Saturday, February 27, 2010

Visit from Uncle Mike

This morning, Uncle Mike came by to drop off mama Lyanne's cell phone.  Apparently, both mama Lyanne and his cell phones look quite similar.  He mistakenly took mama Lyanne's cell phone with him on Thursday, thinking it was his cell phone.  When he got home, he realized that he had an extra cell phone.  Before he realized it was mama Lyanne's cell phone, he called Uncle Ton thinking it was his cell phone. After Uncle Ton informed him that it was not his cell phone, Uncle Mike finally figured out that the extra cell phone was mama Lyanne's. So today, he purposely drove up from Santa Monica to drop off the phone.

While he was here, he spent a good chunk of time with baby Kara.  Baby Kara has become quite attached and "spoiled" by Uncle Mike.  Baby Kara spent most of her time sleeping on Uncle Mike's chest.  She kept snuggling closer to uncle Mike, in an attempt to get warmer on this rainy day. 

Baby Kara liked being held so much, that after Uncle Mike left, she was quite cranky and fussy. Baby Kara cried almost every hour or so. She was very loud, demanding to be carried and pampered like Uncle Mike had given her. Instead of carrying baby Kara as she had demanded, mama Lyanne placed her on the bouncer and rocked her every time she cried. After a few times battling with baby Kara, mama Lyanne claimed victory as baby Kara went to sleep for about four hours without too much more fussing.

Friday, February 26, 2010

2-week checkup with Dr. Mary Ellen McCormick

This morning, baby Kara woke up and enjoyed a nice bath in her new tub that papa Matt bought for her just the day before.  She got a sponge bath from mama Lyanne, and she wanted to be nice and clean for her 2-week wellness checkup with the pediatrician.

In the afternoon, papa Matt and mama Lyanne accompanied baby Kara to see Dr. Mary Ellen McCormick.  After checking into the room, baby Kara stripped and got her new weight.  She now weighs 6 pounds 15 ounces.  She now stands 20 and 1/2 inches tall, growing a whole entire inch from birth.

Dr. McCormick was quite impressed with baby Kara's weight gain, and she was also very happy with baby Kara's feeding and sleeping pattern.  Dr. McCormick also explained to papa Matt and mama Lyanne about some of the developmental progress from baby Kara that they should look for in the coming months, including baby Kara being able to look at mama Lyanne and papa Matt during feeding, baby Kara's ability to smile on cue, her ability to be startled when there are loud noises in the background, as well as the famous tummy time!

Baby Kara was very well behaved through most of the examination, except for when Dr. McCormick wanted to take a peek at baby Kara's eyes.  Baby Kara was so sound asleep from her feeding just before the appointment that she used all her might to make sure that her eyes are shut, and she was extremely stubborn and did not allow Dr. McCormick to see her eyes.  It was a challenge that Dr. McCormick gladly took up on!!  Dr. McCormick tried so many different ways to get baby Kara to open her eyes, but with no luck. Even mama Lyanne and the nurse came in to help out. Dr. McCormick even got down on her knees on the floor just to take a few peeks at baby Kara's eyes while mama Lyanne tried waking her, but to no avail.  We finally tried to put baby Kara on the scale again, in an attempt to wake her up and make her open her eyes.  While baby Kara was on the scale a second time, she did open her eyes a little, and Dr. McCormick was satisfied with the little glimpse of baby Kara's eyes that she saw.

Finally, mama Lyanne was curious to see what was baby Kara's bili-level even though she knew that baby Kara no longer had jaundice. The nurse found baby Kara's bili-level to be 7.9.  Dr. McCormick was very excited that baby Kara's bili-level has come way down from 12.9 only six days ago.  That ended our 2-week wellness check-up and the Wong family were ready to go home.  Mama Lyanne helped baby Kara to get dressed, and suddenly, her eyes were wide open.  Dr. McCormick had a good chuckle about the amount of effort it took to examine baby Kara's eyes, when she willingly opened them while she was putting on clothes to go home.

Overall, a great visit with Dr. McCormick, and baby Kara is set to see Dr. McCormick again in about six weeks for her 2-month wellness check.  At that appointment, she is slated to get tons of immunization shots as well as a more in-depth examination from Dr. McCormick.

