Saturday, November 28, 2009

Breathing Whatnots

Yesterday proved to be a big day for Mr. Kimble, in terms of breathing. Since his surgery Monday morning, he had been on a ventilator. He had to stay on it for a few days for a number of reasons. First, if he had to go back to surgery, it was already in place. Second, he was heavily sedated for the first few days after the surgery, so his body needed stimulation to breathe. Third, he was so swollen from various things, that his lungs had a lot of pressure bearing down on them, and the ventilator helped him breathe. Fourth, with the swollen body, came swollen lymph nodes and a swollen airway. If they removed the breathing tube before that edema decreased, his airway could have constricted so much that it could become completely closed off. Those wouldn't have been good things, so they had to wait until he was ready.

Here you can see his breathing tube in his left nostril, as well as another tube (I never did understand what this tube was for) in his right nostril. In this picture, you also see that he has some sensors on his forehead, a patch on his chest which cover his staples, an IV in his hand, and heart monitors on his chest.

So everything looked good for extubation yesterday morning. However, because the doctors were still a bit worried about how Kimble would hold up, in his breathing, and how his diaphragm would cooperate, they placed a CPAP on him, to stimulate his breathing. This obnoxious nose guard thing offers Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Baby did not like it at all.
Giving him his binkie (cut across the top so it would fit in his mouth with the apparatus in his nose) helped a lot. Fortunately, he didn't have to use the CPAP for more than an hour or so.
Good riddance CPAP! He was breathing so well, that they took it off and replaced it with his old friend, the nasal cannula. Instead of oxygen, it was only pumping through a tiny bit of room air...just enough to stimulate him a bit.
With the ventilator off and the CPAP gone, he was ready to start eating again! Here is daddy, feeding Kimble his first bottle of breastmilk after his surgeries.

For the next day, the amount he eats will be closely monitored by the doctors, to make sure he is eating well. Sometimes, babies so young have a difficult time learning how to eat again. Fortunately, Kimble had a good few weeks before his surgery to master the art of drinking from a bottle and breastfeeding, so he picked it right back up again. The fact that he loves sucking on his binkie helps things too. His sucking reflexes are remarkable.

Later tonight, he should be able to try to breastfeed again!! We are very happy with his progress the last few days. He is doing so well, and he looks like himself again. The last little tube he has in his nose, is an NG tube. This allows for direct deposit of breastmilk into his stomach, in case he wasn't strong enough to suck. Because he has done so well, this tube will come out today too. Yay!


Heath said...

"Whatnot" Now there was one of the great common sayings of your great Grandpa!

It does my heart good to know he is doing so well. It was hard to leave him and you the other day.

(Not Heath)

purejoy said...

what a wild ride y'all have been on for the last few days. i'm so glad kimble is doing so well. he is really beautiful and y'all are so in our prayers.
press on!!

DougandSheilah said...

So happy for you guys

runningfan said...

Congratulations on the progress! Big steps forward!

Me and My Girls said...

What a string little man Kimble is. I admire him. I am so glad that he is doing so well. xoxoxo

Jen said...

Yay Kimble. So glad to hear so many positive things.

Carol said...

This is more amazingly good news!! What a beautiful, strong little boy! GO, KIMBLE, GO!!

Holmes Home said...

He looks great! So happy he's doing so well!

Adri said...

Hooray for all the positive news! Oh, the memories...these pictures bring: cut-off binkies to fit around all the other stuff, NG tubes, ventilator. I'm glad Kimble is a good eater. That was Dallin's biggest hurdle, but Kimble seems like he'll be home in no time!

Heidi said...

He looks so good! His color looks great too.

He is in my prayers daily!

amy said...

I am so glad Kimble is doing so well! I hope he continues on a positive path. What a blessing. We are thinking about you! P.S. Kimble is so darn handsome!

Jeff and Lori said...

I'm so glad he's taken such big steps forward. Keep it up, Kimble!