Ben had a big day yesterday. It started when I attempted to take his infant car seat out of its base…it was stuck. Ugh. Our friend was picking us up to go try out a new play area so I needed to get the car seat out of our car. Once I realized it was stuck, I was concerned for safety as well so I pulled and pried and did everything I could to get it out…to no avail. Next, I decided to just take the whole base out so I could get more leverage on the outside. This was no easy feat but after about ten minutes I managed to pry the base out. I still couldn’t get the seat out of the base and thus I decided, today was going to be the day we upgraded to our big boy car seat!! The latest recommendation is that kids stay rear facing until they are two years old so the trend is to buy convertible car seats that can face either the rear or forward. I had done lots of prior research and knew I wanted a Britax. They always rank at the top of safety tests, although this comes at a price. They are not cheap car seats. Off to Babies R Us we went and despite HATING the fabric, we left with our brand new car seat. I have consoled myself by a) realizing that safety comes before fashion when it comes to car seats and b) knowing they sell car seat covers so I can possibly rectify the unfortunate fabric.
After that big adventure, we returned home and should have been more than ready for a nap. Ben recently learned how to sit up himself and likes to practice in his pack n play the most. Usually I have to go in twice before he falls asleep to put him back into a reclining position. Today, I went in and was greeted with this sight.
BEN CAN NOW STAND UP IN HIS PACK N PLAY. Oh the fun. Needless to say, this new trick required so much practicing that he DIDN’T NAP AT ALL.
After the napping debacle, Ben was particularly cranky. I helped him walk, I played blocks with him, I tickled him…nothing was working. In the middle of a particularly loud crying session, I peered into his mouth to discover…Two teeth! Yup! They have finally broken through the gums! No more people asking when he will get teeth and me having to launch into a five minute explanation on how it’s normal not to have teeth until 18 months and preemies get them late, blah blah blah.
Our final mile stone of the day? A half crawl!! He isn’t smoothly crawling but he is managing to propel himself forward and get things! Whooooo Hoooo!
Josh recently took a new job that has found him back in New York City. We are thrilled to have him closer as it will make visits much easier. Ben and I found ourselves heading to Connecticut this past weekend to celebrate my Grandparents 60th anniversary. Josh had only been in NYC for about a week and a half but was happy to have us tack onto our visit and stay for a few days. I knew Josh would be busy with work but Ben hasn’t really had the opportunity to hang out much in NYC and I wanted to make the most of it. We arrived on Sunday night after spending the day at the Westchester Country Club pool with my cousin Charlotte. She walked Ben around the kiddie pool for as long as he would tolerate and generally introduced him to the WCC life. Josh’s apartment, although temporary, was great. It had a walk-in closet that was big enough for us to set up Ben’s tent in and essentially Ben has his own room. We walked Ben over to 9th ave and found a place for dinner where we could sit outside and watch the world go by. Ben took everything in…taxi’s, buses, horses!…he was very entertained and drew comments from the pedestrians passing by. The next morning Ben and I met my aunt at Saks then walked over to her office. First we stopped off at a classic new york eatery that was all organic salads and sandwiches so we could bring back lunch and eat in the air conditioning of the office. (it was VERY hot in NYC). Ben got to meet lots of co-workers who have known me through most of my career and were excited to get to meet Ben in person. We played with toys my cousins played with when they were little and Ben practiced his walking from the couch to the coffee table, back to the couch ect. We had a great visit and I left with a new umbrella, beach towel and tee shirt (all reminding me of the many umbrellas, beach towels and tee shirts I have been missing out on in the past eight months that I have been unemployed!). From there we headed back to the apartment for a nap and then were off to meet one of my college friends for drinks at a local bar. Yes, I brought the baby to the bar. And…it wasn’t the first time…won’t be the last either. Josh met us over there and we did the hand off so Ben could have a night with Daddy and I was off to dinner with two of my other friends baby free. Whooo hooo! We had an adult dinner where nobody was climbing on me, shrieking, or banging on the table. I had forgotten dinner could be so civilized.
The next day we met a friend for lunch to check out the High Line. The High Line is a project that has been in the works for as long as I can remember. It runs along the west side and was an elevated railroad track that was built in the 1930’s. It had been abandoned since 1980 and became a thing of lore. Around 2000 a committee was formed to save the High Line and make it a park…nine years later, part of it is open! It was an amazing thing to see in the middle of New York and I’m so glad we got the chance to check it out.
After that we were able to meet up with our best friend from our NICU stay in New York. We grabbed a quick dinner and were reminded why taking one year olds out to dinner is so stressful but it was still great for us all to see each other and briefly catch up. After that was our final night at home with Josh and the three of us played and laughed. Josh got to see Ben get uncontrollable giggles while being allowed to walk around the apartment holding peoples hands. It’s the best part of being a parent and I was happy Josh got to see it. We were off the next morning with brief stops for coffee with another of my college friends and lunch up in CT with yet another college friend. From there it was home again.
