Monday, December 4, 2006

Breathing Space

It was a big weekend for our little lad in NICU. Saturday morning, Miles got another trial off of his CPAP.

For those joining late (or challenged by acronyms), CPAP stands for "Continuous Positive Airway Pressure". For two or three days after he was born, Miles was on a full-blown ventilator. Then, since he was able to do a fair bit of the work of breathing on his own, this was replaced by the less intrusive CPAP. This device kept a small amount of air flowing through his lungs even on the occasions when he fell asleep and forgot to keep breathing (a fairly common event for preemies). Still, Miles had to wear a small mask most of the time, along with elaborate headgear to keep it in place. We're only guessing from the fact that he tended to cry and grab at the CPAP when the respiratory therapist would put it on, but we think Miles wasn't particularly happy with the fashion statement. (Hence, most of the pictures we have posted were taken when he was on brief CPAP breaks.)

Last Sunday, Miles spent a few hours off CPAP, but had enough "episodes" (where he forgets to breathe and requires some stimulation--like tickling--to get his heart rate back up) that the doctors decided he was not quite ready for prime time.

So this weekend's test was eagerly anticipated. And we are pleased to report that 36 hours later, Miles is still off CPAP and breathing on his own! The CPAP has been replaced by a nasal cannula, which can supplement his oxygen when necessary, but Miles is now responsible for keeping the airflow going. He has had a number of episodes, but the doctors are pleased enough with his progress to keep him CPAP-free for the time being. They caution, however, that it's not unusual for a kid in his shoes to get tired after a few days off CPAP and need to go back on for a spell.

Notwithstanding this caveat, we are thrilled at this latest bit of progress, not least because we can now see much more of his cute little face.

Lisa was able to hold him again last night for an entire hour. The nurse even had us each kiss him goodnight. It was the first time that the we had seen him at such close range. Yep, he's still cute and still quite small, however he does weigh in at 3 lbs 2 oz now!

-Dean and Lisa

No comments: