Yesterday was a roller coaster ride for sure. We (and by 'we' I mean 'I') had a really rough visit with
Braeden in the afternoon. We took the boys up to have a visit and it started out really well. I took Rylan in first and he cooed and awed at him for five minutes and got to touch his head and blow him kisses. I took a few pictures (with an actual camera not the blackberry) and used the flash. I felt badly for the flash but all the nurses tell me it is fine. Braeden actually cracked open one eye and Ry and I were both very excited because the times he's opened his eyes thus far has been when we've not been around.
I took Torin in next and we did the similar dance as we had with Ry. Braeden suddenly went into an SVT and his nurse was on a break. I got Torin to step back and I called over the nurse on the next bed (who was covering) for our nurse. I was doing fine up till this point, I had somewhat expected that I would be present for at least one of these episodes since they are getting more common again. She got the ice onto his head and then yelled "I need help over here!!" at the top of her lungs!! I asked what I could do (while hanging onto Torin who had no clue what was happening) and she said nothing and bellowed for help again. Keep in mind this is a ward where no one ever really talks above a whisper. My nerves were frazzled at this point, not knowing what to do. When the charge nurse came over she was completely calm and asked what the issue was. The yeller then said, "nothing, I just needed to tell someone he had converted". WHA??? Braeden, like the trouper he is, converted back out in two minutes with the ice application but I however could not. I took Torin out and explained to Michael what had happened. He went in and sat with Braeden because I was frazzled to say the least. He had a nice calm visit with him, of course.
Mike took the boys to do an errand and I stayed to pump and went back in for a visit. His nurse that was with him was back from her break and she updated me that they were in fact looking to remove him from his ventilator but were going to post pone it for a day due to the fact that it was Sunday and there was only one rapid response team on. Basically if they extubated him and there was an issue, AND they were busy at a different bed his nurse informed me that, "she'd be screwed". (Ugh...I've decided that I won't bother naming the nurses I don't like). Anyhoo...she had to do his assessments at this point and I stood back to watch. The assessments include things like measurement, sometimes weight, sometimes drawing blood or switching out lines. She had a fairly easy and straightforward one to do so I decided to watch. She had Braeden so agitated that he was basically thrashing and flipping out. There is only so much that a Mom can take of watching her baby scream his fool head off (whilst not making a sound) before she is ready to take out the nurse (yes Jean, I know you would have!). She finally realized (or it could have been the smoke coming out of my ears) that she needed to give him a Fentanyl bolus to settle him. It was at this point that I walked out, having reached my stress point. Mike and the boys were waiting in the car for me so I headed out feeling decidedly sick to my stomach.
I told Mom when I got home that I would have to go back after dinner (and the nurse change over) or I wouldn't sleep that night. As it was I could only pump 1 ml of milk after dealing with the 'yeller' so I knew that I was at my limit. Mom and I went back after dinner and had a WONDERFUL experience! His nurse that was on for the night, Laine, was fantastic. When we first got there Braeden was somewhat active and while Mom was touching him I realized he had his eyes open. He actually looked right at us, from one to the other. It was an incredible moment just to see him with open eyes! Laine then got us to help her do her assessment, change his linens and weight him. He had one minor spaz through it but was otherwise calm throughout. What a difference a nurse will make. Laine was calm, took her time and paid careful attention to what Braeden needed. She put him on his tummy for the first time and got me to give him a little back rub...heaven for this Momma. Braeden was in a zen as was I! Laine also knew when he'd reached his limit and told me when I needed to stop. I was so relaxed at this point too! She then let me KISS HIS SWEET HEAD goodnight! SIGH!!! BLISS!!! Mom got to sneak in a kiss too and we went home. I was so relaxed on the car ride home, knowing he was in good hands. He also went on to have a good, SVT-free night, so what does that tell you??
I am now here at the NICU waiting for the respiratory team to come and extubated him (take him off ventilation). I am excited, nervous and terrified all in one. Excited because I'll get to hear him cry for the first time in two weeks, nervous that it will or won't go as planned and terrified that he'll have an SVT later and not be able to breathe during or after it and they'll have an emergency on their hands. The stress is that they really don't know what will happen during his next SVT episode, if he'll need the extra support on the air or not. Did I mention terrified?? I know, I can hear Christa saying "Just leave well enough alone! Why take him off?" but his numbers are so low on the ventilation that he is basically breathing without it for the most part and to leave him on can cause him more issues in the long run.
So here I am, sitting and waiting. Trying to be positive and trying to be patient.