I haven’t written in a while because things have been a little busy here in Baby Land…
After a morning nap, we celebrated our friends’ graduation from Medical School! We got a chance to hang out with Kathleen’s family for lunch and with Liz’s family for dinner. It’s so funny to think that this was actually Julia’s second time going to the Tulane Med School graduation since she was technically there last year when Ken graduated from Medical School, only she was in my belly at the time!
Julia really seems to love social events… while we were with Kathleen’s family, she loved being held by Kathleen’s sister and her boyfriend, and she was so happy to watch the dogs running around the room. She even laughed when the dogs started barking at someone knocking on the door!
Sunday we went to the zoo with our Mommy & Baby Friends. It was Julia’s first time going to the zoo! She slept for a while, and was sleeping when we took this stroller picture of all the babies in front of the Elephant Fountain. It was really hot and muggy out and I had to put sunscreen on her for the first time, but I’m glad we got a chance to go to the zoo before leaving New Orleans. I’m definitely excited that Baltimore has a good zoo, since when Julia gets to be a little older, it will be a lot of fun to have a zoo to go to.
I think she’s still a little too young to appreciate the animals at the zoo, since she was more interested in looking at all the people than she was in looking at the animals, but I had a good time at least, and enjoyed hanging out with the other Moms. It’s always nice to talk with moms of babies the same age so that you can compare and contrast and talk about things that are working, things that aren’t working, etc. We ended up talking most of the time about what the babies are eating, how they’re sleeping, what fun tricks they can do, what toys they like to play with, etc. We also stopped for lunch in one of the cafeterias–it was nice to sit in the AC for a while and it gave us a chance to nurse the babies and then let them play on the table for a little while.
Monday after work, before picking up Julia, I stopped to visit Baby Leigha. She is just so precious and teeny tiny. It’s hard to believe she’s just about the same size that Julia was when she was born. It’s amazing how many changes they go through in such a short period of time! Julia looks closer in size to our 20-month old neighbor than she does to Leigha, even though she’s closer in age to Leigha.
Evan and Jade seem to be doing well with Leigha at home, though of course they are exhausted (they’re supposed to be–they have a newborn!). It’s nice to feel as though we are a source of information for them since we were just there a few months ago and we understand what they are going through. It’s always nice to have someone who has the newborn stage fresh in their memory while you’re going through it so they can remind you that this, too, shall pass. I also feel like seeing us and Julia is kind of like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for them, since they can see what they have to look forward to!
When I picked Julia up from daycare Monday afternoon, they told me that she had thrown up three times after her last bottle of the day and that she had diarrhea. This was her first time exhibiting any sort of gastro-intestinal symptoms, so they suggested we keep an eye on her. I got her home, where she was a bit more fussy than usual, but didn’t seem too sick… but since she did have a bit of a fever, we gave her Tylenol, and then she went to sleep without a problem. She woke up after an hour, screaming, which is very unlike her, so I went in to check on her. The minute I sat down to nurse her, she threw up, and her vomit was red from the Tylenol. After nursing, she went right back to sleep and slept through the night.
Tuesday morning she seemed okay… she nursed fine, didn’t throw up, didn’t have a fever, etc. so I took her to daycare and asked them to call me if there were any problems. Around 11:30 AM they called to say that Julia had a fever. I picked her up at about 12:30, by which time her fever had gone down, but she had two little sores on her tongue. I wasn’t really sure what they were or how I could make them hurt less, so I called the doctor to schedule an appointment for that afternoon. Julia seemed miserable Tuesday afternoon… her tongue was clearly bothering her–she kept sticking it out, was drooling a lot, and the only thing that seemed to help was nursing and sucking on things–her thumb, her pacifier, toys, etc.
At the doctor, her temperature was about 100 degrees, and it turned out she had an ear infection in one ear. The doctor said that probably what happened was she got an upper respiratory viral infection, which could have caused the nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and then she developed a secondary ear infection. The trend amongst pediatricians is to prescribe fewer antibiotics but the doctor said that in a baby as young as she is, she does like to treat ear infections, especially when they are accompanied by a fever. If she didn’t have the fever, we probably would have just let her clear the infection on her own. So this is baby’s first ear infection and first course of antibiotics! I asked the doctor about how contagious she was, and the doctor said that the general rule of thumb is that kids should be on antibiotics for 24 hours before going back to school, so I kept her home Wednesday and took the day off to stay home with her. When Julia is sick, she sleeps more than usual, and that was what tipped off the folks at daycare that something was not quite right. Tuesday morning she took a 2 hour nap at daycare. Then, when we got home, she took a 30-minute nap before we went to the doctor and she took another 45-minute nap when we got home from the doctor.
Wednesday, we spent most of the day at home, but we did run out to get a few errands done… and Julia went in the grocery cart at Rouse’s for the first time! She loved it and was smiling the whole time! I think she liked being able to look around at everything and everyone. She was making lots of happy cooing noises and lots of people stopped to smile at her!
Last night was the first night in a while that Julia didn’t sleep through the night. She woke up at about 2:15 and since she’s sick, we didn’t feel comfortable letting her cry. Ken went to get her from her crib and I nursed her in bed, which, of course, made her go back to her old ways… she only slept for about a half an hour between 2:15 and 4 AM, at which point I decided to go back into her room to put her to sleep. I nursed her for about 10 more minutes until she seemed calm and sleepy, and then I put her in her crib with her pacifier and she went back to sleep for about 2 more hours.
When she gets sick, I can’t help but think of it as a blessing and a curse… of course it’s a curse because I don’t like to see her sick. It breaks my heart when she’s not feeling well or in pain and there’s not much I can do to help her feel better. She’s also so small, vulnerable and helpless and I can’t explain to her that if she rests, drinks fluids, and takes her medicines, she’ll feel better in a day or two. She can’t understand what’s happening, which makes it worse. At the same time, it’s almost a blessing when she’s sick since it means I get to stay home with her… we get extra snuggles and we get to take Mommy & Baby Nap Time together.
Anyway… that’s my story… sorry it was so long, but a lot has happened since I wrote last! There’s a lot coming up in the next several weeks, too… here’s what I know of so far:
Saturday: Crawfish Boil at Ken’s Masonic Lodge
Monday: Memorial Day (Ken will be working nights so he probably won’t be the best company but hopefully we’ll get to spend a few hours together during the day before he has to go back into the hospital for his Monday night shift).
Next weekend: Goodbye Weekend for our Rabbi & his family at our Synagogue. We’re getting a babysitter to watch Julia Friday night and Sunday night so we can go to the events at the Shul. Also next weekend, our friend Caitlin will be in town for a wedding and we will (hopefully) have a chance to see her and introduce her to the baby!
June 3rd: My last day at work!
June 7th: Julia’s 8-month checkup, just a day before she officially turns 8 months old!
June 10th: Packing up our moving truck, and my parents get into town to help with the move!
June 11th: We hit the road for our move to Baltimore!
June 15th: We move into our new house in Baltimore!
So as you can see, life is a little stressful right now… but we’re rolling with the punches and taking it one day at a time. Luckily, Ken and I have a good balance: he gets really stressed out by big things like this while I’m usually the calm one during big life changes. We’ve always done well as a team when we need to get things done and I’m sure this won’t be an exception!