Scarlett was sent home on a feeding tube and on oxygen. Her right nostril has two little tubes coming out of it (or going into it?). One is the nasal-gastric [ng] feeding tube and the other is her oxygen nasal cannula.
After her first surgery, she was also sent home on a feeding tube. We had to tube feed her for about 6-7 weeks post-op back in February, March, April. So we (Todd & I) are very familiar with the insertion of ng tubes, and using stethescopes for checking placement. There are two ways you can feed a baby on an ng tube. Bolus feeding or Continuous feedings.
Bolus feeding means that you (the parent) hold a 2 ounce oral syringe and 'hand-pump' the milk into the ng tube at a rate that you think a baby would normally drink a bottle. Continuous feeding means that the child is tethered to a machine (ours was called a kangaroo Joey) that you can electronically program to pump (dispense) milk at a rate you determine ...i.e. 30mls per hour, 35mls per hour, 60mls per hour, etc..
The first time we were sent home on a feeding tube we used the kangaroo Joey (aka 'the pump') to feed Scarlett what she didn't drink by mouth. Meaning, if she was supposed to eat 3 ounces during a feed and she only drank 1 ounce, then we put he other 2 ounces in a bag connected to the pump and turned the pump on., etc. It was kind of pain. We found that Bolus feeds were waaaaaay easier, faster, cleaner and more convenient.
So this time around, we didn't even order the feeding pump from Apria. We're just going to do 100% bolus feeds. We're old pros now, ya know...
I just woke up to pump (hence my 3am-4am blog post time) and to give Scarlett her 3am dose of Avitan (they're weaning her off of it slowly in a 4 day program). I got out my handy dandy yellow stethescope, checked for placement [shoot a puff of air through the ng tube and listen to her tummy for the woosh of air], and then down the tube, I put her meds and 3 ounces of the milk I just pumped. I did offer her a 2 ounce bottle at the same time, but she only drank 1 ounce. Her strength and endurance to eat/drink isn't quite there yet, but I'm not worried, it'll come around eventually.
I just think to myself... this too shall pass. The feeding tube isn't half as bad as the oxygen cannula & tank, because with the feeding tube, I can still move her around wherever I want, but being connected to that gosh darn oxygen tank is a major nuisance. In fact, when we were leaving the hospital, I just pushed Scarlett away in her stroller and completely forgot about the O2 tank and it totally fell over and made a pretty loud noise.... and I was like "D'oh!", I forgot she was tethered to that thing!
I'll end this post by saying that heartmoms whose kiddos are on long-term feeding tubes or oxygen (u know who u are)... Heaven Bless you.