29 January 2009

Mr Mucus Is Back

Our celebration was shortlived. Vera is down with the flu bug once again. We don't know how she caught it this time. Maybe from the chilly weather that doesn't seem to abate, even though it's already near February. Maybe from someone in the crowd during the celebration. Seeing her healthy makes us forget that her immune system is actually rather weak. Mommy has some immune-system supplements generously given by a kind mother but was so busy with the new helper to start them proper. Now is the time I guess. No more New Year visiting for us for now.

My First Ang Pow

Someone got Vera a really pretty dress for Lunar New Year, with little chinese buttons. Unfortunately, we've forgotten who it was! So terrible of us.

Vera had a really good time. She was good with the crowds and stayed up past her usual day naps because of all the stimulation. Thank you uncles and aunties for all the ang pows (red packets) for little Vera.

24 January 2009

Happy 11th Month

And here we are, at 11 months, one more to the big ONE. It's like how when you run a marathon, when the destination is in sight, you almost feel light-footed and light-hearted. Here she is, smiling and responding more than ever, enjoy people's company, and her own much more. She's able to sit for longer in her seat, raise her head longer, and even manage a turn or two. She's more talkative than ever. Auntie Jacq once told me during the earlier inconsolable days that the time to enjoy her will come. How true!

For those who enjoy her with us, thank you for walking this far with us to the one year mark! We look forward to sharing much more of Vera's trials and tribulations with you.

22 January 2009

One Good Turn

Vera surprised us last night. She rolled over for the first time! We were so proud of her. She'd been practising lifting up one leg to get some turning radius for the past week, and last night she finally did it. Twice.

For those not in the know, this is a major milestone for T18 babies. It shows that her spine is slowly strengthening and she's learning about the motion of her limbs and what they can do. What a great 11th month gift for us!

21 January 2009

Who To Believe

Vera's night Darth Vader breathing was worrying mommy, especially when a Chinese physician listened to her lungs and said that there was a lot of phlegm suck inside. So we brought her to Dr. B for an urgent visit to confirm. I was already prepared to have her suctioned again with the machine.

Turns out, Dr B says her lungs sound very clear. The gurgling noises are probably from pooling of saliva in her throat and a floppy airway. The latter is common in T18 babies. The medical term is Tracheomalacia. We'll be seeing the ENT to determine the severity of the problem. Will keep you posted.

18 January 2009

Her Old Self

FINALLY, Vera's back. Mr Mucous and friends have taken a holiday and she's her old self once again. The collateral damage is that she doesn't breathe as well as before the bout - now there's a heaving sound through the night coming from her lungs, and intermittent choking on deep-inside phlegm - she sounds worse than Darth Vader.

But a happy girl she is. That's why we even ventured a Walk in the Park - her first time to East Coast Park. She had her first feel of sand and sea! One of the rites of passage of any baby, isn't it? Not much reaction from her though. But the sun in her eyes sure irritated her!

14 January 2009

Vera Has Scoliosis

We brought Vera for massage to clear her mucus and the doctor felt a clear S-curve on her spine.

Oh no. So it has worsened. Probably because she enjoys standing so much, but also because her one leg is significantly shorter than the other, by almost an inch and a half, the slanting posture is probably putting strain on her spine. Also, it could be that we've been carrying her upright most of the time since she was a baby, and her neck can't support her head well, putting extra pressure on her spine.

As I see a Chiropractor regularly myself, I know how a misaligned spine can wreak havoc on everything from our breathing, to headaches, backaches, and tiredness.

We are clueless now as to what to do: What is the best treatment now to prevent the scoliosis from getting worse? Do we bring her to an Osteopath, a Chiropractor, a Physiotherapist or an Orthopedic surgeon? We hope to get some answers soon.

12 January 2009

I Love My Daddy

I love it when
my daddy carries me
to the window, downstairs,
here there, everywhere.
I like to look at his face
and snuggle in his embrace.

