. Cate and Jack are their first grandbabies, and they’re having a great time so far. They’ve been a big help to us (even doing some night feedings!), so I’m sure they’ll be anxious to head back next Sunday so they can get some rest!

Greg and Lisa

P.S. Please note my new e-mail address. I’m changing jobs and don’t have my new e-mail address yet. You can feel free to send e-mails to my personal address: Thanks!

P.P.S. Be sure to check-out the current photos or the printer-friendly version.