Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sick of it all

It all started with Ellie's week in the hospital and the subsequent annoying infections. Then Luke came down with croup, has had a nonstop runny nose, and busted up the inside of his upper lip. Now he has pink eye, and has thrown up his dinner two nights this week. Knock on wood that we've escaped the big D.

Good times.

It's only the end of November, we've got 4 more months of winter to get through.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Dearest Luke

To think yesterday he was climbing the dining room chairs and hoisting himself onto the table. We made a breakthrough today, he climbed into his booster seat to color, no fighting or kicking and screaming for a "real" chair. He even gave me a kiss.

Oh my sweet boy, thanks for teaching me how to be a mom. Sticky raisin fingers and all.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

If Only

The room was dark, illuminated by the glow of the television as Elle and I sat in bed. She vigorously nursed as I tried to find something other than the Magic Bullet infomercial to keep my attention. John sat up as if the alarm was ringing, jolted out of a deep sleep he slipped out of bed, a confused look on his face as he stammered to the bathroom. As he came back to bed, he curled himself around me and whispered, "I met your dad."

Every once in a great while we dream of our dads. They are rare gifts that leave us as if we've been touched by angels.

John never met my father and has only heard his voice from old family videos, but we haven't sat down and watched one in years. Unfortunately in this dream my father didn't speak to him. I was hoping for some guidance or words of wisdom.

Apparently Ellie was two years old or so, walking about, she slipped out of the babygate and was on the front porch. My father rescued her, swooped her up in his arms and held her tight. He saved her. He smiled as John watched from the doorway.

We feel your arms around us Dad. They're tight, oh so tight. So safe and warm and strong.

If only these dreams could come true.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PSA: Pharmacists Make Mistakes

MLs are not the same as Tsps.

Our pharmacy dispensed us new meds for Elle's persistant case of thrush, the dosage was 1/2 tsp on day one, 1 and 1/4 tsp (which seemed like an awful lot for a 4 week old) days two through fourteen. I gave her the day one and two doses and thought there was no way I was going to have enough medicine to last me twelve more days. After talking with sister-in-law and confirming it with the pediatrician we realized that the dosage was way off, it should have said 1 and 1/4 ml, NOT tsp.

I gave her four times the amount of medcine she needed in one day.

Thank God it wasn't toxic. The pharmacist sounded like he was shaking in his boots when I called up to explain. They also had the wrong prescribers name and number, Bay Optical is not my pediatrician.

Nice attention to detail, eh?

I guess we have to be our own advocates and question everything. Scary, scary stuff.

Moral of the story: Please read your medicine labels carefully and if it seems wrong, call to confirm that it's right.

Rockin' The Suburbs

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's the Yeast of my Worries*

"I'm just trying to breastfeed my baby!" I said to the pharmacist, with tears in my eyes and frustration consuming my body.

The thrush infection started to return with a vengance this week in both Elle and me, by Friday I had had it. I called my OB's office and pleaded with them to put me on some sort of medication because her medication wasn't treating me like the pediatrician said it would. The infection was beginning to rage through my system (gross, I know, seriously) and the insides of her cheeks were dotted with white patches. Don't even get me started on our diapering situation, her bottom is a red, raw, splotchy mess. Every four hours we're treating each other, she's more than likely just swallowing the solution that should be coating her tongue, how do you get a 3 week old to swish? Grr. And me, well I'll leave you without all the gorey details of my trials.

So anyway, the pharmacy said they never got the call-in from my OB when I went to get the script on Friday night. Of course it was after 5pm and I couldn't get through to a doctor, I left a message and got no response. Saturday was a bit of a whirlwind, I think I was trying to ignore the problem, but this morning while hanging at our playgroup one of my mom friends said she and her daughter battled it for 6 months and at one point it got so bad she had it as well, in her mouth and down her throat. OH. MY. GOD. So we arrived back home and I immediately called the pediatrician, they called in a new script for Elle, this would be stronger and is thankfully just one dose a day. Then I called my general practitioner to see if they could call in something for me and after three phone calls back and forth with a nurse who didn't quite understand what I needed told me to call my OB. Frustrated and pissed I finally got through to the OB, she said she would call the pharmacy herself and call in the script, gave me some words of encouragement (praise the lord it's only one pill a day for ten days, this is so much easier than the previous scenario) and wished me well. An hour or so later I went to pick up the magic potions and the pharmacist breaks the news to me that our insurance hasn't approved the prescriptions and it might be up to three days before they can give me the medications.

