Monday, 8 February 2010

Joe and his lungs

There are three quiet times every day, between 7.45 and 8.30 both am and pm, and from 1.30 - 2.30 every afternoon. It’s quiet time in the NICU right now and I have been told to leave so will give you a brief update before I am allowed back in.

Poor Joe is having a tough time. He has had lots of bradys and desats today, often requiring ‘bagging’ to bring him back to normal. Bagging is where they put a mask over baby’s face and manually force air into the lungs using a bag attached to the mask.

This afternoon they decided to change his ventilation tube to see if that helped, but unfortunately Joe hasn’t coped very well with the procedure at all. His lungs partially collapsed, and his chest was very stiff with little movement. His sats were struggling to stay in the 80s (ideal is between 86 and 95 for babies on ventilation) and he is on 100% oxygen.
There is very little that can be done, except give him time to recover. The dr is checking back on him frequently and will consider a change in the type of ventilation if needed. He said this is just one of the complications of being born so early. Joe’s lungs are very tiny and just struggling to cope at the moment. Once he is 14 days old they can use steroids to reduce the inflamation which may help.

His feeds have been stopped for a few hours to give his body as much rest as possible.

I’ve neglected poor Harry a bit I’m afraid - although I completely trust the nurses to look after Joe properly, I feel it’s my job to keep an eye on him, and his sats levels. They are so busy they don’t always respond to the alarms as quickly as I’d like (ideally I’d like 1-1 nursing and a response time of less than 3 seconds, but I can’t have everything!!). So, I have hardly left Joe’s side, but luckily apart from his ventilation needing some fine tuning, Harry has been a good boy and continues to truck along steadily. He needed blood and platelets this morning but that seems par for the course for him now.

Both babies were weighed today. I haven’t had a chance to confirm Harry’s weight as his nurse got distracted by another baby, but Joe is down to 525 grams or approx 1lb 1.5oz.

If you can keep little Joe in your thoughts tonight it would be much appreciated. Today is the first day I’ve been really scared he may not pull through this. I know I’ll be taking two babies home in a few months, I have to. My heart would break if anything were to happen now. Keep fighting Joe!!

Update: Harry is 589 grams which is 1lb 4.5oz so he is now the bigger twin! Great growing Harry :)


  1. Thinking good thoughts for both boys, especially little Joe....I hope his lungs stop giving him so much trouble!

  2. I'm thinking positive thoughts for both boys and especially Joe, today! I have posted them both on a prayer board and will ask everyone for extra prayers tonight. Keep fighting boys!!

    Julie and Nicole.