We were back at the pediatricians at 10:15a Monday morning for a follow up to the previous days ER visit. We ended up in a different office than our regular one which is actually closer to our house. It was much quieter and we were seen right away. The way this doctor operates is that the nurse starts the visit off and asks you all the questions and everything is typed into a computer. I am starting to realize how annoying this is though. We have been to the doctors 6 times in the last 3 weeks. How many times is it really necessary to answer the question, “And is he on any medication?”. Like, yeah, it’s in his file you are staring at. The one that contains the list of medications. That YOU prescribe for him! No, no new rogue medications have been started since last freaking Friday when we saw you last! Ugh. Anyway, I didn’t connect with this particular nurse so all of her questions were slightly abrasive. “And what seems to be the problem today?” Um, again…the same problem when I called one hour ago, ER visit follow up. What is the point of being an “electronic office” if everything still runs the same?
Moving on to the doctor, or rather, nurse practitioner. We are starting to know all the medical staff at yet another pediatric practice. This NP had seen us last when the potential swine flu/whooping cough had just been starting. I went through the story with her and shared my concerns that whatever caused the dehydration had to have been more than, Ben took 3oz less than usual the prior day. She agreed and went to look at his labs from the ER visit. Guess what? There were no labs from the ER visit. Gee thanks community hospital. And you wonder why it pains to me to go to you rather than a large city hospital that WOULD HAVE TAKEN LABS. Add another thing to my check list of things to worry about when rushed to the ER. #27 Make sure they actually take labs.
We got sent back to the community hospital for an actual set of labs, although considering Ben was back to bouncing off walls, both NP and I agreed that most likely, nothing would be learned from the day late set of labs. NP had the front office call over to the community hospital though to make sure the one person on staff who was able to take blood from children would be there…otherwise we would have to go to Boston. I am beginning to see a theme…anything slightly out of the ordinary and we might as well just pack the car and head on down to Boston. This pretty much sealed the deal for Ben and I ever living more than 50 miles away from a major city. Burlington, VT…to think of what could have been… Luckily, our one trusty phlebotomist was working so we only were in for a 5 minute drive.
Upon arriving, we were passed off twice before SUPER phlebotomist came into the room. She actually removed the finger of her glove while showing me she swabbed her finger twice with alcohol. She told me that this was VERY against the rules but for Ben’s sake (and the sake of actually being sure she had found a vein) she would be going gloveless. Gloveless finger did the trick and we got blood from Ben! Whooo Hooo. Oh, this was also after amongst they openly discussed how doing a heel prick on a 13-month-old (which is what they did in the ER to get Ben’s glucose level) is a huge no-no. ER checklist rule #28: Do not allow heel pricks. Sigh. I didn’t even bother to ask why on that one.
Later in the day NP called with results. Turns out Ben has a high calcium level in his blood. This could cause lethargy. BUT, high calcium levels can be caused by dehydration. So, its kind of chicken and egg. We are going to test the levels once again in two weeks to see what the level is then. I will do my best to hold in the excitement I feel for Ben having to have blood drawn once again. Never a dull moment.
In Ben’s ongoing quest to visit the ER in every single place we live…we hit up the local Amesbury MA ER this morning/afternoon. Ben woke up late (10:15a!) and didn’t greet me with his usual enthusiasm. We sat down on the couch and he rested his head against me and closed his eyes. This is very un-Ben like. I called to my mom to watch him for a few minutes and when I placed him on the couch he became a rag doll. Ugh. One phone call to the pediatricians answering service later, I realized he was drenched in sweat yet was clammy. Lethargic, sweaty and clammy means we are off to the ER. I don’t need to be reminded the last time this happened we ended up in the hospital for three weeks after suffering from respiratory failure.
We were seen right away at the ER (that tends to happen when you are a recovering premie) and although his oxygenation level was fine, he was getting more and more lethargic. They couldn’t get an IV into him (thick skin?? combined with too many IVs when he was little lends itself to deeper veins which are a lot harder to find) so the next alternative was apple juice. Well, having never had apple juice before, Ben managed to perk up in order to drink some and it was like magic…he sort of snapped out of it. We were at the ER for four hours in total, and had to promise to go to the pediatrican tomorrow morning, but we were allowed to come home. Diagnosis: Dehydration. My concern is what caused the dehydration? He wasn’t the best eater yesterday but why? And does he really go downhill this fast?
Ben is still sick, but hopefully on his way to recovery…we went back to the doctors last Friday and Saturday. He is now on an oral steroid as well as his two different breathing treatments. I am told it is still just a cold but we will go back on Thursday for another check to make sure it hasn’t turned into Pneumonia. Josh will be back visiting on Wednesday so he will actually get to come with us again. He hasn’t had this much doctor time since Ben was born!