Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dr. Appt Update...

So our "little" angel weighs 9 lbs. 3 oz. and is not 21.5 inches long!! She is growing like a weed. however, we did find out that she has a reflux problem. My child who was sleeping beautifully, and eating well (4 oz and wanting more) is now going to be reduced to eating two ounces at a time.

No more sleep for me, but if that means that her little throat will heal and she will not be gagging constantly then I am all for the lack of sleep.

I thought maybe she had some post nasal drainage due to her gagging, but did not even consider acid reflux as the culprit. She doesn't spit up much at all, who knew? We will press on with the smaller feedings and the medication for the next week, and she will be reevaluated, then the Dr will determine what the next step is. He said it is possible that she will not need to stay on the meds past one or two weeks, and then we would slowly increase the feedings again. Please pray that this is not causing her pain or discomfort, and pray for a rapid healing and for her to be able to tolerate her feedings well.

Two weeks and counting....

My precious Jenna is two weeks old. Wow, it is hard to believe that it has already been two weeks, and at the same time it is hard to believe that it has only been two weeks. She is just such a perfect fit into our family, it is hard to remember her not here with us.
In the two weeks we have had two Dr's appointments, one for her and the other for AJ. We have had book fair at the school with the boys, and a mad science night as well. It is Thursday and the boys have been late for school twice already. We had lunch with Aunt Vicky, Aunt Heather and Aunt Work-Leslie (there are two Leslie's one is a work-Leslie, the other is Leslie Lou). We have had a couple of trips to the store and we have another Dr's appointment this afternoon for Jenna. The boys have both had some sort of stomach bug, AJ has an ear infection on top of that and Daddy is back at work in full force.
I know that Daddy is missing his little girl, she is the first one he looks for when he walks through the door. And she eats it up. She smiles, she coos, and she cuddles with him every night! Each morning Jesse lays with her before he gets up for work, and honestly, I think he has been a little late every morning. I gently remind him that he needs to get up and he says, "But I am laying with the baby". I absolutely love that she has him wrapped around her finger already. She really is Daddy's Princess.

We have tried very hard not to interrupt the boys "normal" schedule since bringing Jenna home. They continue to go to daycare before and after school and we continue to take them to all of their after school events as well.

I have no pictures of this, but we went to my brother's football game, and he ROCKS!!! Not just because he is my brother, but he really is the tallest one out on the field, plays pretty much the entire game (offense), the coaches gave him a "special play" made just for him - he is a receiver. They won their first game, lost the next two, but they are seventh grade boys who are all out there just having fun! I was actually very proud of Joe, during the game, one of his teammates was tackled and his wrist was broken - you could see how bad the injury was from the sidelines!!! - Joe started telling his other teammates to "take a knee" in support of the injured player, who was not getting up after the tackle. Next thing I know, he and two other players on the field ran over and helped the injured player up and walked him off the field. It was great, I am an avid sports fan, and it is awesome to be able to enjoy one of my favorite games and know that my brother is in there playing. He could tell you things about football that you never knew, or at least things that I don't know, and don't really understand either. Hey I just like watching the game!! We look forward to watching him for many years to come!

I do however have a picture of Jenna in her first "real" bath, of course we have bathed her via the wash cloth and bowl of water method. She has yet to cry during any bath, and she absolutely loves to have her hair washed! I thought that the real bath would be different and totally expected her to fuss the whole time. This little one, she is full of surprises!! She loved her bath, even if she was a little cold, and she loved, loved, loved her hair being washed!!! Thank God, because I battle with the boys every day over this exact thing!!!

Somehow they can get into the shower, use an entire bottle of body wash (for men of course) and manage to get out of the shower without a drop of water ever touching their head or face, seriously! I don't know how they do it, nor do I understand their aversion to clean hair! I guess it is a little boy thing. Who knows?!

And this is the note I was given by AJ.

Is it not bad enough the school sends your child home wearing the big red circle sticker screaming you are a delinquent and your child may just starve while they are at school, but the child adds it to his own note to you as if you did not understand what was on the big red sticker.

A few more pics to look at:)!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Story, and the Pictures:)

Jenna is an absolute jewel!! She is such a good baby. After some minor issues with formula and a change of bottles, our little angel is doing great. The original formula or the bottle seemed to be causing some gassy problems for our little one. Either way, we have changed to a different formula and different bottles and there is no more painful gas keeping her up at night! The hospital was a bit wrong on her measurements, unless there is some way babies shrink an entire inch once they get home - not likely, so she was actually 20 inches and not 21, no biggie. She had her first Dr.'s Appointment yesterday, the hospital thought she might be a bit jaundice, and asked that we follow up with her pediatrician this week. Jesse said they had just never seen a Mexican baby, funny thing the pedi said the same thing:)! They did a biliruben test yesterday and I am pleased to announce that her levels were within the normal range and there is no need for concern.

