Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Case of Pneumonia + Eleanor: 5 Months

About a week and a half ago, Sawyer had a dry cough, but was happy playing. The next morning, he woke up having trouble breathing. I worried immediately because I had asthma since I was little and worry that Sawyer or Eleanor will inherit it as well. We got him in to the first appointment at a clinic a short walk away from our apartment. The doctor said it look liked he had bronchitis and gave him a breathing treatment. He perked up for a little bit after the breathing treatment. We went home with the nebulizer, but Sawyer wasn't improving. He continued to whimper all day and his breathing was still rapid. I gave him another treatment and it seemed to help, but only temporarily. 

We weren't convinced the breathing treatments were doing much, so we went into a different clinic for foreigners. The doctor there also assumed it was asthma since Sawyer did not have fever or cold symptoms, just difficulty breathing. At this point, Sawyer was struggling so much to breathe we could see him sucking in his tummy below his ribs and he was barely speaking. They gave him several breathing treatments, oxygen, and also injections of steroids to try to improve his breathing since his oxygen levels were dropping to the low 90's/high 80's. 

The doctor said it would be best if Sawyer would be hospitalized in Hong Kong (again at this point we all still thought it was an asthma attack). They had to assemble a doctor and team to come from Hong Kong to pick us up and cross the border in the ambulance. This took almost six hours! I was a complete mess at this point. Sawyer was just laying on the doctor's table, struggling to breathe and I felt completely helpless. I suddenly realized how terrifying it is to be a foreign country so far away from everything familiar and from our family.  We asked if we could just get in a car and cross the border, but it was not possible since Sawyer would be considered "too sick" to cross. They continued giving him treatments, he threw up from all the meds and was just lifeless. Kurt ran home to grab all of our passports and pack haphazardly for the hospital. We had no idea how long Sawyer would need to be admitted in Hong Kong. 

I rode in the ambulance with Sawyer. There was both a doctor and nurse on board as well. His oxygen was stable during the ride to HK. Kurt and Eleanor followed behind us in another van. I felt so relieved when we made it to the hospital. It was comforting that we were at the same hospital that I gave birth to both Sawyer & E. 

He got checked in right away and given more breathing treatments. The doctor ordered an X-ray immediately and we found out that he had a severe case of pneumonia. From there, he started an intense round of antibiotics along with several breathing treatments each day. We stayed for 6 nights in the hospital and Sawyer was such a trooper, especially for having an IV of antibiotics. We were supposed to travel to Thailand with our friends for vacation (we have off of school this week). But obviously, we had to cancel our trip (so glad it didn't happen while we were traveling!) We're just trying to take it easy the rest of vacation before we go back to school.

Sawyer is back to his old, happy + energetic self. We have a lot of meds for him to take through this week, continuing the breathing treatments and a follow-up appointment in Hong Kong this weekend. The doctor said he will need about 2-4 weeks for full recovery. We feel so lucky that we got to HK in time and that he was able to receive such wonderful care. The nurses were all incredibly sweet and adored Sawyer. We're all very relieved to be back at home (everyone was getting stir crazy in the hospital room!) 

In the midst of all of this craziness, our sweet girl is already five months old! 
Eleanor, you are such a spunky and sweet little lady. You are so smiley and usually wake up beaming every morning (even before the sun comes up). Daddy and I can't help but melt at your smiles and coos. You fit in so perfectly to our little family, I couldn't imagine our lives without you! 

Weight/Height: At your four month checkup, you were about 14.5 lbs (you're a peanut, the 15% for weight)
I forgot exactly how long you were, all I remember is you were the 85% for length right now.

Eating: You've been nursing every 3-4 hours and once or twice at night. It seems to be going well when I'm with you. It's a bit tricky to pump at school, I'm still trying to figure it out to make enough #workingmommaproblems

Sleeping: You don't' want to miss anything and struggle to take solid naps during the day time. At night, you go to bed around 7:00 (same as your brother) and wake up once or twice during the night. Lately, you've been waking up more frequently and I think you just forgot how to put yourself to sleep. I'm sure it won't last too long (or at least hope!)

Clothes: You're in 3-6 month clothing right now. I just packed up all of your 3 month clothes (tear). It goes by too fast!

  • being apart of whatever is going on (you don't want to miss anything!)
  • baths
  • music
  • your jumperoo 
  • scooting all over the place 
  • watching your brother and the dogs
  • rolling over
  • your pal, Sophie the giraffe 
  • balloons (obsessed)
  • being "forced" to take naps/sleep
  • getting stuck in your crib rails 
  • not being able to eat "real" food
... still working on getting all four of us to look at the camera ;) 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Baby Eleanor: 4 Months

I'm finally back to blogging! Things have been busy crazy since right before summer started and I can hardly believe we're back to the swing of things at school. It is a goal of mine to post more so that our friends and family can keep up with our lives.

