Thursday, July 19, 2012

ct scan reveals no trauma

a ct scan of the head and neck revealed there was no trauma to his head.

whoa - back this truck up.

yesterday at this time dax and i were in the er.

back up even further.

at 5pm, just as i'd signed off work, i scooped daxy up ad took one step in between the playyard set up of a swing, a playmat, and a jumperoo.  my right foot slightly caught on the leg of the swing and it sent my body, holding this sweet baby, into a lunging running desperate attempt to catch my balance.  i jerked forward about 5 feet and thought i had saved the day when i fell to my knees, then in a split second all of this went through my mind -

we're falling, oh lord no, please help us, we're really falling, quick - tuck your arms, don't fall on him, protect his head.

then, before i could even react, my elbows slammed into the hardwood floor in front of our kitchen sink - i cried out - and then daxy's sweet little head pounded onto the floor.  he let out a blood curdling scream.  a scream i've never heard come out of him before (and hope i never ever hear again).  i quickly brought him to my chest and i remember just saying - baby, sweet baby - i am so sorry - mommy is so sorry - PLEASE dear Lord watch over this baby. 

i got up and took him into the bedroom and laid him in the middle of our bed so i could locate car keys, the diaper bag, and my brain.  i called will - got his voicemail - and left some frantic message - meet me at the er.  dax just kept screaming - loud piercing screams.  i was crying - tears flowing down my cheeks.  the dogs were worried, terribly worried about what was going on - but i did not even have time to crate them.  again, i scooped daxy up and strapped him into the carseat - all the while the little fellow was still screaming.

i got him out to the car and into the back seat and waited an eternity for a neighbor to make a leisurely exit out of the subdivision.  i frantically called kathy to have her im will.  (why i did not try his desk phone is beyond me at this point, but i think i was just doing good to be operating a motor vehicle.)  i don't remember too much from our conversation, but i remember her asking me why i did not call 911.  i thought - oh my gosh - should i have called 911?  should i pull over right now on the side of the road and call 911?  i never even thought about calling 911!  i kept driving.  she got a hold of will and he said he was on his way.  daxy was still screaming in the back seat.

the drive to the er seemed to take forever.  i felt like i was behind every single solitary slow driver and that nobody cared (regardless of how i thought they were supposed to know) that i was on my way to the er with my sweet baby.  about half the way to the hospital the screaming stopped - just out of the blue the blood curdling screams turned into silence.  i reached my hand back and felt for his little hand and it was limp - he was not moving.  i did not know if he was asleep, passed out, or something way worse.  (every terrible awful gut wrenching thing runs through your mind at this point.)  i drove faster - surely breaking every speed limit in this 12 mile trip.

i pulled into the parking lot and leaned my seat forward to pull his carseat off the base and into the parking lot.  he appeared to be sleeping with his little head hung over to one side.  i touched his face, his hand, his belly and got no response.  i ran to the doors of the er.  i waited patiently as i could - tears still streaming down my face - behind another person checking in.  when it was our turn i handed over my drivers license and daxton's insurance card while the fellow behind the desk seemed to be in no apparent hurry.  he handed me a pager.  i looked at him - stone cold in the face - and said i am not sure if he has passed out or is sleeping, but i cannot seem to wake him up so i really hope you will hurry!  i turned and went to sit on a stool and saw a paramedic and nurse dashing our way.  they immediately turned the car seat around and starting prodding baby dax - nothing.  the nurse could not get him to wake up and the paramedic picked up the car seat and headed to the double doors to the er.  i followed.

as i rounded the corner my breath was flowing out of me and i felt like i was gasping for air.  the two of them dashing in front of me made everything seem so much more real - i could hardly take it.  as we entered through the doors and headed to a room things started to get a little fuzzy and i don't really remember what was done or said, but before i knew it daxton was on a stretcher with 8 doctors, nurses, paramedics, and hospital staff surrounding him.  the dr. asked the nurse - you could not wake him? as he took off his footie pajamas - she responded that she couldn't and then within seconds - he screamed (as if to say - holy crap - where are we - where did my pajamas go - and why are you taking off my diaper!). 

they did a thorough check, daxton screaming all the while, and investigated him externally from head to toe.  they listened to the story of how i fell and where his little head hit the ground.  he appeared lethargic, but okay.  they got him gowned up, hooked him up to a heart monitor, and let me sit on the bed and hold him.  once they confirmed he was stable, they told us they'd run a ct scan of his head and neck - but they suspected he had just gotten so scared/shocked/startled that he screamed and cried himself right to sleep.  apparently its pretty common with trauma to the head.  we sat on the bed together and waited for daddy.

