Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Great news!

Yesterday Emma's pediatrician called to give me her final test results. She tested negative for Von Willebrand Disease (the last clotting disorder they tested for) and for lead (they checked because we live in an older house)! We're SO excited to know that nothing is wrong with our baby. I think we would have always lived in fear of every bump or tumble, thinking that she may have clotting issues that we'd not known about. We're very relieved, as you can imagine!

We've had some gorgeous weather this past week and have gotten to spend a ton of time outside playing. Last weekend, Brad trimmed some bushes that hadn't been pruned since the week before Emma was born. It was MUCH needed! We took a blanket and some toys outside and played and watched Daddy while he worked. As you can see, she loved it.

She's talking SO much more these days. She's even repeating "da da" (not really referring to Brad, though I like to let him think she is!). It was the first sound that she's imitated. She also makes this precious chewing sort of smacking noise with her mouth, and will imitate it if you start. SO cute! She's SO close to crawling that we can almost taste it. She gets onto her hands and knees with ease, bounces back and forth, and is now starting to move her hands forward one at a time, which is brand new as of a few days ago. It's just a matter of time. As you can barely see in the pictures, she's sporting not her her first, but her second bruise on her forehead. It's par for the course with crawling. She tends to "tump" over and knock her head into walls, toys, etc. She's earned a new nickname - "baby bonky-head." I feel like I spend all day saying, "be careful, you're gonna bonk your head!" Somehow that turned into "bonky-head." The child has more nicknames around here than I can name!

She's also sleeping through the night now! She's still swaddled, as the pediatrician says that it's absolutely fine as she's over any risk of SIDS, and she refuses to sleep otherwise. We're still waiting for her cues that she no longer needs it, but until then, she will get what she needs to sleep. If it's not harming her, why stop?? She sleeps from 8:30pm until around 6:00, when she wakes up and eats, and then goes back down until 7:30-8:00AM. It's a DREAM! We've waited 9 months for it, and it's so fabulous. She's also napping very well. She had gotten into a habit of a 30 minute nap in the morning, followed by lots of fussiness because she was still sleepy, and then a 1.5-2 hour nap in the afternoon, followed by a 30 minute catnap in the evening around 5:30. She's now gotten back into her usual, 2, 2-hour naps a day, and the catnap in the evening. It's so nice. I just hope I haven't jinxed anything!

We're looking forward to this weekend and the following week. Easter weekend and then Spring Break! We're going to one of my best friends' houses for an Easter egg hunt on Saturday! Can't wait! Mass on Easter Sunday with dinner at my parents' house to follow. We're also heading back to Carrollton for a few days (think I mentioned it previously) during spring break and are excited for Emma's first stay in a hotel and being away from home. Yea!

Hope everyone is enjoying this gorgeous weather!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

If it's not one thing, it's a hundred.


We went in yesterday for Emma's blood work. She was SOOO good. The lab nurse had me hold her down, which sounds awful, but I was much happier that it was me gently holding her down and singing to her than an absolute stranger. They only stuck her once and she didn't cry very hard at all - in fact, it was better than when she has shots. It was over in just a minute and she was a champ. Brad came with us in case I couldn't handle it, but I was ok. Thought I was gonna vomit all morning though. It was SO much better than I had expected.

They were going to run several tests (took 3 vials of blood!) and they said that they would have the results of her platelet count within 10 minutes and the other tests would be back the next day. The doctor came back in a few minutes later and said that her platelet count was a little low. Normal ranged from 140-500s. Her's was 114. She said that she didn't trust their machine too much, so they were going to send out the blood they already drew to double check. She said that it most likely meant that she could be fighting off a little virus, as if it were anything more serious we would expect her levels to be much lower. She was very reassuring, but we were terrified.

We made sure to really baby her last night, although she acted as if nothing had happened. She was in great spirits and when Daddy took off the bandaid (without telling me!!) she had already stopped bleeding. In fact, there was barely a drop of blood on the gauze.

Well, I called today and spoke with her doctor. All of the results were NORMAL!!!!! Even her platelet count was completely normal - 320s! Apparently it really WAS the machine. We are still waiting on the results of one last test to check for a possible clotting disorder, but all signs point to her being just fine!
How great is our God????? We should have those last results sometime next week, and I'll be sure to update again when we get them. Thank you all for your prayers and positive thoughts!

