Sunday, February 27, 2011

What's wrong, you ask? Oh, let me tell you!

Things that are just wrong in the world:

1) It takes two adults to feed one 15-month-old 2.5 ounces from a bottle (and it wasn't just one rough feeding--it was two in a row).
2) Said 15-month-old miraculously ate two jars of sweet potatoes for supper, then he coughed and threw it up.
3) I'm not worried about taking a 15-hour car ride with my almost-toddler, but I'm dreading what it will be like to feed him while we're away from home for five days. He just may eat easy mac and grapes in his car seat twice a day, and hopefully a few bottles and some applesauce.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Things! (videos)

Caleb and Daddy love to play. Here Caleb is, protecting his belly from zerberts by using his feet (and laughing like a maniac):
video

I taught Caleb this trick the other day:
video
Now he thinks it's cool to hear his voice inside of the bucket. :)

This is what Caleb does when he's really happy:
video

I filled the tub just a little fuller than usual, and Caleb made a discovery:
video
Yes, it's very fun to splash!

(Remember when this is what bath time was like? Wow, have things changed.)

And when I can actually capture it, I'll post videos of Caleb saying "uh-oh" (which he says constantly), saying "ball," and standing/almost walking. Maybe by the time I get around to it, he'll actually be walking and I can post a video of that!

Books are good for so many things!

Caleb loves to read books. In fact, he has to look at a book and thumb through the pages every time I give him a bottle. His favorite book is a touchy-feely book. But this is how he likes to touch and feel his book:
video
Yes, he feels it with his mouth. Silly Monkey.

Blogger is giving me problems, so I'll try to upload more videos later. Sorry for the suspense. Believe me, it'll be worth it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Word is Mightier...

Caleb has a great vocabulary. It's very comforting to me that he knows and uses words, because it means he can learn and that his brain is working, even if his body isn't (although his body is, it's just a little slower). Here are the words that he knows and uses:
  • dada
  • auntie (Did you know that Caleb's auntie who lives with us is my identical twin? Yeah. He now calls me auntie. It's a little heartbreaking.)
  • dog (he uses it for Meggie Dog, his stuffed dog, and any other real dog he sees)
  • cat (he learned it when we had a cat, who ran away after two weeks, but he still remembered it when he saw our neighbor's cat)
  • turtle
  • uh-oh!
  • a-choo:
video

Ya know how basically every baby thinks it's hilarious if you fake sneeze? Well, I did it thinking it would make Caleb laugh, but instead he copied me. Now when he fake sneezes, I laugh. :) And he does it every time someone sneezes for real. I love it.

Remember this? I loved that, too.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy One-Year-Adjusted Birthday!

Yes, today is the day Caleb is supposed to be one. Never mind that he'll be 15-months-old in two days. He is now closer to "toddler" than "baby" (although he doesn't exactly toddle yet).

At one year adjusted, Caleb:
  • Still has 8 teeth
  • Still wears size 3-6 month clothes and some 6-9 month clothes (I KNOW! PROGRESS!)
  • Wears size three diapers (which we only need to change 3 times a day)
  • Can easily crawl up stairs
  • Cruises around furniture of all types (and sometimes walls)
  • Can stand on his own for a maximum of about 10 seconds
  • Can't go to the standing position unless he has something to pull up on
  • Is getting better at putting things in containers instead of just taking them out (he's been doing it for a while, but he's finally decided that it's fun)
  • Sometimes organizes the food on his high chair tray (i.e., he'll put the bread in one section, the grapes in another, etc.)
  • Has barely started stacking things
  • Consumes 10-13 ounces of pediasure each day
  • Actually enjoys eating grapes (but he spits out the skin), diced ham, and usually avocados
  • Is still on prevacid for his reflux and is now on an appetite stimulant
  • Is extremely vocal--I plan on doing another post about it, but he knows and uses daily at least six words and will mimic many more
  • Gives kisses on demand (as long as he's in an affectionate mood)
  • Points at things that interest him and reaches for things that he wants
  • Still refuses to clap
  • Has an unlimited amount of energy but thankfully still naps in the AM for about 1.5 hours (although sometimes it's just quiet time in his crib), still has one glorious 3-hour nap in the PM, and still sleeps 11ish hours at night
  • Gets incredibly hyper when tired
  • Shakes his head "no" when he's extremely happy (he doesn't know it means "no," and I don't want to teach him...haha!)
  • Has therapy with the feeding specialist twice a month and now goes to the movers playgroup with Kids on the Move every week for a little bit of physical therapy help and more opportunities to learn from other kids (it's SO FUN!)
  • Weighs about 16 lbs 5 oz (optimistically) (about the size of the average 6-month-old)
  • Loves "this little piggy" as long as you tickle his tummy when the littlest piggy cries wee wee wee all the way home :)
He also:

Enjoyed a fresh banana once:
Likes American Idol:
(This lucky girl got a ticket to Hollywood!)

