Saturday, October 4, 2008

Good night, not so good night

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.


Sara said...

Oh sweet Benjamin, I am sorry he had a rough night. I am glad to hear that the lungs might not be a serious issue. Hugs.


~heather~ said...

Yay for extubating! I hope today goes really well and his pain level is good. I'll be thinking about you guys. ((LOVE!!))

Melanie said...

He's a little trooper! He definitely gets that from his Momma! You're strength humbles me. I'm keeping Benjamin, you, Matthew, and Andrew in my prayers.


Anonymous said...

Yay! for progess. God is sooo good! He is a little trooper and I'm so proud of you and Matthew.

still praying. love, ble

Anonymous said...

You are are all so brave. I haven't stopped thinking of you and your family all week...

Ginger said...

Sorry it was such a rough night, but glad they were able to take out the breathing tube this morning. I'll be praying for a better day and comfort for your sweet baby.

Grace said...

Good morning sweet Benjamin and mama too! I'm so thrilled they were able to take the breathing tube out. Prayers and good thoughts for all of you.

Are you eating anywhere yummy today? :P

Anonymous said...

Praying for all of you!! So great to see that tube out!! Precious

Melissa C.

cathy lynn said...

Angela, I am so glad to see that they were able to extubate him! What a great thing to see when you walked in! I have my whole bible study praying for you guys!

I'm also glad to hear that you got so much sleep! Take care of yourself!!!!

Cathy Lynn & Charlotte

Stephanie said...

uuughhhhhhhhhhhhh! I cannot take many more of these pictures. They are breaking my heart.
GOD TOUCH THIS SWEET CHILD!! Heal his heart and body.


Christia said...

Wow Angela! I'm sorry he had a rough night, but I'm SO glad that he's doing better today! I'm praying for this little guy. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

This sweet little boy is stronger than any man I know. Prayers for a quick recovery and strength for mom and dad. God Bless.