my phone was buzzing crazy in the diaper bag, but with daxton's cords and my fear of dropping him, i knew daddy would find his way to us.  within a matter of minutes i saw his shoes coming from under the room's curtain.  it was such a relief to have him here with us.  daddy took daxton and held him on the bed.  i think i was still in such shock it was not all really settling in what had just transpired.  the dr. came back to check on us and told us they'd have him back for ct shortly.  once they confirmed he had not vomited they okayed a bottle and daxy drank the entire thing.  he started getting a little more perky once his belly was full.

they came back to get him for the ct scan and will opted to be the one who'd hold him still during the procedure.  i waited in the room.  however, within a few minutes the tech was back in our room asking me to come with her because daxy was a little squirmy so they needed me to help hold.  off we went.  we got to the room and will was holding dax's shoulders in a pillowcase contraption and i was to reach through the ct machine and hold a wash rag to hold his head in place.  easier said than done.  daxy was fascinated by the pretty green and red lights that danced around while the machine went whizzing by - i think it all reminded him of a baby einstein movie we'd watched earlier this week.  in about 10 minutes we were done and got to head back down the hall to the room to wait for the results.

daxton ended up falling asleep on the bed while we waited for the data.  it seemed like forever until the dr. finally came to confirm that the ct scans showed no issues.  relieved, we started packing up our things so we could head home.  will agreed to take dax and the diaper bag and i headed back to the other car alone.

getting in the car, i started realizing what all had just occurred.  how much worse things could have been - how in a split second things can go from la-de-da to life altering.  the tears - once again - started flowing.  i am not a huge cryer, but i am afraid that when i do actually let myself cry it becomes a hot freaking mess.  it was almost hard to drive through all of that, but a phone call from beth helped me reign it back in.  once the crying was under control the pain started to set in.  i remember thinking at first that i must not be in as bad of shape as i thought because i hit that floor pretty hard and felt fine.  i should have knocked on the fake wood in the console.  first it was the knee cap, then the shoulders, then the back, then the hip - everything throbbing.  i've never been in a car wreck, but this is what i assume it feels like.  once i got home i told will that my hip was really hurting and i showed him where it hurt, but nothing was there.  by this morning its a bruise about four inches long and three inches across.  i have no idea how i got it, what i hit, or when it occurred.  i thought i had a very clear memory of how i plummeted, but apparently not.

the doctor told us to wake daxy once in the middle of the night to make sure he was able to wake up.  he went to bed easily after taking a bottle.  we laid him in his bed and said an extra special prayer over him.  we set our alarm for 2am to get up and check on him.  i took some pain medicine, emailed work to tell them i would not be in to work the next day, and called it a night.  the alarm went off at 2am and will and i both got up to head down the hall to daxy's room.  we slipped in under the cover of darkness and found him softly sleeping.  i touched his hand, then his face, then his back, and he gave me a sort of jerking motion to signal us to let him sleep!  we knew then he was fine and let him be.  i think i slept a lot better from 2:30 to 6 then i had from 11 to 2.

we took daxy to his primary care doctor's office today.  they'd received the ct scans and reviewed everything and gave daxton one more once over.  the dr. confirmed he looked good and he really thought he was 100% fine.  we really felt in our hearts that he was good to go, but just hearing another confirmation certainly felt reassuring. 

i am sure i will be physically sore for a week or so, but it's nothing that won't heal with some rest, arnica, and advil.  my heart was surely traumatized by all of this and i think it will be a much longer time until i can talk about this without crying my eyeballs out.  we're so thankful to God that He was watching over daxy and i as we tumbled yesterday, and hope that something so traumatic never happens to this little fellow ever again.

Monday, July 16, 2012

these are a few of our favorite things

okay, so this is not oprah's favorite things, but it's the list i've come up with that help make me a better mommy.  while we were waiting for our placement, we had the nesting urge to fill our home and nursery with things we'd need when the baby finally arrived.  it was hard to sort through the internet and take good advice from a complete list of strangers, and even worse to take advice from my friends (and relatives) whose kids were at least 12 and older.  so, i have devised a list to just let you know what we're happy that we purchased/received.  (brand name dropping below for sole purpose of helping those who are attempting to make purchases before their little ones arrive, and are looking for some feedback.)

in no particular order:

1.  firm mattress - we purchased the serta royal sleeper mattress.  while it was not the most expensive mattress out there, it was definitely not the cheapest.  it's very firm, which made us feel more comfortable knowing that he would not be sinking into it while he rested.  he must like it because as soon as he lays down on it, he falls right to sleep.  (it's not organic, but the crib pad is - we will get to that in a minute.)

