Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!


Brooklyn was the cutest puppy ever tonight! PUPPY, not cow! About 75% of our neighbors thought that she was wearing a cow costume. One crazy lady thought she was a real dog. (Ummmmm. Okay.) I got her all dressed up and tied pink ribbons on the ears of her costume so that everyone would know she was a girl. We sat outside of our house and handed out candy to all the little ghouls, goblins, and Hannah Montanas. We all had fun. Brooklyn loves anything where she can people-watch! She is worn out from all of the excitement now and is sleeping on my chest. I think I'm going to take a nap with her in a few. Happy Halloween from both of us!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Brooklyn speaks!!!

Brooklyn said her first word tonight...and her first word was...MAMA!!!!!!
I'm soooo happy and sooooo excited! She has been saying it over and over all night! It's so amazing to hear my name come out of my sweet baby girl's mouth. I love her little voice, it's the cutest sound I've ever heard. I am absolutely giddy over this (in case you can't tell)! I have spent a lot of time lately wondering what Brooklyn's first word would be, what it would sound like to hear her talk, and whether she might say "mama." (I've been coaching her to say it!) So now I know what it sounds like and how it feels. And it's fabulous!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A perfect heart

Brooklyn had her cardiologist appointment on Wednesday. The doctor listened to her heart for quite a while, then did an ECHO. Then he told us that the hole in Brooklyn's heart (a ventricular septal defect) had completely closed! He said that she had "a perfect heart" now! And she no longer needs to see the cardiologist! I just wanted to hug him. It is so wonderful to know that something that has caused us a lot of worry is ALL BETTER. I hope the same will happen with her airway issues and her reflux in the near future too.

Brooklyn weighed 12 pounds, 13 ounces on the scale at the cardiologist's office. Not as bad as the 12 pounds, 7 ounces she weighed the day before on the gastroenterologist's scale, but still some weight loss. Sigh.

She got her Synagis shot right after we saw her cardiologist. Her cardiologist is her only specialist that we get to see here in our hometown instead of driving to Dallas. They come to our pediatrician's office once a month to see their patients here, which is nice. Dr. A's nurse gave Brooklyn the Synagis shot, and she did really well. She cried, but stopped as soon as I picked her up. Dr. A is having a flu shot clinic tomorrow and I am supposed to take Brooklyn to get a flu shot then. She has to get the flu shot twice and will get Synagis shots every month throughout RSV season.

We went to visit Beth, our wonderful lactation consultant, after we got done at the doctor's office. It was so good to see her, since it had been about three months. I just love her! She has been such a great source of support since Brooklyn was born. I always feel so relaxed as soon as I walk through her door. Not only did she help me get my newborn baby to eat and gain weight (which I promise you was no small feat), she was my shoulder to cry on for the first few months of Brooklyn's life. She always comforted me, understood me, hugged on me, and told me that everything I was feeling was normal and okay. She called my OB when Brooklyn was about 7 weeks old and got me an appointment to see her because I was so depressed. I felt like I was going to die. I didn't think I could do this anymore. I thought that there was no way I could love my baby enough or be thankful enough for her. I wasn't sleeping because I thought that God was going to punish me by taking Brooklyn from me during the night. I felt like the worst mother in the world and I thought that my baby would be better off without me around. And I couldn't tell anyone but Beth. That's when my OB put me on medication for PPD. Beth was the only person that I could talk to about the whole ordeal. She will always mean so much to me for being there through all of that, and I can never thank her enough!

Anyway, Brooklyn and I hung out with Beth for a couple of hours. Oh, and Brooklyn weighed 12 pounds, 12 ounces on her scale. A mommy with a 12-day-old baby came in and I got to talk to her some. She was crying and was really overwhelmed and exhausted. It made me realize how far Brooklyn and I have come. Yes, I still feel overwhelmed and inadequate and all of that at times...but I don't feel the way that I did when Brooklyn was 12 days old. Overall, things are much better now because I don't constantly feel like there is no way that I can do this parenting thing. It made me kind of proud to realize that Brooklyn and I are both making progress.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To the doctors we go...

Yesterday, we took Brooklyn to the gastroenterologist in Dallas. The visit was fine. Dr. R said that all of Brooklyn's biopsies came back normal. He said that what he was looking for with the biopsies were any abnormal tissues, inflammations, or allergies. So no problems there in her tummy or esophagus. He said that he talked to Dr. G2 after Brooklyn's bronchoscopy and endoscopy Friday and that they wanted to take her off of Reglan and put her on Bethanechol. Dr. R said that it could help with her reflux and also strengthen her airway. He gave us the prescription for it, but we haven't gone to fill it yet. Does anybody know anything about this med? I read tonight that it is an older drug that really isn't used anymore because there are others that are more effective. I also read that it hasn't been studied in babies and children. Hmmmm.

