Sunday, July 25, 2010

Travis being Travis

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Travis looking like a doll.

Travis was enjoying his day at the wild animal park. We were sitting by the flamingos during this picture and he couldn't keep his eyes off of them.

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Big Boy Travis

Travis showing off his million dollar smile.

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Ready to ride

this is travis getting ready for his walk around the neighborhood.

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9 Months

I can't even believe that Travis turned 9 months old on Thursday (7/23). What a miracle!! We have been blessed with our little man for 3/4 of a year! Travis is really amazing. He is growing and developing at lightning speed! Here are some of the highlights...

*We took Travis to his 8 month developmental appointment last week. I was totally expecting them to say that he is right where he needs to be (with regards to his milestones). However, they said that Travis IS behind in Gross Motor skills. The say he is at about 6 months with that. I was a little disappointed to hear that. I really shouldn't be disappointed by that......ALL babies develop at different rates. The good news is that they are going to finally give him some physical therapy to help him learn to crawl. Roger and I have a theory that he doesn't like to tuck his knees into his chest because his sternum is sore and it may be painful (from the surgeries). Maybe physical therapy will help!!! As far as fine motor skills, he is doing great!! He is right on track!

*We changed up the nipples we were using for Travis' bottles (to level 4....we had NO idea they had a level 4) and Travis seems to be doing a bit better. We even had to bust out the 8 oz bottles for his night time feed (he drinks 5 oz at night)!! That is good news! Since he was released from the hospital a few weeks ago, he has been gaining weight at a steady pace! Yay!

*We had a follow up with the urologist last week to check out his infection. The swelling has disappeared on one side of his testes but he has a tiny bit of swelling in the other one. The urologist is going to follow up with an ultrasound in four more weeks. He again mentioned that it is EXTREMELY rare for a baby to get epididymitis. Just our luck, right?

*We have (again) moved Travis out of our room and into his crib (he was sleeping in his bassinet still since his last surgery in May). He does *okay* in there. He wakes up a couple times a night still to eat and he cries because he definitely prefers to snuggle with us in our bed. Eventually we need to get him to fall asleep on his own. He still needs mama or daddy to snuggle him to sleep! I have to admit, I really enjoy that part!! However, I know that in a few weeks when I go back to work I will need to time to get things done around the house, etc.

*We see the cardiologist again at the end of the month and I want to get a better understanding of if Travis is considered "medically fragile". HLHS babies are generally considered their most fragile between the Norwood surgery and the Glenn surgery. Since Travis did not end up having the Glenn (they did a Norwood Part 2 instead) we are not sure if he is still lumped into this group. Most babies have there Glenn by 6 months so we are not sure if the medically fragile label includes the risk that comes from just being a newborn with an underdeveloped immune system. We definitely have been pushing the boundaries and taking Travis out and about more than we did early on but we are still very careful with him. I guess we will see what he says.....

*THE BEST NEWS EVER = Travis said his first real word the other was MAMA. He has been making Ba, Ya, and Ma sounds for several weeks but he makes them in succession (MAMAMAMAMAMA, YAYAYAYAYA, etc.). The other day, he said Mama all alone with no other sounds while I was feeding him cereal and talking to him. My heart leaped out of my chest. Yay! He loves me the best (just kidding Roger)!! He probably has no idea that I am Mama but, I like to think he does.

*I start back to school in a few weeks and I am becoming a nervous wreck about it! I am starting back at a new school were I really don't know many of the staff and I don't have a relationship with the principal. This is particularly difficult for me since I have been out so long and I will be leaving my special needs baby at home. It would be nice to at least have the support of the old staff that I was used to. I am hopeful that the transition from Stay-at-home momma to working-mama is smooth....but, I know there will be tears! Thank GOD my mom is going to be watching least I don't have the worry of a stranger taking care of my little buggie!

*Travis can now stand if he has something to hold on to! He can't yet pull himself up to a standing position but he sure likes to stand and hang on to things. He loves to hang onto the dog crates (when the dogs are in there sleeping) and stare at them. He LOVES watching the dogs these days. They are quite fascinating to him!

*I had to give Travis another haircut the other night. It was just getting too long. I tried my best but I really am no good at it. When all was said and done he looked like Lloyd from the movie Dumb and Dumber :( To make things worse, Roger didn't want me to cut off the hair in the back that is beginning to make little curls so his hair is short on top and long in the back......mullet, anyone? Next time we are taking him to the professionals!!!

