Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chubby Bunny...well, almost

So our Sophie might just end up looking like this:

Well, maybe not quite as squishy as the Pillsbury Doughboy, but she's getting there! We went for a weight check with her pediatrician this morning and she has gained almost one whole pound since getting out of the hospital 11 days ago. For those not familiar with baby weight gain, a newborn should gain 1/2 to 1 ounce per day in the first few months. Sophie has gained over 1 ounce per day since she has had the feeding tube in and been on high calorie milk. That's ALOT!

She now weighs in at 13.15 lbs and is finally filling out some of her six month clothes. Hooray!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Beach Trip 2012

Just got back today from a week at the beach with my extended family. This was the first year since we've all had kids that all three of us and our spouses/babies were able to make it for the whole week. Lots of relaxing, swimming, playing in the sand and eating went on! Thanks Mum and Dad for treating us to a wonderful time!

The babies

These three had a blast together this year!

Sadly Miss Emma fell asleep during portraits so I don't have an individual one of her! But here are five of the six grandchildren.

We got professional portraits done this year but these are some behind the scenes shots my brother got during the shoot

Sunday, August 26, 2012


So our little Sophie has been out of hospital for 10 days now. As you can read from previous posts, she went in for a nasty virus and ended up staying 5 days, during which time the docs tried to get to the bottom of her breathing and weight gain issues. The Lord was so good to give us a pediatrician who came on a week long stint the night Sophie was admitted, so we had the same doc the whole time she was in. He was really wonderful. Great doc AND great bed-side manner (with Sophie AND me!).

 During the 5 days, Sophie was examined by this doc., a pulmonologist, a nutritionist, three residents, and 5 med students, EVERY day! Golly. That poor baby cried whenever she saw a stethescope come near her. She also had more tests than I like to remember. IVs, a spinal tap, three chest x-rays, a kidney ultra-sound, two feeding tube insertions, a swallow test and blood oxygen monitoring 24/7.

 The end results show she has several issues that are leading to her failure to thrive: she has bad reflux and this causes large amounts of acid to come up her esophagus. Every now and then, she will aspirate tiny amounts of this into her lungs, causing inflammation. This leads to rapid breathing, which in turn uses up all her extra calories. She is using up too much energy to breathe when she should be using it to grow.

 To combat all this we have many steps to follow. Continue with her reflux meds religiously as well as practice reflux management (raise one end of her mattress, good burping, make her sit upright 30 minutes after eating etc.). She is also on an inhaler to ease her airways. She is on oxygen whenever she sleeps (please pray about this as she consistently pulls out the tubes from her nose; we have to find another solution). And she has an NJ feeding tube in. They tried the NG tube which goes into her stomach but she pulled it right out and this may worsen her reflux, so they put in the NJ tube which goes down into her intestines. We turn this on only at night, so she can eat normally during the day. She is also on a very high calorie formula (usual is about 22 cal per ounce but she is on 30 cal per ounce now).

The goal with all these things is to get her to grow QUICKLY and hopefully grow OUT OF the reflux and lung issues.
So. That's the scoop. She is still our smiley happy baby despite all she has been through lately. We praise the Lord for healing her and for giving us solutions to help her grow. Please pray for her that these issues will be resolved quickly. And please pray for me as I take care of her that I will remain diligent with the many steps we have to go through each day. It keeps me on my toes!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Well. Where to start! Despite what I said two posts ago, our little Sophie didn't quite manage to fight the virus on her own. After being in the ER for hours on Saturday night and being sent home, she spent Sunday getting progressively worse. By dinner time, she wasn't responding well, was very lethargic and still had a 104 degree fever. So back we went to the ER again. This time I was somewhat prepared and at least took PJs for her and me! And hubby came with me, while my sweet brother put Jack to bed (we left Jack dancing around shouting, "Uncle Steve come to play with me!". At least we could rest easy on that front!).

 The ER team were really good with her. Since the great traumatic IV procedure of the night before, they got a NICU medic to put in Sophie's IV this time and he got it done in under 15 minutes. Praise God! However, I soon realized that what we endured the night before was nothing compared to what was coming! The doc on call ordered a spinal tap, as she was concerned about meningitis or some other dangerous bug. Oh.My.Word. That was awful! Let's just say it took her until Thursday to even smile at anyone who approached her with a stethoscope, let alone a needle!

  Long story short, she was admitted to hospital on Sunday night. They concluded that she was fighting a really nasty virus and just couldn't win that battle without some help. She was on meds, fluids and oxygen since Sunday and has undergone I don't know how many tests. Will summarize her diagnosis and treatment in another post, but here are a few photos from our days in the hospital.
MONDAY: second night at the hospital and still a very sick baby girl!
TUESDAY: a bit stronger and enjoying a visit from Aunty Ness

TUESDAY: Daddy cuddles

Dr. Jack: the only "doctor" she was happy to see!

WEDNESDAY: smiled for the first time since Saturday and loved a visit from Uncle Steve
WEDNESDAY: first time out of bed and she enjoyed a little trip to sit by the window
THURSDAY: Nana arrived!!!

FRIDAY: sitting up, playing with toys and ready to go home! 

 In certain ways this week was very special, just being at the hospital alone with Sophie. We sang and prayed and just sat, a lot together. I was able to be with her the whole five days and the staff were excellent about allowing me to be with her every minute and through every procedure etc.

