Monday, January 30, 2012

Progress

So, Kelly finally reached for a toy and held onto it today! This is awesome news because it makes me think she didn't really miss this milestone, she was just a little slow. And that's okay, because she's always been about a week behind on everything since she was born. Maybe my working with her over the last few days helped too. If she got this one, maybe the others are soon to come.

Unfortunately, she's quite unhappy at the moment. Four month immunizations are apparently no fun... She's spent most of this evening screaming. But, the Mechanic will be bringing some baby Tylenol when he comes home and hopefully that will allow us some sleep tonight.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Answers... not really

Our baby girl is now 13 pounds 4 ounces... no wonder Mommy's arm feels like it's about to fall off when she totes around that car seat! I suppose that might also be the reason she's popping out of her 0-3 month clothes, which are supposed to be <12lbs. I'm just not willing to admit that she's too big for them!

Our x-rays and ultrasounds were normal. Like any good nurse, I snuck a peek at the reports that were stuck in the door before the doctor came in. When the doctor looked at Ladybug's head, though, she was still a little concerned, especially after hearing our family history. She called and actually spoke to the radiologist who looked at the x-rays and ultrasound and was told that at this point, there is no evidence of craniostenosis. The fluid that the ultrasound showed is completely normal in an infant of this age. However, as she did her physical she discovered that we're missing a couple milestones she should have reached by now. For this reason we're going to see if insurance will pay for the genetic testing. This is a better option than the next radiology step, which is a CT; that would involve hospital admission and anesthesia, and if the sutures aren't currently closed it won't tell us anything at this point anyway. My theory is that her brain may be growing faster than her skull can accommodate.

In the meantime, we're going to watch her closely for signs of increased pain and more skull changes. We're also going to work with her to try to achieve those missing milestones. As of now, she will not push up on her arms at all, not even on her elbows. She also won't reach for or bat at anything, nor will she hold onto toys and bring them to her mouth. She can bring her hands to midline and put them in her mouth, so that's at least something to start with. She also gave the doctor no resistance when she pushed and pulled on her arms. However, I know she's capable of resisting when she chooses; just watch me try to get her arm in her sleeve when she wants it in her mouth!

So, we have an answer, sort of, in that we're not looking at imminent surgery. However, exactly what is going on is still in question. She may just have a lumpy skull and it not mean a thing. What I don't get is why she's behind, since none of our other family members have missed milestones like this. Of course, she may just be on her own timetable and will catch up eventually. *shrug* She interacts and is growing, which is what I consider most important. She just may walk before she learns to roll over!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Waiting


So, Ladybug had her ultrasound of her skull today. She did so good, although it was a little strange for Mommy to be looking at her baby girl on the ultrasound table instead of being there herself! We had a sweet tech who was about 7 months pregnant with twins, boy and girl; so sweet! She took all sorts of pictures through Ladybug's little soft spot and then went to show them to the radiologist to make sure she didn't miss anything. When she came back, she told us the radiologist couldn't really see what he was needing to for the diagnosis we're trying to rule out, so he wanted some x-rays taken. I'm grateful for the way they handled this, so much better than letting us go home and then have to go all the way back over there.

Back to the waiting room we went, and of course Ladybug fell asleep right before we were called back for the x-rays. Too bad she won't stay asleep when I lay her down; she sure wasn't going to stay asleep on that hard table! She looked so tiny on that huge table. It was good that the Mechanic went with us; since I'm not on prevent-a-baby pills I had to go behind the protective wall, so he garbed up and helped position her. They wanted four views, one of each side, one straight on, and one from the top of her head. They had to retake one view three times because she kept wiggling; finally had to use the head immobilizers, which she didn't like.

We'll get our results at our four month check-up Thursday; all I can tell you is she has a skull. Neither of us really knew what we were looking at during the ultrasound, and we didn't get a close look at the x-rays either. We could probably get the results early, but as I told my mother-in-law today, what's the point? It's not going to change anything at all, and I'm already bracing myself for the most-likely worst scenario, which would be the craniostenosis. The only other thing that might be worse that I can come up with is cancer, and I have every confidence it's not that.

So I wait. I'm amazingly at peace with things right now; perhaps it is the prayers being lifted up for us. What else can I do? I kiss her little head and tell her I love her, and tell her she's cute even with a lumpy head. God will provide. I don't know how, but for right now, worrying isn't going to do a thing.

I was glancing over a blog today which had a verse I hadn't thought of in quite a while, the passage that says "You knit me together in my mother's womb." It's comforting, because it reminds me that God made my little girl just the way she is. He chose the genes she has. He knew when he first formed her in me what life would bring her. He knows all the illnesses, the injuries, the pains, the heartache, the joys that she will have. He knows her every day, and has them planned for her. I don't know what tomorrow, or especially Thursday, will bring. I don't know what the next six months will hold. But I know someone who does. And while that seems trite... it is such a comfort. Someone else loves my baby girl more than I do. More than I ever could. And as hard as that is for me to imagine... it's true.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Worries.

Funny how life works. You make a decision that you believe will be best for your family. Then something happens and you stagger and wonder if you did the right thing. And then you realize you did the best thing you possibly could have and everything will work itself out.

