Max had been at 41 on his vent pressure for a few days and his O2 needs were up to 77% at one point. They have been pulling blood gases on him 2 times a day to check his CO2 and the acidity of his blood. The gases were not looking so good and it seemed to us that they were going to turn up his vent again. This morning was a real answer to prayers. Max's blood gas showed that his CO2 levels were pretty low and his blood was more on the alkaline side of the pH scale. So they turned down his vent to 39, and they also turned off the conventional vent completely (it had been giving Max 3 breaths per minute in addition to the 420 breaths per minute given by the jet vent). His oxygen needs have actually come down to the 60% range, which is a bit counter intuitive considering they are giving him less oxygenated air. I do not know all of the medical reasons why Max is heading the right direction...I just know that his Heavenly Father has heard and answered our prayers. In addition to all of this good stuff, Max is also starting to move some more fluid and more...bowels...and he seems to be a little less puffy.
Wesley is just doing his thing. The nurses have all commented that when they do his care every 3-hours, he just stares wide eyed at them the whole time. The doctors moved his CPAP pressure from 7 to 6, and he has tolerated the change very well. His O2 needs remain in the 40% range. The doctors indicated that once he moves down to a CPAP pressure of 5 and handles it well, they will start to try him off the CPAP altogether, but only for a few minutes or hours at a time. This is likely a few weeks down the road, but it is an exciting thought nonetheless.
Kate and I just want to express our thanks to the nurses and doctors at the DeVos Children's Hospital NICU. We are blown away that such a sophisticated, top-notch facility is located so close to lovely Drenthe, MI. The drive gets old, but we are so thankful we are not driving to Ann Arbor or Chicago on the weekends. On top of the proximity, we do not feel like we are compromising the boys' well-being at all...like we could get better care somewhere else but have "settled" for the DeVos because of location. Not only are the doctors at the top of their game, but the nurses are so amazing. We have become good friends with many of them, and they take such great care of Max and Wes. I thought that they just genuinely liked Kate and I...but I have recently changed my theory. My Mom has been making goodies for the nurses every other week or so...and I am pretty sure they only treat us well because my Mom is such an amazing cook. Almost like she is buying friends for us. Regardless of their reasoning...Max and Wes get a lot of extra attention and care. They are spoiled to say the least. And I am starting to think they know it. When Ashley was changing Wes' diaper last night, he peed all over himself and the bed. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was going to get a new crib sheet if he peed on it. Our boys are getting used to a certain level of care that might make their homecoming less enjoyable for them than it will be for us!! Either way, Kate and I are so very thankful for the way that God has used the doctors and nurses of the NICU. What a calling to choose to care for preemies and other babies with severe medical issues. Thank-you all so much for doing what you do. You have made this journey a lot easier!!