Tag Archives: Lentil

Crumbly Day

When Lentil was nine days old, her pediatrician heard a murmur in her heart which we had diagnosed the next day as a ventricular septal defect. She has a small hole in her heart, near her left ventrical. Her cardiologist at Children’s Hospital Oakland says that in about 50 percent of cases, the holes close themselves. Another percent will close, but not entirely, yet pose no risk to the person as she grows. The rest require surgery.

At CHO, Lentil first had an EKG to confirm the murmur, then she had an echocardiogram to get a picture of what was really going on in there. Her hole is about 3mm (I think).

The doctors told us to watch her breathing, no small feat since newborns breath eratically. We also knew that if she were to get sick, she could become much sicker than other babies because her heart and lungs are working harder than other babies’. The news was devastating but with time, we have seen her be healthy and thriving, and met someone from each of the categories of VSD who are thriving adults. Still, we watch her carefully and freak out a little when things happen because we aren’t sure if whatever’s going on is related to the VSD.

In early December, she had a stuffy nose that cleared up after a couple of days. Then we took her to Truckee where the altitude made her grousy. (She may have had a touch of altitude sickness.) This past week, she got a diaper rash. Then she started throwing up. (Lentil’s end to end yuckies) Initially I thought the vomit might have been in response to how badly the diaper rash hurt when we changed her. But we decided to take her to the doctor on Saturday when she threw up repeatedly on Friday. We took her to her pedicatrician on Monday, seeing another doctor in the practice who was thorough and deliberate in her review of Lentil’s condition. We agreed to watch her closely though I was ready to take her to Children’s (okay, I was ready with the first vomit but let’s not panic). When we took her in on Tuesday morning for her follow up, none of us was happy with how our baby looked — very pale and thin. She was more listless than normal, having a difficulty waking. We didn’t see any of her usual smiles.

Her vomiting led to weight loss and dehydration — any weight loss is serious when you don’t have much to begin with. When the scale showed a drop of an ounce and a half from Monday to Tuesday, our pediatrician sent us to CHO. I was relieved.

The pediatrician called ahead, a boon as we got there at 9:45 and were in a room by 10am. The waiting room was filled to overflowing that day with kids. It’s winter, one of the nurses said, and lots of kids have chest colds and fevers. There was a boy with sickle cell anemia, a disease that Mister and I only knew had to do with blood. We asked our second nurse about it as she was discharging us. Life expectancy for those children isn’t past their 30s at best. It is a painful disease, she said, because the blood isn’t moving oxygen around which causes blocked blood vessels, among other things.  We were in line for the ultrasound to determine if Lentil was suffering from pyloric stenosis, a condition in which a muscle in the stomach is too narrow for food to exit properly. The baby projectile vomits several feet, which Lentil was not doing. It generally presents when the infant is 4-5 weeks, not nine weeks as Lentil is.img_0281

The nurses put a saline block in her hand so that they could pull blood and adminster an IV. They wrapped a lot of tape around the block to keep it from moving and put a board on her hand and a little “house” over the unit to protect it. It was a horrible process for her, leaving her hoarse from crying and without the hand she sucks for comfort. Later, I talked to a friend whose daughter has a condition that requires exhausting and painful annual tests. We both marveled at the other’s situation and hope neither worsens.

Lentil had another echo to determine whether the VSD had a role in her illness (it didn’t). Blood and urine tests that confirmed dehydration (duh) but showed nothing else.

The doctor ordered a 10cc bag of saline for her which, though it looked like something for a child’s Barbie, perked her up enough to nurse with a bit of vigor. She had another 20cc before we went home. It was like Lentil woke up from a long nap. We went home at 5:45. The sickle cell boy was being admitted.

Today she woke, stretched, and smiled. She’s nursed like mad, slept like a log, and smiled.


Two tutus is not too many

One of Mister’s boardmembers sent us this lovely tutu for Lentil. I LOVE it. It’s about two and a half times as big as the tutu I gave her for Christmas. Whoa. img_1679

Further wisdom from the Northwest Mommy

“Heed my words,” she wrote me in a recent email. I shed ounds of water weight after Lentil was born, yippee! But once the water days are past, said the Northwest Mommy, it can be easy to fall into the breastfeeding trap. When she lived in my ‘hood, NM would walk to a couple of the local pastry shops for a treat. Too many treats, apparently, though with good reason to celebrate:

“I gave birth to a nearly 10 lb. baby”, “I woke up 9 times last night to nurse her”, “I changed 6 poopy diapers today”, and so on.  After about 6 months I decided that I couldn’t quite justify daily pastries nor could my waistline but by then the damage was done.  Heed my words!!!

I’m heeding, I’m heeding. My only fitting pants (fitting is a loose term) are pre-pregnancy though neither should be worn with the waist revealed. I’m a little blobby (understandable but true). Still, it is easy to eat something that is not good for you or that is not a productive snack out of nursing desperation. (Example: tater tots) My fallback is and always has been bread and cheese or crackers and cheese.

So, on Friday I will attend my first “Stroller Strides” class through The Tulip Grove. While I would like to get back to the gym, I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with day care (baby must be in clean diaper, I should probably have a bottle for her … but she won’t take bottles); baby comes with to Stroller Strides. I can roll ugly out of bed and out the door. Lentil, on the other hand, will be cute as pie.

