Friday, October 31, 2008

Scary Night

Yes, Halloween is a scary holiday, but this year was especially scary.  Clint was out of town on a business trip and Sophie spent the weekend with her dad so Elizabeth and I went to a friend's house to hang out.  I started Elizabeth on one of her new medications.  She was supposed to start two new meds, but I decided just to give her one at a time.  After her 4th dose of the medication on Friday, Elizabeth began having seizures.  It was very scary because she was unresponsive during them. I tried to reach our pediatrician on call, but could not.  I called the pharmacist and he said it sounded like she was having an adverse reaction to the new meds or potentially an overdose.  My friend called 911.  EMS came and by then, she was stable and her vitals looked good so they said we could stay at the house and monitor her.  The EMT thought that Elizabeth's pediatrician prescribed too high of a dosage for her weight and on top of that, the pharmacist advised me to administer the drug in too frequent of intervals.  Elizabeth continued to vomit through the night, but was much better by the morning.  

When we went to see the pediatrician the next morning, she thought the seizures were unrelated to the new medication which was the wrong dosage and wanted us to get a CT scan and EEG done. Unrelated?  We think someone was trying to cover her behind. Anyway, Elizabeth is doing fine now and we have decided to take the medical doctors and the medication out of the picture for now.  We have not really seen any improvement in her condition yet and the new medication actually put her in a potentially life threatening situation.

Elizabeth has not had any medication since Friday.  I have been nursing her around the clock and she is doing well.  We are researching some natural remedies for reflux to help relieve her discomfort, but mostly we are praying and believing that her Creator knows her best and will heal her body. 

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall Fun

We went to Hill Ridge Farms - the best place for fall festivities!  They have a bouncy house, a couple of kid friendly mazes, a giant slide, a corn house (like the ball pits, but with dry corn cute and fun), animals, pony rides, gem panning, train rides, and of course, hay rides to the pumpkin patch.  I forgot the camera (bummer), but a friend took these two pics for me.  

at home carving the BIG pumpkin...


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

3 month photos

Here are some more pics of Elizabeth Rose at 3 months old...

"Mommy, stop taking my picture and pick me up!"

Gotta love that fussy face :)  

Crying again...

...but my pacifier makes it all better :)

"Hey, bath time is not so bad when big sissy plays with me!"

  She is my little snuggle buddy after those baths.  I love that snuggle time :)

3 months old today!!

I can't believe our sweet baby is already 3 months old!  I have to remind myself for the record that she was growing well and was so peaceful the first six weeks of her life.  She was on target to be in the 50% range for height and weight.  

Unfortunately, these last six weeks she has not made the same progress.  She weighs 10 lbs. 4 oz. today which barely has her on the growth chart at 3% range and is 22" tall which has dropped her to the 15% range.  Since the reflux causes her to throw up so much, she is not able to gain the nourishment she needs from my milk to grow.  We recently doubled the dosage of medication she is on and the pediatrician recommended that we switch to a combination of two more aggressive meds to be given 6 times a day, but we are giving her one more week to show some sign of progress.  I am also breastfeeding her every two hours now during the day and waking her every 4 hours at night (or at least trying to) so I can nurse her and try to increase her weight. Of course there is much talk about supplementing with formula or rice cereal, but I don't really want to do that yet since she is so young.  I have been really frustrated lately.  

However, yesterday she had a great day!  She did not throw up as much and she did not cry because of pain until 4:00 pm.  That is a miracle!  On Sunday night, we took her to church and had our pastors pray over her.  It was an awesome time of prayer and I know God heard our pleas for healing.  He is so faithful to answer so we are waiting with great expectations!! 

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Name Game

Some Monday fun - Will you help us play the name game?

We have been calling Elizabeth by her full name since she was born, but it is becoming apparent that a nickname would be helpful.  Many people are trying to give her a nickname anyway.  My dad, some of my neighbors, and a few others like to call her Lizzie.  My friend's little boy calls her baby Bef (for Beth).  We have also heard Liz, Liza, Izzy, Ellie, Libby and I am sure I am forgetting a few. Her name is also a long one to say and write and we didn't realize that it would cause so much trouble for people:)!  

We had originally planned to call her Ella, but Clint likes Elle (pronounced as one syllable) too. I'm sure we will continue to call her Elizabeth from time to time, but I think it is time to start using a nickname as well.  Note to self - Name the next child (if we are blessed with another) what we will call him or her eliminating the full name/nick name dilemma :)
What do you think?  Ella or Elle?  Any other suggestions to throw in the mix?  Thanks for playing!!   

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


GERD - Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.  A disorder that occurs when the acid in the stomach comes back up the esophagus causing pain, vomiting, coughing episodes, and extreme fussiness in infants and children.  Sophie has struggled with this since birth and still needs to be medicated when she has episodes.  

Recently, GERD has struck again in our home attacking poor, sweet, innocent, baby Elizabeth!! Unfortunately, Elizabeth has a severe case of the GERD and it has been reaking havok with her little body.  I knew the first night in the hospital after her birth that something was wrong because every time we placed her on her back in the bassinet she screamed.  Then, she woke up with a coughing fit, obviously choking on something and turned purple.  We had to do an emergency call for a nurse as Elizabeth struggled to get a breath.  The episode was dismissed as an isolated event because they thought she may have just had some extra stuff in her airways from the birth experience.  Elizabeth slept a lot during her first 6 weeks and seemed happy and healthy for the most part, but I did notice that she wasn't nursing as often as she should have been (probably because it hurt her).  Then, somewhere between 7 and 8 weeks she stopped progressing.  She began having the choking episodes and breathing difficulties again, she was constantly vomiting up her milk (not just spit up... the chunky stuff), her voice was extremely hoarse (from the acid), and she was terribly fussy; crying during most of her awake hours. Elizabeth had also stopped gaining weight.  Since I am no stranger to reflux, I knew that she had it.  Clint's mom is a nurse and she also recognized the reflux symptoms while we were in Arkansas.  However, due to the severity of Elizabeth's symptoms and the fact that she was not gaining weight, we were sent to the hospital for further testing.  It was an awful experience as Elizabeth endured chest X-rays, an EKG, and other poking and prodding.  We were told that she may have a congenital heart defect or pulmonary disease, or a malformity.  Yikes!  It was a little scary there for a few hours, but all of the tests came back normal.  She just has a nasty case of GERD!  She started medication two weeks ago today.  There have been some improvements the best one being that she is finally gaining weight again.  She is over 10 lbs. now and is back on the growth chart.  She is 11 weeks old so she still has some catching up to do, but that's ok.  She is our little peanut! She is vomiting less although Monday and Tuesday of this week were really bad.  She has still been quite fussy too.  Hopefully the medicine will continue to bring her some relief and of course we are praying for a complete healing!    

Friday, October 3, 2008

Trip to Arkansas

At the end of September, we went to Arkansas to spend some time with Clint's family and introduce them to the newest member of the Halsted family - Elizabeth.  She is the 10th grandchild for his parents!  Sophie loves to see all of her cousins there and some of us went to the Ozark Mountains National State Park to explore some of Arkansas's beauty...

This beauty was happy in her stroller for the adventure :)

This is Clint's cousin, Jason, his wife, Hannah, and their son, Colin, walking with me, Sophie and Elizabeth

This is one of Clint's brother's, Kenneth, and his son Noah

We also went down into a cave that was about 250 feet below the surface.  Kinda creepy...but very fascinating!