Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Done with the GI Specialist

Yesterday, Ezra had his four month appointment. He lost 1 oz from last Wednesday. Other than that, he looked great, but we had to push his 4 mo. shots to next week, since he got his 2 month shots less than 60 days ago.

Today was Ezra's GI Specialist appointment. First thing was an ultrasound of his belly, which looked great. Then we saw the specialist. Today they weighed him at 14 lb 6.5 oz. This is 1.5 oz up from yesterday and .5 oz up from last week. I was worried that the specialist was not going to be happy about this, but he was ok with it, since he gained 3 lbs in the prior 3 weeks. The specialists have decided that he has nothing more than reflux and since we have been able to get him to gain weight, they are no longer concerned. They expect him to start growing out of the reflux over the next few months. So this was great news! We will need to continue to go in to our regular peditrician every 1-2 weeks for weight checks, but as long as he keeps gaining sufficient weight we do not need to go back to the GI specialist!

So this was a great day. Ezra was a very happy baby. He smiled at everyone and everyone said he was the cutest baby. He has also been wiggling and moving all over the place. He scoots on his back across the floor and he is *this* close to rolling over from his back to his tummy. He keeps trying it, but can't quite get over.

Well, time for bed. Calvin leaves for a business trip in the morning, so pray for safe travels for him and that I survive three days alone with the boys.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

4 months old

Ezra turned four months old today. I can't believe is is so old already! He also has started to sit and stand with help. He's going to be all grown up before I know it!

So a couple days ago, I asked for prayers for Calvin and I and some decisions we were trying to make. We have been doing a lot of praying and we have decided that I am going to go back to school! I am planning on taking the Nurse Midwife program at Marquette University. This coming fall and spring I need to complete a prerequesite class (Human Anatomy and Physiology) and then in May 2010, I start at Marquette. I will first be taking a 15 month pre-MSN program, which is basically an acclerated nursing program. Then I will be taking two years of master's courses in nurse midwifery. I am very excited, but I still covet your prayers. There are a lot of details to iron out. We think we might have childcare lined up (a wonderful friend of ours). We still need to figure out funding and getting another car. Then there is the adjustment for our family as I will not be with the boys full time any more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

He's Getting Chunky!

We had Ezra weighed today. 14 lbs 6 oz! That's almost a whole pound since last tuesday! So, while the GI doc was pleased with the weight gain, he is not pleased that Ezra is still spitting up. So they will be doing an ultrasound of his belly on Tuesday. So we'll see what that shows. Good news is that he can go back to breast milk. They would still like us to add rice cereal in it. So we are very happy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's raining, it's pouring

I like the rain. So cleansing!

Anyhow, I talked to the GI nurse today. They are very concerned that Ezra is still spitting up even though he is on the super hypoallergenic formula. So they have requested that Ezra be weighed and seen by one of our peditricians tomorrow morning. If he has lost weight or shows signs of distress or dehydration, he will be admitted tomorrow afternoon. I don't think that is going to happen. Although I don't think he has gained another two pounds (although I didn't think he had gained that much last time either), I don't think he has lost any weight either.

Good news is that if he has gained some weight, we can go back to breastfeeding! I'm super excited. And more good news, I don't have to keep up the dairy-free/ soy-free diet anymore! That is awesome news. Although, technically, I caved and quit the diet last night, I'm glad I don't have to feel guilty.

In non-medical news, we had a great day today! My mom and I took the boys to the Betty Brinn Children's Museum in Milwaukee today. That place is awesome! It is more of a playground than a museum. There are a ton of things for kids to do and even a section that is only for toddlers 3 and under. That section is great for Matthias. I think he could play their all day! At the end of the day, we decided to buy a year membership. I can't weight to take the boys back!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Matthias' first ER visit

So tonight we made our first official US ER visit (we made on to the Canadian ER in December with Ezra). Tonight after Matthias went to bed (but obviously not to sleep) he screamed. He had been playing with his closet doors and got one caught on his foot, specifically his big toe. It was red and puffy, but the tip was white. So after calling the nurse line, we brought him to the ER, as was the nurse's suggestion. So we went in. After waiting a couple of hours, we finally got in and got an x-ray of his toe. Thankfully it was not broken. But it meant for an eventful night.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

And it continues

The spitting up that is. It is getting worse. I just feel bad for the little guy.