11 January 2009

Breathing Issues

Could Vera be having obstructive sleep apnea?

This is her breathing pattern at night: 5 short breaths, followed by silence. Repeat again. Occasionally, 3 coughs, followed by a sneeze. There is a pattern here we know for sure. She's less alert in the day as well, I don't know if it's because she's working too hard at night at breathing.

I've read that it can worsen hypertension. Her latest readings were higher than before, I have a strange feeling they could be linked. Will we have to put her on a breathing machine to help her breathe at night? Does she have floppy airways? Questions, questions...

This cold is really worrying me. It's been nearly a month now since it started. Also, it's the cold season, although we don't have snow, it's chilly, more so since the weather changes became more pronounced over the years.

Vera seems to do alright in the day, upright, and struggles when lying down. I've given up sleeping, given the light sleeper that I am, because I just can't sleep with her noisy breathing. So here I am, being the night watch yet again.

07 January 2009

Sleeping It Through

When you can't beat the bug, go to sleep. We brought Vera to see another doc who gave her something to fight Mr Running Tap. It causes her to be drowsy, so she slept most of yesterday. Good for her, and good for us too. Vera knows she's Number One on everyone's minds these days.

05 January 2009

A Hard Day's Night

Just 4 days into the new year, and Vera is more sick than ever. This time, Mr Mucous is Mr Running Tap and he's brought with him Cousin Cough and Fever Friend. Vera is no match for them. We looked at her and knew, 'it's gonna be a bad night'. Ian and I were up practically the whole night, suctioning snot, turning her, feeding her, rocking her back to sleep, suctioning snot, zzz, suctioning snot, zzz, suctioning... I try to remind myself that she was the one in discomfort, not being able to breathe and sleep, while I just have to deal with lack of sleep. We've made the call to give her antibiotics, Augmentin, although we know it can be a bit strong for little stomachs. Well, we'll have to take our chances. Tonight is gonna be bad too I dare say. Afterall, she has to get worse before getting better. Fingers crossed, the Superbugs will take a hike and I'll get my happy little girl back.

01 January 2009

Chin Up Part I

I'd not been doing physio with Vera for the longest time. I'm at work, she's been sick. So I thought I'd try today just to see how she's doing. The little girl held this position for 45 seconds! So she IS improving - the last I counted was 25 seconds. She can't yet get herself into this position, of course. We place her. Kudos to daddy who has been doing PT with her at home.

Happy 2009 Vera

Dear Vera,

Happy New Year to you. You're 10 months old now. Although you spent the first days of your life surrounded by beeping machines and tubes, you managed to come out and see this wonderful world. Though most times you've been home, you've also been to parks which were too bright for you, you've been on car rides where you enjoy looking at the bright passing lights, and you've seen fireworks for the first time! You must be wondering what the celebration's all about. Let's just say they are for you. Although you've had your 1st fall, your 1st bout of flu, and you're finding it difficult to breathe well with all your congestion in the chest, you're coping with them. From a newborn who could not see or follow very well, you're now captivated by any face that speaks to you and you stare innocently for the longest time. Though you cannot yet swallow well, you did enough to pass your 1st VFSS (swallow study), and you enjoy sips of water by mouth. The best part though is your toothless smile, you respond whenever you're tickled or massaged. All mommy asked for was for you to see and smile - but you've given us so, so much more! Hmmm...looks like we have to set new expectations for you : )

In 2009, you're probably gonna get a g-tube because you're getting quite good at ripping off your ng tube; you're probably gonna go to school for the 1st time (early intervention programme) and get started on vaccinations (we hope you'll take them well).

Mommy and Daddy have been blessed with a lot of people who shower love on you. I think that's why from a highly irritable little baby you're now actually pretty calm and happy (when you're well that is). Love and attention works wonders.

So thank you for coming into our lives. And showing mommy what life is about: Joy through sorrow, achievement through perseverance, and love through kindness.

Happy New Year Vera!