Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice-Shortest Day of the Year and Tubes for Brayden

Today was the Winter Solstice-the shortest day of the year. And the shortest surgery! The procedure is a highly skilled procedure (just in case you don't know) where a tube is placed in a small incision in the eardrum. But if your ears are full of crap like Brayden's were, then that gets sucked out first. All of that happens after you are admitted, sign your paperwork and dress your little buddy in the same pajamas as all of the other little campers who are there for a same day procedure.

While we were waiting for our little person to be called in (Grandpa Steve came as our support person-Daddy had to of us had to anyway!), Brayden played with a few toys and all of the moms avoided looking at each other in order to hide the hysterics that were neatly covered with mascara and winter sweaters, but were laying just below the surface. Brayden, Grandpa Steve and I hung out on the couch while the anesthesiologist kindly talked us through his part. I interupted him about three seconds into his memorized speech to make sure I could hold him as he fell asleep. After he said I could, he told us what we would see while he fell asleep. Then the doctor who did the procedure came and explained his part. After that, they called us into the room, and I held Brayden while the nurse rubbed bubblegum flavored chapstick in his mask.

The anesthesiologist, who is specially trained to work with little guys, waved the mask closer and closer while Brayden got sleepier and sleepier and then was out and limp. My tears were no longer avoidable, and I was so glad my dad was there as I laid my baby on the table, and trusted these strangers to take the best possbile care of him. I straightend his pants and they let me have a cheek to kiss and then they took him out one door and we went out the other. One of the staff members quickly coralled us with tissues and brought us to the waiting room. 15 minutes later the surgeon was sitting in front of me telling me how to use the drops and when to use the ear plugs. Ten minutes after that I got to give Brayden his bottle and wrap him in his blankie while he entertained his grandpa with his anesthesia eyes. He was ready for another bottle of apple juice after his first bottle of formula, and awake enough for me to know that he was feeling better and going to enjoy the rest of shortest day of the least between naps. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shot number three

Shot number three was a tough shot, as for some reason it went in both legs simultaneously. But by the time we were in the truck headed for home, he was jibber jabbering away. Before we left for the hospital, I woke Brayden from his nap to find his ear covered in something kind of yucky, and he was uncomfortable. So that eardrum ruptured, or the ear finally drained. Either way, between that and the shots, Brayden had another first today. He stood up on his own! It was so cool!

He also got to ride in his very first sled (Jeremiah and I are terrible at waiting to give presents).

Can you belive Brayden is turning one in less than three weeks? I have been more emotional about him turning one than about me turning 30! I just can't believe how fast the year has gone by. It has been jam packed, tear and fun and and milestone filled. My cousin Nicky was having a house warming party about a week ago, and Brayden wasn't feeling well, so I was feeling particularly weepy. But our other cousins children were there and as I watched 11 year old Madison (I wish we lived closer to them, she will be a great babysitter) carry Brayden away to find some toys, I leaned over to ask Maddison's mom, "How do you do it? Isn't it hard to watch them get older?" Jody very kindly told me that there fun things at every age. Later as I watched her son run through the room with the other boys, I thought about his (Mason's) little journey through life. Mason was born with neuroblastema, a form of child hood cancer that doesn't have a very high survival rate. I thought about all of the struggles that they must have had, and then I thought a little bit more about Jody's answer. Very easily it could have been "you are just glad that they turn one".

With that in mind, I dry my tears, and prepare him for his tubes tomorrow, the celebration of the birth of Christ, and a healthy birthday party surrounded by his family, who love him so much that they have and will travel across the country to meet him; some for the first time, others to celebrate with joyous hearts like at so many other occasions that we now get to be a part of.

Thank you for being a part of our lives. Here are a few pictures from the last weeks of missing camera (we found it!).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Shot number two

Brayden is so tough. Today he got shot number two from Helen, a nurse that I work with. He barely cried. I can't believe how tough this tiny little guy is. After we left the hospital we had a few hours of errands to run and we took him out to dinner.

We both really think the shots are working. Today, between the two of us, we wiped his nose somewhere less than 20 times (that is a vast improvement). The ENT also told us to stop sucking out his nose with the aspirator, as that was causing negative pressure and making him feel worse. Funny, our new (and former) doctor basically told me I was stupid for not aspirating his little nose, so we went and got the battery powered one. Turned out, I wasn't stupid (again!). Are they ever going to have a category for Mom's Thoughts on Her Baby?

