Saturday, March 26, 2011

I've been getting to know the washer and dryer very well lately.

Sometimes it's really hard to be Caleb's mom. It's always worth it, and I'm sure it's harder to be Caleb himself, but man. Sometimes...it's just really, really hard.

March: 5, 6, 12, 13, 15, 17, 23, 24, 25 (x3), 26 (x2).

Those are the days this month that Caleb has thrown up.

So far this month, he has had two separate colds and one ear infection. I almost wonder if his vomiting is due to a flu bug. But it started in mid-February. I just don't know.

And I think there was blood in his vomit twice yesterday. But it's hard to tell.

February 16: 16 lbs 13 oz
March 14: 16 lbs 9 oz
March 25: 16 lbs 4 oz

He's lost over half of a pound in the past five weeks.

Yesterday at the doctor's office, they gave him a shot to jump-start his antibiotics for his ear infection. But they had to split it into two shots, because his legs are too scrawny to handle all of that medicine in one thigh. It was so sad.

Today he's done nothing but lay on my chest and cry.

Matthew 7: 25 (and 3 Nephi 14:25):

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

When Christ is your rock it doesn't mean that the winds won't blow, and the floods won't come. It means that when the storms come, you won't fall. He will hold you up. Right now there's just a
drizzle in my life, and it's starting to get a little muddy. But we'll be ok. We have a "sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall" (Helaman 5:12).

Walking Tall

Monday, March 21, 2011

GI Update

I talked to the GI specialist again this morning to update her on how Caleb's appetite medicines are working out. I told her about how he's been vomiting extremely large amounts at least twice a week and how he got sick and lost four ounces. MmmHmm.

She said it's time to do a scope.

It'll happen next week. He'll be put to sleep. It'll only take 30 minutes to do the actual scope, but we'll be at the hospital for three hours. It's at 2:30 PM and he can't eat food or milk past midnight. That might not be fun.

She'll be able to tell if he has an infection, damage from reflux, a bowel obstruction or a bowel abnormality, and she'll check his enzymes so we'll know if he's ok to have dairy. I think she said that we'll know more things, too, but I can't remember them all.

Believe it or not, even with Caleb's extreme prematurity, this will be his biggest procedure so far. If I wasn't so excited to find out what's wrong (or at least know that a lot of things aren't wrong), I'd be scared.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March for Babies!


This will be our first year walking for the March of Dimes to raise money and awareness for premature babies! You can walk with us and/or donate in Caleb's name by clicking here.

To be honest, I was always a little bitter towards the March of Dimes. I remember seeing a list with these things on it while I was pregnant:

  • don't smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs
  • take a daily multivitamin containing folic acid
  • get early and regular prenatal care
  • ask your doctor about the over-the-counter and prescription medications you take
  • eat a well-balanced diet
  • get plenty of exercise
  • etc.
Ummm...check, check, check, check, check, check! I should have had a perfect pregnancy, right? Well, I certainly didn't! I thought, "If this is how the March of Dimes contributes, get rid of them! I did everything perfectly and my baby was still dangerously premature." It was a little bit offensive.

Then I realized what the March of Dimes really does to help:

Did you know that March of Dimes research helped contribute to the development of surfactant, a spray that goes into a premature baby's lungs to help the lungs expand so the baby can learn to breathe easier and faster with less lung damage? Because of surfactant, Caleb could breathe on his own when he was only a day and a half old! If he had been born 15 years earlier, he would have been on the ventilator for months!

Also, did you know that March of Dimes research helped contribute to the development of the medication that Caleb took that closed the duct in his heart (patent ductus arteriosus) so that he didn't need heart surgery? That was kind of a big deal!

Go here to see how marching for babies has already helped.

The March of Dimes really does a lot to save babies' lives. They are a worthwhile cause to donate to. They saved my baby.

One day all babies will be born healthy. Until then, we'll march!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Another letter to KV Pharmaceutical...

