So apparently our son got the memo that our blog posts have been a little boring lately. He decided he wanted to change things tonight to give us something to brag about. So here goes the story:
Nik and I went in tonight to do Pierce's cares. We had hoped (and things were looking promising) that we could attempt to try kangaroo care (where the parents hold the baby down inside their shirts and have skin-to-skin contact) tonight. He was still having numerous desats, but our hope was that us holding him would help settle him down. I took one look at him tonight and knew he was wild. He didn't look like he was in pain... he just looked like he was ready to party. So needless to say, I should've known he was gearing up to throw us a curveball.
I was helping his nurse Laura do his cares- we checked his temperature and Laura asked if I wanted to hold him while she changed out his blankies. So I lifted him up, and he was doing great. He was looking around, with that half-grin on his face, his vitals were stable and then... everything started dropping- heartrate, oxygen saturation. Laura quickly and calmly took over, but I knew exactly what had happened. His chest had stopped rising. Our little guy had managed to self-extabate again. Immediately there were about 6 people on top of him. Dr. Herman, the neonatologist immediately asked Laura to pull the tube completely out so that they could then attempt to reintibate. At this point, I pretty much ran out of the room and went to join Nik in the waiting room (Nik was out there taking a little break and had no idea what was happening). We immediately began praying. I can't describe the feelings that overcome you when you get such a harsh reminder of how fragile your child's life truly is. So we are praying that they can reintibate and stabilize Pierce when the nurse walks in and tells us that Pierce is breathing on his own. And doing quite well for someone his size! She asks us if we want to see him without his vent tube. So we go back in and see our little guy breathing away, acting as if he had done this his whole life. Here is a quick picture we snapped:
Anyways, long story short, the Dr switched Pierce to the CPAP machine, which is a low setting ventilator. Basically, the CPAP offers oxygen and pressure but allows Pierce to do all of his own breathing. Definitely a HUGE step forward in terms of where he was at an hour before this whole thing started. The Dr explained that they'd just try him out on it and see how long he could go before he needed to go back on the ventilator.
Remarkably, Pierce lasted on the CPAP for about 45 minutes. But then Laura got our cowboy on his belly and tucked in, his double dose of sedation meds (administered before the fiasco) kicked in and the stress of everything caught up to him. Keep in mind that his lungs are also really bad according to the last chest x-ray. He quickly dropped off and they had to reintibate.
Are you getting a sense of how up and down our days are in the NICU?!
But as we left our little boy tonight, we all had a pretty good laugh. He definitely has a mind of his own and he is proving to be a heck of a lot stronger than most of the bigger babies in the NICU. While we would've preferred to not give the CPAP a trial-run tonight, it did allow us to see the Pierce can do a lot of the work on his own. He just hasn't gotten the memo that his lungs aren't quite ready ;)
Please be praying as Pierce is scheduled for a follow-up brain scan tomorrow to determine the rate of swelling and size of his ventricles. Please pray that they have not changed in size and that the bleeding in the brain has begun to heal. Also continue praying for his lungs to develop and mature so that one day soon, we can move to the CPAP and stay on the CPAP.
Lindsay, Nik and Pierce