Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Spending time with Ryker's best buds

Derek & Andrea's little girl, Charlee Sue, came over to our house one afternoon for about 1 1/2 hrs. when her parents were in a bind. She was so tired after her dr.'s visit that she just slept the whole time! We were happy to have her!

Kacie & Dan's little boy, Finley, came over last Friday for an entire work day since his parents were also in a bind. The 3 of us had lots of fun! Finley is crawling all over and playing with everything. He already loves saying "da da" and "ma ma" (of course, "da da" came first). In the above moment, Ryker was trying to steal Finley's water cup. It was so funny!

See Ryker's plan: "Hold down Finley's right hand so I can grab the cup before him!" haha!

Side note: Check out Ryker's head of hair (or lack of hair) in the above pictures. He's been totally balding, except for the little clumps of hair in the back! It looks pretty funny. No more mohawks for a while now! ;) As of today, we can tell he has some new hairs coming in on the top...looks a bit lighter too.

Priceless smile!

Our boy is sure growing!

Talkin' to Daddy!

Sitting up all on his own! Yes, this month Ryker has learned how to sit up by himself for several seconds. He still topples over eventually but is impressing Mama & Dada!

Sitting in his highchair for the 1st time! That face cracks me up! haha. :)

More April Moments!

Showin' some style in our Memphis outfits! Even though our Tigers lost to KU (boo!), they're still #1 to us! What a stressful game that was, and living in KC is the worst place to be when our team lost to KU. Yeah, it was rubbed in our faces a bit. Oh well. MEMPHIS TIGERS still are the best!

1st time eating rice cereal! Ryker's still learning how to eat it without it all ending up outside of his mouth instead of staying in and swallowing it.

1st time wearing shorts! He absolutely LOVES being outside.

Tippy! Ryker always gets such a kick out of her fetching the ball and giving him kisses. They're a good pair.

Always too cute for words!

Ryker misses his Auntie Malena!

Malena was able to make it from Denver to KC for Ryker's Baptism and visit with her nephew/godson for the 2nd time. (She hadn't seen him since Thanksgiving, 1 week after he was born, so she was definitely ready to come see him.) Ryker sure loves his Auntie, and she sure loves him...the pictures sure show the love! Thankfully she'll be seeing him again soon this summer. :)

Another Visit with Papa & Nona!

"You're so funny, Nona!"

What a proud Papa!

Saying goodbye after church...we'll be seeing you during your next visit over Memorial Day weekend! Love you both!

Ryker's Baptism

April 5th--Celebrating Ryker's Baptism with Auntie Malena (godmother), both sets of our parents, and both of Jeff's grandparents

Ryker loves his new "Lift the Flap Bible"

Someone's getting a little tired from the big day!

Thank Heaven for Little Boys!

End of March

THANK YOU to everyone who left messages about our St. Patrick's Day scare, called us, and kept us in your thoughts and prayers. It's pretty crazy thinking back to all that happened. Ryker is doing very well and gaining his weight back and then some! I'm trying to get caught up on here, so you'll be seeing lots of pictures that we've taken since the end of March.
Easter Sunday

Hangin' out in Grandma & Grandpa's Exersaucer for the 1st time

Happy Birthday Great-Grandpa!
Snugglin' with Grandpa

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Scare of Our Lives

A lot has been going on lately, so here's what's been happening. (This post will probably be a LONG one, so feel free to read if you have time. This is more for me to let it all out.) On what used to be one of my favorite holidays since I lived in Ireland, St. Patrick's Day turned out to be one of the scariest days of our lives. (Let's see if I can type this up without getting teary eyed.)

