The ST sat behind me and told me how to play with his mouth and work on getting him to curl his tongue around the finger. She also brought a nuk thingy with bumps on it almost like a baby tooth brush, or dog chew toy. She also said I could use drops of breast milk on my finger or object I was putting in his mouth to encourage him to suck, and for him to allow the object in his mouth. He didn't like the nuk much, but gave several sucks to my finger, some week and others pretty strong.
I went back this evening at 11 pm feeding to work with him some more. He was wide awake, but didn't want to allow much in his mouth and was more easily over stimulated. Over-stimulated for him is breathing a little funny, hiccups, looking away, a look of fright in his eyes. When I work with him on his mouth stuff I usually try (hard) to avoid gagging him as I don't want him to associate unpleasant sensations in the mouth with eating as I usually try to do oral stimulation around a feeding. Well this evening I was doing the normal things I do with a finger gently massaging the inside of his mouth and when I first inserted my finger in his mouth he gagged on my finger, and it wasn't that far, and as I said I try to avoid doing that. I'm encouraged that he gagged for me even unintended. Little baby steps of progress today were both the sucking on the finger more than I'd seen in the past and the gagging. The speech therapist said she saw more of his stress signs today, so since she now knows his "pain" indicators she's going to try the unit on his neck that electronically stimulates the tongue on Monday. So Monday I need to go up to the hospital around 2pm, and could really use someone that day to watch Tommy and Micah at that time (1:30PM -3:30PM) Email/post a comment if you can help at that time (my house would be best as Tommy NEEDS his nap about that same time). Thanks!