When we arrived at the hospital this afternoon, Colby was still very sedated. Our poor little guy looks a little beat up, all puffy and very worn out. He's got so many tubes and censors on him, BUT, no more colostomy bag. The doctors and nurses said that they had to take him off his pain medication slowly because babies this small can go into withdrawal if they come off it too quickly. Tracey said he was looking better today than he did yesterday. His overall swelling is down. You can see in the pictures that he's still swollen. His belly is clearly larger. I like how he looks "filled out" though. I don't know how much of this will go away as he recovers and how much of it he'll keep on his him. Just have to wait and see like everything else I guess.
While we there there, they decreased his pain medication. Within about 15 minutes he started to come to and was pretty active. This would have been the first time he was that alert since his surgery. He didn't seem pleased at all find himself back on the respirator. The tube going into his lungs doesn't allow him to move his head. Plus, he has IV's in both arms and his wrists are taped to little boards to keep his wrist straight while the IV is in it. This makes his two hands into little clubs versus the nimble little fingers he's used to. It was interesting because even when he was still very sedated, when Tracey and I would touch him and talk to him, his blood oxygen levels would go right up into the high 90's (anything from high 80's to low 90's is normal for him right now). So in some way our contact stimulated him a bit and that was an awesome thing to see.
Dr Casey came by to update us on a couple things. He said that once they are able to start feeding him, one thing they will watch for is leakage. They don't want anything leaking form his intestines into his belly. Secondly, the better part of his intestines haven't had to work in over a month. So the bacteria that is normally found there could be way out of whack. They'll watch for that as well and if need be, give him some cultures to start regrowing this bacteria. When he does start to eat again, they will introduce food into his belly very, very slowly. He hasn't really pooped since his surgery. There was a little bit of "something" after his surgery, but not the real movement that would constitute a bowel movement. The doctors say they hear good bowel sounds and that they wouldn't expect much to happen there until he's truly being fed. We've got some time until we need to contend with poopy diapers. I never thought I'd be so anxious to see my son's poop! Weird how things are in a different perspective sometimes.
We asked Dr Casey about the latest on his hydrocephalus. He said there's no real change. As long as things don't get blocked and pressure doesn't build again, he's hoping that his brain will eventually grow and start to push the extra fluid out. He said this is a slow process. But it's something I wasn't aware could happen. So that made me feel much better.
When we left, Colby was a little tired but still moving about. We told the nurses it would probably only be a matter of time until he got frustrated and pulled his respirator tube out of himself.
About 15 minutes ago, the phone rang. Caller ID showed it was the NICU. They rarely call and whenever they do, our hearts race. Luckily, it was simply the nurses keeping us up to speed with Colby's antics. He did indeed try to pull his tube out. They took it all the way out and put him on some kind of humid cannula. I'm not sure what this is as I haven't seen it yet. But Tina (the nurse) said that they didn't want to put him on the CPAP as that forces air into his body and with his recent surgery, they don't want to force air into his nose, down his through and into his belly. The cannula simply feeds him oxygen and he has to do the breathing himself. I'm not sure how strong he is having just come off the meds, but the doctors will watch him closely and if need be, give him assistance with his breathing.
Tracey and I are doing our best to carry on a bit of "normalcy" in our lives. We're heading to a Halloween party tomorrow night. We like to dress up in costumes that go together. So this year, she's a butterfly and I'm a butterfly catcher. I need to give her the credit for this one as she came up with the idea. However, she's getting a butterfly costume from her sister. Done. My butterfly catcher costume....whatever the hell one of those is supposed to look like .....is up to me to create tomorrow. We figure just some kind of safari-looking thing, maybe with some props, would work fine. So I'm off looking for something to make me look like an official butterfly catcher tomorrow.....but only AFTER I see my little boy.