Sunday, August 6, 2017

Months 14-18 In Which Your Mother Finally Carves Some Time Out to Write About You...

Let's call a spade a spade.  I meant to write this blog 16 weeks ago between my previous quarters of graduate school, but quite honestly, I've just not wanted to be on my computer after spending so much time on it for school.  I want to be with Matt!!!

The last 4 months have been wonderful, minus Mother's Day weekend.  However, we did get to spend that weekend together, so it wasn't a total loss.  He's growing a little bit, he's picking up some words, but mostly he just plays and is happy.  We have the happiest little soul.  And oh, that sinister sounding giggle.  I'm already having a hard time not laughing at him when he makes a poor life decision, but when I tell him no, and he sounds like the jack-a-lope from America's Funniest People (just look it up, kids), I have to bite my lip.

He LOVES the pool.  It's been so much fun playing with him in his water table or in the pool. He gets the biggest kick out of walking off the side of the pool.  Our biggest issue is he's so small, we can't find a "level 2" flotation device that works well for him...Fortunately, he tolerates his infant life-jacket better than he did last year.  But mostly we've just held him in the pool without anything.  He enjoy's splash pads, playgrounds, and mostly just being outside.

I'm sure everyone has seen those meme's that say, "Mom's a nurse, so we don't go to the doctor unless we're dying."  Well, yeah, I had that moment...

So my parents were driving into town, and we were going to take Matt to the zoo for the first time.  Matt had started to really watch animals and point at I was really looking forward to it, as it was going to be my only day off before 3 shifts in a row over Mother's Day weekend.  So anyway, the day before, Matt seems to have a cold, but is playing and running and even eating, which he absolutely does not do when he is sick, so I just made sure to have Boogie Wipes on the ready. Anyway, he had a rough night.  Ends up sleeping with us from the early dawn hours, but he does go back to sleep after I dosed him with some baby Tylenol.  By the time Matt and I wake up, my parents have already left to meet us at Knoxville. I start to get him ready, and notice he's puny - which in my version of the nursing world, is a term we use professionally to mean you are doing the opposite of thriving, but you aren't really dying, either... So I count his respiration rate...and I'm like, 'Nope, it's not the 50s...let me do it again...OK 44...that's not 30, but it's not dying, either'...Maybe he needs to run around and loosen some congestion up...yeah, he'll be fine. Are you hot? No, you're not hot, hot...You're just puny.  Here is some ibuprofen. OK, you're OK...I mean why have a cold at home, when you can have a cold at the zoo...we'll just skip the splash pad...' After a bath with a some cold remedy stuff mixed in, he eats a few bites of oatmeal to little objection, and I let BJ watch him while I go get ready.

BJ comes up and says, "Did you see how fast he was breathing? I don't think going to the zoo is a good idea."

I agreed, all the while feeling like the biggest asshole that ever Mom'ed before. I took Matt's 'going to the zoo' outfit off and then saw the retractions - when your baby is working too hard to breathe (SUCH AN ASSHOLE). I listened to his lungs with my handy-dandy doctor's stethoscope and heard some wheezing, but also some coarse crackles, too.  So I called the pediatrician's office and left a message and then called my parents.  The nurse got back to us, and gave us an appointment time for mid afternoon.  Matt seemed okayish, miserable, but okayish.  Mom and Dad came to our house, and Mom was not impressed with Matt's condition.  I had set him up in front of a humidifier, but really he didn't look like he was improving much.  I called the pediatrician again, described what I was seeing and hearing.  She asked me if I could nebulize him at home, and I explained that I didn't have a nebulizer while thinking, 'how many people just have a nebulizer lying around?'...turns out, several do...Anyway, they moved our appointment up 2 hours and told us to take him to the ER if he got any worse.

