Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Update (pictures to follow)

Hello, everyone! Yesterday Sydney had an appointment at the children's hospital for her Meckel's scan. We arrived downtown at 8:00 a.m., they started checking her in right away, and she was sedated by 9:15 a.m. They had her strapped onto the table for the scan by 9:45 (Chet and I were able to sit in the same room while she was getting scanned) and she was finished by 10:45. (The tech who performed the scan told us what to look for on the screen, and nothing ever showed up, which is fantastic. However, the doctor has to read the scan and make the final diagnosis, so it may be a couple of days before we know the official results.) She woke up right around 11:00 a.m., drank some Pedialyte, then a bottle, and we were released! We had instructions to watch her closely and wake her up every couple of hours to feed her until 9:00 p.m. (12 hours after she received the sedative), but she did great, and didn't have any side effects that they warned us about. Good job, Sydney!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


The reason I haven't posted in a while is because we've been in the hospital! Let me clarify... Sunday we noticed, while changing Sydney's diaper, that she had some blood in her stool. I had recently read about milk allergies being fairly common in babies, and that one of the symptoms was blood in the stool. We called the hospital where she was born and they told us to bring her into the ER to get her checked out. We arrived around 6:30 p.m., and while the triage nurse was taking her temperature (rectally), she had a scary (for us), bloody bowel movement. We were in the ER for about four hours, drawing blood, taking X-rays, and mostly waiting around. The doctors pretty quickly ruled out some very scary things that could result in bloody stools, which is great, but also made it more difficult for them to immediately diagnose the problem. So they admitted her into the hospital (Chet and I were both able to stay with her) around midnight. Her blood work showed that the white blood cell count (specifically the cells that fight allergies) was elevated, indicating a possible milk allergy (or some other kind of allergy, but milk is the most common), so they immediately switched her to formula with the milk protein already broken down, and I quit eating dairy products. During our hospital stay, they continued to monitor her diapers (which were almost immediately less bloody) and draw blood. Thankfully, through all of this, Sydney's demeanor wasn't any different, so it was comforting to know she wasn't in pain. They released us yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.
All that being said, we still don't have a diagnosis, but an accurate diagnosis may take time. We have a follow-up appointment Thursday afternoon. Sydney will remain on the formula until the doctor says to switch back to breast milk, and I won't consume any more dairy products until I decide to stop breastfeeding. When I do switch back to breastfeeding, Chet and I will monitor her stools, making sure there is no blood. If there isn't, then we have our milk allergy diagnosis! If that doesn't work, we try cutting something different from my diet...
There is one more thing. We have an appointment next Tuesday at the nearby children's hospital where Sydney will have a Meckel's Scan. This scan will look at her intestines and (hopefully) rule out Meckel's Diverticulum, which is essentially a small bulge in the small intestine that was present at birth and that causes bloody stools. This disorder requires corrective surgery, but we'll cross that bridge if we even come to it. Thankfully Jacksonville has a children's hospital with a pediatric GI specialist! We'll keep you updated, and please pray for Sydney and the doctors who are caring for her!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Escape Artist!

Sydney is a true escape artist! First the toe, then both legs in one leg hole, now...the finger! (The gown she's wearing has fold-over mittens from which little hands and fingers should not be able to escape.)

After Bath

We had just finished bathing Sydney, and Chet wrapped a burp cloth around her head like a towel turban! Look how long she looks! (She really enjoys her baths, by the way.)


Our friend Lilian made these adorable booties for Sydney! (They're so mini house shoes!) Thank you, Lilian! (And in case you think Sydney looks smaller/younger in these pictures, you're right -- they were taken nearly a month ago!)

USS George H. W. Bush and USS New York

Last Wednesday the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush pulled into Jacksonville for one night. One of my college roommates (Veronica) is stationed as a helicopter pilot on the giant ship, so Sydney and I visited her and got a tour!

Veronica and Sydney

The USS New York also pulled into Jacksonville last week, and Chet's and my friend, Shalia, is stationed aboard the ship as the Navigator. Even better, Grammy and Papa Greg (Chet's parents) were in town, so we all toured the ship together on Sunday!

