MicroblogMondays: Scooters

The kids are growing too fast.  They are definitely no longer babies.  We got two scooters for them for free from another parent of multiples a little while ago.  We finally ordered some helmets for them as Christmas presents from my mom.  We took them to the elementary school down the street from us to try them out.  Bunny hopped on and never looked back.  She is a natural and started going around in circles with one leg lifted up.  Okra didn’t quite get the hang of it initially and got frustrated.  He later hopped back on and started going within the next twenty minutes.  Now both of them can ride their scooters without us teaching them explicitly.

Where did the babies go?

MicroblogMondays: Febrile Seizure

My little girl almost gave me a heart attack the other day.  Again.

Back in March this year when she was 18 months old, she had a choking incident and I thought I was going to lose her.  This past Monday, she made me feel the same way again.

Bunny was fine all day long.  I had been checking her temperature throughout the day because Okra had a cold so whenever I checked his temperature, I checked hers as well.  She was acting normal.  I situated the two of them at the dinner table, went to get my dinner, and sat down across from Bunny to start eating.  Not even a minute into our dinner, she suddenly froze in action and the coloring of her face started fading.  My first thought was, Oh No Not Again…!!  She was staring straight and appeared to be choking on something.  I quickly unbuckled her and got her off her high chair.  I tried to do a mini Heimlech maneuver but nothing came out.  Her body felt extra heavy and limp. She appeared weak.  I called 911 while calling my mom to come see her.  I tried to look inside her mouth and tried to sweep her oral cavity with my finger.  I couldn’t see inside her mouth.  Bunny was clenching her teeth and my finger was bitten hard by her.  In the chaos, my mom went and got a spoon to open up her mouth, the 911 operator was talking to me asking me questions while she was on speaker phone, and we were yelling out Bunny’s name to see if she was responsive.  Even though this had already happened once, I was not any calmer than the last time.  When all these things happened at the same time and when I was looking at Bunny’s blue face, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was really going to lose her this time.

Somehow my mom got Bunny to cough out the piece of Hawaiian sweet roll that she was eating.  Bunny started to whimper.  When I heard her whimpering, I felt a lot better.  The 911 operator asked if she was breathing.  I didn’t even check that.  I felt her nose and chest and she was breathing.  Her coloring was looking more normal at the time.  However, she was still weak in my arms and didn’t respond much to us.  I asked her to call me “mama” which she did, weakly.  I still felt that something was wrong with her. The last time when she choked and the food came out, she perked back up more easily.  This time it felt like she was still in shock.  My mom was holding her while I paced back and forth to the window to see if help had arrived.  Each second that passed felt like an eternity.  Seven minutes after I dialed 911, vehicles with flashing lights rushed to our house.  A police woman arrived first.  She made sure that Bunny was no longer choking. Firefighters came.  Paramedics came.  Bunny’s vitals checked out fine.  However, everyone there agreed with me that Bunny’s presentation was a bit off.  One of the firefighters said that usually kids who have just choked recover quite quickly and look like their normal self again quickly.  However, Bunny looked dazed in my arms.  Her head was favoring the left side.  They tried to perk her up by poking her heel with a needle.  Bunny didn’t even flinch.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the best way to check her responses because she is somebody who doesn’t even cry or move when she is given a shot or poked with a needle at blood draws.  Eventually I put her down on the floor and walked away from her to see if she responded to that.  That moment was the first cry we all heard since the choking episode.  I walked even farther away and she came running and crying for me to hold her.  Everyone was a lot more relieved at that moment.  However, I still felt that something was off with her.  She just didn’t look right to me.  Her neck turned more to the left and she was hunching her shoulder when she was walking.  Her posture and gait were off.  Because of her presentation that didn’t appear to be her typical self, the firefighters and paramedics agreed with me that we should take her to the emergency room to check her out.  Since the last incident, I had some time to think about which hospital I’d take the kids to in case of an emergency.  I decided that we’d go to U.CSF Children’s.  It is only 12 minutes away from home (vs. 20 minutes from the ER that we took her to last time), and it only serves children so I was hoping we didn’t have to wait another two hours this time before we get seen.  I also opted for the ambulance to take us.

