How Old is Hallie?

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

How Old is Lea?

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sitting pretty, standing tall, and breathing like a champ

Even though this is only Tuesday, Hallie has already had a pretty busy week. It started out with a visit to the pulmonologist. Given that these visits are usually long and involve a lot, it's kind of odd how much Hallie enjoys them. While she might not smile at her pediatrician (who is super cute, and makes us smile), she LOVES the pulmonolgists and thinks that her visits there are an opportunity to giggle, wiggle, and play. So she was in her characteristically good mood for the entire visit, which lasted longer than usual because the Pulmonology fellow was having such a good time hanging out and playing with Hallie.

But, of course, they did more than just hang out. First, they weighed Hallie. She weighed in at a whopping 13 lbs, which is equivalent to TEN times her birth weight. This is pretty impressive. And it's getting harder and harder to believe that she once weighed 590 grams.

Then they checked her pulse ox. This was the second visit we've made to a doctor which did not involve the transportation of supplemental oxygen. Suffice it to say that it's a whole lot easier to get her in and out of the car and stroller without lugging an oxygen tank (even the nice little backpack kind), not to mention easier to weigh her and get her in and out of her clothing. Anyway, they checked her oxygenation level and she was satting 100% WITHOUT assistance. We can still remember the times, not so long ago, when she'd dip into the 80s (not to mention the occasional 20s, but we're trying to forget that) on Os. So Sharon had a lovely time watching her wiggle and wriggle and still sat like a champ.

Then they listened to her lungs and they sounded great. Her upper airway is still congested, which is not too surprising given that she just had the croup, probably still has a floppy airway from being intubated for so long, and may have some residual reflux. But they were satisfied with how she sounded, particularly since she did have a cold/croup last week. They were very surprised that she managed to get through being sick without needing hospitalization and felt that this spoke well for her lungs and general sturdiness. We are grateful for this, over and over.

The plan for the future is to do an overnight pulseoxometry check (with a downloadable machine at home, instead of doing a regular sleep study in the hospital) and to see whether she needs any support during REM sleep. If not, we may be able to lose the oxygen all together. Meanwhile, we have to keep her growing, and ideally growing faster. She's currently at the 25th percentile for height and weight at her corrected age (just shy of 5 months) but they want her on the nonadjusted chart sooner rather than later. This means that she needs to get bigger faster. We're not sure how we're going to accomplish this, and of course this feeds (so to speak) our obsession with food volume. But she is getting easier to feed and is beginning to exhibit some interest in bigger bottles and solids. Last night she had her favorite meal ever: prunes and applesauce. Yum. This, of course has had some consequences. In the realm of too much information: Her middle of the night poop was so, um, fragrant, that I wasn't sure I could bear changing her. Of course, I wasn't about to let her sit in a dirty diaper, so I pinched my nose and tried to ignore the stench. This was followed by two more mammoth poops this afternoon and I won't be surprised if there isn't a third on the horizon. So, tonight, we're trying prunes mixed with bananas instead.

In addition to breathing well, she is also much more stable and balanced. She's been practicing her standing:

Notice the funny little look on her face!

And today, during a most excellent session with her Special Instructor Crystal, she held a sitting position on her own for a personal best of 24 seconds. She's correcting her balance on her own, putting her arms out to catch herself and is in the process of forgetting that she doesn't know how to sit (mostly because she DOES know how to sit). I hand it to Sharon for practicing with Hallie a lot yesterday. This is one determined little girl, and I feel honored to be her mom. Anyway, here's one of many shots I took. In it, she is being 'supported' by loosely grasping Crystal's finger; there are other shots where she is sitting on her own but they're a bit blurry.

Finally, Hallie is beginning to scooch. Most of the time she needs something she can push off of--like my legs. But she's managed to do this on her own a few times. She gets really frustrated, but she's so determined to reach her beloved clutch cube!


Kellie said...

Great news on the sats and the gross motor milestones. It sounds like Hallie is moving right along. Isn't it amazing when you can look at that pulse ox and it reads 100% and then you look at their face and it is tube-less??

Maggie (Sarah's mom) said...

Hooray for Hallie!!! I'm happy she's tubeless during the day. I'm sending wishes that she does awesome on the overnight monitoring and she's off the tubes for good!!!

Prunes and bananas should offset. LOL about the poo part of the story but definitely one I can relate to.

Hallie is getting to be a big girl!

Kim said...

Wow--that is amazing! She is doing so incredibly well, it's just amazing. I'm in awe of that little girl.

terri c said...

Just found your blog. Hallie is absolutely adorable and one tough kiddo. Keep on keeping on!