Oct 30, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Sydney!

Dear Sydney,

No one that meets you can get over your eyes or smile. At just 1 year, you have charisma many wish they had, and you don't even know it. Your smile lifts people out of gloomy days and combined with your huge blue eyes, have been credited with at least one parent considering a second child! 

It's been a fun year adding you to our family. You are full of joy and quite curious. And you have no fear - well except for doctors and people in Navy Blue, but that's understandable after your hospital visits last month. You are also quite easy going, letting you sister take center stage as much as she wants. Though you're not afraid to crawl over and tackle her at any chance you can. The two of you adore each other and it is so fun to watch you both grow up together. 

While you are not walking, yet - it's suspected by many to be any day now - you are climbing, having recently discovered your sister's comfy leather chair. You crawl up and sit, sometimes, looking oh so proud. Other/most times you crawl up and proceed to stand up on the chair. I've almost removed the chair completely out of fear that you will fall. But you're steady and confident. I don't think you do anything you are not sure you can do - which may explain why you're not walking yet either. 

You squeal with joy any time you see any of our pets, even more so when you can lay a hand on them. We're working on being "gentle". And just like your sister, you do your best to get to the sliding glass door whenever a train rolls by on the tracks nearby. 

Over the last few months you've come into your own with your personality. At first we thought you would be quiet with how easy going you are, but lately you let out as many squeals and babbles as possible to let people know you are here. And you are using a few words. Dada is officially your first. Nana (banana) is likely your second. We learned you knew that one the evening of your 1st birthday party, when your sister came into the kitchen asking for a banana. You followed her in and started screaming "nana nana nana" as soon as you saw that yellow fruit in my hands. I handed you a piece and you gummed it happily for a few minutes. I say gummed because you still only have 4 teeth and the two on top are still only half way in. 

We received great news on your actual 1st birthday at the cardiologist's office. Your 3rd echo cardiogram came back looking great so we were told we could stop giving you aspirin once a day and you would not need to go back for a year!

You've been the perfect addition to our family and none of us could imagine life without you. London loves to wake you up every morning, even giving up cuddles with daddy to do so. 

You graduated from the bottle to a sippy cup a few weeks ago with ease. Not one fight against it. And you're on milk too. Plus, you're doing much better with foods, even interested in what we are eating. If we happen to get Taco Bell for dinner we make sure to order you Pintos and Cheese, and you couldn't get enough of your dad's 7 layer bean dip on your birthday party - even after eating a whole serving of mixed berries and cereal minutes before. You also enjoy feeding yourself puffs and lil crunchies, which we give you after eating all of your main meal at the time. 

The one thing you really seem to have in common with your sister is your desire to not nap at daycare. You only take 1 nap a day that usually lasts less than an hour. That means you do come home tired most days and are out like a light by 6:30 every night. And this can make you cranky some evenings. 

We recently took you to the Pumpkin Patch for the first time and while you are about to embark on your 2nd Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas I really count them as your first as they will be the first you can really interact with to experience, which means the fun is just about to begin with you. I can't wait to see what the next year brings and how your personality will continue to grow and show itself. 

We love you!

Oct 8, 2013

A Health Scare

Sorry for my silence. We spent the majority of September dealing with a medical emergency with Sydney. I don't know how much I should even go into it. But what I can say is if your child has a high fever for 3 or 4 days and doesn't appear to be getting better, please seek medical attention. And if your provider tries to brush you off saying its a 7 to 10-day virus, seek a second opinion, PLEASE. We are lucky that my dad is a pediatrician and was able to get us in contact with the right people who could diagnose and treat Sydney correctly. 
Sydney had had a high fever, we're talking 103+, for 10 days. When we went to an Urgent Care on a Sunday on day 4, we were told it was a 7-10 day virus. When we went to our former pediatrician on a Tuesday, day 6 of the fever, we were again told it was a virus. On that Thursday, day 8 of the high fever, our former doctor's nurse had enough sense to test for a Urinary Tract Infection, which came back positive. Problem was, our doctor then prescribed an antibiotic that does not target UTIs or Kidney infections. My dad stepped in immediately.