Later that night, mama Lyanne enjoyed watching papa Matt give baby Kara burps over his shoulder. After that, he changed her diaper and played with her foot. He couldn't help but noticed that baby Kara's foot is just as long as the length of his thumb!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Visit from Uncle Ton, Uncle Mike, Auntie Jane, and Auntie Jennifer Herrera

It was a quiet Thursday morning for the Wong family. Grandma (婆婆) went home shortly after 10am, allowing baby Kara to spend quiet family time with mama Lyanne and papa Matt. 

Later in the evening, Uncle Mike, Auntie Jane and Auntie Jennifer came by with dinner and visited baby Kara.  They showed up around 5:30pm, and surprised papa Matt and mama Lyanne, as the Wongs were execting them closer to 7pm.  Papa Matt scurried the dogs outside to the garage while the guests entered through the front door.  What papa Matt forgot was that the side gate was not secured properly, as landscapers have been working in the backyard all morning long.  Once papa Matt got Kooki out to the garage, he heard barking down the street.  Papa Matt left his guests momentarily to look outside, and realized that Tobi and Wiley have both gone out of the side gate and started to bark at the neighbors.  Papa Matt quickly went out to the front yard, and yelled "Tobi and Wiley."  Not too long afterwards, Tobi and Wiley ran back home, and papa Matt secured the gate and made sure that all three dogs were locked inside the garage.

Once all the dogs were secured, he attended to his guests.  It turned out that they brought lots of ingredients from 99 Ranch.  Before everyone is settled, Uncle Mike went into the kitchen and started to make a cucumber and pressed bean curd salad.  They also brought rice noodles and dumplings.  For dessert, they brought ice cream.  Auntie Jane was the first to play with baby Kara.  They all took turns playing with Kara, and also helped the Wongs get dinner ready.

Mama Lyanne suggested to papa Matt to kick the dogs outside in the backyard.  As soon as papa Matt got all three dogs outside, Wiley (almost on cue) started to seize.  It's almost like he was seizing to show his displeasure of being kicked outside.  Papa Matt quickly fed the dogs medicine, and gave them a tray of food for dinner.  During this time, uncle Mike sang "You are my sunshine" to baby Kara so well that baby Kara fell asleep in his arms.

While papa Matt was tending to the dogs, Uncle Ton arrived with cousin Ellie.  Cousin Ellie has grown so much!!!  She's a big girl now, and she's going to be able to show baby Kara the ropes.

It was dinner time.  Everyone settled around the dinner table for those wonderful dumplings, noodles, and salad.  Baby Kara took the opportunity to catch some Zs, but she was just too excited at the amount of people inside the house that she constantly reminded everyone that she was resting in the family room.  Cousin Ellie pulled up a chair of her own, and sat there watching all the adults enjoy their dinner.  At one point, cousin Ellie demanded that she has some of those good food at the table as well.

After auntie Jane and mama Lyanne were done with dinner, they both fed cousin Ellie and baby Kara their dinner...breastmilk!!  Baby Kara and cousin Ellie enjoyed their dinner, and they both fell asleep in their mothers' arms.  Dinner conversations continued with papa Matt, uncle Ton, uncle Mike, and Auntie Jennifer.

Before you even blink another eye, it was already 10pm.  Everyone still has to work tomorrow, and decided it was time to go home.  Unfortunately, we totally forgot about the wonderful ice cream that auntie Jane, auntie Jennifer, and uncle Mike brought over.  Oh well, there's always next time when they visit!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gwan Yu!

This morning, baby Kara took a shower with the new heater that papa Matt got for her yesterday.  Papa Wong had gotten another heater previously, but did not like the Sunbeam heater as much as the current Honeywell heater.

This morning also marks the first day that papa Wong is working for the first time since baby Kara's birth.  His boss was nice enough to allow him to work from home this first week only, so that the transition will be a little easier.

