Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Interesting Day

Yesterday was an interesting day. Very monumental in our journey for several different reasons...

Tricia had an extremely rough morning. The day before was her best yet, but she did not sleep well, and by the time I woke up around 7am, she was complaining about having a lot of trouble breathing. It was very, very difficult for her, and she sat in bed all morning very uncomfortable and stressed until the docs came and did a Bronchoscopy around noon and suctioned out a lot of "plugs" (mucus that is literally plugging the airways in the lungs).

They also changed her plastic trach for a smaller, metal one. This metal trach has no cuff (the balloon in the throat that is inflated to prevent air from passing through the mouth and nose) which means a lot less airway obstruction. After the bronch and new trach, Tricia immediately felt better, which was a relief both physically and mentally.

Tricia was given a plug for the new trach, and she has been breathing since completely through her mouth and nose for the first time in over three months, as well as talking...a lot. :) The plug also allows her not to need the hydrated O2 (at room air, 21%) that she had been receiving for the past few weeks, which means one less thing strapping her down. She slept with the plug in all night and had the best sleep in weeks sleep. And, she is able to really smell for the first time in three months.

She also walked twice for a total of 14 laps, which is approximately 4000 feet. And, for the first time ever, We were able to go visit Gwyneth without any nurses or RTs in tow. And, for the first time ever, we went to visit Gwyneth twice in one day. Other than walking her laps, Tricia still travels via a wheelchair.

And, perhaps the biggest news of all...Gwyneth was moved to the stepdown nursery. There are only nine available beds in the stepdown nursery, which means that Gwyneth is one of the nine most stable babies in the NICU. It's one step closer to getting out and going home. Although the stepdown is different than the NICU, and the change is not something that feels comfortable yet, we are excited to see the progress!

I was told that we were unexpectedly on a local TV news station in the Hampton Roads, VA area yesterday evening as well...if memory serves me right, one of the stations there is partners with the Virginian Pilot, and they must have mentioned the story in the paper somehow. Which reminds me...tomorrow brings another TV interview with Barbara Gibbs and ABC 11. This interview is meant to give an update on the girls' progress as well as help promote the CF Great Strides Walk this Saturday at Duke (more about that later). I'm excited, because, hopefully, Tricia will actually be able to speak audibly this time!

Thanks!

Nate

101 comments:

Kerry said...

That's really great news! Really, really great! Thanks for the update!

theragan3 said...

awesome news! Thanks for continuing to keep us updated Nate. That is fantastic about Gwyn being in the step down unit and the news about Tricia and her sleep. SO glad that you are finally getting time together as a family.
We are walking in the March for Babies here locally on Sunday and we will rememeber and honor sweet Gwyn and her successes as we walk!
Erinn
MD

Lee said...

Wonderful News..... Praying for you all...

Destini said...

What an awesome update. I'm glad to hear that Tricia was able to sleep better. Praying for even better sleep tonite!

Yeah for Gwenyth and the step down unit! That is amazing!

Praisin and thankin God tonite for the progress!

Renee said...

Amazing! Great news with both of your girls!

Jane-Jane said...

WOW!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!!

your girls are on a roll now! YEAH!!!

Tricia, I know it is NOTHING compared to your breathing issues, but I have allergy induced asthma. In recent years, thanks to a GREAT allergist, my breathing has gotten much better. But I can relate somewhat to not being able to breath and the pain that comes with lungs with mucus. For me relief comes in the form a z-pack and steroids...and boy when it kicks in, life is sooooo much better. I know your illness is totally different, but I wanted to share that when one turns the corner and starts to feel better...life is MUCH better!

Breath on!

Still praying in SC!

Q's NEWS said...

I bet the sound of Tricia's voice was the best thing you have heard in a long, long time. How wonderful both your girls are doing. Sounds like a bunch of progress has happened really fast - Praise God!!

Thanks for keeping us updated! It is goog to hear from you again!

Love from WV,
Susan

La Familia Garcia said...

What great news! I'm surprised this story isn't more nationally covered! Your dad did a great job by the way in the interview! Our prayers are still with you!

Vicki said...

WOO HOO!!! I'm so excited for you all. Tricia I'm so glad you were able to get good rest. Thanks so much for continuing to keep us updated. Great news about Gwyneth. You all in continually in my thoughts and prayers. GOD IS GOOD!!!!

Beverly said...

What wonderful news to read.

The Engelhardt 4 said...

