Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gracie's 15 Month Checkup!

Today was Gracie's 15 month check up. She weighed in at 23 lbs 6 oz. and 30 1/2 inches long which is average height and a little heavier than average. The Dr said this will even out once she starts walking. Dr. Karp was very pleased with her development and how far she has come in just three months. She agrees with Gracie's therapists that she will be walking, if not running very soon. We anticipate this day with much joy and celebration!

Gracie has been on a alternative vaccine schedule since birth. This is important to us and we have stuck to it diligently. We are not anti-vaccines but we don't believe that she needs 4-5 shots at one time either. Our pediatrician has worked with us and we are very happy about this. I did learn something very interesting this past weekend while talking to a good friend, who's husband is a Dr. It got brought up that Gracie had recently had a high fever and her 15 month appointment was coming up. She then proceeded to tell me that you are suppose to take your child's temp. 30 days prior to any vaccines and if they have even a low grade temp. it's best to hold off on the shots. Most Dr's are aware of this recommendation but sadly don't share it with the parents. It's even stated in small print on most vaccine handouts that they will give you if you request them. So needless to say, this spurred me into a online research frenzie. I found some of the most horrible stories of real life babies who were given vaccines when having had or experiencing high temperatures. It was unbelievable the pain and agony they went through, many of them even dying. And the Dr's still denying it had anything to do with the vaccines or the failure to tell the parents it would be best to wait. When they are obviously fighting off another illness, why on earth would they inject them with any kind of vaccine???

So I just thought I would share that with anyone who didn't know like myself. Obviously the decision is yours and what ever you feel is best for your child. But I am so thankful that I discovered this valuable piece of information. Even if 30 days isn't what my ped. recommended...for my piece of mind, it's what I needed. When she's been fever free for 30 days we will go back and get her two scheduled shots. She won't be behind at all.

Monday, July 27, 2009

30 Week Ultrasound!

That's the most recent pic of our baby girl. We had an extensive ultrasound this morning at the Tidewater Perinatal Dr's. They measured her growth, her blood flow, her heart, and everything else. It was great to see her so much larger than at our 19 week ultrasound. She is doing good and as far as they can tell the blood flow in her brain looks good.

She is around 3 lbs 5 oz. which is considered on the smaller side. They say she falls in the 16% percentile but they really start gaining weight around 36 weeks ( about 1/2 lb per week) so it's really too early to say if she will be a petite baby. One thing is for sure, she will be taking after her sister with some chubby thighs. The Dr could see fat around them! Poor girl!

We are just so excited and can't wait to meet her. They want us to go back around 36 weeks for a follow up ultrasound just to make sure she is still growing and developing good. It's kind of hard because they have no way of predicting a stroke in utero. They are just doing this to keep us informed and I guess give us a piece of mind. I'm still anxious but I know that God has her in the palm of His hand and that she will be just fine, no matter what happens.

Thanks for all your prayers. We do have a name that we are about 85% sure of but don't want to say just yet in case we change our minds. But the ultrasound did confirm that she indeed is a little girl so that is a relief to know since I've already ordered and picked out her bedding and am ready to get started on the nursery!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yummy Blueberries!

Today we went to pick blueberries and blackberries with Uncle Andy and Aunt Bethany. We tried to get out there early in the morning but didn't end up getting there till 1pm. It's been a mild summer here in VA Beach (thank God says the pregnant woman) but today it was pretty hot! It was close to 95 degrees but we were deteremined to get us some blueberries. We've recently discovered that Gracie LOVES blueberries. She eats them a handful at a time. Which make for interesting dirty diapers, you can only imagine.

We also were able to pick some blackberries, although, they are about to be out of season and there weren't as many left to be picked. Gracie seems to love Blackberries too!

Here are some pics of our day at the blueberry farm.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our new routine!

It's hard to believe that tomorrow our little angel will be 15 months old. It seems like just yesterday she was only a few months old. No one can prepare you for being a parent and all the joy that brings to your life. It also brings routines that are constantly changing as they grow older and experience new things. We have recently had to change our routine but it is for the better.

As many of you know Gracie was diagnosed with Hemi-peligia Cerebral Palsy in Jan. This was caused by a stroke in utero that damaged a part of the left side of her brain. This in turn has affected her right motor skills (look for detailed explanation in my Jan. posting). It has been a learning experience for us over the past 6 months but an encouraging journey. She is doing VERY well. She has seen many specialist and they are all amazed at what she is able to accomplish. She started crawling at 12 months which was a huge milestone. She has since been pulling herself up on everything and cruising. Her newest feat is crawling all 14 steps in our home. Her therapists say she will probably be walking very soon.

She has PT and OT once a week and has met almost all of her current goals. She was recently casted/fitted for an AFO (ankle foot osolater) for her right foot (the weak side) and an SMO (not sure what this stands for) for her left foot. The AFO comes halfway up the back of her calve and helps her keep her ankle locked down. She tends to want to stand on her toes on her right side. One of the purposes for this splint is to keep her heel locked down to make it easier for her to walk. The left SMO is much smaller and fits primarily in her shoe. This is to help her keep her left foot turned out...she tends to turn it in and support most of her weight. After her left foot gets stronger and use to supporting its weight correctly, we will no longer need this splint.

