Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Am Done With Kiddie Illnesses...

At least I hope I am for a long while. Last week, Chloe spiked a fever of 103 and it remained between 101-103 for 4 days and suddenly broke. Her pediatrician said that it was a viral pharyngitis as her throat looked yucky and other than that and the fever, she had no other symptoms. So...as soon as she is all better, and David leaves town on business for 5 days, Brody got sick with what we now assume was the same virus. Here's how it went down...

Friday evening: Brody began screaming and crying with appeared to be belly pain so I treated him for constipation with a glycerin chip and tried to get him to drink some water. I called his doctor and the nurse there blew me off and told me he just had colic - I disagreed with her and decided that I would take him in on Saturday morning if he wasn't better. He continued to scream until around 9 that night and then woke up at 3 AM to continue where he left off - SCREAMING!!! (keep in mind I was here by myself with him and Chloe)

Saturday morning: his pediatrician called me to check on him. At this point he had fever so I loaded up the kidlets and went to the weekend clinic. There, they did xrays, a bloodcount, and a catheter to try to find the source of infection in case it was a bacterial illness. We were sent home with instructions that if his fever rose any that we would need to call the pedi on call and Brody would probably have to be admitted to the hospital. But, if he remained the same, that we were just to come in the next day for follow-up.

Sunday afternoon: we went back to the doctor where his temp was even higher so they repeated the catheter, the bloodcount, and this time also drew blood cultures. His bloodcount came back showing some bacteria in his system, but indicated more of a viral process going on. Again, I was given instructions to call or go to the hospital if he worsened or his fever got any higher. Oh, and I also noticed a very hard lump right below his surgical incision that seemed to be painful to him when I touched it. The pediatrician wasn't really sure what it was - scar tissue or hernia - so I decided to just wait it out and if it is still there at his 2 month check, I would bring it up again and see what we should do.

Monday morning: Brody started the day out well and then sort of returned to the sicky baby by early afternoon. He also started acting like his belly was hurting again -especially when I touched around his inicision. Again, he didn't sleep great Monday night and was just really fussy.

Tuesday morning: I decided to call Vanderbilt Children's surgery clinic and schedule an appt for Brody to see the surgeon about this hard lump. I feel very relieved because I am starting to worry about it as much as he cries and winces with any touching of it or even lifting his legs to change his diapers. The surgical nurse said it could be 1 of 4 things...a hernia, hematoma, abscess, or scar tissue. We are hoping that it's just scar tissue that is pulling and popping that is causing the discomfort as there is nothing that has to be done about that and will resolve with time. We'll find out Thursday morning and update as soon as we know something.

Now for some fun things that have happened lately...
Chloe has begun singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star pretty much all day every day. This may not seem like a big deal to most, but given the fact that she pretty much kept a double ear infection for 10 months before she got ear tubes, what she heard in those 10 months were nothing but muffled sounds. So...with the tubes, she has had to re-learn sounds and finally is starting to talk with words that I can understand! It's great...except when she tells me "no" a million times a day.

The Chick-fil-A on the campus of UT-Martin that David is the consultant for opened up without a hitch yesterday! He has been planning for this for quite some time so for it to go perfectly is just a blessing! And...he is finally coming home after 5 VERY LONG DAYS!!!

Oh, and Chloe locked herself in her bedroom this morning!!! Luckily I knew what to do this time since she had done it before. Last time she did this, David was out of town and I called him in a panic thinking I was going to have to call the fire dept. to come break the door down. He told me to just put a quarter in the lock and turn it. Hmmm...seems that she saves all of her little tricks for when David is gone.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pictures of the Kidlets...


Ready for bed...



Goodnight Chloe




A "sort of" smile. They are becoming more and more frequent.



The 4 of us before church on Sunday



Brody on his play gym. He loves looking at the zebra.


