Judah continues ahead on his road to recovery. In the past couple of days his therapists have tested some new feeding methods, and made some great progress. He is drinking more and more from the bottle directly, 3 meals out of each day his therapy sessions have him drinking the breastmilk/rice cereal mix. In the last few days the therapists have reduced the amount of rice cereal being added, to thin the milk out and let him drink more since he is doing so well with it. He is generating a great rhythm in his sucking and swallowing, and this will be the key to drinking more and more and reducing the amount he has to take through the feeding tube.
They have also increased the volume of breastmilk that he gets, and he has been packing on the pounds! He is now up over 8 pounds, which is great progress in getting to the weight he should be for his age. His cheeks are full and cute, and just begging to be pinched. Feeding is still quite a workout for him, so we have to be careful not to let him try to eat for more than 30 minutes at a time, because after 30 minutes he begins burning more calories trying to eat then he is actually taking in while eating. As he gets more practice, gains strength, and we are able to thin out the breastmilk formula, it will be easier for him to eat.
Next week he will have another “Swallow test” to see how he has progressed since leaving the hospital. A few days after that we will have a meeting with our team of doctors and therapists and they will discuss and plan out our goals for the next few weeks, and hopefully give us a better idea of what goals we need to meet to be able to head home.
Judah also gets plenty of Physical Therapy, including play time and moving around, he is working on reaching for his toys and grabbing things. Every day he gets better at looking around and focusing, especially when mommy sings to him, sometimes he even sings back! He has been smiling a lot and almost laughing, and is truly a joy to be around. Our little boy has been through so much, and to see him come so far and be so bright and happy truly warms our hearts.
We have also gotten to go outside several times everyday for the past several days, and the look in Judah’s eyes when he sees the leaves, trees, things passing by and fountains in the garden here at the institute puts a smile on everyone’s face.
One more reminder, tomorrow morning 10/27 at 10:30am there will be a special service at our temple, Rodef Shalom in Oakland, for the first ‘return’ of the Shabbat morning service in Levy hall. This service will have a special theme to bless us and our family, and all families who have been through unimaginable situations. The service will only last about 45 minutes before joining with the regular saturday morning service, and all are welcome to attend if they would like. Mommy will be there to share our story and some pictures of baby J. Tonight, Daddy will spend the night with Judah and be with him for his therapy sessions tomorrow. We wish all a good night, and continued smiles.