Today was also the day that baby Kara's middle name is set in stone.  Since her first day out of mama Lyanne's womb, her chinese name was picked out by Grandma (嫲嫲) and Grandpa (爺爺).  It was going to be "君渝," but papa Matt and mama Lyanne could not decide on the phonetic way to spell "君渝" in English.  Before, they were debating between the spelling of "Kwan Yu", "Kwon Yu" or "Kwun Yu".  After getting help from all of papa Wong's aunties (Martha, Kitty, Lena and Tammy), they have decided on "Gwan Yu."  Today, the hospital birth coordinator called asking for the final spelling, so that baby Kara's birth certificate could be processed and printed.  So it is now settled, baby Kara's full name is Kara Gwan Yu Wong.  Papa Matt went to the hospital in the afternoon, and signed all the necessary paperwork for the birth record.

It is now official.  That is the name that is going to be on her birth certificate, and on her first social security card! 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Quiet Day with Mama

Today after Grandma (嫲嫲) cooked Papa Matt and Mama Lyanne a quick lunch, she packed her bags to go back to Alhambra.  Papa Matt and Mama Lyanne ripped the sheets off of the full size bed and dumped them into the laundry.  They put on a fresh set of sheets for the arrival of another grandma tonight.

Baby Kara spent some quality quiet time with Mama Lyanne the entire afternoon, while Papa Matt drove his mom back to Alhambra, as well as purchasing some groceries for the week.  After purchasing groceries, papa Matt also attended to his weekly sarcristan duties at St. Therese Church as well.

Grandma (婆婆) arrived in the evening, after celebrating Great-Grandma's birthday in Canoga Park.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Final Jaundice Check

As you can tell by the title of this post, today was baby Kara's final jaundice check...well, not quite the last one, but at least, the Wong family no longer has to make their daily trek to Valencia Pediatrics. In fact, the Wong family has been coming to Valencia Pediatrics so much, that the front desk folks greeted us with, "Good morning, Mister Wong, how are you today? Here for a jaundice check for Kara?" Just as a background, this is a relatively busy practice that sees about 40 newborns during any given month. 

Today's appointment was with Dr. Rebecca Mandel. Papa Matt and mama Lyanne were split in terms of their opinion of Dr. Mandel. Mama Lyanne did not really seem to care too much about Dr. Mandel's care of baby Kara, while Papa Matt thought that she was pretty good with baby Kara.

Baby Kara weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces...another 3 ounces weight gain!!  Her bili-level today was 12.9.  Dr. Mandel gave baby Kara a clean bill of health, and declared that she no longer has to come for daily pediatrician appointments.  Baby Kara's next appointment will be on Friday (6 days from now), for her 2-week old well check-up.  The best part about that upcoming appointment, in Papa Matt's opinion, is that there is absolutely zero co-pay! Hehe.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dr. Jonathan Auth (again?)

Today was another follow-up jaundice check for baby Kara. She now weighs 6 pounds, 6 ounces. No gain in weight. Her bili level dropped a little bit to 13.5 (from 13.9 yesterday). Today's newborn doctor at Valencia Pediatrics was Dr. Jonathan Auth...the same doctor who saw baby Kara on the very first day in the hospital, but yet neglected to see her on the second day before her discharge from the hospital.

Dr. Auth made sure that he spent extra time answering questions and concerns that papa Matt and mama Lyanne had this time around. He was in the exam room with us for almost 30 minutes. Papa Matt was concerned about baby Kara's bili-level, especially since baby Kara came off the photo-therapy treatment at midnight. He fears that the bili-level may have creeped back up since the light was turned off. Dr. Auth doubted that would happen, but understand papa Matt's concerns. He ordered baby Kara to return tomorrow for a quick jaundice check, and if it continues to go down, that proves that there are no worries for baby Kara's jaundice. Dr. Auth was so sure that his diagnosis is correct, that he predicted that baby Kara's jaundice level would be around 11 tomorrow.

We shall patiently wait and see....let's all keep our fingers cross and hope he is correct!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Doctor Kathy Brockett

It seems like Groundhog's Day. Papa Matt, Mama Lyanne, and Baby Kara woke up and got ready to go to the doctor again. Today is slightly different! Grandma (嫲嫲) came with us as well. The appointment was with Dr. Kathy Brockett today. Mama Lyanne and Papa Matt were quite impressed with Dr. Brockett, and they really enjoyed her care of baby Kara. Baby Kara gained another 3 ounces; now weighing 6 pounds 6 ounces. Her bili-level came down to an amazing 13.9 from a 17 yesterday. Dr. Brockett gave Papa Matt and Mama Lyanne strict orders to turn the lights off at midnight, and to have yet another follow-up appointment tomorrow morning.