The part of yesterday's appointment that really sucked was that Brooklyn weighed 12 pounds, 7 ounces. I was really worried when the nurse told me that, so she weighed her twice. The nurse and the doctor both did the grams to pounds calculation for me. I just thought there was no way that she could weigh that little. She was 13 pounds, 2 ounces on October 10 at her pre-op appointment. She was 13 pounds even at Dr. A's on October 6. Now I am really scared that she is losing weight again, and that's an awful lot for her to lose. I honestly don't know what she weighed at her procedure on Friday. I've noticed that a lot of these nurses get all confused translating grams to pounds. The nurse that weighed her Friday said that she was 12.8 pounds. When I showed concern, she tapped some more numbers into her calculator and then said, no, she was 13.6. That's quite a difference. I meant to ask one of the doctors about it on Friday but with the stress and worry of all that was going on, I forgot to.

Brooklyn goes today to see her cardiologist and then to see her pediatrician to get her first Synagis injection. I am going to have them both weigh her and I really, really hope that she hasn't lost as much weight as Dr. R's scale showed. I'm also hoping that Brooklyn's cardiologist will tell us that her heart murmur (a ventricular septal defect) has corrected itself. It has been 6 months since we last saw this doctor, and it would be nice if we could have one less specialist for our baby!

Monday, October 20, 2008

My sweet little pumpkin!

More good news today - Brooklyn's pediatrician called and said that Brooklyn's first Synagis (RSV vaccine) shot was in and scheduled an appointment for her to get it. She will get the shot on Wednesday since we will be at her pediatrician's office to see her cardiologist anyway. This means that the insurance company approved Brooklyn for Synagis without any kind of fight, which we certainly didn't expect. Brooklyn's pulmonologist and pediatrician were prepared for the insurance company to try to deny her, but they didn't! Wow!



The three of us went to a pumpkin patch with some friends on Saturday afternoon. The pumpkins were kind of picked over, but we got some cute pics anyway. Yes, of course I'll show you!







PS - Please note that Blogger jacked up my pictures again!!! I did exactly what you said, Sam! Please help!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

ANSWERS

Brooklyn did fine with the bronchoscopy and endoscopy yesterday. Thanks for all your prayers and good thoughts.

And yes, we now know what is wrong!

The brochoscopy showed that Brooklyn has laryngomalacia. She also has a problem with her arytenoids. The arytenoids are pieces of cartilage that attach the vocal cords to the larynx. Brooklyn's are floppy and swollen and intermittently obstruct her airway.

Usually this is a condition that doctors try to let babies outgrow. But in Brooklyn's case, she hasn't improved or started to outgrow it, and normally that would have already happened by 7 months old. So Dr. G2 said that he is going to give her 6 more weeks to try to outgrow it. If she hasn't by then, he said that there are "other procedures we will need to look at." He didn't tell us what those procedures were. He said that we would talk about that more later. David and I were fine with that...I think just because we were so glad that we finally knew what was causing our baby's problems.

I wish that my scanner was working so that I could show y'all the pictures of Brooklyn's airway. She is having to breathe through such a tiny, tiny little hole. It's no wonder she is burning so many calories that she can't grow enough.

Her endoscopy was fine. Everything was normal and while it confirmed her reflux, the reflux has not caused any damage to her esophagus or stomach. This is great news.

Both doctors took pieces of tissue from a bunch of different areas to biopsy. I'm not 100% clear on why...to check the tissues for any problems, check for allergens, and see if she is aspirating was what I gathered. There are other reasons, I'm sure, but I will ask about that at her gastroenterologist appointment next Tuesday.

Brooklyn was not a happy camper yesterday. They put her under general anesthesia and when she first came out of it, she freaked out really bad. They took me back to post-op and told me that they had just finished extubating her. She was screaming her head off. They were trying to feed her Pedialyte and glucose water and she was refusing both. They gave her to me, gave her some Fentanyl and Tylenol for pain, and she calmed right down, snuggled in and went to sleep. She stayed out for an hour or so, and during that time, they moved her to a recovery room.

