Friday, September 14, 2007

my little conundrum

Before my husband left, we noticed that CB was getting floppy. She never wanted to stand up or try to sit. Just just wanted to chill out in our arms or on our chests. She did this all the time and she still wasn't rolling over at almost 6 months so that was causing me to worry. Plus, her good natured spirit had gone away and she had turned into a screaming, non sleeping mess. We went to her doctor and the doctor said her muscle tone was fine, but she hadn't gained any weight and had in fact lost weight since she was 4 months old so that could be why she seemed so "lazy". She decided to change the baby's reflux meds and have her closely monitored by another doctor until she got back from vacation.

For two weeks, we went to the health clinic three times a week for weight checks and for the nurses to watch her eat to see if the new meds were helping her eat better. Each time we went, we ended up spending 2-3 hours there. She was eating fine and always taking in enough milk, but still wasn't gaining weight, so the other doctor told us to start adding cereal into her diet. Big fat mistake. She spent the next week throwing up everything she ate all day and all night long. She was miserable and would scream for literally hours on end. She hadn't been sleeping well before and was usually up for 2-3 total hours a night, but now she was up 3-4 hours at a time, sometimes twice a night, and was sleeping maybe 6 or 7 total hours and, if I was lucky, was taking 2 hours worth of naps each day.

Finally I broke down in the doctors office and told the doctor that she had to fix my child, or I was going to go crazy. No baby should be that fussy without there being something going on. The doctor had us go home and write down every little thing we did for 24 hours and take the list back to her the next day. After she had looked at the list and watched CB for over 2 hours, she decided to do a chest x-ray to see if she had pneumonia from aspirating reflux into her lungs. So we did the x-ray and she said the baby did have pneumonia and probably had it for at least a month and that a dose of meds and a baby meth (albuterol) inhaler would fix her right up.

At 8:30 that night, the doctor called me at home and said she didn't like some of the things she saw in the belly area on CB's x-ray. There was a ton of air in her belly and coupling that with the fact that CB was throwing up all solid foods made her worry there was an abdominal abnormality that hadn't been found before. She said she was going to make us an appointment with the German GI doctors to find out for sure. A week later, we still didn't have an appointment so we went in for a follow up with the regular doctor. CB had lost more weight, so the doctor put in a call to the GI doc and the GI doc said to hospitalize her. I'm sorry, what?!?

Within 3 hours, we were on our way for a 2 day hospital stay. Thankfully, I have a good friend who was able to take off of work to care for the bigger monster because otherwise, I would have had to take him with us. When we got to the hospital, I didn't know where to go so we wandered aimlessly for about 20 minutes until I stumbled upon the room we were supposed to report to. Then we waited for about 45 minutes until they could finally see the baby.

We went into this little triage room and they weighed her, measured her, tipped her upside down, looked up her nose and mouth, and made her pee in a bag. Then I heard "german german german german german ketones german german german infusion german." And then they said "Ok, Mrs. B, we need to put an IV in her arm and take some blood, do you want to stay in the room?" And being the supermom I am, I said of course I was going to stay. But little CB didn't have any veins in her arm, so they decided to put it in her head. And being the supermom I am, I knew it wouldn't bother me... it didn't bother me until she started screaming uncontrollably and the cap to cover the IV thingamajig popped off and blood started pouring from her head. Then the room started to get small and very very hot... I ran out of the room as fast as I could before I hit the floor. After they had stopped the bleeding, the doctor came to get me and told me she was afraid I had passed out. Apparently, I was still drunk or extremely hung over the day they went over "what happens when we stick a needle in your child's head" in parenting class because I was NOT prepared for that.

After we all had calmed down, we were transfered to our room and I spent the next day and a half feeding CB non stop and waiting for her to throw up. Since she was being pumped full of fluids, we were tethered to the wall and couldn't walk more than 10 feet without unplugging CB from the monitors and the IV stand from the wall. She didn't sleep so I couldn't leave to go to the bathroom without her screaming like I was torturing her and pulling her gauze cap over her face, which made her scream even more. They did an ultrasound of her abdominal cavity and everything looked normal, except for the insane amount of gas she had in her belly. There was so much that they couldn't get a clear picture of her stomach.

