Yes, the trach is out. We're home now, and we're on day three with no trach, no suction, and no emergency bag. The expensive diaper bag that never got to hold diapers, now does. We're transitioning well. Very well actually....although when I got home it was something short of frantic to start reorganizing Joel's room. The respiratory stuff I'm holding for another family and missions trips, and after nursing is gone (Sunday) we'll move the couch downstairs.
It's weird. I thought I'd be a crazy freak watching Joel every second, but I actually have to remind myself to. The moment I took the trach out, breathing for him normally seemed so easy. And natural. His sats actually jumped from 92 to 96 upon capping his trach, and they've stayed high since taking it out completely. Some things will take a while to adjust to, however. Sneezing. Sneezing isn't as fun as it used to be....it now ends up a cough/sneeze/gag. He's used the the gag-routine so he gets over it quickly, but I can't even imagine what that must feel like for him. Hiccups are different too. His throat wasn't able to close before, so it made a much different sound. He has a panicked look when he gets them, which is often, so there's lots of applauding going on for each hiccup. :) Coughing has gotten easier, but I think he expects us to just suction him if he doesn't do it? He doesn't want to cough when he doesn't have to, so that may take training, but his cough is strong, and I'm thankful for that right now.
Joel's new favorite things:
-Blabbering about everything and anything.
-Grabbing at his bandage. I'm sure it bothers him, but it might also just be habit from taking of his HME's
-Talking himself to sleep
-Shaking his head no. Didn't think about this until yesterday, but that giant wad of scar tissue could have been from the trach rubbing on the back of his throat from this very gesture.
-Attempting to crawl. He took two "hand steps" today. Given that he's exerting less energy to breathe, I think his physical mobility is a lot easier now.
And my new favorite things.
-Hearing him breathe from his mouth and nose.
-Watching him discover his new sounds
-Being able to sleep next to him
-Getting to hold him up to me, with his head nuzzled in my neck....this is my very favorite. I haven't been able to do that without a piece of plastic in the way....since Joel was 4 days old. It was the first thing I loved when I took his trach out. I got to have our bodies close to each other, for the first time in almost a year. I get to feel my baby breathing on my neck.
I'm overflowing with thanks. And emotion. And love for this past year, and all that this next year holds. I'm overflowing.