Jun 29, 2009

Splish Splash

It's too hot around here to do much of anything outside! So we've been swimming when we can. Scarlett likes the water but tries to push off of me! She wants to do it herself. We have mommy/baby swim lessons in July so I want her to be really comfortable with the water before they start.

Scarlett & Mimi during her visit last week.
There's a little fountain with rocks by the pool,
and Scarlett would much rather walk around
and play with those!

Jun 23, 2009

Sleepy Girl

I love sneaking pictures of Scarlett sleeping...

Jun 11, 2009

14 Months Old

Scarlett is now 14 months old, and at this stage we are enjoying her starting to talk. All day long, she goes about playing and talking "gibberish"constantly. She thinks she's making sense, and we just think it's adorable. She does have some distinct words down though.

Scarlett says:
Bye! (and bye-bye, especially, bye-bye daadee!)
Elmo (which sounds more like "melmo"
dada (and daadee!)
mamma (but she doesn't say this very often!)
shoes (she can point to and identify shoes)
ball (she can identify balls and bring them to you upon request!)
meow (when she sees a cat she says "meow" instead of "cat")
side (for outside)
good boy (which sounds more like goo boyee)
And she really likes to repeat words you say to her.

She's also still into everything. For example, she can unlock and open the dishwasher! I'm not sure what to do about that. She's also a little climber. We've already had to put one of her favorite toys away because she kept climbing on top of it. All in all, this a very fun stage! We love listening to her and watching her think and learn.

Jun 8, 2009

Watermelon Fun!

After going to the grocery store the other day, I left a watermelon on the floor while I was putting things away. Scarlett had her eye on it, and before I knew it, she was rolling it, pushing it, standing on it, sitting on it, hugging it, and kissing it! She played with that thing all day!

So I had to teach her that the best thing about watermelons isn't playing with them...it's eating them!! Needless to say, she LOVED it. If only she could live on fruit alone, she would be a happy girl!

Jun 7, 2009

One Year Ago...

This is a long story! I feel it’s important to tell mainly so Scarlett will know what happened to her some day. This blog after all is first and foremost for her. Feel free to read it or not!

Exactly one year ago I was more worried than I’ve ever been in my entire life. Today I worry if Scarlett is eating enough vegetables; afraid that she’ll get into the cat food again; distressed if she’s heard the ABC song enough in one day, but this time last year we were fearful we could actually lose her.

June 2, 2008
Scarlett was just about to be eight weeks old. Although I was resigning from my school librarian position in order to stay home with her, I planned on going back the last week before summer vacation to close up the library and empty out my office. When I returned home after that first day back, my mom reported that Scarlett was very easy going all day and that she had slept a lot, in fact, my mother said she had to wake her up to feed her. That was the first warning that something was wrong, because at eight weeks old, Scarlett hardly ever slept through feeding time anymore.

As most first-time, panic-inclined moms would do, I immediately took her temperature. We were shocked that it was 101.6. This is very high for a baby so young, and my pediatrician told us by phone to take her immediately to the nearest ER. Stunned and alarmed, Chris and I packed her up and flew off to Plano Medical Center. There, they gave her Tylenol, checked her out from head to toe, ran some chest X-rays for pneumonia, and took blood and urine samples. When they drew blood I had to leave the room, her screams too much for me to bear.

They found nothing alarming in her urine or blood, and she had no other symptoms besides the fever. This was the first time I heard the M word, Meningitis. Upon releasing us, a young doctor said the only other test she was thinking of doing was a Meningitis test, but she said she hated to put a baby through that test, a spinal tap, when the baby appeared as healthy as Scarlett. They sent us home instructing us to keep up with the Tylenol and to follow up with our pediatrician the next day. They said she must have just some type of virus and that it would pass in a few days to a week. I tried not to think about the M word any more. That night, I fretfully tried to sleep, checking Scarlett’s temperature several times a night. It was always at least 101 so we kept up with the Tylenol.

June 3, 2008
The next morning, Chris went back to work since my mom was there, and we took Scarlett to our pediatrician fist thing. Scarlett was lethargic, and her fever was still too high. At our pediatrician’s office I heard the M word again. Our doctor did not feel comfortable writing Scarlett’s illness off as “some virus.” She wanted her to have a Meningitis test, and this has to be done in a hospital. This time she sent us to the ER at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

At this point I was in some sort of dumbfounded cloud. I had only heard about Meningitis on the news, when it had abruptly taken the life of a teenager in a matter of days. If it could do that to a teen, what would it do to my eight week old infant? I ignored the idea of the M word being the culprit of my baby’s fever, and my mom and I quickly went home, packed supplies, and off we headed to the ER. Chris met us there.

The next four hours were pure torture for all of us-me, Chris, my mom, and my poor, poor baby. What they put her through was pure hell. First they attempted to start an IV for about two hours. They poked her everywhere with no luck. She screamed and screamed and screamed. I couldn’t feed her in case they did get the IV going.

It was madness.

