Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finally, Juliana gets a win!

This week has been tough. On Tuesday, we took Juliana to the gastroenterologist. Last time we met him, he was arrogant, and abrasive with us (he was excellent with Juliana, though). Ryan told me to give him another chance, so we did.

We were dismayed to see that Juliana had only gained 2 ounces when she was weighed, but it wasn't like we were shocked. She had experienced a significant decrease in the amount of food she had been eating since she was started on Prevacid. Thankfully, the doctor listened to us this time, and agreed that Prevacid was doing more harm than good and started her back on Zantac. He also gave us a prescription for a medicine that would coat her esophagus. He thinks that she has learned to associate eating with pain, and hopefully this new medicine will help take away the pain of eating. We have to re-train her to believe that eating doesn't hurt. We go back in another 2 weeks for a weight check and to see if the medicine works.

Today, I took Juliana to the cardiologist (we really like this guy, so if you ever need a pediatric cardiologist, which I hope you don't, I strongly recommend him). Ryan stayed home with Noah, who was running a fever and had thrown up in the night (unfortunately I discovered it at 7 AM when I went to get him up).

They were running behind due to some medical emergencies in the morning, but Juliana was pretty happy. We were finally brought back to a room, and they did the usual: blood pressure, oxygen, pulse, and EKG. When the doctor came in, he was concerned about her lack of weight gain, but I assured him we were seeing the gastro guy in his office. He listened to her heart and said the murmur was much more faint, but he wanted to do an echocardiogram to confirm it, as well as check on her left ventricle.

This is where Juliana began to make us pay for the long wait. It took me a half hour to get her calmed down and asleep, and then the doctor was able to do the echo. He was very thorough, even checking the bloodvessels up into the neck. He spent a good 25 minutes on the echo (see why I like this man so much?). At the end, he looked at me and said the words I needed to hear this week, "2 of the holes are totally closed, and the third one has gotten much smaller. Her left ventricle is slightly enlarged, but it's within normal limits. I don't need to see her again until the summer." I was floored. I couldn't believe it. Finally, Juliana got a win! Thank you God, and thank you to everyone who has prayed for our little girl.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

She just doesn't get it...

So, our park district offers this program called "the biggest loser", based off the television show. Basically you pay a discounted fee and get 8 weeks membership at a gym, access to a personal trainer and they teach you how to eat healthy and use the equipment. I signed up to do it. I have a terrible body image (made even worse by 2 pregnancies), and I really want to get healthy for my kids and for myself.

Saturday I met with my first personal trainer. I had to fill out some papers, and at one point, I had to circle a number saying how committed I was to the program. I did not circle the 10, which indicates total commitment, for several reasons, and I think if you know me you already know why. For those of you who don't know me too well, I'll get to my reasons a little later.

Then, I got to get on the scale (sigh), and then I got measured (even more humiliation). Then the trainer gives me the workout schedule. She wanted me to do cardio workouts 5 days a week and do strength training every 4 days. In addition to that she wanted me to attend 4 "classes" a week: yoga-lates, belly dancing (no one needs to be subjected to seeing me attempt to dance in any form), combat kick boxing, and yoga. I started to giggle a little bit- sometimes I do that when I'm nervous.

So, she asks me: " Do you think you can do all of this?" Me: "Not all of it." Her: "Why not?" Me: "My family comes first." Her: "I thought you wanted to get healthy." Me: "I do, but" (then I got cut off). Her: "Don't make excuses." Me (trying to control my temper): "Look, I have a 2 year old son that I don't get to see enough because I have to work. I have a 4 1/2 month old daughter who has health issues that I don't get to see enough because I have to work, and I haven't even been able to enjoy my daughter because all we do is go to doctor's and try to get her to eat". Her: "You're married right?" Me: "Yes, for 10 years". Her: "Can't your husband watch the kids so you can workout?" Me: "Yes, but that's not the point. I want to see my family. I will come to work out after my children have gone to bed, but I won't do it every day, because I have a husband and I want to see him." Her: "Why don't you work out in the morning? We open at 5". Me: "Well, my daughter gets up in the night, so I feed her, and then I usually get up for the day after 5". Her: "So, you can workout then". Me: "Well, not really. I have to get myself and 2 kids ready so that I can drop them off at the babysitter and then go to work". Her: "What about your husband?" Me: "He's helping me get them ready until he has to leave". Her: "So, you're not that committed to the program". Me: "Not according to your standards."

