Saturday, February 28, 2009

Take Luck!

Brian Regan, I like him, he tells the truth.

Yesterday I asked Ken if he knew where my luck had gone. He didn't, but he did tell me to Take Luck! Takeeeeeeee Luck. And I thought- I didn't take care of the luck that I had! That was my whole problem, I didn't take luck! It made me smile on a day that I would have much rather hidden under a blanket in the deep dark recesses of my basement.

This is how our month went-
the first week- The baby was in the hospital because of massive blood loss. Ken had dozens of sores on his lips, chin and neck, the Doctor thought it was a Staph Infection.
the second week- The baby had a 104 fever and an ear infection. Ken found out he didn't have Staph but still had the sores. Kate got no sleep on Saturday night, but had plenty of cuddle time with a very sweet, very feverish baby.
the third week- The baby got the Flu, Vomiting and all the other good stinky stuff that goes along with that, the doctor said that he may have these symptoms for two weeks! Ken got to shave for the first time in 3 weeks!
the fourth week- On Thursday night the baby had yet another 102+ fever. Kate only slept for 4 hours that night and when the baby woke up, he still had a fever and he had discovered that he could scream, loud ear piercingly high screams. The doctor said his ears were fine, but his throat was red and looked quite painful- still it was most likely a virus, we should expect a cough to come in the next 3 or 4 days and the cough would last for at least a week............

Wait, yesterday was February 27th.....February is almost over- in just a few hours it will be March. I had high hopes for March after all, lots and lots of people I love were born in March. Spring starts in March! I was hoping that all viruses and weird unexplained illnesses would magically disappear in March. But now I am being told that all the stupid viruses don't care about my timetable? They don't care what I want? February and all of the Health Fun we have had want to hang on to me, dig their little claws into me. It is quite depressing. I didn't take care of the luck that I had. I didn't take luck!

Oh Well. I guess I can give viruses and illnesses another week of my life, I can cuddle my baby and Ken can take care of me when it all becomes too much. In the mean time, How about some more Brian Regan....(this one is a Harry Potter Mix)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Family Room

Here are pictures of some the furniture I want to buy.
1st- the red chair, I want two of them. I sat in the chair several times, it is a small chair, but it is comfortable, and small means easy to move- right? Also, if in the future we decide that Red is too much, there are plenty of slipcovers available.

This is the rocking chair that I liked, I wanted a black frame with black cushions.
The first thing I did, when I found the chair at the store, was
make sure it rocked well. Well, when I just rocked it back and
forth with my hand it rocked fine, when I sat in it, it didn't seem to want to rock at all. So I decided against it.
So, as I was wandering Ikea I saw this chair, black frame and cushions and it has a foot stool, all for $20 less than the rocker. I sat in it and found it to be quite comfortable. I have a friend in the neighborhood who has had one of these chairs for a couple of years
and so I asked her if she still liked it, and she does. So it is now on the list of furniture I want- replacing the non rocking rocker.
When I was showing Ken the Ikea site and the chairs that I liked he asked if there were any love seats, and we found this one. It is from the same line as the Rocker, and comes with black cushions, (white just doesn't seem
like a good idea for a home with a small child, and this black and white pattern just isn't us). I sat in it and it too is pretty
comfortable, plus the cushion covers are washable.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Foresight......a forecast for fun!

I told you last week all about my dream of a family room, and I mentioned the Children's Craft Area- also known as the Children's Art Area. This area has been a dream of mine since the first time we looked at the house.
To get to the basement of our home, you go down some stairs and around a corner- no big surprise there. But there is. Around the corner at the bottom of the stairs is a large tiled laundry area. (to guess I think it is about 12'x6') As you can see, there is a very large window, it is south facing and lets in wonderful amounts of light. When I first saw this space I said "This is my Children's Art Area!"

The plan was always to get a table and chairs and have different types of art supplies available. I loved the fact that it was tile so that I wouldn't need to worry about liquid art supplies being poured onto carpet. You can also see my craft area there in the corner- so the kids and I can all work on our various projects together.

Now to the Foresight. We are lucky enough to live about 5 miles from Ikea, and so when we found out that we were pregnant I started to shop- well, pre-shop. I got online and found everything I would need to furnish our Childrens Art Area, I figured out the cost- including tax- and then decided how long I would give myself to save the money. It worked out to $5 per month, for 22 months. Ken and I have been very good at saving. I know myself and I would have spent that money if it had been electronic money- and so each month I ask Ken if he has any cash (he is my personal ATM afterall) and then I stash away said cash in a secret spot- somewhere no robber would ever think to look! We have decided that we will not stop at 22 months- the baby will only be 15 months old at the time and might not understand art yet, so we will continue to save $5 per month until christmas- and (don't tell the baby) give him these gifts plus art supplies to go with it.
The Easil ($20?)- one side is a blackboard, the otherside is a dryerase board, and you can also put a roll up paper in the middle and then drape it over the top. I Love It!