After she woke up, she took 2 ounces of Pedialyte from me and then I was allowed to breastfeed her. She nursed really well. Towards the end of her feeding, Dave noticed that her IV wasn't dripping anymore. After Brooklyn finished nursing, he went to tell a nurse. By the time the nurse came to check on it, Brooklyn's IV had backed up about 2 feet and she was screaming bloody murder. They tried unsuccessfully to flush it out, and then another nurse decided just to take it out since Brooklyn had eaten. Soon after, an anesthesiologist came to assess Brooklyn. We were then given discharge instructions and allowed to leave. This was around 6:00. So we were only at the hospital a total of 6 hours, start to finish.

The whole rest of the night, Brooklyn was just not herself. If she wasn't sleeping or eating, she was screaming. She wouldn't smile or talk or coo or anything. It was obvious that she just felt like crap. I think she just felt bad from the procedures and still had all that yucky anesthesia in her system.

This morning, I have my smiley, talkative, playful baby bear back. And we have answers to many of the questions that have gone unanswered for so long. It's going to be a good day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nervous.

That's what I am. Nervous, anxious, worried, fearful. Brooklyn's bronchoscopy and endoscopy are tomorrow.

I am afraid because Dr. G, the first pulmonologist we saw, really scared us about having a bronchoscopy performed on Brooklyn. This was back in July. I talked about it here. Dr. G told us in a very flippant way that he would do the procedure on Brooklyn but that we needed to know that he could paralyze her vocal cords or puncture her lungs or that she could have horrible complications from the anesthesia. And that's pretty much all he told us about the procedure. Other doctors have since told us that they think that Dr. G2 was afraid to do the bronchoscopy on such a small baby, so he scared us out of it. We didn't have it done then. We were scared and we also didn't want to put her through anything that she didn't absolutely need. So here we are, the tests have gotten progressively more invasive and she now has to have the bronchoscopy, along with an endoscopy. I keep wondering if they really are going to paralyze her vocal cords. What if I never get to hear her sweet little voice again? Or what if something worse happens from a lung puncture or something like that? My stomach just ties itself into a million little knots. I hate the idea of her being in a surgical room under anesthesia and with a breathing tube in her to begin with....but then add all of these other fears into the mix....I'm just scared.

I guess my other fear is that they will do these procedures tomorrow and still not know what is causing Brooklyn's respiratory problems (and consequently, her failure to thrive). I don't want to put her through any more of this. I am trying to have faith that we will have our answer tomorrow, and that her doctors will know what to do to fix everything. Dr. G2 and Dr. R will be doing these procedures. I know that they are experts and that they are good at what they do. It's just hard to trust anyone with your little baby like that.

We have to be at the hospital in Dallas by noon tomorrow. Please keep my sweet baby bear in your prayers.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

7 months old!

Dear Baby Bear,

Can you believe it has been 7 months since you made your grand appearance? Sometimes I wonder what I used to do all day before I had you to fill my hours. It's hard to remember what life was really like before you. I know it wasn't even close to this good.

You have more and more personality every day! You grin and laugh so much when your daddy and I talk and play with you. You are happy to see me when I come home from work, which just absolutely makes my day. You have started reaching for me sometimes and when I hold you, sometimes you grab on to both my shoulders and try to wrap yourself around me in a big baby hug. These things let me know that you love me too. And that is a completely amazing feeling. Not only do I love you more than my heart can hold, but you love me in return? Incredible. Being your mommy is so much better than I ever could have imagined it would be.

You sat up by yourself for the first time on Sunday. You love to stand up (with help, of course), and you even try to take little steps sometimes. You have started eating "solid food" from a spoon (cereal and applesauce so far) and you love it! I adore seeing you look so proud of yourself for doing something new. I think you know when you are doing "big girl" things that you have watched your daddy and I do, and you are so excited to be doing those things yourself!

Right now, you love bathtime, laughing at your puppies, your paci, sitting in your little chair, going for walks, riding in your sling, your butterfly mobile, your Gloworm, chewing on your hands (and anything else you can get a hold of!), snuggling and being held (you don't ever want me to put you down!), taking naps on my chest, teethers, "talking" in your sweet little voice, and people-watching. You are such a charmer...anytime people come up to us to say how cute you are, you grin and "talk" to them. And of course, then they just fall all over themselves because then you are a hundred times cuter!

You are still my "Tiny One." I am proud of you for hitting 13 pounds even last week! You are starting to outgrow size Newborn (you've been wearing those clothes for the past 5 months) and you are wearing 0-3 month clothes. Most of the 0-3 month outfits fit you properly now! You are growing on your own curve. That's okay, as long as you grow!

Can I tell you what one of my very favorite things about you is? When you get to laughing about something, you scream at the beginning of every belly laugh. It's as if you have so much joy in your little body that you just can't contain it. I love that about you. So cute and so hilarious. You get to laughing so hard until you are red in the face sometimes.