Original Post:

Today was Emma's 9 month check-up at the pediatrician's office. She was a champ. She weighs 18lbs 6 oz, almost 2 full pounds over what she was at her last appointment when she was 6 months old. She was 27 3/8 inches long and in the 50th percentile for height and weight. The doctor couldn't get over how cute she was and how much she smiled at her. Emma turned on the charm! I had told Emma beforehand that we weren't going to have to get shots at this appointment, so she was excited. However, I didn't know that she WAS going to have to have her finger pricked for an anemia test and a lead level test.

She cried for a minute while the lady pricked her finger and squoze (is that a word?) out a TON of blood to fill a vial for the lead test. I broke into a sweat while holding her. It was rough. The nurse told me that I could take off the bandaid once we got into the car so that she wouldn't eat it. Have you ever tried to keep a bright pink bandaid on a 9 month old's finger? Yeah right. But I did. I took it off in the car and checked to see if it had stopped bleeding. It had.

We drove a few miles to my mom's office to have lunch with her. When I went to get Emma out, there was blood by her mouth and a few drops on her clothes. I figured that she had sucked on her finger and got it started bleeding again. I grabbed a napkin and held pressure on it until we got inside and found another bandaid. We left that one on until we had lunch and got home. Emma was so tired that she passed out in the car and actually slept while I carried her straight to her crib. She's NEVER done that before - always wakes up as soon as she hears her carseat un-click. Anyway, she slept for a grand total of 30 minutes before waking up wide awake.

While we were playing a few minutes later she took the bandaid off. I figured that it was DEFINITELY done bleeding. I was wrong. Blood on her stuffed animal. Her clothes. Me. Not a lot of blood, but it was dripping steadily whenever the pressure from the bandaid came off. She wasn't bleeding through the bandaids either. Just a little. So, long story short, an hour or so later, and another bandaid (still bleeding), I put her down to try another nap. Thought I'd call the nurse at her doctor's office to be sure because, by this point, she had been bleeding on and off for 4 hours. The nurse told me to wake her up and hold an ice cube to her finger to try to stop the bleeding while she spoke to the doctor about what to do.

She called back 10 minutes later. Luckily, the bleeding had stopped for good after her nap, so I didn't even have to use the ice cube. Good trick to know for next time though.... So the doctor had no idea what was wrong but knew that her finger should have stopped bleeding after no more than 5 minutes. She spoke with other doctors at the practice and the general consensus was that if the bleeding returned, go to Egleston to have bloodwork done to check for a clotting disorder. Regardless, we have to go in tomorrow at 10:00 for a blood clot timing test and perhaps a blood panel to check for clotting disorders. From what I gather, it's going to require blood from her arm, which will be quite the event.

I immediately called Brad and asked him to take the day off of work to go with me. If I broke into hives and a sweat with a finger prick, I may just hit the ground tomorrow. We won't likely have results for 10 days or so, so I may not know anything tomorrow. Who knows.

I spoke with a friend tonight who's son was just diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder. Funny enough, they go to the same practice that we do. As his mom was telling me about his ordeal, she mentioned the many surgeries and procedures that he went through as a preemie in the NICU without a clotting issue. It was then that I realized, we are SO lucky. This could be SO much worse. So many babies go through much more than this everyday. Their moms are tough and strong because they have to be. So I have to be.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow. It's likely nothing, but testing is the only way to find out for sure. I understand that it's ultimately my decision whether or not we go have testing done. However, it was the consensus of SEVERAL pediatrician's that we go in tomorrow to check. I could of course wait to have the testing done until she has another event, but who wants to wait until she's busted her mouth open and it won't clot???? I just wish it didn't mean a nasty blood test for Emma, but it does. Wish us luck.

Oh, and on a happier note, everything checked out very well at the doctor's office. Emma's growing well and developing well and everything is pretty much on target. The only possible concern is her speech because she is not yet imitating us when we make sounds. It's coming, but she's not doing it quite yet. We're supposed to keep an eye on it and call back in a month or 2 if she's still not imitating. My girl's smart though. Brilliant even. She'll do everything in the world - in her own time. She's her mama's girl!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Just a Swingin!

