Feb 25 - It's been a while since I've written anything for the baby diary. Things have been busy finalizing plans for our trip to Toronto. It looks like we're off to Winnipeg on Apr. 11 and then fly to Toronto on the 13th. John has an echo on the 14th, preop on the 15th, day off on the 16th and surgery on the 17th. I still cringe everytime I think of it. I'm going to be a mess!
Our friends held a benefit social for us on the weekend. It was at a local pub. It was so wonderful to feel the support of our family, friends and community. A good sum of money was raised so we can relax a little bit about things. It will certainly help pay our hotel in Winnipeg and for our food in Toronto.
John's eating really well. He now eats rice cereal, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and green beans. He likes the rice and the sweet potatoes the best. I only have one more veggie to introduce and then it's on to the fruits. I also have to introduce the barley cereal too. He does make quite the mess of things though and those carrots really stain! He really vocalizes when he wants something now. You have to guess what he's wanting! There's no problems with his intelligence, that's for sure!
I'm going to include a poem I wrote in the baby diary. I was thinking hard about the significance of when John's surgery is happening. It's on Holy Thursday which is the day of Christ's Last Supper and suffering in the garden. I think I'm going through my own Garden of Gethsemane experience. The good news is of course that Christ escaped death into new life on Easter Sunday. That's the day John should come out of the ICU with his new repaired heart for his new life too. Might sound a little corny, but it made sense to me!
Silent tears cascade over cliffs of fear
Pools of murky doubt
I sit, I pray, I plead.
?Lord if it be your will, take this cup from me!?
Garden vines, gnarled, twist
?Your answer Lord? The cup??
Poised at my mouth to drink,
Vile nectar, bitter.
Silent tears meander down paths of confusion
I sit, I wait, I listen.
Your answer Lord whispers through the green.
?Take this cup from you? But alas of thirst you would die!?
Never knowing that calm always follows the storm.
Never knowing that day always follows the night.
A quiet garden of solitude
I drink of the cup deeply.
Knowing, trusting, believing.
Page 1 Go To Start Of Document Go To Top Of Page
Feb. 13th - Well, after a few screw-ups we finally got John's surgery date. It's going to be on Apr. 17th (my brother Brad's birthday). Toronto had originally booked us for the 18th which is Good Friday. It was gnawing at me all night, that date, and so I had them confirm the dates with Toronto. The woman in Toronto had made a mistake! Can you imagine if we had shown up in Toronto only to be told a "no go!"
John's been pretty crabby lately. I'm not sure if he has cabin fever, or teeth bothering him, or if it's still the residual effects of his four month immunization shots. I know I have cabin fever big time, and I can't wait for the weather to break so we can get out and do things more. This sitting in the house day in and day out can really wear on a person. I know that I wouldn't want to stay at home permanently! I enjoy the interaction with other people too much!
I must say I cried when I heard that the date for John's surgery had been set. It makes it all the more real. Most of the time, I can put it out of my head, but having a date really sunk in for me. I asked the nurse clinician at the heart centre a ton of questions which did put my mind at ease some. I wanted to know how long my worry beads need to be. She said that the surgery normally takes 4-5 hours and that John would be in the PICU for about 2-3 days (on a breathing machine), and in hospital a total of 7-10 days. They won't just let us go home though and we'll have to spend another 3-5 days in Toronto just to make sure things are o.k.
Feb 10th We received some, for the lack of a better term, good news today. We heard back from Winnipeg about Johns appointment in Toronto. He is to be in Toronto April 16th, for a echo cardiogram (not sure if there will be other tests tho). On the 17th we meet with the doctors. At that point they will be explaining to us the procedure and all that - then on April 18th our lil guy goes in for his operation.
Wendy and I are understandably upset right now. Personally I thought it would be later in the summer, so it's kind of a shock that it will be so soon. We always thought of it being in the future, but with a definate date, it's hard to put it in the back of your mind and not think about it.
