MILESTONE! Breathing tube is finally GONE! His comfort level just went through the roof! This is now one very contented baby. I believe the worst is behind us. Oh how thankful we are!
Look who took to his pacifier right away! Way to go, Martin boy!
A beautiful sight! In my opinion, the best screen yet of that breathing machine!
Hooray! Happy Extubation Day!
We had a really exciting day in Charleston today! After a very long night, he finally got his breathing tube removed at 11:00am! His comfort level just went through the roof now that he doesn't have that hard, plastic tube down his throat. He is sleeping like a baby at the moment (3:00pm) and looks much more rested. In fact, we are all breathing a little bit easier it seems.
Part of the challenge was to keep him from getting too agitated during the CPAP trials in order to prevent the nurses from having to apply extra sedation -- which would then hinder his breathing. It was a veritable Catch-22 because one of the big reasons he was so agitated was because as the pain-killing sedation began to wear off, the breathing tube would really irritate him. Yet, they could not remove that breathing tube unless he was off the sedation drugs! We worked hard to keep him calm and still during his "agitation moments" with our hands and comforting words -- fearing that he would fail his CPAP trials and push the extubation back even further. Our hats go off to especially last night's nurse (but really, all nurses here) who was particularly instrumental in getting him through those critical hours without sedation leading up to the moment of extubation. She understood that he absolutely needed that tube removed in order to regain comfort. She did not give up on him, she was extremely watchful, and she did everything possible NOT to have to give him any of that test-failing sedation. Thank you, Lord, for providing the right nurse for just the right time. Wow, glad that's over!
And by the way, he's doing just great without the assistance of the breathing machine. His "blood gases" look perfect. His oxygen level is hovering in the mid-80s and they expect to start full feeds again sometime tonight (he was taken off feeds temporarily for this extubation process).
Oh! He just sneezed! :) Simple things like coughing and sneezing used to be a real pain -- literally. But now, he just went back to sleep. What a great day it is when the breathing tube can be removed from a tiny newborn! Praise the Lord!
Update 5:00pm: Nurse just tried putting a pacifier in his mouth and he took to it right away! This is really amazing because babies who have been on the ventilator have a natural oral aversion and hate having anything put back in their mouth. But not Martin apparently! He's not only sucking on the pacifier, but he doesn't need us holding it either!