The Table($35?) and Chairs- I like the Square Table, we are also planning to get two round stools ($10 each) and two high back chairs($15 each).

OK, so this isn't actually part of the children's art area, but I think it is cute and will make a great quiet time area in the new family room as well as good sun shade should we ever go outside for a long period of time. As Such it also included in the purchase. It only cost $10!
Tomorrow I will show you the furniture I hope to buy for the Family Room.

Friday, February 20, 2009


The Baby- All the labs are in and all the doctors have been visited. It was Unanimous that Baby J is cute-(handsome, gorgeous, and sweet were also words used to describe him as he and his doctors became reacquainted). We also know now that the baby has Von Willebrand's Disease, which basically means that his blood doesn't clot well because he has less Von Willebrand Factor than he should have. He has a very mild case and the Hematologists do not foresee him having any future problems as long as certain precautions are taken prior to surgeries or major dental work. It is genetic and so I am planning on getting tested as well. The doctors told us that for children, not much us done, but adult females with the disease are often treated with medications that can help prevent heavy monthly bleeding caused by the disease. Amazing! We are glad to know what caused his bleeding earlier this month, and we are very glad to know that it can be prevented in the future. If any of our future children need surgery- we will get them tested for Von Willebrand's prior to it so that we can make sure we don't have to make any more manic trips to the ER in the middle of the night. Thank Goodness for Modern Medicine.

Kate - So back in October I told you about how and why I was going to lose weight and how I was going to reward myself when I did lose. Well by January- I hadn't lost anything and so I decided to try the Kirkland Weight Loss Shakes to my regime- as well as using the Couch Potato to 5K Running Plan. It worked. I lost 7 pounds in January. By the first week of February I had lost a total of 10 pounds. I haven't been good at running the past two weeks- it has been hard to get back in the habit with all that was going on in our family. I have been trying to eat well, and get some form of exercise in, but I have no idea if I am still losing because my scale broke- I guess that could be a good thing. So, All in All, I am pretty happy with my progress this year. 10 pounds down- 30 to go!

Ken- Ken is pretty much back to normal, the sores are almost gone. A week or so ago we got the results back from the culture taken by the doctor. They were Negative. So we don't really know what he had. On Saturday I am going to give Ken his Monthly haircut and then he is going to shave, It will be fun to have my husband back, although the bearded man I have been living with the past few weeks is pretty cute.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Smell Therapy

Spring needs to come- and it needs to come soon! Until then I will continue my Smell Therapy.
I love Flowers, I love how they smell, I love Lilacs- and I am the proud owner of two of them, When they bloom it is hard for me not to cut all the blooms of the tree and bring them inside. When I served my mission I bought some lilac scented perfume- I didn't know if they had lilacs in Croatia or not, but I knew I needed to smell them, at least few times in the 16+ months I would be there. I am smelling them right now!!! And I love it- Smell Therapy is the BEST!

I am so glad that I hosted a Scentsy Open House last fall, because as I was moping around my house this morning, lamenting the soggy, flowerless world I currently live in, I remembered "I have Springtime Scents, just waiting to be warmed!". The baby (who has earned himself the nickname "Mr. Cranky Pants" this morning) and I ran (and/or crawled quickly) to my secret scent hiding spot (a bag on the floor of my bedroom) and smelled a few of the scents until we found the perfect one-Lilacs & Violets! Just one little square puts out enough spectacular scent to fill the main level of my home. Soon, the baby was ready for a nap and I started on my second load of dishes, (I know two loads and it had only been a day since I did dishes- I don't know what happened). I quickly realized that I was humming a happy little working song and bouncing along joyfully as I did the dishes and thought about all the work I was going to be able to get done. I love Smell Therapy- It has saved my Sanity!!!! (OK, so this picture does make me look like I am slightly insane- but maybe there is a little insanity mingled with every ones happiness.... maybe. And why is my face so red- I must be burning calories while I sing my happy working song! That makes me even Happier, can the day get any better? Can it? Really?)

So, if you, like me, have not been having the happiest of days as you wait for spring to come, I encourage you to try smell therapy- Candles, Scentsy Warmers, anything will work!

