Friday, May 5, 2017

Gemma at Five Months




Here's what our sweet Gemma was up to between her four month and five month birthdays:

  • Plays with things hanging in her jungle gym play mat
  • Rolls over from tummy to back (always on the same side)
  • Grabs things
  • Had the flu (more on that whole saga here)
  • Blows rapsberries
  • Likes reading when we lie down on our backs together
  • Sits in the bebepod and likes it and likes the attached toy (which is one of the reasons the bebepod is so much better than a bumbo)
  • Moves a ton more
  • Had her billionth cold
  • Started wearing 2T pants (to cover her legs / feet, but they do fit her around the waist)
  • Barely fits in 6 month clothes
  • Sleeps until 4/5 in the morning, sometimes even 6/7! 
  • Taking a shorter time to fall asleep at night generally 2-3 hours
  • While nursing on my right side she very frequently hits her head with her right hand
  • Happier and spitting up less
  • Has a little dry spot on her right knee dimple
  • Has a bald spot on the back of her head

Gemma - The Flu, a UTI, and two imaging appointments

The day after Gemma's four month appointment she had a fever of 101.  I called about it during the day and the advice nurse said it was from the vaccinations. But that night (11 p.m.) the fever got really high - 105.3 degrees. We called again and the advice nurse said to not bring her to the hospital until it hit 106. We gave her tylenol and it went down to about 103.

Our pediatrician called us in the morning and had us take her to get blood drawn to check for the flu. (Everyone in our family had the flu vaccine but babies don't get a flu until six months.) T took the day off (Friday) to help out at home. It was much easier to take Gemma alone instead of bringing all three girls! Getting Gemma's blood drawn was traumatic - they drew it like she was an adult and the person couldn't get a vein and was wiggling the needle around and Gemma was screaming and I was crying. A different person tried on the other arm and got it with less needle wiggling. The pediatrician had us start Gemma on Tamiflu that day (twice a day for five days). The pediatrician was pretty sure it was the flu (Gemma had also been spitting up a lot more than usual (baby throw up), had a tired soft cry (unusual for her), and had less energy).

The pediatrician also wanted us to come in to the office to get a urine bag put on Gemma to check for a UTI (urinary tract infection). So I took Gemma in and the medical assistant put it on and gave me instructions how to get it off and take the urine to the lab. Gemma fell asleep in the carseat on the way home so I let her sleep. She eventually woke up during a poop explosion which caused the bag to come off and the urine to leak mostly out, plus be contaminated. I had T take the sample to the lab anyway (around 4 p.m.) where they told him the sample likely was not enough. That night T and I were supposed to go to the swanky work holiday party but Gemma still had a fever of 102 so we cancelled the babysitter.

The next day (Saturday) I took Gemma back to the pediatrician's office (they have secret Saturday hours!) and got another urine bag placed on her. By the time we got home the bag had come unattached and the urine leaked out. I called and they had me come back and this time I told them I would wait in the office with Gemma until the urine bag was full. I didn't even put a diaper on her so I could keep a close eye on things and so the diaper wouldn't pull the bag out of place.

I kept Gemma naked and we hung out. I mostly had her standing up on the doctor bench. Eventually I nursed her while she was lying down and I leaned over the top of her. I didn't want to do anything that would disrupt the urine bag at all. Finally, Gemma started to pee and the bag started filling but the bag wasn't on all the way so some of the urine started to leak out. I shouted out the door that the bag was leaking and a medical assistant came to help me. She held the bag in place and ta-da there was finally enough of a clean sample to send to the lab! If it was that hard to get a clean sample in the dr's office I really think we never had a chance trying to take Gemma home and get a sample.

The sample came back positive for a UTI so we started her on antibiotics (twice a day for 10 days). Since Gemma was so young the doctor wanted us to have an ultrasound done to make sure her kidneys weren't harmed by the UTI. Luckily, ultrasounds involve no discomfort for baby. So on December 27 I took Gemma for an ultrasound. The timing worked out just right that I had just fed her and she just had a nap so she was happy for all of the ultrasound which showed no damage to her kidneys.