Diana, Shalia, Chet, Ashley, and Sydney

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Comments and Pictures

I've decided to address some of the comments I've received on the blog posts (since I never comment back). First, I'm going to take a poll: who does Sydney look like? We've heard just like me, just like Chet, and just like both of us. You can also let me know if you can't tell yet (because Chet and I certainly can't tell).

  • I'm going to do my best to take the monthly pictures of Sydney in the same position (with the same-sized bow on her head) so that we can all tell how much she grows from month to month. However, I've heard once they start wiggling around it's IMPOSSIBLE to make them sit still for the picture, so hopefully, if all else fails, the bow can be our reference. :-)
  • Even though she's super-skinny, I promise we feed her! In fact, she eats like a horse (sometimes the amount she eats makes me cringe because I think she's going to spit up everywhere with such a full stomach, but she rarely does). Also, she was able to go back to the breast milk right away (after the 48-hour hiatus), even though the breast milk was causing her bilirubin levels to be elevated. The levels are probably still a little high, but it's okay since we know the reason.
  • For now we're referring to my mom as "Didi", really just because no other "grandma" term seemed to fit. Sydney may pick her own name for my mom when she can talk though (I decided to call my own grandma "P-ma" instead of "Grandma").
After Bath

Girl Power!


Counter Again

First Long Nap in Crib

Mommy and Sydney

Yesterday I had my 6-week post-partum appointment, and this is Sydney and I with the wonderful Nurse Practitioner who delivered her.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


A couple of cute and funny blog-worthy things happened yesterday (I say "blog-worthy" because most of what she does is cute and funny). The first was when Chet came home for lunch. Sydney had recently woken up from a nap and was fussing in her bouncy seat, so I picked her up and carried her into the kitchen, all the while talking to Chet. I randomly glanced down at her, and she was just grinning at me (which, truthfully, sort of scared me, because I wasn't expecting such an expression on her face)! Usually she only smiles when you're engaging in "conversation" with her, coaxing her to smile!

The other funny thing happened later that evening. I was washing dishes, and Chet was changing Sydney into her pajamas. I had picked out a 0-3 month zip-up outfit for her to wear, just to see how it fit, because she's nearly outgrown all of her footed newborn clothing. Chet finished changing her and announced that the outfit was way too big, but I didn't care. About 30 minutes later we were sitting on the couch, and realized that she had worked her right leg out of it's appropriate spot and put it in the same leg hole as the left leg. We thought this was hilarious, but probably because we're just tired.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bilirubin Update and Papa John Visit

Wow, has it been a week already? Oops! Well, Miss Sydney's doctor appointment last Friday went GREAT! Her bilirubin level dropped from 14 on Wednesday to 10 on Friday! That means my breast milk had been keeping the bilirubin elevated, but she's perfectly fine (they ran some blood work, including a thyroid test, just to make sure though). I don't think she liked the formula very much, and went right back to breast milk without a hitch!

In other news, Sydney turned one month old on the 27th, and started smiling (for real, not just gas) that day! She usually smiles and socializes after waking up in the morning or after waking up from a long nap. She's so adorable! Chet hasn't been able to witness this yet since he went back work this past Monday, so the pictures I have of her smiling I've personally taken with her sitting in my lap (so the angle isn't very good on most of them).
Smiling After a Long Nap
We also decided to take monthly pictures of her in the same position to track her growth, but she wasn't very happy during the photo shoot, so we don't have any smiling pictures of her.
1-Month Old
Also, my dad (Sydney's Papa John) visited this past week! We had so much fun, and we discovered while he was here that Sydney loves laying on the counter (it's the perfect place for her to look around, kick, and be the center of attention!).
Counter Time (notice her attempt to roll over)
Sydney and Papa John (Sydney just had an explosive diaper and a bath)
"Talking" to Papa John
Cuteness (even though I forgot to activate the red-eye feature on the camera)
Sleepy Baby
We love baby feet!