Feb 17, 2009

Kangaroo Care

Ever since Davis was born, we've seen signs all over the NICU to ask your nurse if your baby is ready for kangaroo care. Kangaroo care is when you hold your baby against your chest; it can help babies sleep better, help moms with milk supply, and in general make moms and babies happy. For the longest time, these signs would just kill us- especially when Davis was on minimal stimulation and we couldn't even touch him. We'd scrub in and go sit by his bed, wishing we could get some kangaroo time. Today, finally, we got to do it! Davis and I snuggled for a couple of hours, and Michael got to hold him too after the shift change break. I loved it :)

Davis is still doing really well, but he is struggling with a couple of issues. One of them is morphine withdrawal, as they've been coming down on his dose gradually. He's still on about 40 mcg- not a huge dose- but his body has become dependent. He started on phenobarb today to help with the withdrawal symptoms, which break my heart. He has tremors, a higher heart rate, and is generally fussy and uncomfortable. We heard him cry for the first time today. He's still hoarse from the breathing tube, so it was a little bitty pitiful cry, but he is definitely letting us know that he's uncomfortable. 

The next step for Davis is to start feeds. There are a couple of things holding him back from feeding right now. His "gut motility" (movement) is impaired by his recent surgery and the morphine he's been on as well as his abnormal anatomy. He still has a replogel, which is a tube down his throat that suctions bile and air from his stomach and intestines. This will stay in place until he can process things on his own. He may start feeds with an ND tube tomorrow, which is a tube that bypasses the stomach entirely. It all depends on how much his replogel outputs. He'll let us know when he's ready. He hates the replogel and is constantly trying to spit it out, so we'll be glad when he no longer needs it. 

He has another issue to work out, which is that all his nutrition and medication is delivered through a UVC line, which is like an IV that goes through his umbilical cord. The UVC is meant to be a temporary solution, mainly because the umbilical access should already be closed. He's already had the UVC longer than is ideal, which makes him at risk for infection. Most kids have a PIC line by this time, but the nurses have tried 5 or 6 times to place one and have been unsuccessful. Unless he tolerates feeds within the next few days, he'll have to have another surgery for a Broviac line so they can deliver medications and nutrition effectively. The Broviac line is a heart catheter that goes through a major artery. It is a surgery so it will mean temporary reintubation, general anesthesia, etc... not the optimal situation, but it may be the best solution until he can eat and take medication orally. 

Was that too much information? I didn't mean to write a novel here. As always, thank you for your love and support. It means so much to us both that so many people are thinking of and praying for our family. 


Maxton's Mommy said...

:-) kangaroo care huh? sounds wonderful! Davis is sooo cute. Glad to hear he is making progress. Many prayers for you guys!!!

The Owenbys said...

Nothing feels better than those lil ones against your chest. And no, its not too much information. It gives us some things to specifically pray for;)All our best...

Craig and Kristi Kuehl said...

You two look so happy in the picture! I am sure Michael was so excited to be able to hold Davis as well. I think that will be one of the hardest things to wait for... You are continually in our prayers during the CDH rollercoaster, but know the end result will be so worth it!!

Noelle said...

Ohhhhh I just love the picture! I like the idea of kangaroo care, and I'm glad you got a chance to do it! I'm also glad that you gave us so much information! I appreciate feeling "in the loop." And like someone else mentioned, now I know what to pray for. It is a lot of info to process, but I am truly grateful that I know what is going on. I'm still praying for your little man and for both of you, and I won't stop, ever. So there. :) I love all three of you and hope to see you soon!
Much Love,

Karen Donatelli said...

The picture is so beautiful! I am happy to hear that you can finally hold little Davis...our thoughts and prayers are with you all. The information is telling us all the progress, God Bless!

Kristen said...

What a beautiful moment captured in that picture. Thinking of you always. Sending love, energy and prayers,

Tracy Meats said...

Many continued prayers for Davis. He really is doing great and the baby steps in progress is what gets him closer to home. I am so happy that you both have got to hold Davis...very precious and I remember that feeling when you finally get to cuddle your son.

Tracy Meats - mom to Ian, born with a LCDH on 4/3/04 and WY and CO State Rep. for CHERUBS

Fer said...

Yes, kangaroo care is so good. I made some with Juan Pablo when we were able to bring him home after NICU.

You look SO happy in that picture! :D


Elizabeth said...

I hope Sir Davis is able to start eating and you can avoid another surgery. All babies and parents should have some kangaroo care!

What a smile from Mom!

With thoughts and prayers,

Kerry said...

So happy to hear you are getting to enjoy some cuddle time with Davis. He is beautiful and amazing - just like his parents. We are glad to have your updates. Love to you all!