This morning, Logan had his swallow study. It was really a cinch (especially since I couldn't even go in the room with Logan and his Dad because of the whole radiation and being pregnant thing). To describe it, they mix barium with water (in his bottle) and then some of his baby food and watch him swallow it with an x-ray machine. (I got to watch the DVD of it afterwards) It turns out he does have some penetration of thin liquids against his airway or opening to the lungs when he swallows (not every time, but some of the time), but the liquid did not aspirate into his lungs. So that is great news! It is likely that he has aspirated some when he was very little, which could explain the coughing and gargly sounds after he nursed. They gave us some tips on how to avoid situations that could cause him to aspirate, like avoiding sippy cups and straws (oh my!) and thickening liquids. Also, having him drink his bottles sitting upright. We had already started working on straw drinking (no success yet), but now we were told to use an open cup to avoid his airway being open when he drinks (which is what happens when you drink from a straw).
I had a feeling Logan would do well because most of the symptoms of possible aspiration had gone away, but I wanted to make sure he was doing ok. I guess as his muscles get stronger he will get better and better at handling liquids.
I didn't anticipate how much patience it was going to take to feed Logan. It can be exhausting. He eats very slowly and his food has to be prepared just right so that it will stay in his mouth. He also doesn't eat very much at each meal. He rarely finished a jar or serving and I'm not sure if he tires easily, if he just gets full, or if he doesn't like what he is eating. We also have had no luck drinking other than from a bottle. Besides moving to table food, drinking from an open cup will be our next big challenge. Logan is not one for change. I have found him to be a bit stubborn, so I can't force anything on him or he will just resist more. We have to take baby steps!