Today was an amazingly productive day at the hospital for Jacob. KC headed over to the hospital this morning and took the 'day shift' which is filled with doctors' visits, tests, etc. While there, they took out Jacob's chest tubes, which were used to drain fluid and blood from his heart during the healing process. We had both thought that the tubes in his tiny chest would be about 6 inches long, but KC said that they were closer to 15 inches long. Holy smokes! Where did they put them? Did they thread them up to his brain, down to his heart and into his intestines while they were at it?!? It was a painful process for Jacob, but it made an incredible difference in his recovery efforts, and also enabled KC to begin holding him rather than standing helplessly by his bed.
They also removed Jacob's central line, which is basically tapped into a major artery, his internal jugular line - which is a pick line, removed all but 1 IV drug, and all but 1 bag of fluids. When I walked in, they were only monitoring 3 vitals, and KC was just getting ready to feed Jacob by mouth (Yes! by mouth!!!!) another bottle. Apparently, his reflux and most of his gagging is completely gone!!!
Today was a day full of small (and not-so-small) miracles. KC had an incredibly emotionally draining day as he had to endure the cries and looks of pain by Jacob as they removed the lines, drugs, chords, and tubes. But he also got to hold his son, and see him progress by leaps and bounds in a matter of a few short hours. I, on the other hand, just waltzed right in, they immediately placed my little baby into my arms and I got to snuggle with him as he drank (and didn't gag a single time!!) his bottle!
I held him as he ate, slept, and ate again. I talked with the nurses and discovered that he is already off of almost everything, and that his recovery is considered remarkable. I looked down at my little boy and noticed that his coloring was normal (not balmy and pale), and that he looked like the strong little boy I remembered before his heart failure and subsequent medicines were prescribed to him. After 4 hours of holding his sleeping body in my arms, I had to reluctantly admit that Jacob didn't need me tonight for comfort and care like I anticipated. The events of today had exhausted him physically as much as it has drained KC emotionally. It was obvious that Jacob had every intention of sleeping the whole night through! So, I placed him in the arms of our ever-vigilant nurse and said my good-byes knowing that my sweet child would be in good hands as he slept.
The more I thought about it, the more it became very evident that Jacob is now beginning down a path where he will begin growing by leaps and bounds, he will have the energy to strengthen his muscles and progress physically like any normal child, and that his energy levels will be equal to that of any other child. In essence, Jacob has a new lease on life and I have a feeling that he will be living this new life to the fullest!
I am forever grateful to everyone who has said prayer after prayer for us. For all of the words of encouragement and support we have heard, the acts of service and kindness we've received and the well-wishes of those with whom we come in contact. What could have been an emotionally devastating experience has in all actuality been a truly humbling and uplifting experience that has forever changed our family and our lives for the good. I guess all the wonderful moments we have with Jacob from here on out are just icing on the cake!