Matthew and I had a lovely night of sleep. It was about seven hours long for me and about eight hours long for him. I felt very well rested when I woke up on my own at 5:30. I called to check on Benjamin at 6:30. (Shift change is at 6:45.)
Benjamin, however, did not have a very good night. Poor baby. They still weren't able to extubate him (take his breathing tube out) b/c he was too sleepy. (He needs to be awake enough to breathe on his own, but the more awake he is, the more pain he's in, thus needing more meds, thus putting him back to sleep. It's a vicious cycle that needs a balance.) Also, they had to turn on the artificial pacemaker b/c his own pacemaker (everyone has a natural pacemaker in their hearts) is still a little bruised from the surgery and wasn't cutting the mustard. I don't know how much longer they'll need to use the pacemaker. Evidently he has a heart block, which simply means that the electrical system of his heart is not making the connections it needs to in order to work properly. The doctors are on rounds right now and should provide us with more information about what this means and how long they think he'll be on the pacemaker.
He was also put on CPAP (oxygen) to help keep his respiration up at about 5 a.m.
When I talked to the nurse at 6:30, she said she'd been holding him for about four hours. Oh, momma's heart just sank. I automatically felt an overwhelming surge of guilt. That should have been *me* holding him! But I know that there was nothing I could have done, and that I really needed the rest.
So I proceeded to get ready to come to the hospital. Staff change is between 6:45 and 8:00 (both a.m. and p.m.) and we are not allowed to come or go during that 75-minute period. (If we're already in his room, we can stay, but we can't leave.) So I knew that rushing would do me no good; they wouldn't let me in until 8:00.
I got here at about 8:15 to find this:
That's right--No breathing tube!!!! It was taken out at 7:10 a.m. That is an answer to prayer! A doctor came in briefly to check on him, and he said that they generally like to see babies extubated about three to four hours after surgery, and it took Benjamin a little longer (about 18 hours), but he seems to be doing well with it.
Look at this picture. Poor little guy keeps scratching up his face b/c there are so many tubes attached to his hands that when he moves his arms around and up to his face, he is scratching it. (The main offender is the blue tube attached to his right arm. You can see it in the lower left-hand corner of the picture above.)
I asked a doctor last night the name of the lung problem that was discovered during surgery. It is a pneumatocele, which is a cavity in the lungs filled with air. They are usually caused by some sort of trauma or illness, but the surgeon told us yesterday that his was most likely there b/c his lung simply hadn't developed properly. And since he has not been sick, it may not cause any future problems. Of course, it makes me worry about germs that much more, especially as the cold/flu season approaches.
Benjamin right now is fine. He was just given a morphine drip but still goes in and out of comfort. His sweet little voice sounds a little scratchy when he moans, but not as bad as I had expected considering the length of the time he was intubated (had a breathing tube).
I'll update more later. Thanks for all the blog comments (LOVE EM!) and the emails.