Just wanted to post some pictures of Chloe and Brody for your viewing pleasure...
Oh, and Brody has reached 9.5 pounds now!!! He's continued to do beautifully since his surgery and is eating 4-5 ounces every 4-5 hours and sleeps approximately 6-8 hours at night.
Chloe is loving on him more and more with each passing day. She especially loves to give him kisses and hugs...oh, and she likes to take his picture too with her toy camera. She points the camera towards him and she says "cheeeeeeese." And then she proceeds to take pictures of EVERYTHING in sight while saying "cheeeeeeese." Also new for Chloe is that she wants to choose which pajamas she wears at night. So...she and I go through her drawer of pajamas every night until she decides which ones she wants. I will hold up a pair and she will say either "yes" or "no." She's not even 2 yet and already picky about her clothes. I may be in for it soon.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Update on Brody

OK - in this post, my thoughts were all over the place so if the flow isn't there, just know that it's because my mind is still wrapping around all that has taken place in the past few days.




These are pictures of Brody after surgery.





When I last left off, Brody was sick with a "borderline" pyloric stenosis diagnosis. Two days after that, we were back at the pediatrician's office and having another ultrasound done which confirmed that he did indeed have pyloric stenosis. Two hours later, Chloe was with our friend Erin and we were on our way to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital with Brody. After an 8 hour stay in the ER waiting to see a surgeon, Brody was finally taken back to the OR at 9:10 Wednesday night and by 10:00 we were talking with Dr. Loven about how the surgery went. Brody did wonderful during the operation, but also important to note...Dr. Loven did wonderful too! Brody has an incision on the right side of his belly that is about 1.5 inches long. The procedure consisted of the surgeon going in and cutting the pylorus muscle in order to open it up. Then he "put Brody back together" using glue! No stitches were used anywhere...not even on the inside. Post-operatively, we went to stay with Brody in the recovery room while he woke up and then ended up spending the rest of our time there as the entire hospital was full so there was "no room in the inn" for our little guy. Six hours after the surgery, he was able to begin eating again very small amounts and we were instructed on how to increase them slowly over the next few days to get him back to his normal amount. By Thursday evening we were back home and settling back in with a healthy little baby. Brody has done wonderful since the surgery, only vomiting a few times. We were told that he may continue to do this for 1-2 days while his little body heals, but as of right now, he hasn't gotten sick since 2:30 yesterday afternoon. And, even more fun to mention...Brody has given me lots of big smiles today showing off those precious little dimples and proving that he is indeed feeling better.

Now for a little "a-ha" moment that I had last night. When I went to put Brody to bed last night, everything started to finally sink in....in the past 6 days, we had watched our infant become very sick, unable to be diagnosed for a while, then finally get the diagnosis and immediately be sent for surgery. When we finally got the diagnosis, I sort of went into auto-pilot mode, just thinking about what we were going to do with Chloe while we were at Vandy, when they would do the surgery, how long we would be at the hospital, who would do the surgery, what the protocol was for caring for babies with this diagnosis, etc... BUT, I never really once worried about Brody's safety which struck me last night as really odd. I actually even started to cry because I thought that was the sign of a "bad mommy." Was I lumping my own son into the same category that I had put my patients in when I was a nurse? Was I more concerned with trying to appear brave for everyone that we came into contact with at the hospital? I mean, all of our doctors and nurses knew my background as a pediatric ICU and pediatric recovery room nurse so they all knew that I had full knowledge of what was about to happen. Was I trying to act like this whole thing was not a big deal because I had seen it a million times? I mean to tell you that I was really upset that I had not been one of those "crying and hysterical moms that watched their baby being carted off to the OR." I talked about this with David last night when he came into our room and saw me holding Brody and sobbing. He reminded me that my sense of calm and peace, and lack of real worry was nothing to do with me being a bad mom, but a sign of God giving me the perfect peace that He promises His children....the peace that I had been praying for since Brody first became sick. WOW!!! I had not thought of it in that way, but David was right. We had prayed so much about this, and had lots of family and friends praying for us and Brody that God just took that burden from us and let us be in peace about everything. What a great great Father we have!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Emotions All Over The Place

For comparison's sake, here is a pic of Brody swaddled and below a pic of Chloe swaddled at about the same age.









