Monday, April 28, 2014

I love my Tubie Baby!

Dear Son,

On March 28, 2014, after careful consideration, we proceeded with a 3rd surgery in less than a year for a G-tube placement.  For several months, you have failed to gain adequate weight due to pain from previous hernias.  As a result from the hernias, you developed poor eating behaviors such as a bottle aversion and acid reflux. You also have fallen behind developmentally, which the doctors and I believe it is due to you not getting enough nourishment. It was very scary when you would gag and throw up your entire meal, refuse your bottle, or not drink enough fluids during the day. Since three doctors encouraged us to get the G-tube, we decided it was the right solution to help you gain some weight in the following months.  Our goal is to get you 10-20% on the growth chart.  The tube hopefully will only need to be in for six months.  I intend for you to eat normal during the day and supplement as needed at night. Additionally if you throw up your meals, we will then supplement too. 

During the early morning of surgery day, you were brave, happy, and full of smiles.   In fact, when the surgical nurse wrapped you up in warm blanket and took you away to the surgery room you didn't scream at all.  After surgery when you woke up in the recovery room, I was there to cuddle you.  You were transferred to the pediatric floor and Dad and I stayed with you until you got discharged from the hospital the next day.  The surgery went a little different than the doctor expected. Due to adhesions from your previous surgeries, the surgeon had to open you up again from your precious chest scar instead of doing a laparoscopy method.

  Remarkably, you healed pretty well after three weeks and seem back to your normal routine of rolling, sitting, wanting to stand. The only complication we had was a little granulation (skin healing near the site) that had to be addressed by the doctor otherwise it has been okay adjusting to the G-tube routine.  I'm happy that you have been tolerating the night feedings well and on the days you struggle (gag and vomit) we feed you through the tube. We named your iv pole "Stanley"! Big sister and little sister are very helpful in assisting Daddy and me with your tube feedings at night. We are happy that you are gaining weight and babbling more. In due time, I bet you will catch up on gross motor skills when you are ready.

Love, Mom and Dad

Monday, April 21, 2014

Student of the Week

On April 17, 2014, little sister was student of the week. It was a total surprise for her!  The teacher's room Mom got her a purple balloon and favorite treat Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. My assignment was to write a paragraph about her and bring a picture of her.  The class had to guess the clues who the mystery person was. Sister knew right away it was her and after they guessed it correctly, little brother and I came in as her special guests. Then the class asked her questions and little brother and I got to eat school lunch with her.  Little sister was very happy and felt so special that day! 

The following paragraph is what I wrote about her:
Savannah Jolene Free was excited to join her family. In fact, she came four weeks early on April 15, 2003.  Savannah is the middle child.  She has an older sister Audrey and little baby brother Zachary.  She also has a small poodle dog named Jagger, which she loves to cuddle, run outside with him, and help feed him.  Savannah is unique because since birth she had one stubborn kidney that didn’t want to grow.  It is a functioning tiny kidney that is only 3 cm long and thankfully she also has a normal growing kidney too.  Since Savannah was a baby she had curly locks and loved to smile.  Her hobbies include the following: listening to music by One Direction and Taylor Swift, reading, helping Mom with her little brother, playing card or board games with her family, and doing anything creative such as drawing, sculpting, and painting.  Her favorite foods are strawberries, Nutella on toast, cheese, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Savannah is silly, polite, helpful, kind, and sensitive. The world is a brighter place with Savannah’s beautiful smiling face!  XOXO

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Our Beautiful Birthday Girls!

Big sister turned 15 years old on April 5, 2014.  I cannot believe around this time next year she will be driving and dating, ack! Where has the time gone? She is growing up to be an incredible beautiful young woman!  
For big sister's 15th birthday, her friends took her to Denny's for breakfast.  Then she went shopping with a friend to the mall with some birthday cash. Her young woman leaders decorated our front door and gave her a cupcake. She got clothes, a curling iron, Tarzan, bow, iTunes card, ear phones, candy, and body sprays. As a family, we went to Olive Garden for dinner and ate a High School Musical chocolate cake for dessert.  She was very embarrassed when the Olive Garden staff sang Happy Birthday to her.
Little sister turned 11 years old on April 15, 2014. I can hardly believe this is her last year of primary.  Next year she will be a young woman and in six grade, weep! She is becoming a gorgeous young woman! I love her smile and curly long hair!
For little sister's 11th birthday, we made her favorite dinner cheeseburger soup and a yummy cookie dough ice cream cake! She got some clothes, Crazyloom, shoes, candy, iTunes card, belts, pens, bows, Frozen, and Tear Up This Book (a fun tween activity book).  As a family, we watched Frozen with her. Later that week, she and her Daddy went to Nickelcade to play games etc as a late birthday activity!
They both had marvelous birthdays!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

March Madness

Not Another Hospital Stay!
On March 10, 2014, little bro went to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City for a ph probe test. It was an overnight test. We were both miserable staying at the hospital because they woke us up a lot and Little bro hated the probe down his throat. In fact, he pulled the tube out and they put "no no" socks over his hands. The best part of being there was a late night wagon ride and a trip to the playroom on the 3rd floor.  Little bro was very sad while there and when he finally got the tube out he was happy again. His test results came back normal, which means he doesn't need a nissen fundoplication procedure done while he gets a g tube surgically inserted.  I still wonder why he continues to cough, gag, and vomit while eating or drinking... He also continues to struggle to gain weight.  There has to be something going on to cause those symptoms if it's not GERD (acid reflux) unless his Zantac is helping him control the acid from coming up. 
Choir Concerts
Big Sister had her chamber choir concert on March 21, 2014 while little sis had a choir concert on March 27, 2014, which she sang many Disney songs.
Little bro is 10 months old!
 Milestones: He is slowly making progress but not gaining much weight. He is starting to drink from a straw but seems hyper sensitive to certain food textures such as macaroni, cottage cheese, cheese, thicker purees, etc.  I'm hearing a little more babbling sounds, but he is not improving much on gross motor skills yet (no signs of crawling, pulling up to stand, or walking). He is doing well developmentally in cognitive or social skills such as putting blocks in and out of a bucket, clapping, etc. We are working on waving bye bye. He seems timid or shy around strangers and always prefers Mommy over anybody else.
After School Programs
The girls signed up for after school programs. Big Sis volunteered to help out with the track team. She is a track manager who assists the coaches and attends the track meets. As for little sis, she has been enjoying her water coloring art class.