Thursday, July 21, 2011

Just Breathe

Monday did not turn out the way I thought it would. I thought we'd go to the pediatrician in the afternoon, and do our grocery shopping on the way home. Instead, we ended up in an ambulance on our way to a local hospital. Talk about a change of plans.

The reason for all that was that Michaela has had a few episodes of apnea lately. It all started on the Fourth of July. It was a very hot day, and I remember that we fed Michaela a bottle before changing her diaper. When my mom picked her up, she told me that Michaela had gone to sleep very quickly and that she was very limp. I put my ear up to her face and I couldn't hear any breath sounds. I told my mom to put her back on the bed, and I jostled her a bit and said her name in a loud voice. She woke up and started breathing again. We all watched her carefully for the rest of the day, and thankfully she did not do that again.

I thought about calling the doctor, but the days went by and nothing like it happened again. However, I did keep thinking about it, and after reading some things online, I decided to purchase a monitor called the Snuza Go! This is a very small monitor that Michaela wears on the waist of her diaper. If the baby doesn't move at least eight times in an hour, the alarm goes off. If the baby doesn't take a breath in 15 or 20 seconds the alarm goes off. The first two nights she wore it, it went off at least once. I simply woke Michaela up and she seemed fine.

When we went to the doctor on Monday, I mentioned three things that I was concerned about:
  1. Michaela's belly button seems to be herniated.
  2. Michaela spits up a lot, and I've got her on a special formula for that.
  3. Michaela seemingly has some sort of apnea.
As for the first concern, Dr. C says that it should correct itself in her first year of life. If not, we'll consider surgery to repair it. And the doctor agreed with my decision to put Michaela on a formula designed for babies with spit up or acid reflux. But, the third concern I mentioned really got her attention. She told me that we'd have to got to the hospital for testing that afternoon.

But, before we left, Michaela needed some vaccinations. By this time she had fallen asleep and we couldn't wake her up. She woke up quickly with the first injection and howled. Poor thing! The last vaccination was administered orally, and she seemed to choke on it. Then she went limp again like she had on the Fourth of July. She came to quickly, but that was enough for the doctor to order us an ambulance to transport us to the hospital.

Over the next two days, Michaela was tested for any abnormalities of the brain, heart, and digestive system. Fortunately, her brain and her heart are normal, but an upper GI showed some reflux. Further testing with a pH probe over a twenty-four hour period confirmed that she has acid reflux. That explains all the spit up.

Michaela snoozing away during her EEG

So, the apnea episodes are caused by her acid reflux. The doctors believe that it is a condition that she will outgrow in the coming months. In the meantime, she is taking a liquid version of Zantac.

It was so heartbreaking and stressful to watch her endure some of the tests. She was inconsolable when they inserted an IV line in her little hand - a line that was never needed, but it was there just in case. Then she was forced to fast for several hours prior to her upper GI, and that was so hard for her. She cried and cried. I was so thankful when that was over! Inserting the pH probe was also very upsetting to her, but once it was in she got used to it fairly quickly. All in all, she had a total of six tubes and/or wires attached to her, and that made it hard to hold her and feed her.

 Michaela with the pH probe

She was a little trooper - flashing gummy smiles at everyone who came in to see her. The doctors and nurses were fantastic, and she won them all over very quickly. I always believed that we'd have a diagnosis that was easily treatable, and I'm so thankful that has turned out to be the case.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Michaela @ Two Months Old




Michaela now weighs 11 pounds and fourteen ounces, and she measures 23.5 inches long. She is growing like a weed! We have passed on or put away most of the 0-3 months clothing, and she is wearing 3 and 3-6 months clothing items now. Getting her dressed each day is so much fun for me!

She is very strong baby. She is gaining better control of her head and neck all the time. Under advisement from our pediatrician, she has just started tummy time now that she's two months old. I have a tummy time mat for her with a nice bolster and some toys to look at. She's not crazy about that activity, but it's so important for her physical development. I keep it short to avoid frustration on her part. Another physical development is that she is developing hand-eye coordination. Her little fists and fingers are frequently found in her mouth these days as she prefers sucking on them to her pacifiers.