Is Yoda's doppelganger:
("Judge me by my size, do you?")

Videos of new and entertaining things coming soon!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hope

The following is found here:
http://newsmomsneed.marchofdimes.com/?p=8898

The first-ever drug known to prevent some preterm births won market approval today from the Food and Drug Administration.

“For the first time, we have an FDA-approved treatment to offer women who have delivered a baby too soon, giving them hope that their next child will have a better chance at a healthy start in life,” said Alan Fleischman, MD, senior vice president and medical director of the March of Dimes. “Women who already have had a baby born prematurely should check with their health care provider to see if this treatment is appropriate for them. This treatment is not for everyone.”

The FDA approved hydroxyprogesterone caproate injection, commonly known as 17P, which is a synthetic form of a hormone produced during pregnancy. It will be marketed under the brand name Makena™ and given in weekly injections to pregnant women between 16 and 20 weeks gestation and continuing until 37 weeks gestation. The drug is approved for use by women pregnant with one baby and who already have a baby who was born before 37 weeks of pregnancy either because labor began on its own, without drugs or other methods, or because the membranes surrounding the baby ruptured too early.

Prior to today’s approval of Makena™, health care providers ordered prescriptions of 17P from compounding pharmacies; however, many eligible patients faced logistical and financial barriers to access. FDA approval means the drug now will be widely available only in specialty pharmacies and that there will be improved access of the drug through healthcare coverage.

A published study by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes for Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using data from 2002, estimated that if all women eligible for the progesterone injections received them, nearly 10,000 spontaneous premature births might be prevented each year.

---------------

I can't tell you what this means to me. I cried for a good 20 minutes after I read this. I mean, I knew about progesterone shots, but this is new, improved, approved, and attainable. This is really the only good option for me. The other options were:

1) Closely monitor the pregnancy. This is a little scary. What happens when I dilate? Bed rest? (Which research shows doesn't help much anyway, apparently.) Or do we just monitor the labor, delivery, and premature baby in the NICU? I'd rather not merely monitor.

2) Do a cerclage (stitching the cervix shut). According to my doctor, this is just as risky as it is successful (although what I've read on-line says otherwise). The procedure is normally performed at the very beginning of the second trimester. If the cerclage causes infection, rupture of membranes, or labor, the baby wouldn't survive. That's ridiculously scary.

Instead, I think I'll take a shot every week for 11-13 weeks.

I really feel, finally, as though there is hope for having a healthy baby. It's an amazing feeling.

Monday, February 7, 2011

GI news

Yes, after a 2.5-month wait we finally got in to see the GI specialist. Here is what she said (straight from her very own notes):

----------
Super thin, lousy appetite, BUT lots of good nutritional parameters:
(1) Energy--development, (2) infection fighting, (3) has skeletal maturation (teeth and closed fontanel).

Worse lately! Now what?: Start with safe/easy methods to boost appetite. #1 cyproheptidine, #2 zinc => zinc deficiency leads to dysgeusia (not taste).
----------

Very interesting, isn't it? Overall, Caleb looked very good. Once again I heard, "we almost never see a 27-weeker who looks this good." Physically, you would never know he had a problem (other than being "super thin"). However, we both agreed that if Caleb continues on his most recent weight trends, he's en route to very bad things. [He used to gain one pound per month. Then he gained one ounce per week. Then he gained one ounce in three weeks. Yes, very bad.]

So, now is the perfect time to take more drastic measures. The simplest and most obvious is cyproheptidine, an appetite stimulant. He's been on it since Wednesday and so far consumes an average of three ounces more per day, while his solids consumption has remained the same. It's helpful, but not great.

After a two-week trial we're supposed to call the GI doc to let her know how it's been going. If it's not working well enough by then, we're supposed to give him prescription zinc. Did you know that people with zinc deficiencies (very common in preemies) can't taste as well? Yep. Weird, I know. But I don't think Caleb has this problem. He's picky when it comes to taste. He won't eat French toast unless it has syrup on it. But the zinc is worth a try. (It also boosts one's immune system.)

If neither of these medicines work, she'll probably order some tests.

And that's where we're at. It's nice to be able to do something about it all. Even if we're just ruling things out, we're making progress. Finally.