Carolena is officially 3 months old November 19 (13 weeks and 1 day). We are still in the time conundrum where her actual age in weeks is still greater than her age by date. However, I am happy to be going by her age by date at this point because it feels like we get to cheat a little bit. Every measurement is taken by her date age, so things like her weight are showing to be a little higher (yea!!) This also means her first open heart surgery will not take place until her date age of December 19 when she is technically 4 months old.
While I am in no hurry for her to undergo such extensive surgery, I am hoping that we can get this surgery done sooner rather than later. Waiting really sucks. Especially when there is no choice. We HAVE to do surgery. Right now Carolena is stable. Her oxygen saturation levels are still high, she is still breathing on her own very well with a normal respiration rate, her heart function is stable and normal for her. She is gaining weight. Slowly. Very, very, slowly...but the gain is still there. As long as she gains an appropriate amount then the doctors are not overly concerned with her development. Eating is critical. Not only as an indicator for her heart function but also for her growing organs and her brain. She NEEDS all this food (and calories) whether she thinks so or not. Honestly, this child is far too young to be worrying about maintaining her figure by staying skinny. Don't let her sweet little chipmunk cheeks fool you...she does not have the typical baby fat rolls anywhere else on her frame.
At this point Carolena is still fighting eating. I am still skeptical that this is a JUST a reflux issue. But, I do really, really want to believe it is JUST reflux because the alternatives are just too scary to think about. We now have her on Prevacid. She seems to be doing a little better. Each time we think we are turning the corner she starts fighting eating again. Sometimes I really think she is doing this to be difficult...you know already testing the boundaries on how much she can get away with before getting into trouble. We are really crossing our fingers that the Prevacid will work. We have had two different families who went through these same reflux issues with their babies tell us that the Prevacid is what finally worked for their little ones. Please PRAY for us that this is the case for Carolena as well. We walk a very fine line with her. The doctors WILL NOT hesitate to hospitalize her and surgically place a feeding tube if she does not eat. We are not allowed the option of seeing how this works out. Her heart does not function efficiently for her body, she burns more calories than a normal baby...therefore, if she does not eat, or eat enough, the doctors will get the calories in her somehow. As I said before, it is critical.
Having said all that she is weighing in at 10 pounds. So, not horrible. But the effort it takes to get her to eat is incredible.
Now on to the fun stuff...what C is doing at 3 months old:
- She LOVES her hands. She plays with them and CHEWS on them all the time.
- She is definitely teething (see above).
- She is getting interested in toys.
- She smiles first thing in the morning when she wakes up and sees me.
- Her smiles are so big and transform her whole face.
- She is "talking" up a storm, she can have a whole conversation of coos, oohhs, aahhs and gurrs.
- She can grasp and hold her rattle when we put it in her palm.
- She is really trying to sit up on her own.
- She "stands" when you hold her up on your lap.
- She chews on her bottles and pacifiers.
- She is starting to laugh.
- She loves her big brothers and loves when they hold her or play with her.
- Todd makes her laugh.
- She sleeps very little during the day, preferring several short cap naps.
- She sleeps very well at night (with the exception of us shoving a bottle in her mouth).
- She still loves to sleep in our bed.
- She still loves her bath.
- She likes to be outside and will calm down if fussy (just like her brothers!)
- She is very similar to Kyle in sleep habits and eating.
- She is very similar to Todd in temperament.
- She does not cry for no reason.
- She cries when there is a problem...dirty diaper, making her eat, pain from reflux.
- She is pretty easy to console.
- She does consistently take a pacifier...hoooooray!
- She likes her bouncy seat and swing equally well.
- She holds her head up and steady all by herself.
- She is SUPER strong and VERY alert.
- She loves to watch all the stuff going on around her.
- She does not like to be left alone in a room or left out of family time.
- She still stares at the ceiling with the biggest smile and now she "talks" and "laughs" too...we think she is having some fun with her angels.
- She is ticklish but gives you a very bored, DIVA look if you try and tickle her.
- Other than when getting her bath, she HATES to be naked.
- She has still only been in the hospital twice and both times she came home just fine.
We know how special C is and we are so VERY grateful she looks SO good and is doing so well. We have been at home all this time. We have been able to have a relatively normal life. We are being given all that we can truly ask for.