Papa Matt and Mama Lyanne were also very excited to tell Dr. Brockett that baby Kara finally had a poopy diaper! It had been about a day and a half (almost 46 hrs) before the poopy diaper at 10pm last night! Each time baby Kara pooped, Papa Matt and Mama Lyanne cheered so excitedly, as if they were celebrating a party, because they were quite concerned about baby Kara not pooping as frequent as she should.

After the doctors appointment, Papa Matt brought Grandma (嫲嫲) to WalMart, Babies R Us, and 99 Ranch to do some shopping and grocery shopping, while mama Lyanne and baby Kara stayed home to rest. They found some bargain Orange Juice at the Super WalMart across from the Babies R Us.

After dinner, Grandma (嫲嫲) fed baby Kara before her nap.

Overall, today was a great day for the Wong family!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Doctor Brian Kirschner

Today was just like yesterday. Baby Kara woke up, changed, and got ready for a visit to Valencia Pediatrics. Her doctor today was Dr. Brian Kirschner. He evaluated the effect of the Bili-level, and assessed the effects from the short time that she was under the light treatment. Papa Matt were quite impressed with Dr. Kirschner's memory. Typically, a doctor would walk into an exam room with a clipboard or a laptop. In his case, he actually took the time to review the reports before seeing baby Kara and was able to remember the entire case off of his memory. He remembered the weight and the Bili level from yesterday and today. Today, baby Kara gained 3 ounces; she now weighs 6 pounds 3 ounces. However, her Bili level is still 17. Papa Matt and Mama Lyanne were quite concerned about the fact that baby Kara has no poopy diaper yet.

In the afternoon, Great Yee-Ma, Grandma (嫲嫲), and Great Uncle Ho came to the house to visit. Grandma (嫲嫲) also started to help Papa Matt and Mama Lyanne to cook some soup. While Grandma (嫲嫲) was cooking soup for Mama Lyanne, baby Kara got 2 ounces of formula from Great Yee-Ma. After that big feeding, she was sound asleep for 4 hours!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

2 Day old Pediatrician Check-up

Today, baby Kara was due for her 2-day old pediatrician check-up with Dr. Mike at Valencia Pediatrics. Papa and Mama Wong woke up at around 8am, and started to get baby Kara and themselves ready for the appointment. They arrived at Valencia Pediatrics shortly before 10:30am. After a short wait, the nurse came out to get baby Kara to go to the examination room.

They first put baby Kara on the scale, and found her to be down to 6 pounds exactly. She had lost 8 ounces from her birth weight. The nurse then proceeded to test baby Kara's bilirubin level, and found that to be a 17, which is considered to be high risk for jaundice.

While we were waiting for Dr. Mike to come into the examination room, we heard a knock on the door. We were pleasantly surprised to see Dr. Mary Ellen McCormick. Apparently, Dr. Mike's schedule was very busy, and had asked Dr. McCormick to fill in on this checkup. Papa and Mama Wong have met Dr. McCormick before baby Kara was even born. They have determined that Dr. McCormick would be baby Kara's pediatrician. However, sometimes due to schedule conflicts, we may have to see other doctors in the practicel, especially during the first 2 weeks of newborn's doctor visits.

Dr. McCormick visited with papa and mama Wong for a good half hour, and discussed the treatment options for jaundice. Dr. McCormick wanted to treat the jaundice aggressively. First, she wanted to draw blood for a blood test, to confirm the test results. The blood would be sent to Henry Mayo hospital, and the results would come back in the afternoon. In the meantime, Dr. McCormick started paperwork to have a bili-blanket sent to the house, in an event that we need to start home treatment on baby Kara.

At around 3pm, Dr. McCormick called the house and spoke to mama Lyanne. Dr. McCormick said that the jaundice level was not dangerous, but wanted to be aggressive and bring that level down.

