Since I'm currently wide, but sadly, awake at 2:00am, I figured now is as good a time as any to update this here blog. On Sunday, I thought Ellie and I were starting to get colds. I was feeling like such and she was running a slight fever (100.5) and seeming a little extra fussy. What I thought was going to be a cold has ended up being a sore throat and sinus pain for me. Not sure exactly how Ellie's feeling, but given that she's groaning every few minutes on the baby monitor, I think she's feeling about as good as I am. At least she's semi-sleeping.
9-Month Pediatrician Check Up
On with the actual health update on Ellie. She had her 9-month pediatrician check up on Friday. She was still 15 pounds, 4 ounces. But since she was having tummy troubles all last week - that continue even now - there wasn't a concern at the lack of weight gain. We go back at the beginning of January so we'll make sure then that she's gaining.
Speaking on going back in January, a couple of weeks ago, Ellie got her first Synagis shot. Synagis is an medication of antibodies given by shot that helps prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Here's a link to the Synagis website. From what the doctors have said, RSV can actually get pretty bad (i.e. require hospitalization) for some full-term infants so preemies and babies with lung issues can really get into trouble if they get it. The antibodies help the body to fight off RSV, and if Ellie does get it, the RSV will at least partially attack the antibodies rather than Ellie's immune system, which lessens the effect on Ellie
It's actually pretty cool that they have something like this. The shot is given monthly during RSV season, which varies by which part of the country you are in. Ellie will get it from November to March (which by scheduling will actually be December to April). I've head different price ranges for the shots, and the dosage depends on the child's weight, but the cost is somewhere in the range of $6,000 and $10,000 per shot. If our insurance hadn't covered it, Ellie wouldn't be getting it. But the insurance is covering it so we're very thankful for that!
Back to Ellie's pediatrician appointment. I asked the pediatrician about checking to see if Ellie might have asthma, as I have noticed her having belabored breathing with things that shouldn't really cause one to have trouble breathing (i.e. gently playing, sometimes not really moving much at all, etc.). At first the doctor was thinking maybe it was just her reflux, but when she listened to Ellie's lungs, she could hear the telltale sounds of asthma. So for now we have a simple albuterol inhaler with a special little spacer and tube to give it to her with.
When I picked it up today, the pharmacist tried to tell me that I should attempt to have Ellie hold her breath for 10 seconds after inhaling. The concept made me smile, especially since trying such a thing would make it look like I was suffocating the poor child because the only way to do so would be to manually prevent her from breathing. I think we'll just do what we can with what she can do on her own. I have heard that crying seems to help them breath it in deeper so we'll see if maybe she'll cry when I give it to her...though I don't want to traumatize the poor girl.
If we find ourselves using the albuterol more than a few times a week, we're supposed to touch bases with the pediatrician about putting Ellie on a maintenance medication. I'm hoping that doesn't happen but thinking it might be inevitable. In addition to being a preemie with former lung issues (creating a high likelihood of asthma), I have asthma that started in childhood as well and have a younger brother with more severe asthma.
High Blood Pressure
And because I can't remember if I've mentioned it on here (and it's the middle of the night, and I don't feel like checking), I'll mention that Ellie's high blood pressure is now gone. She's been off mediation for over a month, and did great at her follow up with the nephrologist so he has discharged her from his care. It's wonderful to have one less medication and to have a baby who is that much more healthy!
More General Ramblings
I'm not sure anyone will make it this far into actually reading this post given that it is being written between about 2:00 and 2:30am and will not be nearly as coherent as I normally try to make them. But for those who have made it (or those who simply scrolled to see photos). Here is your reward...
Sitting all on her own. She's still not a big fan of it with her reflux, but on occasion she will sit on her own. We stick close by though since she often still likes to fling herself backward when she's done.
Playing with a Care Bear that someone made for me when I was a baby.
Showing off her kicking skills. She's preparing so that she can learn Kung Fu from her Aunt Laura once she's old enough.
Reading her Bible story book from one of the pastors at Kit's parents church and his wife. It's her favorite book because of all the vibrant pictures combined with the black and white word pages. Oh, and she really was just lying there flipping the pages of the book by herself while I was putting away some of her laundry. When I grabbed the camera, she immediately smiled for the picture.