Before we go to Toronto, we have to meet with nurses and a social worker in Winnipeg. First they have to see if he is sick or not - and if he is sick (cold or something like that), the operation will need to be rescheduled. The social worker apparently will spend about an hour with us explaining things to us, I'm not really sure what all that will be about, but we have to see them first regardless.
I will post any new information as we receive it. No real idea how long we will be in Toronto, I suspect a couple weeks.
My mind is in a fog right now, so I can't really think of anything else to say at this moment, so I will leave it at that.
Feb. 8th. John spent the night last night with Grandma and Grandpa. They got a little bit of sleep, but John was missing mommy big time. He had a bit of a cranky day, but was in good spirits when Great Grandma visited him. He was glad to get home to his own big t.v. and his videos. He ate really quite well while he was at Grandma's and even protested when mom stopped feeding him. He cried because he wasn't done yet. He still makes more of a mess than anything. He uses his own spoon while mommy feeds him with another spoon. He then sticks his fists and bib in his mouth and makes one hell of a cereal mess! I'm dreading Monday because he has his four month shots then! Hopefully he'll react o.k. this time and not run a fever.
Feb. 3 - John now weighs 13 lbs 4oz. His sats continue to be at 100%. Well, John now likes having a bath. Last night, when Daddy was helping me with it, he took John out of the big tub where he was having a bath with me. He just started to freak out. We didn't know why! Tonight I gave him a bath in his little tub. He was having fun splashing (I got soaked) and I thought he'd had enough. Boy was I wrong! He started to do the very same freak out thing that he did yesterday. So I guess he likes it now! He doesn't seem to get as cold either. I guess the next step will be tubby toys.
We've gotten out for walks the last couple of days but it's colder right now. I hope it warms up again because John has a good nap when we walk. He got a new red snowsuit from Grandma Lorraine and he hasn't been crying as hard when it's time to get dressed..in fact, I guess you could say he hasn't cried at all really. The purple hat he had been wearing looks silly though, so I switched to his blue monkey toque. Daddy though he looked cute enough to take a picture.
John loves playing all sorts of things now. He enjoys watching his train and playing with daddy too. He squeals at things with delight (especially his videos). I always say to him "Give me a little smile", and he usually complies with a sort of devious grin (gets that from Dad).
Jan 30 - Well John can now roll over from his front to his back and from his back to his front. He was really practising this today at Grandma's house. He's been teething like crazy (nothing through yet) and puts literally anything in his mouth to chew on...my hair, my shoulder, my face, my finger, his blankie, his shirt...poor little guy. He's been a bit more cranky with it lately as well. He's trying cereal now and again, but still hasn't quite mastered it. Some days he'll open his mouth for it, others forget it. It was a little warmer today so we got out for a ride in the carriage. John loves variety of people and situations. He gets rather bored just sitting at home with me (and visa versa). We try to do something everyday to get out. He's also noticed the cats. (well Callie anyhow because Spike is antisocial). Callie puts up with his abuse in order to get attention. She rubs her head on John's hand hoping to get pet. The only problem is the hair that gets on him and consequently in his mouth *sigh*.
January 23/03 - The cold spell continues. It's been like -40 with the windchill and John and I are virtually prisoners in the house. I don't take him out unless I have to and I'm really missing our stroller walks and jaunts out and about. I just don't want to chance freezing him unnecessarily. We did go out to the clinic on Tuesday for John's regular app't. He's 12 lbs, 12 oz now and 25 cm long. We have to go back in a couple of weeks for his four month immunization shots. I'm dreading that because the last time he ran a fever and was extremely cranky.
John continues to love his Baby Einstein videos. I've ordered a few more because I'm sick to death of watching the same ones over and over again. He cries sometimes when you turn them off. It's a bit tricky putting him to bed at night, because he just won't go until he's ready. When he's ready you know because he will take his soo-soo (soother) and he turns towards you like he wants to cuddle. I've really enjoyed playing the lullabye CD that cousin Jacquie sent us as a baby gift. It has such sappy, sentimental words and it's really all I can do to keep from crying when I'm listening to it and holding him close. I know that the cuddle baby time lasts such a short time and I'm trying to savour every moment of it. That exquisite baby smell should be bottled or something (except of course when he's pooped his pants hehe).
