Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sprout 2 Months!

As much as I'd like to admit that it doesn't feel like Sprout's been around for 2 months, it doesn't feel that way at all.  It feels much loooonger. Haha.

Sprout is a much different baby than Bean was.  She's making me realize I have no idea what I'm doing and I feel like a first time mom all over again.  I've had to call friends and ask for a ton of advice on her eating habits and she's only 2 months old! I have a feeling this girl is going to give me a run for my money.

She's pretty high maintenance - won't take bottles, refuses pacifiers, and only wants me all the time. She eats every 1-3 hours.  She'll tend to cluster in the mornings, take a long nap in the afternoon, cluster feed again through the evening, and then sleep for up to 5 hours at night.  Some days it is very draining (add Bean's energy and constant desire to learn) and I find myself literally in survival mode.  I have to just live in the moment and pray Sprout will finally nap in her swing and I can either give Bean some attention or take care of items around the house.

(This carrier has gotten quite the workout.  She gets worn A LOT! It's my key to success from grocery shopping to cooking dinner to any other household chore.)

In the past month, she's started to develop a little bit of a personality. I think she's going to be a little bit more serious than Bean, but will sometimes break out in smiles and sweet coos.  She is pretty loud when she cries and has earned the nickname of "Squawks".  She can go from completely quiet to meltdown mode rather quickly.  Maybe it is just her way of being heard over big sister??

(Laughing over gas in her tummy)

Bean is still enthralled with Sprout.  She showed just a few signs of behavioral issues in the first few weeks, but now has accepted Sprout's place in our home.  We've had minimal discipline issues and she's proving to be quite the helper.  She'll happily get wipes and diapers for us when we need them and is constantly asking to give Sprout kisses. She still plays a little rough with her and we can't fully trust her alone with Sprout.  But she isn't rough out of jealousy or anger; I joke that if something happens to Sprout at Bean's doing, it's because she was "loved too much".

("I hug her" - Bean)

(I look forward to watching these two grow up together.  Pretty sure they'll be complete opposites in personality, but hopefully best friends!)

("(Sprout) needs glasses" - Bean.  Poor Sprout has to deal with all sorts of big sister's antics from stickers on her face to random glasses.)

Sprout is gaining weight like a champ (revert back to her eating All.The.Time.) and weighed in at 11 pounds 11 ounces & 23" long at her 2 month check last week.  She had to get 3 shots and was pretty upset by them.  I couldn't get her to calm down and had to just strap her in her car seat sobbing.  She wore herself out and took a long nap while we went grocery shopping.

Her 2 month check marked the first time I was "that mom" at an appointment.  I came in with a written list of questions to ask the doctor.  Sprout has been having lots of digestive issues -- poops only once a week (which can be normal for breastfed babies; however, she gets irritable and grunts a lot around day 5), is super gassy (like tootin' all the time) and it is super smelly (which typically breastfed babies' poop doesn't smell).  The consensus is that we need to get her digestive tract moving more to see if it eliminates all the issues.  If it does, then I'll look into possible diet changes for myself.  So the current regimen is a little bit of mirilax daily.  Since she doesn't do bottles, I always try a bottle at first, but end up feeding it to her in a syringe.  I just started giving it to her and don't have any conclusive data.

(Sprout doesn't typically spit-up; but when she does, it;s quite the production.  She has a sensitive gag reflex - which may be why she wont take bottles/pacifiers.  She also tends to puke when she needs to poop-around day 5 after her last poop.)

(This is what happens when you only poop once a week.  It is out of control!)

(She loves baths! She loves to kick her feet in the water. When Bean was a baby, she got nightly baths, or maybe every other night if we were busy. Sprout is lucky to get 2-3 baths a week, haha.)

When it comes to sleeping, there's good nights and bad nights.  If I'm lucky, she'll go to sleep by 10, wakes between 2-3am, then again around 5-6am, and up around 8am.  However, last night she wouldn't go to sleep until 11pm, then ate at 12am, 3am, 6am, 7am, and up at 8am.  You win some you lose some.  Thankfully, Bean has been a rock star with sleeping going from 9pm to 7:30/8:30am.  When the stars align and both girls are sleeping during nap time, I try to sleep a little myself.

