Everyday lives of the Meabon Household

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Harper's first road trip

We have been busy, busy, busy over the last week. Harper had her two month checkup with the pediatrician on Friday and the chunky monkey weighed in at 9 lbs 6 oz! She jumped from the11th percentile in weight to the 14th percentile so being home is definitely doing her good. She also had her two month vaccinations and they made her so pitiful for the rest of the day. Once again, our little girl was like a limp noodle all day and when she was up, she was fussy. We are not a fan of vaccination days but good to know for the future.

We were also given the go ahead to let Harper sleep through the night and feed her when she wakes up. She's increasing her time between feedings more and more and therefore, sleeping more each night. Ideally, this would be a wonderful situation for her parents but here in lies the continuation of my lifelong love-hate relationship with my boobs. When I was in 8th grade and went from an A cup to a C cup in a school year, I was thrilled....until the boys in junior high started accusing me of stuffing my bra and nicknamed me "Tissue". As I began to grow through high school, so did the twins and they topped out at an E my junior year - I hated those blobs dangling from my chest! So, I made the decision to get a reduction allowing me to embrace the chest once again. When I had Harper and was told over and over that breastfeeding would be a challenge, I loved them when the milk showed up. However, they are on my bad side once again. Ever heard of clogged milk ducts? Well, I have the pleasure of experiencing clogged milk ducts at least once a week. And it doesn't occur in the same place each time. No, my boobs have decided to share the pain for all of the bosom to feel. So as my daughter sleeps soundly from 10pm to 4:30am, I wake in pain throughout the night when I roll over to discover that one of those suckers has clogged up again. The solution? It makes me giggle like a middle school girl in sex ed class each time I talk about it. "Pump frequently. Massage the breast as you express your milk. Ensure the nipple isn't blocked while pumping." And let me tell you, "massaging" isn't what I call it when having to mash down on a giant rock lying under my skin while an electric plunger is sucking at my boob. Oh, I hate you clogged milk ducts! But I digress...

A big step this week was our trip to Houston to Texas Children's Hospital to meet with the pediatric surgeon, Dr. Cass. We left early Monday morning to drive from San Antonio to Houston and Harper did great on the way there! She loves the car and slept a good portion of the way. When she wasn't sleeping, she just gazed out the window at the scenery passing by. We had a couple of stops to change diapers and one stop to feed her but otherwise, made great time. Harper had her first restaurant experience as well when we grabbed lunch in Houston before her appointment but slept the whole time we were there. Jared and I really wanted to explore our options for Harper's treatment of her omphalocele and TCH is one of the top hospitals in the country. They see a number of omphaloceles and we were recommended there by numerous people. I prayed hard that we would know the right course to take for Harper and that our decision would be clear. Within 5 minutes of sitting with Dr. Cass, we knew that Houston was the right choice for us. If you remember from my previous post, Harper was scheduled for surgery here in San Antonio at the end of the month. Dr. Cass's approach is a slower approach but much less envasive and traumatic. His word of the day was "easy". "This is an easy omphalocele. The correction of this will be easy. We can fix this with no problems, it will be easy." I thought Jared was going to jump up and hug Dr. Cass right then and there!

The new process moving forward is to use compression on Harper's O. We are stopping the Betadine treatment since its causing the O to be a hard scab. He was impressed with how the O looked and thought it was handled very well up to this point but moving forward, we need to make the O more malleable so we can basically squish the contents back into Harper's abdomen. However, this squishing will be a very slow process. As her abdomen grows and the O is compressed, the contents will ideally be engulfed back into her body. For now, surgery is planned for next summer and by the time this happens, we should be able to just correct her abdominal muscles and use the extra skin from her O to create a designer belly button. We are going to have to see how the O transitions from the dry Betadine treatment to the now wrapped O and hope that it doesn't harbor infection. If infection starts to grow, we might start using Silvadine on the O to help with skin growth, bacteria and malleability since its a wet treatment. We will travel to Houston every 6-8 weeks to follow up with Dr. Cass but otherwise will communicate with him via email, pictures and using modern day technology. Pretty cool, huh? We were anxious about the surgery at the end of the month since there were still so many unknowns involved so we are feeling more at ease with the new process.

