Something really cute happened at the start of this month. On Wednesdays at Thomas's preschool they have "sharing time" (what we used to call "show and tell" when I was at school). He decided he wanted to bring Katelyn to show everyone. Now of course the other children see her twice a day when I take Thomas and pick him up, but this was a chance for them to really get up close and personal, to ask questions and so on. The kids were fascinated and I ended up being there for some time. Thomas told them how Katelyn sleeps with me and has my milk. The teacher took a photo of Thomas holding Katelyn and put it in his journal. Katelyn seemed to enjoy the attention and was looking around at all the little kids. The teacher asked me if I could bring her back when the weather warms up (it already has!) to do a baby bath demonstration and of course I agreed. How on earth could I resist an opportunity to show off my beautiful baby? LOL!
At the beginning of this month, Katelyn had started to recover from her urinary tract infection. I think we had a couple of days there where she was pretty happy. Then unfortunately she started all that crying, vomiting and fever again. The day we went to the paediatrician (technically for her six month visit and shot, although we delayed it), she was particularly unsettled. He ordered another urine test. I felt pretty upset after the appointment because I felt that nothing really had been achieved about her reflux and that he hadn't really been listening to me as to how upset she had been.
Anyway, by two days later we still hadn't heard any results and my poor little Missy Moo was beside herself. I called the paediatrician's offices because I knew there would be a message with the number of the doctor covering for the weekend and I called him. He rang the lab and told me to bring Katelyn to the hospital to meet him within an hour, because she would likely need to be admitted for IV antibiotics. I was shocked and very worried to say the least! Andrew and Thomas had left a while back to go and see my father-in-law at another hospital so I had no car and taking the train wouldn't have got me to the hospital in time. Thankfully we had a spare car seat so I caught a taxi.
When the doctor checked Katelyn over he decided that we could try giving her extra strong oral antibiotics at home. Yay! As we were leaving the children's ward, the nurse said she had been about to organise a private room for us (they do their best to be accommodating to nursing, co-sleeping mums there!), but I was so thankful to be able to take her home. Luckily, the medication seemed to hit the spot pretty quickly and within a couple of days I had my happy little girl back. Phew - I was SO relieved!
Unfortunately within a day or so of finishing this course of antibiotics, she was at it again, this time with an even worse white cell count in her urine test. Thankfully this time the doctor didn't even get us to wait for the test results before starting treatment, so by the time the results came through she had already had two days on medication and was already much happier. The GP I saw this time wanted us to go back to the paediatrician (yet again - he must be sick of my face by now!) to see if he wanted Katelyn to just stay on a low dose of antibiotics for now, at least until she has her test done to see if she has urinary reflux. He did want that, so that is where we are at presently.
I realised that what I had thought was worsening reflux had actually probably been the urinary tract infection brewing all along, and touch wood, her reflux has been pretty well under control lately with the Zantac. I can't express enough in words how much difference it makes to have my little Missy Moo happy again! Instead of a crying, grumpy baby who barely slept I now have a happy, cheeky, smiley little girl. She has been napping reasonably well in the sling, and at night is happy to nurse and snuggle, nurse and snuggle for at least part of the night. No more pacing the floors with a screaming baby for hours on end. Unfortunately she is still troubled by something that the paediatrician thinks might either be colicky pains or maybe something to do with her urinary tract and she does need a lot of patting and so on during the night, as well as almost constant nursing. At least in the morning she wakes up smiling and squealing with delight though, which of course puts a big smile on my face as well!
One thing that is still at the back of my mind unfortunately is that she will need a test done soon to check for urinary reflux (urine flowing back up into the kidneys rather than just down the urethra). To do the test, she needs to have a catheter inserted to fill her bladder with a special dye, and then x-rays taken as her bladder empties. Thomas had this test done at about 15 months of age and he screamed blue murder the whole time. I will never forget the look on his little face, like I was letting down his trust, almost like I was a party to some sort of abuse. Sigh.. I wish she didn't need this test, but it would be too risky to let potential urinary reflux go untreated so we will do it. The paediatrician has organised a top specialist to do the test, and apparently he is both technically excellent and very quick, but also very sensitive to children. I sure hope so.. The paediatrician did reassure me that the doctor doing the test wouldn't hesitate to sedate Missy Moo if she started to get distressed. We are booked in to have the MCU test (called a VCUG in the U.S.) on October 4th, so hopefully we will get some answers then.
Katelyn has continued to develop and thrive, despite being so unwell. At her six month check-up (a few days late) she hadn't gained any weight at all during the month, but I had her weighed a couple of days ago when I had her six-month injection done at the G.P. and she had picked up to 8.15kg (17lb 15oz) and she certainly looks healthy! Now that she isn't vomiting up whole feeds I am confident that she will continue putting on weight. Feeding is going very well, and I am enjoying it immensely, as I did with Thomas. Katelyn is a much faster feeder than he was. Once he attached himself I would have had to practically pry him off with a crowbar if I wanted him off in less than 45 minutes or so! LOL! She has LOTS of short (less than five minutes) snacks throughout the day, only stopping for an extended feed if she is sleepy, in which case she sometimes will suck for an hour or more while she naps. If I am able to do so (eg, if Thomas is at preschool), I use this time to try and relax, watch a bit of TV, read, spend some time on the internet, but most of all, to gaze in wonder at my precious baby!