In conjunction with ultrasound the pediatrician also wanted Gemma to have a VCUG. Which is basically a real time x-ray to watch how urine exits the bladder, ureters, and urethra. The doctor wanted to see if Gemma had vesicoureteral reflux which is when urine flows backwards back up into the ureters and sometimes all the way back to the bladder. The only symptom of this is frequent UTIs.  Vesicoureteral reflux is rated from grade 1 to 5 with 5 being the most severe. Most of the time vesicoureteral reflux resolves on it's own before age 4, but some grade 4 and 5s require surgery.

On January 12 I took Gemma in for the VCUG (T stayed home with the big girls). She had to get a catheter so they could get a pee sample (to check for a UTI) and also to put the dye up her. She cried the whole time but it wasn't screaming so it wasn't totally terrible. It was only 10-15 minutes until the procedure was finished. The VCUG showed a grade 1 reflux but no UTI and we made an appointment with a pediatric nephrologist (kidney doctor). I wasn't sure why they wanted us to see a nephrologist instead of a urologist, but I made the appointment anyway.

I did some research about vesicoureteral reflux in preparation for the appointment. Sometimes it's nice that I have this background in anatomy and physiology so I can read actual medical papers / journals and understand them instead of reading random internet articles and hoping they are true. Anyway, for lower grades of reflux typically nothing is done, as the child grows the ureters straighten and lengthen and the reflux stops on it's own. The American Urological Association used to recommend daily antibiotics to prevent UTIs for all grades of reflux but stopped recommending that when several studies showed the same number of UTIs in patients taking daily antibiotics as those not taking antibiotics. The studies also showed that those taking daily antibiotics were three times as likely to become antibiotic resistant. BUT daily antibiotics were still recommended for children under age one because the risk of complications from UTIs is higher. I didn't want to go the daily antibiotic route because Gemma had only had one UTI, and I didn't want her to become antibiotic resistant, and giving her medicine is so hard (nine months of daily trying to get Gemma to open her mouth and squirt in the medicine a little at a time and letting her suck my finger between squirts sounded terrible - giving her the tamiflu for five days had been hard enough!) I had actually already started looking for another doctor for a second opinion in case the first doctor wanted us to do daily antibiotics.

Gemma's nephrology appointment was February 9. Aunt B was visiting us (to help because I had shingles! more on that later) so she stayed with Pippa and Roxy. The appointment was such a non-thing of only five minutes. The doctor was nice and said that usually a urologist sees vesicoureteral reflux patients. She also said that she wouldn't recommend doing anything unless Gemma had one or two more UTIs.

So a happy ending of us doing nothing and Gemma hasn't had a UTI since then. Hopefully she's already outgrown it. :)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Gemma at Four Months



Here's what our sweet Gemma was up to between her three and four month birthdays:

  • When nursing on left side her left arm moves all over her head and face.
  • She does "scheming hands" (I'll try to find a photo...)
  • Looks like she has a tiny bit of red in her hair
  • Needs to be transitioned during her long nap in the afternoon. The first and last naps she naps one me in the carrier. The long middle nap I rock her and hold her for like 40 minutes then move her to the bed, snuggle her on the bed for 5-10 then I can ease away from her (or stay and nap with her). She stirs / sometimes completely wakes 30-45 minutes after that and I can mostly snuggle her back to sleep on the bed then ease away from her again.
  • Usually naps at 10, 1, and 6.
  • Had bronchiolitis
  • Bald spot on the back of her head
  • We call her B-bop barilla cop most of the time
  • On 12/6/2016 Gemma laughed for the first time. Gemma was in the bouncer in the kitchen and Pippa was hanging over her laughing and that made Gemma laugh.
  • This has been happening (and still happens) since Gemma was a newborn and I was trying to get her to open her mouth to latch to nurse. Lila would stand next to me and open her mouth really big and say, "Like this Gemmy!"
  • At her four month appointment Gemma weighed 17.1 pounds

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Roxy says



S finger spells candy to T:
Pippa: (reaching up and pretending to grab it from the air) I got it. In my heart.
Roxy: (pretend grabbing) Got your heart!