In other news, Matthias is starting to say more words. The other day we were looking at a pond and there was a duck. He pointed at it and said 'das'(which is his word for 'what is that?'). Calvin told him duck. And Matthias said duck! In is so much fun to see him starting to communicate better and say some words. I can't wait until he is talking more.

Also another prayer request. Calvin and I are talking and praying a lot about our future as a family. I am looking at going back to school, so we are praying about what will be best for our family.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another appointment, Another challenge

So Ezra had his follow-up appointment with the GI specialist today. He gained 2.5 oz since Friday, which was acceptable. So in the last two weeks he has gained 2 lbs 1 oz which is more than he had gained in the previous three months. So that is great.

The doctor still wants to see if this is a cow's milk protein allergy. So Ezra is going to stay on this fancy formula for another two weeks to see if we see a difference in the spitting up. This is quite expensive ($189 for six cans!). I would like to go back to breastfeeding, so right now I am still pumping. If it is a allergy, then in order to keep breastfeeding, I need to be on a cow's milk/ soy free diet for three weeks before I can start breastfeeding. So I am starting the diet tomorrow (I wanted one more night of milk and ice cream!)

Now, I know what you're thinking, ok, no milk, no ice cream, that sucks, but not too big of a deal. Well, then you haven't been reading labels. There are milk proteins or soy proteins in just about everything. Basically I have to eat foods made from scratch. So I guess I'm going to be getting back on my diet, since cookies and candy are out.

So I hope this isn't too incorherant, I'm rather tired. Next step is that we continue the formula and pumping for the next two weeks and then he goes in for his 4 month appointment and a weight check. At that point we will decide whether or not the formula is working. If it is not working, we will most likely go back to breastfeeding with added cereal, since that helped him gain weight. His weight is also still a consideration. If he stops gaining at any point, they will have to change his diet and possibly hospitalize him. So we are hoping that he continues to gain weight.

So again, we thank you for your prayers. We know that this is all in God's hands.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Finally, Good News!

So yesterday after waiting over two days for a response from the nurse, I finally got a call from the nurse and the doctor late yesterday afternoon. They were concerned that he was still spitting up, so they wanted a weight check and to start him on some fancy new formula that is super hypoallergenic and dairy free. I am still not convinced it is an allergy, but I'm willing to try it. We will still be mixing it with the rice cereal. He doesn't seem to like it very much, but I am hoping that he gets used to it after a few more feedings. He also is not a fan of having to take a bottle in the middle night (I'm not a fan of making a bottle in the middle of the night), but we will both get used to it.

In case, I can go back to breastfeeding later, I am pumping and freezing my breast milk. I'm getting really sick of pumping, but if it means I might be able to go back to breastfeeding, I'm going to keep at it.

Anyways, this morning I brought Ezra in for a weight check. He weighed 13 lbs 4.5 oz! That was a 1 lb 12.5 oz weight gain in ten days! I am sure this is because of all the prayers on his behalf. Thank you all for your prayers!