If you want to try Scentsy and don't know where to start- you could start here- She is my sister and she is very nice, lives pretty close to lots of you and keeps some items on hand for people who are having scent emergencies.

or here (this one has a list of the items that are on sale and will soon be discontinued

And if you don't have a lot of money right now- host a party- seriously- the hostess gifts are the best I have ever seen (and I have hosted several different types of parties), I got $60 worth of free items- without even buying anything, that would be enough to fill your home with sweet sweet Smell Therapy for every season of the year!!!

If you need proof- come over to my house and see how long it is before you are happy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Working Woman and Her Dreams

I am very lucky to be able stay home with my sweet baby. I know plenty of Mothers who would love to stay home with their children, but because of circumstances beyond their control, they must work full time outside of the home. I am also very lucky to be able to say that I am employed outside the home- sure I have only worked about 10 times in the past 10 months- but hey, I am keeping my skills up, and when I do get called into work, they are very very grateful to have me around.

Why am I telling you this? Because I am excited, I feel really blessed, one of those Long Term Blessed feelings where you can see some far far in the future dream starting to come true. What dream is that......? I just might get a Family Room. (So what does that have to do with being a stay at home mom who gets the chance to work once or twice a month? Just wait, I can not type that fast.)

Ken and I bought our home about a year after we got married. It is a 2000 sq/ft rambler. One of the things we liked about it was that we could do most of our living on the main floor. Our main floor has a nice sized Living Room, a Kitchen/Dining area, the Master Bedroom/Bath, and a second Bedroom and Guest Bath. For the first couple of years we lived here, we only went down to the Basement to do laundry, run on the treadmill or play Ping Pong (both of which are located in the Large Family Room), put food in or take food out of the Food Storage room, or show our Guests where the Guest Room was. (OK, so that sounds like a lot of stuff, but really those activities only took up +/- 5% of our time) After the baby was born the DVD collection and my Craft Supplies were also moved downstairs. We look forward to many more years in this home, because there are two unfinished rooms down there- a 4th bedroom and a 3rd Bath (which I like to think of as my future Spa Retreat). We could live here for a long time, and with the way the economy is right now, we just might live here forever- but that is OK, because it is a great house.

So anyway, since the sweet baby has become more mobile, and since he has learned how to make bigger and harder to clean up messes, I have been dreaming about creating a family room downstairs. Currently our Living Room houses our TV, our Computer (and all the gadgets that come with computers) our Piano, all of the Baby's toys and a few other pieces of Furniture. It also houses a good amount of clutter. This would be fine if we were antisocial, but we are not. It would also be fine if I was good at keeping the area clean and clutter free, which I am not.

And so the dream goes, I want to put all the electronic forms of entertainment downstairs in the Family Room, this would take 1-an Entertainment Center with Storage for the 400+ DVDs that we have managed to collect over the years and 2-Furniture (either new furniture for the family room or we could move the old furniture from the Living Room downstairs and get new furniture for upstairs.) I talked to Ken about if a few weeks ago......that conversation ended with me asking Ken, "Will you think about it....." and while Ken was thinking about it I started to plan. I have a basic design for a built in Entertainment Center that would provide sufficient storage for many many more DVDs than we currently own and then I found a couch online that I really like- even better than that- I found it on for $299 and then found the exact same brand new couch on for $199. Then I took a look at IKEA and found a couple of cool looking chairs for $99 a piece, a cute modern rocking chair for $149 and possibly a love seat for $249. I think a room full of Furniture for $600-800 is pretty darn amazing! I don't know how much it will cost to build the entertainment center but I hope it is not more than $250.

Now for the feeling blessed part. We don't have $1000 to spend on furniture right now at least it is not currently in the budget. But then I got called into work, and while I was there I learned about all the turnover they had recently been experiencing, and I offered to come in a little more than usual. I have a 1 day per week and no more than that policy- well, I offered to come in 1 and a half days a week until they were able to hire people to fill the open positions they have. When I realized that I would be bringing more than $50 per month home, I told Ken that I wanted to stash all my earnings away into a Family Room Savings Account- and He agreed. When I work it is almost all I can think about- in fact on Tuesday I caught myself saying "Ohhh, I have been here for two hours already- that is +/-$30! YEAH! That is 1/3rd of a cute red IKEA Chair!!!!" (don't worry I said this in my head, and I don't think anyone even noticed the quirky smile on my face).

I did the math after work on Tuesday- and it is going to take me a while to earn enough money to make my dream come true (especially if they hire someone quickly), but I think it is a good dream, a righteous desire you might call it, and as such I can see how I am being blessed to make it come true.

Here is my list of reasons why it would be nice to have a family room.

