9mo Well Baby and Neverending Cold (9m)

Kieran saw his Pediatrician today to get checked out for this cough he’s had for 3+ weeks and to have his 9-month Well-Baby visit.

Kieran’s stats from his 9-month checkup:

  • Age: 9 months, 2 days
  • Weight: 19.6lb (was 18lb @ 6mo)
  • Length: 27.75″  (up from 26.75″)
  • Head Circumference: 46.5cm  (up from 45cm)
  • He’s dropped to the 35th percentile for height/weight from the 50th, and his body is starting to catch up to his huge head: he’s down to the 82nd percentile!

I was surprised that Kieran had actually dropped in the height/weight percentiles.  He seems so much bigger to us in the last 3 months, way more than just a pound and a half!  Granted, he is moving around more than he used to, but as he’s not crawling or cruising yet, I don’t think the increased activity is enough to slim him down any.  (If anything, I think the whole 1.6 pounds went to his belly and thighs!  He has the absolute most MUNCHABLE thighs now.)

Dr. Hodapp was his usual self, practically backing out of the exam room as soon as he walked in.  (Paul and I had a chat – I’m strongly considering changing Pediatricians…)  But in the few minutes we talked, Dr. Hodapp pronounced Kieran just perfect.  He’s not concerned at all with the slow-down in growth, as obviously Kieran is thriving.  Kieran’s developmental gains are doing great, since he babbles to everyone (Mama, Daddy, Teachers, Doggy, Kitty, Baby in the Mirror…) and is happily pulling himself up on everything.  Dr. Hodapp confirmed my suspicions that Kieran probably won’t bother to crawl – since he’s showing no desire to do it now and is moving towards cruising on the stuff he pulls himself up on.  I was told to focus Kieran’s nutrition on solids, using formula to “top him up” after a meal of solids.  (Ugh, that’s a whole ‘nother post I wanna make… I’m so frustrated with conflicting information about solids/formula at this age.)  Kieran’s tubes look great, which was a relief. (Kieran’s been patting at his left ear for a few days now.)  Dr. Hodapp thinks it’s teething.  I’m inclined to agree, as the drool has started up again and Kieran has been chewing on his hand more recently.

As far as Kieran’s never-ending wet, productive cough: IT’S A COLD.  I really didn’t want to accept that.  I pushed, and re-iterated that he’s had this wet, productive, body-wracking, eye-bugging, baby-exhausting cough for three weeks now.  It’s worse at night, but still very much there during the day, so much so that Kieran hasn’t wanted to eat for a couple of days now.  But, I have to admit also that he hasn’t been running a temperature, and the accompanying sinus involvement has been on-and-off, and all-around not as bad as previous colds.  I wasn’t looking for meds, but I really wanted some reassurance that this truly is just a cold (or 2-3 colds back-to-back) and not something to worry about.  I asked about possible allergies too.

Dr. Hodapp listened to Kieran’s breathing, and had them check his oxygen saturation.  Both were good – lungs are clear, and his O2 was at 96-97.  Dr. Hodapp encouraged me to bring Kieran back in a week or two if the cough is still there.  (I made an appointment for my next furlough day at work, with every hope and intention of canceling it the day before.)  I mentioned the fact that we were unable to ever get in to see anyone at this office while Kieran had his ear infections – basically I got told that we had the misfortune of having a sick kid during the “bad” season.  Meh.  Again, more reason that I wanna consider changing Pediatricians. But for now, Kieran just has a cold and we’re to keep doing what we’re doing: nose sucking and humidifying his room at night.  No need for meds.  If he has this exact thing next Spring, it could possibly be allergy-related, but Dr. Hodapp said that babies Kieran’s age just don’t have seasonal allergies like that.

I’m glad we were able to get Kieran checked out.  I feel a lot better with confirmation that there isn’t something terribly wrong.  So now we can focus on enjoying this weekend with Grampa John and Great Grandma Cat.  We’re going to take pictures in Kieran’s Dodger outfit to celebrate the start of Baseball season and just do our level best to enjoy the lovely warm weather we’re having.

