There is so much to be said for a great nurse in the NICU. In level 3, we had two amazing primary nurses who took care of the little dragons like they were their own children. Many other nurses were just as amazing. When we've made the move to the graduate NICU, things are a bit more relaxed and there are many more nurses to meet.
Feeding is often a battle ground between parents and nurses. At least, that's how I feel. Every time I hear the word "cues" it makes me want to bang my head into the wall in frustration. Some nurses will not bottle feed unless they see "cues". In my opinion, it's whether they choose to see the cues or not. Sometimes the nurses will just dump a feeding down the gavage (feeding tube) because they are too busy, they are overwhelmed, etc. But the reason they give you is that the baby is not showing "cues". Well, let me tell you: every time we are there our babies will take a bottle. Since we are both working full time, we can't be there for every feed.
The key is to get a nurse on board who helps train your baby (and all the other nurses) not to rely on bottle feeding once or twice a day. Like anything else, babies have to learn the routine of when and how they will eat. We were lucky to have Nurse A do this with Maisie; today Nurse H started this with James. Hopefully the rest of the nurses will follow suit and give up on the "cues".
James weighs 5lbs 15oz. That's right - he's nearly a six pounder! Part of that is his wonderful ability to take bottles of 55-60 cc's even though a full feed for his weight is 45 cc's. Today he took 5 bottles! He is definitely making up for lost time. James also LOVES to be held, and will cry until he gets picked up sometimes. He still loves his classical music and frog bean bag, but the pacifier doesn't have the magic it used to.
The plan is to continue to work on eating - he took 5 out of 8 feeds (all which were offered to him). In the next week or so, they will schedule his shunt surgery and we will be that much closer to coming home.