1. We would be less likely to eat dinner in front of the TV. (because that would mean taking the food all the way down stairs and around the corner and I am very klutzy and would probably drop enough food to warrant a family rule against eating dinner downstairs.)
2. The Front/Living Room would stay Cleaner- allowing me to be much less stressed when people are coming over for Family Home Evening (or other such events where people who we don't plan to watch TV/Movies with are coming over.)
3. The Front/Living Room would be less crowded, and it could be a calm place to read or nap.
4. We could have Furniture that is not 24 years old! Not that our 24 year old furniture is not nice, I have enjoyed lounging on it since I was 8, I very much appreciate having it and I know Ken was grateful when my parents gave it to us. (I am grateful too, but I really love New Car Smell and New Carpet Smell, I know that I will love New Furniture Smell too!)
5. The Family room is right next to the Kate and Children's Craft Area! So if Kate or a Child wanted to do crafty stuff and the other wanted to watch TV- it could be so much more easily accommodated- not that the only child who lives in the house does crafts but he will- especially when the Children's Craft Area is furnished (I have been saving $5 per month since August of 2007 for the furnishings that will soon go in the Children's Craft Area- also thanks to IKEA- I love that place!)
6. I know I had so many more reasons, but I cannot remember them right now. All in all, I really think it will be good for us.

I tried to get pictures of the Furniture I am currently in love with but I couldn't get them to in the next week or so I am going to IKEA to make sure that the Chairs/Love Seat are comfortable- if they are, and if I still love them in person, I will take pictures and post them for you to see... who knows, maybe you will fall in love too.

Monday, February 16, 2009

104.2-"The Fever" Broadcasting out of Lehi!

OK, so 104.2 the Fever isn't a new Radio Station- although it would be a great name- it is the highest fever the baby has ever had, and it happened Saturday Night. I guess I could have also called the post- Saturday Night Fever.... Oh Well. So, do you think this baby looks like he has an Ear infection? The Fevers, the Clingy-ness, the Doctor- they don't lie, it is his third official ear infection.

So Saturday and Sunday he bounced back and forth between 103 and 104, today when he woke up (after sleeping from 10-7) his temp was 100.4- it has gone up a degree or more since then, but I think he is starting to act like himself again- as the picture above proves, I hope.

But enough about that- I want to tell you about the Baby's new skill. That would be using the Sign for "Milk". The first time he did the sign- that I noticed- was in the Hospital a week and a half ago. And he continues to use it more and more each day. Last week, he cut way back on his bottles, he was refusing them- it has gotten to the point that I only offer him a bottle when he asks for it, he hasn't yet used the sign for "Food" so whenever he is acting hungry, I ask him if he want milk, if he doesn't give me the sign, I make him some solid food to eat. It is amazing to be able to communicate with him.

I am also starting to understand his other hungry signs- or I guess the ways he tells me he his hungry before resorting to actually whining, crying or signing. Yesterday morning the baby took a very very short nap. I normally offer him food after naps, but he had just eaten an hour before and I figured he would tell me when he was hungry, so I let him play while I rested on the couch. About 2 hours later baby smiled at me as he crawled past, he crawled right up to the gate separating our front room from our kitchen and sat there. I thought it was kind of odd, there were no toys there- I wasn't in the kitchen, he knew where I was, so why was he sitting by the gate?

After sitting there patiently for a few minutes, he started to jabber, a slightly impatient jabber. He crawled over to me (I was still resting on the couch) and started to pat my arm, then my chest, then he started to pull on my clothes. "What is wrong?" I asked him. "Grrrba" was the impatient reply. "Are you hungry? Do you want some milk? (signed Milk)" "Ma Baba, Ma Baba" he yelled, his hand quickly making the sign. So I jumped up and made him a bottle.

We hear "Da da da da" a lot, and sometimes we have even heard "Dadee" but we were never quite sure if he was intending to say Daddy or not. But now, I am convinced that "Ma Baba" means "My Bottle!" or if I were to insert a few more words to emphasise the true meaning "Give me My Bottle!!!! Give me My Bottle NOW". I also think that sitting next the the gate, starring at the kitchen means "I am hungry".

I am really excited to understand what he is trying to tell me---- oh yeah, he has got the head shake for "No" down too. If he doesn't want food and we keep offering it to him, he purses his little lips and shakes that head- it is pretty darn cute. I am going to try to get some Video of these new skills/talents, and when I do, I will post it for you.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Boys

So, my little boy has had an slight eczema flare on his face, and he has some breakfast on his face too, but he is still really cute!
And here is a picture of my Big Boy, he has not had a beard this full since he had Mono right after we got married. This is about two weeks of growth.

