Hi everyone: Thanks again for all the prayers and support. We are appreciative and look forward to the day that we can return the favor. Wendy and I hit a low point yesterday after the new of the hole in his heart and the likely surgical intervention. We did however feel better after visiting with Colton's nurse (Sara) yesterday as she was a wealth of information. It turns out that the procedure to close the hole in his heart is done bedside by a skilled surgeon who had done thousands of these procedures. It does require anesthesia and is certainly not without risk but it's not the full blown open heart surgery with the rib spreader. They evidently go into his left side and do the procedure through an incision. They would go between his ribs and stitch the opening in his heart. As with any surgery, there are some risks involved, including anesthesia and possible damage to his vocal cord due to the proximity of the nerve that controls the vocal cords during this procedure. It's one of those judgment calls you have to make to decide which option has more downside and which option is riskier. It's something we'll continue to monitor for now. It also helped having a visit from my good friend Ron and his wife Marian. Ron is one of those guys that is naturally funny and can always bring a smile to your face. He has a twin brother and they were born at 30 weeks as well. He weighed in at a whopping 2 lbs at birth and this was over 40 years ago. As he likes to point out, he more than made up for weighing 2 lbs. Let's just say he weighs a little bit more these days!
They are also slowly trying to get Colton's breathing tube (intubation) out by reducing his dependence on any assisted breathing. As mentioned before, he is taking most breaths on his own. As they get him to the point of unassisted breathing, they will monitor his vitals (CO2 emmissions, blood oxygen saturation, etc.). They already reduced some breathing assistance and his vitals remained stable. They will likely move it down another notch today. If he maintains vitals properly over the next day or so with no assistance, the tube can then come out. They also will likely start backing down from the sedation levels on morphine. Removal of the tube and discontinuing sedation are both milestones that could help trigger the body to start closing the hole in the heart. When a baby is in utero, that artery is open as vital blood between mother and baby travels through it. When a baby is born, the cord is no longer connected, air enters the lungs and other post-birth actitivies help trigger the body to start closing that hole. The hope is as Colton starts doing more things on his own, this will help trigger his body to start closing that hole. Although it's likely the surgical intervention to fix the hole is needed, this does at least give us some hope of the hole closing on its own.
They also will likely start backing down from the sedation levels on morphine.
Wendy will be released from the hospital today. She is obviously sore from the c-Section but that has not stopped her from visiting her boy in the NICU at night. As in nature, never try to keep a mother away from her babies!
Sydney and Colton's paternal grandmother (Kay "Mimsi") will be visiting during family hours today. Sydney will also attend a class for siblings of babies in the NICU as well as get another chance to visit her baby brother. It should be a good experience for Sydney and will give her the chance to talk to other kids her age that likely have some of the same questions. We'll then take Wendy home and start the process of daily visits to the NICU. It's about a 72 mile round trip daily but a small price to pay to see your child in the care of one of the best NICUs in the country.
More updates as we get them - Bret, Wendy, Sydney and Colton.