Friday, December 20, 2013

Mercy is 9 months old! (And an update)

Whew...we almost missed it this month!  Let's see, the last time I blogged was Sunday night (after a busy day of baking pies, not to mention my little head bump).  Not long after I finished the blog post, I rounded up kids and headed to bed.  First thing I noticed was that Mercy had a croup-like, sharp cough.  She didn't sound good at all.  She was crabby, but  her nose was not stuffy.  We cuddled up in bed, and she struggled to get comfy.  Not too much later, Mitch buzzed in and out--he had been playing basketball, and was on his way to the cities for a technology in education conference.  I got Mercy settled back down just in time for a knock on the door--Zeke was not feeling well.  A few minutes later there was another knock--Micah came to tell me that he and Zeke were both throwing up.  At this point I was juggling Mercy and keeping her comfortable was extremely difficult.  I was praying that Tirzah and Obadiah would sleep and not get sick.  I asked Micah to help Zeke the best he could, and decided that I would clean up whatever--even puke off the carpet--in the morning.  Yep, it could sit all night.  I texted Mitch, who text me back to let me know he had just pulled over and threw up.  I implored him to turn around and come home, but he said there was no way he could make it, he nearly fell asleep on the drive down.  ::sigh::  Mercy did not sleep well, but the warzone the next morning was not as bad as I imagined.  Two more kids--Malachi and Caleb--had joined the ranks of the ill.  I can't remember having so many people under one roof get sick at exactly the same time, but you know what?  I actually breathed a prayer of thankfulness.  I can't stand it when one person gets sick every other day and it takes 2 weeks for a virus to move on so we can give the "all clear."  Mercy was SO sick all day long.  Her cough definitely sounded like croup to me, and she was running a low-grade fever.  A couple times I picked up a stethoscope to listen to her lungs, which sounded clear to me.  I had her 9-month well-child check already scheduled with the doctor on Tuesday morning, so I decided to wait it out.  Mitch was on the mend, and at this point I encouraged him to stay and rest--I figured that maybe he could take in some of the conference, and at this point he had already exposed his roommate.  As I headed to bed with the kids again, I prayed that Tirzah and Obi would not get sick.  But I also went to bed with two bowls and a stack of towels in case they did.  Sure enough, Tirzah did get sick.  It turned out to be the one time all night long that I was able to put Mercy down.  I threw the bowl in front of Tirzah just in time, laid Mercy down, and then helped Tirzah clean up.  She didn't get sick any more.  I wasn't feeling so hot myself, and Mercy was really not doing well.  When she was awake, she would have stridor so bad that she couldn't hardly even cry.  (I later learned that this should have scared me.)  It was a really long night.  I remember lying awake at 10:30 thinking, "Ok, we are an hour and a half closer to dawn." And then at 11:00, "Ok, that's two hours down."  Continue...all night long.  At the doctor the next day, both her nurse and the doctor were not pleased.  They each checked her pulse/ox level first using an older machine (better for adults) which gave a scary number, then using a machine borrowed from peds which gave us 99-100%.  So she was getting oxygen!  The doctor agreed with me and said that her lungs sounded great (whew!).  But the scary part is that the stridor was caused by a swelling of the throat around the vocal cords.  The concern there is that just a little more would mean a blocked airway.  The doctor gave her a dose of Decadron, and said that though we had most likely lived through the worst of it already, she would turn the corner now for sure.  Looking back now, I wish I had taken her in on Monday.  I understand that my circumstances were so overwhelming that I just couldn't even really see it at the time, but it would have been so much better for her if I'd gotten her help sooner.  This is one of those times where I am so thankful that God is in control.  Our lives were in His hands all the time, and He brought her through it (and He brought me through it too, rather naively!).  Everyone is on the mend, and I think I'm getting caught up on sleep finally.  Final count for not throwing up: me, Eden, Josh, and Obi.  Did we get a gentler version of the virus or is it going to be in our future? I think we got a gentler version.  We all had days where we just felt "off."  I took Mercy back in for a follow-up visit on Wednesday, and her stridor was nearly gone.  She only struggled when she got upset--if I could keep her calm, she could breathe normally.  By today she is just suffering from a normal, productive cough.  Sometimes the gunk makes her gag and throw up, but otherwise we pretty much have our happy sweet girl back.

So...Mercy was 9 months old on Tuesday in the midst of all that craziness!

At 9 months, Mercy
 ~had her first candy cane
 ~is 17 lbs, 7 oz (8 kg)
~is 27.5 in long
~wears 6-9 month clothing, with a couple 12-month items
~still wears size 3 disposable diapers (we've not been using cloth for a few months)
~has 6 teeth
 ~seems to be doing better with her eczema issues
~has not made much improvement in the area of eating solid foods--she still refuses most purees served on a spoon, but will taste anything she finds on the floor (gross!)
 ~endured her first stuffy-nose virus just after Thanksgiving (anyone who has nursed a baby knows how difficult it is for a baby to learn how to nurse while they can't breathe out of their nose)
~now has endured her first bout of croup (sad face below is from Tuesday when she was so sick)
 ~bites us on the arm/shoulder when she is mad or frustrated (argh! I don't know what to do about this nasty little habit!), of course she has nipped me a few times while she is nursing too, and I try not to make a big deal out of it.  Sometimes it means we just are done nursing for the session.  She looks genuinely confused when it happens, so I hope she figures out the connection soon.
~does some babbling sounds: ma-ma, da-da, etc, but I don't think they mean much yet
~"sings" along whenever we are singing, listening to music, or at church
~is bravely trying to let go when she pulls up to stand

 ~is going to have one sad, sad momma when she grows out of ^that shirt
~is in a really bad habit of "needing" to be held in order to stay asleep, but when she was sick, that was a given.  Since her best buddy Caleb was sick on Monday, Josh stepped up to lot.  They fell asleep together on the couch:
I think that's it for least it's all my brain can think of!

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