Yeah, well...she did!!! We'll just cross that off the list of things "they" said she'd never do.
I'd been holding off on trying the bottle because, let's face it, I'm a rules girl. If I am not told to do it, I won't do it. But I was encouraged by someone I trust and who really knows her medical stuff to give it a shot. We know at this point that Abby isn't aspirating (letting food get into her lungs, down the "wrong pipe," if you will) and though milk might go through her nose (because of the cleft palate), it's worth trying.
Abby's sucking reflex had regressed recently, and the only thing she'd do with the pacifier or a gloved finger was chew. Because babies at this stage suck to swallow, sucking is an important process. We realized that it was probably because there was nothing in it for her, so why should she do it? Today, I dipped the pacifier in some applesauce and gave it to her. Success!
I was reminded by my friend that doctors only see Abby for 20 minutes every couple of months, but we see her daily and know what she can handle. I came to realize that there's a fine line between following the doctor's orders and using your momsense.
All that being said, I tried a small amount in a bottle. I mixed a bit of rice cereal in it to make it thicker like the solids she eats...AND SHE LOVED IT!!! Oh my goodness, did she love it! She smiled so much that sometimes it was hard for her to suck! I would take it out to give her time to swallow (I still want to be very cautious about the amount she's taking) and she would grab my hands to put the bottle back in her mouth!
I gave her part of the milk she was supposed to have in her tube feeding, and then poured what she didn't drink in with the rest of that feed. She drank about half an ounce in 20 minutes! I know that doesn't seem like much, but this is HUGE for Abby. She has never had any milk by mouth before!
We tried again at the 9 p.m. feeding, and she drank about another half an ounce. I think she was even happier than the first time! She had a great, consistent suck the second time (the first time, she'd suck a few times and stop, start, and stop.) I think it will get better and better each time. I'm looking forward to working with her on it!
We go to the feeding therapist next Wednesday, and I plan to show her how Abby can drink from a bottle. Sometimes, you just have to show people what your child can do. After all, it was a doctor who said that Abby would never suck. It was a doctor who said she wouldn't be able to hear or see. It was a doctor who said she wouldn't sit up because of her spine. Can you imagine just accepting that information without ever trying??? I'm sure glad we didn't!