Sprout keeps us on our toes and is very unpredictable, but one look at her smile or listening to her sweet coos makes it all worth while!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sprout's Sickness Pt 2

Steve and I left the house with Sprout around 5 in the evening.  We stopped for dinner along the way and got to the hospital just before 7. We went to the ER as directed by our doctor and waited to be registered.  Since our doctor had called ahead, they had her paperwork all ready to go; but that was about all the help calling ahead was.  We still had to wait in the waiting room until our number was called to be seen.  We waited for about 15 min to be called back for her to be assessed.  They took her weight and temp (101.8) and listened to our story of why we were there.  They made some notes in the computer and sent us back out to wait again.

We ended up waiting another 1.5 hours before we were called back to an actual exam room around 10pm.  Luckily I had just finished feeding Sprout when we got called back, because they didn't want her to eat for the next 4 hours.  Once we got into the exam room (just a small room with 1 chair and a gurney), they got to work ordering tests and listening to our story again (we literally told the story 5 times to different people).  They took another urine sample, x-rays, blood work, and added an ultrasound to their list.

(Per a nurse's suggestion, we put a blanket over Sprout's seat in the waiting room to keep her air "clean".  We originally had a nice spot in the corner away from any sick people.  But then we got called to have some preliminary stuff done and when we returned our spot was gone.  We ended up in an area with a ton of sick people.  It's amazing Steve and I didn't end up with anything when we got home.)

(Finally in an exam room awaiting tests.  She was most comfortable laying on her own.  She would cry when she was touched, even when I would hold her - especially while eating.)

At 12:30, we had just finished up the tests and were waiting on an IV to be inserted.  We were treated with turkey sandwiches while we waited.  Once the IV was in, some antibiotics were started and we waited for a room to open up and us to be admitted.  We were transferred to the infectious disease ward at 2:30.  I rode in a wheel chair and held Sprout during the transfer (such weird hospital rules!).

(It was just turkey and bread, haha. We were given packets of mustard and mayo, but really it didn't help.)

I hadn't been allowed to feed Sprout since we had gotten in the exam room at 10.  She was being a trooper, but I was ready to feed her and get to bed.  We were rapidly approaching the 24 hour mark of being awake and our tempers were short.  I had a little meltdown about feeding Sprout and sent Steve to the car to get our belongings.  The resident on call came in while he was gone and gave us the run down on what was next.  He told me to go ahead and feed Sprout and then him and his team would be back in for a spinal tap.  That was the hardest test we had to watch.  They couldn't do a local anesthetic because she was too small and her skin too thin.  They worked as quick as possible and we were all able to go to sleep by 4am - Sprout in her little crib, Steve on a pull out chair, and me in a recliner.

(Sprout's room in Infectious Disease -5B- Ward.  She chilled out in that little crib, Steve in the chair in that nook, and me in the recliner on the right in front of the bathroom door.  It was a surprisingly big room.)

Our morning started early - around 8:30 - when the doctors came to Sprout's room for rounds.  Steve slept while the attending & residents did their rundown of Sprout's situation.  I filled in information as it was needed.  They all agreed that she was a sick baby.  She would cry out in pain when they tried to touch her and she just overall looked and acted miserable.  Based on some blood counts, they decided to change her antibiotic regimen from Ampicillin to Vancomycin.  They knew she was fighting some sort of infection, they just weren't sure if it was bacterial (treatable with antibiotics) or viral (non-treatable). The rest of the day was a waiting game. We wouldn't know if it was bacterial until 24 hours after the blood cultures were started (which would be around 3am the next morning).

(What a trooper!  She loves to sleep with her arms up by her head, even with an IV!)

(Morning rounds - The guy on the left of the crib was the main resident we dealt with the most and the lady on the right was the attending.)

They day just consisted of nurses checking on Sprout's vitals, delivering her antibiotics every 4 hours, and us napping when possible.  We also received a surprise visit from our pastor and his wife - what a blessing those two people are! We had lunch delivered to the hospital from a local brunch place (breakfast nachos?! Delicious!).  Throughout the day, I was able to feed Sprout without any interventions (meaning, she always nursed when she wanted with no restrictions from doctors).  Steve was able to check in with work periodically and I mostly spent my day updating people on Sprout's status.

Later in the afternoon, one of the residents came in to let us know there was a hit in the blood work and that Sprout had Parechovirus.  It's a relatively new disease and appears differently in everyone.  Adults can be a carrier with no symptoms or have symptoms similar to a cold or diarrhea; however, it hits hard in babies.  We were then informed that they would continue the antibiotics until the 24 hour mark.  If the bacterial cultures were to come back negative, then antibiotics would be stopped and we would be looking at going home the next day.  Steve grabbed dinner in the food court for us (and discovered that the hospital only had diet drinks to offer, sorry Steve) and we went to bed as soon as Sprout was ready!

