Sunday, March 25, 2012

Self Extubation (3/24)

God is in control, there is no denying this.  God orchestrates every single detail of every single day for His glory.  God answers prayer, there is no denying this.  He hears our prayers, and He loves His children, if we love our children and know how to give good gifts, how much more does God.  His love is perfect and it never fails, His gifts are perfect, they are for His glory and for our good.  This is a story that proved to us just how good God is, how intricately he orchestrates each day, how He hears our prayers and answers, and how He continues to show his presence.

We don't pretend to be good story tellers, but this is certainly a good story, and regardless of how it's told, we hope that you see God glorified through this story.  This all occured Thursday, 3/22.  To start this story, we need to let you know that on Thursday Thatcher's normal 2 doctors (Dr. L and Dr. D) were not making rounds, Dr. L was out of town and it must have been Dr. D's day off, and so we saw Dr. A for the first time.  When he came over we talked briefly about his current treatment and we asked for his opinions on the medication and some of the other questions we have been asking all the doctors and nurses.  We discussed his phenobarb levels, and we discussed his breathing on the ventilator.  He proceeded to let us know that typically a child who has been on the ventilator for this long (12 days of life) and not shown the ability to breath without it most likely will not be able to breath without it ever.  We asked about the depth of Thatcher's breathing, and he said that this was also concerning and another sign that Thatcher would not do well off of the ventilator.  He then went ahead to say that Thatcher will not be able to breath without the ventilator.  In his opinion, he would ultimately fail without the support of the ventilator providing him some breaths each minute.  Dr. A was the third of the three rounding doctors to tell us this.  With that said, our hope is not found in the doctors (and we are so glad!), we appreciate their wisdom and knowledge, and they certainly have a very difficult job, but our hope is in the Lord.  So the day progressed pretty normally from there, it wasn't too concerning that he had said this, as the other two had already said the same thing.  Then around 5:40 pm.  God decided that it was time to take out Thatcher's ventilator tube (ET tube that was in his wind pipe directly to his lungs).  He let Thatcher know and Thatcher taking after his namesake Caleb, listened and followed without fear knowing that God was on his side.  Here is what happened.  Around 5:40 we were moving Thatcher to get his vitals before his 6 o’clock feeding, and he started to gag.  No big deal, he does that a lot, so we suctioned his tube to get any secretions out that may be blocking his airway, and a ton came out, so we thought that all was well, and we went on our way.  Then he stopped breathing, so we suctioned again, and then he turned blue, so we stopped suctioning, and bagged him, he continued to turn blue.  He had turned the color he was when he was born.  It was as if there was no oxygen left in his body.  Every alarm on him was going off, and all of the nurses were tending to him at this time. As they bagged him, they continued to try and suction him, in hopes that there was some blockage in the tube that they could remove and he would start breathing again, and right at that time he started to throw up with such force that it got into the ET tube, they tried to suction it out of the tube, they had to stop bagging him so they didn't push his own vomit into his lungs.  It just kept coming, and at this point probably 2 minutes since the whole thing started, you could feel that the nurses were beginning to get antsy about the situation (the nurses did a phenomenal job, it was just a stressful situation), so they called the doctor quickly and let them know they were doing an emergency extubation.  Immediately after they pulled the tube and it slid out of his windpipe, but they couldn't use the bag as it still had Thatcher's throwup in it, so one of the nurses simply sat the bag near his mouth and cupped his nose and mouth so that the oxygen flowing through would be inhaled by Thatcher, but he was all on his own.  At this point his vitals went back into acceptable levels, he was breathing on his own.  What a miracle.  Soon after, the respiratory team was rushing in with a CPAP machine to put him on.  Finally, after what seemed like hours to us, they got him set up with a CPAP machine.  The CPAP machine is a huge step up from the ventilator, and is what we had been talking about doing as the next step for him, but every doctor we had talked to has told us that he will not be able to handle breathing outside of a ventilator.  The difference between CPAP and a ventilator is that the ventilator actually initiates breaths, the CPAP machine simply provides support for those breaths that Thatcher takes on his own.  We have felt cornered and pressured by the doctors to make decisions that we are not ready to make regarding extubation, and plan B if Thatcher doesn’t handle it, and they have been thrusting their advice of who to consider when making these decisions, and things of that sort, for example our "conference".  As we’ve talked about these types of decisions we have been praying that God would make these decisions for us, that they would be out of our hands, or at least be abundantly clear about what He would have us do.  As extubation was one of those decisions, this was absolutely an answered prayer.  This extubation was out of everyone's hands, this was not planned, this was not foreseen except by God.  God knew the timing He wanted, God knew that Thatcher would be able to handle it, God knew that the nurses would be able to handle the situation.  This emergency extubation, and getting Thatcher onto CPAP, was an answered prayer, and we pray that God is glorified for it.  Looking back even though we are only a few cays out now, it’s incredible to see how God has been preparing us for this, and how He orchestrated every detail.  We had the “dream team” of nurses (Whit called them that when we had walked in).  3 fantastic nurses were on duty that day, Nurse D (Thatcher’s nurse), Nurse P, and Nurse A.  These are three of the many wonderful nurses that we've had the pleasure to meet, yet another thing that God has orchestrated, Thatcher has had phenomenal care by the nurses.  Nathan randomly decided to come into town today and was at the hospital tonight.  Whit has had CPAP on her mind for the past 2 days and was not able to get it out.  Our devotion this morning in Jesus Calling was about being thankful and trusting in Him, and this seems to be the theme for today.  While this was going on, Eric was praying over and over again, “I trust you, breath your life into him, I trust you”; Whit was praying simply “Please God” over and over again, knowing that she needed to pray, yet not able to pray for anything specific and trusting that the Holy Spirit would intercede and trusting that God understood the groaning of her heart.  As this happened right about shift change for the nurses, we had to go to the lobby, so we walked out and let Whit's family know what had just happened and they were talking to Mrs. T who was there to pick up things for her son Isaiah, for us however, it was just to provide encouragement.  She has been in the NICU for 8 months, and she was proclaiming the power of our God, and providing us encouragement to trust in Him, and not to rely on the doctors, but to stand firm on the truth that our God is able, and He is Good, and that He loves His children.  Her strength and her faith were a true testament of what it looks like to rely fully on God.  Her strength and her faith to stand up to the doctors when they were all telling her that her baby would not survive, but she knew that God was telling her otherwise.  She repeated several times that “God is not an ‘indian giver’, he does not give us a miracle just to take it away again”.  She was on her way home to enjoy her son Isaiah this night.  We had also spoken with Dr. A this afternoon about Thatcher’s Phenobarb levels and the possibility of reducing them so he’s not so drowsy when we do take him off the ventilator and he agreed that it couldn’t hurt and has canceled the dose for tomorrow, perfect timing.  God thought of every single detail, and took the decision we didn’t want to make out of our hands, and is providing Thatcher with strength.  Thank you, Lord, for you are good.