*Since we found out about Travis' condition we have used the internet to connect with HLHS families all over the place. In the beginning Roger loved to reach out to these families and use their experiences to educate us. I, however, did not want to read the stories because along with the success stories came the sad ones. I steered clear of blogs and other heart mommas until long after Travis first hospital stay. One by one, I became internet friends (and some real life friends) with some of these amazing women! It has been a privilege to watch their babies succeed and I hope I have given out some tidbits of advice that helped them when needed. The problem with support groups like this is that you have to take the bad with all the good. I can handle hearing the ups and downs of surgery but I really have a difficult time handling the passing of a beautiful HLHS baby. I think this is the reason I steered clear of it all in the beginning. I just kind of wanted to focus on our story and not think of Travis' mortality until the time came. In the last few months, 4 of the babies that I have read of and/or got to know have passed away and each time it is like reality socking me right in the gut. When you hear of these Angel babies you is their story different? Can I prevent that from happening to Travis? It really forces you to focus on your baby's illness. It is so difficult.....It makes my heart so heavy, not only for the families of these babies but also for our reality!!! I try to force the bad thoughts out of my head but they sneak in ALL.THE.TIME. and they sometimes hang around...even during the great days! I wish my brain had an off button. I just want to focus on the good things and enjoy every minute we have with our little buggie!!!!!! I guess the big lesson in all of this is to never take life for granted.....use every minute to make those memories with your loved ones because life is NOT A GUARANTEE!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Travis having some fun with animals.

Travis and his dog Zee.

Travis on his first pony ride with mommy.
Next go around with daddy.

Travis back having some fun.

Travis eating in his new big boy high chair.
What up Daddy!!!
Travis and his heart buddies.
Travis about to go on his first pony ride.
Let's go horsey.
This is so fun Mommy.
Travis giving his dog Zee a kiss.
Travis and his dogs Zee and Vinny.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Well, this week sucked!

We were just released from the hospital today. Travis has a bad infection. Here's the story...

Saturday Travis and daddy were supposed to head to the Wild Animal Park with some friends. Travis was super fussy all morning and did not want to eat. He felt warm so I took his temperature and he had a fever of 101. We made an appointment with urgent care. The on call doctor asked us some questions and checked his ears. He said Travis had a mild ear infection in his right ear. He prescribed some antibiotics and sent us home. On Sunday, the fourth of July, we had an action packed day and Travis seemed to be feeling really fever and pretty good temperament. However, the next morning he woke up super fussy and remained that way throughout the day. On Monday, we noticed his scrotum was red and enlarged. I e-mailed the doc and was awaiting a response. Meanwhile, that night we were super worried because his pulse rate was high and not returning to its baseline. His fever had increased to 102. We took him to Palomar hospital's ER. They saw him right away and did a chest x-ray, blood work, and a urine culture. After a few hours they transferred us by ambulance to Children's. The next morning they did an ultrasound on his scrotum and a few other little test. The docs at Children's did NOT see an ear infection. They determined he had epididymitis, an infection caused by manipulation of the area. What that means is.....Travis caught an infection during on of his numerous times he has had to have a catheter inserted for procedures/surgery. It is pretty uncommon for a baby to get this infection. Oy! Our luck sucks!! Anyway, they prescribed a different antibiotic and sent us home that same day. Wednesday, Travis was a mess!! He was inconsolable, pulse rate still high, he hadn't eaten or drank anything for quite awhile and he had diarrhea. So, back to the ER we went. This time we took him to Kaiser Zion since it was closer to his regular doctors. They admitted him yesterday and got an IV in him for fluids and stronger antibiotics. They were pretty confidant that his heart was NOT an issue. They repeated the ultrasound of his scrotum and confirmed the diagnosis. They also did a heart echo to be sure. After 12 hours of fluids and antibiotics Travis started to perk up. He looks and is acting sooo much better! They ended up releasing us today. The infection and swelling will take awhile to go away so he is still uncomfortable. To make matters worse, the diarrhea gave him a bad diaper rash. Our poor little guy!! Anyway, we will go back to see the urologist in a week or so to see how it is coming along. What a crazy week it has been. Thank you all for your prayers!!! Hopefully, we will not see another E.R. anytime soon!!!

A few other things to note.....
*Travis started to walk when holding on to our hands last week. It is the cutest thing. He gets so excited and his feet hop around like he is dancing!

*Travis started swim lesson last week (we have to take a break until this infection goes away) and he LOVED it! It is pretty much just a "get used to the water" kind of thing....but it is fun family time.

*He is talking and babbling more and more.....he says BAAABAAABAAA and we thought we hear "Uh-oh" and "up"

Monday, July 5, 2010

A busy week for Travis

Travis had a busy week playing, swimming, shopping, and watching his first baseball game followed by fireworks. He also has his first ear infection which has turned our normal happy baby into a fussy one. He still manages to smile a lot and have a good time. He really is a good boy and we are blessed to have him.
Travis playing with his toys on the couch like a big boy.
Travis started swim lessons this week. One of the activities was to retrieve the plastic balls and bring them back to the instructor. As you can see in the picture he is focused on the ball.
Nicole was helping Travis with his first day of swim school.
Travis sporting daddy's hat.
Travis waiting patiently for breakfast.
Travis with is trademark smile.
We took Travis to his first baseball game on July 4th.
Having some fun with Daddy at the game.
Travis was much more interested in people watching than watching the game.
This is Travis looking at the Ice Cream man. I WANT ICE CREAM!!!
Daddy bought Travis his first bat. He thought it was a big pacifier.
Travis got a little bored during the game. But he stayed up for the entire 2 and a half hour game and fell asleep right when the fireworks started.
Travis got to go to Pet Smart and see the fishes. He was mesmerized by the fish, birds, and all the reptiles in the store.
Travis comfortable in Mommy's arm.