Friday, August 22, 2008

Like A Newborn

Well...Reese seems to be doing ok, besides him being totally off his schedule! I think it is going to take him a few days to recover from all the stress. He doesn't seem to be in any pain and is eating well. He has a follow up appointment with his pediatrician at 8:30 today. He is sleeping like a little newborn. Last night:

6:45- Sing him to sleep
10:00- Wake him up to eat, only eats 1 ounce so put him back down
*Sounds normal so far, right?*

               (Newborn Reese!)

12:00- Wakes up hungry (that's ok, he never sleeps through the night and didn't eat at 10:00)
12:45- Waaahhh (give pacifier)
1:00- "ba ah go ba ba da ma ma"
1:30- "I'm not tired anymore, I want to play!"
1:30- 3:00- Playtime and juice
3:00- Cuddling on the couch, watching track and field olympics (He loves it)
3:00- I get Daddy up and he puts him back to sleep
5:30- Wahhhhhh...I'm hungry!
5:45- present- Sleeping!

I have the grave feeling I will a) never sleep through the night again and b) never sleep in again

I guess he's worth it. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Our Medical Emergency


That's the reason we all had to stay overnight at Arkansas Children's Hospital last night. As mentioned in my previous post, I had taken Reese to the doctor Tuesday morning and he was diagnosed with a probable stomach virus. We came home, he drank some Pedialyte and fell asleep. When he woke up he seemed hungry (and slightly more lively) so I sat him on the floor with some toys and went to get some more. When I came back, I was greeted with an atrocious smell. I opened his diaper to be shocked with a purple, grape like concotion mixed with an ample amount of blood. I immediately freaked out and ran to get the phone while Reese rolled over, smearing the disgusting mess on the carpet of his floor.
I called the pediatrican and demanded to speak to the nurse. "No, I won't leave a message, I need to talk to her NOW," I told the receptionist. She was smart and connected me right away. We went straight back to the doctor, Reese even more cranky and lethargic even after sleeping all day. I brought said dirty diaper with me, which they tested for all kinds of crap (pun intended.) Then she told me he probably had intussusception, a rare but serious complication of the bowels, where they teleoscope on one another and cause a myriad of symptoms, with the capstone of the bloody, grape poop. Reese seeemed to have a textbook case, so we left with orders to go to the ER at Children's Hospital. I drove home, an anxious mess, put Reese down, packed his bag and waited for Reed to meet me at home so we could all go to the hospital together.
We got to the hospital around 3:00 and we went through triage quickly and were soon in an ER patient room. One, IV, an abdominal ultrasound, several xrays and way too many wires on my baby's body later, they were prepping him for an "air enema" to fix his bowel.

They stuck a tube up his butt and taped his cheeks together very tight. Then they blasted a ton of air up his little hinny (ouch!) and it was a success! The biggest possible complication was if the enema didn't work, he would need immediate surgery. It made Reed and I very nervous that there were about 20 medical personnel, including doctors, nurses and surgeons either working on him or standing by in case something went wrong. The intussusception came out pretty easily and then it was back to the ER for him to be monitored for another hour. Then to our room for overnight observation, as sometimes the bowels can kink back up within the next few days. He wasn't allowed to eat until 6 hours later, at 11pm, which really sucked. He donned a tiny little hospital scrubs and slept in a crib that implied he was a baby felon with it's steel rails.

Fast forward to 9:00am this morning. 3 bottles later and a half a jar of baby food he was playing in his crib and smiling again. We all took a good three hour nap today and Reese is sleeping again. He had a rough couple of days. The scary part? I gathered from my research if intussusception is left untreated, it almost always is fatal in 2-5 days. Thank God for our medical system. Of course, it has it's flaws but overall we left with a very high opinion of Arkansas Children's Hospital. Now we are home and just pray that it doesn't happen again!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh, What a Night

"He's staying home today," I announced to Reed as our son threw up for the fourth time, around 4:00am, after waking up about every ten to twenty minutes. I knew something was "up" the minute he woke up yesterday. Fussy, mad, not my baby boy.
We took turns sleeping on the floor of his room every hour in order to maximize our own sleep potential last night. Around 2am we began arguing who had served more "time." Then we had to move on to who will stay home with him today. It's the first week of school, so I stayed home and missed my second day of work in my first 4 weeks at my new job due to Reese being sick.
It's not his fault. I'd rather be home anyways. So we go to the doctor, me lugging our pathetic, lethargic, dehydrated babe over my shoulder. No fever. White blood cell count high. Chest xray. Come back tomorrow. All he wanted to do the whole time was cuddle up and sleep. More and more I try to fight the desire to just call up and quit my job. I like it fine, but it's so hard to be away from him 9 hours a day. Some days he is in bed when I get home and I just feel crushed and like a....failure. I know I'm not a bad mom (As a social worker I've seen bad moms!) but I just don't feel like the best mom. I know that by me working he can have more of the comforts of life....good health insurance, a college savings so he doesn't have debt until he's 40, a nice home and of course, toys! I just feel like I am on a perpetual emotional roller coaster ride. So now I sit here, sleep deprived and coffee fueled, listening to him breathe on the baby monitor and waiting until I have to feed him a couple more ounces of Enfamil Electrolyte and pray he can keep it down.

So if I get sad about not being a stay at home mom, picture the wake up call I get at work yesterday. Now, I must say I have become rather hard-hearted when it comes to my work and the situations I see. I deal with neglected, physically and sexually abused children in the foster care system everyday. Their backgrounds are often truly appalling but one has to learn to filter the emotions. So I was a bit surprised yesterday when the shelter kids came home from their first day at school in particular had just come home from his first day of kindergarten. He was bouncing off the walls with excitement at his first day at "big boy" school, telling staff everything he had done that day. I took his folder to get out all the information I needed to fill out and bring back and I found all the typical first day stuff, including a picture he had colored that said "My First Day of School" August 18, 2008. It just really pulled on my heartstrings and I couldn't help thinking, "This isn't how it should be!" His proud mommy should be pulling out that picture, gushing over it in front of him and telling him how proud she is of him and enthusiastically pinning it on the fridge for all to see. But it isn't so, not for this little boy and his brother because their baby sibling recently died from being left in the car in 100 degree heat and they were removed from the home. For 45 days, the shelter can be home but little boys and girls need stable and loving families! It reminds me constantly of the injustices of life and makes it a little easier to go to work knowing I can help provide those basic needs of food, shelter, clothing...and love to the children who need it most.