The following day we prayed for Thatcher to remain strong, and that Thatcher would handle CPAP, that God would be his strength.  God provided, as Thatcher handled the new machine wonderfully, and, well, Friday turned out to be more than memorable as we heard Thatcher's voice for the first time on 3/23 at 10:30 pm.  He was stretching and letting air out of his stomach from the CPAP machine and he kind of "Sighed" as he let the air out, but he definitely used his vocal chords, and in case we didn't hear it the first time he did it 2 more times.  Then when we said good night to him, he "coo'd" to us.  His voice is so beautiful, and so strong, it was incredible.  With the breathing tube out, Thatcher has full use of his vocal chords, and he decided to show off a little last night.  Today he made several sighs and coo's and a couple of grunts, and every single one was music to our ears.  The best one, however, was when he got the hiccups, we felt terrible because no one likes the hiccups, but Thatcher was making a little squeak with every one and he sounded like a toy dog.  It was so precious, God is so good!

We have been on CPAP for a little over 2 days now and he is handling it extremely well, his settings are low, and he is breathing on his own.  His breathing is still shallow, but he is breathing enough to provide for his body, and we trust and know now more than ever that God is in control.  Praise the Lord!  Please pray with us that God would provide strength for Thatcher to breath.

Our prayer has been that God would awaken the Holy Spirit that dwells within Thatcher, to breathe with Thatcher, to move in and through Thatcher and by the perfection of the Holy Spirit that Thatcher's body would be healed.  Awaken the Holy Spirit inside of Thatcher, Lord, arouse your spirit, move your Spirit, God.  Move in and through Thatcher, breathe life into him, be his breath, be his strength.  Reveal your glory tonight as you breathe for Thatcher, as you heal Thatcher, as you continue to work.  God fill this place with your presence that it is so thick, that you can taste it, that you can feel it, God surround Thatcher, surround Thatcher Lord, as He breathes, let that breath be filled with your presence, would you fill him up, Lord.  Thank you for today, thank you for today.  You are good, and we praise you Father.  You are in control, he is in Your hands.  God thank you, we trust you.


This was right after the extubation, his first few minutes on the CPAP machine.  Also the first time we were able to fully see those lips!!!

They have to take it off every once in a while to give his head a rest from the head gear.  We love seeing him like this!

31 comments:

  1. Praise God! And you guys are good story tellers, by the way. Praying for Thatcher's continued healing!!

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  2. What a blessing! Praising God with you for Thatcher's continued improvement.

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  3. Praise You Lord for who you are and your almighty healing touch!

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  4. Yeah God! He is still God and He is in control and He does answer prayer! He is able to do exceedingly abundantly More than we can even begin to comprehend. Praise God!

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  5. Such a miracle; God is so good! I continue to pray for all of you, especially Thatcher! He is a fighter. Hang in there and stay strong!

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  6. And look at his open hand - not clenched and tight. He is such a beautiful baby. A child of God for sure and so lucky to have such a great Mommy and Daddy to fight on his behalf. You are right, God is in control. His timing is perfect, and He will show you the way. My prayers will continue as you wait for more answers. God is holding you all in his loving arms.

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  7. Sweet, sweet little man! LOVE that he's singing to you two! Simply incredible.