She just didn't get it.

I meet with a new personal trainer tonight. One who is married and has children. I'll let you know how that goes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Grandma Vicki and Juliana...

My mom prides herself that the reason she and Noah have such a close relationship is because she was in the delivery room when he was born and cut his cord (yes, Ryan refused to do it). She was also the second one to hold him (no, I wasn't the third person, more like the 6th person).

When I was in labor with Juliana it was progressing slowly, so we figured my mom had plenty of time to leave our house (she and Grandpa were watching Noah) and get to the hospital. Things didn't work out like that. Since the epidural didn't work, everytime Ryan asked if he should call my mom, I refused to let him leave my side and threatened him when he tried to pull out his cell phone. Needless to say, Grandma Vicki wasn't in the delivery room to welcome the little girl or cut the cord (I cut the cord and got to hold her second).

Juliana's body temperature runs very warm, much like Grandma Vicki's. Sometimes, Juliana's head is so warm that I take her temperature to see if she has a fever. She doesn't. When my mom puts her hands on me, I tell her to take them off, because they're like the "hot hands from h-e double hockey sticks".

Grandma Vicki hasn't gotten to hold Juliana as much as she'd like, because she tends to cause Juliana to overheat (and vice versa) and then Juliana gets angry until someone much cooler takes her. Grandma Vicki, of course, chalks this up to not being in the delivery room with her and not cutting her cord.

I have felt bad for my mom, because she so desperately wants to hold Juliana and instead she has to watch the rest of us hold her while she smiles and babbles at us. She wants to feed Juliana a bottle, (and we all know how well feeding her has gone for those of us who run a bit cooler than my mom) but she hasn't been able to do that either.

Over Labor Day weekend, my parents spent the night, and I was able to get some pictures of my mom with Juliana. Not holding her, but she's pretty close. Mom, these are for you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Daddy/Uncle Ryan/Uncle Bill

Last weekend, we had my family down on Saturday. Uncle Bill amused the kiddies in the bouncy house, and then when he went inside to play with Juliana, Ryan played with the kiddies. Words don't really do it justice, but pictures do.
"Alright, everyone line up!"

"1,2,3..." Push!

Okay, Ryan has Rori and Noah...

With Finchy on his heels, he begins to run the yard...

Wait, he's carrying Liam too?!?

Look at Liam's face, he's having a good time

Look at Noah's face, he's having a good time

Ryan did this several times, until his asthma kicked in and he had to go get his inhaler. Rori went inside to ask him to do it again. Ryan had to explain to her that sometimes his lungs don't work so well. Being the smart girl that she is, Rori came out and asked me if that was really true. I confirmed it, and then she asked papa (Bill) if he would do it- see, I told you she was smart!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Praise You In This Storm...

"I was sure by now
God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will life my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth"
-Casting Crowns
God, I'm trying to praise you through this storm with Juliana, but I'm having a hard time right now. Lord, we just want her to be healthy. Please help the doctor's to find out what's wrong with her.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Noah's first plane ride...

Today, Auntie Val and Uncle Randy called us and we met them at the airport. My uncle owns his own plane and they fly all over the country. I had mentioned that Noah loves planes when they came down for Juliana's dedication and had told them that we could meet them at the airport sometime so Noah could see the plane.

We got to the airport before they landed, and Noah got more and more excited every time a plane landed. When Auntie Val and Uncle Randy landed, Noah practically dragged me out to the runway to get to the airplane. The closer we got to the plane, the more Noah started to jump up and down.