There Can Never Be Too Much Tutu

Tutu delightI was tooling around Etsy just before Christmas and found a couple of tutu makers, including Frill’er Up Couture. How could I resist a tutu for my tiny Lentil?

Mister said he’d protect her from the frills. I say hah! and bah!

The tutu was a hit at Christmas. She wore it for her entree, then changed (twice). It’s a little difficult to see but you can get the basic cuteness from her picture with Grandpa.

Grandpa and Lentil


Lentil, Mister, and I are stuffed up. We all have head colds, to varying degrees of stuffed-ness. Tonight begins round two of sleeping with a cool mist humidifier on, the door cracked so the room doesn’t fill up with condensation, the electric heater going to keep us (and especially Lentil) warm, and me fretting the heater will spark and we’ll all fry.

Last night we sucked boogies from Lentil’s nose. Dry little bastards for the most part. Tonight I went to Pharmaca to buy saline drops for babies and Claritin for Mister (lucky boy gets to take drugs, sniff, sniff). We live near a Walgreens, but parking is a pain and sometimes it feels a little sketch in there. Unfortunately, Pharmaca’s pharmacy was closed so I ended up at Walgreens anyway, dealing with the very nice person at the counter who had to take my ID down before I could buy the behind-the-scenes Claritin-D, the kind that meth users buy and cook into meth. We aren’t so fancy here, no, we just take it to rid ourselves of sinus issues.

We tilted Lentil’s nest, the box she sleeps in in our bed, to elevate her head for sleeping. She’s sacked out right now, hopefully for a few more hours as she only took one real nap today. (Bad mama)

Nothing is lovelier than listening to your baby’s sleepy sighs, even when she has a cold.

Juniper’s Bunny Beanie

Juniper’s Bunny Beanie

Originally uploaded by gabbyenoaktown

Pregnancy affects so many different parts of our bodies that it sometimes felt like my body was completely breaking apart in the last weeks of my pregnacy.
I stopped knitting with any regularity. After a few rows, my right hand cramped up. It wasn’t just knitting that was problematic; writing with a pen is still painful and my right thumb is only now having any return of feeling. (Typing and hitting the space bar is uncomfortable.)
I have two projects started for Lentil that are unfinished. All others are shelved until they are done. I was able to complete this bunny beanie, a hat that will not fit her for a few months and for which there is no need as the weather continues to not be fall-ish.
The pattern is from Noe Knit and is in alpaca and mohair. 🙂

Outfitting the Lentil

We’re somewhere around six weeks out from our due date (which, in reality, means the baby could be here in a few weeks or a few extra weeks). I’ve been picking up some necessities from Craigslist while having conversations with Mrs. Footle about what seems reasonable to reuse (Bjorns) and what seems icky in a “I’m not quite there yet” kind of way (diapers). We picked up a used cribset from Craigslist and other than there being more blue in it than I imagined, it’s great. It came from Garnet Hill, feels lovely, and though used through two infants, looks pretty good.

My friends Amy and Katy threw me a baby shower this past weekend. It was filled with my crafty-girlfriends who out-crafted themselves. (Pictures to come.) Lentil already received a MinnowKnits blanket and hat from my Portland Amy. It comes with a hat, too. Whoa. 🙂

So, there I am at this party and wow! Janelle crochets her first-ever project, a blanket for us that is beautiful. Alicia produced a square from the blanket she’s been working on — and lying about all summer. She said she was knitting her own baby blanket (and boy was I thrilled for her, but sad for me because she makes lovely blankets). The deception was tricky! She knit fake squares to throw me off!! And the fibs don’t stop there. Natalia and Agnes have been working on a crochet project, too. The pattern, however, was one apparently chosen by me while we were in Ashland in August but Natalia said, oh, don’t knit that, it’s ugly. Hah. Our fall baby will be plenty warm with all the toasties from its aunties!

Our friend Barbara, a super-sewer and my chief partner in jamming escapades, was also busy. She pulled out a chicken jumper that belonged to her son and used it as inspiration in creating chicken onesies for Lentil. I know there are people who would only like brand new clothes, but I love that she repurposed clothing in a personal way. Wow! Less new stuff made and more cool stuff made.

I came across this post from Xtina’s blog, a Fistful of Stitches. She was at Ikea with a friend and said,

“We were looking at kitchen scales and while in the kitchen department he showed me a knife set: a block of wood with five different kitchen knives in it for $3.99. My reaction was to be sad and depressed, which initially surprised my friend until I explained that the first thing I think of is “how in the world could something cost that little money-wise without costing something much greater in terms of labor, resources, etc”. I know that I used to also be excited by what I perceived as a good deal until I started thinking about costs in a different way, so I could relate to his surprise at my reaction.”

My students and I were talking about where our clothes come from, who makes them, and what quality of life we have as compared to others (the discussion related to Ursula LeGuin’s The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas). Mister and I have had a similar conversation as we look over the gigantic list of things a baby must have (no, it doesn’t not need three variations of a bouncy chair). The more used things we can pick up not only saves us money, but reduces the cycle of new, new, new. I can’t commit to the buy everything used this year group, but I can commit to as much used or made by hand as possible philosphy. Thanks friends for helping with that! What lovely, lovely things to wrap our baby in! 🙂