Our meeting with Dr. Looove went well yesterday. Maddie’s oxygen saturation was back in the 90’s, right where we like it. The blood tests showed that the diuretic hadn’t adversely effected her electrolytes, so we’re keeping her on the steroids and diuretic for the remainder of the prescribed seven days. Dr. Looove also said that she could tell Maddie’s lungs were drier. That is a weird thing to type. Dry lungs? Sounds uncomfortable. We don’t have to put her on oxygen during the day unless she’s fussy. Dr. Looove was, as usual, awesome, and stayed late to talk to us on a day she was planning on leaving early.
You had questions and I have answers.
Q. Why did Dr. Lung think Maddie had cystic fibrosis?
A. To be fair, she wasn’t the only doctor that thought Maddie might have it. She was tested in the NICU for it as well. She had/has a lot of similar symptoms: inability to pass meconium, lung collapse, distended abdomen, slow weight gain, coughing and wheezing. And while I’m glad the doctors were thorough and checked her to rule it out, I’m pretty sure that both parents have to carry the CF gene for a child to get the disease. Neither of us have the gene. Pointless testing? You be the judge.
Q. Are these these difficulties primarily due to her prematurity?
A. Yes. I would say 100%. Her lungs were very underdeveloped because my amniotic fluid was so low the last ten weeks of my pregnancy. One of the NICU doctors said that while Maddie was born at 28 weeks, her lungs were more like those of a 24-weeker – and a very sick one at that. Because she was born so early, she was on a ventilator for four weeks. It was a life-saver, but the pressure and mechanics involved with a respirator did a bit of damage to her lungs.
Q. Has anyone been able to tell you when Maddie’s breathing issues will be over?
A. When she was in the NICU, one of the doctors told us that 50% of kids with Maddie’s issues outgrow them by age two. Fifty percent of the kids that don’t outgrow the issues by age two outgrow them by age seven. And the rest of the kids are screwed. Just kidding! They basically have asthma. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’m assuming that Maddie probably will have some sort of lung issues her whole life, but hopefully it’s no more serious than asthma.
Q. When will Maddie outgrow her need for oxygen and breathing treatments?
A. Good question. We don’t know. Hopefully she will outgrow her need for oxygen soon, like in the next few months. I have a feeling the breathing treatments will be around for a while – maybe the frequency or dosage will change, though.
Q. What was Maddie fed in the NICU?
A. Maddie wasn’t permitted to take food by mouth until December 15, over a month after she was born. Up until that point, she was fed total parenteral nutrition (TPN) through her IV PICC line. When she was finally cleared to start eating, she was fed breast milk I’d pumped and frozen. That was back during the brief period when my boobs did more than just look pretty.
Q. What are Maddie’s favorite solid foods?
A. Maddie has yet to fully embrace the wonder of solid foods. However, she seems to tolerate apples and carrots the most. We haven’t tried the green foods, yet. Those are coming up this week. Whooo, I can hardly wait. Life is crazy-exciting around here.
Q. What do I do for a job?
A. I work in sales for a professional sports team in Los Angeles. The sport involves sticks and balls, and they actually play in LOS ANGELES and not ANAHEIM. I don’t want to say the team name here for Google protection, but if you can’t figure it out from these hints you can email me. Professionally, I am known by a different last name. Sometimes I get deliveries to Heather Spohr at work and people seriously have no idea who that is.
Q. How old am I?
A. I ask myself that all the time, especially when I’m laughing at the word, “duty.” DOOOODY! HA! But on Friday, I will start the last year of my twenties.
Q. What song did you sing at the Karaoke bar the night you met Mike?
A. “Criminal” by Fiona Apple. I also totally stripped down to my underwear and writhed on the floor. If you haven’t seen that music video, that last sentence probably didn’t make sense. Just like the video.
Q. How do you get so many photos of Maddie smiling?
A. A more appropriate question would be, “Does Maddie ever stop smiling?” Because she smiles all…the…time. She is so happy that sometimes Mike and I are like, “kid, we need to tell you about this really bad earthquake in China.” She needs some perspective.
Q. How did you get such a cute baby, and isn’t it illegal to have a baby that cute?
A. Maddie looks soo much like me when I was her age, except I was way fatter and I had lighter hair. These pictures are the best examples I can find at the moment, but fo’ rillz, she’s my mini me (with some Portuguese flavor from Mike).
I would show a picture of Mike at six months old, but he’s the youngest so his parents were totally over taking baby pictures by the time he came around. Or maybe they didn’t have cameras back then. In fact, I’m not entirely sure that he ever WAS a baby. He might have just been created as a five year old. We’ll never know for sure.
As for the legalities of having a baby this cute, well, if she’s breaking the law, we’re going on the lam.