So yesterday, Matt and I went to the Splint Clinic for some adjustments. The AFO and SMO weren't fitting right according to her Physical Therapist. They were able to make the adjustments to the AFO but needed to re-order the SMO in a side bigger. Gracie has some wide feet and fat ankles. But the great thing is we are able to let her start wearing and getting use to the AFO. They have a wear schedule where she wears it for an hour then we take it off to see if there is any redness or irritation and then if not she goes up to two hours and then to four hours. So far we have done the one hour and there was some redness but nothing too bad and it went away within the time they said it should. So now after her morning nap we are going for round two and see how her foot/ankle looks then. I'm praying we don't have to keep going back for adjustments and that this will work because the faster she gets use to it the more she will be able to do.

I must admit it is going to take some time to get use to. Our daily routine will change. Gracie has never liked to wear shoes but now with these splints she has to wear shoes at all times. So we went out last night shoe shopping. The therapist and splint specialist all said don't invest a lot of money is shoes because the brace is what is doing all the supporting and the work. So we looked at Target and at Payless and it's very hard to find a place that makes "wide" shoes. We finally found a little pair of white and pink champion tennis shoes and guess the size?? We had to go up to a size 6 wide. This is twice the size she would be in if she wasn't wearing the splints. Too funny. And I was only able to find one pair of shoes that would fit for now. So, if anyone is out and looking in the kids shoes section and sees a size 6 wide please, please let me know where. A girl has got to have more than one pair of shoes, right? hahahaha!

I promise to post pics of Gracie sporting her new AFO soon. It's quite cute. We got to pick out the colors and the design on the strap. We went with purple and the strap has green polk-a-dots.
At least they make them fun. I'm just so thankful that the Lord is working out all the details. It was really emotional and hard for me at first because I didn't want her to have to wear them. I didn't want her to feel different or struggle with getting use to them. But so far so good and I don't believe she is going to let them hold her back. If anything, I believe she will be able to do more of what she wants now with them.

Thanks again for all your prayers, concerns, and thoughts. We are daily learning more and more and just praising the Lord for blessing us with such a wonderful child.

I hear alt east once a week when we are out and about that she looks like the Gerber baby so I'm thinking of sending her pic into Gerber and asking if they want a new spokes model! :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Comment section???

I've had several people tell me that they can't post comments on this blog. I've checked my settings and as far as I can tell everything is set up correctly but I could be wrong. Has anyone else had this problem and how did you fix it???

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Fever!!!

Nothing is worse than to watch your child battling a cold or not feeling themselves. But this past week we experienced a first with our little girl. It started with her crying in the middle of the night...which is not like her at all. I didn't think much about it the first night because she went back to sleep. The next morning she got up early and was very cranky. When I took her temp it was 101 which isn't extremely high for her age but still I could tell she wasn't feeling well. Then after her afternoon nap, her temp read 103.2. I immediately called the nurse and they told me to give her some Tylenol and if it didn't go down in an hour and a half to call her back. Well thankfully it went down to about 100.5.

That night we woke up at 4:30 am to a screaming baby. We both rushed in to find a very, very hot little girl. Her temp was the highest I've ever seen any one's at 104.5. I immediately freaked out and thought we should rush her to the ER but Matt said to give her some Tylenol and water and let her come in bed with us. That morning her temp was down to 101 but I called the Dr's and we went in first thing. They did a strep test, flu test, blood work, and put a bag on her in her diaper for a urning sample (not easy with a baby).

We went back to the Dr's the next morning and everything came back negative. Looks like she just had a virus. She had one more day of high temps but I can say happily that the fever is completely gone and she is her happy, playful self again. Thank God. I couldn't even sit her down to get her bottle without her screaming. That makes for a long day! But now I guess I am prepared for when this happens with her again or with her little sister. I just pray it doesn't happen again for a long, long, long time! :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

4th of July!

I can not believe 4th of July came and went so quickly. We had a great time. We went to Kim's house to swim in the morning and then went to a cookout at Beth and Andy's that afternoon. We had a great turnout with lots of yummy food. You should have seen the size of the slip-n-slide Andy had set up in the back yard. The kids AND the adults had a great time slipin' and slidin'. We ended the evening watching the fireworks on the beach. It was a memorable independence day.

Here are just a few of my favorite pics from that day.

Summer Guests!

Summer is a time to travel and go visit friends and family. We haven't done as much of this this summer as years in the past due to Matt's very busy work schedule. But we have been blessed with loved ones coming to visit us. Over the past few weeks we have had summer guests at the McClain household. It's been nice because now we actually have the room for everyone.

First to come visit was the Pelton's. Joy (one of my best friends since High School), her husband Ethan, and their two boys, Anon (11), and Jayden (1). We did a lot of fun things while they were here. We ate seafood on the boardwalk, went to the beach, rode the Norfolk Ferry across to Portsmouth to eat a great German restaurant, and just hung out. It was nice to have them here and nice for Gracie to have a little playmate.

Also, in town that week was The Gilstraps. Rylee and Avery haven't seen Grace since she was 3 1/2 months old so they were very excited to be able to play with her. Grace got lots of loving with them around.

Last but certainly not least, Grandma and Grandpap Turnock came to see Gracie. They even went to the beach with her and my mom is not a beach person.

We had a lot of fun with everyone and we miss them already!