The bili-blanket arrived at around 8:45pm, and baby Kara was put under the blanket. Papa and mama Wong were hopeful that the blanket treatment would help the test results in the morning, when we have to visit the doctor again.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Quiet Monday?

Monday was a quiet day in the Wong's household....just the way Papa Wong preferred it to be. In fact, Papa Wong wanted at least a week of quiet time with just the three of them.

Little did Papa Wong know, it was not exactly quiet, as they were still trying to get used to baby Kara's new feeding schedule. Baby Kara was not full and was feeding every half hour purely on mama Lyanne's colostrum, so we had to supplement baby Kara's feeding with formula.

In the afternoon, Great Auntie Jeannie drove Great Grandma (太婆), Grandma (婆婆), First Cousin once removed, Katherine, and First Cousin once removed Jayden (2 years old) to the house, and visited baby Kara. They left shortly before dinner, and baby Kara was very well behaved through the entire visit.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Kara Going Home

On Valentine's Day (also Chinese New Year) this year, baby Kara is ready to check out of the hospital and go home!

Papa and Mama Wong were still finalizing baby Kara's Chinese name at this point in time. This morning, Dr Nish visited mama Lyanne for one final time before he gave the okay for discharge from the hospital. Papa and Mama Wong waited for Dr. Auth from Valencia Pediatrics to visit baby Kara, but he never showed up. From what we heard, there was a misunderstanding between the nurses and him. He thought that we had been discharged, and therefore, he did not pay us a visit. Papa Matt expressed concerns about the likelihood of jaundice to the nurse. The nurse checked baby Kara's Bilirubin level, and found that to be a 8.9. That was slightly high but nothing to be concerned about.

Just before discharge, Mama Wong was visited by Jollie, the hospital's lactation specialist. Jollie gave Mama Wong a really thorough demonstration on how to breastfeed baby Kara. She also showed various tips and tricks to get baby Kara to get all the nutrients she needed from Mama Lyanne.

At around 5pm, Papa Wong pulled up the 2005 Toyota Camry at the hospital's turnaround, and loaded baby Kara into the car. Baby Kara arrived home! She was immediately greeted by her three best friends, Tobi, Wiley, and Kooki. All three of them stood on their two hind legs looking on, waiting to meet their new family member.

At the same time, our neighbor across the street, Kelly, saw baby Kara pulled up, and welcome her to the neighborhood as well.

During the evening, Papa and Mama Wong had a quiet Valentine's dinner by themselves. Baby Kara was very good, and slept through the entire dinner!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Visit from Family

Several hours after baby Kara was born, papa Matt and mama Lyanne made several phone calls to their parents and inform them that their first grandchild has arrived. Nervous and anxious, everyone wanted to rush into their cars and drive over to the hospital. Papa Matt and mama Lyanne convinced all the grandparents that it would be better to visit in the morning, when visiting hours begin at 8am.

During the morning shift, our new nurse, Janice, said that she would be preparing the postpartum room for us, and that she would try to time the move to the postpartum room just as the current patient is checking out to go home. In the meantime, Grandma () arrived at the hospital to visit baby Kara. Here's a picture of proud Grandma () holding Kara.

In the afternoon, Grandpa (爺爺), Grandma (嫲嫲), and uncle Gabe (叔叔) came to visit Kara in the hospital.

Late in the evening, great Grandma, great uncle Hoa and great aunt Ivanna came by to visit as well.

After a long day of visit from various family members, Papa and Mama Wong relaxed in the postpartum room until close to midnight. Matt headed home to their three other "kids," aka the three dogs. They needed their evening medication, and they get to stay inside the house to sleep through the night.

After Papa Matt left the hospital for the day, baby Kara became quite fussy and demanded milk and nutrients from Mama Lyanne the whole night, almost once every hour.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kara's Arrival

Several weeks ago, baby Kara has already dropped into the birthing position, headed down into the birth canal, and ready to venture out onto this planet.