My other favorite thing right now is our cuddle time. You love being held close and snuggling. Which is great, because I love it too. I'm so happy I have a snuggly baby. When you are sleepy, you lay against my shoulder and run your fingers through my hair, touch my face, and coo to me. It's so sweet that I nearly cried just thinking about it. I love our time together so much. Promise me you won't outgrow snuggle time anytime soon, okay?

You are the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thought on my mind when I lay my head down and fall asleep at night. You are incredible, amazing, perfect, and the sweetest little girl in the world.

I love you, Baby Bear!

♥,
Mommy

Friday, October 10, 2008

6 month pics!

Brooklyn's 6 month pics were just posted online. She is 7 months old today!!! More on that and today's pre-op appointment to come...



















Blogger did something weird with the pic layout again. I need someone to tell me how to post pics the right way!!! Y'all all seem to know how to line them up so nicely and even type in between them! I just can't figure that out!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Imagine this...

The other morning, I called Dave to check in on him and Brooklyn. He told me that they were in Brooklyn's room playing "Conan O'Oinken," in which Brooklyn's stuffed pig is a talk show host. Her bear and sheep are talk show guests, her baby doll is the musical guest, and Brooklyn is in the studio audience. He does this kind of thing all the time. It cracks me up, because seriously, my husband has the imagination of a little kid and I know he just has a ball having a child to share it with.

Where the hell did my imagination go? I was thinking about this when Brooklyn and I were on a walk last night. I would never dream up Conan O'Oinken, and my hubby just comes up with stuff like this off the top of his head.

I can sing songs to my baby, read to her, show her toys. I can talk to her about what we are doing ("Oh look, I'm brushing my teeth. This is how we keep away those bad cavities! You don't have any teeth yet though, do you?" or "Did you hear that doggy barking? He sounds like a big doggy!") or I can tell her how much I love her. Things like that. But other than that...I'm kind of at a loss sometimes. I think it is my nature to edit myself so much that I have a hard time just being silly or childlike. I don't want to say anything stupid.

I think I have forgotten how to use my imagination. How to just think things up and not worry about what anyone else would think. I just can't let go and relax like that.

Especially in this situation...my baby isn't going to think I'm silly or dumb. I know this. Thinking the way that I do just becomes such a habit, I guess. I've gotten too grown up. I take myself too seriously. I wonder how exactly this happens. I mean, was it a gradual process, or did it happen overnight? And why did I lose this ability when my husband still has it? Do some of us just spend so much time filling our heads with worries and adult nonsense that our playfulness just fades away without us noticing?

I don't know how to make up stories to tell Brooklyn. Dave did it before she was even born. He would ride around on patrol and record himself on his digital recorder just talking to Brooklyn about anything and everything. He would tell her the story of us, he would ramble on about what he had done at work that day, he would talk about her future and what he wanted for her. He would make up these creative stories. Then we would put headphones on my belly and play his recordings for Brooklyn. I wanted her to know his voice. And she did. She would kick, kick, kick away when the recordings ended, like "I want to hear more!" I would feel her kicks, look at the recorder, and without fail, the segment would have just finished playing. I wasn't allowed to listen to the recordings, Dave said. They were just for Brooklyn.

Anyway...all that to say, I never could have just talked on and on like that with no one to answer me! I wouldn't have a clue what to say. And I don't know how to just play anymore. I have to really think hard about little games and ways to show Brooklyn her toys. I really envy my husband's abilities in this area.

I feel like a bad mom sometimes for not knowing how to do these things. I feel like people would think that I don't care enough about her to spend time playing with her or talking to her enough. I feel like I'm not doing enough, and I know that play is so important for babies. It seems as though I can't do something that probably comes naturally to most other parents. I don't really know what to do about it though. I wish it wasn't a struggle for me because it should be simple.

I hope I grow with my daughter and learn how to do all of this as she gets a little older and learns how to play. I hope my imagination redevelops as she discovers hers. I hope we can learn together.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Brooklyn's head

Over the weekend, my mom noticed that Brooklyn's head was more flat than it had been before. We had discussed the flatness with Dr. A before, and he had said that although the back of Brooklyn's head was flat, he wasn't too worried about it because it was not asymmetrical. Well, on Sunday we saw that it had become somewhat asymmetrical - the right side stuck out more and was making her right ear stick out a different direction than her left one. I also had noticed a little pea-sized knot on the back of her skull on Saturday, but didn't worry too much about it at the time.