We finished up with our appointments around 4pm, fed Harper and were able to see my friend Amy, who is a nurse in the Pediatric ICU at TCH while Harper ate dinner. We hopped in the car thinking this traveling with a 10 week old was pretty easy stuff. We got stuck in some Houston traffic (expected) so made it out of Houston just a little later than we wanted to. And then our little alter ego Rage decided to come out to play. I think the combination of a long day, being cooped up in a car seat for 7 hours and getting hot were the perfect combination for a melt down. After about 1 hour and a half of crying, stopping, feeding, diaper changing, driving, stopping, rocking, singing, dancing, driving, stopping, Jared and Brooke crying, stripping Harper down to her diaper, driving and stopping, I think we finally wore Rage worn out and Harper fell asleep. I think next time we'll just plan on spending the night instead of trying to be rockstars and making the trip all in one go.

And my last little Harper tidbit, for those of you that know Jared and I well, we rarely call each other by our own names....that is unless one of us is unhappy with the other! Most of our names make no sense to those around us and we often get weird looks in public when referring to each other as T, Beats, Knucks, Poop Squash, etc. Well, the same has fallen upon our daughter and I'm sure the names will continue to emerge and grow as she does. For now, my Harper go-to name is McGooper Goops. Jared's Harper name is Squadoosh. Go figure!

I'd like to give a very big "Welcome to the World!" to Miss Anabelle Goertz who was born on Monday evening. Please keep Anabelle in your prayers as she was having some heart apnea and had a little overnight stint in the NICU. We know she must have had great care since she got to meet Harper's old friends! I also ask that you keep my aunt Jan, cousins Ty and Nathan and their families in your prayers. My Uncle Denny passed away on Sunday night. He was a talented man and we will miss him.


boo and stacy said...

Sounds like a successful appointment! Have to love that he was not overly concerned with her O and surgery!! Praise you Lord for your continued healing on precious Squadoosh!

Unknown said...

I can't tell you how happy I am to hear how well little miss Harper is doing :) I personally LOVE the slower, less-traumatic paint & wait method... back when we still thought Elliot had an omphalocele, that's the method we were hoping to go for, as well. Alas, it's not an option anymore, and Elliot will undergo major surgery when he's only a few days or weeks old. But that's life! Constantly changing our plans!
I hope things continue to go well. Sounds like she's gaining weight nicely!

Bill, Katie and Graham Law said...

Ah yes, the clogged duct. Worst. Pain. Ever. I remember thinking that yes I missed out on labor, but this has got to be right up there. Reading about it in your post, you would've thought I was watching a scary movie. I had my hands over my eyes and could only see the words through the slits my fingers were making. Worst. Pain. Ever.
Good call on the second opinion. She'll grow and do everything (for the most part) developmentally like other babies. If you need pics of what we used for tummy time, it made all the difference in Graham's strength.
Keep up the good work!

Martha said...

Such good news! Who would have thought you'd hear the words, "no big deal"! She's so precious!!

Kristin said...

That first pictures amazes me - how she can look so much like BOTH of you is incredible! Congrats on the successful trip to Houston and the good news about Harper's treatment. I'm so glad that you had a peace about the doctor. Sounds like a great way to proceed. Brooke, I am so proud of you for pushing through with the nursing. Most women would have given up by now (especially with those blocked ducts - they hurt so much!) but you push on. Good for you! It is the best thing you can do for that little girl. And the nicknames are hilarious. I always called Riley "Poo Poo" for some reason. Of course, now it's coming back to haunt me as we try to work on potty training. Oops. :)

Lisa Johnson said...

Yay! All of that sounds SO awesome! (Except the clogged milk ducts part.) We love TCH and I know you made the best decision for Harps. So glad you made the trip and it was successful. We will be praying for all to continue to be "easy." :) Love y'all so much!

CaroM said...

So happy, she is gaining weight. I also think being at home is really good for her!. I liked the compression idea, I'm going to ask that to Tobias' surgeons since his omphalocele is still partially fixed and the compression makes a lot sense to me.
BTW, she keep getting cuter everyday.

Adelle said...

Great news! Praise God for these doctors that say the word "easy"!
Love you all,