Different day, different doctor. Different doctor, different perspective. Different perspective, different orders.
Instead of halting bottles on Owen, our new neonatologist added one (the docs rotate all the time). Owen is now on five - six bottles a day and doing great. He's got the routine down: wake up hungry, take bottle, then rest for a couple of hours before the next feeding. He only needs to take eight bottles to get discharged from Northside, which means he's on the fast track toward home. This news, however, is bittersweet.
Eliot is still struggling. Is it me, or is Eliot always getting the bad news? Her voice has been very hoarse for over a month now, but we figured it was due to reflux, intubation, extubation - any number of things. Finally, our doctor scheduled an ENT appointment, and we found out yesterday that her left vocal chord was severely damaged during her PDA ligation (Project Heart Heal). Worst case scenario: she will have a very soft voice, with some hoarseness. That's the worst case - which is good because she will still be able to speak. Best case scenario: the paralysis of the vocal chord is temporary and her right vocal chord, which is moving great, will compensate and give her a stronger voice. This news hit us hard. I mean, really. Give the baby a break.
Her reflux also continues to delay her progress. Now that we know the extent of the injury to her throat, the medical team will be treating her reflux more aggressively to ensure that the acid doesn't irritate an already damaged area. She has not attempted a bottle in over two weeks.
The fact that Owen could be home soon is amazing. But I keep thinking about driving home from the hospital and seeing two car seats - one of which will be empty. How will I ever leave Eliot? My life doesn't work with just one.