Ryker had his 4 month appointment that afternoon. The pediatrician told us that he is 70th percentile for length, but he wasn't gaining enough weight; of course that started me off with my emotions and "mommy guilt". Believe me, mommy guilt is the worst! She said it'll be ok, because we'll supplement formula along with me still nursing and in 2 weeks he'll look like a new chubby baby! Then he got his 4 mo. shots (2 in each leg), so my poor kiddo wasn't too happy at that moment. We got home, gave him 4 oz. of Enfamil formula since it was feeding time, and then Jeff left for his Master's class. That's when it all went downhill.

In the next 10 minutes or so, what appeared to look like a bug bite showed up to the right of his eye. Then more appeared around his chin. I called Nurse Line to see what I should one was available, so someone would call me back. I swear, those next 5-10 minutes seemed like forever, because my beautiful baby boy had hives all over! When a nurse called back, she said call your physician immediately. As I was freaking out, dealing with his all by myself, not knowing what was wrong with my baby, I called the on-call dr. number since it was after office hours. The receptionist said to bring him right in. I hopped in the truck and drove about 90 to the dr.'s office. At that point he looked even worse. My level of "freaking out" had rose to the top of the charts. (Keep in mind, this was all only within a 1/2 hr. of giving Ryker the Enfamil.) I called Jeff three times in a row on the drive and when he finally answered as he stepped out of his class, I broke down. He couldn't even understand what I was saying at first, and then I told him what was going on. Of course, he didn't know what to think and left right away. What's crazy about that moment is that Ryker wasn't even acting like anything was wrong. I was even more scared on the drive, because he was so silent in the car seat. I was afraid he was going to stop breathing, so I kept sticking my hand back there to check his mouth. He just kept wanting to suck on my finger like always, so his breathing was fine.

Once I got there, I rushed him to the front desk and started bawling again. I said I didn't know what was wrong with my baby, and they brought us back right away to the nurses. We got him out of the car seat, and he was literally covered in hives from head to toe, face and body all red, and ears completely swollen. One thing that was funny about all of this is that even though Ryker didn't look like himself and his mommy was a wreck, he sure was smiling away at everyone that came in to see him, acting like nothing was wrong! What an absolute sweetheart. They gave him some Benadryl after 2 dr.'s looked at him, which made the hives start going away. I started feeling a lot better. At that time, Jeff arrived. It was so good to have him there, not being alone anymore, and I explained everything that happened. Since Ryker was looking a bit better, Jeff never got to see how horrible he looked. Daddy was sure scared though! After the dr. was talking to us about what it could be (the Enfamil or the shots), Ryker started to vomit profusely, literally like 5 times in a row. That is when the nurses came in again to help. The dr. had to give him an EpiPen, since he was having an anaphylactic allergic reaction. Just think of how hard it is to see your little baby boy getting a hard jab with a needle into his little thigh and the nurses having to hold him down for the dr. as he's crying in pain. I lost it again, just after we thought he was getting better. Literally within 10 min., the hives and swelling seemed to disappear. It sure worked fast. (Later I found out that was only the 2nd time that the dr. ever had to give an EpiPen to a patient, and that she and the nurses had never seen an allergic reaction with a little one this bad before.)

After he seemed to get a lot better again, they dropped a bombshell that they wanted to send Ryker to the Children's hospital to stay overnight for observations. Of course, I lost it again, just thinking how bad this had gotten. I held him so tight with tears randomly strolling down my cheeks as we waited. Jeff stood there too in a daze and in shock of everything that was happening. They called for an ambulance to pick him up, and when an ambulance comes, a firetruck comes with it. About 8 guys came in the room to see what was going on, which definitely overwhelmed us and brought me to more tears. After the dr. gave me comforting words and a hug, we put Ryker in his car seat on the stretcher. The men wheeled him to the ambulance and led me to the back to sit by our son. Jeff had to follow behind and follow in his truck. The whole experience definitely wore Ryker out, so he slept the entire ride. They didn't have the lights and sirens on but were apparently going about 80 on the freeway according to Jeff, so that worried him even more of not knowing if something was wrong. On the drive to the hospital, Jeff called his parents to let them know what was going on. Jeff's not a major emotional guy like his wife, but the moment his dad answered the phone, he lost it. That of course scared his dad not knowing what was wrong. Once Jeff was able to bring himself together, he explained what he could in a short phone call to them and then to my parents to let them know that he thinks everything will be ok.