My Valentines

Last Year Ken and I realized that we have differing childhood experiences with holidays- so in order to avoid holiday confusion we decided that we would sit down together and create our own Holiday traditions. It was fun to do- I don't remember if I told you about it at the time, but I will now. We sat down on Monday night and discussed what we would do/what the expectations would be for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas, Mother's and Father's Days and Valentine's Day. For days where gifts would be expected- spending limits were set that were reasonable to both of us. I still think that this was a great thing to do, I think Ken does too because as Valentines neared, he asked me to help him find the "Family Traditions" document that I had typed up, so that he could make sure that we didn't miss anything. This is what the document says for Valentine's Day-

"Valentine’s Day- February 14th

  • Dad shall treat Mom to a “Chick Flick” (DVD or Theater) and a Special Dinner."

I picked a movie- "Last Chance Harvey" and a Restaurant- Red Lobster (we have coupons and a gift card), we were going to go on Thursday which was Ken's day off, we even had a babysitter we could use.......then Ken got sick. He hasn't felt up for going out much the past couple of weeks, and he went from working 4, 10 hour days, to 5, 8 hour days, No more day off, Tired at the end of the day, Plans change.

So I, reading the family tradition, realized that it didn't say anything about Mom not making a Special dinner and so I did. Last night we had a fabulous Valentines Celebration. Ham (purchased after Christmas and stored in the freezer), Potato Fans, Yellow Squash and Green Beans. We even had Sparkling Peach juice and we used the beautiful campaign glasses we got for our wedding. The house was messy- it has been the past couple of weeks. The Kitchen was a Disaster (I made Valentine Treats for Ken's work and hadn't cleaned up my mess yet) and so I made a nice little table in the front room, the TV was turned off, the baby was put to bed, and we had a wonderful and may I say Yummy (Ken even ate some of the Vegetables) dinner. Then we watched "You've Got Mail" I cried a little when she said "I wanted it to be you" (I think that is what she said) I thought about my sweet husband and how glad I am that he is my sweet husband and best friend. Ken slept on and off through the movie.....but that was fine with me, it was Friday after all, and that is what he has done every Friday from the beginning of our romantic relationship.

This morning, Ken took care of the baby so that I could sleep in, then he loaded the dishwasher (that is my most unfavorite part of doing the dishes) and now he is watching "First Blood" a very unromantic movie about Rambo- in fact it is the first Rambo (don't worry it was Tivo'd and is edited)

So that is my Valentine story. It has been a good day. Check back in early next week for more updates about Baby J, Ken and Me- more specifically-

Lab results, The Amazing Disappearing Sores (maybe I will get to Kiss my Husband in February!), The Working Mother and what she plans to do with her Money (I hope to soon be a Hundredaire!) and how the Exercise and Weight loss is going (my scale broke- is that a bad thing?)

Happy Valentine's

Monday, February 9, 2009

Oh, Billy Joel, you're on my mind

And so it goes, that is what I named the previous post, and this is why. I have been singing this song to myself lately. It is a beautiful song, a message that is understood and felt by, dare I say, all of us, because all of us have felt love at some point in our lives, I hope.

Ken, is truly the only one of you who gets my whole heart to break, I guess the baby gets a good majority of it. Life, and all that comes along with living, seems to be trying to break it too. I think that friends get a special room in my heart all to themselves, after all, friends get a different type of love. It is interesting for me to think about how blogging allows me to open that friend room in my heart, and talk about things, that I actually have a hard time talking about. (I tend to cry when certain doors are opened) And so, it is kind of like Therapy, this blog, good cheap therapy. It is good thing for my soul and my budget. Thanks for being my sounding board.

And so it goes......

For the past few days I have felt down at times, I felt a little like I had post traumatic stress disorder, I would feel fine and then I would cry, I wouldn't want to speak to anyone and then I was desperate to speak to anyone. (I even talked to a telemarketer because he seemed nice.) I have started to feel better today, the gigantic amount of unknown items looming out there doesn't seem to scare me as much as it did a few days ago. But what does bother me is how quickly things change. Just when I get used to dealing with certain parts of our current situation, it changes.

Ken got sent home from work today, I was OK with that, he has the ability to work from home and maybe he would take things a little easier if he was at home. He was told he could return to work when he got a Doctors note. Well we called to find out what the cultures had grown. Surprise- the cultures were negative. Ken asked what negative meant, he had been tested for strep as well as staph, the doctor was pretty sure it was staph. The person relaying the results said they didn't know, the message they were given was just to say that the cultures were negative. (My question is- so what is causing the multiple sores, or dare I say Lesions, on my husbands face). A Doctor's not was faxed to Ken's office and I am 90% sure that he will go into work tomorrow. If I had been sent home and told to come back when the doctor said I could come back I would have tried my hardest to squeeze a few days off work out of that doctor!

