Its day 9 of the NICU stay for our little ones and they seem to be doing very well. Sophia’s chest tube is gone, both girls are no longer on CPAP, the jaundice is gone, they are maintaining their body temperatures on their own, they are breathing regularly with the lowest amount of oxygen supplement possible, and they are digesting their food completely after each feeding. Feeding – that’s what I’d like to write about tonight.
Many of you have had children and I’m sure that the first few days or even the first week home was a challenge. There were probably sleepless nights in which you tried to get your newborn to eat. Well that’s where we are at now. They just need to eat. Sounds simple enough right? Well, let’s explore that statement from a NICU standard.
Eating – the baby must “nipple” (bottle feed) its maximum food intake for 24 hours straight.
Maximum intake??? How does one figure that? They haven’t shared their magical NICU mathematical formula with us yet but they did give us the grand total for each girl.
Sophia must eat 1.4 ounces of food every 3 hours or 11.2 ounces of Montero Milk in 24 hours. That equates to 15% of her body weight every 24 hours.
Annabel must eat 1.6 ounces of food every 3 hours or 12.8 ounces of Montero Milk in 24 hours. That also equates to 15% of her body weight every 24 hours.
15% of their body weight is the official term of release for our babies! Hmm – sounds a bit HEAVY to me. That would mean I would have to eat 22.5 lbs. of food to get out of jail!!! I’m not going to ask all of you to post your release weights here, but take a minute to figure it out and then , just like I did, say out loud OMG!
These numbers prompted me to do a bit of internet research (my most intelligent wife has drilled this ritual into me). I did a little bit of checking and here is what I found.
Hippopotamuses consume 1% - 1.5% of their weight every 24 hours.
Horses consume 1.5% - 2.5% of their body weight every 24 hours.
Cows consume 2.5% of their body weight every 24 hours.
Elephants consume 6% - 8% of their body weight every 24 hours.
Harbor Seals consume 8% of their body weight every 24 hours.
Manatees consume 10%-15% of their body weight every 24 hours.
Birds consume 25% of their body weight every 24 hours.
Astonishing right? I mean I have to compare my sweet little angels to … ummm … SEA COWS????
I once read about noetic sciences and the theories of collective consciousness. While I’m still unsure of the reality behind a collective group of people thinking the same thoughts being able to influence the outcome of specific situations, I would like for all of us to try it. I know many of you have put our babies in your prayers and we truly appreciate those prayers.
For the next few days, just for fun I think we should all collectively cheer our babies on in their gorging ritual. They will eat tonight at 8pm and then at 11pm, 2am, 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm – and so on … So choose your time, or choose all of the times and cheer our babies on in their jail break efforts. Whether you chant EAT! EAT! EAT!, Whinee like a horse, moo like a cow, ^$*&^$* like an elephant, bark like a seal, gurgle-gurgle-moo like Sea Cow, or caw like a bird – let’s do it together and help our baby girls to eat, eat, eat!!!!
Father of Fanatical Feeding Phenomenon