Chloe getting ready to leave for Parent's Day Out. She LOVES to carry her lunch bag.



after his bath Sunday morning



Chloe ready for church Sunday. David said she looked like a pilgrim because of the collar on her dress...he just doesn't get it.


That's how I feel right now...I'm on a roller coaster of emotions. Hmmm...where do I begin? Let's start with Brody. For the past few days, he has been projectile vomiting with some of his feedings, and when I say projectile, I mean it's going about 18 inches! When he is not projectiling, he is spitting, choking and gagging in between feeds. So, being a nurse and having some idea of what this may mean, we loaded up and took him to the pediatrician yesterday. We were there about 15 minutes and were sent for an immediate abdominal ultrasound and lab work. The U/S showed basically a borderline pyloric stenosis which is where the muscle between the stomach and small intestine closes up causing very little if any food to be kept down. To fix it requires surgery. It is a hereditary condition, most often in first-born males, and David had it as a baby too so it's likely that Brody's will continue to close up. We are just watching him and keeping in contact with his pedi over the next few days to see if he continues down this path. If he does, we'll have a repeat U/S and if it comes back that it is worsening, we'll go to Vanderbilt Children's for surgery. It's a very easy fix and as a nurse I took care of tons of infants who had this. So... for the moment, I am calm about this. However, if Brody has to have this done, I know that I won't be near as calm about it.
Now on to the good emotions...my little brother made it back safely from Iraq, after 10 long months, for his 18 day R&R! Woo-Hoo!!! He arrived in NC on Sunday evening and he and his wife are leaving for a vacay to Charleston, SC today. I absolutely am super sad that I cannot travel home to see him, but am thrilled to know that he is home and safe. I told him that now I feel like I will be able to breathe a little easier and sleep a little better for the next 18 days. Hopefully we will be able to webcam while he is home so that he can "meet" Brody and "see" Chloe.
And finally, just to top everything off...I locked me and Brody out of the house this morning and had to call a locksmith to get us back in as David was in Nashville at a meeting. So, about 45 minutes and $45 later, Brody and I are back inside and I am about to start cleaning my house for David's family who are coming in a few days to meet Brody. I know it's not necessary, but it's important to me to have a clean house anytime anyone visits. Fun times in the Blevins Household!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pictures

Not much to report on from Clarksville. Everyone is in the swing of things now. I have my system down to a science of how to get up, get myself ready and get both kids fed and ready for the day by 9:00 AM. David is super busy with work and planning for the new store's grand opening. We will all be glad when that is over so that he can relax a little. Chloe had her follow-up ENT appointment yesterday to check her ear tubes and she got an awesome report. Brody is growing like a weed and has hit another growth spurt this week. He's now taking 4 ounces of milk every 4 hours during the day and will space it out at night to 6 hours or so. And me, well, I'm fine....tired, but fine!



Project that Chloe did at "school" last Thursday - oh, I guess they were not able to actually count her teeth since she has so many. Just FYI - she has 16!







Chloe and Brody appear to be planning something - I know one day this type of thing will mean trouble!







Close up of Brody - isn't he getting so big?!?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Now I Get It!!!


Ready for church



The best picture that I could get of the 2 of them together



Mouth full of cheetos getting into lots of mischief. The face says it all...



Chloe trying to show Brody how to talk on a cell phone. Clearly she is starting to take more interest in him...which is not a good thing all of the time. I can see these two getting into lots of mischief when he gets a bit older.