We have kind of started solids. I say kind of because she has probably only had about three teaspoons in the whole month! We tried some rice cereal mixed with breast milk a few times, and have also tried some mashed, cooked apple. I did try some pumpkin but the look on her face said it all. LOL! I have packaged that up in the freezer to try again at a later stage! I think that because she has to have medication given via syringe so many times per day she isn't that keen on having a spoon shoved in her mouth and frankly I don't blame her. What she does like though is trying some finger foods. She seems to really enjoy chewing on a rush or cruskit. At dinner time I put her in her highchair with something like that to chew on and she is happy to sit there and dine with us for a few minutes or so. Sometimes I put some cold cooked pasta on her tray for her to play with. She likes squishing the pieces between her fingers and making funny faces. Then she picks them up one by one and throws them on the floor!
Missy Moo has started crawling! It is very exciting to see her on the floor these days! Actually, Katelyn wriggles in my arms or the sling wanting to get down so she can practise her new skills and she ends up spending a fair amount of each day on the floor nowadays. At the start of this month, she started getting up on all fours. Within a few days, she was rocking back and forth, and then she was lifting up her right arm, reaching as far forward as she could and plonking it down in front of her! She didn't progress very far forward of course, but she didn't get upset about it, nor too frustrated: she just seemed very keen to keep on trying. She can now move forward at a basic, beginner's pace, so could probably count as crawling! She is pretty cluey, because even though forward movement isn't going all that well for her, with her ability to rotate, roll and move backwards and sideways very well, she is managing to move around quite a lot, and certainly if she sees something she really fancies, she does manage to get to it! Each day she gets better and better at her new skill and I imagine that in next to no time she will be pretty speedy. I already have found that she can get some pace up if she sees something she really likes, such as the cat food!
Shortly after managing a basic crawl, she surprised me one day (about a week before she turned seven months) by sitting herself back up again. She kind of tucked one leg in under herself, reversed, pulled the other leg around and then just did it! Pretty clever I thought! She can also go from sitting to crawling, so there is no stopping her now! The only problem is that I feel a bit nervous that she will fall backwards onto the tiled floors. She is such a good sitter now that this is unlikely, but it is an accident I definitely want to avoid. I must look quite comical following her around so that I can "spot" her all the time. LOL! Something she does that is SO cute and funny is this intermediate position that I refer to as "lounging": she does this when she is deciding whether to crawl, lie on her back, sit up, . . . She kind of lies on her side, supported by her lower arm, with the other hand supporting her head. He lower leg is extended along the ground and her upper one is bent at the knee. She looks like she should be wearing a bikini, on an exotic beach, sipping some drink that comes with a little umbrella!
Missy Moo isn't saying "mama" yet, but she is communicating a lot! Her favourite "word" continues to be "n-gi". To her it seems to mean "hello"! She understands a LOT. If I ask "Where is Thomas?" she will look around until she sees him, then stop looking and smile. She also knows Daddy, "the puppy dog", and "the pussy cat" (we have two, but the one she likes is Punky). Perhaps I am going nutty in my tired state, but I could swear she is actually trying to say "pussy": many times now she has looked at Punky and said something that sounds like "boogie", so you never know! She has also said this "word" when playing with her "pop up pets" toy and the cat pops up (it is a ginger tabby, just like Punky). Thomas never went through the babbling stage (mamamama, babababa etc) but went straight to words with meaning. Maybe Katelyn is going to do the same? I guess time will tell.
Thomas has had some sort of virus that gave him conjunctivitis. Thankfully he hasn't been that ill, and Katelyn has avoided catching anything. The breastfeeding hasn't saved her from the urinary problems but it sure as anything has been doing a great job of protecting her from viral nasties! Unfortunately both Andrew and I have been quite sick. I ended up with such a bad throat that I lost my voice and couldn't even do my usual singing to my little Missy Moo (now some people would consider that a blessing, but she actually likes my voice and even humming a few bars will often settle her right down.). My asthma also played up a lot so I have needed oral steroids as well as my puffers. This was a bad week for us to be sick, as Andrew was lucky enough to get some temporary work (with the company he used to work for before this past job - will be part-time for a couple of months but right now is more than full-time as they are incredibly busy). He has been hauling himself off for 14 hour days and leaving me sick as a dog with two small children! Oh well, at least he is earning some money, so that part is great!
I am still in absolute awe of my precious baby daughter! I adore her, am fascinated by everything she does, and am enjoying her immensely. Even the health problems she has been experiencing are relatively minor in that thankfully even if she does have urinary reflux it is probably easily treated and it would have been picked up early enough to prevent kidney damage. I am SO very thankful for the health of my two children! I am one very lucky woman!