The next day, my good friend (okay, really I should just call her sister because she's definitely reached that status years ago) April came to the hospital to spend time with us and love on Sprout.  She got there just before the morning rounds started.  During the residents/attending pow-wow, we were informed that bacterial cultures were negative and antibiotics had been stopped.  Assuming nothing changed during the day, we would be discharged in the afternoon.  The doctors were all commenting on what a different baby Sprout was.  She didn't scream out in pain when they touched her, was much more active than she had been, and her fever was gone.

(Look how much better she looks! I never even realized how sick she was until she was healthy!)

(April meeting Sprout for the first time and giving her extra cuddles and love!)

They day seemed to go by quick (maybe it was the good company)! We were told to watch out for a rash, which did end up showing up.  The resident came back in and verified that it was just the next stage of the virus and that it was nothing to worry about.  The rash went away as quick as it came on (which was weird to me, but what do I know about viruses??).

(Rashy baby! The bottoms of her feet were bright red and you can see the rash in her elbows.  It didn't seem to bother her at all, and it was only around for maybe an hour.)

Before we left, April and I headed down to the rood court for lunch.  We grabbed some food and made our way back to Sprout's room.  Upon rounding the corner of her hallway (and in front of a big group of doctors), I unknowingly stepped in some water and immediately started to slide.  My hands were full (drink in one hand, boxes of food in another) and I all I could think of me landing on the floor with food and soda all over me.  Amazingly, I was able to catch myself and landed awkwardly on 1 knee.  We immediately busted out laughing, but not a single doctor said anything! It was so strange.  No laughs, no "are you okays?", nothing! If April wasn't there, I would've questioned if it had even happened (however, I did have a bruise for a few days proving that it did).

Sprout's doctors came for afternoon rounds a couple hours later and said we were good to go.  A nurse came in, took out her IV and we were out the door a little after 3pm.  We said goodbye to April and made our way to our favorite pizza place - Dewey's!  We got home a little after 6, and I had to quickly unpack and repack.  I headed out with Sprout the next morning and drove to my parents to be reunited with Bean.  She ended up coming down with a fever the next day and was a little irritable for a few days.  Boy was I glad to have my mom's help!

(Taking home a healthy kid!)

So. . . everyone asks, "Where did she get it??" The doctors answer was that we (Steve/I) passed it from Bean to Sprout.  They said it was transmitted via the stool (however, trusty old Google and even some of the hospital paperwork said it can also be transmitted via saliva - i.e. sneeze) and if you are keeping track, Sprout had it before Bean, so the doctors answer is bupkis. My answer is "Who knows, who cares?!" I'm guessing she got it from me (since I have most contact with her, and it's not like she could've just picked it up anywhere) and I got it from someone else.  I never felt sick (that I realized) and I'm guessing it's the same story for whoever I got it from.  I'm not a total germ-a-phobe after the fact, but let's just say, I've amped up hand washing and Purell usage :).

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sprout's Sickness Pt 1

July was a crazy month for us.  Steve's has been very busy with work, putting long hours in during the day and working from home at night.  We knew it would be a stressful month with his work and a newborn, but we just had to push through.

On one Sunday, we came home from church and did our usual rush home from church.  We get Bean fed and to bed quickly while I make lunch for us.  Only this time, I had to get Steve & Bean fed quickly because Steve had to head in to work.  With everyone fed, and Steve out the door, it should've been a quiet afternoon.  However, Bean decided to not nap and Sprout was being extra fussy.  I shrugged her fussiness on an upset tummy (this is one gassy child!) and drug her and a tired Bean to meet friends at the pool.

We met Steve back at home in time for dinner and bedtime shenanigans.  Sprout was still fussy by nighttime, but I still didn't think anything of it.  When I went to feed her in the middle of the night, I realized she was really hot - like abnormally hot.  I went and found a thermometer and realized she had a fever of 100.4 - not a good sign for a newborn! I tried to not panic and went through the normal nighttime feeding routine. She laid back down without a fight and I went back to bed.  I checked on her a few hours later and her status was the same.

(Sprout typically likes to have her hands up by her face, but she usually doesn't look so pathetic while doing it. I took this photo before bedtime.  I still just thought she was having normal tummy issues.)

