Thursday, February 25, 2010

Preschoolers and Peace

One of my favorite blogs to read is having a giveaway of a copy of how she used Circle Time as part of her day with her children. Check it out!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mommy Anniversary

Today marks the anniversary of a very sweet day...the day that my first child, my son Christopher, was born nine years ago today.
As I write this, I look out the window and see him and Matthew playing in the backyard with a bungee cord. Christopher has it hooked on the front of his shorts and Matthew has it hooked on the back of his pants and they are trying to pull apart from each other. That's their life. And I love it.

I love that boy so much. He's so sweet and smart and loving and sensitive and handsome and cuddly. We know when he's happy and he has a great laugh to show it. We know when he's had his feelings hurt because has a sweet crack in his voice as he tries not to cry. We definatley know when he's mad (and we're trying to work on that!) He's the most honest child I've met. He's so smart and has a ginormous imagination. He doesn't try to fit in with others, which I love, but he's also shy unless he's with his best bud. Or with his brothers. He hates talking on the phone. He loves playing outside and riding his bike and doing (what he thinks are) cool tricks on it. He's growing up to be a great kid and I love him so much.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Snuggly Afternoon

I am snuggling with Anna on one couch and my four other children are sitting in a row on the couch next to me watching "Fetch" on television, each with an airplane in their hand (yes, even Leah). The only thing that would make this moment more perfect would be if Chris were home from work. And if Leah hadn't taken all of the DVDs out of the movie case a minute ago. But they are happy and laughing and Anna is sleeping on my chest and I am so blessed by God by this moment.

We are taking the week off of school again and two of the kids and I are still in our pajamas this afternoon, but that's okay. I'm comfortable with that. The house is a mess and a friend from church just dropped off a dinner for us. I'm becoming okay with the house being a mess all of the time. Really, I've never been the tidiest person, but it's pretty ridiculous this week. I would rather it be a little tidier when friends see it, and just in general I guess, but I can clean and impress friends when my babies grow up. For now, I'm okay with my messy house if it means I can cuddle with my last newborn all day.

I recently heard a new mom say how she could not believe how much love she can feel for her new son, born just before Anna was, when she thought she gave all of her love to her first son. I wonder the same thing with every single one of my five children. How can I have room in my heart for each child? So much love that my heart aches thinking about it. And then I think about how my God loves them more than that and I can't even imagine how that's possible, but I know it's true.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Anna's RSV far

Day One: Tuesday evening Anna started throwing up. Throughout the night she threw up six times. Throwing up is different than spitting up. Spit up does not shoot at least two feet out of a baby's mouth like throw up does.

Day Two: By Wednesday morning Anna had a 100.8 degree fever. I made an appointment for her at the BAMC Pediatric Clinic because the Randolph Clinic did not have any available. The appointment was for 8:20 AM. I left at 7:40 AM because it was raining and I wanted to give myself extra time to get there. It normally is a 20 minute drive. It took an hour to get there because of traffic and the rain, so I was 20 minutes late for the appointment. Thankfully, they still saw her.
The doctor we saw, Dr. Gonzalez, had read Anna's chart already and knew about my Group B Strep infection at birth and Anna's unresponsiveness at birth and her one week stay in the NICU for antibiotics. She was worried that Anna may be experiencing late onset Group B Strep, which is pretty bad, and said she'd have to take an ambulance over to Wilford Hall at Lackland Air Force Base for another week of antibiotics. She had Anna's blood drawn and her urine collected and tested. Of course, her veins are so tiny and the nurse had to move the needle aroung once it was in her wrist, which Anna hated and screamed through. The nurse needed to use a catheter to collect Anna's urine. That took a while as well because getting a tube in her tiny urethra was not easy. More screaming from Anna and crying from her mama.
A half hour later, she had to collect more blood because some of it had clotted and couldn't be used for testing. Luckily, only a small amount was needed so they could prick her heel and squeeze it out.
I had asked about taking her myself and going to North Central Baptist since it was closer to my house and was told no, but I could probably take her myself to Wilford Hall. Dr. Gonzalez ended up talking to the Infectious Disease doctor at Wilford Hall and they decided since all of the blood and urine tests came back normal, and she was eating well, I could take Anna home and come back the next day to see how she was doing. I also learned that Anna had only gained an average of 8 grams a day over the last week or so and babies her age are supposed to gain an average of 30 grams a day. So, four hours later, we went home with instructions to go the ER if her temperature went above 100.4 again.
So that evening at 5:30, it was up to 100.7 and I took her the ER at North Central Baptist. We were seen right away and her temperature was down to 100.0, which is not considered a fever in a baby. They suctioned her nose, did some chest x-rays, called BAMC for the blood and urine test results and the results of the mucus from her nose showed that she had RSV. The chest x-rays were clear and her oxygen level was good, so they sent us home and said if she started having trouble breathing, to bring her back to the ER. Otherwise, have her see her doctor everyday to check her until she is better. She scheduled us to come to the weekend clinic at BAMC for Saturday.

Day 3: We had her doctor appointment still scheduled with Dr. Gonzalez at BAMC for 1PM. I called Randolph AFB to see if her regular pediatrician was available that day and he was not, so I kept the appointment at BAMC. Anna had a sad, squeaky cough by then, but no fever and not really too much mucus in her nose. She could breathe fine while she ate, but she still wasn't eating as much as usual. The doctor said she'd likely get worse and to watch her breathing.

