I never thought we would say this, but we started dialysis today! And not a day too soon. Stephen retained A LOT of fluid overnight, and he was back to weighing over 10 pounds this morning. He put on over a pound in only a few hours. Not good. So thank god we were starting dialysis today. Almost instantly after we started the dialysis, you could see some of the fluid start to "wash away" the minute they started flushing his catheter and abdominal cavity with the solution.
There are two types of dialysis; hemo dialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemo is the type most people are familiar with where you get hooked up to a machine and it cleans your blood. Whereas Stephen is doing peritoneal dialysis where a solution of sugar and other stuff is pumped into his abdomen, let sit for a set period of time, and then flushed back out. Right now his dialysis is running 24 hours a day with small amounts every 30 minutes. 40 cc's of fluid goes in and the goal is to get more than 40 back out. So far, it's been working. At first everything coming out was blood, which was a bit startling at first, but he did just have major abdominal surgery. And I had to remind myself that after my c-section, everything that came out of my catheter was also blood (sorry if that was TMI).
Eventually his dialysis will go from 24 hours a day to 10 to 12 hours a day. And at some point when he comes home, we'll do the dialysis here at home during the night while Stephen sleeps.
We also had another awesome milestone today. Stephen opened both eyes today! Part way into his dialysis today as the fluid started coming off and his swelling started to decrease, he started really responding to our voices and touch and started really moving around again. Well, as much as he could with the ventilator. And you could see that he was trying to open his eyes. Eventually he opened both of them and it was so awesome to see his beautiful baby blues again! He had opened only his right once before. Billy went back to the NICU late tonight to read him a bed time story, and said he opened them even more so tonight. I'm super sad I missed it, but I stayed home to get some rest.
Hopefully tomorrow will be another big day for us as they are planning to take him off the ventilator tomorrow. He was ready today for the ventilator to come out today, but the neonatologists wanted to give it one more night just to make sure we don't have any major set backs when it's pulled. So we're hopeful that it will come out tomorrow and then I can start holding my little love bug as much as I want. Well, maybe not as much as I want, but I'll get to hold him again.
Sorry I haven't posted any pictures lately. I was kind of nervous to post the post-op pictures because they are not the prettiest with Stephen's big incision across his belly. But I'll try to take some tomorrow after the vent is taken out so you can see his pretty little face and his cool private room!