Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Leah's Mystery Ailment

So if you and I are friends on Facebook, you'll have seen all my posts about Leah's mystery disease. But if not, I'll bring everyone up to speed.

Last Friday, I noticed that Leah slept all day long. As in, I think she was awake for approximately 3 hours. Whenever we would move her at all, she would scream like she was in pain. She wasn't eating very much either.

Overnight, I noticed that she was getting really, really hot. Around 5AM, I took her temperature and it was 101 under her arm, or about 102 core temperature. I knew this was not good, so I called my mom for advice, who suggested Tylenol and a sponge bath. This worked for a while, but when she was still not eating, was still screaming when we touched her, and was still listless we decided to call the doctor.

The doctor on call returned our call almost immediately and suggested that we go to the ER. We had been mulling over that possibility all day. Leah, when healthy, has turned into an extremely active and extroverted baby, so this was totally unlike her. We took her to the ER, and I will give Mary Wash Hosp credit, they saw her immediately--it was so fast I thought they were calling me up for more paperwork and instead the nurse asked where the patient was. Having sat in the MWH waiting room for 5 hours with a broken leg, I was impressed.

So they did the standard tests, took her temp and pulse and oxygen rates, her temp was 100.7 when we got there. They did a urinalysis and drew blood (fun for mom on both accounts--why do they make moms hold down screaming babies for things like catheters and needle sticks?!) and then we got sent to a waiting room.

I had left in such a hurry, I hadn't even stopped to consider packing her diaper bag, and by now she was starting to get a little hungry. The nurse found us some formula and I called my sister and asked her to bring over some more. The doctor finally came back after a couple hours and told us that the urinalysis was clear and the blood didn't show anything alarming. His best guess was that it was some sort of virus that would eventually burn itself out with the fever. He told us to follow up with the pediatrician on Monday and that they would call us if anything serious turned up.

We went home and waited it out. She actually seemed to be improving on Sunday, as she was a bit more lively and eating better. She was not sleeping at night, however. I think the Friday sleep turned her days and nights all around, and so we were up ALL NIGHT. Monday morning, Michael called the doctor while I tried to doze for a while, and we got an appointment. I took Leah up and they gave her a check up and again, couldn't find anything. I took the initial lab results with me and Dr. Crane said nothing points to anything suspicious. Leah's fever was down, but she had developed a nasty rash. Dr. Crane said that oftentimes if a virus is to blame, at the end of its lifecycle it will manifest as a rash and that's how you know that the virus is dying off. She suggested more rest, feed her what she would tolerate, and continue the Tylenol for pain.

We got home and there was a call from MWH's lab asking me to call back, which made me very nervous. I called and spoke to the doctor, who said they had possibly found a bacteria in one of the cultures. It was a common bacteria and more likely than not, it was from her skin and had just found its way into the sample, but they would know more in 24 hours and would call back if it required medical attention.

To date, we haven't heard from them and it's been 48 hours since I spoke to them. This is hopefully good news. Today Leah is back to being her normal self, which is to say a total ray of sunshine. She's back to giggling, smiling, babbling, snuggling, etc. Her sleep is not totally normal--she woke up 3 times last night, but each time after a feeding or a pacifier, she went right back to sleep, unlike on Monday night when she was up from 11:30 to 4:30 and I wanted to kill myself (thanks again to Melissa for coming so Mom could have naptime!). We'll see what happens, we have a big week coming up with our travel next week, so I'm trying to take it easy now so that she'll be well rested for the journey to New York. I know she will be good medicine for her PopPop and seeing him doing better will be good medicine for me, so fingers crossed it all goes well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Look What I Can Do!

Leah has made some big gains this month already!

First of all, occasionally she holds her bottle by herself. Ususally I can't capture this in any appreciable way on camera because I'm holding her. However, this weekend when we were with Tasha, she held it and since I was not holding her at the time, I got a picture of her doing it! WOW!

I've also noticed when I go to retrieve her in the mornings from her sleep that she is often rolled over from how she went to sleep. Today I captured her as she rolled over on our bed.

Our little girl is growing up, no doubt about it! It's wondrous to watch.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Visit with Tasha

Yesterday, we drove up to Baltimore to visit with Tasha, Leah's birthmom. She has gone through a lot of upheaval in the three months since Leah was born, so I was very happy that we could visit her and bring her a little sunshine.

We arrived almost an hour late courtesy of the DC DOT (which is now officially on my list of DOT's that I cannot stand), but it was fine. We hung out at Tasha's place for another hour, during which her sister came by to visit, and then we headed out to where it all began: The Cheesecake Factory!

It was fun--we ate outside overlooking the paddleboats and aquarium, which I am definitely looking forward to taking Leah to someday. It was so nice to have a wonderful afternoon to catch up and just really enjoy ourselves, the pressure is off from the adoption, Michael and I can relax, and just enjoy this young woman in our lives.

