Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Off the Ventilator!...And Then Back On.

Kayley's fiesty-ness along with her great blood gas and x-ray results told the doctor and respiratory nurse that Kayley could be moved to the normal ventilator that breathes like we do rather than the 600 times per minute. It's great progress. That move was completed before noon on Tuesday, June 10. Kayley did great and even seemed to calm down a bit. The new ventilator gave her 25 breaths to start. Kayley was allowed to do the rest on her own. The monitor showed she was breathing around 60 times a minute. That means she was breathing 35 times a minute on her own. The ventilator senses when she takes a breath so it does not attempt a breath the same time Kayley is performing one on her own. These things are amazing.

Kayley was steadily registering good results on her tests. This allowed the settings on the ventilator to be turned down, giving Kayley more power and eventually pushing the doctor and respiratory nurse to make the decision to take her off the ventilator completely. This is a huge step. She would still be on a machine called a CPAP though. It maintains pressure in her lungs to help keep them inflated. However, she would breathe all by herself. She also would need some caffeine. Caffeine stimulates the part of the brain that tells her to breathe.

So it was done. Kayley was taken off the ventilator around 5 pm and put on the CPAP machine. Initially, Kayley did very well. The respiratory nurse was very happy. Then after about 15 minutes, the nurse noticed that Kayley was struggling just a bit. After trying to stimulate her some more and suction mucous out of her mouth, she realized Kayley still wasn't performing as well as she was initially. The nurse practioner came in and tried to suction more with a bulb syringe and stimulate her breathin with a bag ventilator. Nothing was working. They couldn't waste any more time as Kayley's heart rate started dropping. They worked to get the tube back into Kayley's lungs so they could put her back on the ventilator. Megan and I just watched as Kayley was struggling to breathe as her heart rate dropped dangerously low. Needless to say, we were very scared.

Finally, the tube was back in and the ventilator was back on. Kayley's heart rate began to rise. She was going to be ok. This, they told us, is part of the roller coaster ride we were going to be on the next couple months. Just when it looks like nothing can stop her development, something like this can happen. We are very grateful that the follow up blood gas test and chest x-ray came back great. Kayley will be on the ventilator for at least another day. Hopefully the next go around goes a lot better.

Due to this episode, they cancelled the feedings of breast milk for today that Kayley was going to receive for the first time. They said that she had been through enough for today. They want her to rest. And that's what she is doing right now. She is nice and cozy in her little nest. The monitor that we all pay so close attention to shows great numbers. Kayley is minutes away from being through the first 48 hours. Let's hope this roller coaster ride isn't as bumpy as it was for that brief moment today that seemed like an eternity.

**The picture is from after Kayley was taken off the ventilator and before she was put on the CPAP mask. She is still dirty from the labor. Since she is still on the high end of being a small baby, she is under the small baby protocol. Among other things, this means she cannot be bathed for 1 week. Her hair is actually blonde.


  1. She's beautiful! And I can't believe how big she looks compared to what I imagined!

    Keep up the attitude Kayley Renee!! We're rooting for you!

    Chris, Jenny, & Macie

  2. What a beautiful baby girl! It's good to see she is fiesty, the best girls are :)

    We're rooting for all of you!


    Aubrey and Nate

  3. She is adorable! I'm with Andy, I say she is a blonde!
    Our thoughts are with you. Here's to hoping it's a short roller coaster! Girls are the best fighters!!


    Andrea & Bucky

  4. What a adorable little girl!!! Sounds like she been through a lot...she sure is lucky to have you two as parents!! And Aubrey is right....the fiesty girls are the best :) Thinking of you all....
    love you,

  5. She is precious! And soo big! (See Megan, it was a good thing that your belly was growing so much)
    Hang in there, everyday will be a new adventure!

    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you!

    Brooke, Aaron and Avery