Thursday, December 27, 2012

Prelude to merriment

When I thought ahead to this Christmas, back when I was expecting Georgia to arrive in mid-December, I pictured snuggling with a newborn by the fire. I envisioned baking cookies with the boys while the baby slept, safe in her wrap. I pictured family and friends stopping by to visit and catch a glimpse of our newest family member.

I did not anticipate sleeping for a week on the floor of the Children's Hospital. I didn't think I would be cautiously holding a baby, careful not to bump her IV tubes. I didn't expect to feel guilty for crying over my sick baby when there were so many other babies who were so much sicker, whose mothers were somehow managing to keep it together.

We knew that Georgia was struggling to gain weight several days after she was born. She had lost the typical 10% that babies do when they are born, but then she didn't go on to gain it back. Any growth was extremely slight, and our doctor was concerned. The tricky part was that Georgia never looked like a sick baby. She was a great eater and had lots of good diapers, so we knew that there were no input/output issues. But she was little. At 3 weeks old, she was still significantly below her birthweight. Our doctor sent us to CHEO.

We were seen at CHEO over the course of several days, initially in the Emergency Department. They ran blood work and a urine test, and sent us home to await the results. We were called back because something came up positive, but I was assured that it was likely a contaminant from the test- they would repeat them. Unfortunately, the second tests came back positive as well. We were called back again, this time to be admitted to the hospital for a full work up.

This meant more blood tests, lumbar punctures (two, because the first didn't work), ultrasounds of the kidneys and head, X-rays that looked at the abdomen, and a 7 day course of IV antibiotics.
We know now that Georgia had a UTI/ bladder infection, caused by group B strep. She has responded well to the medication and her weight has increased. She now weighs 7 lbs 8 oz at 5 weeks old. While newborns rarely get fevers from infections (their immune systems are not mature enough to have such responses) they do use all of their energy to fight, causing their weight to stagnate.

We were discharged from the hospital on Christmas Eve, and will be followed by our family doctor every 2 days for the next while to ensure that she continues to do well.

The fact that this could have been so much worse is not lost on me. Group B Strep can be fatal to small babies. 40% of women are natural carriers of this bacteria, and it doesn't cause issues in the mothers, but it can be catastrophic to newborns. I am so grateful that our doctor followed Georgia so carefully. I don't know that many physicians would have caught it- so many see babies when they are first home and then not again until they have their shots at 2 months old. That would have likely been too late for Georgia.
But they did catch it. And we were able to bring our daughter home with us on Christmas Eve, to celebrate with her brothers.

I never did bake those cookies with the boys, but that seems less important now. We are home with all of our children, and we are grateful. I am mindful of the mothers at CHEO who did not get to come home with their babies this Christmas and hope that they manage to maintain their strength and courage.

Ben and Georgia on the first night at CHEO.

My sweet girl and her pesky IV.

It wasn't all bad... The Ottawa Senators stopped by to boost her spirits (and those of her dad).

Santa found her at CHEO and brought her a special toy.

One day, when she is trying my patience as a teenager, I will remind her of the many nights I slept beside her hospital bed on a cot on the floor.

Finally home. Counting our blessings.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The lovely Georgia!

Here are some of the pictures from Georgia's newborn photoshoot that we had done on Thursday. She was 8 days old at the time- and super tiny- remember, she wasn't actually supposed to be here until December 10th!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Off to a good start.

We brought Georgia home today. She is so tiny and has a bit of jaundice, so we are keeping a close eye on things, but we are very happy to have her home!

Georgia meeting her big brother!

Grandma and Grandpa meeting Georgia for the first time

 Cuddles with her big brothers.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Introducing Georgia Britton!

Georgia Sarah Britton was born at 1:32 on Wednesday, November 21st. She weighed 6 lbs 13 oz.

We are hoping to be able to bring her home from the hospital today. The boys came to meet her on Thursday and they think she is pretty neat!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Getting ready...

With the arrival of our newest family member fairly imminent, I thought I would post some pictures of her room. 

Auntie Sarah is doing a painting for her room, but it isn't quite ready yet so I'll post what we have. Thank you Grandpa for making the curtains!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Montre et raconte

One of Jack's homework assignments for October was to prepare a show and tell (montre et raconte) for the letter of the week. His letter was "H". Students had to decorate a bag with their letter and then hide the item in the bag. Jack decided to do "le hockey", but he chose to also put other vocabulary words on the bag as well.


He will present his montre et raconte in class tomorrow, and students will try to guess what
he has hidden in his bag.