2.  crib - for the crib we purchased the davinci jenny lind crib.  it goes from crib to toddler bed.  it looks just like the more expensive jenny lind cribs, but for a fraction of the cost.  we were not sure if we were being placed with a boy or a girl, so this seemed to be gender neutral.  so far we really like it.  we've moved the mattress down to the middle level since we sometimes see a little baby head popping up.

3.  waterproof mattress pad - we purchased the naturepedic organic waterproof crib pad.  again, this was pretty pricey compared to some other pads, but we've washed it quite a few times and run it through the dryer just as many times, and it still fits the mattress like new.  so far no spit up or pee has gone through the pad on to the mattress.

4.  bottles - Dr browns bottles.  everyone i talked to said that we had to have these bottles.  we were skeptical at first and thought that we'd never learn how to put all of these parts together, but they really do seem to help.  it's the only thing we've ever used with daxton.  we did lose several parts to one bottle to the dishwasher heating element while visiting my sister in chicago, but they sell replacement parts at the baby big box stores.

5.  pacifiers - you really need hoards of passies.  i am not very good at clipping the passie clip onto the baby or on to the passie - i really did not do it for about the first 4 months.  we must have gone through approximately two dozen passies.  we are still finding them.  i think at some point the dogs may have been hoarding them.  who knows.  however we used avent brand passies and daxton seems to love them.  will and i have discussed that it may be difficult to break him of the passie here shortly once these teeth make an appearance.

6.  burp cloths and bibs - if you've read my blog for any length of time you can probably remember how many burp cloths i made.  i dyed about 48 burp cloths in my back yard the summer before daxton arrived.  i ended up giving about a dozen away to friends who were having babies or placements around that time, so we ended up with about 36 that are still in constant rotation.  we use them for everything.  we purchased gerber brand white burp cloths and then dyed them to look like those fancy burp cloths you see on etsy for $6 a piece.  mine turned out pretty good, and have held up really well.  fun project - but recommend washing the dye at the laundry mat rather than in your own shower and washing machine.

7. bumbo seat - i never would have purchased one on my own, it seems like an expensive item for a short time frame of use.  however, a friend from church gave us her old one and dax has loved it.  it's been a blessing to take it to places that you just cannot take a high chair to.  dax loves sitting up and looking around and he even loves doing acrobatics in it - which may be it's only down fall.  right now he is attempting to worm his way out of it to flip over, so we have to keep a watchful eye on him when he's in it.  if you get one, see if you can get it at a second hand store.  they clean up very easily.

8.  jumperoo - all time best baby purchase ever.  i know all babies are different, but for some reason i thought we should get the jumperoo instead of the exersaucer.  i did not want two of these giant contraptions taking up all of the floor space, so i figured we'd opt for one.  somehow we ended up getting 4 jumperoos at our baby shower, but we did return 2 of them for other things.  dax now has one upstairs jumperoo and one downstairs jumperoo.  if he does not get to jump for any given length of time he will actually go through jumping withdrawls.  he will then attempt to jump on anything he can find.  give the kid some jumping time!  we have two fisher price models and he likes the rainforest model the best.  they all have relatively similar attention grabbing items around the center, so just pick whichever one matches your house!

9.  play mat  - dax's second favorite item in the toy yard.  we have the boppy circus mat.  a little disappointed that  his circus came crashing down last week and the flexible arm that holds up all of the circus fun snapped in half and he can no longer have the aerial part of the circus.  i still need to email boppy to see if they'd like to replace that for us, but somehow i am thinking they won't.  it was a lot of fun though until it broke.

10.  excellent diaper bag - we started out with the $60 diaper dude messenger style bag.  when we purchased it we were matched with a baby girl, so gray and pink seemed to be like a good match.  however, after all that fell through i had already cut off all of the tags and we were committed to it's pinkness.  despite the color being all wrong (and the nursery room attendants at church not thinking it was his bag because it was pink), we determined before i left for chicago that we were going to have to live with a diaper bag until dax was at least 2 or 3, so we should stop just putting up with it's difficult packability.  it just did not make sense.  too many small pockets on the outside that just did not really hold anything worthy of going in a pocket, and then one big large center pocket that lost everything inside it.  boo.  so, we bit the bullet and ended up with a petunia picklebottom boxy backpack.  it's been to chicago and saved me in the airports.  it holds a great deal of stuff and it's relatively easy to carry since you have the backpack, shoulder, or cross shoulder option.  so far worth the $.