I wasn't sure whether I should call Dr. A about it. I don't want them to think I'm the mom that freaks out and overreacts and calls about every little thing. Which I know I don't, but we are already at their office so much for Brooklyn's other problems. My mom called me at work on Monday and said she really thought I should call Dr. A just to ask him about it. So I did, and they wanted me to bring Brooklyn in at 4:00.

That's when I really started worrying...like oh crap, something else is wrong, they're going to send us to more specialists. They're going to make her wear one of those horrible skull-reshaping helmets. What about the little knot on her head? What if it's something really bad? I called my hubby and he was kind of freaking out too, talking about how he didn't want to put Brooklyn through anything else, etc...

But it was okay. Dr. A said that on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is a perfectly-shaped baby head, Brooklyn's is about a 3. Her skull is a little asymmetrical and she has a bit of a head tilt because of it. He showed me a couple of physical therapy exercises to do on her neck every day to help with that. He also told me to roll up a blanket or burp cloth and put it under the right side of her carseat cover when she sleeps at night to try to get her to turn her head to the left instead, to try to even things out. We are just going to keep an eye on it for now. Dr. A told us that most babies' heads will round back out by the time their soft spots close at 15 months. He said that if I wanted, he would refer us to Dallas to get her fitted for a helmet...I said NO THANK YOU!!! We are also going to keep an eye on the knot on her skull. He didn't seem alarmed by it but said that usually when babies have spots like those, they are lymph nodes, but her spot is too hard to be a lymph node. So hopefully it will just go away!!!

Oh...and little miss Brooklyn weighed 13 pounds even!!! She is doing so good with her weight gain the past few weeks. She will be 7 months this Friday. Unbelievable.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Eating like a big girl!

Brooklyn ate from a spoon for the first time today! She did a great job and made a big, hilarious mess. But that's half the fun, right? At first, I made the cereal the thickness called for on the box for "baby's first feeding." But that made it about the consistency about like the "nectar" she takes in her bottles. So she was sucking it off the spoon instead of taking bites. I thickened it up more and she started taking bites just like she had been doing it forever! She was reaching for the bowl if I took too long in between bites and ate all of the cereal that I fixed her. What a big girl!!!

video

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bouncing off the walls!!!

Last night, I told my hubby at 8:45 that I wanted to take a nap for about an hour because I just couldn't hold my eyes open anymore. I really hate doing this in the evenings because that's my time with Brooklyn, but she was taking a nap and I figured I would too before her next feeding.

So around 2:00 a.m., I realized that everyone else was in the bedroom too and this was no longer a nap. LOL, oh well. So I went back to sleep. And slept until 6:30 this morning! That has got to be the most sleep I have had in one stretch since...I don't know...maybe my second trimester???

And today I am SO energized! I can't think of the last time I felt this awake and this productive. I wish that I was at home so that I could be productive there instead of at the office, but oh well. Maybe I will still feel this way tonight. Woohoo! I feel like I could run up and down the street with a big grin on my face. Probably not the best idea though, since I work next door to the jail, and people would probably just think I was a crazy escaped inmate.

So before I get back to work, a few things I want to tell you about:

Brooklyn's weight check on Wednesday...she weighed 12 pounds and 13 ounces!!! Go baby!!! That's 5 ounces per week for 2 weeks! She has never been able to do that before. I'm happy, and so is Dr. A. Brooklyn is still right on that 3rd percentile curve...but Dr. A said that is FINE, because at least she is staying on a curve and not falling off it again. I was hoping they might say she didn't need the procedures on October 17, but no such luck because her breathing has not improved.

To celebrate, I went and bought Brooklyn a Bebe pod seat. Actually, I was going to buy one anyway, because she is too small for her high chair and Dr. had said that we could try giving her baby food for the first time. She can have a little bit of food as long as it doesn't take away from the calories she is getting in her bottles. Anyway, she needs the Bebe pod for that and because she can't sit up on her own yet and needs something to help her practice. She LOVES that thing! She just sits in it and plays with her toys and looks around at everyone like, "Hey, check me out, look what a big girl I am!" I'll post pictures later on. It's soooo cute.

I'm going to take Brooklyn after work to get some 6 month pictures done. The girl at the portrait studio said that I could bring more than one outfit. So now I am trying to figure out what outfits to take with us! Brooklyn is FINALLY starting to fit into some 0-3 month clothes (at almost 7 months old), so now she really has some cute outfits to wear. She has been wearing size newborn for about 5 months now, and there just aren't nearly as many adorable clothes in that size. Hardly any dresses or anything like that. So...hooray for 0-3 month clothes, and hooray for my sweet baby bear for growing!
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