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  8. So beautiful! God is such a great author of our stories. All praise and honor to him. Such a perfect picture of when we are weak, God can show how strong He is.

    Everlasting Arms


    This little precious child,
    We commit him now to Thee.
    Through his feeble state he proves
    how powerful You can be.
    From your mighty hand bestow
    on this child of Yours
    the breath that is within You
    so that his wings may soar.
    And when he is too weak to stand,
    give him a strength that’s from above.
    May You always be his refuge
    ‘neath everlasting arms of love.


    -Kim M. Clark-


    The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are
    the everlasting arms of love. Deuteronomy 33:27

    Love and prayers from Birmingham, AL

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  9. Wow! Amazing story that Gods will will be done. Go guys and GO BABY THATCHER

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  10. He is such a beautiful baby! What good news! Praise God!!!!!

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  11. As an volunteer for the NICU at Texas Children's I work with many families in your situation. God is everywhere and does amazing things there constantly. Will continue to pray your your sweet baby.

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  12. The Hnath family (CRBC)March 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Praise God for ever, praying for you and the miracle baby, T. Caleb.

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  13. Amazing... tears of joy for you. What a beautiful precious boy and your faith is amazing!

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  14. There is NOTHING God cannot do! PRAISE GOD for His Healing Touch on Thatcher!!! We are continuing to pray for your truly remarkable family, who have Blessed more people than we could ever imagine by exhibiting such an astonishing FAITH during the deepest of valleys!

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  15. Baby Thatcher, you are so dear to your parents, and extended family. I pray you continue to fight and show everyone you are a a child of God. You are such a beautiful boy, and I can see what "Joy" you bring to your mommy and daddy, when you show the doctors you are strong.
    Love you little guy.

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  16. I look forward to your updates and want you to know your strength and unrelenting faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is such a testament. My prayers continue for you and your precious baby.... I too have a Caleb....a true warrior for our God!

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  17. Praise God...He is so good!!!

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  18. What a huge blessing and answer to prayer- God is good!

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  19. I had my own miracle child in the NICU seven years ago and God is present. God is good all the time. Reading your struggles takes me back to my time at the hospital and I realize that the only thing that carried us through was prayer. Pray without ceasing and trust HIS plan. I pray for all of you and your amazing miracle child.

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  20. Our family continues to pray for you and your sweet boy!! We have a 5 month old in NICU at Texas Children's and I feel for you both. It is so difficult to hear everything horrible the doctors are going to tell you but knowing that God has the plan, not the doctors, makes it so much easier. Our son Cashton was on the ventilator for over 3 months and then bounced between the CPAP and vent for a month. Listen to the doctors but hear God!! He will take care of your sweet boy!! Don't ever be devestated by news the doctors tell you, just pray about it and things will turn out different. In December we were told due to the brain atrophy that our son would have severe mental retardation, as of today he shows no signs of that and actually shows no signs of any deficencies. God is good!!!! Our prayers are with you and your sweet boy!!!

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  21. Amen, God blessed this sweet baby with an amazing mommy and daddy. You were trusted with Thatcher. Continued prayers.

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  22. So happy to hear this story of hope and am continuing to pray for sweet Thatcher, as well as strength for the parents & family going through this.
    You're doing amazing.
    -Stacy

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  23. You have a beautiful son and a beautiful faith.

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  24. Eric and Whitney, I continue to be totally encouraged by YOUR Faith. I will continue to lift up Thatcher in prayer every day. My staff at the store continue to ask how Thatcher is doing and look forward to hearing updates on how God is working in young Thatcher. God Bless You and thank you for sharing your Journey with everyone. May God continue to be GLORIFIED!

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  25. WOW just amazing! To see God move and work right before your own eyes! justin and I will continue to pray for these miracles in yours and Thatcher's life! We are so honored to be apart by reading his story! You guys are amazing examples of Christ followers! Continue to trust even during the uncertainties. We are praying for you! love, natalie kirtley

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  26. That is AMAZING! God is showing that He is in control and already has His plan worked out for Thatcher. No matter what the doctors say, He is the ultimate decision-maker. Your story has touched me and strengthened my faith in God. I have always wondered what it would have been like in Biblical times to see Jesus work His many miracles. Reading your blog, I get the sense of how it must have been to be a witness to such amazing things. Everytime Thatcher, you, and your family come to mind, I say a prayer for you, which is very often. We do not know one another as we share a mutual friend. I thank you for sharing your story because I can only imagine how difficult it must be at times to write the things you are writing. By doing this, I believe you have guided countless people to a stronger relationship with God and made many non-believers believe. What a testament for you and your sweet baby! Continued prayers for strength, peace, and healing for Thatcher, you, and your family.

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  27. God knows this boy and what his needs are. He continues to provide. I know hearing his voice was just the beginning of what he has for you from your son. God bless and provide for Thatcher.

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  28. Praising God for Thatcher and his progress. Continued prayers for him and you. What a testamony of faith this is and I know God is using this touch literally thousands of people. May Thatcher continue to get healther and healther! Thank you Father for answered prayers!

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