Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Off the Respirator

Yesterday at 1230PM Harrison's respirator tube was removed! He has been on the respirator since last Thursday and has been resting and doing very well while on it. A few days after he was intubated last Thursday, he began breathing over the ventilator and needing it less and less. Sunday through Tuesday it was very difficult to keep his hands off the tube. This was one sign among others that they are looking for when a child is ready to come off of the ventilator. He was trying to pull it out and saying "I don't need this anymore, get this thing out!" One of our nurses joked that he needed to get some baby handcuffs to keep Harrison from grabbing it so much!

Here are a few pics of his face without anything on them! In between the ventilator being off and the CPAP mask on.

Now he is on the CPAP and all day yesterday was very consistent in his numbers and looked like he was doing really well. He is adjusting back to the mask and it may become bothersome over time, but as of now he seems to like it more than the tube in his mouth. Yesterday Erin got to hold him for about an hour and he did great. It's a lot easier to hold him with that respirator out!

There are two things I haven't mentioned yet since last Thursday after all the drama. The doctors wanted to run a series of tests to see if any of his problems last week had anything to do with an infection. They did several blood tests, a blood culture, and a urine culture. Everything came back fine except his urine culture came back with a bug. So they did another urine culture a few days later to determine if it was a false positive. They determined he does have a urinary tract infection (UTI), although he has never acted sick or looked sick. So they began giving him some powerful broad scoping antibiotics to get after any possible infection aggressively. They want to catch something early if there is any chance of him being sick. And from what we have understood a UTI can seem dormant for awhile and then have some significant effects very quickly on a person his size and age. All the while he really hasn't acted or looked sick. And from all the positive affirmation from the interaction with nurses its been really hard to believe he is sick at all. He'll be treated with antibiotics for 7-10 days and he's about 4-5 days into it so far.

The other bit of news was that after all the drama last week they began to hear for the first time Harrison has a very soft, faint heart murmur. When they did his ECHO ultrasound shortly after his birth they discovered a normal reality for a premie Harrison's age. There were 2 small holes in his little heart, one on his aorta and one between his ventricles of his heart. These openings are for 2 small vessels to pump blood from the heart directly to parts of the body bypassing the lungs. One is called a PDA (aorta) and one is a VSD (I think) (ventricle). As a baby grows in utero these holes get smaller as the lungs develop and begin to circulate blood to the lungs. Often these holes close on their own without any assistance as a baby grows outside the womb, but there is a chance he may need medicine to correct or (less likely but still possible) surgery. They will just keep an eye on it to see what happens as he continues to develop and grow. He is going to have another ECHO ultrasound later this week that will be able to show what exactly is going on and any changes that might have happened as he has grown.

The good news is through all this, his heart is really operating very well and it seems like neither of these murmurs are effecting him at all. His O2 needs are very normal, his blood gases are great, and he looks and acts very healthy and normal.

Some prayer requests:
-Pray for the results of this ECHO ultrasound that will happen within the next week. He will get one for his head and heart (both routine ultrasounds they do around 31-32 weeks)

-Pray these antibiotics would help him out and rid his system of anything harmful.

-Pray for our anxious hearts as we balance all this news and take it one day at a time.

-Pray for him to gain strength and grow as he begins to breath more on his own on the CPAP again.


  1. This is going to sound really ridiculous, but I see Harrison in those pics and am reminded of Erin's scrinched up face when she's not so happy that some girl has crawled over her head in the dark of morning to go exercise. All scrinched up like, "stop bothering me when I'm trying to sleep!". Like mother like son. :-)

  2. Praying that y'all will feel the Father's love, calming your hearts and strengthening precious Harrison as He shepherds you all through each minute of each day.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing pictures. I will keep praying!

  4. praying for harrison and for y'all.

  5. Hi Erin. I ran into Kim and Wade at a visitation last week and we started discussing people we knew and your name came up. She mentioned that you delivered early. after reading your blog, I will keep you, Josh, and Harrison in my prayers.

    I believe you know JP and Mallory and Eric Schlenker. Eric and I are dating and he will keep all of you in his prayers. Take care and I look forward to when you can bring your baby boy home.

    Lisa Edwards