My heart is overflowing with love for our growing family. Some days it's hard to believe that Eleanor was in my tummy, not so long ago. It feels like just yesterday I was wondering what she would be like, wishing I could hold her in my arms.

Sawyer has been adjusting remarkably well. I am so proud of him and the little boy is quickly becoming. He adores his baby sister and loves to help her. Every day before he leaves for "school," he gives her a kiss on the forehead. The first day that I picked him up from school, I was holding Eleanor and Sawyer ran out of his classroom and ran straight up to Eleanor and gave her a big kiss. I love that he loves her so much. It's so fun to see a bond between them and the nice thing about having children so close in age is that they will (hopefully) have such a special bond and never know life without each other. 

Oh Eleanor, sweet girl, you are a dream. Your smiles light up the room. You are so strong and have been rolling over for almost a month now. Daddy and I think you're pretty laid back, but at the same time you want to be a part of everything that's going on. You love to put your hands and fingers in your mouth and roll on to your tummy. You squeal with delight when someone gives you big smiles and attention. You're starting to to look more and more like your brother every day. Your eyes are still a beautiful blue, and your hair is brown and starting to grow in a little more. I can't wait to see how you will change in the next coming months.

Weight/Height: I honestly have NO idea because we haven't had your four month check up yet. I will update this as soon as you do.

Eating: This is a little bit all over the place as far as a "schedule" goes. When we got back to the states, everything was going so smoothly (minus having the start of mastitis for myself a few times). I think jet lag and going back to work has made my dipped my milk production. I am still trying to figure out the best way to do this. Our ayi has had to use formula to supplement during the week a little bit as well. 

The day looks something like this. 
6:00-7:00 nurse
11:00ish nurse (ayi brings her to school because she has to pick up Sawyer from his half day school)
2:30-3:00 bottle
6:30 (before bedtime) nurse
1:00 nurse and sometimes again at 3:00 or 4:00 am

Sleeping: This has also been something that has been a challenge since we've returned back to China. In the states, she was pretty much sleeping through the night...all summer long! It was WONDERFUL. Then, we landed in China and since then it's been all over the place. Typically, she will fall asleep around 7 (same time as Sawyer) and then wake up again around 11-12 and sometimes again between 3-4. Lately, I think she's been going through a growth spurt or sleep regression and has been quite the party animal.

Clothes: Still squeezing into some 3 month clothes, although mostly fitting in 3-6 month right now. Eleanor is starting to get some chubby cheeks now... they are the best :)


When someone sings to her (any song, any time)
Watching her big brother do silly things, especially when he interacts with her
Being a part of what's going on, she doesn't want to miss a thing!
Taking baths (kicking her legs and splashing the water)
When anyone smiles at her

Not being able to see what's going on
Getting stuck on her tummy

I would be lying if I said that it hasn't been challenging having a two year old and four month old, but I really wouldn't have it any other way. I can't imagine not having Eleanor a part of our little family. The days are long, but the years are short for sure. A colleague of mine sent me the excerpt below and I feel like this is EXACTLY where we are as a family right now. I know it will pass so soon, so I am trying to live in the present as much as possible and embrace the inevitable craziness that comes with two little ones.

I remember the exhausting days when I had a two year old and a newborn. My two year old still wasn't sleeping through the night, and my newborn only slept for a couple of hours at a time. I had a toddler in my bed and a newborn in a bedside crib, and some nights I wasn't sure if I had even found sleep. I found myself doing a lot of wishing....
I wish they'd sleep through the night.
I wish they'd sleep in their own room.
I wish I didn't have to lie with them while they fall asleep.
I wish I'd never started co-sleeping.
I wish they were out of diapers.
I wish I had some time for myself.
Now, my babies are big boys. They are out of my bed, out of my room, and long out of diapers. They almost never wake me at night. They sleep in their own room. They don't need me to lie down with them anymore. I give them a kiss and walk out the door – and I have lots of time for me now.
Some nights, I walk out of their room, go curl up in my bed in front of the fire with a good book and think, “Ah. This is nice.”
But then there are the other nights when I lie there and listen to them talking with each other (their room is adjacent to mine). I listen as they tell funny stories and belly laugh at each other, and their laughter makes me smile through my tears. Silent tears are falling on my pillow as I stare at my ceiling, remembering the days when they used to need me. They need me less now. And as much I used to wish for “me time” back then is as much as I'm wishing now for “baby time.” Once more, I find myself doing a lot of wishing...
I wish they still needed me to lie down with them.
I wish I could hold them all night like I used to.
I wish we were still co-sleeping.
I wish they were back in diapers.
I wish I could still rock them.
I wish I could go back and do it all again, and savor every moment, committing it all to memory, rather than wishing it away.
© Rebecca Eanes 2015
This is an excerpt from the bestselling book, The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parenting.