When we were making Halloween sugar cookies Roxy kept calling the ghost cookie cutter ghostbuster. "Where my ghostbuster?" and "I make another ghostbuster!" (She hasn't seen the movie "ghostbusters," but she knows the song.)



Roxy likes to point to a photo magnet we have that is Roxy as a newborn with a two year old Pippa.
Roxy pointing to Pippa in the photo: That's Pippa wearing my clothes. (points to her baby self) And that's Roxy.
In case it isn't clear in the photo Pippa is wearing clothes that are now Roxy's...




Roxy: Mommy, my shoulder hurts. So I put blanket there. (Then she tucks her special snuggle blanket under her arm like she always does.)




Me walking down the hall: Can I hold your hand?
Roxy: No! I hold my own hand! (She holds her hands together and runs away)



This one only makes sense if we use their real names
Me: How do you spell Roxy? (her real name)
Roxy: L... I...
Me: L... A.
Roxy: No, sweetheart. A for Pippa! (But Pippa's real name)



On Dec 21 Pippa and Roxy were coloring together on the couch. They were laughing then Roxy said, "I love you Ain-za-ley." and gave Pippa a big hug then Roxy kissed her hand and put the kissed hand on Pippa's cheek. It was ridiculously sweet.

If you ask Roxy how old she is she says two and holds up two fingers like this (instead of two fingers in a v shape). It's super adorable.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Gemma at Three Months


Gemma on her three month birthday

Here's what our sweet Gemma was up to between her two and three month birthdays:

  • Got a terrible cold and was super congested. She just can't seem to get rid of this cold.
  • Is a good sleeper. This needs some explanation. It takes her a long unhappy time to get to sleep but once she's down she will sleep 5-6 hours straight, eat (takes an hour to put back in the crib) then sleep 4-5 more hours. This means this is the most sleep I've ever had with a newborn.
  • Getting Gemma to sleep is now down to two hours of mostly calm / some fidgeting / some sleeping instead of three hours of screaming.
  • Gemma is usually asleep enough to put in the crib around 10:30 at night and I usually go to bed right after. There isn't time for me to do anything else around the house or errands or things for myself.
  • The night of October 27-28 I fed Gemma at 6:40 p.m. then she slept from 8:30 p.m. to 5:45 a.m. It was awesome.
  • Gemma still won't nurse to sleep. What baby doesn't like to nurse to sleep?!
  • Nicknames of B-Bop, Gemma-Gemma, Gemmigan (rhymes with Finnigan)
  • Gemma is a smelly baby - a mix of sweat and spit up. There just isn't time to bathe her as often as we bathed her older sisters!
  • Only naps in the carrier (how do people survive without a carrier?!)
  • Has the BEST wrist rolls
  • Is happier
  • Gets a million kisses a day from all of us
  • Has a swirl hair cowlick like her dad
  • All three girls nap at the same time most of the time
  • Has the best frown and pouty lip before she starts to cry
  • Getting away from poop at every single diaper change. Sometimes it's just pee now.
  • Naps 3-4 times a day.
  • Likes baths except when we have to pull her out at the end. 
  • Wears size 2 diapers
  • Legit slept through the night Nov 11-12. She was asleep in the crib from 8:45 p.m. to 7:15 a.m.
  • Finally started using cloth diapers
  • Likes riding on the bottom in the double stroller 
  • Will put weight on her feet and "stand up" which means we've started singing "Stand Up Girl" to her. It's literally "Up Town Girl" by Billy Joel but saying Stand Up Girl instead of Up Town Girl. Roxy and Pippa sing it, too (and we sang it to them when they started doing the same thing).
  • My mom came to visit and help and more than three times she was able to get Gemma asleep in her arms! Gemma hasn't fallen asleep in my arms since she was a week old.
  • Roxy calls her Gemma-kins
  • Gemma won't turn her head and rest it on me in the carrier. She still likes to put her face straight-on on me. 
  • Still a blue eyed blondie

