Quick update from Kristin:
Sam is exactly one week old today, and it's hard to process how much has happened in the last seven days. He's still a rock star today, and if you're wondering why, here's a list of his accomplishments from the past 12 hours:
1. Dr. Jaggers removed Sam's chest tubes first thing this morning.
2. Sam no longer has a foley catheter. He's peeing well, which means that his puffiness is starting to dissipate (and he no longer resembles a sumo wrestler, diaper and all).
3. His umbilical line was taken out.
4. He was taken off most his medications, including morphine. From now on, this tough little guy takes only Tylenol. I'm told that now the chest tubes are out, he's not in much pain.
5. Because Sam doesn't take as many medications anymore, his bed area doesn't look quite so much like the Starship Enterprise...perhaps more like the dashboard of a single engine jet.
6. He had his first bath! Unfortunately, it included an alcohol rub of his IV site, and he didn't like that part too much. But he smells really good now.
Now for the exciting (and scary news)...he's being weaned off his ventilator. They're doing little "tests" in which they turn off the ventilator for an hour at a time to see how well he breathes on his own.
The first test didn't go so well. The doctors were rounding and raving about how wonderful he was doing, and Sam, being his own man, decided to stop breathing once again. The doctors rushed in and bagged him until the ventilator started up again. I could have used some oxygen myself.
The second test went really well; he breathed steadily on his own for an hour. The nurse encouraged us to keep being patient because Sam needed time to exercise his lungs, little by little.
The third test is happening right now. So far, so good, but I have trouble taking my eyes off him and off his breathing monitor. I know there are plenty of nurses around, but I am apparently a protective mama bird. While my husband keeps encouraging me to take a walk (I have not stepped outside the hospital for a week now), I need a little further proof that my son can breathe on his own before I leave his bedside.
Oooh--breaking news: The third test is over, and once again, Sam has passed. Two out of three ain't bad, little man, especially considering how many changes you've been through today.
As big a day as today was, tomorrow will be the true test: Sam will likely be extubated (meaning the breathing tube will be taken out entirely--no more safety net). While Jason and I are a nervous, we're full of hope for our little man. Here's to you, Sam--we'll keep breathing if you will.