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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Little Einsteins play along...

Today while Nick was sleeping I brought Joshua into the bedroom to rest and possibly nap. I usually turn the tv on at this time and today it happened to be The Little Einsteins that was on the Disney channel. Joshua made himself comfortable and after a little while I realized he was doing (with gestures) what the Einstein characters were telling the audience to do. In order to help their rocket ship gain more altitude they tell the kids watching to pat their knees, so Joshua did. Then they ask you to pat your knees even faster and Joshua did that too. Then they say, "now raise your hands as high as you can," or something to that effect, and Joshua followed along. This supposedly helps the rocket ship blast off. It was so cute. I caught him doing this the other day, but today he had it down pat. He is turning into such a kid.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Dentist Appointment...

Joshua had his first dentist appointment today!! We weren't sure how it would turn out because of his oral defensiveness, but he was a trooper yet again! Joshua's new pediatrician is proving to be so wonderful. She has referred us to a couple great doctors, this dentist being one of them. The office was amazing. The nurses were great! And the dentist herself was excellent. Because of Joshua's sensory history, they had me lay in the chair and then actually lay him ontop of me. They put some little yellow sunglasses on him and he watched The Incredibles on a flat screen mounted to the ceiling as they brushed his teeth and cleaned/scraped them real good. It is a miracle that he let them do this!!! It wasn't as easy as I make it sound, but with a little effort on all our parts the mission was pretty much accomplished.

Conslusion of the visit: NO CAVITY!!! She also said his teeth look really good given everything he has been through. We found out his enamel is great. I was concerned about a possible deficiency, but that is not the case. It is just discolored, making his teeth appear yellow (which we knew already because of the multitude of antibiotics and medications he received while his teeth were still developing as a preemie). The transparent look of his bottom teeth is strictly build up. They were able to scrape it right off! She was happy with the way we have been able to brush Joshua's teeth and said we are doing the best we can so that is wonderful. So far we have only been successful in brushing with the finger tip brush designed for newborn/baby gums.

Overall, it went great. No laughing gas, no bad news, and very little discomfort. We will apply a perscription flouride every 3 months as directed for extra support of his fragile teeth and follow up every 6 months. There is no telling how his adult teeth will come in. She reassured us though that at most he will need minor cosmetic treatment (i.e. teeth whitening) if he chooses when he is older. It was a good day!

Our little trooper this evening:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Can one avoid or simply "manage" Preeclampsia?

This is a good question... My husband and I both greatly want to experience life with two children, and even more, a full term pregnancy with no complications or critical health issues (for mother or baby). However, with that said, I am petrified to have another! I have been since the day they told me I was being admitted at 26 weeks and that my baby would be delivered in less than a week after that.

Anyway, I was just snooping around online as usual looking through information on this nasty disease, Pre-E, and I came across something interesting. Supposedly, there are some supplements you can take to avoid getting, or manage already existing, Preeclampsia. I wanted to share this site with the blog world because I know there are a lot of mothers who have gone through the nightmare of Preeclampsia. As much as I do believe in holistic and natural remedies, I just don't know if this eases my worries at all. I think it is definitely worth a try though :)

Herbal Remedies for Preeclampsia Here

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Growing like a weed is an "over" statement...

We went shopping today for some clothes for Joshua. This is really the first time we have had to go full on clothes hunting for him. We have been extremely fortunate in this department so far. Nick's brother and sister-in-law have a son just a year older than Joshua. They have been really awesome in sending us a bunch of hand-me-downs, so we really haven't had the need to buy anything extra. Anyway, today we went over to the outlet mall and we had a good laugh. Our little munchkin has come so far, he is just still so small. He is turning 3 on June 1st, so I was shocked to realize that he still needs size 12-18 month pants/shorts and even some of them are too big!! His shirts on the otherhand are secured at a solid 18 months. To us he looks so huge of course, but I guess he has a little more growing to do. We know he will catch up eventually though! In his own time.

All in all, it was a nice little outting today. Among some of the clothes was his favorite "Lightning McQueen" shirt and an Elmo basketball jersey/short outfit... and he suckered us into a tricycle and an umbrella stroller too ;)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

How Preemie Mom's are Chosen...

I was just thinking about this today. I love this story so much I wanted to post it here on my blog. I found this the first week or so after Joshua was born. It helped bring some light to my heart at a very dark time :) Reading this now (it's been nearly 3 years since I last read it) I am in tears because this is a true cookie cutter of my life!

(Adapted from Erma Bombeck)

Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen? Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger. "Beth Armstrong, son. Patron Saint, Matthew. Marjorie Forrest, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia. Carrie Rutledge, twins. Patron Saint ... give her Gerard." Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a preemie."

The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."

"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."

God smiles. "This one is perfect. She has just the right amount of selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says 'mommy' for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see - ignorance, cruelty, prejudice - and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Up and at em...

Finally, I am finished creating my blog layout... It took me forever!!! My family was so annoyed with me for the last week, but I am so happy with how it turned out. I really think it will motivate me to keep at the blogging and documenting all of these precious moments in Joshua's life... and the difficult ones. Remembering the not so happy times helps us to never lose sight of how much we have to be thankful for! :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cranial Manipulation...

