Monday, April 26, 2010

9 months!

Sarah turned 9mos old (6mos adjusted) on the 21st - today was her 9mo well visit with her pediatrician. Her stats crack me up:

Length - 24.25" (5th percentile for her adjusted age of 6mos)
Weight - 14lbs 14oz (15th percentile for her adjusted age of 6mos)
*she's not even on the length/height growth chart for her actual age of 9mos*
Head - 17" (90th percentile for her adjusted age, 50th percentile for her actual age!)

So, to recap, she's VERY petite...with a big head. But, she's twice the length she was at birth and SEVEN times her birth weight! I'd say those are steps in the right direction!

Developmentally, Sarah is somewhere between her adjusted and actual ages - she's doing all the things on the 6mo list (rolling both ways, grabbing at toys, etc) but she's also mastered a lot of the skills on the 9mo list (sitting unassisted, babbling, moving objects from hand to hand, etc). I think this is the result of a LOT of physical and occupational therapy - the hard work has been well worth it!

Happy 9mo birthday little girl...we've got to get started planning a birthday party!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

We're sitting up! Well, sort of...we'd been working on sitting unassisted with Sarah's occupational therapist but on Easter morning, I guess she decided it was time! She's still a bit wobbly, but that's improving every day - she's now able to sit and reach out with both hands to grab at toys. She's also learning how to balance herself and how to transition to her belly without just falling over face first.

Once Sarah has improved her balance a bit more, her OT has suggested we introduce a sippy cup and graham crackers or saltines. She's been eating fruit and vegetable purees for almost three months now:

So far, she's eating sweet potato, butternut squash, green beans, zucchini, applesauce, pears and bananas. We have lima beans to start this weekend. She also likes to feed requires a LOT of clean up on my part afterward, but it's something she has to learn eventually.

Sarah is up to 14lbs, 8oz and will be 9mos old on the 21st!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Two years ago today...

we found this mess of a dog on the side of the road. His body was mangled, but worse than that, his spirit was broken. If his scars could talk...what a story they would tell.
We named him Ralphie and began the long, hard task of nursing him back to health.

One (medically necessary) tail docking, a severe case of heartworms, and countless training classes later, Ralphie is an AKC Canine Good Citizen and the perfect addition to our already crazy family.
Ralphie is currently training in Rally Obedience and is working toward his Therapy Dog certification. He's also Sarah's best friend.
We love you big Ralph and can't imagine our lives without you!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I know, I know...

Once I get about a week behind, it just gets worse and worse! I think the easiest way to update is to break up the last few weeks into several posts. We'll call this one "The Trip to Children's Hospital"...or we could also call it "How to give a NICU Mom an Anxiety Attack."

Friday, March 12th: Sarah was sounding a bit congested and her nose was snotty - my concern? RSV. The flu. Hell, a common cold would scare me these days. What I wasn't concerned about was the tiny pimple that had popped up just underneath her right nostril.

Saturday, March 13th: Sarah's nose started to run, but overall her congestion had improved. Whew! Dodged that bullet!

Then the pimple got scratched. Over the course of several hours that afternoon Sarah's face went from perfectly fine to this:

Not good. Not at all. Especially when the on-call pediatrician almost immediately says, "Go to Children's ER. ASAP." Brandon drove, I hyperventilated most of the way. After several long hours in the ER, the diagnosis was cellulitis. Awesome. They sent us home with an antibiotic prescription and instructions to see our pediatrician the following day.

Sunday, March 14th: When we were looking for a pediatrician prior to Sarah's discharge from the NICU, one thing we REALLY liked about the one we chose was that they have sick visit office hours on the weekends. We saw the pedi on call and he...well..."expressed" the entire side of Sarah's face. The result was NOT pretty. He also took a culture as a precaution, explaining that cellulitis is most often staph related.

Um, what? Did you say STAPH? Staph as in potentially MRSA? The same MRSA that has been the bane of my existence since last July?! We were told to continue the antibiotics and to return to the ER if we felt the inflammation worsened. We were particularly concerned because the swelling was around her eye.

Later that night, Sarah woke up from her nap and you guessed it, the swelling was worse. I went ahead and packed a bag for myself, assuming she'd be admitted for IV antibiotics. We got to the ER around 7pm and by the time we'd had a consult with a facial surgeon, it was almost 2am before we were assigned a room. The surgeon didn't think that the abcess needed to be drained (thank goodness!) but they did want to start IV antibiotics. Vancomycin. The same thing she had in the NICU. Twice. The same thing I was on at home for weeks last fall. We know Vancomycin well.

Here's Sarah's room - it was nice...for a hospital room:

We spent Monday on IVs and her face was clearing up nicely.

We were set for discharge Tuesday...when our pediatrician called my cell phone. The culture was back. MRSA + and resistant to the antibiotic they were planning to send us home with. I'm pretty sure a small portion of my head exploded when I heard MRSA. The thought is that she was colonized again (or possibly STILL) in her nose...the runny nose + the open pimple = the perfect opportunity for infection.

The antibiotics cleared the abcess up, though at the same time, they did a number on her stomach. I can't tell you how many diapers we must have gone thru during those 10 days. But that's another post for another time. The follow up appointments with the pediatrician and the facial surgeon both went really well and we're all clear. For now.

One good thing to come out of our hospital stay - we finally moved Sarah from the cradle in our room to her crib in her own room. Since she came home she's been sleeping on her Nap Nanny - it keeps the upper body elevated 30* and works wonders for reflux. But lately, we'd been finding her face down in the Nap Nanny, and because of the incline, she couldn't turn herself back over. Since we made the move to the crib, Sarah has been sleeping GREAT! We've even been putting her in her crib for naps and I'm actually getting things done around the house during the day. So the hospital wasn't fun, but we did get something good out of the deal.