He got to sit in the plane and pretended to fly it. He pointed to the different gauges and Auntie Val told him what they did. Then, Auntie Val asked if we thought Noah would want to go for a ride in the plane. Noah said, "okay!" and got so excited. Uncle Randy couldn't get the plane ready fast enough. He insisted on sitting in his own seat, instead of on my lap. At first, he didn't want to wear the headset, but once we were in the air, I slipped the headset on his ears, and he could hear all of us talking. He kept saying, "I flying momma". When we landed, he wanted to go again, so we went up again. He had so much fun. Thanks Auntie Val and Uncle Randy for indulging my little boy.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Hair Raising Experience...

Yesterday Poppa Jim and Grandma Vicki spent the night. Poppa Jim brought Noah a train to add to his Thomas collection. He brought Noah, Emily. The cool thing about Emily, is that when you put a battery in her, she moves all by herself, which Noah thought was very cool.

Tonight, while Ryan was making dinner, and I was soothing an angry Juliana (she didn't nap well today), Noah was playing with Emily on the floor. Emily went under the table, so Noah went under to get her out. Noah stood up and hit his head on the table. All of a sudden, I heard him crying. I put the baby down and went to see what was wrong. Noah was holding the top of his head and crying/screaming.

When Noah hit his head, he put his hands on top of his head. In one of his hands, he had Emily.

Can you see where I'm going with this?

Emily was still ON, and her wheels were turning in his hair. I quickly turned Emily off. Noah was trying to yank Emily out of his hair. By the time Ryan got to us to help, Noah had pulled Emily out of part of his hair. Then, I had to get the scissors.

Here's the end result...

And yes, Juliana was still angry during all this.

Noah did recover after Emily was removed from his head. Juliana, on the other hand, went to bed early.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

On a positive note...

Yesterday, I took Juliana in for her weight check. She had been eating a little more than usual since we added rice cereal to her bottle and was keeping it down. Of course, there was the set back where she refused to eat for Theresa for a couple days when I went back to work. Then there was another setback, the projectile vomiting. Last Friday, I was feeding Juliana in the morning and she was eating well. Then, I heard the telltale gurgle and I positioned the burp cloth. The girl spewed forth more than I thought possible. It was all over the floor, the couch, and running down my arm. Then, she turned to look at me, smiled, and continued to spew forth her bottle. Ryan was coming down the stairs and I yelled for help. He brought me 3 burp cloths and that wasn't enough to clean up the mess. Fortunately, she was done, so Ryan cleaned her up, got her to eat an ounce, and she went back to bed. I got to clean up myself and the rest of the mess, and then get ready for work. Whenever Juliana projectiles, she doesn't eat well for the rest of the day, so Friday's feedings were kind of a wash. Saturday she did better. Sunday she did better...until 11:30 that night. Again, I heard the telltale gurgle (and I have to wonder why she always picks me as the target and not Ryan) and positioned myself. She looked right at me, smiled again, and I got it in the face (nasty right?). Fortunately I was wearing my glasses so I was able to reposition her so that she wasn't spewing forth at me anymore. This time, Ryan wasn't around to rescue me. He was upstairs (snoring) sound asleep. I got her cleaned up and made up a small bottle for her, when I realized that I was soaked and that before she was going to eat, I needed to change my pajamas. Of course, then Ryan woke up (I had to turn on the bathroom light so I could find my pj's) and offered to help me (at least he offered, right?).

Monday, I warned Theresa that she had projectiled and that feeding may not go well. I was bummed, because this was the day of our big weigh-in. I was right, she had a rough day. While we waited in the doctor's office, I was able to get her to eat a large amount of her bottle (Theresa and I had hoped that would add some extra weight with a full belly). We finally got called back, and we put her on the scale. 11 pounds 2 ounces. The nurse went to check with the doctor. Nope, not enough of a weight gain. As soon as I heard the words, I wanted to throw up. Then I heard the words "pediatric gastroenterologist and nutrition specialist", "get in as soon as possible",
"very low weight gain". I think I retched a little bit and fortunately Noah was there so I didn't start to cry.

We got home from the pediatrician and it was too late to call and get an appointment. I called this morning, and on a positive note, there was a cancellation and they can get Juliana in Tuesday (the day after labor day). Otherwise there would have been a month long wait. Thank you Jesus for the small victories!