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+ 0 - 0 | § More achievements

Alex has stayed off the ventilator, and they even took him out of the oxygen tent. They have even started to slowly feed him through his gastrointestinal tube. Right now they are giving him some specially formulated formula that is really easy to digest, but they will soon graduate to breast milk. He seemed pretty calm today. The nurse said that they didn't need to suction out the fluids out of his esophagus as much today, so I think he's not getting quite as upset by that. All in all, he seems better every time we see him.

+ 0 - 0 | § He's off the respirator!

They took Alex off the respirator this morning! He's in an oxygen tent, but he barely needs it. This is really great news. He still needs a tube up his nose to suction out his esophagael pouch, but at least his mouth is free, and he gets to breath on his own. We took some pictures of him without the respirator, so click on more to see them.

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+ 0 - 0 | § Baby steps

Heh heh heh.... baby steps. :) Well, they did some breathing trials this morning. They respirator stopped breathing for Alex for about an hour. It only provided some positive pressure, to make breathing easier. Alex did very well, and they are planning on doing more tests tomorrow. If all goes well, by tomorrow evening, they will take him off completely. Yay! steps toward independance from machines! He still has a way to go for that, but this will be a huge step forward. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens.

Today, Alex was very active while we were there. He seemed healthier than any other time we have seen him before. He was wide eyed, and curious. However, he did as most babies would do in his situation, and threw alot of fits. This didn't seem too harmful, but it did serve to set off alot of alarms. Of course, as soon as Kari and I stepped out of the room to get some dinner, he promptly went to sleep. Go figure, I guess he just figured that there was noone around worth crying to, so he figured he'd get some rest.

+ 0 - 0 | § One step at a time...

Alex is doing pretty well following his surgery.  They started letting him wake up a bit today, though they are going to take it one step at a time.  The docs have also started paring down his venthilator use, in order to wean him off of it completely.  Perhaps in a couple of days we'll be able to see Alex's face without all the tape and stuff.  It's an exciting prospect.  Otherwise, he still has a lot of tubes, but they say that once he is off the vent and has had his umbilibcal artery line taken out, we will be able to hold him.  I'm REALLY looking forward to that. 

The one negative thing today was that they had to give him a small blood transfusion.  Between the surgery, the hourly blood samples they've been taking, and his low blood pressure (due to the new shunt), he needed some blood.  He's still doing very well, though, and his color is much better than it was.  Instead of being rather ruddy, he is a pleasant pink now.  We've started bringing in some stuffed animals and things to make Alex's bed look more homey.  There isn't much room amongst the IV lines and tubes, but we do the best we can.  Anyway, hopefully things will soon get somewhat boring here on the blog!

+ 0 - 0 | § He's so cute when he's sleeping

When Alex came back from surgery, he was obviously zonked out on the anesthesia. He was so cute, lying there with his mouth open, and snoring! A while later, he started waking up, a little bit earlier than they wanted to, which made the nurses' lives more difficult, because they wanted to keep close tabs on his respiration, heartbeat, and blood gas levels, so they had to help him back to sleep again with some more meds. Now he's blissfully zonked out, probably until tomorrow sometime. Everyone's happy with the way everything all turned out, and it looks like tonight will go smoothly.

I'm looking forward to the next step, which is the waiting and growing phase. He's going to need to grow to have the corrective surgeries for the esophageal atresia, and the cardiac correction surgery. I'm not terribly looking forward to either of the next two surgeries, particularly the heart corection. Technically, today was not open heart surgery, but the next heart surgery in about 6-12 months will be.

On the plus side, he's going to have some bitchin' cool scars to show off to his friends at the pool when he get's older.

+ 0 - 0 | § Quick update

The heart surgeon, Dr. Myers, just came by and said that everything went fine with Alex's surgery.  They expect him to be back up to the PICU in about 15 minutes or so.  More to come later...

+ 0 - 0 | § The waiting game...

Alex went into the OR at about 10:30 this morning for his second surgery.  They say that he'll be out in 2-3 hours, so we are just trying to pass the time here in the Ronald McDonald room.  We came in pretty early this morning, because the surgeon still had to talk to us and get our consent for the surgery.  When we arrived and called into the NICU to see Alex, they told us that he had been moved, apparently to make room for another neonatal heart patient.  Since Alex would be moved to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) after his surgery anyway, they just made the move 12 hours early. 

Our first impression of the PICU was that we like the NICU better.  The PICU nurses are younger (and seemingly less experienced), and seem somehow more nonchalant than those in the NICU.  (Of course, this is coming from two paranoid parents.)  They had Alex pretty well sedated, and restrained so that he didn't pull out any of his tubes.  The good thing is that he now has a window next to his bed, so some natural light actually filters in.  They also stopped using the UV light, so he didn't have to wear his sunglasses.  Once his sedation wore off a bit, he even opened his eyes and looked around every now and then.

Anyway, I'm rambling, so it's time to sign off.  We will update the blog when we get a chance.  It may not be immediately following his surgery, so don't panic if it takes us a little while.  We will probably want to see him as soon as we get the chance and may not be able to blog until later on.

+ 0 - 0 | § Pictures!

Yesterday, they let Kari hold Alex for the first time. I went snappy snappy with the camera, and realized that I hadn't put any pictures up on the blog yet. As usual with pictures, I'll put them within the message, so click on "more" below to see them.

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