I called the doctor as soon as their office opened and got an early appointment for her.  She still had a fever and was pretty grouchy.  Doctor noted that one of her ears looked iffy, but really didn't like the way she would ball up when she was touched - especially on her abdomen.  The doctor also noted that her tummy was very rigid and a cause for concern.  She wanted some tests done and sent orders to the local hospital for an x-ray, blood work, and urine collection.  I remained calm, but was freaking out a little on the inside.

I left the office and immediate called my friend Sara (thankfully it was a Monday & her day off!) and arranged for Bean to go hang out at her house until I figured out what was going on with Sprout.  With Bean taken care of, I headed to the hospital to get Sprout checked out.  First up was the x-ray.  I got to go back in he room with her and even helped hold her on the table, all while sporting a cool lead apron for safety.  We weren't allowed to leave the hospital until our doctor received the info and knew the next step. Once the x-ray was done, I took her to get the lab work done.  When we got called back, there was some confusion by the nurse - she didn't realize Sprout was the patient! She didn't feel equipped to handle a baby and got some back-up.

I lost it a little bit while the nurses were going back and forth about how to get her blood and do the urine collection.  Sprout wasn't a fan of being moved around so much and it was finally hitting me what was going on (and I began feeling very alone).  One of the nurses even asked if I was okay, to which I started crying and said, "no", but that was pretty much the end of the conversation, haha.  They ended up taping a urine bag around Sprout and then got the blood that they needed.  We were then sent back to a waiting room to await results.  I fed her while we waited.  The tech who took the x-ray came back and said that things looked clear on her end, but we would be getting a call from the doctor to review everything.  My phone rang right as she was giving me the heads up.  The x-ray just showed constipation/gas.  We were to go home, do a bottle with some mirilax in it, and see if that changed anything.  I changed Sprout's diaper, collected the needed urine, dropped it off at the lab and left the hospital.

I picked Bean back up and headed home with the girls.  It was nap time for the big one and food time for the little one.  She took her bottle like a champ and pooped a few hours later; however, it didn't alleviate her grouchiness.  I called the doctor back to give a status update.  She said she'd call in an antibiotic since her ear looked questionable.  I was working VBS that night and had to call Steve home early to take care of Sprout while Bean and I went to church.  I picked up the antibiotic on our way home and got a couple doses in her over the night.

The next morning, she still had a fever (I was told to give her Tylenol if it went over 101, which it did in the night) so I called the doctor again and secured ourselves an afternoon appointment.  I made arrangements with another friend to take Bean for the afternoon.  Jenna met me at the doctor's office and took Bean to her house with the plan for me to get her back at VBS that evening.  With Bean gone, I could focus all my energy on Sprout.

(With Sprout being so high maintenance
 and cranky over the past few days, I made sure to spend some intentional time with Bean in the morning.  She decided she wanted new Jamberries on.  She picked out the colors and told me how to put them on.)

(Again, Sprout likes to have her hands up, but usually it's a more snuggly pose.  She kept her arm stiff away from her body, which usually it's snuggled up next to her.)

(Another thing I noticed was that she was keeping her legs straight.  She wouldn't relax them or bring them up close to her like she normally lays.)

(At times when she was especially fussy, she would stiffen up her whole body.  Even if I was holding her upright against me - as seen in the photo- she wouldn't relax.  Instead, she held her torso/legs at a 90 degree angle.) 

The doctor said her tummy was softer, but still firm on her right side.  Her ear looked fine (was probably questionable the day before because of her crying) and she still had the fever.  It was obvious Sprout was in pain.  She didn't want to be held or touched, and was happiest if she was just laying flat on the table.  The doctor was concerned about possible appendicitis and wanted us to go to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus (2 hours away).  She didn't trust the local hospital to find anything wrong with Sprout and knew they wouldn't be equipped to handle her if they did.  I was yet again emotional as I left the office.  Some of the girls in there no me and one asked if I was okay.  I broke down and filled her in.  She offered up her help with Bean for the evening and told me to let her know what else she could do.

(This photo breaks my heart now.  At the time, I was still in denial of her being sick and was frustrated and tired with how needy she was being.  Now I realize how sick and miserable she was feeling.)  

I called Steve and filled him in.  He immediately wrapped things up at work and met me at home.  I next called my mom to fill her in.  She decided that she was going to drive in and pick Bean up from VBS and stay at our house with her.  I started packing bags, not really knowing what lay ahead or what we would need.  Once I thought through it all and got the car packed, we headed towards Columbus awaiting the next phase of our journey.