(Picture: Karsie is no where near Owen's size, so this is handy camera work). And yes, she's leaking out of her G-Tube.
Feeding situation: While it would be very nice to feed Karsie on demand, she still needs to get a certain amount of formula daily. She needs at least 22 oz of fluid (formula/breast milk) a day. We can play around with her schedule, but at the end of the day, she still needs that amount. The only ways that we know what she is getting is either pump it into her stomach (which is what most of her feedings are), or if she takes it from a bottle. Since she doesn't take a bottle, we are left with the pump as the only reliable measure of her intake to keep her hydrated. Unfortunately, breast feeding is just a supplement at this point because there's no way to tell how much she is getting, and even so Michelle cannot produce nearly enough for Karsie's need. Therefore we are stuck to the tube, hope that she takes to a bottle, or wait until she eats enough solid foods to get the nutrition she needs.
Bottle problems: Karsie does not have an oral aversion, but she has a bottle aversion, as we said before. She loves to eat when she's hungry, but won't touch a bottle. That problem leaves us no alternative to eating (at this point) other than feeding her by tube. That is why we were asking about increasing milk supply so that if needed, Michelle could give Karsie enough food just breast feeding. It's still impossible to measure, but since it's the only kind of milk Karsie will take by mouth, it can help her practice in case we can get her liking a bottle. Ideally, we'd rather her not have to take a bottle, or just breast feed (at this point the formula is necessary), but the bottle is the only measurable way we can do it. Michelle has been drinking some of that tea and eating oatmeal to increase supply, as well as staying hydrated and such. Hopefully that will help soon. We'll have more on the bottle later.
Eating solids has been fine, but since rice cereal is all she eats (and puffs) she is not getting the protein and fats that breast milk/formula provide. To replace formula with solids will require her to eat other foods more frequently like meats and fatty foods. Good news: today we fed Karsie some yogurt and avocados. For the record, she loves avocados, but it's a new taste for her, so lots of gagging followed the feeding, and she is slower at it. She was fun to watch tonight. Since avocados are higher in fats and yogurt in protein, Karsie is stepping closer to eating foods with higher calories which will get her off the tube quicker.
Karsie has started to pull herself up. We spent the other night with her just helping her do situps and pulling herself up. She seemed to enjoy the workout. We're pretty sure that any day now she's just going to start crawling (even PT said that today). She looks like she wants to get into position, but hesitates. Soon...
Karsie doesn't seem to enjoy the heat that Bakersfield is threatening. This summer should be real fun. She had a pretty decent fever the other day that we were cautiously watching for a few hours. It broke pretty quickly after we noticed it, and she went back to normal real fast. We think it may have to do with teething, or just something to do with the weather (if that's possible). Speaking of teething, Karsie looks like that episode of the Simpsons where Maggie gets a tooth from the alien on one of those Halloween episodes. She has a gnarly fang. It's awesome!
We went to the Long Beach Aquarium (as you can probably tell by the pictures) for Grandma's birthday this past weekend. Karsie had a blast! She loved looking at all the fish and funny people too. We have a funny video to post of her looking at the fish. We'll try to get that up this week.
"Yikes! That crab is BIG!"
NEMO! That's what every kid said when they came up to this tank. And the oceanographers conveniently put a "Dorie" fish in there with the clown fish. Karsie was not as in love with this tank as others, but in about two years she will be.