Three days? I started to cry. Thankfully I was in my car in the drive thru and thankfully it was an understanding female pharmacist. I said, isn't this a common ailment, why has it been so hard for me to get this prescription? I just want to get better and I can't let this infection go untreated for three more freaking days. She was as confused as I was, said that I could pay them in full and sympathetically gave us a discount on one of the items. So $95 later I had our three prescriptions and said I would fight the insurance company on Monday to get reimbursed.

I've had moments where I just want to give up on breastfeeding, but I can't do it. I won't give in. She's too young, she needs the comfort and she's a champion nurser. Sometimes you've got to take the long road, for whatever reason. Thankfully she's a fabulously easy baby in every other way.

*Alternate titles: Beauty and the Yeast, Yeast of Burden (sorry I couldn't resist!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Window Shopping

We finally have draft-free, insulated windows in our living room! We've been living with drafty, poorly installed windows for three years, we could practically see the money slipping through the gaping window sills every winter, but finally we're on the mend! Yesterday we had two of the three windows in our living room replaced. Thanks to the delivery guy who dropped the third one and broke it, we're going to look kind of funky for the next week until the replacement comes in.

Out with the old.....(see the condensation and cloudiness!)

and in with the new (don't worry the one on the left will soon be the same as the one on the right!)

In other news our living room looked like this morning...

and my lovely and supportive husband, knowing full well that I've got a huge case of cabin fever and haven't been out of the house in days told me to go. Get out. Go shopping, get yourself a Starbucks coffee, use the credit card, do whatever, just go, have fun, enjoy yourself. So I fed Elle, he made an in-case-of-emergency bottle then put Luke down for a nap, and was picking up the destruction as I dashed out the door.

Sheer bliss.

I wandered through Target, purchased some shoes at Payless, skipped the coffee, dodged crazy-holiday shoppers, felt rejuvinated and headed home to my three blessings.

New windows, new shoes, and a great family. Life is grand.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Big Brother Love

There are no words that can top this moment, just a huge swelling heart full of sweet mama love. What gets me the most is his chubby toddler hand carressing her delicate little head. Such a gentleman already.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The antics of two under two

We've been home one week as a full-fledged family of four and the poop has hit the, um, tub.

In one week we've been diagnosed with thrush (Elle and me), croup (Luke), and a sinus/ear infection (me). The doc won't treat my sinus infection with antibiotics as it will make the thrush worse for both of us so I have to use a neti pot to clean my sinuses out. I'm not sure that the neti pot is working yet or not. Tonight we put Luke in the steamy bathroom and then sent him out into the cold air (doctor's suggesting for ridding him of The Croup topped off with a teaspoon of benadryl), he was pissed and confused as to what the hell we were doing to him. After all that John put him in the tub to kick off the nighttime routine of tub/books/bed.

I was doing the dishes and all I heard was, "he pooped in the toilet! Honey! He pooped in the toilet!" Confused by this I went into the bathroom where John was hiking Luke out of the tub and I said, "toilet?? He pooped in the toilet??"

Uh, no. He pooped in the tub. The craziness of it had his father tongue-tied.

Huge poop in the tub. He's never done this before. So as I stared at the poopy tub and thought um, how do we clean this, Ellie starts screaming bloody murder.

Calgon take me away.

Thankfully it's almost 9:30, Luke's been in bed for two hours and no barking seal noises have been heard. Cross your fingers that we've somehow cured him.

Ellie's arrival

We woke early on the morning of October 22, anticipation and anxiousness filled the house as we clumsily got ourselves ready. Luke had spent the night at my brother's house as we were scheduled to arrive at the hospital at 6am. Scheduled. It was all planned out, it would be routine. Arrive at the hospital at 6am, register and check-in downstairs, find our room in the Snuggery and get prepped with an IV, catheter, etc. John was to change into his "daddy scrubs" and we'd walk ourselves down the hall to the operating room and have ourselves a baby.

I had myself in a tizzy, too anxious, too aware of what was about to happen, already being a mom to one I was petrified of something going wrong during the surgery. I almost passed out when they stuck me with the IV, seriously they had to use the "smelling salts" on me to whip me out of the tunnel I was going down. John thought if I had to smell it he should too so the nurse waved it under his nose and he practically jumped out of his skin. It's potent stuff alright. So after that calamanity I thought for sure I had myself together, it was going to be fine, I could do it.