WOW. Great news all around. Yea for both girls doing so well. Keep up all your hard work Tricia and Gwyneth!!! We are still praying for good recoveries.

Lisa_in_AR said...

Congratulations Tricia! You're one step closer to being decannulated. I bet you can't wait to get rid of your trach!
Congrats to Gwyneth too!
Stay strong, it sounds like y'all are in the home stretch---emphasis on "home".
Lisa

The VW's said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful news! SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! Prayers continue for you!

UKNat said...

Praying and hoping for only "best days" for Gwyneth and Tricia!

Auntie G said...

YAY for Gwyneth!!!
Gail

nopeanutsplease said...

Yay for both your girls! I'm sure that the step-down unit will start to feel more comfortable in a short time.

I can't wait until you can post a video of Tricia talking. How great would that be?!?

Corinne said...

Tee hee :) I had a good laugh about how Tricia has been talking...a lot! Apparently women generally speak about 20,000 words a day and Tricia has been forced to "save" the vast majority of these words for THREE months hmmmmm, that's around 2million words of catch up that she needs to do....look out Nate ;)

Still praying for you three lots!

jamie said...

Wow. Sounds like things are better than yesterday, and each day that is better than the one before is GREAT! Both your girls are really making strides, hu Nate? Hope you are getting close to being able to bust outa that hospital, all 3 of you!!
God Bless you all
Jamie in Texas

Candi said...

I am so happy to hear about all the progress! Thank you so much for the updates.
Continued prayers!

Candi
www.babyhoustonstory.blogspot.com

grey like snuffie said...

Wow, so much good news. Still praying as He leads. Anticipation is building in my spirit!

Rebecca said...

Sounds like a great interesting day, once Tricia started feeling better. Good news!

Tracy P. said...

Great news! How wonderful for Gwyneth to start getting to know Mommy's voice.

Danielle in MO said...

thanks for the update - so are the "plugs" part of the healing process? Glad to hear that things are on the uphill today!!

Nana2three said...

So maybe Tricia was right when she kept asking to be suctioned! :) I am thrilled that someone found the trouble! Thank you for keeping us updated. Sleep is very healing and time with your daughter is no doubt the best medicine of all.

mom2izzyandallen said...

I can't WAIT to hear Tricia's voice! What a victory God is having in your lives! Still praying.

Jan said...

Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!

inchristalone said...

nate: Is Tricia going to always have to have her lungs suctioned out for plugs, like she did today? I just thought that this would have been taken care of with the transplant. If she had a liver pancreas transplant too, would the CF be gone forever? Feel free to remove this blog if it is too deep

Angie said...

What a fabulous update! I also loved seeing Tricia feed Gwyneth! What a highlight! I am continuing to pray!
Angie

RoseGirl said...

So glad that Tricia continues to make progress forward, as well as little Gwyneth. We keep praying for your girls and you - praying that God's abundant grace continues to cover all of you in every aspect of your lives!

Blessings,

RoseGirl,
Southern, CA

brenda said...

What an awesome story. And such great news. God is really showing off!!! Love it when He is in control and the drs have to just stand back and shake their heads. Praise the Lord, and praying for both of your girls to get better quick, so you can all be together at home. God Bless

Shari said...

WOW!! What great progress!!

Prayers Continue
Shari NC

joyfulmom said...

Each day brings more and more excitement! I'm so happy for all the great updates you're sending. I check your blog about 3 times per day! :0)

Hugs from El Paso,
Karla

turtlemama said...

I had tears in my eyes at the thought of how it must feel to be able to breath without the trach once again. What fabulous news. Hope things continue to advance in this way.

Two blessings from above said...

Thanks for all the great news.
So happy Tricia is doing better.
Glad to hear Gwyneth was moved to the stepdown nursery.
Still praying that they will be going home on the same day.
God Bless.

Carol Jackson said...

Very good news!! Glad Tricia got some good sleep--and that she can talk again!!!

Kim McGee said...

Congratulations! As NICU parents, we know how rewarding and exciting it is to graduate to the stepdown unit (and frightening if they forget to tell you they've moved your baby)! David skipped the middle unit and went straight to the Special Care Nursery. If that's where Gwyneth is, it's REALLY small but the nurses are great! We pray that your time as a family will increase each day and that the number of days remaining on different floors will be few.

Matt, Kim, Sam and David McGee

Mandy said...

