Hi, Im new to this site but not new to being a preemie mom. I have 4 kids, all were born preterm.
My youngest is almost 2 years old and he was born at 32 weeks 3 days by c section. He was doing amazing from the time he was born, only on oxygen for an hour, never had any apnea, bradys, no destats. He had a strong rooting reflex and I was so sure he was ready to take oral feeds. I kept asking and asking every nurse he had to let me try to nurse him; most told me he had to be 34 weeks old before he would be ready. I finally convinced one nurse to let him try; he was 2 days old, 32w 5d gestation. He latched like a pro and nursed for 12 minutes!!
After that I was always asking how he took his bottle, how much he took and so on. I really pushed for them to bottle feed him instead of gavage feed him. By the time he was 4 days old, 33w gestation he was on 100% oral feeds. 2 days later he was moved to an open air crib and he continued to feed well. He was meeting the criteria for discharge, but he was still really young and really small, so again I had to convince them that I could care for him at home.
We had a wonderful nurse who really encouraged breastfeeding and when my little guy was just 8 days old; 33w 4d gestation, he left the NICU behind him forever. He weighed just 3 lbs 10 ozs when I took him home and he absolutley thrived. Once he was home I breastfed him on demand with the acception of 2 bottles of 22 cal breastmilk a day. By the time he was 1 month old he weighed 5 lbs, and at 2 months, he was 7 lbs. He is now 5 days shy of 2 years old, weighs 23.5 pounds and he is still breastfeeding.
You are your babys advocate while in the NICU. Dont be afraid to tell them how you feel and what you want for your baby. They will tell you if there are issues. Best wishes to you, I hope he is home soon