It was hard to say goodbye, but nice to drive on with a text coming into my cell that read, "Thanks for everything, you are doing an amazing job. I couldn't have picked better parents in the world than you. Love ya!"

We also gave Tasha the album yesterday with the cards everyone had made and about 125 pictures of Leah's first 3 months. She actually cried over everyone's notes and sentiments. I told her there might be a few more on the way, so if you haven't sent one yet, but want to, feel free. We'll go visit her again this fall AFTER the baseball season--Baltimore sucks when everyone's in town for the O's.

It was tough to say goodbye, but the joy of an open adoption is that we're only saying "Goodbye for now" and we know we'll see her again! It's great that she's so close by and we can have regular visits. This adoption has turned into everything I didn't think I wanted, and it's made me so happy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Three Month Girl

Sweet Leah,

Today marks a celebration of three months since you first put your stamp on this world, since Daddy and I first earned the title of "parent", and since we first fell in love with all our hearts with a perfect little stranger. It has been a whirlwind, to say the least, and you have been so good and so patient through it all. The days are blending together, it's getting harder to remember what happened when and how, and hard to carve out time to write down our memories, which is sad. We must try harder!

You currently seem to be in the midst of a big growth spurt. For a while this month, we had you eating every 3 1/2 hours or so, but now you are back to demanding food every 2 1/2 hours and you want a lot of it! I have had to go through your clothes twice now and get rid of things that you can't fit into any more, some of which you never wore! And it looks like we're going to have to go on a shopping trip for some sleepers--you can't stretch out like you love doing while wearing your 0-3 month sleepers any more! This morning on the scale, you registered 13 pounds 3 ounces, which makes you gaining roughly a pound a month!

This month you've also had to endure some serious time in the car. You had a mini taste of it when we traveled to New Jersey, but then you had major car time when we drove to New York. The trip to New Jersey was pretty good, but the trip home was a challenge. Ditto the trip to New York, relatively speaking, it was better going up than coming home. How you can scream for the majority of 7 hours, I do not know. Not only would our throats be killing us, we'd be exhausted. But you've raised it to an art form.

You've met tons of new people this month and enjoyed every last one of them. You got cozy with Uncle Russell and Auntie Amy when they came all the way from Georgia to see you. They loved you as we all do, as did Auntie Amy's family. And of course, you met two famous authors this month, Annie Barrows and Janet Evanovich, both of whom wanted to steal you and take you home with them. You were also the star of the hospital waiting rooms in ICU and in the family room when PopPop was recovering in the cardiac care unit. Everyone loved you to bits, and you charmed the socks off them, even getting the nurses to allow you in for short visits when they should not have done so. And of course, PopPop's friend Beth loved having you at her house too.

This month you also took your first trip by boat. You have now traveled by car, boat, and train, once you take a plane trip you'll be a seasoned traveler! You didn't care for being in the boat in your car seat, but when we let you 'drive' or when we walked around in the fresh air, you loved it.

You seemed to thrive in the mountain air and slept like a champion our entire visit in New York/Vermont. In fact, sleeping is one of the things you continue to do very well--you often sleep through the night, and when you don't it's only because you have fallen asleep early and need to wake up to eat and have a quick diaper change before catching another 3 or 4 hours. We find it extraordinary, as does everyone else who wonders if we know how lucky we are to have a sleeping baby? (Of course we do! Now if we could just figure out the car thing!)

You and Cousin Dottie certainly keep us all on our toes. While we were in New York, the two of you kept riling each other up--one of you and then the other. I suspect when I look at you that you are plotting against us already. Your aunt and uncle and father and I will all have to get a game plan before you get a whole lot older or we're in big trouble!

Your favorite toy continues to be the monkey mat. You will now play on it for an hour before getting tired. You still love the ceiling fan and have reached an agreement with the baby swing, which you happily sit in during our dinnertime, and when you are getting crabby before naptime and need to settle down. You always flop to the left hand side of the swing and just lay there, listening to the music and swinging until you fall asleep. The swing makes trips to all 3 floors of the house, but that's just the way you like it.

You are much more smiley and vocal. You have developed a laugh that absolutely kills me. It's a whole body laugh, your little eyes scrunch up, you open your mouth, kick your feet and laugh. This makes me laugh, which makes you laugh harder. It is your most adorable new feature. You do it if I make silly faces at you or make silly sounds. Your babbling is reaching new heights of performance--you are starting to talk back now and love it if we imitate the sounds that you make. When you get really excited, your arms and legs are flying while you talk. We're sure you're telling us good stories, we just wish we knew what they meant!

Technologically speaking, you're advanced too! We now enjoy video conference calls to Grammy and Grampy on the computer and the camera just loves you. They love seeing you and we love showing you off. It's a win-win situation! We hope to get PopPop and Nana on board with it and your aunties as well.

Sweet baby, you have brought so much joy to our lives, we can't imagine life without you. It seems like you've always been here, neither Daddy nor I can remember what life was like before you. We're glad we can't. All we know now is that love is spelled L-E-A-H.

Mama and Daddy