Let's see,...how did that drinking milk thing go?
Suck, suck, suck, suck, suck, breathe, gag, choke, sputter, turn blue.
No, that wasn't it.
Maybe suck, suck, suck, suck, swallow, swallow, swallow, swallow, turn blue.
Must have forgotten something. Oh yeah--breathe!
OK, breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe, pretend the nipple's not even there, breathe.
That didn't work either. Boy, this is tough!
Suck, suck, swallow, breathe. Repeat. That's it!
Dexter sure worked hard today at his job of learning to eat! Most full-term babies are naturals at the suck, swallow, breathe rhythm, but this is another way that his "neurological immaturity" that Miss Head-Honcho Expert noticed is manifest. By the end of each 12 mL bottle today, which took around 15 minutes to get down, he was starting to get the hang of it, getting more down his stomach, less down his front, and less beeping from the machine that reported his oxygen saturation levels. But three hours later, at the next feeding, he needed quite the refresher course. It's going to take him a lot more practice, but he'll get it. We tried actual nursing today, too, but that was even more challenging. Dexter just seems to need a little extra time to adjust to Earth life.
The good news is that a day of getting a little mama milk in his system (and another day for his medications to get out of his system) seems to be doing him a world of good. When Aaron came after work today, Dexter opened his eyes (wider than before but not really wide open) and looked at Dad for 45 minutes straight!! His previous record for keeping his eyes open was a mere 5 minutes, set earlier today while I was holding him. We were going to leave a little sooner to get home to our other kids by dinnertime, but Dexter was looking at us and listening to us and mesmerizing us with his sweet expressions--we couldn't pull ourselves away.
The lighting's not the best in this picture because we figured it would be rude to blind him just when he was starting to realize what his eyes are for. As Aaron was having his little chat with his son, he told me that he had prayed this morning that Dexter would open his eyes today. Ask and ye shall receive, indeed!