Wow!!! I am so excited for Tricia and Gwyneth! Your girls are so strong! Sounds like Gwyneth has Tricia's fighting spirit!!!

Megan said...

Praise the Lord for so much progress!! I smile looking at the pics of Tricia holding her miracle baby. The Lord doesn't always answer our prayers how WE want them to be answered but it's pretty cool when He does and especially when it's something as awesome as a miracle baby and lungs!

blessed said...

WOW!! This brings tears to my eyes! :) God is sooooooooo Good!! Way to go Tricia. I am so proud of you. You are truly an inspiration to the Whole World. I also know God must be looking at you right now with a Big Grin on his face. You make Him so Proud.
Thank you so much for sharing your lives with total strangers. I enjoy every little update. I feel like we are family yet I have never met you. I go through many emotions as I read the updates. Just as if you were my family.
Thank you so much again for sharing your lives. You are a Great example of God's Faithfulness through every circumstance!!

Em said...

More wonderful news. LOVE IT!!!! Keep going Tricia

The Smith Family said...

what time will you be on TV with Barbara Gibbs?

Crystal said...

Wow, sounds like Tricia and Gwyneth are both doing really well!

Yay for being able to smell...and talk! The simple things we take for granted. :)

And yay! for step-down units! A mom who was sharing her story with me once referred to the change from cicu (we both have heart babies) to the step-down unit as going from Wall Street to Sesame Street, lol! It seemed to be somewhat true but the independence we gained with that switch was really appreciated...I'm sure you'll find the same with Gwyneth!

Amanda said...

WOW! That's a lot in one day to be praising God for! I'm so thrilled for the progress that has been made. Gweneth is looking so healthy in the pics and starting to really look like a chubby cheeked newborn with all the funny expressions too! I'm sure there is no way to explain the relief Tricia and you are feeling as you make these improvements! I'm continuing to pray that your course is much easier from here on out! You guys need a break, to say the least!

Patty said...

Wonderful news!! :) This post brought happy tears to my eyes! WTG to both of your girls. Still praying and rooting for you all.

Jen in Al said...

Wow! i am just in awe of how God is using your story to touch so many. truly amazing! great update about great progress! Yeah Tricia and Gwyneth! praying for continued great progress, jen in al

Erin said...

Terrific News!! !

Carol said...

Oh, I'm so glad that Tricia feels better and has made such strides. And can talk and smell and breath much better. And get rid of one more tube. And that she can get some restful, comfortable sleep. I think we are beginning to see the end of this tunnel!

Marsmile said...

I am just thrilled with both girls' progresses! How fabulous that Tricia is finally able to breathe much easier now after some adjustments and especially that now she is able to really talk and smell!! Perhaps that will lead her to become hungry if she smells some of the food she's been longing for and missing? If she has been waiting for a specific treat-- what is it? :-D

Gwyn is such a strong babe-- filled with strength and a fighting spirit just like her mommy!

So great that both girls are a step closer to going home sweet home!!

Marissa :-)

Crystal said...

StepDown!! GO Gwen Yay!!! she is on her way home dad, you got the crib up yet?? Get ready!!!

Bre said...

To God be the glory. Amazing news for both of your girls. Thanks for sharing :)

Lauren said...

That has got to feel so wonderful to breath through your nose/mouth for the first time in 3 months! I am so happy for you all! Gwyneth is looking so adorable and very much like a regular size baby, though 3 pounds is still tiny.

Kupiec Baby Blog said...

Great news all around! Thanks for the update.

Larissa said...

what wonderful developments!

The Tranas said...

Oh that is AWESOME news! Great for Tricia and weaning with the trach. It must feel great to be able to smell and speak again.

I remember when Lily moved to the NICU step-down unit too. At first I didn't like it, just because it was so different, and she wasn't getting quite the same special attention from all the nurses who had taken care of her for months and months (the charge nurse used to come and hold Lily half the night sometimes because she was one of Lily's primaries). After awhile, it gets easier, and you learn to appreciate some of the differences in the units.

I hope and pray things continue moving in the right direction for you and the girls!

Robin

Elizabeth said...

What amazing strides!
Continuing the prayers!!
Love from our family to yours.
The Kidd Family

Heidi said...

Great work girls!!

Joanna (Mof2) said...

As I was reading tonight, I had this great big smile on my face. This was great news, and so happy to read about it! God is great!

Kim said...

