Day 2: On Saturday we started to wean Levi off of the ventilator by decreasing the rate that the ventilator was breathing for him. For every one breath the machine took, Levi would do an additional one or two breaths. It took all day to get him to the point where he was doing more of his own breathing than the vent. As the day progressed, his lungs started sounding better and he had significantly less mucus in his lungs.Our main goals for day two were try and get him to breathe on his own, keep his oxygen levels up and to get him to wake up from being so heavily sedated when the vent was doing all of his breathing. Levi was incredibly sleepy and took a long time to wake up. Our goal was to remove the breathing tube during the day, however, little Levi was still too sleepy so we let him rest a while before extubating him.
Day 3: Sunday started getting interesting when Levi woke up at 1 am on Sunday morning. After being heavily sedated he was finally able to wake up and show signs of irritation with his breathing tube (which is a good thing). We were warned that he would probably get really mad and be extremely fussy. However, Levi happens to be a very laid back happy baby and proved everyone wrong. When the tube came out he was coughing and looking around and slightly fussy but he never really got all that angry. We put him on a special type of oxygen called vapotherm. It is a higher flow of oxygen that is heated and it makes his job of breathing easier. He did wonderful on the vapotherm. He started out with 6 Liters of oxygen on the vapotherm and by the afternoon he was down to 4 Liters. As the day progressed we were able to switch him from the Vapotherm oxygen to a regular nasal canula and 1 Liter of oxygen. He never skipped a beat and kept his oxygen saturation above 96% which is great. When we went to bed on Sunday night he was very alert and starting to babble again. His swelling had gone down significantly and he was acting more like our little man that we know. Despite having not eaten in 2 days, he was still extremely happy and almost never cried. One of our favorite nurses, Brittni, said she had never seen a baby remain so happy and content after not eating for so long and being connected to so many machines. He was finally able to eat that night and gobbled down 2 ounces of apple juice and promptly passed out for the night.
Day 4: In the middle of the night we were able to wean his oxygen down to only a 1/4 of a liter of oxygen and by 4 am Monday morning Levi was breathing room air. Since then he has remained on room air, and his oxygen saturation has been excellent. He even started smiling and talking more this morning. He is such a happy morning baby. During rounding this morning our physicians told us that all of the test results came back negative for both the viral panel and bacteria. That is great news and explains why he recovered so quickly. Our best guess is that Levi's reflux was way more severe than we ever knew, and that he had some stomach acid that went into his lungs. He is now on medication for relux and will go home on it. He has started eating, but is having issues with being very "gaggy" and vomiting. We are going to see a speech therapist who will be able to evaluate his swallowing. Sometimes after having a tube in an airway, it can temporarily affect their swallowing. In the meantime, we are hanging out waiting for a bed on the Pediatric Unit since he no longer requires intensive monitoring. The hope is to be discharged tomorrow.
Thank you to everyone for your continued prayers and support. We have been extremely blessed through this time by friends and family supporting us. As I sit in this PICU unit, and think of the other babies who will be staying here for way longer than 4 days, I feel thankful. I see the concern and sometimes fear in the parent's faces and can relate a little bit. Friday was frightening, to say the least, watching about 9 people working on Levi to keep him with us and breathing. We have experienced an extremely rapid recovery and know that God is in control and that prayer is very powerful. I know that God has his hands directly on my family and is watching over us. There is no safer place to be than in His hands.