Once we got there, we noticed a few more hives and his ears started to swell up a little bit again. (The dr. did say earlier that one of the reasons she wanted Ryker to stay overnight is because there could be a 2nd relapse, and sometimes it can be worse that the 1st reaction since it's still in his system. Thankfully, Ryker ended up not having a 2nd relapse. Those hives and swelling went away after some time.) Everyone at the hospital was very nice and sweet to Ryker. He was just so tired and very weak. Our baby, who always had great head control since birth, could barely keep his head up. That night was a very long one. Jeff's parents came right away, so that made us feel better to have them there. (I can't imagine what my parents were going through not being able to be with us.) There was only a twin size mattress for Jeff and I to sleep on. Jeff got about 3 hrs. of sleep; I got about 1 hour. Ryker looked so little in that crib, all hooked up to monitors, and so tired. My mind kept thinking back to all that happened in such a short amount of time. It kept thinking ahead to what could happen overnight. It kept wandering to thinking about the worst. It kept giving me more mommy guilt, even though I knew I shouldn't.

The next day he was getting much better. We all came to the conclusion that he was allergic to milk. He tried a hypoallergenic Enfamil formula, and he had the most disgusted face when he pushed away the bottle more than once. Then we tried a Similac brand (Allimentum), and thankfully he drank that. I also met with a lactation consultant who was a huge help. We set up a strict feeding schedule for Ryker to help him gain his weight back. The time of departure was unsure on our part, but we thought they'd let us go home that afternoon. That time came and went. The dr. wanted us to meet with an allergist, and he wasn't going to be around until the next morning. So another night was spent on that lovely mattress. After meeting with the allergy specialist in the late morning, we got a lot of information on having a milk allergy including the fact that I need to take milk out of my diet since I'm still nursing. We also found out that Ryker has the signs of eczema. (A lot of children who have an allergy get eczema.) Just great! They also trained us on how to use EpiPens. (Please God, don't make us ever have to use one on him.) The nurses took his blood to check to see if he's allergic to anything else like wheat, egg, peanut, soy, etc. (We got the results back the next week and found out that it's only milk.) We left that Wed. finally at about 1:30 pm. So our hospital stay was 2 nights and 3 days. The nurses sent a fuzy blanket home with us that volunteers make for patients, so that was nice.

Long story not short...WHAT AN EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER RIDE!!! I was already emotional from the 1st dr. visit for his 4 mo. checkup about Ryker's weight. Then when everything else happened it was up and down, up and down, up and down. THANKFULLY, he has been doing great since then. We took him in to the pediatrician that Friday for a weight check, and he had gained 1 lb. in 5 days! So the strict feeding schedule was working. :) Also at that visit, we found out that the dr. who gave him the EpiPen that scary day is also the wife of Jeff's professor from his Thurs. night class! What a small world! (At least Jeff feels better that his professor now truly understands why he didn't go to his Thurs. night class!) I'm still supplementing formula, but no longer Allimentum (which ended up being very expensive, twice the amount of the regular kind). He's now using a soy formula and is getting to be quite the CHUB!!! It's been hard taking dairy out of my diet, but it's worth it knowing that Ryker will be ok. He's just so cute and is so happy all the time now that he's always full. :) I'll post some pictures that we took the day we left the hospital. Even though he had been through a lot, he still had smiles to give everyone!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hospital Smiles

One of the nurses gave him a stylin' mohawk...I think he likes it!

Taking a break to play

Passed out from all of the play time! Too cute!

For those of you who knew what was going on, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. It was a tough time, but you helped us through it. God Bless You and lots of love sent your way!