This is all incredible news. I'm smiling just reading about it!
And, aww-the pictures. Wish I could just reach through and squeeze that cute girl. Gwenyth-not Tricia, although, she is cute, too!

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marcia said...

Just getting caught up here, after a couple of days. Such great news about Gwyneth moving to the next level!! And I am so glad the bronch brought some answers and such relief to Tricia! Keep hangin' in there, you three! You're in the last laps, here....sometimes some of the biggest challenges....but, as you said the other day, there is light at the end of the tunnel (now I am going to have that Third Day tune going through my head the rest of the night! :)) Continuing to pray for you whenever and wherever you pop into my head :)

Nicole said...

such wonderful wonderful news!! i am walking the march of dimes walk next sunday in honor of my daugher, but believe me when i tell you i'm walking for gwyneth as well!

Busy Momma said...

Amazing!!!

Jen said...

Oh, I do hope that one of Tricia's first smell was of Gwenyth's hair. There is no better smell then johnson and johnson baby head! I'm so happy all is going so well for you. I continue to pray that this will continue. Glad your back.

debangel said...

Yes!! It's just like someone said the other day in the comments, Tricia is finally getting to experience those "can't wait until you.." moments. So Tric, how does the back of your baby's head smell? Isn't it scrumptious??

SooOOOoo happy for, and praying for, you in Escondido, CA!

amathyst-eyes said...

That's wonderful! I hope everything continues to go so well!

Emily said...

Oh Hallelujah. God is SO good.

My Goodness said...

Those are some great accomplishments!! God is blessing...can't wait for the news that you'll all be going home. I know there is still more work to be done, but it's getting closer everyday! How exciting!!

buffiecar said...

That is wonderful news. I hope Tricia has an easier time of it now and that Gwyneth continues to grow and improve every day. Will Tricia's trach be allowed to close soon since she's breathing through her nose and mouth?

Millicent said...

What an awesome post! I am so glad to hear Tricia is breathing easier. I hope she continue's to get better sleep. Everything is so much easier when you sleep well. I know because I struggle with my sleep because of depression. How good the next day is depends greatly on the sleep I get. As for Miss Gwyn, that is just AWESOME!! She is one lil miracle. Still praying for you guys!

Angela R. said...

That is great news! So happy to hear, still praying for you all always!

-Angela

Paige said...

I'm so happy Tricia got some relief and is slowly making her way to better health. Sleep! Aaahhh. Good for her!

Little Gwyneth is growing up! Thrilled that she is doing well.

Praying Tricia has a wonderful sleep tonight and feels even more energized tomorrow.

supermom said...

Good news all around!!! You know, Tricia always looks so good. Unlike a hospital patient that normally looks as though they need a proper bath and has hair that goes in all directions :)
Those photos of Gwyneth are prescious. She is looking so healthy and big now!

Thoughts and Things said...

I bet I am not the only one, since knowing of your family, but today I signed up to be a donor. Your family inspired me.

tripleblessings said...

Awesome news, Tricia! Breathing through mouth and nose sounds very good, and talking sounds even better. I hope you feel great, and sleep soundly tonight. Thanks be to God for all his great blessings!

Caroline said...

Soooooo glad they worked out how to make Tricia more comfortable. And, there is nothing quite like a good nights sleep to give you back some strength. Praise God! so excited for you that things are taking such "great strides" forward!

love and prayers,
xxx

Sasha said...

Great news! Thank you for the update! We continue to pray for you and your family all the way from Russia. Will you post the video to this next interview?

God Bless!
~ajk

Sara said...

so many firsts in just one post - keep it up!!

Scott said...

That is really awesome. I'm excited for Trisha to have so many things come back in one day, things I take for granted, smelling, breathing, talking and sleeping! We are praying for each of you specifically each day.

Thia said...

What wonderful news and what a big day. I know you will, but enjoy every moment together!

Carmen said...

That is Great news....

Wilbanks World said...

What an inspiration you are for all of us! I read your post daily and am always in awe of your faith and perserverance. Such wonderful news for you three - we'll continue to carry you in our prayers.

Thomas, Niki, and Jacob

KT said...

Ohhhh BIG move to TCN!!! Tell Michelina, Brenda, Cheryl, and Shelly that Clay says HI!

Great news that Tricia is starting to sleep. I'm sure all of you are thrilled to hear her voice again--sweet melodies to your ears.

Katie
NC

Kim said...

You must be so proud of your girls! I pray that more and more good news come your ways, and that everyone adjusts well to their new situation!