This is not the end of this medical journey for Ezra though. Tuesday he will be seen by the GI specialist again to make sure that he is still growing. He is still spitting up quite a bit. He probably gained weight due to the fact that his feedings had extra calories in them. He has also not been pooping very well the last couple of days (probably because of the high amount of rice cereal). So he will still probably need to be monitored for a while to make sure he continues to gain weight. Although we are very pleased with this weight gain, we want to make sure this was not a fluke.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No News

I left a message for the specialist's nurse and she didn't call me back. So I have no news.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that Ezra's x-rays looked normal.
The bad news is that Ezra's x-rays looked normal.
So we still do not know what is causing his spitting up/vomiting. Tomorrow I have to call in to let the nurse know that he is not getting better. I'm hoping that they want to try something different. I just don't see the point in prolonging this another week. I know that this means he'll probably have to be hospitilized, but I just want him to get better.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

No improvement

In fact, I'm pretty sure that Ezra's spitting up has gotten worse. We have been adding rice cereal to his milk since Thursday, but he is still spitting up. Maybe even more so than before we started adding the cereal. My in-laws are here and my mother in law has been wearing a towel while feeding him, because he has spit up all over her a couple of times already. So Monday is his x-ray and on Tuesday I have to call the nurse and they will probably be switching him to some kind of formula to see if that helps. I am hoping that maybe he will still gain some weight, since there are extra calories in his feedings. So maybe he is keeping down enough to gain some weight. We'll see.

In good news, Matthias seems to be doing better. He did not have a fever today and seems to be more himself, although he is still quite tired.

Other good news, tomorrow is Ezra's baptism. I'm very excited. It will also be nice to get back to church. Since the boys have been sick, we haven't been to church or any of our bible studies or activities for a couple weeks.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When it rains, it pours...

I hope this post isn't too depressing, but I am quite tired and a bit down, so I make no guarantees. I barely got any sleep last night. Ezra had a little trouble falling asleep last night and then once he finally did, I was too nervous about today to fall asleep right away. Then right as I was falling asleep, I heard Matthias start coughing over the baby monitor. And it was not just any cough, but a deep, barky, croup cough. So after listening to him suffer for a few minutes, I pulled him in bed with us so I could listen to him breath. That eased my mind, but didn't really help me get any sleep. And then we had to get up at 5:30 am to get Calvin to work.
After bringing Calvin to work, the day really began. Ezra had his appointment with the GI specialist today. I was nervous that they would find something seriously wrong or that they would say that there was nothing we could do and we just needed to wait it out. After answering a ton of questions on some forms and then answering the same questions from the nurse, and answering the questions again from the first doctor and then again from the second doctor, the doctors came back with a game plan.

Right now the doctors this that this is probably simply reflux. But since he is not gaining weight very well, they are concerned. So we are going to try a couple of things to try to help him keep his food down. First we will try to hold him at a 30 deg. angle and trying to keep him more on his right side. This works with gravity and his natural anatomy to try to help the food get through his stomach. We are also trying to make his feedings heavier. This means that I have to pump my breast milk and mix it with rice cereal. This should also help him gain weight, because it is adding more calories to his feedings. I am supposed to doing the pumping and adding rice for a week and if after a week, he is still spitting up really bad, then I will have to stop the breastmilk and switch him to formula thickened with rice.

On Monday, Ezra will be going in for an upper GI x-ray. He will have to drink barium. It will be interesting for sure.

After two weeks, we are going back. If he does not gain enough weight, he will be hospitalized for further testing and until he can gain enough weight. I am praying that thickening his feedings will work, because I really do not want to have him be hospitalized.

So after all that with Ezra, I had to bring Matthias to the doctor in the afternoon. He indeed has a bad case of croup. So he is now on steroids to help keep his airway open. Not only am I well known at the pediatricians' office, I am getting to be somewhat well known at the pharmacy as well. He is really tired and out of it. He fell asleep on the couch an hour before bedtime.

In good news, we finally got some pictures of Ezra smiling!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Making Progress!

Ezra seems to be making a lot of progress. He is coughing a lot less and his breathing seems to be getting a lot better. He is also getting back to his happy, smily self.

Speaking of Ezra being his smily self, he seems to think that sticking his tongue out is a form of smiling. I guess he's been watching Calvin and Matthias. It is super cute though. I wish I could post a picture of him doing it, but he refuses to smile for the camera.