I got to hold him! For the first time after his surgery! It was amazing!!!
After his surgery they were hopeful that he would be able to begin to breath on his own. So that afternoon after his surgery. Monday, they extubated him. At this time, he started to vagel. Essentially this means that he would involuntarily stop breathing for whatever reason. The nurses and doctors felt he would vagel because of the pain he was feeling. Our oxygen level is supposed to sit 90-100. He was vagelling a few times every hour for a while and his sats would drop to the 20s. It was horrifying. Like someone who was drowning, his lips turned purple, his fingers and toes turned purple and his skin began to look splotchy.
Our nurse. Whom I am infinitely grateful to, was a little high strung. Which at times was great, because she was so attentive to baby As needs. She literally had a chair and a little table and sat almost right by his bed her entire 12 hour shift. It was great. (Also, because he was such a high risk patient, he was her only patient) And at the time, I was so grateful that when she saw him vagelling, she grabbed the oxygen mask and started pumping air into him. The only problem with this, which we discovered later with another fiasco, is that if your airway is closed- where does the air go?
Into his stomach.
So he was vagelling over and over and she would grab the mask and pump air into him. We had no idea this was a problem.
Around 6:00 that night a child next to us coded. So they had several nurses run over to assist (ours included), the respiratory team, as well as several doctors. It just so happened that at this very time our little A vagelled again and dropped quickly to the 20s. He didn't recover. I stood there listening to the alarm go off and no one came over. I watched his sats. They were in the teens now. Daddy M and I were stressing out! A few seconds later I kind of nudged Daddy M over to the collection of healthcare workers assisting the other patient and he told them that our baby boy wasn't breathing.
A handful of them ran over to our room and began trying to raise his oxygen level. He wasn't recovering. We had the attention of the respiratory team now. They decided right then to reintubate him. Which means that about 8 people were rushing around our baby.
He lay there like a ragdoll. I've only seen one other dead baby in my life--which I am convinced is the worst thing in the world to see-- and now my baby looked dead. His arms hung limply at his side as well as his little feet while they held him up and re-positioned him. They injected more medication in him to make him fall asleep and then they shoved the tube back down his throat. I realized after watching for a minute, that I couldn't do it. I had to hide. I walked to an empty section next to our curtain and cried. M, came over and hugged me and that's where we stayed until they were almost done.
A doctor at one point came over to us and explained what was going on. She was very empathetic to what was happening to our baby and how it was affecting us. I want to say this is a rarity for doctors, but I didn't really feel that way at the Primary's. Even though- I did feel like there were a lot of big egos walking around. Most were still very kind.
Once they finished and everyone left. We were able to settle down again. This lasted about two hours before the nurse noticed that something was off with his breathing. The respiratory therapist came over, and ordered a stat x-ray of his chest. Turns out part of his lung was collapsed. They called only a few people in this time and tried to inflate the collapsed section by moving the tube he was intubated with. Apparently if you place them too far down, they collapse lungs. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
After this episode, they told us we could be in the PICU a while longer. I was actually relieved. Going anywhere else with the trouble he was having, terrified me to no end.
Oh- also, they relieved all the air in his belly with yet another tube that they stick down into his stomach and the air basically leaves his abdomen through that tube. So his tummy was no longer bulging and causing pain to his incision. Over the next few days, they would use this tube several times to remove fluid buildup and excess air where it wasn't supposed to be.
I still hadn't slept yet. I think this made it 3, nearly 4 days now. 72-96 hours.
That night, after all the excitement we were exposed to, began to calm down nicely for us. We watched a little Duck Dynasty for the first time in our lives and found something we could laugh with. It was refreshing.
And that night, after Daddy M went to our sleep room and I pumped. I finally fell asleep.