I spoke with V’s pediatrician today. Have I mentioned how much we love her? She’s the parent of a preemie herself and spent many weeks at the ECH NICU where V was for most of his stay. She gets it. I mean really, really gets it. As a doctor and as a parent. She’s said so many things to us along the lines of, “Well as a doctor I’d say this, but as a parent I know xyz helps more.” It is amazing to have someone like her in our corner!
So I was just asking her a bunch of questions about feeding and sleeping and she says that we can let V sleep as long as he wants at night and let him wake us up. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! This of course means that we don’t have to feed him every 3-4 hours like we had been. This means a little more sleep!
But the real celebration for us is that we’re allowed to let him sleep because he’s growing well! He’s growing well!
Every neo that V had between the 2 hospitals where he was warned us about growth issues for preemies. We’re made very aware that he will most likely be smaller than he would have been had he cooked for 40 weeks. But then again, S and I aren’t very large ourselves so it’s not like we were expecting him to be a 350 lb, 6 foot tall linebacker or anything.
I remember the last neo I spoke with at his second hospital three days before discharge who said that how he grows will decide his prognosis, especially neurologically/cognitively. He said to watch for his head growth and that his head should start growing fast and looking really large (which it is!) and that his growth rate needs to stay steady.
His pediatrician knows all of this so well and with the combination of feeding him regularly, taking his cues, and giving him fortified milk plus preemie formula, he’s on a really good growth path. He’s beating the average curve so there’s a chance we can help him catch up to at least the 20th percentile within the first year or so. That would be amazing!
It was so exciting to hear this! He’s growing well! What a relief!