Tuesday, April 14, 2009

An Update

Forgive me for not updating y'all on the surgery yesterday. Things went really well and Ethan's now using a fully functional central line!! The surgery was over in about an hour, then he was in the recovery room for about two hours after that. We actually got to go back with him for the pre and post op procedures, which was way different than his past two surgeries.

The broviac was inserted under his right clavicle then tunneled down under the skin. The tube comes out just to the right of his open-heart incision. This "port" is used to give him the TPN he needs, as well as any medications, and it will come out right before we're discharged. However, as far as medications go, I'm pleased to say he is currently off ALL meds! This includes the antibiotics he was on for Nec, and the heart medication that was regulating his blood pressure. The doctors don't see any need for these medications right now since he's doing so well. Praise God!!

In other news, Ethan LOVES his Soothie! He's worked out a system where he puts his thumb inside the hole and sucks both at the same time, all while holding it with his other 4 fingers. I must say, it's absolutely priceless to watch! Being on bowel rest for 10 days has given him lots of time to practice his sucking reflex, which brings me to the next topic ... eating!

Starting last night, Ethan was given the goodness of his mama's milk again. He's starting out VEEEEERY slow. His goal is to get up to 20 ml of milk over an hour, which he'll receive continuously. Right now, he's up to 5 ml an hour and this will increase 1 ml every 8 hours. Like I said, SLOW. At this rate, we should be at goal feeds sometime on Friday. The reasoning for this is that his bowels haven't had to "work" for the past 10 days, so we don't want to overwhelm them with a lot of food at once. Babies who have been treated for Nec have to go through the feeding process much slower than other babies. Once we get to 20 ml/hour continuously we'll start compressing feeds again, with the goal of getting the same amount of milk he's getting now over a 30-minute time span. The amount of time it takes for this to happen all depends on how well his tummy can tolerate it. This is the last hurdle we need to jump in order to start running out of these hospital doors!!

Also, in regards to eating, Ethan drank from his first bottle today! It was such a sweet moment and made me tear up a little. The speech therapist came to work with him and began by using a syringe to squirt milk into a nipple. Ethan took 1-1 1/2 ml like a champ, so she switched to a bottle. At this point, he was only getting 4 ml of milk an hour, and he took the other 2 1/2-3 ml from the bottle in a matter of seconds. We were all shocked! This is VERY encouraging news and we'll work on this skill every day until we go home. It's still likely we'll be using the feeding pump for some of his feeds, but we'd like for him to take as much as he can on his own.

We are SO proud of our son. He's come so far in these past 5 1/2 weeks and we can't wait to see what he'll surprise us with next. Our prayer is that we'll continually give Ethan over to his Creator, and give Him the glory for all that's happening in his life. Please pray for more good days, for success with feedings (through the pump and the bottle), and that his broviac would continue to provide the central access we need (most importantly, no infection). Thank you for your prayers and all the love you give to our family!

9 comments:

Shannon Smith said...

Word. Keep up the good work kid.

Patrick said...

sounds like great news! continuing to pray for the three of you.

Scott and Kristen said...

What great news - so glad to hear he's doing so well! :)

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear things are going better. I bumped into Jeramie in the elevator a little bit after you found out about the NEC but hadn't been able to check out your blog in a while. Jack's had similar issues with PICC and Arterial lines in the past. Its pretty common I hear. Hope things continue to go well for you and you get home soon. We're off the ventillator onto CPAP and weaning down to 7 cm pressure today, so hopefully we're not to far away from a room in step-down or the floor. Perhpas we'll bump into you again but we're hoping you'll be able to get home before then. Tell Ethan Jack says Hi!

Joye said...

Correction to the post: We actually won't be at goal feeds until Sunday afternoon. Bad math!

Jessica Davis said...

I AM SO PROUD OF HIM!!!!! I mean, I always have been but, GO ETHAN, GO ETHAN! and go mama and daddy for being so strong and positive! I can hear his grandmas in there now..oh goodness.. YAY! I can't wait to see my little champ! I love you!!

Lisa said...

Way to go Ethan! Keep surprising them buddy :-)

Brandi Kelly said...

Yay!!!! Great job Ethan :) I'm so proud of you and Jeramie, Joye, for being so strong. It was good to see you guys Monday. Love ya!

Erin kala said...

Thank you so much for the update! I'm glad to hear that Ethan is doing so well. It's awesome news!!

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