Now for the story, we were scheduled for induction on Monday, October 6, and were supposed to be at the hospital by, 7 am. However, at 5:30 we received a call from the labor and delivery department, they asked us to remain on standby until further notice, there were several women who were admitted the night before and there was no room for us. We were told to expect a call around 9 o'clock. At 9:30 I decided to call and see what was going on. Still no room, the nurse asked me to call back in "about an hour". I waited until 11, called and there was still no room.

In all honesty, I was never uncomfortable or just ready to have Jenna. I was perfectly fine with her right where she was. But, knowing that we were going to finally see our little girl on Monday, and then being told there was no room was awful!! I tell you by 1 pm, the nurses all knew my voice, or phone number when I called in. Every time it was "I am sorry Mrs. Silva, there is still no room, we will call you, or you can check back in", and every time I hung up the phone and cried. it was like they were telling me that I was not allowed to meet my baby.

Jesse was awesome! He held me and hugged me every time I called in. He was so reassuring, and told me each time that we would have her when it was her time, and it just wasn't yet. To go through the pregnancy on medications to stop pre-term labor it seemed so unreal that I had been off the meds for two weeks, and still no baby! Jesse even joked that Jenna was in there singing "It's Not My Time" by 3 Doors Down. At 3 we got a call to let us know that our spot was cancelled, there were too many other women going into natural labor - how dare they. By this point, I was ok with not meeting her just yet. I had a Dr.'s appt. the next day and I was still not far enough along to be sent in to labor and delivery yet.

And the waterworks started again. We also found out that Jesse's parents were on their way to meet their new granddaughter. Even though she was not her yet, they still came.

Tuesday night, the garage door broke, and fell on my truck. Thank God for the silly things on top (luggage thingies, we have never used, and I think are only there for decoration anyway) they saved my truck, and there was no damage!! Tuesday night Jesse's parents also arrived. Jesse had the week off, because we planned on having a new baby in the house and he planned on being around the whole week to help out. So Wednesday came and went no changes, I felt bad since Jesse had taken off work, and so had his parents and I felt guilty that they were there for what I though was no reason. Jesse's parents were scheduled to leave Thursday, so Wednesday night I made shish-kabobs for dinner and we all ate and laughed, we were able to spend a lot of time together just the four of us while the boys were at school. Once the boys got home they were able to spend some quality time with Grandma and Grandpa. I know that time was very special for the boys as well as their Grandparents.

Thursday morning I woke up having contractions, but they were not consistent. All were less than ten minutes apart, but not equally spaced. I said nothing, we went to Baby's R Us to get a few last minute things and get the play pen as well. Only we didn't get the play pen because I paid no attention to the date on the coupon that I had, and let's face it 20% off is 20% off. The coupon was dated for October 17th, the cashier actually asked us if we wanted it anyway. Umm... No, I will be back on the 17th, thank-you-very-much. We went to Wal-Mart, to get AJ's meds to take and leave at the school. Went to the school to talk to the nurse and leave the meds. We were there about an hour, just as we were leaving, I hear a cry from down the hall, I knew the cry belonged to one of the boys, I just didn't know which one. As I walked - or actually ran out the door to see, I find AJ and his teacher running down the hall towards us. He was choking on nachos - made from corn - which he is allergic to. He was fine though, we were able to calm him down and we were ready to leave again. This time AJ wanted to leave with us. Knowing I was still having contractions, I decided not to take him, just in case. Needless to say the nurse walked AJ to PE while he was crying to come home with us.

Once we got home, we decided to attempt to make a dent in cleaning the backyard from all of the debris from the Hurricane. I tell you, it feels like we will never finish, there are always more branches that need to be cut down, and more leaves to be raked. So my MIL and I raked, and swept, Jesse and my FIL cut branches and stacked branches. At about 3 pm I called the Dr., the contractions were getting stronger, but still no consistency. Jesse's parents were loading up their truck to leave. I went inside and the phone rang, the Dr. told us to go into the hospital, there was room and she said that we would induce if needed.

Hooray!!! We were going to meet our precious little girl!! I was so excited and a little sad since Jesse's parents were leaving. We loaded up the truck and went to the hospital. I was dilated to 3 cm and induction was not needed. Yippee!!! By 4 pm I was in my L&D room and my mom arrived, shortly after that, Jesse's parents arrived. Sometime between then and when my water broke, at 6:15, I asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist was busy with a c-section and was not able to come right away, we were told he would be by in about thirty minutes. Thirty minutes later and I was asking for the nurse, the Dr had left to go feed her kids, and something didn't feel right, something besides the pain that is.

Jesse called the nurse, she, Shelly, rushed in and told us that she could see the head, with one glove on she called for assistance, another nurse came in put the other glove on Shelly and next thing I know things were flying around the room. Literally, one cart went flying another one came in, and a bowl or something fairly large went tumbling to the floor. Poor Shelly, she delivered our little girl at 6:56 pm, she had so much paperwork to fill out! And poor Dr., she was stuck in traffic behind an accident with no way to get back in time.

Our princess was born, and we were all there to meet her. My dad was out of town and felt awful, but he came to see her the next day when he flew in town.

Such a big girl!!!

Big Yawn!!

