26 November 2009

Tub Time

School's out, so no more swimming for a while. Since Vera likes water, we let her soak in this big red tub. A piece of tegaderm waterproof plaster prevents water from going into the g-button. Her legs are longer now and there wasn't much space for her to stretch out. I think she still prefers the swimming pool.

21 November 2009

Vera Turns 21

Months, that is.

I said to Ian, 'We should celebrate...after all, we might not get to celebrate her 21 years.'

We've gotten lazy with her monthly birthday-dos. So I'd just mark it with the changes that have gotten her to where she is today:

She's started to grip things and look at them.
(achievement of the month)

She's started to blow raspberries.
(saliva bubbles)

She's beginning to show a preference for Mummy vs Daddy.
(she fixates on me when presented with both our faces)

She's putting on the pounds steadily.
(finally. Her weight had been stagnant for a year!)

She's getting lazy.
(sitting up used to be fun, till the novelty wore off)

She's enjoys school now.
(classtime, therapy time, pool time)

She's babbling more.
(we can tell the different sounds for "lonely", "complaining", "sleepy")

Some things haven't changed:

She's not having anything on her face - mask, nasal prong whatever.

She still does her 'towkay' thingie whenever she's lying down.

She still enjoys tapping.
(your face if you're near)

She's still Daddy's little girl.

16 November 2009

Drum Roll Please

After weeks of suspense, here are the amnio results...

46: Normal pairs of chromosomes
XY: It's a boy

A little brother for Vera. A little Ian for me.

How Mothers Learn

From other mothers.

This great little tip from Connie to fix the oxygen tubing to a soft toy made me go "Now that's a great idea why didn't I think of it?"

Now we simply need to reposition the 'OxyBunny' when she turns during her afternoon nap.

Hooray for helpful moms!

13 November 2009

Perseverance Pays Off

The focus this past month has been to improve Vera's grip. Beth would work on it during feeds, I would continue during play time in between. We tried different objects and found that she manages long and slim better than fat and round ones. It seems like she's starting to get the hang of it. Lots of work but well worth it!

Afternoon Nap

Turns out the little feisty one is a light sleeper like me. No nasal cannular going anywhere near her during her mid-day shut-eye. I tried, but she wakes instantly.

So rather than risk depriving her of sleep, I'm trying this out. Of course that means I have to watch her and reposition the tube whenever she turns. I wonder if this is effective though. Meanwhile, we'll just have to press on with the prongs in the night.

11 November 2009

Interrupted Sleep

"Once you're a parent, you never really sleep again, even when you're sleeping." - Hope Edelman

I thought we'd all sleep better with the oxygen. I guess I celebrated too early.

As with all equipment, there is always an adjustment period. Like getting used to ng feeding,and gtube feeding. Just that this time, sleep is involved.

The past few nights have been an eye-opener. Literally.

I wake up to find the prongs out of her nostrils, or bent (they're soft silicon) at the nostrils, hissing with air - this is the main reason for her fidgeting in her sleep. Other times, I wake (she wakes me with her disgruntled tossing) to find the tubing entangled in her arms. Or the tape coming off her face.

Each time, I've had to sort her out, and rock her back to sleep. This happens approximately once every hour. To a point where I think, "What's the point of sleeping?" and the quote above comes sharply to mind.

The regrettable fact is that I am an extremely light sleeper. Turn on a light and I wake, grind your teeth in your sleep (Ian does) and I wake. I've been brought up on the Chinese mantra "zao sui zao qi shen ti hao" : Sleep early, get up early, good for health. All my life, I've been a nine-hour-a-night sleeper, starting at 11pm.

Now, I don't know anymore. I try my best to nap as long as I can in the day (that's the great thing about having a helper). So I can get up when Vera needs attention. But come 3am, my system is ready for shutdown. And Beth wakes at 6am to take over. So between 3-6am, if Vera needs attention, I become the grumpiest, foul-mouth night animal. Because I can't get up, and I can't sleep either because of the disturbance.

It's interesting what happens to my mind when I'm sleep deprived. In my stupor, my thoughts are still racing, in a downward spiral. This can't go on! I need to sleep but I can't! It will just get worse in my third trimester. And even worse when the baby comes! I'll be feeding through the night! It's all gonna go downhill from here!

My heart races. I hallucinate. I think I was ranting away but I don't remember what I said.

The baby inside me rouses, making it clear that he or she had been disturbed. The movements are clearly agitated. Well done, now I've awakened someone else as well.

Fingers crossed, the little one in the womb won't take after my current sleeping habits.

08 November 2009

Joy in Motion

Just like every other kid, Vera loves movement. And because she isn't as mobile as normal kids, we make sure she gets as much from us as possible.

However with my growing tummy, physio with her is becoming a little more strenuous (and clumsy) for me. But still, I'd much prefer doing physio for her than for myself, ie prenatal yoga stretches. I keep saying Vera's getting lazy with her physio exercises. Well, I'm not much better myself!


Oh those little flutterings have started.

The ones that make you realise for certain there's something alive inside you.

The medical term for it is 'quickening' - I call it butterflies in the stomach.

If there's one thing that makes pregnancy worth it for all its other unpleasant symptoms, it is this.

The movement that springs from within you - and you can only imagine what aquatic acrobatics are being performed.

07 November 2009

First Oxy Night

We got our oxygen concentrator rental set yesterday and tried it on Vera last night.

It was a big, bulky machine, larger than a desktop CPU. And as Sister Rachel had pre-empted us, it was noisy. Think fish tank motor running through the night, giving out regular sneeze-like sounds intermittently. We had to place it in another room, close the door, and run the tubing to our room.

So we got round to 12 midnight where - we hoped - Vera would be in deep enough sleep to take the little instrusion lying down. The first time, she fought it off. The second time, we managed to get it on, with daddy rocking her back to sleep. We secured it by tape on her upper cheeks as suggested by Cathy (thanks for the advice!) and hooked it around the ears.

Vera slept through the night and seemed to toss and turn less. Once or twice in the night the prongs came out of her nostrils and I put them back easily. Definitely less painful than the CPAP mask!

This morning, she didn't wake up struggling with her breathing as before. Fingers crossed tonight will be just as smooth sailing. Hopefully she'll get used to it within the next week or so.

Looking bright and well-rested this morning.

02 November 2009

Gotta Have Oxygen

So there. Vera's gotta have oxygen via a nasal prong when she sleeps. Mommy's a little disappointed to hear that the oximeter study reported regular bouts of desaturation through the night to the lowest of 68. So much for staying up and looking at numbers in the golden nineties.

CPAP is more effective in dealing with the obstructive apnea, whereas giving oxygen does just that, it doesn't clear the obstruction. But no choice, Vera doesn't want the mask. Smart girl. I'd go for the nasal prong too, it looks much more comfortable.

Oh well. Just gotta get used to Vera's new look at night. Not exactly looking forward to having our first permanent machine at home. Fingers crossed she'll accept this without the fuss of the CPAP mask.