Day 4: After a sleepless night by me because I was trying to watch Anna's every breath, I over reacted at four in the morning and took her back to the ER. She was taking a lot of pauses in her breathing and I wasn't comfortable with it. Well, she was fine and we went home.

Day 5: I slept with Anna in a reclining rocking chair in our room all night. She did well but it wasn't easy for me to actually sleep that way. Chris took a short shift to help out. Anna's nose has more mucus in it, but she can still breathe when she eats, even if she eats for only about two minutes at a time. We went to her appointment at the BAMC clinic and she has an ear infection now. Her cough is more wet and actually sounds better. She lost two ounces since three days ago, which is not good, but she was vomiting again last night. We are going in again for another check-up tomorrow. I think she's doing well compared to stories of other babies being hospitalized with RSV or having breathing treatments at home. Her oxygen saturation level was down from 100% to 96% today, but as long as it stays in the 90's, they are happy.

Hopefully there won't be very many days left of this. She's supposed to be at the worst part today and tomorrow.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Good & The Bad

So poor little Anna has RSV. She is four weeks old. None of my other kids have gotten this and I knew it was bad, but I'm freaking out a little bit and praying a LOT for her to get through this without getting worse. I took her in to the doctor on Wednesday morning because she had been projectile vomiting all night (six times to be exact). She also had a fever. The doctor we saw (never saw before) at BAMC (Army hospital) was worried it had to do with late onset Group B Strep infection since we both had issues with it at Anna's birth. She wanted to admit her to the hospital that day for another week of antibiotics. They tortured her with a needle (I mean, drew her blood) and tortured her with a tube (I mean, used a catheter to get her urine) and those test results did not show an infection. I really did not want to spend a week in the hospital with her for something she probably did not have, although there is always that thought, what if? What if she did have it? I've been doubting my mothering decisions lately (gotta love these post pregnancy hormones) and this isn't helping.

Anyways, after four hours in the doctor's office, we were sent home with what to look for to have to take her to the ER. Basically, a fever of 100.4 or higher. We also had an appointment to take her back the next day. So that evening, she had a fever of 100.7 and I took her to North Central Baptist Hospital ER. They were great, tested her for RSV and the flu right away (they never tested her for that at the doctor's office). She tested positive for RSV and the doctor said that she'd likely get a lot worse before she got better and sent us on our way. We were there for about an hour and a half. They called BAMC to get the lab results (awesome that they did not torture her again for those...the doctor's hubby worked at BAMC so they could break the military barrier to get the results). They also did x-rays of her lungs, bringing an x-ray machine in HER ROOM! That is high tech baby, not military type health care! Anyways, we went home with instructions to see a doctor everyday and take her to the ER if she had trouble breathing. We went back to the BAMC doctor yesterday and she looked a little sicker, but still could breathe through her nose...yay! She has a horrible, croaking/squeaking cough and wasn't eating quite normally, but still breathing well. This morning (Friday), at about 4AM, she was breathing funny, taking very long breaks from breathing (5-8 seconds) and then struggling a little bit to get her next breath, so I took her back to the ER. Once we got there, she was breathing better of course and her oxygen saturation level was 100%. So, with instructions to stop watching her every breath and to get some sleep (I was sleeping on the floor next to her in the bouncy seat for part of the night with my hand on her belly), we were sent home with me feeling like an over reacting mom. The doctor said I'd be able to hear her struggle for breath from across the room if she was really having trouble breathing, and be able to see her ribs from the effort her body would be making. So here we are, Friday afternoon and she's been sleeping all day, with small bursts of painful crying and not eating so well, but still eating well enough I think.

I have been praying that she not get worse, and really, the anticipation of how bad I've heard it can get is really making me crazy. She's on Day 4 and I've been told days 4-6 are when it is the worst, so hopefully we just need to get through the weekend. She has another doctor appointment tomorrow (Saturday) at BAMC (weekend clinic hours!). For now, I'll just keep holding my sweet baby girl and praying that this is as bad as she'll get.

The other kids likely have RSV as well (the doctor said), which basically means a mild cold in them since they are not babies. Cough and runny nose. No decrease in energy level with them at all. In fact, because I have even less energy, it seems like they have more! Actually, they seem to be over it now, just a lingering runny nose with Leah.

We've missed both MOPS and co-op this week and that is important adult time for me :o( I certainly don't want to spread the germs to the other babies out there though.

Okay, now onto the good news...while I was at the ER with Anna on Wednesday night, Chris' new squadron commander and his wife stopped by our house with this...

My wonderfully awesome husband will soon be a MAJOR in the Air Force. Well, soon is an overstatement. His line number is 886 so he'll be able to actually wear that rank (and get the pay raise) in about year. One guy in his squadron has the line number of 2977, so 886 doesn't look too far away compared to that. It's based on when he got commissioned and his number is lower than he thought it would be, so yay!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Five is Hard!

Yes, five children is proving to be more difficult than four. I think adding a newborn to any mix is harder than what you're used to though. Especially when you are adding a newborn to a mix of children that includes a toddler. A toddler that is getting to that special age where she wants to test her independance and she knows that you can't jump up to correct her while you are feeding or holding a newborn and she just looks at you and continues to push every magazine and other pieces of clutter off of the table while you sternly tell her to stop. Or will not come to you when she has a glob of snot running down her face that you want to wipe away.

But then Leah wants to hold sweet Anna and I would not change anything at all (except the snot glob).