The weather is turning towards spring in the Keweenaw and hopefully that means we'll be able to get out with Charlotte more frequently. We should be in possession of our new baby jogger in a week.
Of course, we have to play "Beat the Clock" with any adventures since we are still held hostage by Charlotte's feed schedule and propensity for large emesis (sounds so much better than vomit or puke). Whoops, there comes some more now...
She has had more bad days than good in recent weeks. She frequently throws up full feeds as she is being fed or when we're holding her afterward or when we put her down in her crib or if we put her in her swing or if we lay her on a blanket or if we open a can of pop or if...
But if you disregard the eight hours a day we're feeding her, she is the happiest baby in the world. In fact frequently she will look up from her puddles of emesis, smile and immediately start babbling. In the last few days she has really mastered sitting up and continues to get better at manipulating her toys. She has the most fascinating conversations with them.
Yesterday was my birthday and we took Charlotte to the Library restaurant. She's now been out to eat 3 times and has been quiet and happy each time. Let's hope this streak continues through this weekend when we plan to take her to church for the first time.
Last Saturday Charlotte watched her first race! Patrick ran in Stevens Point's Bock Run, his first race of the year. Shortly following the race Charlotte's G-tube came out again. It had been loose since her trip to the Houghton ER, but we were hoping it would last until her Tuesday appointment. No such luck. We went to the Steven's Point ER and they were able to put in a Foley tube but directed us to the CHW ER. CHW did not disappoint, the G-tube was reinserted within 2 hours of our arrival.
We'd planned to spend Saturday night in Madison visiting the Hoenisch's but since we were at the CHW ER, we spent the night in Milwaukee (we recommend hotels.com as they were very accomodating, allowing us to cancel our Madison hotel reservation at the last minute without a fee). We did make it to Madison on Sunday and met baby Calvin for the first time. He was born on Charlotte's due date, 11/9/09, so it was fun to see them side by side. He is a cutie!
Sunday afternoon we arrived in Chicago so Katie could attend the NASPA conference. Everything went pretty smoothly, although a baby definitely makes traveling a bit more complicated. While Katie was at the conference Patrick took Charlotte to 3 appointments in Milwaukee on Tuesday:
Speech Therapy: We are going to start introducing pleasant experiences with the spoon. This means rubbing her cheek with the spoon and allowing her to lick it. We give her a drop or two of water and of milk, but no food yet. No sense rushing things!
Surgical F/U: Everything looks good with the G-tube! We're going to get a couple of extra Mic-Key buttons to have on hand should we have any issues in the future.
GI: Charlotte did her thing and threw up during her GI appointment. We're glad they were able to see how much she really throws up because they agreed this is an issue but they weren't sure what the cause is. They recommended trying to give most of her feeds overnight while she slept at 47 mls/hr from 9 p.m. - 7 a.m. and then feeding her 3 times/day at 90 mls/feed. We tried this a couple of nights but her sleep is restless with the pump. She rolls back and forth all night, throwing up periodically. This restless sleep resulted in a very crabby, sleepy baby during the day. SO, we've given this up for now and are returning to our every 3-hour feeding schedule 5 a.m. - 11 p.m.
On Wednesday we stopped off at CHW for Charlotte's final appointment with the developmental specialist. She's right on track for a 4 month old. Photo above taken 3/10, Actual age 7 months; 12 lbs 15 oz; 22 3/8 inches. While there we swung by the NICU to visit the March of Dimes Family Life Specialist, Melissa. It was good to see her and we were lucky enough to see one of Charlotte's favorite nurses, Michelle, too.
From Milwaukee to the UP we drove through dense fog and were relieved when we arrived safely in Houghton.
So far this weekend has been pretty low key, which is exactly what we needed!
As of her appointment yesterday, Charlotte's vital measurements (weight and head circumference) are officially "on the curve" for her actual age of 7 months. She is at the very bottom of the ranges, but she has made a lot of progress.
Yeah I'm sittin' up. Big whoop. Wanna fight about it?
I'm totally gonna puke on this guy.
Does this scale make me look fat?
Is it over yet?
We're holding out hope that our trip to Milwaukee next week will lead to some answers/solutions to the volumes of vomit we've grown accustomed too recently. Dr. Colleen recommended we ask about "nissen fundoplication", a procedure to curb reflux (GERD).
We need to start making a list of questions to ask when we go back. Right now we have four different appointments scheduled for our trip: surgery follow-up, gastroenterology, speech therapy, and six-month developmental. It should be a full day. And since Katie will be at her conference in Chicago all-day, it will be just me and Charlotte driving to Milwaukee, hanging out at the clinic, trying to get feeds in and driving back through Chicago rush hour. Good thing there is a whirlpool at the Sheraton.
But somehow, in spite of the incessant throw-up, Charlotte continues to gain weight and remain playful. She is working on consciously forming sounds and has really gotten adept at lifting her head while on her stomach. She also gets pretty ornery if we aren't allowing her to sit upright. So much to see there is. Can't waste time cradling.