So, Brian's blog below gives you a pretty accurate story on what happened, but I'll throw in some more details.
Last night we went to the hospital to visit our girl. On our way up to the NICU we talked and decided that we would not be disappointed if Reese hadn't stabilized after the changes that were made earlier in the day. We can't let ourselves get upset over small setbacks right now. Anyway, when we got into the NICU Reese's night nurse told us that she was "fabulous." She had stabilized her stats from earlier in the day and was doing very well. She said that they were talking about extubation and we just assumed she meant today. But then she said the Nurse Practitioner was on her way up and we arrived just in time for the extubation. We were shocked that they were doing it, but we were happy that she'd made the progress and that we had arrived in time to be there afterwards.
Brian and I went into the hallway and waited for them extubate. I don't think I've ever prayed so hard in my life as I did for those 5 minutes. When we went back Reese was off of the vent and they said she had done well. To be honest, I was captivated by her beautiful face. I have only seen her once before with nothing on her face (the C-PAP machine and the tape for the vent covered her up), and it was just beautiful. Reese is currently receiving low flow Oxygen through a nasal cannula and is doing all the breathing on her own!!!! The Nurse Practitioner said that she had done a great job and that the next step was to monitor her for an hour, to try not to stimulate her (no touching, just talking) during that period of time, and they would draw her blood gas levels then. She said that if everything looked good, I would be able to hold her!
Brian and I sat there and looked at our daughter for the longest time. After about 2 minutes she opened her little eyes and just stared at us. My heart melted. She is the prettiest, most beautiful little angel I've ever seen in my whole life (of course, I'm biased). I loved sitting there talking to her and watching her discover new things. At that point I remembered that we had left the camera at home because we weren't planning on taking pictures of her. If I was going to hold my baby we needed pictures! Brian volunteered to drive home and get it (well, he wanted to and I still can't drive). I got a whole 45 minutes sitting there talking to my baby girl and I had her undivided attention. She just stared the whole time. I told her how proud we are of her for being so strong and such a little fighter, about her family, about her dog, how cool her room is and just talked forever.
Brian finally got back right before they took her blood gas levels which came back excellent. We waited a few minutes but then we were finally able to hold her! Probably one of the greatest moments of my life! I couldn't stop myself from crying, I've just been waiting a week (well, really 8 months and 1 week since I found out I was pregnant with her) to hold her my arms! She was so precious! Still wide awake and staring up at me. You know how when you hold a baby in the same position for awhile your arm starts to fall asleep? Well my arm fell asleep and it was the best thing in the world because my little girl made it fall asleep! I would have been content to sit there and hold her forever. At first they said it would only be for 15 minutes, but the nurse had to take care of her other baby so it got stretched to 25! We also didn't think that Brian would be able to hold her (but he was more than supportive that I got to...I think he was happy that I finally had the chance), but she let him hold his little girl for 5 minutes too! It was so nice to see my husband with such a huge smile on his face after the stressful week that we've had. It's crazy how before you have kids you could never really imagine your husband holding a little tiny baby and looking completely comfortable, but Brian was in his element holding our baby girl. I love my family so much! This was a one time deal for now, we won't be able to hold her for awhile and unfortunately no one else will be either, but it was such a blessing and it came at the perfect time. The whole night was about perfect timing. When we arrived just in time for the extubation. That Brian was able to get back just in time for the blood gas check. That the nurse practitioner on duty is such an advocate of kangaroo care and letting parents hold their infants. What an absolutely amazing night!
Hi Mommy and Daddy! Look at me all vent free!
Holding my baby girl!
She is beautiful
Yeah, he's in love
Happy in her Daddy's arms
Getting her poopy diaper changed
Changing Reese's diaper for the first time!