For three weeks, mama and papa Wong waited anxiously for baby Kara's arrival, but somehow baby Kara was not able to push her way into this world. Papa and mama Wong decided that if baby Kara have not made any progress by the last appointment with Dr. Nishiguchi (mama Lyanne's OB doctor), they would then try medical induction. When Thursday came around (the last appointment with Dr. Nish), the doctor once again have informed us that mama Lyanne was still at 2 cm dilation, the same dilation over the last 2 weeks. Dr. Nish had also informed us that induction will be required for baby Kara because it was deemed unsafe for baby Kara to remain in mama lyanne's belly past her due date (February 17th). Since Grandpa Wong will be leaving Los Angeles and returning to Hong Kong on the morning of February 14th, papa and mama Wong decided that February 12th was a perfect day for induction!

On the morning of February 12th, 2010, mama and papa Wong arrived at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital to start the oxytocin treatment. The nurse started mama Lyanne on the lowest dosage, then gradually increased the dosage so that it will help mama Lyanne to get gradually stronger and more consistent contractions. By around 1pm on Friday, the contraction broke mama Lyanne's water bag and the first thing that came to mama and papa Wong's mind was 'Baby Kara is coming!'.

No, no, no...false alarm! 5-6 hrs pass, mama Lyanne barely reached 4cm dilation with barely any progress. It turned out that baby Kara's head was pressing against mama Lyanne's cervix, sealing the rest of the amniotic fluid, keeping baby Kara buoyant and slowing mama Lyanne's dilation. By 6/7pm Dr. Nish decided to manually pop the water bag to release the remaining amniotic fluid and turn mama Lyanne on her belly to use gravity along with contractions to squeeze baby Kara out. Within the next hour or two, mama Lyanne's cervix was completely dilated and thinned out. "Ok, we're ready for labor!" said Dr Nish. Baby Kara is coming this time!

Mama Lyanne pushed and pushed with all her might for the next hour. "Com'on, keep pushing! I can see the baby's head!" said Dr Nish. Mama Lyanne pushed and pushed, and out came baby Kara! Dr Nish put baby Kara on mama Lyanne's chest while Papa Matt cut baby Kara's embilical cord. And just about then, baby Kara lead out a small cry for the first time!

Since baby Kara was breathing on her own and appeared physically healthy, Dr Nish gave the approval for the respiratory specialist to leave. (It is standard operating procedure that a respiratory doctor stand by in case the baby was not breathing at delivery.) Before the nurses can get the stats of baby Kara (weight and length), baby Kara was allowed to bond with mama Lyanne for almost 2 hrs. (This is a so called the "golden hour" at Henry Mayo Hospital where baby can spend the 1st hour of their life skin-to-skin bonding with mom.) Baby Kara was born at 10:05pm, weighed 6 lbs 8 oz, 19 1/2 inches long. At 1 minute old, the doctor and nurse gave baby Kara an ABGAR score of 8. At 5 minutes old, baby Kara was given a perfect ABGAR score of 10!!! The nurse also took baby Kara's first set of footprint, and applied Vitamin K and eye ointment...all typical procedures done at birth.

After all the exams were done, the nurse helped clean mama Lyanne up and they were ready to transfer mama Lyanne and baby Kara to a post-partum room. However, since there were a record setting of 10 other births on baby Kara's birthday, they decided to leave mama, papa and baby Wong in the L&D room. That worked out perfectly because papa Matt can now stay overnight with mama Lyanne and baby Kara. Both mama Lyanne and baby Kara had their own comfortable bed while papa Matt had what looked like a comfortable, very cushiony recliner, turned out to be not so comfortable after all.

For the most part, baby Kara was a trooper in controlling her crying during the needle pricking portion of blood glucose tests. However, there was this one elderly nurse that always manage to test baby Kara's crying ability. This nurse was not rude nor mean. In fact, she was very courteous to mama Lyanne and papa Matt because she kept the lights off every time she came in to do the glucose test on baby Kara. However, the problem was that she was unable to see very well in the dark. So on the first needle prick, baby Kara would be a brave girl and not let out a cry while the nurse fumbled around to get the blood on the meter. It appeared that she needed to prick baby Kara a second time before she is able to get enough blood for the glucose tests. Every time, mama Lyanne would have to remind the nurse to turn the lights on before she makes the same mistake in the dark! Other than those multiple glucose injection episodes, baby Kara was a good girl, and slept for most of the first 24 hours of her life. Afterall, baby Kara worked really hard trying to push her way into this world (with mama Lyanne's help, of course).