The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for the Berry family! My mom was in the hospital at MUSC for about a week, and after a couple of days we decided to make the trip so she could get a dose of Ella--always the right medicine! We drove down on Thursday morning and were there through Friday afternoon when she got discharged. We helped Mom and Dad get home to Columbia, and all celebrated her "break out" with a pizza and some lasagna from Bellacino's...yummy. On Saturday we packed up the car in the afternoon and headed back to Greer so we could be here for Sunday services.
On Monday we met up with Brandon's childhood friend, Erin Foushee, who is starting a photography business, at Furman. It was a little stressful for me during the day to 1) try to make my tired eyes and pregnant body look as fabulous as possible 2) coordinating 3 different outfits for each of us to wear during the photo shoot and 3) getting us all to Furman from different areas of the upstate by 4pm. The shoot was a lot of fun, though I had to give Erin mad props for keeping up with Ella who was all about running around and nothing about sitting still for a picture...or 300. Here are a couple of shots that she came up with (more to come later):
That night when we got home, I noticed that Ella was a little warm. I took her temp, and it wasn't too bad: 100.1. She had had her immunizations the week before and we had been warned that a mild fever could occur 5-7 days later, so I didn't think too much about it. I gave her some Tylenol and a luke warm bath, and put her to bed. A couple hours later, before I turned in, I went in to check on her as I usually do, and put my hand on her cheek...WHICH WAS ON FIRE! She woke up immediately (I guess even my normal temp hand felt cool to her) and I checked her temp...105.5. Yikes. I gave her some more Tylenol and put her in another bath (she didn't like that) while B called the Dr. The nurse on call called us back and we took the temp again after the bath. 106.7. She actually said, "You're kidding, right?" Yeah, lady...I just love to call nurses at 11:30 at night and make jokes about fevers I've never even heard of. Of course, she told us to get her to the ER (not the one conveniently located by our house, but the one downtown because of the Children's Hospital connected to it). We had her in the car and to the ER in less than 10 minutes (it usually takes about 25). At about 2:30am, we were discharged and told she had an ear infection and that we should check up with the dr. on her blood and urine work the next day.
The dr. checked the numbers and said that it probably wasn't a bacterial infection. We were relieved that she also didn't have any more fever that day. But that night she woke us up at 3am, and was again hot...the thermometer read 106.1 and the on-call nurse at first told us not to go to the ER because of the events of the last night, but then after talking to the dr. again, called us back and told us to get her there again because they needed to do some more blood work. So we were at the ER until 7:30am....and beyond exhausted by that point.
So...that was Wednesday morning and we were supposed to leave for a 6 day cruise to the Caribbean on Friday night. I was less than enthused about leaving my sick child with ANYONE, even the grandparents. But Wed, Thurs, and Fri were all fever-free and we knew that both sets of our parents were more than capable of taking care of our precious baby girl. We dropped her off on Friday night, and after going over my 3-page typed "Tips for a great time with Ella" complete with directions to the ER, we said our goodbyes. Ella could have cared less that we were leaving.
Note: The next paragraph is graphic:
We drove to Ft. Lauderdale with the group from church, and around 2:00am, we witnessed the most horrendous wreck on I-95 in Jacksonville that I've ever seen. A black Chevy truck sped past us on the left going at least 100mph, then crossed in front of us to the right lane, lost control, went all the way back to the left, hit the guardrail, flipped 5 times and out came two guys, landing on the interstate. It looked like something from NASCAR. We were about 20 feet away from the whole thing, and it was like angels guarded us like a steel wall...we weren't touched in the least bit, and we were able to maneuver through the wreckage without hitting anything. We called 911, but were past the point to be able to stop and help in any sort of safe fashion. We found out the next day that both men were 22 years old, drunk, and not wearing their seat belts. They both survived the crash, but the passenger later passed away at the hospital.
Needless to say we didn't get much sleep the rest of the way down. Everyone was on edge.
Finally we arrived and got on the boat. It was our (mine and B's) first cruise, and we were so excited, but so tired! But we were able to catch up on our sleep...mainly due to the fact that there was horrible cruise weather the entire time! The first day at sea, we slept in and had room service, then worked out and it was enough for me. The waves were 10 feet high and the boat was really rocking, so we headed back to the room for the day and more room service. We did finally emerge for the formal night at dinner, and a show, and karaoke. The time on Grand Cayman was fun with some friends. We shopped, ate at Margaritaville where B's dancing skills won me a virgin pina colada-go boy!, and did find one small spot on the beach that wasn't too rough so we could snorkel for a little while. Brandon saw a huge stingray and I found a lot of big conch shells which we gave to our friends.
The next day was in Cozumel, and it was interesting to say the least. We rented scooters with some friends, and had a ball scooting down the western coast, finding beaches to sit at to try to catch the 30 seconds here and there of sunshine and warmth, and checking out Mayan ruins. But then, as we were heading around the bottom of the island, we realized our back tire was funky. We stopped, it went flat, and that was the end of that. We had to get a taxi to take us back to the rental company because the number they gave us to call was bogus (thanks). After dealing with the police and the rental company on a dispute, we sat down for some fajitas, but got up before ordering, deciding that if the next day at sea was possibly sunny and nice, we didn't want to take the chance that we'd be stuck in our stateroom sick with Montezuma's revenge. Instead we ate for free on the boat, then B went rock climbing!
The best things about the cruise were the food (B had 3 lobster tails the last night!), the time to sleep (there were a couple of nights that we slept 12 hours easily and took naps almost every day), the fact that everything was already paid for, the fact that we didn't have to make decisions for the most part, and the food (again).
We were more than happy to see Ella after a 13 hour drive from Ft. Lauderdale. We woke her up for some snuggles in the middle of the night, but she didn't mind. We were happy to be home for about 12 hours before we packed the car back up and headed to Birmingham for Brandon's roommate, Danny's wedding. He married a beautiful (inside and out) gal named Angela, and it was a swanky and fun wedding.
Finally we're all home for a couple of days before we head to Hendo for Thanksgiving. Hope all is well with you!