The title of my post is referring to when I was young, and we were all up and getting ready for church on Sunday mornings. I just didn't understand how my mom could be the first one up, but the last one ready and out the door. I mean really, it puzzled me at times. Well, now, I GET IT!!!
This morning I woke up at 6:30 to feed Brody and decided to just stay up and prepare myself for the day. I hung out with Brody before anyone else got up so that I could have some one on one time with him and then proceeded to get everyone else up. I showered, got ready, and then started on the kids. Chloe was first. I bribed her with Teddy Grahams so that she would get her dress on without me having to chase her, and let me put her hair in pigtails without protesting. It worked!!! Next, I turned on a cartoon for her so that I could get Brody bathed, dressed and fed again before church in hopes that he would sleep right through church. Mission accomplished there! Then, I picked up the house so that I didn't have to come home to a messy living room while David watched the kids. By the time all of that was done, I was nearly sweating and needed to touch up my hair so David put both kids in the car, and made sure the essentials were in both diaper bags while I worked on myself - again. End result...mommy was the first one up and the last one out the door. So to my mom...now I understand! Oh and one more thing I did was get pics of the kids dressed for church. Enjoy!

Friday, September 5, 2008

New Pictures

Brody had his 2 week check up today. He is now 8.5 pounds and 21.5 inches long. He is 50% for weight and 75% for length. Yep, that's right...he's long and lean. He's doing great. No real other news from his checkup. He is beginning to track and look around a lot more now and was just awake for 2 solid hours!!!
Chloe is beginning to tell me when she wants me to put Brody down and where she wants me to put him. She will point to either his swing or bouncy seat and say "right there." She also has tried to stake claim on all of her old baby toys that I have gotten out for Brody to look at/play with. And it never fails that she wants the one that he is looking at. I am trying to teach her that she can have the one he has if, and only if, she gives him another one. She's catching on...I think.




This is a picture that Chloe made at Parents Day Out on Thursday. Sorry that it won't get to you grandparents by Grandparent's Day, but we will get it in the mail very soon. She made 2 of them so everyone gets one! I love that they used her handprint as the flower. Enjoy - and HAPPY GRANDPARENTS DAY!!!











Chloe is trying very hard to give Brody his passy even though he wasn't fussing at all.



Thursday, September 4, 2008

Kiddie Updates

Chloe: she started a Parents Day Out program this week that is on Tuesday and Thursday from 9-2. It's at a Methodist church right near our house and her teacher is one of our friends. She is doing really well there! She's excited to carry her lunch box in everyday like a big girl and goes right to her classroom without me directing her. The first day she didn't even cry when we left! She just jumped right in and started playing away. Today there were a few whines, but nothing major.
On another note, Chloe is starting to show more interest in Brody. She got very excited to see him when I picked her up at school the other day. She pointed to him and smiled and said "that!" She also loves to remind me to put Brody in the car by pointing to his car seat base and saying "right there!" Yesterday, she was showing him a few toys and even tried to comb his hair.

Brody: the little guy is doing wonderful! Last night he went 6 hours in between feedings which afforded me about 5 straight hours of sleep. Aaaah, that was great! I can tell the biggest difference in him as far as growth. I can't wait to see how much he weighs and how long he is at his appointment tomorrow (it's just a 2 week checkup). He's beginning to stay awake during the day for longer periods of time and loves to be talked to. He also likes to stare at contrasting colors (black and white) on his toys. Tummy time is going okay. Sometimes he likes it but other times not. He is already able to lift and turn his head all the way when on his belly! He's still not fond of car rides and pretty much cried the whole time we are in the car which in turn gets Chloe started crying too. Hopefully he will begin to like them soon as we are on the go all of the time. I do remember Chloe crying a lot when she was this age and in the car.

As for me and David, we are doing well. I am still a little sore from the surgery but I totally expect that to continue for a few more weeks. My incision did open just a little, but not enough to re-staple or stitch so I am just to watch it. I went to my 2 week checkup yesterday and found that I have lost ALL of my baby weight! YAY FOR ME!!! I got the green light that I could begin a light exercise program at home and could start going back to the gym in October. I can't wait!
David is working hard as always. The store at UT-Martin that he is a consultant for will be opening in the next 4-6 weeks so he will be busy with that grand opening for a while. Also, TN football has started so our weekends will now be consumed with orange and white - GO VOLS!

I think that is all of the news for now. I am really needing to take some more pictures, but my camera battery is dead and I cannot find the charger anywhere! SO FRUSTRATING! If I can't find it soon, I'll go buy another one so I can update the pics of Brody.