I have to appologize. After a few deep breaths (ok, more than a few...) and a lot of thought, I decided that getting mad won't accomplish the objective we are working towards--KV Pharmaceutical lowering the price of Makena. So, if you wish to send this one as well, here is a much nicer e-mail that I have come up with (although the first one pretty much sums up my emotions):

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

Dear KV Pharmaceutical,

On behalf of all families who are effected by premature birth, I am writing to ask you to reconsider the recent price increase of the drug Makena. I am very concerned that women who need Makena and who don't have the funds for it will deliver prematurely and have children who suffer and even die as a result. I feel that it is my responsibility to do all that I can to prevent this from happening. It is truly horrible to watch a tiny baby fight to live. I look forward to the day when all babies can be born healthy. Together, you and I and many others are working towards that goal. The price increase for Makena is a huge step back.

Please take this into consideration and make it possible for babies born into all socioeconomic statuses to be born healthy.

Thank you,

[your name]

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

There. I promise, I'm a nice person. :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A letter to KV Pharmaceuticals regarding Makena

If you haven't heard about this, go check it out. Then, if you feel how I do, send the following letter to KV Pharmaceutical at this address: investorrelations@kvpharmaceutical.com or you could call them at 314-645-6600.

Feel free to edit/add to it as you see fit. It may help if you share your own story.

If we don't take action when we feel strongly about something, greedy people with more money and power will continue to rule the world. Let's bombard them with e-mails and phone calls until they can't ignore us! Thanks for your help.

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

Dear KV Pharmaceutical,

Upon hearing the news of the price increase for the drug Makena, I felt obligated to express my feelings to you.

What do you think will happen if an expecting mother doesn’t have insurance to pay for this drug? Do you think she will find another way to pay for it? Did you know that $30,000 (the price of Makena for an entire pregnancy) almost totals the average annual income for American families? Do you think she’ll take out a loan to pay for Makena and ensure her baby’s health, when before Makena was pocket change? Do you think that’s what she should do? Or do you think that she’ll go without the drug and deliver prematurely? Yes, I think this is most likely. And what will happen when she delivers prematurely? Did you know that a baby born at 23 weeks gestation has a 17 percent chance of survival? And that a baby born at 24 weeks has a 39 percent chance of survival? And a 25 week baby has a 50 percent chance of survival? Did you know that if you make Makena unattainable to women who need it, you will be not only causing heartache in families and suffering for innocent babies, but you will be killing babies? Yes, you will be murderers. And why? To stuff your pockets. Your greed will kill babies.

Many women won't be able to have more children because of the increased price for Makena. Is it your right to decide when a person's family is complete? No, it is not. But you are taking away the rights of many mothers and it is wrong.

Please take these things into consideration.

Sincerely,

(your name)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The things I learned this week:

Pacific Science Center Butterfly House, Seattle, WA

1) Caleb is a great road tripper. Seriously. Nine hours straight in his car seat (with probably two or three gas station breaks) was a cinch.

2) Caleb is great in hotel rooms. He slept better than I did, that's for sure.

3) Eating goes better once you cut your first molar...yes, Caleb has a molar. He's probably had it for a week now, and he's close to having another one. But he's still missing the pointy tooth between the front four teeth and the molars. (So, he has four on the bottom and almost six on the top--a total of nine currently.)

4) Eating also goes better when you take your appetite stimulant and zinc with your afternoon bottle instead of with dinner.

5) Eating is just going way better (other than the vomiting).

6) It's no fun when your baby throws up in the car in the middle of nowhere in the dark after eating a whole cup of yogurt.

7) Hotel shampoo is gross.

8) It's refreshing to not tell anyone that Caleb is a preemie.

9) My new sister-in-law has a beautiful singing voice (and makes a beautiful bride).

10) Washington is beautiful. Everything that I love about Minnesota is in Washington (except for the rest of my family): trees, lakes, green grass. Plus, Washington has cooler summers, warmer winters, and mountains. Mountains (and family) are the only thing that I like about Utah. And I don't mind the Washington rain (or vampires and werewolves). I actually rather like it. So...why would I not live in Washington? I don't know. I'm still asking myself that.

11) Caleb can be kept happy no matter what if you let him walk around holding your hands.

12) It is 100 percent worth it to buy a portable high chair for $24.