They actually gave up on the IV for awhile and administered the Meningitis test, a spinal tap. We were asked to step out during the procedure. They told me it was much like getting an epidural. They would have to bend her over, and keep her very, very still while they inserted the needle into her spine to withdraw some fluid so that it could be tested. They said it wouldn’t hurt her as much as make her mad because she would not appreciate the position they would have to put her in. And, OH…..MY……GOODNESS. Saying it made her mad is an understatement; for that matter, saying it made her furious is an understatement. We sat down the hall from where they were doing the procedure, and her screams were still loud enough to make your skin crawl. I plugged my ears with my fingers, and I could still her. That’s honestly not an exaggeration. I think this was the first time I cried, as did my mom.

Finally we got to hold her again, and a little bit later I was finally able to feed her while we waited for the test results. The doctor came in and told us the results were negative for Meningitis. She said she was very surprised by this, but that Scarlett just must have “some virus” that would pass in a few days or so. We had heard this before, and though we were relieved, it was clear that something just wasn’t right. They sent us home. Same story; keep up with Tylenol and follow up with our pediatrician in the morning.

June 4, 2008
On this morning I think her temperature was now around 103. Tylenol wasn’t working anymore. Instead of being lethargic, Scarlett was becoming really fussy and irritable. Back to our pediatrician we went. This time, our normal doctor was out so we saw one of the other doctors in the office. She was very concerned because of the increasingly high temperature and found that Scarlett was now showing signs of dehydration from the persistent fever. She made some calls to her husband who was an infectious diseases doctor. She was adamant that Scarlett did have Meningitis. She said they test the spinal fluid for viruses that cause Meningitis and that is was possible that they had missed something. She wanted her tested again and she wanted to admit her to the hospital right away. Admitted? I thought. They are admitting my baby to the hospital! I was in shock and at that moment I went into some weird super mom mode. I didn’t cry, I didn’t panic, I didn’t hyperventilate, and to this day that still surprises me. I actually remained calm throughout the rest of the ordeal. I felt numb to any sort of feeling. I was afraid to think any bad thoughts about what “could happen” so I just took everything moment by moment and tried not to think about any what ifs.

Also to this day, I know that God intended for my mom to be there with me. She lives in Oklahoma and would have certainly driven up right away. But I didn’t even have to wait for that. She was already there, and for that I’m forever thankful.

We were admitted to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. They HAD to get an IV started right away, no giving up this time because now she was dehydrated and in need of fluids. Two angels appeared at that moment. We went to the IV room with these two women. They were amazing! They dimmed the lights and used only a lamp which they zoomed in on Scarlett’s ankle. They used some sort of UV light that lit up where to stick the needle. They swaddled her and gave her a sugar water pacifier. They then proceeded to successfully insert the IV needle on THE FIRST TRY when just the day before the ER doctors had worked on my poor baby unsuccessfully for two hours. Scarlett didn’t even cry. It was a miracle, plain and simple.

Other good news came too. Enough of her spinal fluid remained from the first test so they would not have to administer a second spinal tap.

That night (and the next), however, were awful. My mom left late at night and stayed at our house because there was barely enough room for me and Chris. Chris used the pull out couch/chair, and I sat in the only other chair in the room and held Scarlett all night. She refused to lay in the scary hospital crib with cold metal bars. She was extremely jumpy from all the beeping machines and hustle and bustle of nurses coming in each hour for temperature checks. Also, all monitors attached to her, and everything she had been put through the past few days had her on edge. She would only sleep while I held her, and even in her sleep she would suddenly jump and scare me to death too. I just couldn’t put her down. Another blessing during this horrific experience was that Scarlett still ate very well. She never lost any weight during the entire ordeal! That’s my girl!

June 5, 2008
On this morning, we finally got an answer. Scarlett did in fact have Meningitis. The second test came back positive for the Enterovirus which then caused the Meningitis. The good news was that she had Viral Meningitis which is much less severe than Bacterial Meningitis. The bad news was that there is medication for the bacterial form but not the viral. So our baby would in fact have to get through it on her own after all. However, she still needed to be monitored, and the IV fluids needed to continue as well.

Scarlett stayed in the hospital for three days, two nights. She was released on June 6. Although the virus was still active at that time, she was rehydrated and was able to be discharged so she could get well at home. She began feeling better very soon. Her fever had been around for so long, it seemed it would never go away, but of course it finally did. I think the highest it ever reached was 104.

Thankfully, thankfully, thankfully, the virus ran its course without wrecking too much havoc, and things did not go from bad to worse. Scarlett made it through just as she has done with jaundice, a clogged tear duct, and plagiocephaly. However, I truly believe all the horrible episodes of the doctors “working on her” to get the IVs started as well as the spinal tap “ruined” her as far as liking doctors goes. She now has horrible episodes when we visit our pediatrician. Even if they are just looking in her ears or listening to her breathe, she becomes very upset, and remains inconsolable until they stop. I believe she remembers what happened to her and is fearful! I really do. Hopefully, when she’s a little older and can understand better I’ll be able to explain exactly what the doctor is doing in order to prepare her and calm her fears.

Now a year later, Scarlett is of course a healthy and happy one year old who has already had more medical treatment than her mom! Thank you dear Lord for healing our precious baby a year ago!