1. First flight – We were scheduled to fly to Calgary on Wednesday, but the storm prevented the plane from landing so we were rescheduled to another flight later that evening. What do you do with 5 hours to kill when you’re an hour from home? Go to the mall, of course, and shop! We found a really great hockey-size duffel bag for $13, a cute toque for baby, and some stocking stuffers. Back to the airport … only to learn that the evening flight couldn’t land either, so we were rescheduled to leave the next morning. We headed home for a very short nap in our own bed – four hours later, we were up again and off to the airport. This time, the plane landed, picked us up, and had us in Calgary on time. We were so excited to see our friends and their 3 boys!
2. First colicy night – Friday night was an absolute mess! While Nicholas was breastfeeding, he was acting fussier than normal … spitting out the nipple to cry for a couple of seconds, then suckling again, until the moment he completely rejected the nipple and started screaming. This was the first time we’d ever experienced anything like this! Until now, the breast ALWAYS stopped him from crying/fussing. He kept this up most of the night. Patrick and I took turns bouncing him until Patrick passed out from exhaustion. I went upstairs and Tracy helped me – her suggestion was to bounce him vigorously on the exercise ball. It worked well, but he started screaming again every time we stopped bouncing. We tried some gripe water … it gave him a couple of good burps and then he was quiet for about 20 minutes. Finally, at around 5am, he settled into a restful sleep, so I got a couple of hours of sleep with him in the armchair. He slept quite a bit the next day and had a great sleep that night, until …
3. First vomit – It was straight out of a horror movie! I woke up at 7am, an hour after feeding him, to see him open his little mouth and a 1-foot arc of vomit coming straight towards my face. I managed to push myself out of the way fast enough that only my chest and arm were covered. We quickly flipped him on his side, because he wasn’t done yet. It was gross and scary, but the little guy (with vomit all over his face) just giggled up at us, wiggling his little body as though nothing had happened! How blissfully unafraid he was – we tried to keep our fear hidden, so his inborn sense of courage would stay intact.
4. First dinosaur – I tried feeding him again at 10am, but he only kept it down for half an hour. We stressed over whether to continue with our plans for the day (visiting the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller) or stay at home. Nicholas didn’t seem distressed by any of this, so we decided to go ahead with our day trip. He spent most of the day sleeping and didn’t even ask to be fed once all day. I was starting to really worry by 7pm, so we phoned the HealthLink line. After describing his symptoms, the nurse recommended we take him to Emergency at Alberta Children’s Hospital.
5. First visit to Emergency in Alberta – Here’s the hospital you want to be taking your child to when he’s ill. The facility is brand new, well-designed, and the staff are wonderful. The doctors are all pediatricians (they wouldn’t even look at my sore throat – only children are treated) and they explained everything super well. We never became overly worried because they were so open with us every step of the way. He wasn’t presenting with flu symptoms (no diarrhea) so they took an x-ray to see if he had a blockage. Luckily, he didn’t, so we fed him Pedialyte every 15-30 minutes throught the night. He was able to keep most of it down, which was good – because if he didn’t they would have tried to put in an IV (this would have been very difficult and painful for him because he’s too chubby to find veins easily). In the morning, he had a barium swallow and they took x-rays to see if he had a twisted Ligament of Treitz. Again, all clear. By this time, he did have some diarrhea, so he was diagnosed with the stomach flu and we were sent home with detailed instructions on how to keep him hydrated with Pedialyte and breastmilk.
6. First roll – Nicholas weighed 18.5 lbs when we arrived at ACH, but perhaps he lost a bit of weight while he was there, because he was finally able to turn onto his side for the first time. Up until then, he seemed to be too heavy to roll himself over.
7. First bottle – One of the steps along the hydration process was to give him 2 oz of breastmilk, so Patrick fed Nicholas his first bottle. We giggled because he finished the entire 2 oz so quickly! Patrick says it was very “cool” to provide for Nicholas in a way that he hadn’t been able to before, but found that bottles are a pain in the ass (sterilizing, pumping, measuring, heating, etc). Interesting tidbit – vomiting and diarrhea in a breastfed infant are treated differently in AB and BC. AB goes straight to the use of Pedialyte, while BC recommends breastfeeding at first and Pedialyte when things become more severe.
8. First visit to Emergency in BC – We arrived home Monday morning at 1am to the “boil water” advisory – what a fuss! We didn’t know until the next day that we didn’t fall under the advisory, so we boiled 3 saucepans of water. At 2:30am, Nicholas received his last dose of Pedialyte and we all fell asleep. Neither Patrick nor I woke up 2 hours later with our alarms, so Nicholas went 6 hours without hydration (bad parents!). He was difficult to wake the next morning, so the BC NurseLine recommended that we take him to the closest ER – Royal Columbian Hospital. While I’ve heard that RCH has a fantastic Pediatric unit, our ER experience was completely opposite to what he had at ACH. It took 2.5 hours to see a doc, during which time they paid very little attention to us – they must have been swamped. I just kept hydrating Nicholas based on what I had learned in Alberta, until blood and urine tests were ordered and found to be normal. With the worst of the dehydration past, we headed home mid-afternoon.
9. First visit to the Optometrist – After the stomach flu passed, Nicholas contracted my sore throat and cough, along with goopy eyes. His uncle works for an optometrist, so today Nicholas went to see Cindy for a quick eye exam. She recommended an antiobiotic ointment to cure the goopiness in his eyes.
10. First prescription – Dr Mike agreed and gave us Nicholas’ first prescription for Erythromycin ointment. Putting it in his eye should be very interesting – he’s a wiggly kid! We hope that he’ll get through all of this quickly and be back to the happy, healthy baby we’ve come to know over the last 17 weeks. I wouldn’t mind an uneventful few days, to recover myself!