Monday, August 1, 2016

2016 Family Photos [Lifestyle]

Didn’t intend to withhold these photos for this long (it’s been over a month since our photography session), but between summer plans and moving to our new house, I honestly haven’t had time to go through them all and get them posted. Essentially our session was done in two parts: a lifestyle shoot – giving you somewhat a real look at what our home life looks like on a day-to-day basis, and a beautiful outdoor session a few minutes away from where we live.

These photos were taken by our family photographer, Jennie of Guenard Photography. I call her our family photographer, because she has been taking photos for us since we’ve gotten engaged….and somewhat been there every step of the way. Last year, around Evanna’s birthday, Jennie messaged me wanting to do something special for our family. During our abnormally long ICU admission we have received many offers of such kindness, but a gifted photo session while in the ICU is something I will treasure forever. It’s an experience that truly shaped and changed our family forever, and so those photos will always remain extremely sacred to me. If you haven’t seen them (or want to view them again), click HERE and HERE to see them. The photos that were taken last month makes these two sessions just over a year apart, so it’s actually quite fascinating to see the vast difference between them, and almost serve as a marker as to how far Evanna has come this past year.

I normally don’t caption many of my pictures (they often speak for themselves), but because a few of these photos will show situations and items people aren’t familiar with, I will add some descriptions to help explain what you are seeing. 


The first several photos of this post show Nick preparing Evanna’s feeds. The bag tubing is feed through a feeding pump which is hooked up to her GTube to administer Evanna her food. It currently takes about 30 – 40 minutes for the pump to run. 
A favorite toy of Evanna’s. 
Mortimer by Robert Munch is her absolute favorite book! She giggles so hard when Nick reads it to her (and it’s the cutest thing!). 
Suctioning Evanna through her little suction port. Suctioning can look somewhat different for many trach families – but this is how our setup. When Evanna builds up secretions and is unable to clear them herself, we have to use a suction machine. Connected to the suction machine is a catheter (we use a new one every 12 hours, and clean with an alcohol swab before each use), which we feed through the port to a set length (about 16cm), as it’s not good to constantly hit and irritate her carina at the bottom of her trachea. This allows us to suction Evanna’s secretions and clear her trach so she can breathe better. When we first came home, we did this at least once an hour (and up to every 20 minutes the first few hours after she woke up). We now only do this a handful of times within a span of 24 hours, as her body isn’t producing as much secretions, and Evanna is getting better at clearing them herself. 
Preparing a fresh oxygen tank and switching Evanna to her transport circuit for a trip out of the house. The difference between her home/stationary circuit/vent tubing and her transport circuit/vent tubing, is her home one encases a heated wire inside of it for the humidifier. When we take Evanna out, we use a “plainer” vent tubing and attach an “HME” between her trach and tubing that helps provide humidity instead. An HME isn’t has efficient as a humidifier, but once we start sprinting Evanna off the vent, we’ll be using an HME more and more. 
Switching Evanna over from her stationary vent + circuit to her transport one.

xo The Irvine Family

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