So now, we wait and see if he gets better- if we don't see improvement in the next couple of days, we march back into the doctors office and demand more testing or better drugs. Ha, I can not see Ken or I demanding that, we would quietly ask for it with shy little smiles and hope against hope that we are not ignored.

Speaking of Doctors. I took the baby to his Pediatrician today to get some labs drawn. Our Pediatrician had just read the hospital reports and was amazed by what had happened to us. He was also quite perplexed. He wasn't sure that Von Willebrands was going to come up positive. He also thought that it was too early to run more tests. He gave the baby a physical, he is doing well other than a slight heart murmur- which can be attributed to the Anemia and which he will follow over the next few visits. He also recommended a second supplement of Iron on top of the Multi-Vitamin with Iron that I started giving the Baby on Friday. Hopefully once baby has a normal Iron level and the Anemia is under control the Heart Murmur will go away, until then I have one more thing to wonder and worry about- nothing new really, I am getting pretty good at collecting things to worry about.

We left the Pediatricians office with a Lab Request for 4 maybe 5 tests (it is kind of funny how each doctor adds more tests, but it makes me feel good that they are really trying to figure out what happened), I am going up to LDS Hospital to have lunch with a friend this week and then the Baby and I will head back over to Primary Children's to have the labs drawn. Then we start the next waiting game, some of the labs will take 3 or more days to get final results.

And so it goes, and so it goes......

While we wait, the baby is up to his old tricks, and some new ones. I gave him a new nickname today. Mister Mischievous.
This is yesterday, when he found a nice place to sit, some fun computer cords to pull on, and an old cell phone to suck on.

I had to take one more picture before I took the phone away, he was just too cute.

This morning, after I had repacked the diaper bag, it got unpacked

Luckily the formula container was empty- he prefers the powder lately to the bottle itself.
And Finally, he discovered that his favorite place to sit and pull on cords had been blocked, He used all his mischievous powers to attempt a header into the 8"x 8" spot that was still open. When he heard the camera chime he stopped and tried to pretend that there was nothing silly going on.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Stop the World, I want off!

I think, at times in our lives, all of us want to stop the world, to go back in time, or even just to breath and have the time and maybe even the mental capacity to figure out what is going on or what has gone wrong. I have had that moment- several of those moments, in the past 72 hours.

On Tuesday morning there was something funny about the Baby's Diaper. From the outside it looked reddish brown, I was expecting a very messy and smelly diaper. But when I got the diaper off, there was no mess, just urine…..just reddish brown urine. The warning buzzer went off in my head- I called the Urologists office and left a message. A few minutes later I got a call back from the nurse. There was no active bleeding and he probably just had a clot that came loose and colored his urine, there was no need to worry. I still worried, but went on with our day, after all, there was no active bleeding, and he looked and acted fine.

We had a pretty good day on Tuesday, that is until 4:30 when the baby seemed a little fussy- he was hungry, he also hadn’t been changed in a little while and so I decided to be a good mother and change him before I fed him. Except for that first diaper of the day, all the other diapers had been normal, and I was Freaked Out to see blood coming from my son. He wasn’t peeing, but there was a nice steady flow of blood coming from where the urine comes from. It wasn’t coming from the surgical incision; it was coming from somewhere inside.

I picked him up, and ran out of my house and down the street to a nurse who lives close by. She was home, and I was able to explain to her that the baby had surgery a week before and was now bleeding. In the time it took to explain his situation he stopped bleeding. She got out a nursing book but couldn’t find anything specific about bleeding after a Hypospadias Repair. She did her best to reassure me that he had not bleed too much and that the fact that it stopped on its own was a good sign. She encouraged me to call the doctors office again. By then it was 5 pm, the office was closed and so I spoke to the resident on call. He told me that he understood why I was scared and explained a few reasons why he would bleed and why he may have had blood in his urine. He told me how to apply pressure, should the bleeding happen again. If bleeding lasted longer than 10 minutes we should bring him to the hospital. The baby wasn’t acting sick, or in pain, in fact he was his active bubbly self. I wanted to take him to the hospital, despite all that I had been told, despite the fact that he seemed fine. I was scared and all I could think of was the fact that my baby had been bleeding.