Garza said...

This is wonderful News!!
Glad to hear Tricia is doing much better, and Fantastic news Gwyn being in the step down unit. Prayers are continuing on the OBX.
Jessica

Candy said...

Fantastic news all around. What a great update and one you all really deserve. Thanks for the update and we continue to pray for you all!

Kristi said...

Oh, the tears just well up at the thought of all the emotions Tricia must be experiencing with these positive developments. I'm so happy to read of a good night's sleep - as a Mom I know how great that feels. I am continuing to check in often, praising God for the progress and praying that all will continue to go well for both of the girls and their special guy.
Blessings to you all!

Amy said...

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!

Kerry said...

Hey N, T & G! I love the good update even though it had a rough patch. I am sure the entire recovery process is a bit of 2 steps forward and 1 step back but how thankful to just be on the road to recovery. Tricia is a "Super Woman" and her strength is contagious. I hope the next days are as positive for everyone. As always, prayers from CT! Kerry

Momnnashville said...

WOW! What wonderful news on BOTH your girls, Nate. I continue to pray and thank God for the day that you and Tricia and Gwyneth will walk out of that hospital together. What a wonderful day that will be! God is so good!

Momnnashville said...

WOW! What wonderful news on BOTH your girls, Nate. I continue to pray and thank God for the day that you and Tricia and Gwyneth will walk out of that hospital together. What a wonderful day that will be! God is so good!

Melody said...

Such happy news!

Tricia, I'm so glad you were able to express your discomfort and your doctors were able to make a few significant changes. Life will definitely be better now- a good night's sleep can make all the difference in the world. (I'm sure Nate can attest to that!)

Happy for Gwyneth's transer as well!

Happy day, all around!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the update!What great news! Gwyneth looks so healthy and cute in her pictures :)

Julie said...

YEAH!!!!! Great stuff to hear!

Ree said...

YEAH!!! Continued thoughts and prayer!!

Love my boys! said...

The pictures are great, the updates you gave are great and sound so promising! I am so happy for all of you, especially, Tricia for having the new trach. My mother was on a trach also and said once the metal one was put in she felt a million times better...plus the ability to smell. When you mentioned that, I knew that Tricia was going to be okay. We are still praying here for you and your girls. :-)

walkingbyfaith said...

I just listened to the radio interview..I loved it! :)

I am SO very excited to hear that Tric slept better and her new trach is allowing her to breath through her nose/mouth and even speak now. I am excited to hear her! :D

I'm just in awe that Gwyneth is about ready to go home. I know there are some more things that have to happen, but knowing she's in a step down bed and continuing to breathe well and gain weight..I'm just in awe.

Our God is so amazing! I am just in tears at how you've so selflessly shared your story so I, along with millions of others, can see just how He works.

Thank you again Nate, and Tric, from the bottom of my heart for sharing just a small part of your lives with all of us!

Lots of love!

Rich and Lauren said...

the good news just kept coming. i'm so happy about all the steps foward!

LIBSMOM said...

This is all such fantastic news! As a Mom of a preemie, Gwyneth's progress fills my heart with joy just as my own baby's progress did over 20 years ago.
Tricia must feel so great with all of her own positive strides and steps closer to going home and living a healthy life with her glorious little miracle and wonderful husband.
Praise God.

AlaneM said...

Oh that is amazing news!!
How wonderful for Tricia to be able to talk & smell & most importantly...sleep.
And Gwyneth in the step down...fabulous! I am very excited for you & praising God for all his blessings.
Love the pictures too...Gwyneth just gets more beautiful every day. And Tricia looks wonderful, what a blessing for her to feed Gwyneth for the first time. That is such a bonding time for mommies & babies & I'm glad she gets to do it now.
Blessings to you all,
Alane

Susan said...

This is such wonderful news!! I am so happy for you all and praying for the girls to continue to get stronger every day and out of there soon.

Love Your Lungs Breathe For Life said...

Hello,
What an incredible story and a beautiful baby. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
My name is Lori from Gouldsboro, PA. My dad passed away Dec. 2003 after a 13 year battle with COPD/Emphysema. I have been very involved in Lung Disease work and Smokefree Living. I launched my own website In Memory of my dad.
I would like your permission to add your BLOG to my "family sharing" page.
God bless,
Lori
www.loveyourlungsbreatheforlife.com
loveyourlungs@yahoo.com