My boys and the princess!

All dressed up.

On our way to the Dr.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

She is here!!!!

Jenna Lynne is finally here, and things are settling down here at the house. Details will come later, she was born Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 6:56 pm, weighing a wopping 8 lbs 2.3 oz and measuring in at 21 inches long. I will post more later today, including pictures.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Thanks be to God!!!!

Where do I start? Well, first, there is still no baby; any day now is the answer to the question that I have heard at least a hundred times today!!!

AJ had a follow up appointment with the immunologist yesterday afternoon. About two months ago, the treatment plan they had created for him began to stop working. We noticed decreased lung function, increased childhood illnesses (i.e. clods, ear infections, strep throat, and a bout with pneumonia) along with increased white blood cell count. In all honesty, we have never been given an actual diagnosis. All they have been able to determine up to now was that he has some sort of auto-immune disorder combined with reactive airway disease (just a fancy way to say asthma.

The auto-immune part simply means that his immune system never shuts down. There are no tell-tale signs that he will be getting sick. With a “normal” immune system, your body gives warning signs, low grade fevers, flushed cheeks, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, you get the point. The problem has been that AJ always has these primary symptoms. There are no true warning signs; he goes from what is “normal” for him to very sick, at times requiring hospitalization with in a matter of minutes. We have been extremely lucky to have the physician that we have for him, he has meet us at his office even when he was on vacation, to prevent AJ from having to be hospitalized. The issue with sending him to the hospital is that AJ usually will end up with a secondary illness or infection just from being there, so we avoid this at all costs.
Back to part about his follow-up. We have been seeing the immunologist at least every two weeks, in an attempt to find some sort of treatment plan that would allow AJ to function as a “normal” 6 yo and prevent him from having to spend the next few moths of flu and pneumonia season behind closed doors in our home, out of school, and away from his friends. Week after week we have gone back and while he has always showed some sort of improvement in some areas, it has not been enough to satisfy the Dr.’s or us. Yesterday we went in, same story, improvement, but not total improvement. The primary issue has always been the decreased lung function because this leads to a lack of oxygen that will be delivered to his brain. Frankly it leads to issues that I would rather not think about, let alone discuss!

So with the follow-up evaluation not leading us to where we wanted to be, they began to run some more tests. A breathing/lung function test was run and the results were not horrible but they were not great either. There are three main parts they look for in these results; first is the lung capacity, then it is the capacity/function of the bronchial tubes, then it is the capacity/function of the alveoli, there are some other numbers, but they are not as important as the first three. AJ’s results for total lung capacity were 100% which was great news!!! The results for the capacity/function of the bronchial tubes were 82% which was not too bad. The results for the capacity/function of the alveoli were 47%. There was the problem, he has no problem actually breathing in the air or allowing the air to travel to the alveoli through the bronchial tubes, the problem exists once the air reaches the alveoli. Only 47% of the air is actually breathes in is being transferred into his blood stream. After performing the lung function test with no meds, they repeated the test after he was given an inhaled steroid. The results improved dramatically; ideally they look for a 12% increase in the results. According to the immunologist, anything less than 12% and the condition is likely irreversible. AJ’s results went from 100% to 103%, 82% to 98%, and 47% to 92%!!!! Thank you Jesus!!! Not only do we now have a condition to work with, but we actually have an answer, and we know that there will be no long term, lasting damage or effects. AJ will remain on a potent inhaled steroid twice a day for 8 weeks and his nebulizer only as needed.

This really was great news, but still was a bit perplexing, why has he had all of the problems he has had if this is the only condition we have seen? On to another set of tests. They ran a three panel set of allergy tests to see which allergens he reacted to. Let me tell you the results were highly surprising!!!

Panel 1 deals with outside allergens, such as pollens, weeds and grasses. Panel 2 deals with inside allergens such as dust mites, fungi, cats, and dogs. While panel 3 deals with food allergens such as milk, eggs, corn, wheat, soy, oats, peanuts, chocolate, and shellfish.

AJ has severe reactions to ragweed, cedar, oak, elm, pine and pecan pollens – not too surprising there! He also has moderate reactions to cats, dogs, fungus and pecan nuts. He has an allergy to cockroaches. What??? I will be sure to tell him to stop eating those! Where does some of this come from??? The surprises came in the results of the third panel, the food allergens. We already knew that he has severe allergies to shellfish; however, he apparently has sever reactions to milk and corn as well. The final piece to the puzzle!

His body has been attacking and attempting to defeat the allergens that are in the food he eats. His immune system was not up to par to fight regular everyday bacterium and viruses because it was focusing on keeping him from getting sick from the foods he has been eating. We now have a plan of action, and it has been given to both the daycare and the school, and we have all been armed with the Epi-Pen!

I am so relieved that we finally have answers to all of our questions, and with minimal effort, we can remove these items from his diet and his immune system should fully recover!! Praise the Lord!!! After all of this it seems so simple.
I will update about his progress, and hopefully his full and complete recovery with in the next few months. Maybe there will be baby pictures up by this weekend???!!!