I think the last time I wrote a post about "firsts," Stephen was still in the NICU. Well, we had another first on Saturday night...Stephen's g-tube came out.
I was going through out nightly routine of checking Stephen's blood pressure, getting his weight, and dressed him in his pj's for bed, when i realized I had yet to check his g-tube balloon for the week. It's become a weekly ritual for us to check his g-tube to make sure the balloon is inflated properly so the g-tube doesn't pop out (like it did twice in the NICU). The balloon is filled with about 5 ml's of sterile water, but over time the water can leak out deflating the balloon.
The g-tube that Stephen has now looks like a button from the outside and on the inside is a little rubber tube that protrudes down into his stomach. The little rubber tube is actually what gets inflated to look like a little ball or balloon filled with water. In the NICU, Connie taught us how to inflate and deflate it and how to replace it if came out. We also learned that if you don't get it back in place within about an hour, the hole can close out causing Stephen to need surgery to reopen it.
So what happened Saturday night was that I was checking the balloon level and when I pulled all the water out into the syringe, the g-tube popped out because the balloon was no longer inflated and I hadn't keep my other hand on top of it to keep it in. Of course my first instinct was to panic. And then to scream for Bill. But then I grabbed a clean gauze pad to place over the whole and try to prevent stuff in his tummy from coming out and also to prevent germs from getting in. Luckily we both composed ourselves quickly and while Bill held Stephen still, I replaced the g-tube and quickly inflated it. It wasn't difficult, but I was really nervous sticking that thing back into the hole in his stomach! Thank goodness Stephen was hardly fazed by the whole ordeal.
Now at least the fear of it happening the first time is over and next time it won't be so scary.