It happened again after Ken got home from work. We applied pressure and it stopped. I still felt uneasy. We prayed, several times and came to the conclusion that if he bled overnight or even if he had blood in his urine over night, we would take him to the doctor on Wednesday. He was acting quite fussy at 6, the resident had explained that his stitches may be pulling and I remembered my stitches pulling and that being quite painful and so I gave him some ibuprofen, I thought it was good that he hadn’t needed more than one dose every 24 to 36 hours over the previous 3 days, he was almost completely healed from the surgery. And so, the baby was put to bed around 7.

I cried when we were going to bed that night. I just didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t talk, what if he bled and passed out, or worse over night. I did fall asleep. At 2:30 I heard the baby cry, I had decided that this night was different, I wouldn’t let him just go back to sleep, anytime he cried I was going to check on him, and check his diaper.

I pulled him out of bed, in the dim light I didn’t notice anything wrong. I did notice something when I got him to his changing table. His Pajamas looked darker, I flipped on the light. His Pajamas were bloody, front and back from his abdomen to his thighs. I screamed for Ken, and quickly unzipped the pajamas, the diaper was red, from the outside, when I opened the diaper it was soaked, completely soaked with blood. Not Bloody Urine, Blood. I told Ken that I felt we needed to get the baby to the emergency room immediately, he agreed.

I had the presence of mind to put on a bra, and then I noticed that the baby also looked dehydrated, his little mouth was dry, his lips were so dry they were crinkly. Ken was able to get the diaper bag, he made sure we had all the proper insurance documents, made sure I had a coat and then he drove us to the nearest emergency room that took our insurance. (I noticed hours later that Ken also had the presence of mind to put jeans on- making him look like a normal person- I on the other hand had gone to bed in a Turquoise shirt and a pair of 10 year old navy blue, green and red plaid flannel pajama pants that were 3 inches too short).

It seemed like it took forever to get there, I sat in the back holding the baby’s hand, I told myself that as long as he gripped my fingers he was fine, so anytime he let go, I touched his face and neck to wake him up, he would then grab my fingers. The ER was under construction and we had no idea where to park, the only entrance was the Ambulance entrance and so Ken stopped and let me out with the baby, I ran in and found a nurse. I was cry so much that she couldn’t understand what I was saying. “My baby is bleeding, he had surgery and now he is bleeding” “He is having trouble breathing” “No, not Breathing, he is Bleeding” “He’s not Breathing” I was clutching the baby too me, so I un-clutched a little and she saw his pajamas and understood, “He’s Bleeding” At that point we had 2 nurses a Doctor and a nursing student and a few other people, trying to pull me into two different rooms. They finally agreed on which room was best, got him on the bed, took off his clothes and went to work. I stood there crying and answering questions.

The doctor estimated that the baby's diaper held about a cup of blood. When babies are born they only have about a cup of blood. I couldn’t find anything on the Internet about older babies, but I plan to find out- because I am very interested. Adults have about 10 pints of blood- (20 cups?) so it makes sense that our baby would have somewhere between ¼- ½ the amount of blood that we have since he is ¼- ½ the size of an adult. So a cup of blood seemed pretty significant to me.

It took just about everyone in the ER to put an IV in. It was so hard to find a vein in his chubby limbs that they finally decided to put the IV in his neck. They gave him some fluids and his heart rate (which had been up around 200) and his blood pressure (which had been quite low) stabilized. By this time he had stopped bleeding and Primary Children’s Medical Center was called and they agreed to accept him, so Baby and I got to ride in an Ambulance. It was interesting; they strapped his car seat the ambulances gurney. Safety- First and Always.

Once at Primary Children’s his IV was changed to a more suitable location. (Ken and I both agreed that should we ever need to take a child to the ER, it would be worth it to take them to a Children’s Hospital, as they specialize and have less problems with small veins.) We talked to the ER Physician, to the Resident Urologist, and then we waited. About 5 or 6 hours later we were admitted to the RTU (Rapid Treatment Unit) as a 23-hour observation. We learned quickly that observation means just that- the baby was going to be observed. They tried to run a few blood tests- the Hematocrit was run twice each day, it went down from 23 to 19 and then went back up to 20! I asked what normal was…..30, but at least he had stabilized. They also wanted to run tests for Hemophilia- because he was bleeding and he is a boy. But it became way to apparent that he was not a hemophiliac when the blood they were attempting to get into the test tubes, clotted, even before they could get it all into the tube. The doctors were told that they were barking up the wrong tree, and a new test was ordered, a test that would see how long he would bleed for before the clotting factors kicked in (or something like that), the IV Team was quick enough to get good blood for the test, but it couldn’t be run because his Hematocrit was too low. Night came, Ken went home and I slept on the parents bed in the baby's room, the next morning when they tried to draw blood for this new test, the blood clotted too fast again and so the test could not be run.