As we were waiting in the recovery room while they prepped the operating room the anesthesiologist came to tell us how the spinal would go and what the side-effects would/could be. All I heard him say was that it was common to shake, vomit, and have a terrible headache after all was said and done. Okay I thought, well I shook last time so I'm sure that will happen again, but the anxiety started to creep back up at the thought of the huge-ass needle numbing 90% of my body. And at that moment they said they were ready for me. John was asked to wait until I was fully prepped and they would get him when it was time, he kissed me, wished me good luck and told me to stay strong. The needle went in okay, I didn't flinch like I thought I would but it certainly felt weird on my left side and I kept telling them that. I dont' know if it was normal or not, but within a few seconds I was completely warm and numb. I thought, Oh my God, I'm here, it's happening, the past 9 months are over, we're having a baby, in just a few minutes I'm going to meet her. It was overwhelming. And then I started to gag. Convulse even. Laying flat on my back with my head turned to the right I started to throw up. Flourescent green bile was spewing everywhere. I was choking and gagging and the nurses were clammering for one of those u-shaped pepto pink recepticals for me. John finally came in and before he entered they were trying to clean up the floor of puke and then the gagging started again. I remember him saying, "oh honey, no, it's okay" with every convulsion. I must say it's particularly hard to throw-up while on your back and completely numb all over.

With all that distraction I had no clue that they had started the surgery already and within minutes Ellie Grace was out. There was much commotion and betting going on regarding how much she weighed and John won the bet with a guess of 9.6, father knows best. She wasn't crying right away, and I couldn't see her all that well for the first few minutes and then like with Luke, off they went with her with John in tow leaving me to be sewn up.

When I was wheeled out of the OR and into the recovery room the first thing I saw was John walking around with little Ellie snuggly cradled in the crook of his arm. The excitement and anticipation were over and we were finally going to get a chance to coo over the little one together. I held her, finally, and we commented on how much she looked like her brother when he was born.

And then it stopped. The nurses looked at her, noticed her lips turning blue, mentioned something about TTN (transient tachypnea of the newborn) and said they had to take her to the Special Care Nursery. Dr. Finkowski said not to worry it was common and they were just being extra careful. John went to find my mom and I was left there to be monitored for the next hour or so before being wheeled back to my room where I hoped to rejoin my baby.

The rest of the day was a blur, they mentioned that she maybe had pneumonia or an infection, that her breathing was rapid, she was on oxygen and was going to need antibiotics. We might be in for a longer stay, it was all up in the air at that point. They had to do bloodwork, a blood culture, and an xray. And since I had a spinal I couldn't get out of bed until 10pm or so that evening if at all.

Scheduled and planned and routine went out the window.

I finally did see her that night however. John brought me to the nursery in a wheelchair, we felt like an old couple slowly wandering the hospital halls. We sat there and teared up as we looked at our helpless daughter. She was hooked up to two broad-spectrum IV antibiotics, an IV for nourishment, an oxygen hood covered her head and there was a thin tube down her throat that was sucking out all the mucus she had inhaled that was causing the infection. Her breathing was fast and shallow, no deep breaths, just panting. Her rate of breathing was 128 breaths per minute compared to a normal infant who breathes 40 breaths per minute, it was exhausting to watch. The nurses said that while not that common, it happens and usually resolves itself in a matter of days. They warned us to be prepared to stay for a week, that it could be pneumonia which requires seven days of treatment. And in the end that's just what happened.

For the next three days we danced between visiting her in the special care nursery where all we could do was stare at her and pray to visiting with family and friends who stopped in with flowers and gifts, cards and hugs. It was emotionally draining, we had a baby and yet we couldn't hold her or feed her or barely even touch her. Friday night the nurses said that most likely she'd be off the oxygen by morning as her breathing was down to the 80s and 90s. I didn't want to get my hopes up so I tricked myself into thinking that they never said that, I couldn't handle a "most likely" I needed a yes or no. Early the next morning I went down to see her as I couldn't sleep and the nurse who was caring for her was just about to change her sheets and asked me to hold her while she did so. It was heavenly. In the twilight of the early morning hours I sat in the rocking chair and held my baby for real, she was hooked up to wires and IVs and we almost all got completely entangled with each other but it was the most precious five minutes I could have ever asked for. Her black hair was dewey and damp from being under the moist oxygen and her grip was strong, she held onto my finger with such intensity that I knew we'd all come out of this stronger.

Later that day she was off of the oxygen and I finally got to feed her, John got to hold her and we had our moment of fawning over her as we should have three days before. She quickly progressed to rooming in with us for most of the day but had to spend the night in the nursery for monitoring. I was thankful for every precious moment, when she was with me she barely spent anytime in her "crib", all we did was snuggle and sleep and stare at each other. Of course then the jaundice set in and she was back in the nursery and had to be "under the lights" for 24 hours. I was still able to feed her but the cuddle time was taken away. On her one week birthday we were discharged and sent home for good. A clean bill of health, a happy and content baby and relieved parents.

It was a long road Ellie, so many people were there for us, praying and hoping. Your dad and Will made wishes in the hospital fountain and your brother, too young to fully understand certainly looked over you with real honest concern. We love you, you were worth the wait.