Michaela is a very alert baby, too. She watches everything around her with serious intent. She will furrow her brow as she watches people and things. Michaela also responds to me and other people when we talk to her or sing to her. She smiles frequently and coos in delight. It just warms my heart to see her precious smile and hear her sweet little voice.

She is a good sleeper. She will sleep anywhere from four to six hours during the night. Michaela will fall asleep on her own between eight and nine o'clock in the evening. This allows me to get some much needed rest. We really only have to get up once in the night for a bottle, and then we are up to start our day anytime between 5:30 am and 7 am. She is still small enough to sleep in her bassinet, but I can see that she won't fit in there for much longer. I will be sad when we have to transition her into her own bedroom and her crib. I love having her close to me.

Lastly, she is a good eater. She takes four or five ounces of formula every two-and-a-half to three hours during the day. She will get very upset if I am slow to prepare her milk!

I absolutely love being Michaela's mommy! She keeps me hopping around the clock, but it is the most rewarding job I've ever had. Every day brings a new challenge or a new discovery. I have waited twenty years for her, and I am savoring every moment.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fourth of July 2011

We had a pretty low-key Fourth of July this year because Michaela is just too little to enjoy a parade or a fireworks display. I did want her to wear something festive, and so I purchased this cute little outfit for her on Zulily. The day ended up being very warm and so she didn't wear this for very long, but she sure looked darling in it.

We spent the afternoon and evening at my parents' house. I had discovered Ina Garten's recipe for a Kitchen Clambake a couple of weeks beforehand, and we prepared that for dinner. Let me just tell you that it was super easy and incredibly delicious. I think it will become a Fourth of July tradition for us!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Not Meant to Be

Two posts in one day. What's up with that?

I just had to mention that it seems that today would have been the day I finally received my referral from China had I not forfeited to marry Michael. My LID (log-in date) was July 5, 2006 and I expected to receive my referral within 12-18 months from then. I was going to name her Jillian Rose.

No one really knows exactly why the China adoption process has lengthened like it has, but I'm glad that I changed course when I did. Marrying Michael was one of the best things I've ever done, and the Lord has blessed me with a beautiful daughter. I wouldn't give up our short marriage or Michaela for anything.

Even so, I wish things could have worked out so that I could have completed my adoption, and married Michael, and had Michaela. He was supportive of my decision to adopt, and he would have adopted her himself once we married. It was something we talked about. But as the wait grew, I didn't feel that an indefinite wait was something I wanted to endure.

It just wasn't meant to be for me, but I will always have a heart for the orphans of China and the families who make them their own.

Poor Little Neglected Blog

Michaela has a beautiful smile, but I haven't caught it on camera yet.

Not much time for blogging these days because Michaela keeps me very busy! She is thriving and a pure joy. I am so blessed to be her mommy.

What's new? Well, we are getting out of the house more frequently now. Earlier this week we had a successful afternoon with Teresa and Wren at Fashion Island. Both babies slept most of the afternoon, and we mommies were able to have lunch, walk around, and have a nice visit. It's so nice to be sharing this new season of life with such a good friend.

We've also gone to church, the farmers market, to Auntie Julie's, and to both sets of grandparents' homes. It takes forever to get ready, and I feel like I'm taking enough gear with us for a weekend camping trip. But it's so good once we are on our way!

Whenever we can, we are walking through the neighborhood and the local park. Buffy walks with us and she's really good even with the stroller. I lost the first thirty pounds of my pregnancy weight without trying to, but the next 15-20 are going to require some effort on my part. I'm trying to eat smart and work up to the three-mile walk I used to do. Hopefully that will be enough. I am concerned that if I do not drop at least ten more pounds before I go back to work, that I will still be wearing maternity clothes then. I can't bear to do that! I need my Ann Taylor Loft wardrobe. I look in my closet and see so many cute things that I just can't fit into and it makes me feel all Boo Boo Kitty.

I'm learning which baby gear products work for us and which don't. Conceptually, everything seems so great, but in my real life everything does not live up to my expectations. Maybe I should devote a post to what I've learned, but not right now.

Anyway, we are doing well. Every day brings something new and sweet to enjoy because of Michaela.