Kaitlyn's second day was a good one. They slowly weaned her off of the ventilator overnight, and took out the breathing tube for good this morning at around 6 am, about 24 hours after delivery. They put a tube into her stomach to vent gas, which you can see in the pics below, and she still has an IV in her hand for antibiotics and nutrition. The next big challenge is learning how to eat. Shelly's been pumping for her, and Kaitlyn ate for the first time this afternoon; they had me just feed her on my lap, just holding a syringe and letting gravity pull it down through the tube into her stomach. (She should learn to suck and swallow on her own in a week or so.) But it didn't sit well; she had some bile buildup in her stomach, so they decided to take a break and try again tomorrow morning. Not too unusual for her age. Overall, she's very healthy, breathing on her own, no serious infections, and everything on track.
Shelly's still doing great. She's almost entirely over the flu; she still has the occasional cough, which is quite painful around the surgery site, but most of the time her pain is tolerable. It's frustrating that she can't see Kaitlyn, but hopefully soon they'll determine she's healthy enough to go into the nursery. Her mom is flying out tomorrow morning, will stay for a couple of days to oogle the baby, and then drive back to Hurricane with Damon, Audrey, and uncle Mike on Sunday. My mom will come out next week.
The nurses helped me learn how to do a few things throughout the day. I cathed her for the first time, which will definitely take some practice (and we will get plenty of it). And they showed me how to treat her back, which was pretty simple. I posted a picture below of the lesion site. The whole circular area is what was originally covered by the synthetic patch they put on her during the fetal surgery ten weeks ago; as you can see, her skin is growing over and has almost closed entirely on its own (the two whitish areas where the patch is still showing through). Everyone tells us it's healing very well, and the neurosurgeon seemed pretty happy with it, so it doesn't look like she'll need another surgery; she'll heal over on her own.