Thursday, January 21, 2010

Doctor's Appointment and Death of a Pet

It's been a rough week in our house. Right now, I'm just sort of stumbling through the days. I hope things will change this weekend. But for now, let me fill you in.

Petite had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday morning. I took her there, while hubby took one of our guinea pigs to the vet's. (More on that in a moment.) Anyway, Petite needed her 4-month vaccinations and a check-up and all that. And I had an appointment as well. So here's the latest from the doctor's office:

  • Petite weighs 14 lbs 6 oz (at 4 months 3 weeks old; 50th percentile)
  • She measures 25.5 inches long (again, 50th percentile)

  • Her development is right on track, as she is putting things deftly in her mouth, talking up a storm, rolling both ways and doing well with holding her head up.

  • I described the feeding problems that we have been having. In fact, Petite threw up twice in the doc's office even before the doc came in! So sour smelling as well, her poor tummy is frequently upset. She fights food, stops feeding in the middle of a feed (after 2 or 2.5 oz) and sometimes cries when the bottle is near her. She has reflux disease and was prescribed medication to help. With luck, that will help her tummy settle and she can eat a little easier and better. This may be why she is only still taking 4 oz per feed rather than 6 or 7.

  • She had two shots. The first one bothered her momentarily. She was downright cantankerous for the second and offended that we'd subjected her to that a second time! When she realized it was another injection, her eyes grew wide, she screwed up her face, held her breath and shook with anger. I picked her up and only after she was on my shoulder did she let out the most God-awful, piercing wail! Poor baby. One of the injection sites was a bleeder too; I got it all over my shirt. Oh well. The shots made her cranky too. She spent all day on Wednesday fussing. And I mean all day! She woke at 8 a.m. and never went to bed til 10:30 p.m. with about 45 mins of dozing in between. It was NOT a good day.

  • The dry skin on my hands is psoriasis. I now have a cream to help treat it. In only two days, I see remarkable results. Thank heavens! No more cracked, dry, bleeding knuckles!

  • I told my doctor about the two gall bladder attacks that I'd had while I was home in Newfoundland. I ended up in emergency during my vacation and was referred to a surgeon. I had hoped to have that appointment before I left to return to Ontario but alas, that didn't happen. My doctor wanted to refer me here in Ontario... and I'm torn as to whether to go back to Newfoundland for the surgery (I'd need my family to help me out for a week or so) or whether I'll ask that they fly up here to help. I may do the latter; Petite's stuff is all here in Ontario and it would be easier, that's for sure. Besides, they'll take any opportunity to see our sweet baby girl!

So the doctor's appointment is done. I have to make another appointment for her in a month to follow up with the reflux meds to see if it's helping her.

And yesterday was a bad day for another reason. One of our sweet guinea pigs, Snowpoke, succumbed to illness on Wednesday, January 20 at about 10:30 a.m. We did everything we possibly could for him. We noticed he was extremely lethargic on Sunday night. By Monday evening, things hadn't improved, and we noticed that he had blood coming from his pe.nis. He had to have been in extreme pain, and I raced upstairs to try to find an emergency veterinarian who was skilled with pocket pets. None were available, so I left a message on our regular vet's line telling them that we'd call first thing in the morning. They called us before they opened on Tuesday morning and told us to bring him in. Hubby did that and he was there for a couple of hours. They did an x-ray and found stones in Snowpoke's bladder. Two options: surgery (at a cost of 2K and not knowing if he'd make it through the surgery; being a pocket pet, that's difficult to do), or painkillers and antibiotics and hope that the stones didn't work their way into his urethra. We opted for the meds first. By Tuesday evening, he was still very lethargic but more responsive. We had hope. Wednesday morning, hubby gave him his meds at 8 a.m.; he even squirmed away from hubby as he didn't want the meds. But it was for naught. Snowpoke passed away by about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

I cried buckets of tears. Somehow, I never thought I would be so greatly affected. But I am. I miss the little guy. I miss his wheeks and his head butts. I miss cuddling with him and giving him his treats. In fact, I was making soup on Wednesday morning and cut up extra celery for the piggies, hoping that he'd be well enough to eat some on Wednesday afternoon. He never got that celery, but I hope that wherever he is, he's free of pain, and he has all the celery and peppers that he wants. Blessed little sweetie. We're going to miss him terribly. I already do.

I feel guilty that I haven't spent as much time with the guinea pigs since Petite's birth in August. They're situated downstairs and I just rarely get the time to get down there, that's all. I ask hubby about them often, and I still make sure they get what they need in the way of veggies, hay, treats, water, etc. But it's tough to shake the guilt that I have because I haven't cuddled them much since August. And I realized that we don't have ANY photos of Petite with any of our pets. I need to rectify that very soon. I had hoped that she would grow up and get to know Snowpoke and his buddy, Scruffles and maybe learn to take care of them as she got older. And it's important to me that I have photos of Petite with the cats; they've been my babies for 14 years. I need to have pictures of her with them. As she grows up, she may not remember anything else.

Nevertheless, she won't know Snowpoke. I am so sorry that we didn't see his pain sooner. I have to console myself by reminding myself that he had a wonderful home, was extremely well taken care of and loved, and he was (hopefully) in no pain. We love you Snowpoke. Take care baby, and one day, we'll see you and cuddle you again. Promise.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Developing by Leaps and Bounds

Baby Girl is 4 months old. I can't believe it.

She is really developing by leaps and bounds these days. A sample of some of her accomplishments:

  • she far prefers to face forward rather than facing me (even in the moby wrap)
  • she's able to deftly stuff her soothie into her mouth, when she looses it
  • she perfected sucking her thumb; although she doesn't keep it in there long
  • she found her toes... and like everything else, quickly stuffed them in her mouth
  • she is exploring our faces when we feed her
  • rolling from tummy to back, and back to tummy; she prefers the latter
  • laughing out loud and talking up a storm (on Dec. 30, she spent the entire day blabbering!)
  • she is trying to hold herself up on her feet, and she prefers to be upright rather than sitting up (we have a Bumbo seat and she tolerates it for maybe 10 mins at a time, but she loves her new exersaucer!)
  • she watches every morsel of food or every drop of fluid that goes in our mouths! (a sign that she is ready to start cereals maybe? She tried to grab my Mom's coffee mug out of her hands!)

I estimate that she's between 14 and 15 lbs right now. We'll know more next week when we go to the doctor's for her shots and a check up. She's still in some 0-3 month outfits, but she seems to be starting to fit into the 3-6 month stuff now. About time too! She looked so adorable in her Christmas dresses! What a cutie!

And we had her christened while we were at home. I received two wonderful gifts from three of my good girlfriends (all sisters) at home. One of them made me a little photo album with pics of the day and the event, and the other two made me a beautiful framed keepsake with a photo, a quoted passage, the date and the people involved (baby's name, our names, those of the godparents and the church official). It's spectacular. I'm so blessed. And Little Miss looked angelic in her (my!) christening dress. She never even made a peep when the water touched her forehead; my concern was that she would stick out her tongue to drink it!

It was a lovely 5-6 weeks at home, and now we're back in our own surroundings and we'll get her on some sort of a schedule. She's still only taking 4-5 oz per feed, with a rare request for more. And some nights she sleeps through, while others, she's up for more food. It all depends. I'm hoping that when I can start getting some cereal into her formula that she'll sleep better at night.

This morning she had a first; she had her first swimming lesson. She really enjoyed it for the most part, crying only momentarily the first time she went underwater. But she did beautifully and I'm looking forward to the rest of the classes! I hope she is too!