I quickly called Bob and updated him with the information.  He was so alarmed by my phone call because I never call him unless there is an emergency.  Bunny was strapped on the gurney and wheeled onto the ambulance.  I am so proud of my little girl because she remained calm during this time.  I sat next to her on the ambulance.  The paramedics checked her vitals and her temperature under arms.  She had a temperature of 102, which seemed like it was coming from nowhere.  Remember I checked her temperature throughout the day?  I was so surprised to learn of her fever.  We got to the emergency room and were taken to an exam room right away.

Bunny acted a lot more normal than at home by the time we were at the ER.  Rectal temperature measured at 103.  We were seen by a bunch of nurses and two doctors.  The first doctor must have been a resident.  After listening to the details of what went down, she said that it sounded like Bunny had a febrile seizure, which “is a convulsion in a child caused by a spike in body temperature, often from an infection”, according to the internet.  She said that because her choking was most likely due to the muscles spasming in her body.  Kids who have febrile seizures outgrow them by 5.  Many kids have had it once only in their lives.

It is interesting that she mentioned about febrile seizure.  During Bunny’s first choking incident back in March, I thought that she had a febrile seizure then realized that she was choking.  Now that the doctor mentioned about a possible febrile seizure, I can’t help but wonder if her first choking incident was also caused by a febrile seizure because of her tight fists and similar presentation.  Anyhow, after Bunny was given Mot.rin to reduce her fever, we lay there on the hospital bed and were watching Curious George on TV.  She was asking for food and water, which to me was a great sign that she was becoming normal again. It was at that time that my right index finger started hurting.  It was red and bruised.  I then realized that it must have been injured by Bunny when I put it in her mouth.  The finger took 5 days to stop hurting.

Bob arrived at the ER so the three of us were together.  He reported that Okra who was fussy all day was actually very good at home.  My mom sent me a text saying that she had put Okra in bed already.  I often feel so fortunate to have my mom around.

Another senior doctor came in to speak with us and to make sure that all of our questions were answered.  She once again said that she suspected febrile seizure.  We discussed what to do next time.  She said not to put anything in Bunny’s mouth if she had a febrile seizure even if she was clenching her teeth.  But my question is, what if she was choking again?  Wouldn’t you want to make sure that she has a way to clear her windpipe?  (I later on spoke to our pediatrician who supported the idea of keeping her mouth open if it happens to be a choking episode.) If she isn’t eating, lay her down on her side to make sure she is comfortable and wait for the convulsion to pass.  Febrile seizure definitely looks scary, but it has no harmful long term effects to her health according to the doctor.

Bunny’s temperature was measured again later at 100.7.  she was given Ty.lenol and we were sent home.  We were there for about two hours.

That night she stayed in our room with us.  We wanted to monitor her temperature.  The funny thing is she woke up at 4am and started singing Joy to the world, Jingle Bells, and Jesus loves me loudly.  She had a fever on and off for a few days.  Now she is on the mend.

I remember when she choked last time, I told Bob later that I never wanted to see her blue face again.  And I ended my blog post with the same words.  And yet this happened again.  I sometimes close my eyes and can see her face.  It took me a few days to finally cry one night because I finally felt how scared I was.  I feel fortunate that I was sitting right across from Bunny so I caught the first sign of the choking/febrile seizure. I kept thinking what if I wasn’t home or wasn’t sitting there at the moment. I really hope that I won’t ever see Bunny’s blue face ever again.  For real this time.