(Wild Baby- in his cage)

(Ken had to leave to go to a Doctors appointment of his own, for the past few days we have thought that Ken had his first cold sores- but the sores were spreading and he was feeling sick. The doctor said that the sores were not cold sores- they were either a Staph infection or a Strep infection, they took cultures and gave him a powerful antibiotic and some ointments. We both thought- What more could happen to our family this week. I wanted to cry. Now back to the baby.)

The Urologists were stumped; the surgical site looked great and there was no reason to believe that the bleeding was related to the surgery other than the fact that the blood was coming from his urethra. After 32 hours in the RTU we finally were able to meet with two hematologists, both had the same opinions. 1- the Bleed was most likely caused by Ibuprofen use in a child with some type of blood disorder. 2- the blood disorder to test for first would be von Willebrand’s Disease. As they told us more and more about von Willebrand’s I could see its symptoms in my family.

According to Web MD
“Von Willebrand's disease is a bleeding disorder in which a protein in your body's blood system is missing or does not work well. The protein is called von Willebrand factor. If the von Willebrand factor is working properly, it helps your blood clot. Clotting stops the bleeding when you are cut or injured.
The von Willebrand factor usually carries another blood-clotting protein called factor VIII. If you have von Willebrand's disease, the two proteins may not attach properly to each other. Your blood will not clot as well as it should.
What causes von Willebrand's disease?
Von Willebrand's disease usually is passed down through families. It is the most common bleeding disorder present at birth (congenital)1, but most cases are mild. About 1% of people may inherit this disease.3 If one parent has von Willebrand's disease, a child has a 50% chance of having the condition.1 Men and women are equally likely to have von Willebrand's disease.
What are the symptoms?
Excessive bleeding is the main symptom of von Willebrand's disease. The severity of the condition varies from person to person, even within the same family.1 Over half of all women with von Willebrand's disease have very heavy menstrual bleeding. Other symptoms include frequent nosebleeds and heavy bleeding after injury or surgery.1
Von Willebrand's disease causes symptoms similar to the bleeding disorder hemophilia.”

Hmmm. Yep, those symptoms pretty much match my family, at least as far as menstrual bleeding and nosebleeds go.

I felt much better about taking baby home after talking to the Hematologists, I had lived in fear for 2 days that nothing would happen at the hospital, we would be sent home with tons of questions, and baby would wake up bloody again. But armed with the knowledge that Ibuprofen may have caused the bleeding and with the hope that we would be able to find out why, I was ready to go home. We left the hospital a little after 6 pm.

(My two patients, upon returning home last night, who looks sicker?)
So, On Monday, Baby gets to go to his Pediatrician to have 3 more blood tests run, the Hematocrit, the Von Willebrand Pannel and a Platelet Function Assay (I think this is the second test they tried to run at the hospital). Hopefully the blood won’t clot. Then next week we get to go see the Hematologist and start down the road of figuring out what really happened and learning how to prevent it in the future.

We are starting to see the Silver Lining around the dark clouds that have been hovering over us the past few days. We found the baby in time to get him help, after he was rehydrated he never even acted sick, he was all smiles and giggles for his nurses (as long as no one with a needle came within 10 feet). If he tests positive for von Willebrand’s, then I and maybe other members of my family will get tested, and maybe then we can get treated for bad menstrual periods and be better prepared for complications in future surgeries or childbirths. If positive, we would also need to test our future children as soon as possible after they are born, as they would have about a 50% chance of having the disease also. Ken realized last night that if we had not had to reschedule his surgery from earlier in the month, we would most likely have had to miss his younger brother's wedding. Finally, we have so many family and friends who prayed and helped, (Thanks so much to my sister who brought me clothes that first day- I felt very funny in my ugly pajamas, especially after I realized my shirt had baby's blood on it, those pajamas may be going in the trash.) so back to the original thought- we felt the love and prayers of all those who knew what was going on, and it has also been interesting to see how many friends who didn’t know what was going on, suddenly had us on their minds and didn’t know why. Thank You.

On a complete side note- the Baby signed for the first time while we were in the hospital. I was feeding him peaches and a muffin and he kept opening and closing his hand. It took me a few minutes to realize he was also staring at the bottle that was on the table near us, and so I asked him “Do you want milk? And I made the sign for milk and pointed to the bottle, and he made the sign again, and smiled. He drank that bottle and then another, it was a sweet moment, peaches and muffins are good, but my baby wanted milk, and he told me!
(this is a picture of baby that I took this morning, with his bear that the hospital gave him)