On Saturday morning, the doctor came in and informed me that we weren't going home, but we were going to be staying for the rest of the week. That posed a logistical nightmare beyond belief. I had to call for reinforcements and make plans for my mom to fly to Germany on the first flight out. My friend was coming in to visit so she was going to be on W duty until my mom got there. And I had to leave CB for the first time in her life to go get clothes and groceries for my mom and friend. There was no food in the house because I was supposed to go grocery shopping on Thursday, but never made it. While I was gone, the nurses said they were going to try to get her to take a bottle and feed her some solids. CB actually did take a bottle, for the first time in her life, but promptly threw it up, as she did with the baby food they gave her and the other bottle they gave her. I came back to find 3 dirty outfits on the changing table in the room. The formula and solids made her so sick and she was up literally all night screaming.

Sunday was more of the same. They tried giving her more formula and baby food and she kept the formula down but not the baby food. The girl who was taking care of W and my friend came to bring W to see us in the evening and I realized how much both CB and I had been missing W. The poor kid threw a huge fit when it came time to leave. I walked them out to the car and as they drove past me, I saw W through the back window crying, holding out his arms and saying "no more, no more, no more!" It broke my heart to see him leaving like that. Apparently, he got so mad on the way home that he managed to take his entire shoelace out of his shoe.

By Sunday night, both CB and I had had enough. We were staying in a room that was in the middle of the ward, so we had babies on each side of us who would cry every time CB was sleeping. The door to our room was the loudest door in the history of the world and every time it would open, CB would wake up if she was sleeping. I was wearing the loudest shoes in the history of the world so every time I would walk across the room, CB would wake up if she was sleeping. The bed I was sleeping on was the loudest bed in the history of the world so if I sat or laid down when CB was sleeping, she would wake up. It was so frustrating.

She wasn't sleeping, I wasn't sleeping, we were both crying and I was hungry, having not been able to eat a good meal for the previous 3 days. At around 2, CB woke up for the 3rd time that night and stayed awake until 6, screaming almost the entire time. Nothing we tried worked to calm her down and eventually she fell asleep from exhaustion. I passed out too and we both slept until 8:30, when the doctor came by during his rounds. I didn't realize until after he left that I had a drool streak down my chin and one side of my hair was matted against my face. Oh well, right?

A few hours later, I had gotten CB down for her nap and the other doctor came in and said he needed to take CB for a brain scan right away, so I had to wake her up. He said they were worried because her head is so much bigger and growing so much faster than the rest of her body. I told them not to worry because I just have large headed babies. She's always had a big head; 37 centimeters when she was born (and she was born with her hand by her face, too! Um, ouch!) Of course they said her brain looked normal and fine so I was relieved, although I wasn't worried in the first place.

A few hours after that, the doctor came back and told us we could go home for the rest of the week, until the meds got out of her system so they could do more testing later. So we are home now, for the time being. We're trying to rest and relax and it's so nice to have 2 extra sets of hands to help me out. Of course, CB is perfect for everyone else. She will fall asleep for anyone but me with no problem, eat well if I'm not feeding her and she's happy as long as I'm not holding her. She also learned how to sit up on her own, which makes me very happy and confuses me at the same time. She won't roll over to save her life, but she will sit. She makes such a liar out of me. I don't get it. She's my little conundrum.


Anonymous said...

I only wish I could re-write the script for you! SOOO glad your Mom is there. My "troops" still have your back and ask about you. Thanks for taking the time to tell us like it is. Love you!

Leah said...

Big hugs. I wish I could help you in some way.

Bitter Coffee said...

Hey Jo...I'm glad your friend and your mom are there to help you out. I am glad that CB is sleeping and eating, even if it is with other people. :) My prayers are with you.

Midwest Miscellany said...

Being home must be so relaxing after that super eventful hospital stay. I hope both you and CB will have a chance to recuperate a little before she has to go in again. I wish I knew some special trick to make it all go away for you, but meanwhile I'm just sending P&PT for all of you.

Jessica Ryan said...

Oh Jo, my heart is just aching for you... and West... and Westina, of course. I hope you all get to the bottom of this soon, very soon!

Andrea said...

oh my! i am so so sorry to read about your awful hospital visit, especially the IV part. that made me want to cry like no other. so glad you have help, i know it must be so hard being so far away from "home" and dh gone too. sorry its been so rough, i think of you often and hope things really get better asap!

Anonymous said...

You are one very strong woman, Jo (or you would be if you were able to eat and sleep!) I wish we could help you out with something other than prayers. We love you and yours and are very proud of you.