Waiting for a Chest X-ray on Day 10 while up in Chico - you can just see how unwell she was

We would spend Saturday, day 10, in my home town visiting my dad's friend, who is also a pediatrician, getting blood work and chest x-rays completed. Based on the results, he recommended immediate admittance to a hospital back home in Sacramento. We would spend the next 3 nights trying to determine if all Sydney had was a severe UTI, a kidney infection or if she may have had Kawasaki Disease. After more blood work, a urine test and an ultrasound of her kidneys, it was determined that she definitely had a UTI, but the blood work was still suspicious. Sydney would receive strong IV antibiotics and have the fever break Sunday evening. And then the blood work appeared to improve and Kawasaki was taken off the table. We were released on Tuesday and thought life was finally going to get back to normal. 

A much needed nap for both Cameron and Sydney. She finally settled down at the hospital once her daddy showed up after driving 12 hours through the night from Wyoming
Except that blood work taken on Wednesday evening didn't show enough improvement. This time a cardiologist was consulted and we were readmitted to the hospital by noon on Thursday.  We almost went home that night too. Except that while the Cardiologist was on the phone with one of two national experts on Kawasaki Disease, Sydney's blood work from our re-admittance came back and showed an increase in infection again. The expert said that we only had one chance at treating Sydney for Kawasaki and that we should whether or not she completely matched it, text-book wise. The blood work results solidified the notion that she needed to be treated. That night Sydney was then treated for what they called "Atypical Kawasaki Disease" with immunoglobulin. We were released from the hospital Friday around noon. Sydney would have a mild fever and sleep a ton all weekend, a side effect of the powerful immunoglobulin.

Finally feeling better while in the hospital

And there is still follow up. For one, both girls go to meet our new pediatrician today. She comes highly recommended from one of London's friend's moms. Her friend has had to be hospitalized a few times and the staff at our hospital concurred with the recommendation. And Sydney is seeing a pediatric cardiologist consistently, for now, to make sure, if she did have Kawasaki Disease, that her heart was not affected.This also means more blood work here and there. 

Back in the hospital

And Sydney has to take a small dose of Aspirin daily. Since they don't make Aspirin for babies, we have to crush up half a pill daily. Good thing that while we were in the hospital we discovered Sydney LOVES chocolate ice cream. Cameron had given her a few nibbles and then went to finish his cup. She threw the biggest hissy fit she has ever thrown wanting more. If it takes a few bites of chocolate ice cream every night to get the Aspirin in her, we can't complain. 
One happy camper waiting to be discharged the second time

The whole experience left Cameron and I emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted. We can only imagine what our poor Sydney has been through, though looking at her and observing how she acts, she seems no worse for wear. She's definitely suspicious of new people now and had a hard time adjusting back to her own bed and room without having us right there next to her. And she really doens't like the color of navy blue - that's the color that the RNs wore at the hospital and they were the ones sticking her most of the time. In all, I think Sydney was stuck 5 times to draw blood for tests (2 failed attempts included) and she had 3 different IV catheters in and one failed attempt to put an IV catheter in her over the course of a week. Not to mention the catheter they inserted to get the urine sample.

On our way home from the hospital - hopefully for the last time!

Cameron and I were a wreck that week in the hospital. We can't say thank you enough to all those that helped us through this nightmare. From my dad getting us on the right track with Dr. Wasserman, to Dr. Wasserman for seeing us up in Chico and getting us connected with the right people back in Sacramento, to our family friends the Moffetts for feeding us and letting us hang out at their house while we waited for results that Saturday, to Cameron's mom Vicki for taking London at the last second with no overnight supplies or coming down to us at the last second to take care of London when we were readmitted, to Cameron's sister Carrie for watching London while Vicki had to work, to my mom for coming out to take care of Sydney when she had the initial fever since Cameron was in Reno for work and then Wyoming for hunting while I had a big project at work due, to our understanding bosses for letting us just focus on Sydney while we stayed in the hospital, to Matt & Lynde for taking care of the dogs each morning and evening we were in the hospital, to Lynde for driving me back to the hospital and my mom to the airport, and to Amy, who actually sells immunoglobulin, who kept me company via text message while Sydney received it and giving me a heads up on all we could expect and what to watch for - even into the weekend. And to all our family and friends who sent us all the well wishes, support and prayers while we went through this.