Today was a gorgeous day, so we decided to go to the park for some Mommy/baby fun! There's a park in Lilburn that's just up the street from our house. The best part is that it's literally in the back of a police station, so it's nice and safe too!

I'm sad to say that Emma's never actually been to a park before. Well, she's BEEN to a park, just not gotten to play before. She had her first experience on the swings. Do you think she liked it??

I think that this may just have to become a weekly activity once the weather stays nice! We had a BLAST!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

38 Weeks

**UPDATED!** I've added a video of Emma and her cousin Luke sharing some puffs. Promised I would!

I got one of my weekly "baby update" emails this week that said that Emma is now 38 weeks old. I have long since quit counting in weeks, but this one stood out. She is now as many weeks old as I was pregnant when she was born. So hard to believe my little girl is almost 9 months old. It has gone so very fast that I just wish I could slow time down.

She has once again reached an age that has me wishing that I could freeze her. She is at the cutest age that she's been so far. She's got so much personality and is such a little character. She's such a happy baby. She smiles nearly all of the time and her belly laughs are the best sound in the world. When I was pregnant, I used to think her heartbeat was the best sound I've ever heard. I think her laugh ranks right up there as second.

We've had a busy week or so. Emma's cousin, Luke, and his Mom and Dad were in town visiting from Washington state. We spent some time with them on Sunday and Monday. It was so much fun! Luke's so cute - he's a mess! He's crawling like a mad man, which Emma has yet to master. She's nearly there, but it was cute to see them playing in the floor together. She just looked at him and grinned from ear to ear. She kept wanting to reach out and hold his hand....or pull his hair. Not sure which was more fun!

As I've said before, Emma is 3 weeks younger than Luke. You would never know it to look at them! They weighed Luke on the bathroom scale. He weighed 30 lbs. Emma's check-up is next week, so I don't know for sure. I'd guess that she's around 18 lbs or so. They look about a year apart! So cute together though.

Untitled from Susan Gilchrist on Vimeo.

Emma's reached a point where she doesn't want me to leave her side. Yesterday we literally spent the day attached to one another. She was great playing in the floor while I was there, but if I walked away to start laundry or lunch, she'd scream. She's one high maintenance little thing! I'm afraid this is the beginning of separation anxiety. I've heard that it can start much sooner, so I suppose we're lucky. I can't complain - it IS nice to feel wanted/needed by my "I want to do it MYSELF" little girl.

A few things about Emma:

She has reached an age where she will push away from us like she's trying to say "put me down and let me crawl!"....only she can't!

She's not crawling yet, but she can move as fast as lightning. She pushes up on her hands and knees and goes backwards, rolls over and over and over, and comando crawls. She even crawled forward once or twice yesterday, but is holding out on me!

She is saying "ya ya ya ya" and "da da da da" a lot lately. She was saying the "m" sound, but has given up on it for the others. It's like she cycles through sounds. When she makes a new one, she stops the old one. I'm sure they're in there somewhere.

She still hates the car. She's ok for a little while, but starts screaming after about 10-15 minutes.

She loves the Dixie Chicks songs "Lullaby" and "Godspeed." They are the songs that will usually calm her down for a minute if she's upset. She also loves Matt Nathanson, which I listened to nonstop during my pregnancy. She even got to hear him in concert when I was about 7 months pregnant!

She loves Gerber Puffs, but prefers the Target knockoffs in "sweet potato" flavor. She's eating several table foods these days. I let her have small bites of things we eat. So far she's had potato salad, Publix cupcake (the cake part only!), a bite of BBQ chicken, broccoli, green beans, rice, and sweet potato. She loves them! She HATES Sonic cherry limeade though. She was physically fighting me a few weeks ago over mine, so I let her have a sip. She made faces and shook for 30 seconds solid - looked like a "sour face seizure!"

Her favorite foods lately are pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, prunes, and CREAM OF WHEAT! She hates oatmeal, rice cereal, and anything else babies are supposed to eat. But the girl can get down on a bowl of cream of wheat mixed with fruit. She also hates bananas and applesauce.

She loves to roll around on our bed, mostly trying to get to the remote control or my cell phone.

She's very snuggly, particularly with me.

She wakes up with a smile every morning and from every nap. Just like an angel.

