Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ooops Too Fast

On Thursday they tried to give Gabriel the entire feed by bottle and he wasn't quite ready for that. His breath rate went really high and he looked tired. He struggled a bit so they decided to give him a break and not give him the second bottle feed. The rest of his feeds are still given by his nose tube.

Bottle Feedings

Starting Monday Gabriel was getting compressed feeds. That means he was getting fed every three hours. On Tuesday Gabriel received his first bottle feed. It was only 1/2 ounce and it took him about 1 hour but it went down...and stayed down. They will give him two bottles on Wed.

Moved To Step-Down NICU

Gabriel is continuing to do well. His numbers remain stable and he has tolerated his feeds well so far. On Tuesday we got moved to the step-down NICU. This is where they keep the non-critical babies. While this is another step towards going home, we aren't so happy up here. The level of care is the same as the NICU except there are less nurses for each baby. I think up here the ratio is 1 nurse to 5 babies. In the NICU at most its 1 nurse to 2 babies. But as everyone keeps saying you are almost home.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gabriel Athan's First Weeks

Dear Friends and Family,
Since Gabriel Athan was born on March 2, 2008 we have been on a wild roller coast ride. We have had any ups and downs the past couple of weeks, but it looks like the immediate hurdles have been passed and Gabriel is coming along "exceptionally well" according to his doctors. While Gabriel has been with us only a short period of time he has been through a lot and his journey is far from over as he continues his recovery.

Thursday February 7th - 32 week Sonogram shows the baby has Right-sided CDH.
His liver, gallbladder and bowels are in his right chest cavity. His heart and left lung are "pushed" to the left. MRI and Sonograms do not show a right lung. We are transfered to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

Sunday March 2nd, 2008 8:25pm - Born at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital
Weight: 5lbs 10ooz. (2.554kg)
Length: 19in (48cm)

Monday March 3rd - Placed on Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

Thursday March 6th - Surgery to Repair "hole" in his Diaphragm was successful. During Surgery they discover that he has a full lung on the left and half a lung on the right. (For babies with CDH this is important since every little bit of lung helps. It is not the Size of the lung that is important...its is how well it Functions.)

Friday March 7th - He is supposed to remain on ECMO for 3-5 days to help him recover from Surgery however his blood begins to clot. This will jam the machine and he either needs to be taken off ECMO or his entire blood supply needs to be flushed and transfused. Keeping him on ECMO will set him back another couple of days and due to the blood thinners they need to use to keep the blood from clotting he runs the risk of bleeding. So we take the chance and opt for him to be pulled off ECMO.

Saturday March 8th -9th. - Gabriel is breathing using the ventilator and his Oxygen Saturation numbers are holding steady . They keep lowering the levels until he is breathing at room level and with minimum support.

Tuesday March 11 - Gabriel gets comes off the ventilator and gets extubated. He is now breathing on his own. He is receiving oxygen from the nose (C-Pap) but that is set to lowest level (21% - room> air.) He is not feeding yet, he receives his nutrients through an IV.

Friday March 14 - They start feeding Gabriel with Pedyalite through a nose tube to his stomach at 9:00am. By 9:00pm he is receiving 1cc (30cc => 1ounce) per hour on continuous feeding through his nose tube.

Saturday March 15- 17- They increase his feeding 1cc every 12hours and no signs of digestive problems. He is eating like a champ and they keep increasing his feedings

Tuesday March 18 - They remove his C-Pap for an hour and his numbers hold steady.

Wednesday March 19 - They removed his C-Pap for six hours and his numbers remained steady. So they decided to keep him off the C-Pap until his numbers come down.

Thursday March 20 - His Oxygen Saturation numbers remained consistant throughout the night so they are keeping him off C-Pap. They also removed his Pic-line and he now receives all his food through the nose tube. The give him constant feeds about 1 ounce in 2hours.

We would like to thank everyone for their support, thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.

With Love
Dino, Katina, Demetra and Gabriel Athan Kostaridis