Abbigail will be 11 weeks old next Tuesday. That statement by itself is fairly amazing! But there have been trials along the way. The regular day to day of feeding, changing nappies and sleeping are just par for the course now - those aren't trials. Silent reflux, hip dysplasia, spilling milk and poor weight gain are our most recent trials. We realised after starting to treat the reflux that Abbigail actually spent most of her awake time crying. It's funny how when something that's abnormal happens all the time, it becomes the normal. It was kind of summed up well by an incident that occurred after the reflux started to be treated on Tuesday. Sarah needed something from Abbigail's room, and thought she was asleep because all was quiet, so she walked in and discovered Abbigail staring back at her from her cot! A quiet baby has been a foreign concept to us! On Thursday Abbigail had an appointment to have an ultrasound scan of her hips to check they are fine. We both thought it would be a formality, but Abbigail screamed blue urder the whole time, and after several atempts they decided that her left hip isn't properly positioned and that she needs a hip brace to ensure they stay in the right place for some undetermined period of time. So they proceeded to try to fit her to a brace, only to discover that there were none her size, so she has to go back next week to be fitted appropriately and have another scan to try to get a better picture of what is going on for her. On Monday we had the plunket nurse come and visit to weigh Abbigail and check on her progress. Apparently she had only put on 50g in the previous 11 days since the last weigh. Since then practically every feed has been a huge disaster - she simply struggles to feed well. We have put it down to silent reflux for which she is now being treated with Ranitidine. I've been feeding her at night to give Sarah a break between feedings to get a decent sleep, and ordinarily she would cry to wake us up to feed her, then she would settle as she fed and really guzzle it down, but the last three nights she has continued to scream (not just cry) and I litereally have to hold the teat in her mouth so that she swallows some milk between breaths as she screams. That is until she passes out from exhaustion and finishes the rest of her bottle while she is asleep. There are times when she is very happy and alert, so we're not so concerned about her not getting enough, but it's so hard on us, and of course her.
Don't get me wrong - this is not a complaining session, or a I wish we hadn't done this, because she is still the most amazing thing that has happened to us, and we thank God for her every day. But it has sure kept us busy, and emotionally drained. The thing is that there are people out there who have much harder times as parents, and considering where we've come from we have no right to complain.
She is still a (between screams) constant source of joy and pride to us both. She is more beautiful today than the day she was born! She just continues to get more georgous as the days go by. She is still under 9 pounds. Here are some more recent pictures...
Isn't she beautiful! We just busted her sucking her thumb! :-) That made us both laugh! I had a bout of awesome smiles from her a few weeks ago, and she's teased us ever since with the odd smile. It's a magical thing to behold. So that has caught you up on where we are at right now. The next week or so will be very interesting as it will lead us on to pathways of solution for many of her problems so far.
Take care all,