Anyway, he ate an entire plate full of macaroni and cheese (it was off of the kids menu and HUGE!) along with some mandrin orange segments. All while entertaining the three tables of mixed generations around us. Very impressive!

We can't wait until he REALLY feels good!

I am putting all of my hopes on these tubes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Emergency Tubes

We saw the ENT today.
Brayden is getting tubes in his ears on Monday. The doctor looked in each ear, asked how long his ears had been this way and what we had done to help him. After we told him the ear infection hadn't gone away after three months and our laundry list of antibiotics (both oral and intravienously) he said "well, I am afraid the ear drums are going to rupture. We are going to schedule an emergency procedure for Monday. But I will be out of town so some one else will have to do it. He also needs 3 very painful intramuscular injections of antibiotics to help clear this up. Is he always so happy?"

We left with the time of the procedure, the paperwork for his pre-op physical and directions to Children's West.

After we bugged our doctor's office long enough, I got Brayden in for his exam and his shot (POOR BABY!). There was enough time for the doc to make sure that my pink eye is also gone, and get scheduled at the local hospital for shots 2 and 3 this weekend. We didn't get to ask about anything else (the coughing and hacking and choking will have to wait I guess), but we are glad some one finally took this kid seriously!

Sorry, camera is still MIA, by the way. :(

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lost, Found, Wanted.

Lost: Digital camera that was origionally a wedding gift. Really hope to find it before baby's first Christmas. Would like to post photos of first visit with Santa and take a family picture. Seems impossible to do without camera.

Found: Pink eye...more specifically, two pink eyes, right and left, in blue-ish green on the cheeriest little face you can imagine. Target pharmacist now just hands us antibiotics when we walk by to purchase q-tips and toilet paper.

Wanted: Nanny. Benefits-401k, Dental and Health insurance are not available. But we can fill your day with flirtations, runny noses, sinus and ear infections that refuse to go away, fierce little hugs, sloppy kisses, unending doctors appointments, amazing milestones and really bad hours. And lots of hair balls. Vaccumming is part of the job description, but if it means less germs, vaccuming can be excused. Please apply in person. EOO for anyone who loves dogs, cats, dirt roads and poopy diapers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pnumonia? Kidney Infection? Sinnusitus.

Tuesday night Brayden had a fever again.
Wenesday, Daycare called-he has a fever again.
His fever was 104 by 11pm. He coughed and choked and coughed so much that we didn't sleep much. When we did he was propped up in our bed on pillows with our arms around him so he didn't go anywhere. When I woke up he was folded over my tummy, snuggled in, not bothered by my coughing until I finally had to move him.
But his fever wasn't gone, and I felt like I was losing my mind. So after coaxing a quick breakfast into him, I loaded him up into the truck with directions and we left for Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.
That place is amazing. No one is Dr. So and So and there are no egos to prevent quality care of such a little person (as we have run into so many times), and everyone from the admin people to the transportation people were wonderful. The wonderful nurses took such good care of Brayden (even when he screamed the entire 45 seconds I left him with one to go to the bathroom). And they were the first people to actually listen to me and pay attention to the things that were wrong instead of being fooled by Brayden's smiles and flirtations. We had an x-ray that was actually part of this century, no torture necessary (and I even got to wear a lead apron this time). When his lungs were clear, they tested his blood and found his white count to be very high so then they checked his kindeys (poor baby had a little catheter), and while they took his blood they put in an IV to replenish his fluids. When the kidney test came back negative, the doc came back and said that it was a raging sinus infection, and that is why his ears have been infected for two months. Just before we were packing up to go home the nurse who worked with us all day said "I am so happy you guys are going home. I really didn't think you would." That may not sound like much to anyone else, but to me it sounds like "You are not crazy! We think your baby is sick too!"

Now his is on a three week course of antibiotics (in addition to the ones he got in his IV). We soaked in the bathtub when we got home to wash off the hospital. This time there were even bubbles!

Finally, knowing he was okay, instead of just hoping, I got 12 restful hours of sleep. Brayden, miracoulosly, got 14!

I really think he is feeling better today though, and this is why. Yesterday, when he was done with his breakfast, he threw his cup on the ground and said "all done". :)