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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hallie-Days

Well, we've made it through the week! Yay! This was no mean feat, since it involved the ENT, eye doctor, a weight check, the dentist, a portrait sitting, the GI, and a childbirth class. Whew!

The weight check went fairly well--unfortunately, our nanny forgets whether the scale read 29 lbs 5 ounces or 29 lbs .5 ounces (the decimal point is, alas, a pretty big deal around here, as it is the medical world generally. We are not ones to forget that the good old decimal point got Hallie o'd-ed on steroids (dexamethasone) back in the NICU). Anyway, the key is that she hasn't lost weight and, if the GI's scale is well-correlated to the pediatrician's scale, she does, indeed, weigh 29 lbs. 5 ounces, which is super. She is also super tall--36 inches. And hence at the 50th percentile for height and weight and completely well-proportioned. This is fine by us.

The dental visit, though, presented more in the way of trauma. The clinic itself was great and the resident was totally gentle with Hallie. Hallie did cry when they checked her teeth--it's traumatic to have anything done to her mouth, for all the obvious reasons, plus we have good reason to believe that her teeth cause her quite a bit of pain but, like most micropreemies, she grins, bears it, and doesn't quite let on about how much it effects her. The damage to her mouth, though, is extensive and the Penn dental folks think that she'll need three teeth capped and other reconstructive work. Unlike evil dentist number 1 (see a few posts earlier for this one), they spent a bunch of time with us (and not just two minutes between other patients) and took a complete medical history. The first dentist hardly glanced at all the paperwork I filled out; the resident, in contrast, went through everything I wrote, asked for more details orally, and made sure she knew what the deal was, which specialists Hallie sees, and how to get in touch with them. She felt (and her attending confirmed) that general anesthesia was the only way to handle Hallie's teeth; it will let them do a full set of x-rays to ascertain the full extent of the damage; perform a really thorough cleaning; and cause her the least trauma. It will also protect her airway (dentist number one never asked about Hallie's history of aspiration and laryngomalacia and vocal cord paralysis; these dentists felt that all of those things contraindicated even conscious sedation for Hallie since it's not clear she'd be able to protect her airway in this context). While we are in the OR--which will be at CHOP, not a satellite surgical clinic, with the very skilled CHOP anesthesiologists handling the tough stuff, we may end up doing other stuff. Dental will consult with ENT to see if they want to re-do the ear tubes or deal with the granulation tissue issue and GI will probably order another scope just to make sure there is no EE. The downside of all of this is that we will have to wait until early February to get all of this done, and no doubt, given our luck and Murphy's Law, the Great Expectation will arrive just in time to make this very very complicated.

Speaking of the Great Expectation, the little nameless one stayed put so that Sharon and I could attend our Childbirth Class today; last time, the multiple class we were slated to take happened two days after the girls were born and obviously was a moot point by then. So we were very relieved to make it to this date (indeed, my deeply superstitious tendencies prevented me from even registering for this class until we hit 28 weeks). The class taught us a few breathing exercises (sadly more appropriate for me than for Sharon since I am the one more likely to pass out from hyperventilation) and laboring techniques (I think Sharon will find these handy to do when the residents are busy reviving me). Now we're just waiting for the next ultrasound (on New Year's Eve) to see how big our kiddo is and whether she is head down, head up, or lying sideways. Whatever her position, Sharon is pretty sure she's leaving about zero room for her intestines and bladder right now. But, honestly, Sharon looks great--she is running small (though our OB assures us the baby is fine) and is only beginning to reach that truly, wonderfully uncomfortable stage of the pregnancy.

And speaking of wonderful, check out the holiday pictures of Hallie:

Amazingly enough, we actually took these on the heels of the dental visit (separated only by a short detour through New Jersey when we kept getting lost en route to Babies-R-Us). Even though the picture session kind of coincided with Hallie's new nap time, our kiddo was in great spirits (and the photographer did a great job). And so, somehow, more or less gracefully, we managed to take pictures, make up cards, and actually mail them out a few days before both Chanukah and Christmas this year.

Equally astounding is the fact that one of Hallie's Chanukah presents, which I ordered on E-bay last Tuesday night in the wee small hours of the night, made it to our house by Friday afternoon. We decided to give it to her a bit early since its a not-easily-wrapped item: a 2 inch thick tumbling mat. Hal has been practicing her forward and backward rolls on it ever since I unpacked it and, hands down, it's one of her favorite things in the universe right now.

And speaking of favorite things (or at least topics) and being on a roll, our current vomit-free count is now 167 and counting. We are really hopeful that 170 is within reach!


Lynn Truame said...

Woo hoo! Dentists who are not sadists, adorable pics, the great expectation is being great, and the joy of rolling is being a source of fun! Not to mention some vomit-free days this week! Hope the roll continues this holiday season!

BusyLizzyMom said...

Great pics, she looks so cute. That is great to hear you have found a better dentist who can make things less traumatic for her.
Wishing you all a a Happy Holiday and a New Year filled with less barf..

Sara said...

Hi Abby,

I think my favorite is Hallie in the sleigh.... like "Hey, look, I'm in this really cool sleigh!" Adorable. (For some reason, though, it's really really tiny on my computer.)

Just wanted to wish you three (four... well 3 3/4... whatever) Happy Holidays!

~Sara, Dan, and Maggie Daley

Heidi said...

I burst out laughing at your description of the breathing exercises being more useful for you, Kit had to come read over my shoulder after that to see what was so funny.

I'm sorry about the dental work but glad you found someone you are more comfortable with.

A tumbling mat is a brilliant idea, that would save us from many bonked heads around here. Going to go look at some now, thanks for the suggestion!

Mommato4miracles said...

Great Christmas pictures! Glad to hear your little one is still cooking in there and that Miss Hallie is growing so nicely. We wish you a very merry Christmas

Sara Cohen said...

She looks so cute in her pictures!

The Microblogologist said...

Those pics turned out great! I am so glad you found a dentist who is not a complete and utter jerk like the last one and actually takes the time to make sure he is giving his patient the proper care she needs. Stinks you have to wait so long but it is nice that they are willing to at least try to work it so that all those procedures can be done at once.

Wishing you many Happy Hallie-Days =)


Anne said...

Holy Moly I just noticed that the Great Expectation is in the second to last "photo!" Excellent!

Also great photos of Hallie! The dress is too cute.