Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Look Mom! No Ventilator!

At the time of this post, Kayley has been off the ventilator for over 12 hours. She is continuing to breathe on her own with a some help from the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). This new machine keeps pressure in her lungs to help keep her air sacs inflated so she doesn't have to work so hard. It varies between patients, but she will probably be on this machine for the next couple weeks. The step after that is to just have the nasal prongs to give her some oxygen. We're trying not to look too far ahead though. We're just relishing in the fact that she's doing so well now being off the ventilator.

There is one side effect that Kayley could have from the CPAP. Since air is continually flowing into her nose, air could be pushed into her stomach. This could cause Kayley to start rejecting or having problems with her feeds. It may not happen but the doctor just wanted us to be away of it. It's basically a trade-off. Getting off the ventilator is more important at this point.

Kayley really looks so much more comfortable even though she has a mask over her nose. See picture above. Although she is not out of the woods yet as far as the ventilator is concerned (it's still next to her bed), she is looking very strong. Given that the last two times lasted 15 minutes and 45 minutes respectively, she is doing great this time around. Many nurses have stopped by tonight to tell us congratulations. A lot of them I haven't even seen before. I guess the word spreads quickly. They are genuinely happy for Kayley. It makes us feel very good that so many people around here are pulling for her.

Besides the ventilator, we had some more great news today. If you remember back to last Tuesday, Kayley had her second head ultrasound and it came back very positive. The grade 2 brain bleed that she had was shrinking. Today, Kayley had another head ultrasound. The technician told our nurse on the way out that "It looked good." They really aren't supposed to say anything but our nurse kind of got it out of her. She didn't say much, but what she did say was positive. The doctor came in a couple hours later and confirmed the good news. The brain bleed has resolved even further since last week. He doesn't expect to order Kayley another ultrasound until close to the time we are going home. That's standard for preemies. We are very thankful that this bleed did not turn into something really serious.

So, that's pretty much it for the day except that Kayley weighed in at 1435 grams tonight. It was head band aided though. The nurse didn't take it off to weigh her so the number is larger than what Kayley really weighs. If I had to guess, I'd say she is probably around 1400 grams. A perfect weight gain.

Two big things is enough for one day. So far her feedings have been going really well. The nurses will continue to monitor Kayley very closely making sure she's handling breathing on her own. There is still a small chance that she could just get pooped out and decide she's not ready, but we're remaining very optimistic. I don't think that will happen. She's looking very good.

It looks like our next goals are to get to a full feeding so we can take the PCVC out, then start to ween Kayley off the CPAP, and last, we want Kayley to continue gaining weight.

**Just a side note. The nurses told me tonight that there were 10 admissions to the NICU today. Among them was a set of quintuplets and a set of twins. This place is hopping. The mom with quadruplets that they thought were coming this past weekend has stabilized for the time being. They may not be down here for a while. This just shows that Banner Good Samaritan and Phoenix Children's Hospital have a very good reputation when it comes to high risk deliveries and preemies. We are very glad to be here.


  1. Great to hear such good news! We will be praying that she will be able to keep up the good work. She is such a doll baby. Hang in there you two as well as I'm sure this new routine can be quite trying at times. Great job with all the posting Andy. I makes us feel like we're right there with you all!

    Marla Mitchell

  2. You go Kayley girl. God's little precious gift.

    Great Aunt Jan!

  3. Oh snap! You go Kayley! Keep it up :)