11.  baby shampoo and conditioner - we've purchased many brands of baby products.  when dax first came home we tried to use burt's bee's baby, then eucerine, then cara b organic, then (and what we finally ended up with) california baby super sensitive (unscented).  dax had some skin irritation, the baby acne, a rash, and all the while we were linking things to his shampoo and body wash.  i still don't know if it all just went away on its own or it was related to the products themselves, but the california baby super sensitive has seemed to work well all this time, so we're not changing it now.  (we do use burt's bees, california baby, and welleda diaper creme for diaper rashes and all three work well.)

12.  good blankets - aden + anais bamboo blankies.  not the ones you can get at target or babiesrus, but the really good ones from the boutique baby stores.  it does make a difference, and they are worth the $50 for the three pack.  we use them all the time for daxton.  they are not too warm, but they keep him warm, they block out sun when you double them over, and they are light and fold up easily.

13.  baby bathtub - we have the fisher price precious planet whale of a tub.  dax loves his bath time and he loves his tub.  it's easy to use and fits right down in the tub.  it's not easy to carry it full of water to the kitchen counter, but we only attempted this twice before we figured it out.  (sometimes we are slow to catch on.)  the toys that came with the tub are some of daxy's favorite bathtime toys, and he especially loves the slotted orange fish that sprinkles water.

14. baby friendly tunes - for everyone this means a little something different, but we could not have survived the first three months without putumayo kids and several rockabye baby cds.  dax loved them in the car, in the office, and even on the bose.  we'd rock out at all times and as long as the music was going, he was a happy camper.  we still listen to putumayo kids cds.  they are family favorites.  i don't think of them much as kids music and they are not so annoying as rockaby baby madonna (for example).

15.  ergo carrier - we went through the baby bjorn, the moby wrap, and the infantino flip before we broke down and returned those jumperoos for an ergo.  our backs were killing us with all of the other carriers and daxton just did not really like being in them.  we finally got the ergo baby sport (because we are so sporty,  no, because it's thinner and not so hot).  we have not used it immenesly, but the times we have used it daxton did not mind it and our backs were not burning like red fire ants had attacked us.

16.  carseat - we opted for chicco brand.  we got the key fit that came with the fold up stroller.  it is heavy, but it is safe.  these carseats ranked as some of the lowest on the toxicity levels, but high in car safety testing.  however, once the baby is over about 10lbs it is very difficult to carry with the baby inside.  it's very easy to install in the car, and i've tested it out on land rover, toyota, chevrolet, and vw.

17.  comfortable stroller for both you and baby - if there is a place where you can go and test out a stroller, i highly advise you to do that.  see how long the handles are and how the wheels work with your own stride.  we love our inglesina swift stroller, but the handles are not long enough and our feet tend to kick the wheels as we stroll along.  we also love the chicco stroller that came with the carseat, but it is bulky and not practical to use all of the time.  neither of them are good for the beach, but we don't get to go often enough to justify another stroller.  both of our current strollers are good for daxton for sitting up or for laying down and sleeping.  both have a canopy that is very helpful for strolling or resting on the beach.

18.  diapers - when daxton first arrived home we used earth's best chlorine free diapers.  they then became hard to locate so we switched to seventh generation.  we also exclusively use bum genius 4.0 snap diapers when we're at home.  we launder diapers every other day and we use a combination of baking soda, charlie's soap, biokleen, and seventh generation baby detergent in our front load washer.  we have 25 bg cloth diapers and really feel like it is the perfect amount for us.  if you have more then you'd wait too long to wash and that is just really not fun for anyone.

19.  wipes - seventh generation - we use these wipes exclusively and always have.  they are unscented and do not have any of that ultra strong "baby powder" scenting that i don't care for.

20.  baby food - sprout.  we really like sprout organics.  they come in packets, instead of packages with those plastic screw off lids and they're easy to toss in your diaper bag or in your travel bag for the airplane.  they are also easy to feed from, so you don't have to do lots of dishes.  dax likes all of the flavor combinations, except green beans, peas, and mint.  they are a lot less expensive than earth's best organics, plum, or happy baby - but have good consistency, decent flavor, and no added sugar.

21.  formula - we used enfamil newborn when dax was newly ours because it was what they'd been giving him at the hospital.  our doctor told us not to switch it up until he was ready to go to regular formula.  once he did, we transferred him over to earth's best organic formula and he seems to like it, because he finishes every bottle!