Dr. Sue is amazing! God is truly working through her right now!! For the last month or so, she has been doing cranial manipulations on Joshua. She told me that she learned a technique ten years ago to use on a patient of hers that was in a motorcycle accident and lost much of his speaking ability. The technique was designed to manipulate the cranial bones so that she could shunt the cerebrospinal fluid (with her hands via massage) into the correct speaking channels of the brain. Nick and I both thought this sounded a little bizarre. We had never heard of anything like that before and certainly didn't think someone's fingertips could possibly do that. Well, to our complete surprise, while she was manipulating him during his first visit for this, Joshua started speaking to me in a way he has never before! He was actually communicating with me and he even said two new words while she was working on him. She has worked with this technique on him three times already and Nick and I can tell you our child is a different boy! He can use words, he can communicate verbally, and he is really trying to fine tune his pronunciations. He has miles and miles to go yet, but this start is truly another miracle.

I will say it again, Dr. Sue is wonderful. We are so fortunate to have found her. She was referred to us by an aquaintance of my mothers immediately after Josh was discharged from the NICU. She would drive to our home in Bonita every Saturday to work on his liver and also to reshape his skull so that it was rounded again instead of flat on the sides. She was able to clear his liver damage and horrible billirubin levels up without the need of any more medications! His head is now beautifully shaped as well, and he is starting to talk! God gave her a remarkable gift and she is eager and ready to share it. We owe her a lot of heartfelt thanks!

By the way, it was after his second visit for this technique that he started to say "I Love You."

Patience is a virtue...

I like this blog title because it is so true for Joshua and it has defintely been showing in him lately. We recently had to take him to the podiatrist because of what I thought was a possible plantars wart. I noticed this right after we brought him home from the NICU in Nov. of 2007, but I really didn't think it was any concern. The spot was just one of two little scar dots on one of his heels from all of the heel sticks he had to have while in the hospital. This one started changing though. It was becoming more and more callassed. Well it continued to grow and grow. Just his year it started to bug him. I'm pretty sure it was more of an annoyance because he recognized it was there and he couldn't remove it himself. So he was picking and picking at it. He kept asking me to help him get it off, ha ha!! It was cute and funny. The more he picked at it the more it started looking like a plantars wart. So that is how we ended up at the foot doctor. It was too large for his pediatrician to remove.

When we got to the foot lady (btw she was totally awesome) he was such a good boy! I had more anxiety than him and dad combined. For some reason there is something frightening to me about needing something surgically dug out of your foot. But Joshua was a gem! She gets out this scalpal looking instrument and starts cutting his heel away and he just sat there and watched her. He was so curious as to what she was doing. He didn't move his leg or foot at all. She didn't have to use any kind of local anesthetic or anything either. He just let her keep digging deeper and deeper. He actually wanted to help her and kept nodding her with his forehead over and over. The head nod is something his Nannu taught him. They use this gesture as a replacement for hugs or kisses, so it is that same concept to Josh. He is awfully sweet most of the time. Nick and I were cracking up and so was the doctor.

So the foot lady concluded that she does not think this spot is actually a plantars wart. She thinks its a cyst that formed in one of those scar tissue areas. She actually got down deep enough to see some cyst fluid, as well as blood. The plan now is to watch the area, see if it gives Joshua any problems and go from there. She is thinking we will only need to remove it completely if it becomes too painful or starts hindering him in any way. Good news!

CT Scans, X-Rays and Heart Contrast Studies...

I will just start by saying we had an extremely eventful week! We have been jam packed with doctors appointments for Joshua. He has a lot going on and will be having two upcoming surgeries. I barely want to think about it, ha ha... no, seriously! It just makes my stomach hurt. Anyway, this was intended to be a positive blog posting so let me start again. Joshua is incredible! He is becoming quite the little trooper when it comes to doctors visits and procedures. He just had a CT Scan of the brain and was just an angel. He didn't need sedation at all and he even surprised the technician. He didn't move a muscle. The scan was just routine. Joshua's neurologist wanted to get another look at the generally benign cysts he had in his brain while in the NICU. The first ultrasound he ever had showed one cyst, and the second ultrasound showed two cysts, both of which had grown. So the neuro just likes to keep an eye on them to see if they are growing, shrinking or disappeared all together. We will be getting the report on that shortly.

To top that off, Joshua had another chest x-ray this week and was a great sport as well. He is very curious about all of this. It's cute. Mom and dad had to hold him real tight up against the x-ray board because he kept wanting to turn and look at the light on the machine. He is probably going to be just like his daddy and love the health field.

Least, but not last (yes I meant to write it that way because tons has happened this week), Josh saw his cardiologist this week because his lips and mouth have been turning blue lately when he cries. We've known that this is something to watch for because of his lung disease, however, it is just now a new occurance. So we were referred back to the cardiologist so that he could rule out it being a problem from the heart PDA ligation he had in NICU. We also needed the cardio to clear him for his upcoming ENT surgery. To make a long story short, we left there extremely pleased and comfortable. The cardio wants to do a contrast heart study to make sure the red and blue blood is shunting correctly. He was going to wait and do this later on, if absolutely needed, because it is a procedure that requires anesthesia. After telling him about the upcoming surgery though for ENT, he was excited to make sure he got in at that opportunity to do this scan at the same time! So we will correclate those two procedures, which is like the best news we could get!

I Love You...

Joshua is finally saying a three part phrase. Well, at least I am considering it one. The Friday before Easter (April 2, 2010) this year, Joshua started repeating "I Love You" when prompted. As soon as he got the hang of it he began perfecting it... as much as a speech delayed former preemie can anyway. It is the sweetest thing! He still does not say it spontaneously, but he will repeat it back to you nearly every time. This is another huge step for him of course and we are thrilled. Aunt Samantha was playing around the other day and caught him saying it on video. Take a look...

Feel free to watch it over and over, ha ha!