Saturday, May 15, 2010

strong, little violet

violet has been such a blessing in our lives. we love her to pieces and it has been so fun to watch her grow. over the past few months, she has taught us so much about gratitude and happiness. we recently had a scary yet faith-building experience with her and in the spirit of gratitude, i am writing it all down.

when vi was about a month old, she started having symptoms of digestive problems. she was a generally happy baby to start with, but after a few weeks she began to be a little cranky and her diapers started to be bloody. it really concerned me so we went to the doctor asap who let us know that vi was suffering from a common milk allergy. he explained that sometimes babies can pick up on cow's milk protein in their mother's milk and it causes irritation to the baby's bowels. the solution was simple- i could either switch to a special formula or i could completely eliminate milk from my diet. as much as i love my cheese, i felt it was important to breastfeed so i decided to get rid of dairy. it was crazy trying to plan meals without any sort of milk product- MUCH harder than i ever anticipated- but i knew that this would help little vi feel better.

the doctors said that it would take about a week to clear my system and start seeing results; however, the long week passed and vi wasn't getting any better. the doctors recommended another week to see if that would help. that week came and went with no improvement. at the 2 1/2 week mark, i took her back in and they evaluated again saying that this was a typical milk allergy and it would pass with time. cade and i listened to the doctors but felt that there really was something we were missing. vi was only getting worse and my diet was 100% milk free. we prayed and our families prayed, hoping that we could solve this mystery.

at her 2 month check up, i told the doctor that after 5 weeks, her condition was only getting worse and i really felt that it was not a milk allergy. he was skeptical- but luckily right at that moment, violet had a messy diaper and we were able to show the doctor what we were dealing with. he quickly realized that this was no milk allergy and violet needed to see a specialist. we were referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist with a waiting list of 2 months. i was really worried she couldn't wait that long, but our pediatrician took some samples from vi and sent them over saying that maybe they would see her sooner if the results proved necessary. as soon as the results came back, the specialist called us and told us to come in the next day. she needed to see violet immediately.

cade was unable to leave work so i took my mom for moral support and we went to the gastroenterologist. at the appointment, the doctor walked in and the first words out of her mouth were, "your baby is a medical miracle." my mom and i both dropped our jaws and asked her to explain. turns out, violet has been really sick. she somehow picked up 3 very dangerous bacteria- including gangrene- that were quickly wreaking havoc on her insides. they have not seen results like this in a baby and the instances that something like this has been seen in an adult were horrific. the doctor told us she was expecting to see a lifeless baby who was emaciated and terribly ill- but instead she was greeted with little violet who was rosy and thriving. she was strong enough to put up a valiant fight against the bacteria despite the obvious pain they were causing her- but had this been left untreated, we couldn't expect the fight to last for much longer. the doctor explained that had i switched to formula with this baby, she would not have survived. by this point my mom and i were both in tears and i stared at little violet in disbelief and overwhelming gratitude for this doctor. dr harnsberger then quizzed my mom and i for an hour to try and figure out where she could have picked up such dangerous bacteria. the conversation went something like this:

doc: are you meth users?
me: no!
doc: do you live in a meth house:
me: no!
doc: have you or cade ever worked in an aids clinic?
me: no!
doc: was your home built on an old hospital site?
me: no, it was a farm.
doc: did you take violet to a third world country?
me: she hasn't been out of the state!
doc: have you been exposed to gamma rays?
me: not that i know of...
doc: are you and cade sick?
me: i don't think so...

the questioning went on and on and finally the doctor said, "well, i don't have any idea where this poor baby picked this up. it is just REALLY bad luck....but we need to get her all better."

the good news is, violet is going to make a full and speedy recovery. her antibiotics are already showing strong results and she is suddenly a different baby. now that she is on the mend, she is taking naps, smiling more and cooing all day long. i feel so bad she had such a rough, painful start but i am eternally grateful we were able to catch this in time. cade and i are thankful for the prayers and thoughts of our friends and family on violet's behalf. we are further thankful to our Father in Heaven who gave us violet and has let us keep her. she is one strong, little girl.


Mary Ann (Crockett) Ahlstrom said...

Oh my word! That is amazing and terrifying. I'm so glad the antibiotics are working. Tender mercies indeed. Good for you and Cade in listening to your instincts so she could get well. You are good parents.

Jeff and Heather said...

We are so happy Baby Violet is getting better. We love that little girl.

Missy said...

Woah. What a nightmare. I am so glad that you figured out the problem, having a sick baby is so awful.

Karrissa Winward said...

Oh, that is awful!! I am so sorry for you guys! I am so glad she is ok and I hope everything keeps getting better!

Jessica Madsen said...

Holy, holy, holy, holy, holy HOLY, COW! I can't not believe that. You are so in tune, and so smart for listening to the spirit telling you what to do. WOW. I hope she gets feeling much much better soon!

Norton's said...

WOW! So scary! What a little fighter Vi is and still is. Glad to hear she's doing better and continueing to get better. She sure is beautiful!

Laina said...

WOW! That is crazy, I had no idea it was that bad. The Lord really does work miracles in our lives. I am so happy you were able to see the specialist and figure out what was wrong, that must have been so scary, I can't even imagine. Luckily you had your mom with you cause that would have really sucked to be alone.

I am so glad she is on the mend. Hooray!

Megan and Greg said...

Holy cow. She is amazing. I'm so glad everything's going to be fine. She is one amazing girl.

Jess said...

Oh my gosh Ash, I can't believe that!!! How horrible, what a strong girl!! I am so glad you found the problem and that she is doing better!!!

Kristen said...

Oh my goodness Ash! I remember you telling me about all this when we went to lunch! I could not even imagine how you must be feeling. Poor little thing. I am so sorry! You truly have Heavenly Father on your side, what a miracle.

You always have to go with that gut feeling, especially when it comes to your own child. I am so happy to hear that Vi is on the mend and that she will be back to normal in no time. Let me know if you need anything.

Austin and Leslie said...

Glad to hear Vi is going to be ok. She is such a darling and deserves to be happy and healthy :)

~SHERI said...

Ashley, Ashley. I am so sorry you and Cade had to go through that. I am so sorry little Vi had to go through that. Your story made me cry, just how blessed you guys are. What an amazing little girl. I hope everything continues to clear up. I am going to be in Utah again in June for Brandy's wedding. Hit me up, eh? from about the 6th-20th.

the hopkins said...

Oh Ash, I am in tears! Holy cow, I'm so so sorry. I feel so bad for little violet. She will definitely be in our prayers. What a strong little girl, that really is a miracle. Heavenly Father is with out a doubt watching over her.
On a happy note, her little flower is so cute and she is beautiful :)

paige and jord said...

what the heck?! that is sooo scary ash. im sorry that you, well all three of you, went through that. but im glad she is feeling better- she couldn't be any cuter!