I need to be better about this – Cardiologist (5w)

I really need to find the time to write out the whole birth story and our experience in the hospital… Paul kept good notes for me of what went on so I can construct it from memory and notes, but there just doesn’t seem to be time to sit down and write it out! (I’m writing this while pumping, thanks to my hands-free bustier thingie.)

As some of you may know, I was born with a birth defect in my heart. (A Ventricular Septal Defect, or VSD to be precise.) Because of this, and the fact that I was on an ACE inhibitor when I got pregnant, Dr. Schwartz ordered that a fetal echocardiogram be done while I was pregnant (remember? I talked about it.) which necessitated a follow up echo before we left the hospital.

The echo was done on day 2, I think. A tech came to the room with the machines and did the tests on Kieran there in the room. She didn’t tell us anything, but said that the cardiologist would come talk to us the next day after he reviewed the results. The cardiologist did come chat with us and explained that while Kieran definitely doesn’t have the birth defect that I was born with (WHEW!) that there was a murmur and a thing or two that wasn’t 100% on the echo. Basically it’s nothing to be worried about, just little flaps inside his heart that hadn’t closed all the way when his heart and lungs kicked into gear, and a “bypass” that hadn’t closed itself off as expected.

So today was the 1 month follow-up to the hospital echo to see if things had healed up like they should. The answer is a qualified “yes” on all accounts. Things are healing, but they’re not *healed* yet. The murmur is still there. The holes and latent byways are still there, but smaller. The cardiologist says there’s nothing to worry about at this point, that this is all very common and that things *are* healing up, so there’s no reason to think that they won’t continue to heal. The Pulmonary Artery is a little narrower than he’d like to see, but he says that he sees it all the time and usually they strengthen and widen out on their own. (I don’t have my notes at hand while I’m pumping here… otherwise I’d give the technical terms.)

We have an appointment to return in three months (Nov 16) to make sure everything has healed up the way it should. Until then, we’re not worrying about anything. Kieran isn’t showing any signs that these little issues are bothering him, he’s gaining weight like a champ and is cute as hell: so life is good.

On a side note: it was nifty to see ultrasounds of Kieran from the OUTSIDE. :)

Cleared for Launch (36w6d)

Today was my last prenatal appointment. Short and sweet.

  • BP: 154/97 both times
  • Fluid: 5.7 in only two pockets (dunno if that’s good that they were big, or bad that there were only two.)
  • Monitoring: Little man seemed content to kick at the monitors, so he didn’t need to be buzzed.
  • Group B Strep test was positive, so I’ll need 2-3 doses of antibiotics during the course of labor. No big deal, just one more thing going into the IV.
  • We chatted for a bit with our favorite nurse, Paula. She’s a neat lady. Hugs all around when we left.

    So we’re cleared to arrive at the hospital at 7:30 on Sunday. This is getting very real all of the sudden.

Still here (36w4d)

Quick & Dirty update:

  • BP was 155/99, so in the unhappy-ish range and up from Monday.
  • Monitoring went well (no buzzer needed)
  • Fluid is back up a bit to 5.7 (although Dr. Schwartz told us on Monday that he has a sneaking suspicion my fluid has always been a little higher than AFI readings are saying – just because on someone of my shape and size there’s more ‘nooks and crannies’ for fluid to hide in. Doesn’t make visualizing them or getting to them for an amnio any easier – but it does explain why he hasn’t been all Chicken Little like the nurses for the last two weeks.)
  • Gave blood and pee to re-check stuff and was sent home (as opposed to the hospital.)

If I wasn’t scheduled for induction on Sunday, they’d be having me do a 24-hour urine starting tomorrow. So thank God for small favors.

Worrisome upper belly pains + increasing headache + vision changes are making Dr. Schwartz look at me funny, but he let me go home today, so I consider that a victory. It’s possible the lab results will change that tomorrow, but we’re thinking positive. In the meantime, I’m trying to lay low – which is fairly easy today cuz I kinda feel like crap between an upset tummy, headache and the upper belly pains.