MicroblogMondays: Support

I made a new friend through my previous reproductive endocrinologist Dr. E back in May.  The twists and turns of her fertility journey are as complicated if not more so than mine.  She had just had her first positive pregnancy via a gestational carrier.  Unfortunately, it resulted in a miscarriage.  Needless to say, my friend was devastated.  Bob and I went through something similar prior to our successful transfer of our twins.  I understood how she felt.  Because of this, I have become a support to her because she is such a private person and has not opened up to many people in her life.  I told her something that my friend A. told me, “Things don’t change until they change”.  It became true for her.  The next transfer of two embryos resulted in a pregnancy with twins.  Just like us.  I have been so thrilled for her.  At first it was hard for her to be joyful about it.  Who can blame her?  After a long twisted journey like hers, it is so hard to be happy about this anticipating that another shoe will drop.  As the gestational carrier’s pregnancy progresses, my friend has become a little bit more relaxed each time I talk to her.  We continue to have contact when I give her my opinion on things, encourage her, listen to her, and start helping with getting ready for the twins’ arrival after their 20-week scan.  Last week, this friend called me while I was at the dentist so I couldn’t pick up the phone.  My heart jumped out when I listened to her tearful voicemail message.  At a bit over 23 weeks, her gestational carrier was 3cm dilated, and my friend was devastated.   She just couldn’t bear the thought of having her babies so early and the risk of losing them.  I won’t go into too many details about it, but my heart goes out to her.  After such a long journey and finally waiting to have her babies, she is facing this tremendous challenge.  I am glad to report that her gestational carrier is currently on bed rest and is stable.  Sometimes I wonder why God put me and Bob on this path.  And then I meet a new person who is also on a similar path and I walk with them on their journey.  At that moment, I am thankful that God allows us to have come out on the other side and be an encouragement to those who are going through the same thing.  This is what this is about: a community and a support system for those in the trenches so they feel heard and understood, and that they are not alone.  I am so glad I could be that support for my friend.

MicroblogMondays: So Grown

Wanted to record this before I forget.

I see my kids daily so I don’t notice, but I have been told lately how much bigger they look and act especially from people who haven’t seen them in a while.  They simply don’t look like babies anymore.  They are tall and can do a whole lot these days.  Their language has grown exponentially in the last few months.  As a speech language pathologist who loves to work with this age group, it makes my heart sing to see that my kids can speak my native language fluently.  They usually speak in short sentences and express themselves quite well.  I am often surprised at what they can say, such as yesterday.  As confirmed by a dental visit the other day, Okra’s bottom two-year molars are coming in.  He has been super clingy and whines on a regular basis.  The other day, he finished dinner first and went into our play area/living room by himself.  Bunny and I were still eating.  He wanted me to be in there with him but I wasn’t done with my dinner.  Being impatient, and probably teething, he started throwing various toys outside of the gate to get my attention.  I reassured him that I would come as soon as dinner was done, and he continued throwing things.

Bunny, who was still eating, turned her head, looked at Okra, and made this remark in our native language:

“Okra is throwing things on the floor.  Okra is throwing a tantrum.”

Just like that.  Complete sentences.  Grammatically correct sentences that accurately described her brother.

When did they become so grown up and say things like these?  Time truly flies.

MicroblogMondays: Starting a Tradition

When we were trying for a baby, I had a few things in my mind that I wanted to do with my future children for Christmas.  One was to give them an individual ornament each year.  Another was to do the Advent calendar with them.  After the twins were born, we started the first tradition and have since gotten them each an individualized ornament each year.  This will be the third year.  We often get them something that they like, such as a fire truck for Okra and a girl reading a book for Bunny last year.  This year, we will get Okra a train one, but for Bunny she still loves books so we will get something that is related to books.  We didn’t do advent with the babies the last two years because they were still young. This year is different.  The kids can communicate and have understanding of things around them.  I feel that they will have fun with advent this year.  We purchased a fabric calendar with the nativity scene and 24 pockets.  This is the one we got:

I was so excited to start it yesterday!  I had watched my sister-in-law do this with her kids on a yearly basis and always wanted to continue this family tradition with my own kids.  It is so exciting to finally be able to do this with Okra, Bunny, and Bob!  We read some bible stories and sang two Christmas songs.  Then I asked Bunny to choose something to put in pocket number one.  She picked the dove but refused to put it in the pocket because she wanted to hold onto it!  In the mean while, Okra picked out the donkey and stuck it in pocket number one.  I spoke to my sister-in-law afterwards.  She said they had always done it backwards, meaning to put all the items in all the pockets ahead of time and take out one each day to stick it on the scene as you tell the story.  When you get to day 24, you will have completed the scene.  I think I am going to try it her way today.

It is such a blessing to be able to start family traditions with the kids.