Sooooo, Mitchell is a whole new boy since our last post. We have had a very crazy life these past couple of days and haven't been able to update as much as we would have liked. Between me driving back and forth from work in Richmond to the hospital in Charlottesville, and Kellie juggling two very young children who seem to never go to sleep. Getting them to sleep in the same room has been a challenge. Right now, however, Kellie is at the hospital nursing Mitchell for the very first time, and the planets aligned and both of our children are fast asleep upstairs. We bought a baby monitor so we don't have to always be in there.
Mitchell had his surgery on Thursday. He was in a tremendous amt of pain afterwards, and so they had him sedated for a few days after that. They pulled the ventilator, chest tube and IV's on Saturday. Upon pulling the chest tube drain that was left from the surgery, he developed a pneumothorax (air bubble around his lungs). He wasn't able to breathe properly because his lungs couldn't expand to let in that much air. The sedatives they were giving him have a negative side effect of depressing his respiratory drive, thus making him very delicate and vulnerable. He turned blue a total of 6 times over the next couple of hours for 1-2 minutes each time. Every time that happened, Kellie and I very much thought he was going to leave us. They x-rayed him and found out about the pneumothorax, and were able to stick a needle into around his lungs and suck out the bubble. He was also taken off sedatives and narcotic pain killers, and given only tylenol. He deperately needed to be able to breathe, and those drugs were making it very difficult for him, although he still needed them for the pain he was going through.
He was put back on CPAP on Saturday, and improved slowly over the weekend. They started to wean him, and he hasn't looked back. They got him back up to full feeds on Monday, and he has been oxygenating his blood better than ever before, so they decided to step down his support and try out nasal cannula. He has now been on that for almost 24 hours. He is tolerating it beautifully. He seems to have finally realized how nice it is to not have to run a marathon every breath of his life. They are stepping down the support he is getting on the cannula, and will continue to do so slowly until he comes off of it altogether. Right now he is breathing room air, but with a higher flow. We don't know how long it will take him to come off of cannula, but at this pace, that could happen later this week into early next week. He is going to have trouble nursing, as we have been told by everybody, because a baby prefers to eat over breathe. So, they have told us it will at the best take a full 2 weeks before he is able to sustain himself nursing. He may take a couple steps back on his respiratory support in that time.
In the meantime, Kellie and I have been in awe at the power of prayer and healing that have worked for this little boy. We are so very grateful that he appears to be over the hump and that he appears to be on his way home to us. That seems like it would be too scary. However, he is going to live a normal life from that point on, as we are assured with the exception of being prone to respiratory infections, and chronic bronchitis. We can do that. He still loves to be held and will calm right down during that 1 hour period, or 4 hours at best, that he is held each day. Kellie, and I call this our little miracle baby, because it seemed as if his case was medically hopeless just 1-2 weeks ago. Today the doctors were talking to us and prepping us for his discharge, and that is a complete 180 from where he was. They still want to do an MRI, to check to see if he has any central nervous system issues that accounts for his contracted arms. They have to wait until he can go in for 30minutes to an hr w/o any monitors, so that will be still a couple of days away at least. His contractures have improved some, and he is getting his Physical therapy everyday. I don't think it is a problem. He had no room to move around inside mom for who knows how long. He has improved quite a bit, and I don't think he will have any issues throwing a ball through windows along side older brother Jansen.