The verse that's been running through my head recently has been "He will supply all your needs according to the riches in Christ Jesus." No idea where that's found or if that's exactly what is said, but the idea is there. My needs will be met. Somehow. And at this point, not just mine, but my child's, and my family's.

We have an ultrasound scheduled for Ladybug's head next week. I noticed on the evening before my last day of work a lump on the side of her head. No bruising, no swelling, just a hard lump. You have to know our family history to imagine what this immediately brought to mind. The Mechanic, his brother, his dad, and our nephew have all had to have major surgeries (basically getting scalped and then put back together) due to a condition called craniostenosis. This is where the soft spots and sutures in the skull harden and fuse too early. The result is an extremely misshapen head, and the results from having a brain with no room to grow. Now, it's fixable, with the surgery. Still, a little scary for a mom.

Anyway, so I looked at and felt the lump, I began finding other things that concerned me, like the ridges on her suture lines that weren't this prominent at birth, a small ridge down the middle of her forehead, and the very prominent forehead that seems to be moving forward, based on pictures. She's been crying out like she's in pain in her sleep for the last few weeks. So when our doctor, out for surgery, dropped by the office to pick up medical leave forms, I mentioned the lump to her. She had us go ahead and schedule the ultrasound so we'd have the results by her well child check next week.

I thought the local children's hospital did this surgery, but now I don't think they do. This means a trip to Knoxville's Children's, Vanderbilt's Children's, or Erlanger's Children's if something's wrong. And I immediately begin to think how we're ever going to afford this. But, for one, I'm borrowing trouble. We don't know for sure what's going on, and it may be something that will resolve on its own. It's also a good thing for me to be home if there's something going on; no worries about getting off work or day care for a post-surgical child. And God will provide whatever we need. Including peace for me.

*sigh* Having children builds faith. By necessity. =)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Safe to publish now...


I have a secret. Well, I had it for a couple hours. Then I just had to tell someone. And who else would I tell than the person for who's wedding I'm supposed to getting fitted for a bridesmaid dress next week? I sent her a text message saying I'd be bringing a watermelon to my fitting next week, because that's the size I'd be at her wedding.

Yep, found out tonight I'm pregnant. Again. And yes, my baby girl is only 3 1/2 months old. If I'm figuring it out right, she'll be about 3 weeks shy of turning 1 when this little one makes his/her appearance at 39 weeks.

Wow.

Yeah, we wanted kids close. And I said I'd be fine if I was pregnant at my 6 week post-partum check-up. And I was somewhat disappointed with every negative pregnancy test I've had in the last 2 months.

But, yeah. Wow.

Here's how things change for the second child. First child, you do a pregnancy test. It's positive. You do another. It's positive too. You do a third. It's positive. And only then do you call the doctor. Second child, you do a pregnancy test. It's positive. And you don't do anymore because your first child is asleep in the swing and you don't dare wake her up to run to the store to get another one.

So here's the story of our little Christmas baby. (Kelly was our New Year's baby, this one is our Christmas baby. I promise, we do it more than just Christmas and New Years!)

I've felt like crap the last couple weeks. The stomach bug (maybe) a couple weeks ago, the feeling like I was going to start a period that went on for a week and a half. I've been extra moody and anxious, and didn't want Ethan to touch me yesterday. I thought the last few days I was getting sick, and today I just felt blah and crampy. I was either burning up or freezing. On the way home I finally decided I was going to call the triage nurse at my OB office in the morning to see if the cramps and irregular periods were normal for almost 4 months post-partum. I figured they were, but since a friend just had a D&C after the birth of her child because not everything came out like it should have, I supposed it'd be best to check things out. I told myself, it feels like I'm pregnant, with the cramps and funky bleeding and moodiness and all, but I know I'm not. I had just done a pregnancy test 8 days ago. 8. Days. Ago. Negative. Got that?

So I got home, unloaded everything in the pouring down rain, let the doggies out, changed Ladybug who had poop running down to her socks, and then put her in the swing. Then mommy got to go to the bathroom. Right before I went in, I, simply on a whim, got the spare pregnancy test out of the bag I'd brought in from the car I'd cleaned out yesterday. I knew I wasn't pregnant, and why I did a test I don't know. I just decided, purely on a whim, to do one. Just to make sure so I could tell the nurse tomorrow I definitely wasn't pregnant.

So I did my thing. Set it on the edge of the tub. Watched the moisture make its way across the little round hole. And thought I saw the edge of a blue line forming. I shook my head and said to myself that it was just wishful thinking. It was negative just last week. It's still negative. So I finished up my business and glanced back over at the test. Um. Yeah. That's a line. A very clear, very bright blue line. In the hole that's supposed to be blank. The hole that had NOTHING in it last week. Negative. 8 days ago.

I picked it up. Like Juno, I tried shaking it. Nope. In every light, every direction, that little line was there. Which meant, there was a little sesame seed inside me. And in 8-9 months, it'll be a lot bigger than a sesame seed.

Holy cow.

So, I went to cafepress.com and found a 3-6 months onesie that says "I'm the big sister." And I ordered it. I have a plan for how to tell Ethan that involves him changing a diaper. If I can keep my big mouth shut, unlike last time. I'd love to wait till Valentine's Day and tell him while we're on our weekend away, but I don't think there's anyway I can make it that long.

Now to make sure I hit "save now" and not publish!!!