John's favourite games are "This little piggy" and "Big boy". He likes to lay down on the couch and you say "Who's so big?" and he pulls himself up to standing and you say "Yeah, baby John". Marilyn (a teacher friend) stopped by with a little gift for John today..a really nice collection of first rhymes/songs board books. John is just beginning to get interested in books. He likes to try to turn the pages, but usually ends up putting them in his mouth. If you give him a blanket, it goes in his mouth too. I wish those teeth would come through and maybe he'd be a little more content and a whole lot less drooly. He also enjoys watching his toy train that Uncle Wade and Auntie Cindy bought. It's a real hog on the batteries though. I have his toy room set up now and we spend some of our day in there playing with toys or rocking in the rocking chair/listening to music/watching tapes. He's also starting to enjoy his bath more. I've brought him in the tub with me and he can stay warmer because I can hold him vertically and keep him more under the water. I hope he likes the water, because we certainly like to go to the lake etc. Of course, as soon as he hits the tub, he pees. I have to watch to make sure he doesn't hit me with the stream. I only bathe him every couple of days because of the dry skin issue. He gets it mostly on his face because he drools and it chaps.
Yesterday I rearranged John's bedroom because the crib was too close to the drafty window. It's now on the hall wall where it's a little warmer. I also moved the mattress lower because soon he'll be more mobile. Enough of my book for today.
(Dad has a few more baby photos to post, but this will take a few days to do...busy busy busy!)
Jan 16th Update from cardiologist John's doing very well. His saturations remain at 100% and he is gaining weight fine. The doctor thinks his trouble eating has more to do with his stubborn nature than his ability to suck. The doctor is starting the process for the surgery referral, but this will likely take some time as John is not critical and is very stable. So, basically we're just waiting to hear from Toronto. We don't have to go back (we told him it's too expensive) unless John's condition changes. John was a pretty good boy in Winnipeg, although had a few crying spells (one in Polo Park Mall). He also didn't want to let us eat a meal in peace. On the bus, he slept some, however, wanted to be entertained more this time. He got upset when a little girl who was having a fit about a lack of juice was crying. He started crying too. He also didn't like being examined by the doctor. It was hard for me to talk to the doctor with John screaming in my ear. We're glad to be home and John is too! He missed his videos and his toys he has here.
Jan. 10th a.m. Well, John's been getting up very early in the morning. I know I'm doomed when he gets up at 4 a.m. and looks at me with a big grin. This means..."Let's play mommy!" We've had a mild beginning to the week so John and I have gotten out for quite a few walks. He likes the stroller much better than the carriage now and he fusses at first, but goes to sleep really quickly. He'll basically sleep as long as I walk. The other day I walked for 2 hours, stopping at the Board of Education office to feed him. We've also noticed he drinks a bottle very well in his car seat. I actually resorted to feeding him at Walmart. He was strapped in his carseat and I walked up and down the aisles holding the bottle in his mouth.
We borrowed "Auntie Jackie"'s jolly jumper and he's learning how to move around in that. He likes it fine when he's in a good mood. Grandma Lorraine bought a crib so now John has a place to sleep when he's there. This saves her from having to unmake her bed every time John comes for a visit.
John loves to giggle when mommy kisses his stomach. You have to be careful though, because after a round of giggling, he often gives himself the hiccups.
I hung up the Pooh bear and friends train wall mural that Grandma Stark made for John. It looks really cute and he can look at it from his crib. What an awful lot of work. It's made from plastic canvas and she certainly did a lot of stitching.
We're off to Winnipeg on Monday to see John's cardiologist. We hope everything goes smoothly (well, as smoothly as possible when you're travelling with a baby!).
© 2003 Derek Kennedy