Cori Lou is making everyone happy. She never needed additional oxygen and has already been making an effort to initiate breaths on her own. The morphine is being “stretched” (less in her system over time) to make it more possible for her to do this more. (Morphine inhibits respirations) They are working on weaning her off of the ventilator today. It may take a day to do this. Right now, the machine is set to “make her” take a certain number of breaths per minute. The pressure that it exerts to do this can also be adjusted.
She is somewhat swollen (or edematous, as they keep saying in the hospital), but her liver function tests have yielded good results.
Her dressing was removed today and you can see the designer belly button near the bottom of the suture line. The incision area does NOT look like it is irritated or inflamed. There is only a tiny bit of red skin where her diaper is rubbing around her waist…
The jaundice (bilirubin levels) seems to be under control. The weird blue lights were taken away and her color looks more pink today.
With all this progress, it seems she could be introduced to real milk (starting with that super stuff: colostrum) any time now. Heidi has stored a lot of it away for her! We anticipate that they will verify that Cori Lou’s digestive system is tolerating eating by limiting her to small amounts at first, just letting small dribbles (like from a small syringe) go down at a time. That would mean no nursing yet. Nursing right now could mean she would get all kinds of milk coming fast. It is also unclear when they will declare the wound healed enough for her to be picked up without high risk of popping stitches or tearing skin and muscle.
The gastric suction would have to be removed for eating to make any sense, so she could lose a couple of major tubes in the next couple of days. The PICC line will probably stay in until the last minute. It will be good to see her looking around again after the sedation is decreased. There will still be other medications for pain after the morphine has stopped. She is still only on the 2nd full day after surgery.