I guess I should clarify that the induction on Sunday isn’t something we’re expecting to go especially quickly. At not quite 37 weeks, I’m high and tight (not dilated or effaced at all) so I’m assuming it’s gonna take at least the full 12-hour cycle of the Cervidil to get things moving, if not a second round. (Our prepared childbirth instructors warned that it’s not at all uncommon for two rounds of Cervidil to be needed for induction before 38 weeks.) I’m not contracting anymore though, thank goodness. If the contractions from the amniocentesis had continued more than 8 hours or so, that would have been a problem. So while a shared birthday with Daddy is possible for June 30th, I’m not aiming for it. Personally, I think the little guy is gonna arrive on the 29th – but the 28th would be even better! As always – safe and healthy baby and Mama is all we’re after, however that comes about.

I’m back at Dr. Schwartz’s office on Friday for monitoring and possibly an amniocentesis if there’s a big fluid pocket that the doc of the day (not Dr. Schwartz) feels like trying to stab at. (Uug, that sounds gross, doesn’t it?) I’ll say goodbye to the girls in the office who we’ve gotten friendly with (I swear, it’s like Cheers when we come in now: a chorus of “Hi, Sarah” wafts out of the back.) If I end up with a Cesarean, I’ll be in the office for a follow-up at two weeks. If I manage to do a vaginal birth, I won’t see anyone in Dr. Schwartz’s office (including Dr. Schwartz) for six weeks. (He’ll still manage my insulin and meds during that time, but we’ll do that via email only.)

So, in the meantime I plug away at work stuff and Paul tries to keep me from working too hard. :)

Amniocentesis FAIL (36w2d)

So my fluid was at an all-time low of 4.5 today, and even with Dr. Schwartz’s Jedi-like skills, the amniocentesis couldn’t be completed today. There was one tiny (1.2cm) pocket he was aiming for, but the kid kept putting his arm there when Dr. Schwartz got close with the needle. Paul watched on the monitor as they tried and tried to get into the pocket they were aiming at.

I got jabbed twice though. Not as bad as I thought it would be at all. The pressure was the worst part – until the contractions started. (It’s two hours later and they’re still happening…) It wasn’t pleasant by any means, but I’m not shaking in my boots at the prospect of another one.

So the plan is to wait another week. Since we can’t absolutely confirm that the little guy’s lungs are mature enough to be on the outside, we hang out. I’m still doing OK enough (surprisingly) that we have time before things get to a crisis point. So we’ll continue monitoring me this week, and on Friday I’ll be checked by one of the other doctors in the office. If he sees a big pocket of fluid, they’ll probably go ahead and attempt an amnio – but if not, it’s not a problem. I’m scheduled to arrive at the hospital at 7:30 on Sunday evening to start the induction. Dr. Schwartz will come straight from the airport on Monday morning to check on me, and we’ll take it from there. (Friday’s potential amnio would only be to tell us something wasn’t right – not to give us the go-ahead to induce. The default now has been flipped to induce, as opposed to waiting for confirmation.)

We were pretty disappointed. Paul and I had worked this weekend to get ourselves to a good head space for having the kid today. We felt ready. (well, as ready as one can feel…) So it was a pretty big let down today, and Dr. Schwartz recognized that. But we agree with him that discretion is the better part of valor and to err on the side of caution is a much better way to go right now. Paul is concerned for me having to stick it out another week, but I’m fine. Letting the little man have an extra week is all to the good for him, and I can put up with basically anything for another 6 days.

I’ll be going in to start the induction process at 7:30 on Sunday June 27. It’s entirely possible that the whole process will take 2-3 days. Paul’s birthday is Wednesday the 30th. Could be fun if his son shares his birthday. (Considering Paul was born on his parent’s 3rd anniversary.)

For now though, we’re finally back home. The appointment today was over three hours long with 30 minutes of monitoring before and after the amnio. We know what a contraction looks like on the monitor now! I’m dead on my feet and in a fair amount of pain in my upper-mid back and from the continuing contractions, so I’m gonna lay down for a nap. I’ll be working the rest of this week, so I will be staying busy between monitoring appointments on Wednesday and Friday afternoons.

Sorry for the big build up to nothing, folks.