Well, our little man seems to have developed a bit of a fan base. Today he had seven visitors to the NICU! Thank You to Dan, Barb, Nonni, Missy, Karyn, George, and Nicole for all coming by today, and an extra special Thank You to the Sparks' for bringing us a delicious dinner.
Zachary was off the respirator this morning, as we thought he would be, but he was struggling a bit with coming down off of the meds and painkillers that he had been administered. It's akin to the body trying to rid itself of an addiction, or harmful chemicals, cold turkey. He appeared quite uncomfortable, and was making a raspy, labored sound during his periods of tension. This was also causing little Zach to have a reduced heart rate for a short time, something they call bradycardia. He had been receiving a "whiff"of oxygen through his breathing dome, but they decided to switch him over to a comfort air, just a simple tube that delivers a little air through the nose to relieve the pressure needed to fill his lungs. After switching him over to the new apparatus he seemed to do better for some time, but was still suffering the occasional "brady". Valerie, today's nurse suggested that some kangaroo care might help to regulate Zachary's breathing and steady his heart rate. Kangaroo Care (the top two photos) is highly recommended by the NICU, and is simply spending extended amounts of time with your baby resting comfortably on your chest. It seemed to work very well, with Zach's breathing improving, and the number of "brady's" reduced to none. Zachary's demeanor and restfulness both increased, and he quickly fell asleep for several hours. He definitely enjoyed his rest with his new buddy Fiesta, the polar bear, as you can see above (Thanks Missy!).
The plan for tonight is his first feeding in over 40 hours around 8pm, and he will get to breast feed with Mommy tomorrow when we are back at the hospital in the morning. We're praying he continues healing so we can hold him and feed him tomorrow, that he will be off the air, and maybe we can make up for a little lost time with some more Kangaroo Care. Our hope for a Friday trip home has been postponed now until Sunday. All babies in the NICU must be "brady" free for 5 days before being discharged. So Zachary will not be home for Christmas, but we figure we'll still celebrate with him when he DOES get home, because honestly, he doesn't know the difference yet. We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve, and a blessed time with your family. With Love and Praise - Brian + Kimmie