- He is having to use the pacemaker right now b/c he has a complete heart block. His heart is beating some on its own, but not enough.
- They check the pacemaker throughout the day. It is currently set on 125 beats per minute. If, when they pause it (to check) his own heart rhythms are high enough, they will turn it on back-up mode. (Where it would automatically turn on and start working if his heart went below a certain number.)
- If he goes a full 24 hours and does not need the pacemaker for backup, they will turn it off but leave the wires attached (to his stomach) and the pacemaker on his bed in case they need to turn it back on.
- Going a full 24 hours without backup means two things: I could breastfeed him and we could be moved out of ICU. (I can't breastfeed him right now b/c the pacing wires are small and sensitive.) Honestly, I am not in a hurry to move out of the ICU at all. He gets more supervision there and I don't feel bad leaving at night to sleep (like I should be doing now) b/c there is one nurse for two patients. BUT the breastfeeding thing would be huge.
- If he goes *another* 24 to 48 hours with the pacemaker off (but still attached) without needing it, they will most likely remove it altogether. (I'm not sure how long after that we would be able to go home.)
- If, after seven days, he is still needing the pacemaker, we will discuss various options, including installing a permanent pacemaker in his chest. The reason it's probably needed right now is because of bruising and edema (swelling) from the surgery.
- The doctor also said that if she would let us try a bottle once more and then we would have to insert a feeding tube. But he was so sleepy and after our second attempt, he just did not seem interested.
So we left kind of discouraged, thinking we'll be here for many more days and feeling like we're moving backwards with the feeding tube. So we ate a delicious dinner (did I mention we get dinner every night at the RMH??) and went back a few hours later. I fully expected to see a feeding tube. I did not. I asked the nurse and she said that she was going to discuss options with the doctors who came on rounds tonight.
Matthew and I played Rummy (I stomped him) while we waited. She came in a little while later and said that we were going to try the bottle once more.
So we did.....
And he took it like a champ!!!!!! I was so excited! He took almost a full ounce and so we warmed up another full ounce. He downed it without much coaxing needed. Then we propped him up to burp him, and he let out a gigantic belch! That's my boy.
So we're going to try to go the bottle route. I pray it works until he no longer needs the pacemaker and then I can breastfeed!!
Thanks for all your wonderful prayers and comments. I'll try to take some cute pictures tomorrow.