Dear Henry, what a beautiful sound
On Sunday July 31st the most exciting thing happen....
I had been dreaming of this day since he was born. We all remember the story... just over a month ago this 23 weeker came out crying and it changed our world. Not more then 2 minutes after that cry he was intubated, in order to keep him alive. To be intubated means to have a tube inserted through the mouth into the airway, so a ventilator can breath for him. This is a life line... While this tube was keeping Henry alive, it also took away his voice. I have dreamt of hearing his sweet little cry again...
I think about how I can't wait to have that crying baby that makes strangers cringe, on an air plane or in a restaurant! I promise that I won't be embarrassed by his voice... as long as I can hear it again.
Even though he was able to cry and take his first breaths, with out any help, his lungs were too weak to continue to do this long term on his own. His breathing tube and the ventilator will continue to support Henry while his body and lungs grow so he could eventually (hopefully) be able to breath on his own one day.
I would sit at his bed and listen to all of the babies around him fuss and cry... These cries give hope to the other NICU moms and dads around us. They also gave me hope... if these nurses and doctors could keep these babies, not just breathing, but thriving, maybe my Henry can do it too.
In the beginning his ventilator did all the work, but day by day Henry was getting stronger, somedays weaker, but most days stronger. His oxygen levels were getting better and the rate of the ventilator was getting lower and lower... and then Sunday... Sunday morning I went in and the rate was just a little lower and the nurse said "I wonder if they are thinking about extubating him today?" these words felt like a hot tub on a snowy day.
So it happened! They pulled the tube! He graduated from the breathing tube to a mask. This little mask is called a BiPAP, it's much easier on his lungs, it uses a mild air pressure to keep the lungs open, but it makes him work for it more. So he will continue to get stronger! He still has a few steps to be oxygen/ventilator free... but this is a major victory.
The first couple of days he made some muffled sounds, nothing to note... but yesterday while Matt and I were adjusting his bed be started squirming and his heart rate was raising, he was ready to have his diaper changed and we were making him mad by taking too long... then it happened... That sweet sweet sound. The same exact cry from June 29th. Loud and proud.
Matt and I just looked at each other, silently, and we listened, with tears in our eyes.
Our sweet Henry got his voice back, and we couldn't be more proud of this accomplishment! To be so full of love and so proud of someone who has been alive for less then 2 months and weighs less then 2 pounds makes us wonder what type of marvel he will grow to be.
We love you Henry... You and that beautiful, beautiful sound!