22.  swing - we purchased the fisher price my little lamb baby swing.  dax slept in it for about the first two months of his life.  he still sleeps in it on a weekly basis, when in the wee hours of the morning he decides to wake up before the sunshine and refuses to go back to bed.  we strap him in, turn on the muzak, crank up the mobile, and let her rip.  he loves talking to the characters on the mobile and seeing himself in the circular mirror over his head.  definitely a good investment.  this one swings in three directions, and that is handy when you move it from room to room.  the only thing i don't like is that you cannot take the headrest out to launder it separately from the rest of the swing.

23. - high chair - we received the graco 4-in-1 high chair seating system.  could not be happier with it.  it's easy to put together and transitional between your baby's various eating stages.  it should last daxton until he's much older.  the tray is easy to clean (although too large for our dishwasher), but it wipes off easily and i can put it in the sink if it needs to be scrubbed.  the harness style (racing) seat belt does seem like overkill when your baby is just newly sitting up to eat their first meal, but as they get older you see it's importance.  we're thankful he has it now, otherwise half of our baby food and our baby would be on the ground.

hope this is helpful for someone who is out there struggling with a list of things they need to get before their little one arrives home!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

8 months

it's been eight months since daxton was born.

it's been eight months since this sweet boy found his way into our lives.

it's been eight months since our hearts grew exponentially with a love we never knew.

daxton has been a little traveler this past month.  he experienced his first airplane ride, his first long car ride with no other friends in the back seat, and his first trip to the lake.  he had a good time in chicago and loved hanging out with his auntie conti and uncle keeker.  he did lots of sight seeing and hung in there even when the weather was hot and the trips out of the house were long.  he also had a good time visiting his nani and gran-gran in va this past week.  he played most of the days in his jumper while i worked and then he got to go to smith mountain lake on the 4th of july.  we didn't hang in there for fireworks, but a fun day in the lake was just about all the little fella could keep up with.

daxton's been progressing with textural foods.  he's still not so sure about mashed up bananas, chopped up mango, or puffs - but he loves his strawberry yogis and watermelon!  it's been hard to find organic watermelon, but every time we locate one we make sure to get it for dax.  he loves the flavor of it and i think that the flavor even overwhelms the textural aspect that he's sometimes not so sure of.  it's definitely his favorite thing so far.

daxton is still working on his sit up skills.  he will sit, if you put him there - until a breeze knocks him over - or something fascinating (which is generally anything) catches his eye and he turns his head.  sudden turns send him straight into a tumble.  he likes sitting up, but he's still not connecting the fact that he needs to use his arms to balance himself as he's falling over.  crawling is not even on the radar.  we get the butt going up in the air, and he reaches, and stretches for objects he wants that are not in his grasp, but he is not attempting to move to go get them just yet.

we keep thinking that teeth are on the horizon.  i think we've been thinking this since he was about 3 months old - alas - there are no teeth poking through.  it's funny to watch him eat his puffs because he actually chews them - nom - nom - nom - as if he had teeth, but he's just chewing with his gums!  he'll sure have a cute little grin when those pearly whites make an appearance!

daxton's been a water bug as of late.  he's been to pools and the lake and he loves being in the water.  in fact, he got so relaxed at the lake that he fell asleep while wearing his life jacket submerged in a float in the water!  we had to hoist him out and let him rest on the boat.  when we put him back in the water later, he did the same thing again.  he loved watching everyone float around in the lake on rafts.  while on the boat he saw everyone out there and he climbed up and actually stood (while holding on to the seat) to look over the edge and see what was going on.  he never wants to miss out on the fun!  he played with his cousin ellie in the kiddie pool and thought it was pretty funny when she was splish splashing all around.  they were great buddies together!

daxton never meets a stranger.  he's fascinated and happy with everyone he meets.  he spends his sunday mornings in the nursery at church, and he goes from care taker to care taker without any issue.  he's hung out with friends of friends at the lake and with the neighbors and he's never met anyone he does not like.  he spent a good deal of time with his cousin james while he was in roanoke and he loved just laying on his play mat with him and watching what he was doing.  he's a friendly and personable little fellow.

jumperoo.  hate to mention it again, but it still goes down in the history books as the all - time - favorite - daxy toy.  we even took one apart and drove it to va so he could jump while he was out of town.  he missed it terribly while we were in chicago and i could tell he was happy to see it when we arrived in va.  we got it out of the car and set it up and he immediately started clapping and jumping!

it's been eight months of 1540 diaper changes.

it's been eight months of 1488 bottles for a total of 54.1 gallons.

it's been eight months of cuddling, rocking, and loving on our boy.

it's been eight months of the purest joy you'd ever know.