So when we get there, the nurse looks at me and says "He's working awful hard, Mom." 'Are you shitting me? I asked you what to do, and I told you he was having retractions and what his respiration rate was!' His pulse ox is 87 (I'm a super-asshole...I get it) his respirations were still in the 40s, and wheezing was his game.  After a chest x-ray and RSV test which were negative, they tried suctioning him, and he only ended up with a nosebleed.  So then they gave him a nebulizer treatment...well, actually they gave my mother and I a nebulizer machine with a dose of albuterol and basically said, good luck and left.  So we wrestled my "sick" child, until my mother managed to put him in some sort of cross-legged sleeperhold.  I think we got as much, if not more, albuterol as Matt did, but his O2 saturation improved to 97ish so we were like, 'yeah', but not yeah, because this might mean he has asthma.  And I was devastated for him...I mean, we did all the things...he wasn't in daycare, he still has never had RSV, we exposed him to all the allergens...sigh...So they were giving us a nebulizer to use at home, when the nurse was said, "He doesn't look any better, does he?"  And honestly, he looked like he was working harder than he had earlier.  So our pediatrician sent us on to our local children's hospital.

He did have bronchiolitis, just not from RSV.  His third breathing treatment in a row which was racemic epinephrine did the trick, but he was still only saturating in the low 90s, so we got to stay overnight, and then another night because he was still retracting, and then another night because he caught norovirus somewhere among all of that...And the kid, he was smiling, saying "hai" and "bye" until norovirus overcame him the third day...but rallied later on the 4th, even smiling and waving at the nurses who started his IV the day before.  His personality is just the best.  We really scored in that department.

So let's see...He's managed to recover full cognitive function despite me depriving him of oxygen for 5 hours...He's turning into quite the jibber -jabberer. He chatters nonsense constantly, and it is totally adorable.  He answers remotes, cell phones, basically anything that may modestly look like a phone with a hello now.  He chatters a bit, and then says goodbye.

He is big into saying Emma's name, "EM-mah".  Bless him, he loves our dog, who continues to tolerate him.  He's also saying Mimi, Pah-pah, Grammy and Gaga purposefully about 50 percent of the time.  Ma-mah, and Mahm are even said somewhat purposefully.  "WOW!" that's a fun oldie he seems to have rediscovered....and then we think he's said a few phrases that even seem appropriate to what he was doing, but I don't know if it's just random or not.

Matthew is a ton of fun right now.  He loves running around the gym I take him to a few times a month.  He is enjoying "jumping" into the loose foam pit. He loves to run up and down ramps, wedges and any inclined surface. He insists on walking up and down steps like a "big boy" which is slowly becoming more successful than not, but it's kinda harrowing for your mother to watch you insist on navigating stairs by yourself.  He looks like a solid bruise from the knees down with at least 3 or more everywhere else.  He will hold your hand for a little bit, now, especially if it's to lead you.  And he loves to push things around the house, so those play lawnmowers have been very successful.

I can't stress over how much I love this age.  EVERYDAY is a new adventure. And if Matt is anything he is completely unreliable.  I have no idea what his favorite food is from minute to minute except maybe cheese puffs.  I'm not proud, but at 18 mos and 20 lbs and some change...he can have some cheese puffs. But I have no idea what he'll eat from day to day...if I'd written this last month I would have told you Mac-N-Cheese would be a reliable choice, but not anymore. I've promised myself I'm not gonna stress over my child's eating habits.  He'll eat when he is hungry enough, and we'll try to keep offering him a variety.  Lately, he's gorged himself on guacamole, started eating chicken and peas.  He hated peas when he started solids, so like I said, he's unreliable.

He loved the beach last month.  The water did not intimidate him one bit.  He thoroughly did not care about the aquarium we took him to and modestly enjoyed the water park. He loved being the apple in Ga-ga's eye.
Is this too deep, Ma?

Tomorrow we start trying to institutionalize him.  He starts going to Day School a couple of times a week.  It's a 2 year old class, so he's the youngest and smallest.  I hope he keeps up, but I'm sure he'll manipulate his way into the teacher's lap.  He will start using an open cup (better there than at my house) and partake in art projects (I'm rolling in the floor as I type this).


Peace, Love, & Cute Toddlers,

Mary Katherine Roberts

Matt Facts:

Wt.  20.75 lbs
Ht. 31 in
Fave toy:  Anything, and I mean, ANYthing he can push
Fave comfort item:  Mama
Fave food: Hell, if I know.
Fave word:  Wow! and hi-yah or Eeh-yah!
New Skills:  Going up and down stairs upright.  Walking off the edge of pools and pits.  Dancing, Kissing with sound effects, hugging girls and other people's moms. Manipulating.
Teeth:  10 - just this month, he was stuck at 8 for forever and the top two molars are making him miserable as I type this!