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gemma at two months


 Gemma on her two month birthday

Here's what Gemma was up to between her one and two month birthdays:
  • SO vocal
  • We bought a swing - we really wanted her to like it and take naps in it, but so far no luck. And we can't return it either because the very first time we put her in it she had a poop explosion that got all over it.
  • Takes her best nap between 1 and 5 p.m.
  • Hiccups all the time
  • She's starting to get chunky! Yay!
  • Has more than four eyelashes now
  • Intentionally brings hands to mouth
  • Had baby acne
  • Had a bit of cradle cap
  • Off nipple shield
  • Spits up a lot volume wise (as opposed to frequency)
  • Flaking skin especially on and behind ears
  • Social smiles at five weeks
  • Small poops all the time - so many diaper changes in one day!
  • Co-sleeping a lot. Sometimes we can't get her to sleep (normally it takes 3 hours of screaming - no joke) and so we end up with her in bed with us because we are just tired. We usually put her in the crib around 10:30 and if she's still up after that she ends up in bed with us.
  • Going along with that Gemma is a light sleeper. Once she's asleep in our arms it takes another hour before we can put her down in the crib. Every little thing wakes her when she's asleep in our arms - twitching, reaching for something in the pocket of the rocking chair, rearranging your legs.
  • Started the "agoos." Roxy and Pippa have been saying "agoooo" to Gemma since she was born and they are so excited that she's reciprocating.
  • Naps on me in the carrier (mostly k'tan but sometimes the becco) except for her long afternoon one.
  • Sucks her right thumb.
  • Roxy and Pippa are still so gentle with her. 
  • At Gemma's two month appointment she was 12.15 pounds
We're all pretty much obsessed with her and she literally gets 100 kisses a day from me, T, Pippa, and Roxy.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Pippa says


Pippa telling us what she's writing as she writes it: u...y...heart...g...f... what does that spell?


Pippa to T after Roxy wouldn't share: “That's not making me feel good inside. It's like raindrops… in my heart.”


S finger spells candy to T:
Pippa: (reaching up and pretending to grab it from the air) I got it. In my heart.
Roxy: (pretend grabbing) Got your heart!



Me singing the first Noel 
Pippa: No! A Christmas song. 
Me: That IS a Christmas song. It's about when Jesus was born. 
Pippa: That's not what Christmas is about. 
Me:...


For my birthday T takes the day off to stay home with the kids so I can have a true break and do whatever I want and go where ever I want. Pippa was asking where I was and why dad was home.
T: “Mom gets to do whatever she wants today.”
Pippa: “Maybe she wants to stay home and take care of us.”


Pippa's sunbeam teacher at church told us this one. In class they were talking about music can make you feel things and when you're older you should choose good music and Pippa raised her hand and said: "Like Taylor Swift."

(Pippa very much has opinions about her hair. Sometimes she lets me just make her curlies beautiful, but most of the time she tells me exactly what she wants. Most of the time I go along with it. This one was an oft requested style during the summer but not so much lately.)

Pippa calls my high heels "tip toe shoes"
 

T: Do you want bread or toast?
Pippa: soft and squishy toast
S: You could be a politician. 


Pippa: When will mom be done nursing Brynn?
T: Like 20 minutes or so
Pippa: No, when is Brynn going to be done with nursing?
T: Not for a long time 
Pippa: Like number 23?
 

Z to L fighting over a toy: That hurts my feelings. Now my feelings are broken. And that's why I'm mad. 


S to T: we have j. e. l. l. o.
Pippa: That spells jello! I want some of that!
T: awww man!


Out of nowhere from Pippa: I want to name my babies Aunt Mim! (Aunt Mim is a chipmunk character from a Christmas book we own.)


Z while riding her bike: C'mon bike! I know you can do it!