She takes 3 naps a day. Her morning nap used to be 2 hours, but she's decided lately that 45 minutes is all she wants. Mama knows better. Her second nap is always 1.5-2.5 hours. She also has a 30-45 minute cat nap around 5:00. She's a slave to her naps - if she misses one or cuts one short, all hell breaks loose that evening.

She still wakes up once or twice a night to eat. We're thinking about nixing those this weekend.

She loves her bathtime. I put her in the tub with me and then her Daddy gets to put lotion on her and her jammies.

She's still swaddled to sleep. She's really not ready to not be, so we're just going with it. Whenever she's ready, she'll let us know. The pediatrician says it's fine.

She sleeps on her tummy, and has since she was about 3 months old. I'm a bad mommy.

She loves it when inanimate objects "talk" to her with high-pitched voices. She's a sucker for that. Always has been.

She wears size "medium" cloth diaper covers, but is in a size 3 diaper when in disposables.

She had her first diaper rash last week, which we attributed to starting her on yogurt. Turns out it was a reaction to Costo brand eco-friendly laundry detergent. She's got pretty sensitive skin, like her mommy.

She LOVES animals - particularly cats. She also loves Lucy and my parents' dog, Bailey. Whenever they walk in the room during mealtime, we HAVE to stop eating to watch them. We're planning to go back to the Yellow River Game Ranch on Saturday with Emma's buddy Juliette and her Mom and Dad. Emma loved our last trip!

Well, this post WOULD have pictures and a cute video of Emma and Luke, but my laptop is having issues so I'm using Brad's computer to type this. I'll try to get them on here as soon as I can!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Yellow Fever Game Ranch

Ok, so maybe it's called the Yellow RIVER Game Ranch, but in our house, it's the Yellow Fever. This weekend our best friends Amber and Jason came up to stay with us. We went to the YFGR on Saturday afternoon. It was SOOO much fun! I've been wanting to take Emma, but was afraid that she wouldn't pay attention to the animals and be "people watching" instead. I was wrong! She had an absolute blast. The weather was gorgeous and surprisingly, no one was there! We pretty much had the place to ourselves. There were SOOO many animals there! We saw foxes, mountain lions, raccoons, a coyote, goats, sheep, pigs (all in enclosures) and a TON of deer, chickens, peacocks, and roosters.

At one point, we were looking at an animal and Jason said, "Uh, Susan?? Bambi." This is what I saw when I turned around!

This is the look that she gave pretty much all of the animals. Not quite sure what she thinks of them!

These geese were very pushy! When I was Emma's age, we had geese as pets. They would suck on my dresses when I was in my stroller. I didn't let these geese get the chance!

She sure does love Amber!

THIS is what happens when you ask Daddy to hold the baby....

She REALLY wanted to pet the deer!

She never was too sure of what to think of Jason, but she eventually warmed up!

I'd be willing to bet money that I rode on this same exact horse when I was a kid!

Today is a gorgeous and warm day, so I broke out my favorite of Emma's summery outfits that she'll probably not be able to fit into when the weather warms up for good. HAD to have a little mini photo session before we pack it away. On the plus side, Mom and I went to an awesome consignment sale this weekend and I got a TON of precious old-fashioned smocked dresses and outfits very similar to this one. I'm a sucker for baby clothes that look vintage!

On another note, we're right in the midst of Emma's first diaper rash. I suppose we're lucky to have avoided it thus far, but we started her on yogurt a few days ago and I'm afraid to say that it burns her little tush. No more yogurt! After trying my "cloth diaper safe" diaper rash creams (desitin and many others stain cloth diapers and make them repel liquids), I broke out the desitin. Last night I even tried a friend's trick of diaper rash cream followed by vaseline. Wouldn't you know it, she pooped overnight, causing the rash to get even worse! So this morning I called the pediatrician's office. The nurse recommended some Cortisone cream, followed by a barrier cream, so we're trying that now. We're in disposables until the rash is gone as well, mostly because you can tell when she's wet/dirty much easier and change her right away, but also because the creams would REALLY stain the CDs. Praying that we get some relief for her little fanny! It's so heartbreaking to hear her cry when you change her - hope it's almost over!!

About to go outside and enjoy this gorgeous weather!