I want to thank my family and friends for being so supportive this week. For praying for Sophie, for visiting, bringing me food, for phone calls and texts and messages. So appreciate everything...you kept me going!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


We have been at the hospital with Sophie since Sunday where she has been treated for a nasty virus. She is recovering well but we are not sure when we will be home, hopefully by the weekend. Please pray for her to recover quickly. We are so thankful for a fabulous doctor who has treated her here!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sugar Bowls, Baby Showers and an ER visit

Well, this weekend has been eventful, to say the least. More on the drama, below, but first, a funny :). On Friday my friend Meg dropped by with her kiddos. Jack and her two older boys spent quite a bit of time playing in Jack's bedroom. At one point Jacko came running into the kitchen, grabbed something out of the silverware drawer and headed back to his room. I didn't think much of it, as he's just learned to set the table, so he loves that drawer. Anyway, as they were leaving, I noticed that the sugar bowl I had laid out for our coffee, was no longer on the kitchen counter. Suspicious, I went into the bedroom and lo and behold:

The missing, and now empty, sugar bowl!

He had offered his guests a bowl full of sugar, complete with three little spoons for their eating pleasure. Wow. A chat was had about the unsuitability of spoonfuls of sugar as a snack! Sorry Meg!

Anyway, Saturday morning was my friend Hannah's long awaited baby shower...such fun to celebrate her little boy due to arrive in a month. Can't wait to meet that little man! Hooray!

Hannah and her hostesses: Blaire, Kate, Hannah, Robin and me

After the shower I hurried home as Sophie had been running a fever since Thursday night and when we got up on Sat. morning it was up to 103.8. I ended up being a bit late for the shower as I spent time sponge bathing her and getting her settled down for a nap once her fever lowered. But when I got home again I was greeted by a baby who certainly didn't look very well. Within a few minutes I noticed her lips and finger/toe nails were a purple/blue color. Her fever was only 99.9 but she was breathing rapidly and grunting so we decided to get to the ER right away. I've never been in such a rush to get anywhere! By the time I got there, she was burning up and very unhappy. The front desk nurses immediately noticed she was blue and rushed us back where she got Motrin and a sponge bath as her temp was up to 105! So glad I took her in.

The ER team was great, but poor Sophie was really traumatized by the whole thing. It took them 1.5 hours to get her IV in and eventually they had to get a NICU nurse to do it! After that she screamed as soon as anyone came into the room. And even though we were there for hours, she couldn't fall asleep even in my arms. So, after IV fluids, blood tests, a urine catheter, one huge dose of antibiotics, and a chest X-ray, they determined it is probably a nasty super-virus thingy and we have to wait it out. She was eventually allowed to go home because her fever had lowered and she was able to drink a bottle. Praise God! I was so relieved we weren't spending the night and she was beyond thrilled to see her Daddy and brother when we walked in! She brightened up as soon as we got home and fell asleep the minute I put her in her crib.

We are monitoring her closely obviously to watch for color changes, dehydration etc. and we did have a couple of bad episodes during the night and today. But overall, I think she is fighting her way through this and fingers crossed we'll be able to stay home. I am so thankful to the Lord for protecting Sophie and helping us make quick decisions about what she needed.

Please pray for her to get over this quickly, regain her strength and her weight. And that Jack won't pick up the virus. We are leaving for the beach in a week and I would love her to be completely over this before our trip.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

8 Months Old

Sophie Joy is 8 months old today. Wow. I feel like we're racing towards the one year mark and there's no stopping it. Eeek, my baby! Especially since this week she started playing a little game: I was changing her diaper and she was playing around with her paci. I bent over her and said, "Mummy's turn" and made kissing noises at her. And what do you know, she stuck that paci right in my mouth! And then giggled. Cutest thing ever! I was really taken aback at first, since I didn't expect her to be able to understand the concept yet. She's so small I forget how old she is!
She went for a post-pneumonia follow up today and weighed in at 12.14 lbs. She went down to 12.2 during the pneumonia, so in a month she's put on a decent amount. However, that still doesn't even get her on the growth curve. So, now that she can have pretty much any regular food, the doc told me to load her up with almond butter, yoghurt and cheese. So far she's only had cereal, veggies and a few fruits, so we'll see if we can fatten her up on some dairy!
As far as her health goes, her lungs sound nice and clear, but she is still having a lot of rapid breathing. Since they've ruled out heart and metabolic problems, they want to do a test to evaluate her swallowing. The test will show if she is aspirating milk into her lungs when she swallows. She also has a high white blood cell count in her urine so they sent off a sample to test for another UTI. Poor baby just can't get well. Please pray for her to recover fully, so she can just GROW!
She can now sit on her own and does well reaching for toys. Jack thinks it's funny to push her over, so we've had to have some pretty serious chats about being gentle and kind. Sophie loves him like crazy despite his rough-housing. She is getting more hair and her eyes are a greenish/grayish/bluish. Very indeterminate still. Two VERY tiny little teeth popped through today. I thought she was never going to get any!!! So the milestones are flying by. It is such a joy to watch her growing up and we are loving how her personality is emerging. Love you Baby Girl!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Fever...

Seeing as we're cheering for Russia, Kazakhstan, South Africa AND the USA, Sophie decided to dress in support of Great Britain...