Addison and the Failed Extubation

Friday was a really rough day. Addison was supposed to get her breathing tube taken out of her mouth to see if she could breathe with even more minimal support than she already was getting.

It didn’t work.


I was SO excited for the day and even got to the hospital early so I could be there for rounds. The doctor came in later than I thought he would be, and the resident, interns, nurse, respiratory therapist, and myself all gathered around Addison waiting for the doctor to mention extubation. He asked the nurse and RT if they thought Addison was ready, and they excitedly told him they believed she was. I chimed in as well, excited that I would finally see her lips uncovered with tape. Well… extubation didn’t work. I watched the RT and nurse take Addison’s tape off- something I’d seen plenty of times before when they would try to reposition her breathing tube. I saw her gorgeous lips for a little bit and tried to record what was going on with my phone since Mathew had to work. They tried to put her on a cannula, and she struggled a LOT. I saw her gasp for air and really force her breathing, and I tried to help the nurse and RT with whatever they needed…until I realized things were getting a lot more serious and they would need to try various other forms of support.

As they tried the other forms of support, I saw her lips turn blue, her body getting pale, Addison gasping for a decent breath, and hearing her cry with a raspy voice because her tube had been in her throat so long. I stood back and somehow made it to my big reclining chair, while the team of doctors rushed to her side to reintubate her.

I. Was. Frozen.

Addie’s heart rate dropped, and all I could do was sit in my chair and listen to an intern yell out her heart rate for the doctor to hear. Interns were calling the charge nurse and the ENT doctor, and she couldn’t breathe and there was nothing I could do but watch. It was awful. Finally, the charge nurse took me out of the NICU so they could get a tube back in Addison’s airway, and I was taken to the parent lounge where I sobbed with the mom whose little baby boy has a bed right by Addison. I was so thankful for her letting me cry on her shoulder for those 2 minutes that passed until the charge nurse came back and said Addison was successfully reintubated. After a few more minutes, I was allowed back to Addison’s bedside and saw her acting as if nothing happened (even though she was a bit pale).


I know God has a plan for Addison. He has PERFECT timing and is NEVER wrong. That isn’t to say that this didn’t hurt my heart and I’m not traumatized, because it did and I AM, but I have to try to have faith that this was all for a reason.

Currently the doctor is planning to just give Addison rest until Thursday or Friday and then try again with extubating. Addison’s failed extubation could have just been because she had just had a bronchoscopy the day before and her airway could’ve been swollen. Since Addison takes longer to heal than most kids her age, taking it slow right now and letting her rest is the best thing. This week the doctor has plans to not make any major changes on anything so Addison can just take it easy. We’re waiting patiently and I’m honestly so nervous about another extubation. What if it fails again? What will happen if I can’t be in the same room when she gets extubated? What if I have to watch it all over again?

Faith is a scary thing- especially when it comes to something serious like extubation. I’m praying that all Addison needs is just more time. In the mean time, I hope that you’ll pray with us that Addison will not have another failed extubation and she will be able to breathe with minimal support come Thursday or Friday.

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  1. That’s such a hard thing for a Momma to see.
    Praying hard this week that the next extubation goes smoothly for little Addison.

  2. Jessica McCoy says:

    I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. I will be praying all week that things go GREAT on the next try.

  3. I have been following your pregnancy since before we even knew you were trying. I loved all your posts documenting everything from day one. LOVED IT!! And I still check on you and baby A every day. Weather it be facebook, insta or your blog. I am a mother myself. 2 Beautiful little girls. my oldest was a NICU baby and it truly is the hardest thing you have ever seen in your life. I am thinking of you and your beautiful little lady as well as your husband and sending good vibes your way. I do have to say though that last picture takes my breath away, the way she is looking at you OMG those eyes. I LOVE IT! Know she will look at you with that amazing gaze forever. That look of love is indescribable…Stay strong for her, for your husband and for yourself. Know people are thinking of you all and wishing you well.

  4. You and your little girl are in my heart, Stephanie.

  5. I just read your story for the first time. I’m so sorry for all you, your family, and Addison are going through. I’m praying for miraculous healing for Addison and that this weeks procedure goes perfectly. You are right, God had a plan. He will turn what the enemy is using against you for the glory of the Kingdom. Rely on his strength, he is strong enough for all of you.
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  6. Oh my heart breaks with you just reading this. These set backs in the NICU are so awful, but don’t lose hope as yes they can and will be overcome. She is strong and amazing and so are you. I will continue to keep your whole family and the doctors caring for your sweet little girl in my prayers.
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